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The Boston Globe


Interest rates can’t entice, so banks offer bonuses

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.

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