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Just got this offer in the mail:

Get $250 for opening a checking account when you jump through several hoops. Must be a WA resident or have a business or family connection to Washington. Here is the link: http://www.columbiacu.org/about_us/news/2010/July/Move_Your_Mone...

They may require you to go into the bank to open up the account. They claim this is required by the Patriot Act b/c they must positively identify the customer. I'm not going to argue b/c I live close by a branch, but when I go in I'll see if they can allow people to open w/o coming into a branch b/c I know that would help more people open up accounts.

The fine print:

$250 Checking Open new personal Columbia checking and complete all required activity by the last day of the Review Period (three statement cycles including month checking was opened). One checking award per member. Not available to members or signers on any Columbia checking held anytime in the past 12 mos. or currently open. Award is considered interest and will be reported on IRS form 1099-INT.

*Active checking is 1) enroll in free e-statements; 2) make at least two (2) deposits of at least $100 each; 3) make at least six (6) debit card purchases; 4) enroll in free Personal Online Banking and Bill Pay and pay at least two bills; 5) checking is not overdrawn.

Member Summary
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If you have heard Kurt Cobain before does that count?

Thanks OP. Nice offer.

I called and confirmed that as a Seattle resident, I'd still need to make the 3 hour drive south to Vancouver in order to sign the signature card in person.

Their personal line of credit isn't bad. They sent me the TIL document, which confirms no fees of any kind, and it can be linked to your checking account for use whenever you need it. Prime + 3.25%, with a floor of 10%. "Anything in the 700s" with Equifax should suffice to qualify. Alas this product does NOT qualify for the extra $250 that term loans will earn you.

Supposedly, they do a soft credit inquiry on Equifax, unless you want a loan product, and then it's a hard inquiry.

The woman I spoke with thought the offer was good until Oct 31.

Good post information (thanks!); offer is geographically very limiting

Looks like their branches are all located in the Vancouver, WA area. Their membership eligibility reads in part: "We welcome you to join Columbia if you live or work in Washington State or Jantzen Beach/Hayden Island, Oregon". Looks like even Portland, OR residents may not qualify.

When they say "2) make at least two (2) deposits of at least $100 each", does this have to be in branch as well? Wondering if ACH or deposit by mail would count?

Hrm, I might test the Portland restriction....

Soft for this price isn't bad at all.



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