$200 Wescom Credit Union Bonus

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So I'm still fairly new on bank bonuses and such and just applied for the Christian Community Credit Union $200 Bonus that i posted here a few days ago. Thank you guys for your feedback.. hopefully i get accepted and receive it
Is there anything else I should learn about going for these bonuses?? will i get any fees or will it harm my credit score?

I found a new bonus browsing the web. It's a Wescom Credit Union Bonus with a bonus of $200. it's in the state of california too!
Here's what the offer states:

From now until April 30, 2017 we're giving you a chance to earn $200 — and it all starts with a Wescom Checking Account! Here's how:

Open a Wescom Checking Account with a $100 deposit = Earn $50
Become a Signature Member during your New Member Period* = Earn another $50
Achieve Platinum Signature Membership during that same period = Earn an additional $100
That's a total of $200! Simply bring your promotional coupon to any Wescom branch to get started!
 

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Whoops forgot to give link .. here it is https://www.wescom.org/WescomKindness200/

leaguemastergamer said:   I found a new bonus browsing the web. It's a Wescom Credit Union Bonus with a bonus of $200. it's in the state of california too!
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Simply bring your promotional coupon to any Wescom branch to get started!

Based on the above, it appears to ONLY be available to those who are in CA (as it requires an IN-PERSON visit, which takes up far more personal time). Using Google-fu, was able to locate the offer page:
https://www.wescom.org/WescomKindness200/ 

From the mouse print:
Anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in the seven Southern California counties is eligible to open an account at Wescom. A $1 deposit to a Regular Savings Account is required. Certain conditions and restrictions apply. Ask for further details. A $1 deposit to a Regular Savings Account is required. Certain conditions and restrictions apply. Ask for further details.

Based on the mouse print above, it's further restricted to those who live, work or worship in the "seven Southern California counties."

Signature Membership terms and conditions:
https://www.wescom.org/signature/terms.asp 

The three most important things to know about completing bank bonuses are: document everything, do not lie to the bank (you're dealing with an entity that has to comply with regulations designed to prevent criminal activity, and the activities of churners look somewhat similar to the activities of criminal organizations), and accept that you will make mistakes and get fees charged, etc. just try to minimize those.

What you should know about completing bank bonuses generally:
- Always read and understand the fine print. In most situations, the fine print for the average consumer is unhelpful and detrimental. For bank bonuses, the fine print is your gold.
- As a general rule, document everything you can think to document
- Set up a spreadsheet and track everything (requirements, account opening dates, account closing dates, bonus paid dates, etc.)
- ALWAYS save a pdf of the exact offer terms you applied for
- Open the account online if you can and print to pdf each page as you go (from clicking on the "open account now" button all the way to the end)
--- Alternatively, if you have software that can record your screen activities that makes things easier and creates stronger documentation (I use snagit, but it's relatively expensive, so may not be worth it if you're only using it for this, and there may be free software that does the same thing)
--- Even if you can't/don't open it online, take a video of your activities to find a contact number/branch location by first starting at the offer page, scrolling down to the terms, then going to the find a branch link - basically, the idea is to be able to show them later that the reason you opened the account was for the bonus
- Don't forget to input a coupon/redemption/offer code if one is provided

- If the offer is a targeted offer, don't expect to get it if you weren't targeted, but feel free to go for it if the bonus is big enough (on the other hand, if you were targeted, make sure you document proof that you were)

- If you do go into a branch, try to stay in the middle ground in terms of everything you do and say - don't appear/act too wealthy, but don't appear too poor (but ALWAYS be honest about your income, employment, source of funds, etc.) You want to be the average customer that would see the ad and decide to open an account. You don't want them to be watching your account once it's open, which means you probably don't want to start talking about other products that the banker may want to run with in hooking you up with his colleagues (credit cards, business accounts, investments, retirement, etc)
- If they ask why you want to open the account, mention the bonus if you want, but also have other reasons ready to go (but again, no lying)

- After you've completed all requirements, use your judgment to determine whether you should ask if you met all the requirements for the bonus. Do this via secure message or email, so you have it documented in writing. This is a feel type thing that you'll get used to if you continue with this.
- Make sure you close your account when you're done. You want to be eligible for later bonuses from the same bank and you also don't want to get hit with inactivity fees, etc. As with everything else I mention, document that you completed this.

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Some of these things you won't have to do once you get going and discover your own techniques, and which banks are more likely than others to refuse to pay out bonuses. For most other things they will become more automatic.

Some other random thoughts:
- Most banks will give you a grace period before they start charging monthly fees, and you can often get the first monthly fee charged after the grace period waived if you ask.
- I treat direct deposit to mean direct deposit of my payroll. You can find places that list banks that "accept" DD as a transfer from an Alliant, paypal, ETrade , etc. account, but understand that this is more risky than actually doing a payroll direct deposit.
- If the bonus is with Citi, expect to have to fight for it.
- Some banks may not let you open accounts if they see you as a serial churner (take this into consideration if you line up 5 bank bonuses you want to apply for, understand you may only get the first 2 or 3, so order them with that in mind)
- And in case it wasn't completely clear earlier, documentation is key!

leaguemastergamer said:   Is there anything else I should learn about going for these bonuses?? will i get any fees or will it harm my credit score?
The #1 thing to watch out for is credit unions love to pull Equifax (or another CRA), and many times it's a hard pull.  Sometimes a CU will even pull Chex.  Banks are even worse.  The CRA pulls will affect your credit score, yes.  The Chex pulls won't affect your FICO score, but they can get you denied from another bank/CU in the future just for having too many pulls.  And the bank/CU offering a bonus can tell you're probably a serial churner from all those pulls even if your credit is otherwise pristine, and try to find any little bogus reason to deny you.

Always do your homework first (real stories from forums, not just the fine print from the bank's site), because one trick banks like to pull is to tell you you're out of their service area after they've already taken a dump all over your CRA reports and Chex.  Even when no such requirement was listed on the site!  Which is very underhanded, if you ask me.  I mean they have your address on step #1 of the app, why go through with all the pulls?  They just want to leave their mark on your neck so the wife sees.

Gives automatic maximum benefit level to Account open longer than 50 years! (Not making this up.)

I've been averaging about 5 bank bonuses per year for 10 years, my credit score is above 800. So I don't think it affects credit that much. I try to group the applications together app-o-rama style.

I've found the posts and data points in the comments at the Doctor of Credit blog to be extremely helpful in this regard. I love coming here to talk about and ask longer questions about a bank bonus and people's experiences. But for sheer volume of useful information on nearly every bank bonus available at your fingertips, Doctor of Credit is a great site.



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