Bank Bonus (Checking): State Bank of India $150
This bank came to my attention since it offered a $1,000 deposit wit
h a credit card and is a bank based in California. Sometime after I opened the account, it is no longer possible to fund the account with a credit card.
After submitting my application I received a phone call to verify my identity. I was sent a debit card soon after opening the account. The bank has a very basic phone app and the web interface is somewhat dated, but functional.
I ran into an issue where I specified my account on direct deposit was a savings account since I ran out of checking account slots, so the payment didn’t go through. I received a call from the bank to let me know this was happening. To speed up the direct deposit setup, since I wanted to make sure I had $500 deposited before the end of the month, I asked for a direct deposit slip to give to someone in my employer’s payroll department. The bank sent me a letter in the mail with a real printed voided check, which was a nice old-school touch.
I am still in the process of earning this bonus. In addition to the $500 monthly direct deposit, the bonus requires 2 monthly debit transactions, and enrollment in e-statements. A nice thing about the account is each bank statement shows your progress toward meeting the bonus requirements for that month. A progress report as you go through the month would be even nicer.
One thing to note is the deposit amount needs to be at least $500 in a single transaction, it is not cumulative, which is annoying if you are on a bi-weekly pay schedule. The direct deposit is probably easy to trigger from other banks, but I get a sense these accounts could be monitored given the two calls I have received so far.
Dealing with Fees
The bank account requires tying-up $2,000 for 6 months to keep it fee-free and keep the bonus. I thought I had 60 days to avoid the fee, but that’s actually the direct deposit requirement. I called-in to ask to have the $18 fee waived and after waiting a day for a supervisor to approve, it was removed.
State Bank of India Checking Account Summary
I am not a big fan of this account. It’s fairly bare bones and the $2,000 deposit requirement to avoid the monthly fee is excessive. There are no other options offered to avoid the fee, such as a direct deposit. The bonus amount is somewhat small compared to the amount of time and effort other bank account offers require. The main draw was the $1,000 initial funding with a credit card, however, that feature seems to no longer be offered at the time of writing this post.