$150 to switch to a KeyBank Checking Account. Is it worth it?

November 13, 2011 2 Comments »

KeyBank has once again issued their $150 bonus for new checking account holders. This offer comes around every so often (especially around the holiday season) and if you’re one of the many thousands of consumers that have been hit with fees by your big bank, you may want to explore some of Key Bank’s checking options – although you still wont escape fees.

Here are the four checking accounts that are accompanied with a $150 bonus:

1) Key Express Checking – No frills checking account that comes with a debit MasterCard. Avoid monthly maintenance service fees by making at least $500 in deposits or initiate five transactions per statement cycle. $40 yearly maintenance fee applied regardless.

2) Key Coverage Checking – Another no frills checking account which imposes a plethora of fees. First you’ll nab a $10 monthly service charge for simply owning the account. You’ll also have an annual $30 maintenance fee, plus an $18-per-item overdraft fee if you overdraw your account by $10.01 – $100 based on your end-of-day balance. This is a fairly pricey overdraft fee since it’s based on a per-item assessment. This fee has also been recently reduced.

3) Key Advantage Checking- These accounts require a $10,000 minimum balance to avoid fees and generally come with an interest rate, but considering our current landscape for money market rates, their rates today aren’t even worth mentioning (but we’ll do it anyway – 0.05% APY). You’ll also get dinged with the annual $30 maintenance fee.

4) Key Privilege Checking – Like the Key Advantage Account this one is essentially a money market account. You’ll get dinged with a $25 monthly fee (first 3 months waived) even though you’ll need to keep a whopping $25,000 tied up. You can keep the $25k in a number of savings-type accounts such as: CDs and savings, or in equity through a loan side account such as: credit cards and/or auto loans. So for example, if you have $5k in outstanding credit through a Key Bank credit card, $5k left to pay on your auto loan, and $15k in CDs and checking, you’ll be in compliance with Key Bank’s requirements.

Despite the enticing $150 sign up bonus for a new Key Bank Account, you should keep in mind this $150 bonus wont come easy. First, you’ll need to decide whether or not you even want a checking/money market account with Key Bank given their unavoidable fee structure (mentioned above). Second, you’ll need to do the following:

  • open a qualifying KeyBank checking account online and enter offer code ONFT1011 by December 30, 2011, and
  • make at least 30 payments and/or purchases within 3 months of account opening, plus
  • make 3 direct deposits each of $500 or more within 3 months of account opening.

What say you? Is the $150 bonus worth signing up for?

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  • Jeff

    This offer is available only online. I dont think they mentioned the link either, it’s:


  • Ray R

    Chase has a $125 bonus with less fees