Another Free iPod Nano Offer From KeyBank

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KeyBank is once again offering a free iPod Nano for opening a checking account and making either two direct deposits or automated payments of $100 or more. Last time around, online ACH transfers from another bank worked fine as a direct deposit, there was no hard credit pull done, and I got my iPod as promised. The catch is that I think you must live in an area that KeyBank serves to open an account. They state that the value of the iPod will be reported on a 1099-INT, although I can’t recall if I got one for 2006.


Selected Fine Print:

You must open a Key Express Free Checking (this is the basic banking account in NY) or a Key Advantage Checking Account between July 21, 2007 and August 24, 2007, and make a combination of two direct deposits and/or automated payments each of $100 or more by October 26, 2007 and you will receive your iPod? by December 15, 2007. Automated payments excludes Key Bill Pay and debit card automated payments. Offer available to individuals without an existing checking account at KeyBank as of July 20, 2007…

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  1. Good find! We have a ton of Key Banks around here. I may have to stop in and check it out.

  2. The offer is not available in California.

    I got an error while trying to apply online, and I called in to ask. You can only open an account if you live in a state where they have a B&M bank, and California isn’t one of them.

    Oh well.

  3. Pretty tempting. Just don’t forget that you’ll owe $20-$60 in taxes at the end of the year!

  4. no KeyBank in my area 🙁

  5. cha ching!

  6. how long did you have to keep the account open?

  7. Ted Valentine says

    Not in Tennessee

  8. I did it last year when I lived in Colorado and it took a while but I did get the Nano as well as the 1099.

  9. Not sure what the rules are now, but last year, I kept $150 (no fees but no interest) in there for 6 months….no big deal at all. There was a penalty for closing it before 6 months.

  10. The IPod Nano promotion requires that you open a Key Express Free
    Checking or a Key Advantage Checking Account between July 21, 2007 and
    August 24, 2007, and make a combination of two direct deposits and/or
    automated payments each of $100.00 or more by October 26, 2007.

    After reviewing your new checking account, we show it was opened on July
    23, 2007 is therefore automatically coded to receive the IPod Nano, as
    long as you meet the second requirement stated above. After all the
    requirements are met, you will receive your IPod by December 15, 2007.

    We would also like to take this opportunity to welcome you to Key and
    thank you for choosing us for your banking needs.

  11. “If you close your account within 180 days of account opening, you will be charged a $25 account early closure fee.”
    Anyone can explain what DOES qualify as an automated payment? I don’t have direct deposit available for my company and being in CO, this would be great. I assume a 2GB nano?

  12. I just signed up from Michigan. I’ve never seen a Key bank here but I could be wrong. My plan is to fund $50 initially, then send another ACH of $50 and immediately call to see if I meet the second requirement. I’ll report back. Thanks for the tip!

  13. Fine Print:
    Automated payments excludes Key Bill Pay and debit card automated payments.

    So, what qualifies as an automated payment???

  14. Actually, this is a pretty good promotion by them… 2 GB MP3 players are now pretty cheap and by December, I’m sure the 2 GB nano will be cheaper yet… You can’t pull for 6 mos or you get charged a $25 fee.

    I’m guessing you could leave $1 in the account so it isn’t “closed”. I got a free CD player once after a $25 deposit and pulled it shortly thereafter leaving 25 cents in that account for over a year. (Oddly, that worked to their advantage, because when I started my business, I discovered that bank (Compass) had by far better business banking than my old bank at the time Wells Fargo. I’m now banking exclusively at the bank that gave me the CD player!)

  15. HelpWithTax says

    Yes, this offer only applies if you live in the state Key does business. A quick search shows they do business in MI (ann arbor, ypsilanti, chelsea, dundee, dearborn; to name a few). Keybank has branch(s) in AK, CO, ID, IN, KY, ME, MI, NY, OH, OR, VT, WA.

  16. Ok, after talking to a bunch of people, here is the skinny:
    Automated payments are:
    Automatic withdrawals from your checking account by a company, such as paying a cable bill automatically. It MUST be linked by routing number and checking account number, NOT the debit card number. I’m using my car insurance bill.

    Also, it is a $0 balance account, so if you make your qualifying automated payments, leave $0 in the account for 6 months, you are fine and then can close it without penalty.

  17. I just opened the account and there was no mention of the IPOD anywhere in the application process. Is it just automatic once you mak the 2 direct deposits or bill pays, or should I send them an email asking about this?

    Nice find Jonathan, thanks.

  18. I also just opened an account. I attend college in Chicago, but I am from Washington state where I remember having a KeyBank account as a kid. This seems like a pretty easy deal as Jonathan already completed a similar offer earlier. And yes, I also have the same question as Rad…

    Thanks Jonathan.

  19. Please note that BillPay does NOT qualify as an automated payment according the fine print. I would set up two online transfers of $101 from either a credit card payment website or from another bank or institution like ING Direct or PayPal.

  20. I also just applied. You mean by just transfering money from my current bank account, it’s a qualifying deposit? And I’m glad you said that about bill pay. I thought that was what they meant. But as long as I set up the payment to come out of checking from my bill source — verizon, cable, electric bill — that should qualify, I guess.’
    Thanks for the info

  21. I went into a Washington state KeyBank to clarify. You can either use automatic deposits or automatic withdrawals. You CAN”T use Bill Pay, which means it doesn’t count if the withdrawal is initiated from within your KeyBank account. The withdrawal HAS to be initiated from a payee OUTSIDE Keybank. So, having your insurance, utitilities, credit cards bill your KeyBank account would probably work well. It’s nice to find a company that will do that without a fee. Or, as Jonathan and others said, possibly doing a transfer out of KeyBank from your ING, Emigrant or PayPal accounts could work.

    I believe that it might take time to set up withdrawals from Emigrant Direct because I think you may need permanent checks (not the initial temporary checks KeyBank gives you) in order to link outside accounts to Emigrant.

    I believe Discover does this, on the same day, without a fee.

  22. my question to you is did you get yours in last year before the end of the time was up (like this years is December 15th) or does it not come until that date…I was just thinking it would be nice to get it much sooner than December 15th!

  23. oh yah…one more thing…did they notify you when it was being shipped or did it just show up one day at your house?

  24. I’m confused… I assumed they wanted either two direct deposits or automated ACH deposits. They want automated withdrawals? and it must be initiated outside KeyBank? and FNBO, Emigrant, ING, HSCB, etc would work?

    So essentially I set up a recurring $100 deposit and then withdrawal a day later?

  25. Yes. Automated withdraw or deposit such as, when you are paying your house bill, phone bill, have it take out of your account instead of writing a check or, set up direct deposit if you have a job so the money goes straight to your account instead of a check.

    If you know someone how works and can get direct deposit, you can have that person co-sign your account and have that person direct deposit into your account as long as you are the primary owner.

    hope it helps.

  26. Has anyone received their nano yet? Apple came out with new nanos so I was wondering if they will buy the old ones or the new ones. Anyone know?

  27. I initated a ACH transfer using Paypal ($100 from KeyBank to PayPal) and it appears to go through as an auto withdrawl. This is how it shows up on my KeyBank account:

    09/17/2007 Auto Deduct DIRECT WITHDRAWAL, PAYPAL TRANSFER 100.00 50.20

    My guess is this “Auto Deduct” payment should count towards the 2 auto withdrawls required. To be safe, I will also be initating direct deposit into this account.


  28. I’ve not yet rec’d my nano, but I did get an email yesterday with a Fed*Ex tracking number. Should be here by Monday.
    3 days ago I called customer service to ensure I met the requirements.
    I found that I did.
    I also found that the nano will be 4G
    (not sure if the G was reprentative of “generation” or “gig”) the rep wasn’t able to tell from her procedure documents.

    Once I get it, you can be sure a picture will be posted on my site


  29. Same for me. Supposed to be here tomorrow so I’ll let you know. I just had them take the two insurance payments out and simple as that!

  30. Todd,

    what number did you call for customer service. I have called in twice and it seems like no one there has any clue what is going on. They have put me on hold for 10 minutes to “check the list” to see if I qualify. Then they come back and say that I need to check by November 2nd to see if I qualified. I don’t have any faith in their system. Also, I have asked for specifics on which ipod they will be distributing and they don’t have any idea. Where did you get your information? Did your email state whether it is the old nano or the new version?

  31. Got the nano today. It’s a spankin new one!

    I called 1-800-KEY2YOU I do believe. Called near lunch time.

  32. oh and it was the 4GB

  33. Do you know when the next set of nanos will be shipping? I’m still waiting for mine and am very anxious!

  34. Gosh, I’m sorry – I do not.
    I suggest you call them and just play “dumb” to get more definitive info.

    I am not sure if it matters, but I initiated my account by signing up online (no promo code or anything)

    I’ve yet to step into a branch office and I’ve only called the one time to inquire about the delivery date.

  35. I signed up in early September (I guess they extended the offer)

    I just got a tracking email from FedEx saying my ipod will be delivered tomorrow. (I didn’t have to register for the tracking email, key bank sent it automatically).

    Not bad!

    ps. I’m in Cleveland, OH for what it’s worth.

  36. I just got my email today. It will be at the bank tomorrow, that is where they shipped it to. I hope it is the new nano that came out a couple of months ago.

  37. Got mine a couple weeks ago and it’s a new 4g too. Love it!

  38. nanoseeker says

    I signed up for a Key ipod account in August. I couldn’t do the direct deposits, so I planned on two ACH payments/automated payments. Problem was, there were several conflicting statements on the Key site about what would actually qualify as an acceptable “ACH payments/automated payments”. I talked to two different Key reps (phone) and got the answer that I could set up Key online banking, link it to an account at another bank, and then use the “Transfer Funds” tab to carry out my two $100 ACH transfers (to Key from external account). I did these, then called Key to make sure I qualified.

    The answer: “NO”. Why? “Those were internet transfers, not ACH transfers.” So, I was pissed at this point, and finally asked the Key rep so many questions that they couldn’t answer that they referred the questions to the “support team”.

    Not wanting to wait, I looked through the Key site (logged in – can’t get to help otherwise) and found abundant evidence that the transfers I had executed were, in fact, by ACH. So I used their contact page to send a well-documented arguement of my points, and the next day, got this message in response:
    “Thank you for contacting Key. We recognize your frustration with the
    conflicting information you were given. We would be glad to look into
    this for you….In reviewing your account, we find that the transfers that you made from an external bank are considered ACH transactions, therefore, qualifying
    you for the iPod.”

    Yahoo! No info yet on when I will receive the iPod.

    If anyone else is in this same position, there’s still time to qualify for the iPod, and the online ACH transfers are a quick way to get them done. Here’s the full text of my message to Key that got the desired response:
    reference# XXXXXXXXXXX
    I am following up my telephone inquiry of earlier today with “XXXXX”, which generated the above reference#. I set up this Key account in August, 2007 with the intent of (1) using it as a forced savings vehicle by setting up recurring transfers to the account from an existing account at another bank, and (2) qualifying for the iPod promotion. The promotion requires “2 ACH payments each of $100 or more”.

    I researched the promotion’s ACH payments requirement in two ways before proceeding. First, I spoke to two different representatives of Key Bank (unfortunately did not make note of names). I was told that to set up ACH payments/transfers from another bank, I could to this online at under the “Transfer Funds” tab, and that such transfers would qualify for the iPod promotion.

    Second, I carefully read the online Help section for transfers while logged in at Here is the URL for the Help page from which the following quotes are derived:

    On this Help page, the following statements are made:
    (1) “Transfer Funds – Overview
    This feature allows transfers between eligible KeyBank accounts and transfers from/to accounts at other financial institutions via ACH (Automated Clearing House) processing.

    **ACH processing is available for transfers with checking and savings accounts at other financial institutions.”

    (2)”Transfer Between: Key Account on Profile and Client-Added Non-Key Account
    Transfer Process: ACH Processing Required”

    (3)”Deposit/Withdrawal accounts (allow you to transfer money to and from them).

    ** Accounts added to Online Banking and Investing with the Deposit/Withdrawal transaction type require your authorization to use them for ACH transfers.

    **Transfer account is setup and micro-deposit authorization is given, KeyBank will send 2 small, random amount deposits, and one withdrawal that equals the sum of the deposits via ACH to the added account.”

    Thus, I concluded that the Key representatives to whom I had spoken had informed me correctly that I could set up transfers on the site which would be ACH transfers and thus would qualify for the requirements of the iPod promotion. I went ahead and, using the site, set up a transfer account at my other bank. I confirmed it by verifying the deposit amounts which was accomplished by ACH. With the non-key account verified, I set up and executed in the the Transfer Funds section two transfers of $100 or more.

    Once these two transactions cleared, I checked with “XXXXXXX” at 800-539-2968 and was told that, yes, the two transfers did clear, but, no, they were not ACH transfers and so did not qualify for the iPod promotion. I got the same story today from “XXXXXXXX” (who, I might note, could not get access to the online Help section!!!).

    So, I’m left with a situation where, to qualify for the iPod promotion, I did both what I was told by representatives of Key Bank and what I read in the online Help section of, yet I am told that none of this information was actually correct and I don’t qualify.

    I would like Key Bank to live up to it’s verbal and written promises and consider my account qualified for the iPod promotion, today.

  39. Well I received a FedEx shipment notification e-mail on Tuesday the 15th, so I decided to come check this post and let everyone know. I am excited that it will be a new version ipod… that is awesome 🙂 I was kind of depressed when they came out with the new nano, thinking that the value of the old one would go down… now I think I may just have to keep it 🙂

  40. Yahoo! Got the ipod last week, silver 4 GB next generation with VIDEO!!!! I too was thinking I’d be stuck with the older one since that was all that was available at the time KEY made the offer of a free one. As a matter of fact, the key rep read the fine print to me at the time I signed up, and stated it was a 2GB silver. SO i was very happy to see I got the 4GB video. Good luck to you all. It’s worth the income tax I’ll have to pay on the value.

  41. It’s now the 6th, and still nothing about my nano being shipped (which I am qualified for). Anyone else still… waiting, with 1 week left in the ‘deal’?

  42. I’m still waiting. I’ve been getting the run around from Key Bank’s customer support on what the hell is actually going on.

  43. I’m still waiting, as well! There are still a few days left…

  44. I’ve been told by two reps that I’ve qualified, and I even had them note this on my account. They are now telling me they don’t know why they don’t see me on their qualified list of ipod recipients.

    This is getting frustrating and I don’t know who to talk to…and they confirmed I’m qualified!!!

  45. Same here. Hoping to find out if the iPod would arrive before xmas I called the Key # and nobody can find any record of the Key emails where I was told my acct was qualified. Wait…wait…wait…ignorance. My only hope: a person in my local Key branch called me a couple of weeks ago to tell me that my acct was NOT qualified, and when I told her the whole story and then forwarded the “you are qualified” email from two months earlier, she replied the next day that I should expect to be receiving an iPod at my house. Hmmm… I guess I better call her tomorrow.

    If Key keeps their banking records as well as they seem to be keeping these promo records, I don’t think I will be sticking around very long.

  46. Well, I called the 800 number and they said they didn’t see me on any list. They referred me to my local branch where I signed up, as they might have a more up-to-date list. I called them and the helpful person on the phone said I was not on that list, either.

    He said that since my 2nd qualifying transaction took place close to the deadline (26th was the last day, and my transaction took place on the 22nd or so), I may be one of the last people to get updated on the list. Don’t know if that’s valid, but it makes sense to me!

  47. bonk! that sucks. I already got my 1099 for the 150.00 ACV for the iPod

    I wonder if they ran low on the inventory and just won’t admit it. This can’t be good for them in the long run.

    I’d be kicking this up the management foodchain (and fast) until someone could provided definitive responses.

    Also, FWIW, you could run into problems if you cancel your account too soon after actually getting the iPod. FYI.

  48. Was anyone else told that the deadline was extended by one week to Nov 2nd? I was told this by 2 reps.

    Oh and the update for now is that they said they have sent my case to an upper level support team but hearing back could take up to 30 days… let me know if you guys hear anything else — we can share strategies to ensure that we get what we should.

  49. I walked into my local branch, and after they checked a drawer of packages for one with my name on it, I had to speak to the branch manager. He gets my info and writes it down in a spiral notebook next to 20. Yeah, he said he would look into it and it would be about Tuesday before he could. He then proceeded to ask if I had even used my account at all after looking it up! tool. This is a mess, and I’ll be traveling this Xmas without a new MP3 player. ****ers.

  50. I was sent (and turned in!) 4 different ‘signature’ account verification forms. 2 mailed back, 1 DROPPED AT A BRANCH and they were clueless. I also have had all phone calls take 15 minutes of hold EVERY TIME. Yeah, the only reason I haven’t canceled yet is because I want the damn ipod. Key Bank was horrible. Their new online ‘register your computer’ is BS. They deserved it.

  51. i was told just this morning (by a branch mgr in Cleveland, Ohio) that if you’ve not had more than 20 transactions on the account, you are not eligible. While that SHOULD NOT BE THE CASE, they are getting hit real hard with folks who signed up for this, did the minimum transactions (2×100.00 ACHs) and nothing else.

    Seems their automated system horked up the requirements (not matching what was on the billboards and even pasted in this thread)

    The mgr then said the BEST WAY to get this resolved is to go to your branch and speak to the manager on duty.

    They’re FULLY aware they made a mistake, but do not know who all is affected. Take ANY paperwork you may have with you.

  52. Yahoo! The 4G silver iPod appeared at my door today. I’m not sure I ever would have received this if not for the intervention of the person at my local Key branch. She’s the only one I dealt with through this whole ordeal who seemed to either care or have the ability to make something happen. If I had only known earlier, I could have avoided wasting time on hold for a “customer service” representative to “help” me. Good luck, everyone!

  53. Alright, received my iPod back in October/November, no problem. Wife also signed up for an account and hers is MIA. I’ve called the 800 number and sent e-mails. They can confirm she qualifies for the iPod but has no confirmation of when it will ship! As other people have found out, KeyBank ran out of Ipods and is still trying to get more of them in.

    I am guessing my wife will get a tax form showing the iPod as taxable interest. If so, I’ll be able to hold them to shipping the iPod as I don’t want to pay taxes on something I never receive!

  54. Positive result for me…after waiting a month from talking to a person at my local branch, I called him up Tuesday. He was super nice and helpful, and looked me up on his “help list” from the last time I’d talked to him. He sent corporate an e-mail, and my iPod was shipped the next day. It was shipped 2-day FedEx from Florida! Yay! 4GB iPod Nano for me…

  55. Ok, so around Christmas time I went into a branch in my hometown (not where I opened my account) – I spoke to an assistant branch manager and she has been following up with me periodically letting me know we qualified and that mine should be set to ship by end of Jan or so. I’ll keep you guys posted when I get it and the best way to go about getting yours.

    Re: 1099 forms. You will get a 1099 form for the year in which you received the ipod.

  56. Finally received wife’s ipod today! No e-mails warning of it arriving and saw the doortag left on front door today. Went down and picked up at local FedEx.

  57. Same story here as most of you. Opened the account in JULY was promised I was doing everything correctly, called numerous times re:status of my iPod, sorry we are behind is what I was told every single time. Tonight, nope sorry no records of you calling and you didn’t do anything right no iPod for you. I have already contacted the branch (by email) and the ohio attorney general office. Not letting them get away with this that easily. I am going to tell everyone I can stop about this.

  58. I received email that I qualify for iPod promo, way back in October 2007.

    Yesterday I received my 1099 for $150; however, I have NOT receive the iPod yet.

    KeyBank claims to speak with the shipper, FedEx. FedEx claims to speak with the sender, KeyBank. I will mail a letter to KeyBank corporate office to see if someone can solve this sorry affair.

  59. I am sending all of the emails and the forms I got when I opened the account to Joe Pagankis at channel 5 in Cleveland, maybe if anyone else in the area has had a problem getting there “free” iPod they should do the same and we can finally get a resolution.

  60. I spoke to an assistant branch manager back in my hometown. This was the single best move I’ve made with this issue.

    The phone reps were nice, but were not of much help. The branch manager didn’t do anything directly to get me my ipod, but she took the time to track it and see why I qualified but wasn’t on the list.

    Today Fedex left the door tag, tomorrow I will go pick up my girlfriend’s ipod.

  61. fyi, I received the 2 ipods (one in Jan, and one in April) after much hassle.

  62. Key bank is offering ipod nanos and touch(s) for new Key Bank accounts again. $25,000 account for the ipop touch though

  63. Stevem1710 says

    Does anyone have the paperwork or flyer with the Ipod Nano offer from Fall 2008? I am being told that my two bill payments do not qualify and I cannot find my flyer that said I needed two bill pays and a debit card transaction.

  64. Michelle says

    They are scammers. I’m leaving a dollar in the account and never looking back.

  65. I don’t think they are scammers, the program is just not organized well. We really had to persist and cover our tracks, plus make many phone calls to finally get our ipods shipped to us. (I’m the one who posted above on July 9th, 2008)

    What really helped was that I talked to a branch manager or associate manager and explained how hard we’ve been working just to get what we already qualify for. She made several phone calls and put things together for us.

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