Banking Deals of the Week: Dec. 2

Economists will pore over two key jobs reports this week — today’s ADP National Employment Report, where the experts anticipate 160,000 private sector jobs were lost in November, and Friday’s monthly unemployment report from the U.S. Labor Department. If the ADP report is correct, it would mark yet another month where more jobs were lost than gained, thus causing more anxiety among employers and consumers.

We already know that two jobs were lost yesterday, with both Ford and General Motors' CEOs calling it quits.

If it’s any consolation, at least the number of jobs lost month-to-month is declining since last spring. That could mean the economy is losing blood by the pint, and not by the gallon.

That’s the backdrop we face here at Deals of the Week. So it’s even more important to find bargains, save money and try to think positive.

Hopefully, the deals below can help you do all of that.

Checking Account

Let’s start with a good deal on bank checking accounts, where Citizens Bank has a holiday promotion (ending Dec. 15) that can put $100 into your back pocket.

Citizens is offering the C-note for customers who open a Green Checking account at the bank. The banks touts the Green Checking program as having:

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum monthly balance restrictions
  • A free debit card with zero liability
  • Free online banking and bill pay

The $100 is built on a three-tiered basis. You get:

  • $50 when you make a direct deposit of $50 or more.
  • $25 when you make five online bill payments.
  • $25 when you make five debit card purchases.

You’ll need a minimum of $50 to open the Green Checking account. For more information, visit the Citizens Bank site.


If you’re in the market for a new mortgage loan, AIG Bank (Stock Quote: AIG) has an interesting offer — a $500 credit toward your home mortgage closing costs.

The deal is good through Dec. 31 (in applying for an AIG Bank mortgage). You’ll have to close on the loan by June 20.

The Bank is also offering a $2,000 credit toward a home equity line of credit through AIG Bank. The money would go to offset costs linked to loan closing costs and appraisal fees.

To learn more, or to apply online, visit the AIG site.

Bank CDs

Texas-based Main Street Bank has a nationwide CD program worth a close look.

The deal offers a two-year CD with an APY of 2.3% — that’s light years ahead of the national two-year CD rate average of 0.94%, as measured by the BankingMyWay Weekly CD Rate Tracker.

Here’s a complete rundown of the Main Street Bank CD deal (from the bank’s Web site):

  • One-year CD — 1.7% APY
  • Two-year CD — 2.3% APY
  • Three-year CD — 2.5% APY

The deal is good on a nationwide basis (visit the bank’s Web site to apply online). A minimum deposit of $10,000 is required.

—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at

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