If you are looking for a free online checking account, arguably one of the best offers around is from an FDIC-insured back you’ve probably never heard of PerkStreet Financial. If the giant image to the right with a big fat 2% doesn’t clue you in as to why PerkStreet is high on our list, allow me a few minutes to explain.
Several months ago we reviewed PerkStreet Financial’s free online checking account. While a free checking account is great, what really caught our eye was the 1% cash back debit card. Cash back credit cards are common, but a cash back debit card is hard to find.
Then, PerkStreet decided to up the ante by offering 2% cash back on all purchases . As far as we know, there is no equal among checking accounts and debit cards. You do need to take heed of the terms and conditions. For example, the 2% applies to signature transactions, not PIN-based transactions. That’s not a big deal, other than when asked whether you want to use the card as credit or debit, be sure to say credit. Here’s how to earn 2% on all purchases, straight from the PerkStreet website:
After the first 90 days, when your Current Account Balance at the start of the day is $5,000 or more, you’ll earn unlimited 2% cash back for all non-PIN debit card purchases you make on that day. When your Current Account Balance at the start of the day is less than $5,000, you’ll earn unlimited 1% cash back on all non-PIN debit card purchases you make on that day. To determine your starting Current Account Balance, we use your closing balance after all settled transactions from the previous business day. Pending purchases and transactions are not included in your Current Account Balance.
In addition to the 2% cash back rewards on all debit purchases, PerkStreet also provides 5% cash back categories on a month to month basis. The merchants which offer 5% cash back are changing on a regular basis, so make sure to visit PerkStreet and they’re homepage will show you which purchases qualify from month-to-month.
However great the debit card is, be sure to take a close look at the checking account, too. The one downside is that the checking account does not pay interest. For me that’s not a big deal because I don’t keep much money in my checking account for long. But if you want an interest bearing checking account, EverBank or ING Direct is a better option. But otherwise, PerkStreet Financial offers a solid checking account. You only need $25 to open an account, there is no minimum balance requirement, no monthly fees when you use your account, and checks are free. To sign up for an account or for more general information, visit www.PerkStreet.com.