PerkStreet shutting down, wiping out rebates

Closed sign

Earlier this year we told you about PerkStreet Financial's free checking account, which paid up to 2% cash back on debit card purchases.

It seemed like a great alternative to keeping your money at a high-cost bank.

But PerkStreet now says it's shutting down by Sept. 26 and taking your cash-back rewards with it.

CEO Dan O'Malley says the website no longer has the money it needs to cover operating expenses and all of the rewards its customers have earned.

That's too bad, but the terms and conditions on the account say the reward program can be ended at any time (as is pretty much the case with the every reward program offered by banks or credit cards.)

So while deposits are safe and secure, perk money is not.

What happens next to your checking account depends on which bank holds your funds.

If your debit card starts with 5519, or your account number begins 123, your money is with The Bancorp Bank. It can remain there and you can continue to use your checking account.

If your debit card starts with 5507, or your account number begins 234, then Provident Bank has your funds, and the account must be closed. Watch for a notice on how to transfer your money to another bank.

It's a rotten thing, but nothing you can do about it except move to a new checking account and learn a valuable lesson: Don't let rewards accumulate too long, especially in new, unproven accounts.