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First Niagara Bank: $250 Checking Bonus

First Niagara Bank logoResidents of four Northeastern states can get an extra $250 poured into their checking account from First Niagara Bank.

You just need to open a new checking account and follow some simple steps.

This regional bank with 420 branches is based in Buffalo, N.Y., and serves residents of New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

First-time account holders who open a Pinnacle or PinnaclePlus checking online are eligible for a bonus, for which you’ll have to do one of three things:

  • Make a direct deposit of at least $250.
  • Make at least five online or mobile bill payments.
  • Make 10 debit card purchases within 60 days of opening your account.

If you do one of those things, you’ll receive a $50 cash bonus. Doing two things will earn you $100. And if you take all three steps, you’ll receive $250.

Each bonus will hit your account within 30 days of taking that step.

Your best bet is to open a Pinnacle Checking account, which requires a minimum deposit of $50.

You need to keep at least $1,000 in your account or have combined balances of $25,000 in deposits, consumer loans, credit card balances and investments to avoid a $15 monthly fee.

The PinnaclePlus account charges a $25 monthly fee unless you keep a minimum daily balance of $5,000 or have $50,000 in combined accounts and loans. It takes a deposit of at least $500 to open the account.

Both accounts pay a lousy 0.01% APY in interest, but the bank does reimburse your ATM fees.

If you close the account within six months, you’ll pay a $25 early account closing fee.

You have until June 14 to open your account and qualify for the bonuses. You need to open the account online to qualify for the bonus, but the bank has more than 400 branches in four states.

For more information, visit or call 800-439-8230.

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