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How To Take Advantage Of Checking Account Promotions

By Michael A. Dunn

All too often you will see a checking account promotion that is offering a cash reward or perhaps a gift if you sign up for a checking account with that particular bank.

Most of the time you will see offers from fifty dollars to two hundred dollars, or gift offers like iPods or Flip Camcorders. Low ticket electronics, like iPods, seem to be extremely popular right now as many people perceive the value of these items as greater than just getting it in cash.

Think of it this way. It would be much more exciting for you to receive a package in the mail and open an iPod Touch then have the bank automatically deposit two hundred dollars in your bank account. Some people may not even notice the money and accidentally spend it on something they didn’t want to spend it on.

The key to taking advantage of these checking account promotions is to read the fine print carefully. Every one of these promotions has requirements that you will have to meet in order to get the gift or money. These requirements are things like sign up for direct deposit use your debit card 20 times, transfer a certain amount of money, etc.


Finding the offers with the least amount of requirements is the best way to take advantage and get the gifts. For instance recently I came across an offer in which you only needed to complete 20 debit card transactions by the end of October and you could get a free iPod Touch. Not too shabby.

Things to know about Checking Account Promotions

There are some things you should keep in mind if you are going to try and take advantage of some checking account promotions.

First of all many of them are based on a certain time frame. This means it may be months before you are even eligible to receive your gift or money. This is after you have been sure to meet all the requirements of the special.

Second, you will be taxed on the money or gifts you receive. If you receive $200 from the promotion, that money will be taxed by the IRS. Furthermore, if it is a gift that the bank is offering then you will be taxed on the dollar amount of the gift. The problem here lies in the fact that banks may give you a $100 gift and state the value as $150. You will be taxed for a $150 dollar amount.

Third, be sure to read ALL the fine print. Sometimes the promotion may be offering a fantastic gift or a larger sum of money, but the requirements to get the item would basically mean you would have to switch banks and sign up for all the extra gadgets and gizmos that they offer. In the end the promotion is not even worth it.

The best way to take advantage of checking account promotions is to only sign up for them if you need to switch banks or open a new account. Otherwise you can get yourself into trouble by trying to just get the gifts and get out.

About the Author: Michael Dunn is a writer and contributor to and other financial websites. Check out

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