Online Bank Service Offers Debit Card Rewards

Online banking customer said she's earned $500 in gift cards

An online banking service is offering "cash back" perks to customers who use its debit card, unlike some national banks that charge or plan to charge debit-card fees.

Boston-based PerkStreet contracts with ATM networks so customers have no fees. It uses a bank in Delaware to insure all customer accounts with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The husband of Candace Wallace heard about the service about a year ago. The Coppell couple now strictly bank online.

"He just found there are so many benefits with banking with PerkStreet," she said.

Customers can use their PerkStreet debit card to earn various percentages in cash-back bonuses that they redeem in various ways.

"I'd say we've earned about $500," Haywood said. "We always choose the MasterCard."

PerkStreet has a deal with MasterCard that enables customers to get MasterCard gift cards when they earn points for spending with their PerkStreet debit cards.

Customers can also use points to get gift cards to a variety of retailers, including Best Buy, Target, iTunes and Ticketmaster.

Haywood and her husband have their paychecks set up for direct deposit with the online service. Any other checks for deposit are mailed with prepaid envelopes supplied by the online bank service.

But many people prefer to have the option of walking into a bank branch to see a teller if they have a problem.

Brick-and-mortar banks such as First National in Weatherford are rolling out their own promotions, offering customers breaks on overdraft fees.

"It was $30, and now it's $19.95," First National spokeswoman Evon Markum said. "It's helping mom and dad from Wednesday to Friday when the paycheck comes in."

Markum said the bank has seen a surge of new customers sign up following its promotion. She said the bank is considering lowering other fees but wouldn't say which ones.

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