Checking rewards & qualifiers

If you want to acquire new checking accounts, sometimes you have to put your money where your wallet is. That’s what Union Bank & Trust (Richmond, VA) is doing with a $100 cash bonus for personal checking accounts.

“The limited time offer applies to all of the bank’s five accounts and Duane Smith, Chief Marketing Officer, says the bank already has an attractive number of accounts. 

“Managing your money doesn’t need to be complicated, or costly, with Union’s free checking accounts,” he says.”Periodically, we offer promotional bonuses to drive awareness around our personal checking accounts to bring new customers to our bank.”

To avoid customers from opening the account, taking the money and then closing the account, the bank added qualifiers to the campaign.

In order to qualify for the $100 cash bonus, customers must open a new personal checking account and set up one recurring qualified direct deposit in which two direct deposits of $250 or greater are received within 60 days of account opening. A qualified direct deposit is a direct deposit of a paycheck, pension, Social Security or other eligible regular monthly income, electronically deposited by an employer or an outside agency into the new checking account.

The cash bonus is only available to new customers that do not currently have a personal checking account and have not previously received a cash bonus. The checking account must also be in good standing at time of payment to receive the cash bonus award.

Smith says although the offer applies to any account, many customers gravitate toward free checking. “Free Checking is our most popular product and delivers convenient access through our easy-to-use digital services and a Visa® Debit Card.”

Marketing is done mainly through some of the bank’s traditional channels.  “We use marketing to make as many people aware about the opportunity as possible, and have historically promoted the offer through traditional mass media and digital channels.

“We have experienced an increase in new customer volume before by offering the cash bonus with the opening of a checking account,” says Smith.

He adds that these offers have been made during select times of the year, over the past few years.

This time, the bank added an online account opening option he says. “To improve the customer experience of opening a free checking account online, we’re continually optimizing our process and looking for ways to make the experience more seamless.”

So far, the campaign appears to be working as usual. “The market has responded positively to this offer, and during our promotion periods, we’ve experienced an increase in new checking customers.”

Source:  Duane Smith, Chief Marketing Officer, Union Bank and Trust, Richmond, VA; (Contact: Beth Shivak, Vice President, Director of Corporate Communications) phone (804)327-5746; e-mail

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