Posted by William Charles on August 14, 2017
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on August 14th, 2017 | by William Charles


1st United Credit Union $100 Checking Bonus [Select CA areas only]

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $100
  • Availability: Must Work in / resident of Alameda, Contra Costa, Kings, San Joaquin, Solano or Stanislaus Counties CA, or have family member with account there
  • Direct deposit required: Yes, $500+ 
  • Additional requirements: Use promo code and complete debit card transaction
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • ChexSystems: Unknown
  • Credit card funding: $2,000
  • Monthly fees: None
  • Early account termination fee: $25, 6 months
  • Expiration date: Valid until December 31st, 2017
  • Household limit: None mentioned

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • 1st United Credit Union are offering a bonus of $100 when you open a new checking account with them when you complete the following requirements:
    • Use promo code SIMPLE (note it says SIMPLE A few times and then in the fine print it says SIMPLER)
    • Establish a qualifying direct deposit of $500 or more within 60 days of account opening
    • Activate and make a signature or PIN purchase with debit card within 60 days of account opening

1st united

The Fine Print

  • Offer not available to existing 1st United checking accounts.
  • Checking account and debit card establishment are subject to credit approval.
  • Members age 12-15 require an adult joint owner.
  • To receive $100 incentive: 1) open new checking account using promotional code SIMPLER; 2) establish a qualifying direct deposit of $500 or more within 60 days of account opening; 3) activate and make a signature or PIN purchase with debit card within 60 days of account opening.
  • A qualifying direct deposit needs to be an electronic deposit of your paycheck, pension or government benefits (such as Social Security) from your employer or the government. Bonus is considered interest and will be reported on IRS Form 1099-INT.
  • Offer expires December 31, 2017 and is subject to change or withdrawal at any time.
  • Incentive will be credited after all requirements are fulfilled, beginning April 10, 2017.
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

There is an early account termination fee of $25 if closed within 6 months of account opening. This account does not have any monthly fees

Our Verdict

Soft pull and a nice amount of credit card funding makes this a good deal. I’d like to see another report of it being a soft pull before adding it to our best checking & savings bonuses list.

Big thanks to reader, Curmudgeon who let us know. Please consider sharing bank bonuses with this site so we can make it even better.

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:

51 Responses to 1st United Credit Union $100 Checking Bonus [Select CA areas only]

  1. Mser says:

    Provident CU is still offering a $150 signup bonus for their Super Rewards Checking that pays 2.01% up to $25K. Current promo code is 4000

    Easy to meet requirements for the Rewards Checking – $300 per month on their debit card (ie one money order somewhere), online statements and have a $500/mo DD (transfer from another bank works to meet DD requirement).

    For my money, one of the best combos of bonus and good return with easy requirements. Mainly a northern California option, but for those considering 1st United, I’d do Provident as well.

  2. Fiona says:

    Went into branch at some point to open a CD, since they had some competitive rates. They said hard pull for the membership, but said that what’s good about that was that if you wanted to get another product within a month or so — with checking account being one example — they could re-use the hard pull instead of pulling again.

    In other words, if I understood them correctly, if you are already a member and you want a checking account with them, they want to hard pull you again if they haven’t done so within the previous month. (But no guarantees, since I didn’t care about their checking at the time so might be misremembering.)

  3. Jim says:

    Thanks for locating this offer. Reading up on it now, looks like the schedule of fees is here:

    Found the link when browsing this page:

    It lists a $25 Early Account Closure Fee (within 6 months)

  4. Fred says:

    I opened an account last week and they have credit card funding, with no limit that I saw. I funded with $3000 on my Marriott business, showed up a couple days later as a purchase (finance/other). No hard pull on creditkarma. Waiting to get something in the mail so I can set up online banking. Even if I don’t end up getting the bonus it was worth it.

  5. Mel says:

    Opened my account yesterday with Chase Ink Pref for 9k. No Hard Inquiry. The promo code entry appears on the last page after CC entry. Done mainly for MS.

    • Wong says:

      Hey Mel, did they do any verification on your eligibility? e.g., assuming you selected that you’re an employee at X or student at X, did they request any supporting documents?

      • Mel says:

        No verification.

        • Wong says:

          Nice! Just wondering if you actually live at one of the places that they require for eligibility? Did you also go for the 24 month CD funding with a CC? This is like the goldmine for ms-ing.

          • OnTheRocks says:

            As an employee of 1st United it is verified and proof is required if we cant verify it on our end.

        • Nate says:

          so If we don’t live in CA we can still sign up online and just say we do, or can we put our actual address?

  6. Mel says:

    After a few days you can even try their 24 month CD special (2%). That allows another CC funding. The CD allows a one time rate bump up and more funds to be added on. Do you think, I can add 25k every month? Too ambitious.

    • OnTheRocks says:

      CC funding can only be used when opening a new account.

      • Pete says:

        Thanks for sharing this information — is the opening deposit CC funding limitation per each new account? Like for each checking, savings, etc?

        Or is it a one time per limit per membership?

  7. Jim says:

    Data point, $100 credited exactly as noted in offer, April 11. Performed the debit transaction via a nominal Amazon GC.

    Thanks to William, Curmudgeon and everyone else!

  8. Moose Cow says:

    Can anyone confirm if they take Amex?

  9. Dude says:

    This bonus is back again- expires 20171231. DoC, can you please update this post?
    Confusingly, the ad says the promo code is “SIMPLE” while the fine print says the code is “SIMPLER.” Not sure what to do there.

  10. Jason says:

    Can anyone refer me??
    I will pay you some referral fee if I opened successfully

    • Nick says:

      I’d be glad to refer you, but when I just tried, 1st United’s page shows the referral’s program has ended (it paid $25 to the referrer and referral):

      I don’t know if folks are allowed to do both referral and the SIMPLE checking promotion, as there’s a promo code box that, at least ~two months ago, only allowed one entry, like the referrer’s unique code or the checking promo code

  11. Will says:

    Hey guys, I am confused, what do I put in the box that says “member number?” do I have to be referred by a member?

    If so, email me at

    • Eric says:

      Open the checking account through this link (no field for Member Number):

      At the end of the application before you submit, you will have an opportunity to enter the promo code.

      • Will says:

        I ended up finding that, but no CC funding. So I signed up for a savings first to get a member number.

        Went back to offer page with my member number…still no CC funding ugh. Oh well, opened it anyways. Got an extra $5 for the savings.

        But damn, it looks like the CC funding is dead, DoC.

        • Eric says:

          I was able to fund with CC ($2,000 max) through that link I provided. I just completed the application today so I’ll see if the CC funding goes through.

          • Will says:

            You serious? haha FML. What product(s) did you choose? I was just basic savings and checking

          • Jim says:

            Thanks, do keep us posted. CC worked for me back in February. But last time a family member applied in June, we had the CC option. A day after applying, however, we called them to check in and they said the online funding system had been down “for weeks” and asked that we come in to fund.

            Shortly thereafter, tried a dummy app and there was no funding option at all, just app submission.

            Glad to see the CC option might be back

          • Eric says:

            Received email today welcoming me to the credit union and now my credit card shows the deposits as pending. I used the Chase Hyatt and it should code as purchase as the deposit is greater than my cash advance line.

          • Jim says:

            Congrats, and thanks for keeping us posted. Glad the $2k Chase funding went through.

            Looks like the app asks for a copy of your government ID, did that suffice for eligibility or did member services contact you before you received the welcome email?


          • Eric says:

            I uploaded a copy of my driver’s license, which shows that I live in their service area, and I didn’t get a call from member services.

  12. Eric says:

    I opened a Regular Savings and Basic Checking hours ago but still haven’t received any email notification and don’t see a pending charge on my credit card. I’ll keep everyone updated.

  13. V says:

    Any DP’s on what hits as a direct deposit?


  14. Will says:

    FYI – I complained about the bonus not posting when they said it would. They came back and told me that I needed FIVE debit card transactions (I only had 2). Obviously that is NOT what is said in the terms. I am going to try my best to get this resolved, but I am outside the 60 days. If anyone is within 60 days, you might wanna do 5 transactions so you don’t have to deal with this

    • Jim says:

      I’d just show them the offer terms/details. I’ve found their call center reps very professional and helpful.

      Clearly states “make a signature or PIN purchase with debit card”, as in “a”, or one. I got the offer back in the first quarter, but two family members doing the most recent/current offer.

      Let me know if ya need a screen shot or archived page

      • Will says:

        yeah I stated that in my latest message. I’ll wait for their reply tomorrow, then call. If that doesn’t work, I’ll CFPB while I still can lol.

        And thanks – I already got a pdf of the offer (and the offer is still up too)

  15. Eric says:

    Use Apply, Samsung, or Android Pay with your 1st United debit card to make one purchase by 12/31/17 and receive a $5 Starbucks gift card:

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