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Black Friday: Can Banks Tap the Frenzy, Too?

It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle on Black Friday: You may go out with good intentions to buy just one or two items, but next thing you know, it's 7am, you've got a trunkful of bags, and you're elbowing some lady in the toy aisle, wondering what happened to your goodwill toward men.

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Some banks are hoping to help consumers keep it in check—and steer some spending their own way—this holiday season with several promotions for Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) and Cyber Monday (the following Monday).

"On the biggest shopping day of the year, we're trying to encourage people to save," said Steve O'Halloran, a spokesperson for ING Direct.

ING is offering its own housing stimulus: If you apply for a home mortgage with the online bank on the Friday after Thanksgiving, they'll give you $683 off on your closing costs.

Why $683? That's what the average American is expected to spend on holiday shopping this year, according to the National Retail Federation.

The bank's also offering Black Friday promotions involving their CDs and checking accounts but won't reveal the details until that day.

Service Credit Union, which serves customers in New Hampshire as well members of the U.S. military, is offering a special 10-percent annual-percentage yieldon a 3-month CD with maximum deposit of $1,000. It's one-per-customer and only available until noon.

And, on Cyber Monday, when most people are back to work and taking their holiday-shopping fever online, they'll be ready for 'em: ING is offering 20 percent off the cost of every trade through their partner Sharebuilder.

"We hope these specials will encourage Americans to keep building their emergency funds, eliminating debt and saving for retirement," O'Halloran said.

Another little-known fact: The best deals on cars— of the whole year — are typically on Black Friday, according to Truecar.com. (The site goes so far as to list the models with the biggest discounts.)

So, while some shoppers slip out of bed in the middle of the night, slide into their track shoes and get ready to run for the Black Friday sales, others will be limbering up for their own big event: savings.

And they won't have to explain to the wife how they ended up in one of these:


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