PerkStreet Financial Review: Free Online Checking

by Junior Boomer on July 7, 2010

PerkStreet Financial is a new online bank that offers a checking account with above average rewards. These rewards come in a variety of choices that you the owner of the account get to chose from. PerkStreet is FDIC protected so your money is safe up to $250,000 dollars. Opening an account is simple and can be done online, or through there 24 hour telephone service. There is no minimum balance on the account, but there is a $25 minimum when opening a new checking account.

PerkStreet Financial Options are Attractive

There are a few attractive options for depositing money into your PerkStreet account which include online transfer from an existing account, deposit using an existing credit/debit card, or you can write a check and it will be mailed for free from any UPS or Mail Boxes Etc. and deposited into your account the following business day. When it comes to withdrawing money from your account you can use their online ATM finder to locate their STAR ATM locations. They are typically found in Walgreens, Target, Costco as well as CVS and 7-eleven’s. At these STAR locations there is no ATM fee, but if you use your PerkStreet debit card at any non- STAR locations, you will be charged a $2 fee on top of any fee that the bank charges. These dilemmas can easily be avoided by using your debit card and receiving cash back on your purchase with no fee.

Perkstreet Has Some Sweet Rewards

The rewards that PerkStreet offers are some of the most attractive and applicable out there. They vary from cash back, to a new song off Rhapsody, or even a cup of coffee from StarBucks. Your rewards can vary based off the amount of money you have in your account at the beginning of each day. If you have under $5,000 at the beginning of the business day, you will receive 1% cash back on all non-pin transactions. A non-pin transaction is simply sliding your card and choosing the credit option opposed to the debit option. With your account balance under $5,000 you will receive a cup of coffee from a variety of popular coffee houses for every $200 you spend or a song from Rhapsody for every $100 that you spend. You will receive your 1% cash back through a gift card to a variety of stores, or a visa card that you can spend on anything.

More Money, More Rewards…..

The major advantages of Perkstreet comes when you have over $5,000 in your checking account at the beginning of the business day.  With a balance above $5,000, you will earn a significant 2% back on all of your expenditures. This higher yield also applies to the coffee and music as well. Instead of receiving one cup of coffee for every $200, you will receive two. Likewise with the music for every $100 spent, you will receive two songs. Your perks are easily redeemable online in seconds with no fee required. You will have to choose which perk you would like your debit card purchases to go towards up front, but you can change at anytime with no fee. There is also the possibility of 5% cash back rewards at certain retailers; these locations are updated via PerkStreet’s twitter or Facebook page.

Beating the Competition

PerkStreet offers these attractive rewards that are significantly higher than the competition because they do not have any actual bank locations. So if you still enjoy walking into a bank location then PerkStreet may not be for you. They also offer online bill pay just like any other bank, and these charges will count towards your Perks. With the average bank offering roughly a half percent reward, the 1% and possible 2% for maintaining $5,000 could be highly attractive to you. You have to pay all of your bills as well as pay for all other necessities in your life, so why not earn some of the highest rewards using your PerkStreet Financial card. PerkStreet will also make a donation to The Hunger Project with every perk you receive, so if you’re looking to make money with your purchases, PerkStreet Financial could be a perfect fit for you.

Want to open a free online checking account with Perkstreet Financial?

If so, just click this link to begin the easy process today and start getting your 2% cash back today.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

AV August 9, 2010 at 4:26 pm

There are several problems with this bank, so I would warn potential customers to be aware of the fine print. Although PerkStreet’s website has the appearance of being clear about their policies, I found that not to be the case. These “fine print” policies seem designed to (1) make it difficult to move money out of the account, and (2) to limit the cashback that you can earn. Below are examples.

(1) They have a limit of $1500 on incoming online transfers in an entire *month*! They don’t tell you about this anywhere except when you actually try to move money into your account. When I called them about it, they said that they have this restriction for new customers and I was still in my first month. After a couple more calls, I realized that they will increase this limit to $2500 after six months.

Stated reason: Security.
Suspected motive: To limit the amount of money you can spend to get cashback.

(2) They have a limit of $500 on outgoing online transfers. So, say you move $5000 into your account to get 2% cashback. You are stuck with that money with them for the rest of the month (unless you adopt a slower paper check route).

(3) They have a limit of $1500 on daily expenses and explicitly say on their website that it can be waived simply by making a phone call. I had to book two one-way international flight tickets that cost a total of over $1500. I booked these and called them to waive the limit. They refused to do so because I was still in my first month. There is no notice about waivers not being allowed in the first month anywhere. As a result, I have to now spend much more money re-booking that ticket just because PerkStreet does not allow me to spend my own money.

Stated reason: Security for new customers. They claim that all banks have spending limits on debit cards. Really? Bank of America did not.

Suspected motive: Limiting spending => limiting cashback.

(4) When I tried to circumvent the limitation in (1) above to move more money into my account using FedEx, there was another surprise! The first FedEx check takes not 1 day as stated, but about 9 days for some reason. Again, some vague security reason that is incomprehensible to rational beings is given as an explanation.

Bottomline: It is not easy to get much cashback because of their restrictive policies on what you can do with your money. And they make it harder to move money out of the account while not giving any interest on it. As for the 5% cashback, they are on such specific and tiny items that I have never been able to get 5% cashback so far.

Dan - BankVibe May 4, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Many readers on my blog have suggested opting for the amazon cards or itunes rewards as opposed to cash back claiming it’s more reliable bonus from PerkStreet.

Ben - BankAim September 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm

This is a great offer if you don’t already have a cash back credit card. You can now get money back from any purchase made, which is better than our current debit cards from BofA and Wells Fargo. Id rather earn 2% back

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