Thursday, August 28, 2008

Is It a Good Deal? $50 Gift Card for Gas or Groceries From TCF Bank

Today I got a mailing from TCF Bank, located inside many Jewel-Osco grocery stores. It promised a $50 Jewel-Osco gift card on the spot for opening a free checking account. I thought that sounded pretty good, so I went to the Web site, where I found a similar offer for a $50 gas card. With either offer, you could also take out an account online and have the reward mailed to you.

I was thinking of you, dear readers. Could I recommend this deal? We do like free money here at Shoplifting With Permission. So I read as much fine print as I could find on the site.

It seems that the minimum funding for the Totally Free Checking account is $25. That doesn't sound so bad -- deposit $25, get $50. You could always close out the account later and get your $25 back, or just spend it with your new debit card.

However, you also get charged for a mandatory box of checks! ($16.50 for single copy checks or $17.50 for duplicate checks).

That's where I said, screw it. Not only does it seem wasteful to have checks printed that I would never use, but once you give up $16.50, your profit on the deal is down to below 35 bucks. 25 of which are tied up in your new account. So I won't be opening a new bank account after all.