Are Free Bank Giveaway Offers Too Good to Be True?

In the 80’s, you received a free toaster for opening up a bank account. Today, some banks are giving away IPods. But is it worth signing up for a new account just for the giveaway?

We’ve all seen bank giveaway offers at some time or another. In the 1980’s, banks often offered you a free toaster if you opened an account. Today, some banks like Bank of the West is offering a free IPod Touch if you open an account. With IPod Touches starting at $199 for an 8GB version, this seems like a great deal, on the surface. The bank only operates in 19 states, but if you happen to be in that state, what could be wrong with getting a free IPod touch for opening a checking account? It seems pretty simple.

Before jumping into an offer like this, though, you should always read the fine print. In this case, you must make either 20 debit card transactions, 10 bill payments, or establish a minimum monthly recurring direct deposit of $500 in order to receive the IPod. These transactions must be completed by 10/31/10. Additionally, the checking account must be opened between 7/19/10 – 9/3/10 with a $100 or more from a different financial institution.

Even if you know you can meet the requirements to get this IPod in this offer, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea. You should also look at the fees and read the fine print of the checking account itself to make sure there aren’t any hidden fees or charges for the account you want. In the case of Bank of the West, if you select the interest checking, you’ll incur a $10 monthly fee if don’t meet certain monthly minimum requirements. Banks have to make up the cost of giveaways like an IPod somehow, and you want to make sure that they won’t do it with unexpected fees and expenses from your checking account.

You also have to consider the quality of customer service: how will they treat you once you are already a customer? You can Google reviews of banks by simply typing in the name of the bank + review, or you can go to dedicated opinion sites like

If you’ve done the research on a particular bank and know the bank would be a good fit for you and your banking needs, then a giveaway like an IPod Touch is wonderful bonus. Just don’t let the giveaway sway you into making a bad banking commitment.

For the best information on bank bonus offers and deals, click here.

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