bank rates

Milwaukee Deal: $200 Checking Bonus

Milwaukee-area savers can earn a $200 bonus by opening a new checking account at First Federal Bank.

The bonus is available on all four types of First Federal checking accounts and only requires customers to:

  • Create a recurring direct deposit of at least $250 a month.
  • Make 10 debit card purchases within the first 45 days.

Do that and the checking bonus will be paid after the account has been open for 60 days.

But you’ve got to hurry. The bonus expires Aug. 1.

To get started, just print an online flyer from the bank’s website and take it to one of First Federal’s three offices in suburban Waukesha or on Howell Street in Milwaukee.

Freedom Checking is the bank’s free account, with no monthly service fees and a $100 minimum deposit.

Patriot Checking is available to anyone over the age of 50, or who has served or is serving in the military. It also has no monthly fees and requires a modest $100 to get started. But you’ll also get free checks and earn 0.10% APY on balances of $1,500 or more.

The Liberty Checking account requires a $500 minimum deposit to open. If you don’t keep that much in your account you’ll pay a $5 monthly service fee, plus 15 cents for each transaction you make. You’ll earn 0.10% APY on balances up to $2,499 and 0.20% APY on higher balances.

The Spirit Checking account is a rewards checking account, although the interest rate is much lower than most rewards accounts pay.

To qualify for the top rate, you must:

  • Open the account with at least $100.
  • Make at least 10 debit card transactions a month.
  • Have a monthly direct deposit or automatic payment of at least $100.
  • Log on to online or mobile banking at least once and sign up for eStatments.

Do all of that, and your ATM fees will be reimbursed and you’ll earn 0.50% APY on balances to $25,000 and 0.20% on balances above that.

If you don’t fulfill those requirements, you’ll earn 0.05% APY for that month and face a $4.95 service fee.

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