Sovereign Bank is offering up to $125 to anyone who signs up for new checking account. Washington Savings Bank in Lowell hands out $150 gift certificates from Coach, known for its luxury handbags. And East Boston Savings Bank promises $100 and a digital food scale.
With attractive interest rates a distant memory, banks and credit unions across Massachusetts and elsewhere are using glitzy gifts and cash to lure customers. J.D. Power and Associates recently found that 8 percent of US customers who switched banks said they did so primarily because of a promotion.