Weekly Roundup – Anyone Have Experience With Perkstreet Financial?

I currently run our utility and gas purchases through our credit card to simplify the monthly bill-paying process, and to earn some cash back rewards for things we’d have to pay anyway. Of course, we pay off the credit card balance each month.

I’ve heard commercials for Perkstreet Financial and their cash rewards debit card, and I’m hoping readers may have some personal experience to share regarding the product.

If I decide to sign up I’ll be sure to provide my own review in a future post.

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  1. I am not a PerkStreet user but am intrigued. Trying to read through the fine print it looks more like 2% if over 5k in the account, 1% if less than 5k if you are not hitting the special categories and after the intro period. If that is correct it doesn’t beat ING for me personally as ING is doing 1% and I don’t have 5k sitting in my checking.

    I am intrigued to also hear about others experience though, if it works I’m always up for a better rate if it can be had.

    • Upon attempting to close my account after I found out that you had to have $5,000 to get the 2% cash back, I was told by a customer representative that I should leave my account open so I could return to it and use the funds if I ever wanted to in the future. 6 months later I realized I would not be using it, called back to cancel the account, and was told I only had $7 left in the account due to an “inactivity fee” of $4.50 a month. After informing Perkstreet what I had been told by the previous customer service representative, I asked for each inactivity fee to be refunded but they refused saying that the $4.50 fee was in the mice type disclosure statement and would be in full force no matter what I was told by a representative. Go with Perkstreet if you want no customer service. Go with a local credit union if you want an actual human to interact with and be understanding.

  2. I’ve been with Perkstreet for a little over a month, and so far am happy with them. Bill pay does not qualify for perks and as the previous poster stated, to get 2%, account needs to be over 5K, but it’s the best deal going for non-credit card accounts, so I’m there!

  3. I am a perstreet member and love it. As the previous poster stated, you do only earn 1% after the introfductory time period, but they also offer incentives each month. January is 5% back on gym membership, jenny craig, ww, etc. February is something different. We pay everything we can with perkstreet and are reaping the rewards!

  4. I’ve Been with Perkstreet for a short time as well… the fine print you have is right about needing $5,000 for the 2%, BUT, if you ‘like’ them on Facebook, there are also monthly PowerPerks that are 5% cash back. That’s a pretty sweet deal if you use them. Transferring funds from your external account takes a few days to get to your Perkstreet account.

  5. I gave PerkStreet a trial run in November (because I thought it might be a scam) and fell in love with it! I’ve never really liked a bank before. Most banks find a reason to charge you a fee and on average we spent $300 a year in fees. I was very surprised that we received $30 the first month – it was a nice change of pace. Definitely give it a whirl!

  6. I have been with PerkStreet for a little over a month and I could not be happier. I have already made close to $50.00 back in perks. The monthly PowerPerks are also great. During the month of December, it was 5% cash back at various stores (BestBuy, JCrew etc.), for January it’s a 5% back on gym memberships, weight loss programs etc. It’s fun to see what they come up with each month. I am absolutely loving PerkStreet and would recommend it to anyone. I am patiently waiting for their savings account to open so that I can get rid of BofA completely!!

  7. I have been a Perkstreet customer since last April and I have been a very satisfied customer since then. I have been earning 2% most of the time because I try real hard to keep $5000 in my account. I have dealt with customer service on 2 occasions and both issues were dealt with quickly and efficiently. I have redeemed my perks and I was expecting your typical 6 to 8 week waiting period to receive my perks and was very surprised when it showed up in the mail about 3 days later. I used to put all my monthly bills onto a credit card and get only 1% back. It is nice to not only double that, but I also stopped using credit cards.

    Also, I switched from ING because I get a heck of a lot more back than whatever tiny interest rate I was getting. And since when do they offer 1% back? I know they do it occasionally, but it is not everyday with no limit. The perks you can earn are unlimited.

  8. I also gave Perkstreet a ‘trial’ run in November and I haven’t looked back since. Perkstreet has made my banking easier. It is true that the perks are different for each month, which is awesome and I pay all of our bills that I can online. I don’t use the PIN feature at the stores so I can get reap the rewards. It’s been 9 weeks since I opened my account and already have over $100 in perks, still debating on keepin them or cashing them in! This account has kept me from going to the ‘any time machine’ and spending money!! I absolutely love it! For the person who uses the ING read this post http://blog.perkstreet.com/an-honest-account-perkstreet-vs-ing-electric-orange/

  9. I’ve been using perkstreet as my primary checking since October of last year, and have been very happy. My biggest issue is just with getting money into the account since I don’t have direct deposit at my job. I believe they are working on a remote deposit option which will help out a lot. Customer service has been good, and of course the perks are great!

  10. I have been with Perkstreet since October & I can’t even begin to tell you how much I LOVE them! In the 4 months that we have had our account, we have averaged $100 back PER MONTH!! While it takes a little while to get set up and you may run into a minor issue every now & then, their customer service, perks & down to earth/frugal mentality make it the BEST BANK EVER in my opinion.

  11. I also love Perkstreet and would highly recommend using them. We have been using Perkstreet for a few months now and we have earned tons of rewards. We are able to use it to pay for my husband’s tuition and many of our bills accept credit cards so our cash back rewards have been awesome! The customer service is amazing-they are easy to get a hold of on facebook, their blog, email, or phone and they are super helpful.

  12. I apologize for my misinformation on ING, it was a 2 month trial, I had not realized it had ended. Maybe they will extend it out eventually, I am in the process of signing up for perkstreet now.

    I apologize if I have overlooked this post over the time I’ve been here but does anyone try and double up by paying everything with a CC and then paying the CC with an account like perkstreet that gives some back. It seems possible but I’ve never “gamed” it like that. Thoughts?

    • Brian,
      We’ve been following Dave Ramsey’s teachings and he calls credit cards, sharks because they will bite you if you make one small mistake.

      While paying with a CC then with Perkstreet may be profitable for a while, you may get bit for playing the game. There is risk when you borrow money from someone else, we feel that the risk of playing with the credit cards is something we can avoid and we’ve been free of credit cards for 6 months.

      I hope you enjoy Perkstreet like we have!

      • Thanks for the reply Laura, I’m also a long time Dave listener, actually went without a credit card for about 8 years based on FPU principles but I have gone back to “needing” one because my current employer requires for us to pay for our own work travel and get reimbursed afterward (a diatribe for another time). Using the CC gets me a months lag time closer to getting this money back and I try not to mingle my checking with my savings and these travel expenses make my checking uncomfortably low. After I get Perkstreet rolling maybe I will just debit from there on everyday expenses and save the CC for this work/travel stuff but I am always trying to find a way to make a little extra if it doesn’t involve too much work. Hence my question about the “game”, it is risk/reward but I am pretty good with budgeting, monthly spending, etc so I’m not your typical carry a balance CC user.

  13. I thought I’d try PerkStreet and put $25 in a starter account in late October, because I’m kinda poor and don’t have hundreds of dollars sitting around to put in multiple banks.

    I didn’t get my starter package, or if I did, it got lost, so I didn’t get things going in a timely fashion. Suffice it to say, I was shocked and p.o.’ed when I checked the balance in mid-December and found they had already dinged me 2-$4.50 per month inactivity fee. I called them and they refunded the 2nd month fee, but the first month was never recouped.

    Maybe I could get that money back if I left that account open and used it like everyone here who is so tickled with PS, but I was too irritated, and closed the account immediately. A few weeks later, I called them again and asked where my $20.50 was, and they said “Oh, you have to fax us a notification that you want to close the account because we have no way of knowing if you’ve written checks or used your card, yada yada yada…”… I’m like, excuse me, you dinged me TWICE for inactivity.

    So PerkStreet has lots of good points, but I think their inactivity fee is bogus. But hey, they’ve got to get the money for the rewards for the rest of you somewhere, right? You can thank me later.

  14. PerkStreet offers good rewards if you can afford a permanent investment of $5000 in your checking account. Otherwise it’s decent. If you use non-PIN debit or credit a lot it’ll add up. They’re a bit disingenuous when it comes to customer appreciation, though. If existing customers get those 5% perks they have every month, good for them. But new customers need to spend $2000 on just those 5% offers to get a cash bonus equivalent to the almost-free Chase $100 offer that never seems to end. And then you’re $1880 in the hole to Perk’s Pals. Now it’s still the best debit reward program out there, but they clearly hate poor people with poor luck who didn’t stumble upon them before they did away with cash bonuses for the sake of cost cutting. And if you choose not to invest that permanent 5k, it’ll take monthly “credit” spending of at least $10,000 to get $100 back every month. If you do opt in, it’ll take $5000 every month. And that’s aside for things you may not want or be able to use credit for. PerkStreet seems to have a DO NOT WANT sign hanging up target towards anyone with an annual SPENDING, not income, of less than $60,000, the amount needed to get the $600 back that they advertise. At that point, one begins to wonder whether a high interest savings account would be better to park some of that money in. Ultimately PerkStreet plays the role of the lesser evil, offering better rewards for everyone than its competitors while still catering to those who can afford to blow tens of thousands of dollars on frivolous things. At least for Average Joe, it’ll take more than a year for PerkStreet debit rewards to be as rewarding as the cash back bonus and points card combo offered by brick and mortar branches. It’ll take even longer for to surpass them. Unless you’d be in it for the long haul, I wouldn’t recommend switching to PerkStreet. At least not until their bonus reflects some semblance of customer appreciation. Unless you normally spend $2000 on amusement parks in February. Then by all means go ahead and get your money’s worth.

    • I’m curious about the Chase $100 rewards… I’ve been a Chase banking member for years and the new debit rewards require a SIGNIFICANT amount to have those points turn into actual dollars. I did the math when signing up for Perkstreet and Perkstreet won hands down.

      In our household we’ve decided to get rid of our credit cards, which was sad to see the $250 of rewards go from our Chase quarterly. What we’ve found is that since we have a budget and the debit card we are spending less… WAAY less each month. Those extra treats at the grocery store have to fit within the grocery budget… eating out is in our smaller grocery budget too so we’ve found that we get more meals if we make them ourselves. We aren’t spending to get points we are just spending like we normally do… utilities are paid with our debit card as a credit card transaction, groceries are paid with our debit card as a credit card transaction… you get the idea. Our mortgages and student loans are not earning rewards but they weren’t earning rewards anyways.

      Overall going to debit and having a budget has freed up excessive spending that we can now throw to our student loan debts. Perkstreet is the best debit rewards program out there and the process is easy if you follow their instructions.