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Get $250 From First Niagra For Opening A Checking Account

drofcredit 223 446 March 10, 2014 at 05:46 PM in Finance (3)
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First niagra is currently running a promo where you can earn up to $250.

https://www.firstniagara.com/Land...ng250.aspx

How to get your $250 cash bonus**

It's as easy as using your Pinnacle or PinnaclePlus Checking account. You can earn the $250 when you complete all three of the following within the first 60 days of opening your account.
  • Make a direct deposit totaling $250 or more.
  • Make ten debit card purchases.
  • Make five bill payments using Online/Mobile Banking.
  • Complete Any One: Earn $50 total
  • Complete Any Two: Earn $100 total
  • Complete All Three: Earn $250 total

Fine print:

Quote :
Terms and Conditions
*Pinnacle and PinnaclePlus checking accounts include unlimited rebates of surcharges for transactions at non-First Niagara ATMs in the U.S. Choice checking does not include ATM surcharge rebates. Rebates are credited to your account at the end of each statement cycle. International ATM charges may apply for non-First Niagara ATMs outside of the United States and are not rebated.

**To qualify for a cash bonus, a new Choice, Pinnacle or PinnaclePlus checking account must be opened online through FirstNiagara.com. Criteria: Within 60 days of account opening you must complete at least one of the following with your new First Niagara account: direct deposits totaling $250 or more, or five (5) bill payments using Online/Mobile Banking, or ten (10) debit card purchases. Payment: $50 cash bonus for 1st completed criteria, additional $50 cash bonus for 2nd completed criteria, additional $150 cash bonus for 3rd completed criteria. Total cash bonus is up to $250. Timing: Applicable cash bonus will be deposited into your new checking account within 30 days from end of the month in which you satisfy offer criteria. Applicable bonus payments may be paid as one lump sum or as individual payments. Checking account must be open and maintain a positive balance in order to obtain the applicable cash bonus. Account must remain open for 180 days to avoid a $25 Early Account Closing fee.

Cannot be combined with any other promotional rate or reward/bonus programs. Primary owner on the account cannot be primary owner on another First Niagara checking account. Not available to Trust or Estate accounts. All accounts subject to approval and applicable fees. Bank employees and members of their household are not eligible for this promotion. Bonus is considered interest income and may be reported on IRS 1099-INT. Promotion runs through 3/29/2014 and can be withdrawn at any time.

Minimum opening deposit is $50 for Choice and Pinnacle checking and $500 for PinnaclePlus. Pinnacle checking is an interest-bearing account. Interest-bearing accounts are variable rate accounts, which means we may change rates at any time. Interest Rates will not be tied to any index but will be set by us at our discretion. There is no limitation on the amount by which Interest Rates may change. As of 2/1/14, Pinnacle and PinnaclePlus accounts earn an Annual Percentage Yield (APY) of 0.01% for all balances. Fees may reduce earnings on interest-bearing accounts.

One-Swipe Balance is a trademark of First Niagara Financial Group, Inc.

Information is a bit conflicting on whether the choice checking account counts or not, I'm just gonna go for the pinnaccle to make sure - need a minimum daily balance of $1,000 to keep it fee free.

You can fund this with a credit card, if you do please let us know whether it was cash advance or not.

Citi is
Chase isn't
Barclays varies

Alliant has counted as a DD in the past, again if you have data points share.
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Community Wiki

Last Edited by Samtree October 6, 2014 at 06:52 PM
  • Can be funded by credit card, up to a maximum of $1,000 (AmEx not accepted). Some card issuers consider this as a cash advance: Citi
  • This is a soft pull, there will also be a chex system inquiry
  • Alliant, Ally, CapOne 360, Bank of America , Paypal, State Farm Bank, & AMEX FSB ACH transfers will also satisfy the direct deposit requirements.



--
CCs that dont count funding source as Cash Advance
Chase Freedom
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase United Visa
Barclay Arrival
US Bank
Capital One Venture & Mastercard
Discover IT


CCs that do
Citibank
--
QUESTIONS:

1. How to do direct deposit if your employer does not offer it. What is your DD method for this deal?

Alliant, Ally, CapOne 360, Bank of America & Paypal ACH have all worked so far. Make sure you let us know what works for you. At this stage, it looks like any ACH transfer will work.

2. Is there a limit of one bonus per household? 2b. If my spouse and I sign up for 2 separate accounts, would both qualify for the bonus?
No limit in the fine print

3. Does FN assess a monthly fee for using their bill pay service?
Quote from barginbin View Post :
9. Fee. Beginning 60 days after the date you enroll in our bill payment service, you must pay a monthly fee of $5.95 for the use of our bill payment service unless we waive the fee because of the nature of your banking relationship with us. The monthly fee is in addition to the fees applicable to your funding account or any other deposit account you have with us now or in the future. We may charge the monthly fee against your funding account or any other deposit account you have with us now or in the future.
Quote from servili007 View Post :
I see an unenroll option for bill pay on my account while I'm logged in. I just hover over "payments", then "bill payments", then "manage profile", and I can unenroll from there
4. Is there a required daily minimum balance?

$1000 minimum balance after 30 days. The minimum balance is not an average. You cannot have less than $1000 in the account at any time or you will be charged a fee. After collecting your rewards you might consider downgrading the account to a choice account which has a minimum balance of $300.

The fee for not maintaining this balance is $15 per month.

5. Do the debit card purchases have to be in-person or will online purchases work?

You can do online purchases. One easy method is to buy 10x Amazon Gift Cards for 15 cents each. This will cost a $1.50 and can be done from the comfort of your computer chair.

6. Can I pay the same bill (same card same statement) 5 separate times to meet the goal requirement?

Yes. Just remember to initiate the payment from Niagara's website. The payments must be at least one dollar and you can only schedule one payment per day. Using this method you would schedule five separate payments on five separate days of one dollar to the same company.

7. How do I acquire my account number?

When you registered the account there was an account number given. If you didn't copy it down you will need to make transactions and then pull up the statement online. If you order checks there will also be an account number on them.

Quote :
1) Go to Accounts -> Balances Page.
2) Find the "Download to:" dropdown. Select "Quicken (All Versions)".
3) Click download.
4) Screen updates, select your account by checking the box and then click Download.
5) Click Complete Download
6) Now that the file is on your computer, open it with a text editor (notepad) and look for the below.

<BANKACCTFROM>
<BANKID>XXXXXXX
<ACCTID>YYYYYYYY
<ACCTTYPE>CHECKING
</BANKACCTFROM>
8. What is the Niagara Banks routing number?

222370440

Account must remain open for 180 days to avoid a $25 Early Account Closing fee.


If you open or downgrade your account to Choice, you must elect online statement to avoid $4 check images fee.


Closing Account By Mail


If your account balance is $0, you can close it over the phone. Simply insist this is allowed as long as you have zero balance if they don't know about this new policy on their end.

You'd have to write a letter and send identification if you don't live close to a branch. Here's an example of how it should be written to protect yourself from fees.

First Niagara Bank
Attn: Mail Teller
P.O. Box 527
Lockport, NY 14095

To Whom It May Concern:

I would like to close my checking account XXXXXXXXX immediately. And I consider this request effective the day this letter is post marked. This should reach you all well before my statement generates on April 14, 2014 to avoid the monthly fee. I have a balance of $25.02 to cover the early termination fee. The 2 cents can be donated to your favorite charity. Please mail future 1099 tax form to XXXXXXXX. Thanks!
-------------------
Spoke with bank teller, and closing requirements are;
1. The account numbers.
2. An address where we can mail the bank draft if there are funds in the account or receipt if you are sending a deposit.
3. A contact number so that if we have any problems closing the accounts we can contact you.
4. Your signature and date.
5. A copy of non-expired ID.
-------------------

To get account number:
http://slickdeals.net/forums/showpost.php?p=66925710&postcount=293

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#3
Lot of hoops to jump through.
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#4
what is considered a DD by FNFG ?
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#5
any state restrictions?
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#6
looks decent from my end.

yes alot of hoops to jump, but no biggie if you got previous experience doing this with other bank promos. They report a 1099 on the promo, so again it seems decent. $250 for maintaining $1000+ monthly with a pinnacle checking is what I am considering right now.
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#7
Quote from purecash123 View Post :
looks decent from my end.

yes alot of hoops to jump, but no biggie if you got previous experience doing this with other bank promos. They report a 1099 on the promo, so again it seems decent. $250 for maintaining $1000+ monthly with a pinnacle checking is what I am considering right now.

I'm in. The question I always want to know is how long does the account need to be open.
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#8
Quote from ak1802 View Post :
what is considered a DD by FNFG ?
Alliant is the only datapoint I know of.

Quote from texasman1 View Post :
any state restrictions?
Not for online accounts.
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#9
1. Hard pull?
2. How do I CLOSE the account later? Do I need to visit a branch (closest one 100 miles away for me)?
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#10
What's the max for funding with CC? Me and and wife in for $500 if HSBC or ING (now Capital One) can be considered DD via ACH push.
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#11
Quote from MIAMIGUY305 View Post :
I'm in. The question I always want to know is how long does the account need to be open.
Check the fine print:

Quote from Fine Print :
Account must remain open for 180 days to avoid a $25 Early Account Closing fee.

Quote from moneysavesu View Post :
1. Hard pull?
2. How do I CLOSE the account later? Do I need to visit a branch (closest one 100 miles away for me)?
I would also like to know if FN does hard pull. Anyone with banking experience with these guys?
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#12
We can close the account anytime after receiving the bonus for a $25 early termination fee. That's still a good deal rather than keeping $1000 in the account for 180 days. I'll be happy with the $225 profit.
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#13
I work for a financial institution and I spend most days wondering if we need offers like this to build a better customer base. Seeing some of these posts, it seems they really are not buying your loyalty... is it true that the majority of you would say you are only in it for the incentive and for the min. time to get the $? Any replies are most helpful. Thanks so much.
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#14
Quote from jfluckey View Post :
What's the max for funding with CC? Me and and wife in for $500 if HSBC or ING (now Capital One) can be considered DD via ACH push.
Quote from ronproctor View Post :
I work for a financial institution and I spend most days wondering if we need offers like this to build a better customer base. Seeing some of these posts, it seems they really are not buying your loyalty... is it true that the majority of you would say you are only in it for the incentive and for the min. time to get the $? Any replies are most helpful. Thanks so much.

I'm in it for the incentive only and close after 6 months. I make note to expect a 1099 tax form from them. I do these deals all the time for the bonus. My main bank is USAA and no other bank can take me away from it.
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#15
What can we bill pay?

-Make five bill payments using Online/Mobile Banking.
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