Wainwright Bank, a regional bank based in Massachusetts, is offering a $200 Series EE U.S. Savings Bond when you open a new Value Checking account and have direct deposit. $10 minimum to open, and no minimum balance with direct deposit. Wainwright Bank & Trust Company is FDIC-insured.
*To be eligible to receive a free $200 Series EE U.S. Savings Bond you must open a new Wainwright Bank personal checking account and have a recurring payroll, Social Security or public assistance Direct Deposit made to the account; limit one bond per household; bond will be mailed within 90 days of account opening; account must be in good standing with active Direct Deposit at time of Bond mailing.
Updated: Called in and asked a few questions. Seemed like a nice regional bank. They said no credit check, but they do a Efunds/ChexSystems background check. You can open online, but they just end up printing it out and processing and approving it manually, so can take a few days. You don’t need a MA address if you open online, but you do if opening in-branch.
You can request initial order of checks with application, or decline. I forgot to ask the cost. It is unknown if you can simulate direct deposit with an ACH transfer from an online bank or PayPal.
Note that a EE bond is only worth half as much as its face value initially, so the bond is actually worth $100 right now. They currently only earn 1.30% interest, but in 20 years they are guaranteed to be worth at least $200. I’d probably just cash it out after a year and avoid having to keep track of it. Thanks to reader Susan for the tip.