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PerkStreet Financial Debit Cash Back Promotion

February 18th, 2010

PerkStreet Financial is offering a 2% cash back promotion on signature based debit card purchases for 6 months. To take part in the promotion you need to open an online checking account at PerkStreet with at least $25. You must be a new customer to take part in the promotion and the promotion ends on April 30th, 2010. After the promotional period you still get a 1% cash back on signature based debit card purchases.

There is an inactivity fee of $4.50 which can easily be avoided by using your account in any way. There’s no minimum balance required on the checking account and the first set of checks is free. Since it’s an online checking account it’s a little tricky to make deposits in person. If you live near a UPS or Mailboxes Etc you can make deposits from there. You can also use their ACH transfer system for online transfers to the account.

PerkStreet financial deposits are backed by The Bancorp Bank which is a FDIC member.

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  1. AV
    August 9th, 2010 at 16:10 | #1

    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.

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