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Banks Willing to Pay Up for Your Cash

Stocks in this article: BAC C JPM WFC

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Banks may not be lending to you, but they really, really want you to hand over your money to them.

So much so, that they're offering consumers cold, hard cash rewards to open depositary accounts, or enroll in additional services.

Since the start of the year, banks of all shapes and sizes have been upping the ante when it comes to offering incentives. Bank of America (BAC), the country's largest bank, has offered bonuses of up to $100 to open a new checking account, as well as a $35 reward for using its online bill payment service, and free equity trades for opening a brokerage account. HomeStreet Bank, a private, Seattle-based entity with just $3.2 billion in assets, is offering customers $215 to open an account in certain states.

>>>>Bank Upping the Promotional Ante

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is perhaps the most aggressive flaunter of dollars for deposits. The bank has been emailing and snail-mailing customers coupons for $50-to-$125 rewards. In a clever move, it also uses its extensive ATM network to spit offers out at customers who don't yet belong to the Chase family.

"We view checking accounts as the core of a customer's relationship," says JPMorgan spokesman Tom Kelly. "If you have a checking account with us, you touch us everyday -- to make purchases, to make payments, for direct deposit, to write checks... That gives us the opportunity to do more business with them."

David Seaman, a fellow reporter at, is one of those who took Chase up on its offer.

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