Posted by William Charles on September 14, 2016
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on September 14th, 2016 | by William Charles


[CA only]Provident Credit Union $150 Checking Bonus + 2.01% APY

Update: According to comments you can get a $200 bonus at community events. In my opinion still not worth it due to the hard pull.

Warning: This credit union is sensitive to ChexSystems inquiries, you’ll likely be denied if you have too many.

Offer at a glance

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Receive a sign up bonus of $150 when you open a new provident credit union checking account the following three things for two consecutive months, starting the month following your account opening:
    • Make purchases of $300 or more using a Provident debit and/or credit card
    • Have direct deposits or automatic credits of at least $500
    • Enroll in online banking and e-Documents with valid email address
  • Account also offers a 2.01% APY for balances $0.01-$25,000 when you meet the requirements above each month


The Fine Print

  • You must be a new member, 18 or older and reside in California.
  • You are not eligible if you are a current owner or signer on a Provident Credit Union personal or business account or if you have been an owner or signer on a Provident Credit Union personal or business account within the last six months.
  • One New Account Bonus per household/business.
  • To be eligible, you must open one of the following checking accounts: Super Reward Checking, Provident Checking, or Simply Free Checking; all other checking accounts are not eligible for the bonus. New Account Bonus offer may expire anytime.
  • The minimum balance for the Membership Savings account is $5.00. You must fund your Checking account within the first 60 days of account opening with a minimum deposit of $25. If you fail to fund your Checking account within the first 60 days you are no longer eligible for the New Account Bonus and your account(s) will be closed.
  •  In order to qualify for your New Account Bonus, your account must be active and in good standing for two consecutive months following the month that your account is opened. All qualifying purchases and transactions referred to as “per month” or “monthly” only count towards the requirement of the month in which they POST, which will be on a business day (Monday – Friday) and may take one or more business days from the purchase/transaction date.
  • Your account is deemed active by: (1) making purchases of $300 or more using a debit and/or credit card** per month, AND (2) performing monthly direct deposits or automatic credits of at least $500 into your checking account, AND (3) enrolling in Provident’s online banking service and e-Documents with valid email address.
  • If your account remains inactive after 90 days from account opening you are no longer eligible for the New Account Bonus.
  • Your account is in good standing if you: (1) demonstrate responsible account management—such as making regular deposits to bring your account to a positive end of day balance at least once every 30 days (including the payment of all credit union fees and charges); (2) avoid excessive overdrafts suggesting the use of Courtesy Pay as a continuing line of credit; (3) there are no legal orders, levies or liens against your account.
  • New Account Bonus: We generally pay the New Account Bonus by crediting your Provident Credit Union Checking account. If Provident funded your savings account at account opening, you will receive the difference between your initial $5.00 Savings account bonus and the stated bonus within 120 days of account opening. We may report the value of the New Account Bonus to the IRS and any applicable taxes are the responsibility of the member.
  • Only one Provident credit card can have its purchases count towards your qualifications each month (whichever one that is selected on the account on the last business day of the month). Automatic or electronic payments using your checking account and routing number are not considered purchases.
  • By providing your payee with your debit or credit card number, your posted automatic payments will be counted as eligible purchases.
  • Some bill payments will meet the monthly requirement for an ACH debit or credit transaction. Debit card cash-back amounts, cash advances on credit cards, and checks do not count towards qualifications.

Avoiding Fees

Your best option is to open the Super Reward Checking account which has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements and also earns the 2.01% APY when requirements are met.

Membership Enrollment $10

If you enroll with provident then you must pay a $10 membership enrollment fee. Although apparently it’s possible to get this waived if you apply online.

provident credit union

Early Account Termination Fee $0

None of the provident checking accounts come with an early account termination fee

Our Verdict

This bonus used to only require one month of meeting the requirements and only 10 debit card transactions, rather than the $300 minimum spending. Kind of sucks how you have to complete all three requirements as well. Because they are ChexSystems inquiry sensitive as well we haven’t added this to our list of the best bank account bonuses.

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:

21 Responses to [CA only]Provident Credit Union $150 Checking Bonus + 2.01% APY

  1. PM says:

    Ther is a better offer for $200.

  2. Mike says:

    These guys are strict about chex systems inquiries.

    • anthonyjh21 says:

      Data points? Were you denied, and if so, how many recent inquiries did you have?

      • Mike says:

        Applied once denied. Went into branch and asked why. They said Chex Systems. They wouldn’t give any more details. Asked branch manager and he said that I should wait until 2 of my inquiries I had last year dropped off the report. Waited as long as he directed and still denied when I applied again. Had about 5 total inquiries when I first applied.

  3. Highsky says:

    Once clicked the link, you can find that you have to do three things, not two of three things to qualify:


    To earn the $150 bonus and qualify for the dividend rewards and ATM rebates, simply do these THREE things:4,*

  4. jd says:

    they had a similar promo earlier this year. applied and got declined due to chexsystem inquires. I had about 4~5 in a year at the time of application. it seems like they are very sensitive about that.

  5. pc says:

    does discover ach or pp count as DD?

  6. Lrdx says:

    I actually find the $300 requirement lot less hassle than 10 swipes? I can pay my rent with a debit card, just set it up recurring, done. Or pay a few bills through Plastiq.

    • Lrdx says:

      Apparently their CC also qualifies, and they have a 1.5% card. One would lose only $18 per year for spending $300 every month vs a 2% card. (That would be a hard pull obviously.)

  7. Ryan says:

    Just FYI, it’s a hard pull, not a soft – got this email:
    Good Afternoon Ryan,

    To open up a membership savings and checking account, Provident does do a hard pull on your credit through Experian. Anything else that you apply for (credit card or loan) within 60 days, we will use the same credit report. Please let me know if you have any additional questions or would like to proceed with an application.

    Thank you and have a great day!
    Tricia Posemsky | Universal Agent II
    Provident Credit Union
    San Ramon Community Branch
    11030 Bollinger Canyon Road Ste. 190, San Ramon, CA 94582

    • Strange, has been soft in the past.

    • anthonyjh21 says:

      Thanks for the data point. I went ahead and sent them an email myself in hopes of getting more information. Really wanted this for the $1k CC funding as well. Definitely not worth it if there’s a hard inquiry (to Experian no less). Fingers crossed they inform me of it being a soft inquiry.

  8. anthonyjh21 says:

    Ok so someone with Provident got back to me. The results aren’t good but they do back up what Ryan wrote:

    “Good afternoon Anthony.

    Thank you for your message. At this time, we do run a hard credit inquiry report when applying for membership with Provident. We also run a report with Chexsystems when applying for a checking account as well.

    Please be advised, this email service is intended for general information only. Unfortunately, we cannot review or release your account information via regular email as it is an unsecured form of communication.

    Please let us know if you have any further questions or requests.

    Thank you for contacting Provident.

    Lou Tobias | Personal Account Advisor – Technical – Call Center
    Provident Credit Union
    303 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood Shores, CA 94065 (map)
    (800) 632-4600 | (650) 508-1443 (fax) |

    I had also made sure to explicitly inform them that I was only wanting a checking account and no credit cards. As you can see she wrote that simply “applying for membership” would require a hard pull. I was really wanting to go after this bonus and the $1k CC funding but now its an easy pass.

  9. Roberto says:

    Was at a community event in SF today (Sunday Streets) and stopped by the Provident table. As mentioned in this post, the offer was increased to a $200 bonus (same requirements that DoC lists). Rep confirmed that they would do a HP on Experian and a Chexsystems inquiry if applying. Rep said $150 bonus is standard but they increase it to $200 at events.

    I passed. Told him my Doc advised against HP’s for <$400 🙂

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