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Cal National Bank lets you get 20,000 "BankRewards® Bonus points" with a new checking account:
* 5,000 points for any new direct deposit of $100 or more.
* 5,000 points with your first online bill payment or automatic payment from checking.
* Up to 10,000 points for Visa® Check Card signature purchases in your first 30 days - 1,000 points per signature purchase, up to 10 purchases.

I don't see any fine print - as far as I can tell, this deal applies to all their checking accounts, including their Free Checking, which has no monthly service fees or minimum balance. Bill payment is free too.

It looks like you can cash in 20K points for $160 in gift cards - 3x $50 gift cards to featured merchants (includes Best Buy, Target, etc.) for 6K each, then a $10 GC from QuickGifts.com for 2K, which in turn you can redeem for a GC for a variety of B&M stores.

The big question is whether ACH counts as DD - I don't know yet.

Edit: Cal National only services Calif. accounts. The same deal is available through other banks that are FBOP subsidiaries - see summary for links.

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Usually an in-branch application will take care of this. You'll soon get a letter blaming your Chex report.

ThePessimist (May. 22, 2009 @ 11:52a) |

It will be a dark day indeed when mere posting on FWF affects one's ChexSystems report.

Seriously, sometimes walking in ... (more)

glxpass (May. 22, 2009 @ 12:07p) |

It looks like Park and Cal National have taken this deal off of their websites. Has anyone been in a branch recently to ... (more)

ThePessimist (Jun. 04, 2009 @ 2:53p) |

FBOP subsidiary banks let you get 20,000 "BankRewards® Bonus points" with a new checking account:
* 5,000 points for any new direct deposit of $100 or more.
* 5,000 points with your first online bill payment or automatic payment from checking.
* Up to 10,000 points for Visa® Check Card signature purchases in your first 30 days - 1,000 points per signature purchase, up to 10 purchases.

This deal is available in states where FBOP owns a bank: AZ, CA, IL, and TX.
In CA and IL, you can apply online:
California: Cal National Bank
Illinois: Park National Bank

The banks in AZ and TX have the same offer, but you have to apply in-branch. You can see a list of FBOP banks and the areas they serve here. Note that there are additional CA banks listed there too, if you want to look for one with a nearby branch.

I don't see any fine print - as far as I can tell, this deal applies to all their checking accounts, including their Free Checking, which has no monthly service fees or minimum balance. Bill payment is free too. $10 fee for early account closure.

Best redemption option is to redeem the 20K for a $200 statement rebate against any travel expenses made with their check card (receipt submission required).

Alternative option is to cash in 20K points for $160 in gift cards - 3x $50 gift cards to featured merchants (includes Best Buy, Target, etc.) for 6K each, then a $10 GC from QuickGifts.com for 2K, which in turn you can redeem for a GC for a variety of B&M stores. (Lower value, but less hassle.)

According to comments last year on bankdeals, ACH worked as DD. No hard pull. At least with online apps, they seem to decline people with a lot of recent Chex activity, even if there's nothing derogatory.
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Hard pull? Anyone has experience with this bank?

Last year the comments section on bankdeals said the application could be started outside CA but required a CA DL so YMMV.

Last year ACH worked for DD. Only chexsystem check for opening in-branch, not sure about online.

sushiosushi said: Last year the comments section on bankdeals said the application could be started outside CA but required a CA DL so YMMV.
That's not true now. The application asks for state of issue for the DL, and it looks like the list included all 50 states + DC.

I opened the account recently.. no hard pull, there is a Chex pull though. I was told ACH doesn't count, but who knows.
They also give 0.50% Cash Back on debit purchases.

"Unfortunately, we do not offer this product in the state in which you live."

I have a CA license and cell #, but I'm a student with an address in UT. I think I'm gonna still try later with a CA address though.

I did some playing around with applications. I apologize - despite allowing any address and state DL, this is not available nationwide. The same deal, however, is available in any state where FBOP has a subsidiary bank. Each of these banks has essentially identical websites with identically worded offers:

Arizona: Bank USA
California: Cal National Bank
Illinois: Park National Bank
Texas: North Houston Bank

ThePessimist said: I did some playing around with applications. I apologize - despite allowing any address and state DL, this is not available nationwide. The same deal, however, is available in any state where FBOP has a subsidiary bank. Each of these banks has essentially identical websites with identically worded offers:

Arizona: Bank USA
California: Cal National Bank
Illinois: Park National Bank
Texas: North Houston Bank


Thanks for looking into this. I have a Park National Bank a couple miles from me. I might sign up for yet another checking account.

Holy Crap! I was just denied an account!
Must be something related to the Chex system as this would be the 4th new account I've tried to open in the last few months.
I'm still a little concerned with this though. When I hit the submit button, it just gave me a quick, generic declination. No reasons, no number to contact with questions - nothing.

I was denied an account as well. Got the generic denial after applying online. I will call in to see if they can tell me why

vkcvkc said: I was denied an account as well. Got the generic denial after applying online. I will call in to see if they can tell me why

I tried sending them as email through their site, but that doesn't work on Firefox of IE. When you hit the submit button, nothing happens.

please let me know what they say if you call them.

I remember last year I opened a Cal National bank account and then an account at another bank a couple days later. Then I got a call from Cal National asking about how my sign-up process went and why I opened that 2nd account at bank X. Gave them some BS answer and they said my checks would be ready for pickup in a couple of days.

Bankdeals has a more extensive list:

Cal National Bank based in Los Angeles, CA
San Diego National Bank based in San Diego, CA
Pacific National Bank based in San Francisco, CA
Park National Bank based in Chicago, IL
North Houston Bank based in Houston, TX
Madisonville State Bank based in Madisonville, TX
Citizens National Bank based in Teague, TX
Bank USA, N.A. based in Phoenix, AZ


Sounds like a good offer. The $500 minimum deposit I hope doesn't apply to the free checking account does it?

There's no link to apply online for neither of the 2 Texas banks.

They said I had an item on my chex report. not sure what this is or what the reported item might be...

If I'm reading this right, the best reward is travel. You will have to use your bank's card to buy the travel. I assume you can spend more than $200, and just get refunded the part you earn? Guess somebody should call to double-check this last part.

$20,000 points = $200

Any airline, train, cruise line or car rental – you chose the carrier

Any hotel, motel or B&B

Any time of year, any day of the week

Find and negotiate your very best deal and pay for your travel with your enrolled Card

Redeem your points for a Travel Certificate. Travel Certificates must be redeemed in increments of 2,500 BankRewards points, with a minimum of 5,000 BankRewards points. You will receive a $50 Travel Certificate for the first 5,000 points, and $25 for each 2,500 additional points.

Complete and send in the travel certificate along with your travel receipt(s) to BankRewards Redemptions, P.O Box 828, Dover, NH 03820. We will credit your Card for the value of your redeemed points.

vkcvkc said: They said I had an item on my chex report. not sure what this is or what the reported item might be...
Does Chex have to send you a free report if a bank refuses to open an account based on your record? I would expect them to be governed by the same laws as credit bureaus.

When was the last time you opened an account? I wonder if they just don't like to see any recent activity.

ThePessimist said: vkcvkc said: They said I had an item on my chex report. not sure what this is or what the reported item might be...
Does Chex have to send you a free report if a bank refuses to open an account based on your record? I would expect them to be governed by the same laws as credit bureaus.

When was the last time you opened an account? I wonder if they just don't like to see any recent activity.


That has to be it. Like I said in my previous posts, I've opened up a few accounts in the past 6 months to take advantage of the new account offers. This must be their way of rooting out the riff raff like me that I only looking to take advantage of the points they're offering. That being said, I do my main banking with a large bank that's having a tough time these days, so I might need a new bank sometime soon.

1) There is a $10 fee if you close the account before 6 months (in the disclosures.pdf file)
2) I just tried to apply and the website says they can't process my application at this time.
After getting punted around, I found out that "Chex Systems" reported me as well.
I'm not sure what that means since I've never bounced a check, had an acct closed on me, or been late on a CC.

The last acct I opened was a few months ago... I wonder if that is the problem.
-g

fungo45 said: ThePessimist said: vkcvkc said: They said I had an item on my chex report. not sure what this is or what the reported item might be...
Does Chex have to send you a free report if a bank refuses to open an account based on your record? I would expect them to be governed by the same laws as credit bureaus.

When was the last time you opened an account? I wonder if they just don't like to see any recent activity.


That has to be it. Like I said in my previous posts, I've opened up a few accounts in the past 6 months to take advantage of the new account offers. This must be their way of rooting out the riff raff like me that I only looking to take advantage of the points they're offering. That being said, I do my main banking with a large bank that's having a tough time these days, so I might need a new bank sometime soon.


Yes, Chex does have to send you a copy of your file. You need to get the letter you should be getting in the mail (or request one) for verification and it should include the address for CHEX. I have requested one before, long ago I had issues with a CU that reported me to CHEX over a botched account closing. I told them to settle all my accounts from my savings account and return the balance. Got the balance and never heard from them again -- then had issues open a new account elsewhere. Found out that they did not settle the accounts properly, and never contacted me for the less than $50 remainder.

It took a while to fix, since it was over a year old and management had changed in the interim. I did get a manager at a branch of BofA in CA to override the issue after telling her about it.

To this day I track everything, and pester banks over anything that doesn't match.

---

You can also get a copy of your insurance file (from CLUE I think it is...) if you have an insurance company notice that it was used to calculate your rates.

I'm sure I have a lot of recent activity from new accounts on my chex report. Do you think my odds of getting approved are increased if I walk into a local branch?

funktuna said: I'm sure I have a lot of recent activity from new accounts on my chex report. Do you think my odds of getting approved are increased if I walk into a local branch?Yes, sometimes when you open an account in person they won't even check your chex report.

Up to 10,000 points for Visa® Check Card signature purchases in your first 30 days - 1,000 points per signature purchase, up to 10 purchases.
That just means to use it as a credit card, right? (i.e. online purchases count as well)

yes to poohbie.

I have opened 4 new checking accounts in the last month.. hopefully it's just the activity on there and not some sort of negative record...

FWgunn said: disclosures.pdf fileDo you have a link for that file?

So, has anyone gotten approved for this despite typical FWF activity on chexsystems, such as opening multiple checking accounts in the last 90 days?

I got an "unfortunately we are unable to approve your application"

Quick question:

Do I register for bank rewards first and then open the checking a/c or open the a/c first and then register? Or it doesn't matter?

DreamR2I said: Quick question:

Do I register for bank rewards first and then open the checking a/c or open the a/c first and then register? Or it doesn't matter?
From what the banker told me, opening a checking a/c enrolls you in bankrewards. Registering for bankrewards online just gives you online access to your activity (otherwise, you'd get quarterly statements in the mail for bankrewards).

kwg said: FWgunn said: disclosures.pdf fileDo you have a link for that file?
You see it during the account sign-up process. I saved off a copy.

Thanks..

poohbie said: DreamR2I said: Quick question:

Do I register for bank rewards first and then open the checking a/c or open the a/c first and then register? Or it doesn't matter?
From what the banker told me, opening a checking a/c enrolls you in bankrewards. Registering for bankrewards online just gives you online access to your activity (otherwise, you'd get quarterly statements in the mail for bankrewards).

Anybody opened the free checking a/c at Cal National bank and got the rewards. I am thinking of opening one..

I was approved, but I am not an asshole. I also live within walking distance of a branch.

Well whoopdy do, I went ahead and applied and it looks like I'm getting approved (Park National Bank - I live in IL but not in Chicagoland). I have tons of account openings recently, but haven't closed any accounts since 2008.

I walked in and was approved. I have opened a lot of accounts recently. I don't think they checked my chex. They are even offering a free safe deposit box for 1 year with the value checking along with a few other perks. They waive the startup fees for it as well.. Now I just need to see if an ACH will count for direct deposit.

FWgunn said: 1) There is a $10 fee if you close the account before 6 months (in the disclosures.pdf file)
2) I just tried to apply and the website says they can't process my application at this time.
After getting punted around, I found out that "Chex Systems" reported me as well.
I'm not sure what that means since I've never bounced a check, had an acct closed on me, or been late on a CC.

The last acct I opened was a few months ago... I wonder if that is the problem.
-g


I received my ChexSystems report (first ever) and surprise surprise, there's nothing bad in it. No mishandled or reported for cause accts.

My last "inquiry by consumer action' was back in 2006 -- the last acct I opened was a seperate joint acct for my wife/I at a bank I already have an established relationship with so a new inquiry was not necessary.

Time for a call to see WTF is up with CalNational.
-g

Skipping 12 Messages...
It looks like Park and Cal National have taken this deal off of their websites. Has anyone been in a branch recently to see if they're still advertising it?



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