First National Bank of Long Island: $1,000 Checking Account Bonus With a $2,000 Deposit (Brooklyn Only)


First National Bank of Long Island is “celebrating” the recent opening of its new branch in Bay Ridge, by offering a $1,000 bonus for new accounts. This is not the first time FNBLI has made a big splash. 2 months ago, it offered $500 bonuses for new personal and business accounts all over NYC and Long Island. This time around, though, the [even higher] bonus is only available in one branch.

First, the bad news:

  • The $1,000 bonus is only available to residents of Kings County (Brooklyn)

  • Only in one branch in Bay Ridge

  • Real $500 minimum Direct Deposit is required for 6 months, at least according to the official T&C

Now the good news:

  • Low $2,000 opening deposit

  • Additional gift (Amazon Echo Dot or Amazon Fire TV stick)

  • Easy enough hoops to jump through

Here is the deal

  • Go to the Fort Hamilton FNBLI branch in Bay Ridge: 559 86th Street, Brooklyn, NY

  • Open a personal checking account with at least $2,000. My understanding is that you need to fund your account on the day of opening.

  • Must be funded with new money.

  • Maintain “an average monthly balance of $2,000” for 6 months – meaning don’t touch this money!

  • Enroll for online banking for 6 months – I was told by the manager that you must do that on the opening day.

  • Complete at least 5 point-of-sale debit card transactions per month for the next 6 months. This condition seems to exclude online transactions – at least, I wouldn’t bet $1,000 to test their vigilance.

  • Within 60 days from the account opening, sign up for Direct Deposit and complete one per month for “six consecutive months.” The fine print specifically states that “external transfers and ACH credits do not qualify.”

Here is the flyer

While the flyer says the offer is available until May 22, you probably know better. Last time the bank pulled the offer the next day after it appeared on DoC’s site. In fact, I was there adding some finishing touches when the manager removed the ad from the window after a brief phone conversation with the headquarters.

Today it was eerily quiet in that office. Depending on whether bigger blogs pick this up or not, I give it from 1 to 3 days, and that’s because I feel generous. Call this number and make an appointment sooner rather than later: (718) 942-6000. Here are their business hours:

  • Monday – Thursday: 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.

  • Friday: 9:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M.

  • Saturday: 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.

Don’t be that man

One might think it’s a good idea to tell a banker that you’re only there for the bonus. You’re just telling the truth, right? Well, don’t be surprised but a bank manager might think you’re a jerk. A branch manager in a small bank has a lot of leeway. She can, for example, tell you that she’s very-very busy right now (sorry) and would you please call her later (really sorry), and when you do, you’ll find the offer has been pulled, and the manager would just shrug her shoulders and apologize once again. How do I know? Because 2 months ago I witnessed it firsthand.

“Gonna have to burst his bubble,” she confided in me after the door shut behind that customer. And added, “I would never say something like that to another person.”

I can understand that. You take your job seriously, and then someone walks in and says I don’t care about your business, just give me cash.

I don’t know if a small bank manager gets a commission for signing up a customer during one of those crazy promotions, but she didn’t seem to be eager to get customers who she didn’t think were her customers. So please, do yourself a favor and don’t tell them you’re only there for a bonus. Just like you wouldn’t call a credit card reconsideration line with this “bold” assertion. There is really no difference.

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Why is it when you “beat them with their own rules” these businesses change the rules? Just a thought.

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