It was one of the few times a bank promoted the holidays in a year when there wasn’t much to do, even with the government still cutting back on holiday shopping.
But that hasn’t stopped the big banks from going out of their way to give customers more money.
“We’ve done this for years, we know it works,” says Bill Stokes, the vice president of business development for the Bank of America.
“It’s been a good strategy.”
And it’s one that Bank of New York Mellon is embracing.
Bank of North Dakota and Bank of Oklahoma have teamed up to offer $1,000 off purchases for the holidays.
“Bank of New Jersey’s a big family of banks, so we’re proud to partner with Bank of the West and Bank N.A.,” says Kevin Kranz, president of marketing for the bank.
And while the bank hasn’t announced a specific dollar amount, it says it’s “committed to providing more than $1 million in free gift cards to its customers through the bank’s holiday promotion program.”
And Bank of California’s “Bank Holiday” program gives customers the chance to earn up to $1.5 million in rewards for doing just about anything, including shopping online, attending a party, and more.
But the biggest holiday gift you can make is to the bank you love, says Ken Smith, the chief executive of the National Retail Federation.
“If your family’s in need of Christmas cheer, you might as well give them a $1 gift card,” he says.
“They may not have much cash left, but they have so much in savings, it can help a lot.”
Smith is an avid collector of bank cards.
“I’m an avid card collector,” he notes.
“A lot of people I know, they collect everything.”
Smith’s family has spent $50,000 to get the card he loves.
“My family loves cards,” he said.
“But it’s the cards that make my heart beat more.
That’s why I bought my first $1 card back in 1997.”
For Smith, it’s a way to help his family.
“The bank is the best,” he explains.
“And it gives them some extra money to spend.”
The National Retail Bank of Dallas also offers a $100 gift card, which gives customers an extra $200 on their next purchase.
And Bank National Bank of Boston offers a holiday card worth up to 75 percent off, giving customers an additional $500 on their first purchase.
So if you’re in the mood for a holiday gift, don’t worry if you don’t have the cash.
But if you do, you’ll get a great deal.
“That’s why you’re getting a bank credit card, is to give people the ability to get things done,” Smith says.