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Banks to give out free gas

By Claes Bell · Bankrate.com
Monday, August 13, 2012
Posted: 10 am ET

Been a while since you got a nice freebie from a bank? How does $20 worth of gas sound?

As part of a promotion for Kasasa, a national brand of rewards checking and savings accounts offered through community banks and credit unions, 40 financial institutions will "take over" gas stations in 20 major cities starting Aug. 15. The kicker? You don't even have to sign up for an account to get the money.

From Rachel Witkowski at American Banker:

The promotion involves community banks and credit unions that offer deposit products through Kasasa, which is owned by consulting firm BancVue. The free deposit accounts offer perks such as an above-market interest rate, cash back or rewards for iTunes and Amazon.com.

"As a community bank, we've been involved in every kind of town fundraiser but a gas station takeover … is outside the box," says Carlie Olson, the chief financial officer at Pioneer Bank in Mapleton, Minn. "It gives us the opportunity to showcase (the deposit accounts) while giving back to the community."

Pioneer and other banks and credit unions will offer $20 of free gas per person to the first 200 people at a given gas station -- until they dole out $4,000 at the station. Patrons are not required to open an account to get gas. Atlanta; Dallas, Texas; Chicago, New York City; and Washington, D.C., are among the 20 cities targeted with the promotion.

"Gas is a metaphor for giving something back when you don't expect it," says Gabe Krajicek, BancVue's chief executive. "We want people to anchor in their brain that Kasasa gives you unexpected benefits.

Giveaways like this really underscore the differences out there in the consumer banking marketplace right now. Even as many large national banks are adapting to regulations like the Durbin amendment by cutting back services and raising fees, small banks and credit unions are finding new ways to engage with alienated large-bank customers, and offering them a real value proposition: free checking and some impressive perks, in exchange for doing more of your banking electronically and dealing with a smaller network of branches and ATMs.

These days, with mobile and online banking rapidly gaining consumer acceptance, I think a lot of people are willing to take that bargain. But beyond that, it just looks like community banks and credit unions are just straight-up outhustling many of the largest banks out there. I'm hopeful we'll see diversification and competition in consumer banking increase as a result.

What do you think? Is giving away gas a good way to win new customers? Are community banks and credit unions outhustling large national banks?

Follow me on Twitter: @ClaesBell.

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37 Comments
Darlene
August 14, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I don't care about Romney's tax returns. We all know he's richer than God, so what does it matter. I also don't care where he keeps his money. I do care that I no longer have any money to keep ANYWHERE. I have seen what Obama has done to me and my country, and I have seen what his pal Deval Patrick has done to me and Massachusetts. Romney was a good governor- I say it's time we see what he can do for our country! God knows he can't do any worse than the mess we are already in, but Obama sure can make things even worse...

Nicole
August 14, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Why should I care what Romney does with his money. I should care about what Obama does with MY money!!!

Laurel
August 14, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Lauren, I hope you're a millionaire or billionaire supporting Romney because if you're not ... ?

Francine
August 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm

TRACEY wake up & smell the coffee! If you didn't pay attention to politics before,you need to now.

Victoria Burton
August 14, 2012 at 11:56 am

It's because of beliefs like Romney's is why we are in the position we are in to start with. Take care of the rich & to Hell with the rest. I wonder where HE HAS HIDDEN most of his MONEY? I bet it would be totally amazing to see his TAX RETURNS that he WILL NOT PRODUCE. That's only because he has MILLIONS,Oops BILLIONS to HIDE!!! PUT UP or SHUT UP!!!!!!!!

tracey
August 14, 2012 at 11:04 am

I thought this posting was about the free gas giveaway? How and why did politics end up in this?
Please keep your political comments and/or preference to yourself...unless asked.
Everything isn't, nor needs to be about politics.
Sheesh!

Maria
August 14, 2012 at 11:01 am

Would have been nice if they mentioned the other states and had a link to find out what gas stations were giving it out.

Claes Bell
August 14, 2012 at 10:43 am

Check out Kasasa's Facebook page to see locations.

Bernice Phelps
August 14, 2012 at 10:42 am

where are the bank in michigan that are giveing out free gas to people like me i am an older person that need a place to go to help out when am in need of gas. thank you

Lauren
August 14, 2012 at 2:15 am

GM -- I'm sorry for your situation. Don't give up!

I highly suggest you write a "hardship letter" to your bank, attn: CEO or Loss Mitigation Dept. Send it ONLY US CERTIFIED MAIL/RETURN RECEIPT! This will stand up as proof of receipt if it ever went to court. I've gotten two loan mod's on our home and it was a nightmare that I learned from. I've spoken with several foreclosure defense and bankruptcy attorney's and every single one of them told me to do this and that BANKS LIE EVERY DAY IN COURT UNDER OATH! Big shocker, I know (sarcasm here). The point is -- the burden of proof under the law is on the borrower and the bank's know this!

You can initially call your bank's loss mitigation dept. and ask them for a loan modification and they'll ask you a series of questions. The problem with this is that the banks often hire unskilled people who could care less about your financial situation. Some even seemed to take sadistic joy in tormenting me on the calls. I kid you not. I'm pretty strong, and it even got to me. They want you to go away. Don't! Even if they tell you that you "don't qualify" send the certified letter/return receipt. A good hardship letter should explain your situation as succinctly, but in enough detail so that they know what's going on. I recommend you search on the internet for the two blogs: "Mandelman Matters" and "Mod Monster Mortgage (.com?)" The latter has a good example of a hardship letter, for free. The man who runs that website sells a REST Report, the same report that the banks use in court to try and foreclose on borrowers. You may benefit from using it, too, but I was lucky that I did not have to buy the report and was able to get the loan mod's directly from my bank, which I'm told is rare. Persistence is key. Don't give up.

I wish you the best of luck and pray to God for guidance. I'm convinced that is what helped us. We were turned down twice and I persisted and got the loan mod's.

Good luck, and please vote ROMNEY/RYAN! Gov. Romney was my governor and he is a very ethical, principled, and brilliant man, and was a fine governor as well! Don't believe the lies the left are spewing to defame his good name. Romney is the real deal, and I'm about as conservative as one gets. Take care.

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