Monday, September 29, 2008

Bank Offers

It seems every week, there is a new bank offering a Bonus for new customers!

I am sure you have seen them? $100 Bonus for new checking customers, $50 Bonus for new Savings Account customers, etc, etc.

And, I bet most of the time you have simply thrown the "junk" mail away or skimmed over the ad in the newspaper.

But, think again! This is a great & easy way I make extra money and get access to some wonderful new accounts you may not have tried before. Just this year, I am up to $575 in free money with another $250 on the way. For very little time and effort, I will have made close to an extra $1,000 for our family this year and now have access to many features and services with many different institutions.

So, here is a bit of helpful information when participating in these deals.
  • Sign up for Free Quicken Software to start. You will be able to enter all Bank Accounts you sign up for, and for FREE it will link all accounts together and give you an overview of where your money is and how you are spending it.
  • Call the Bank to see if they do a Hard Pull or a Soft Pull. Hard Pulls will affect your credit, while Soft Pulls will not. If it is a bank that will only do a soft pull while opening your new account, then this will not have an effect on your credit!
  • Make a copy of the offer. Keep the original advertisement from the paper or the mailing. If you found the deal online, make a screen print of the website page with the terms/conditions to qualify for the free Bonus.
  • Read the terms/conditions so you know the stipulations. Need to make direct deposits? If so, how many, and what is the minimum amount?

Usually, you can then apply online. Once you apply, make sure to follow through on all stipulations on the terms.

How do I do it? Well, my husband had direct deposit set up to our actual checking account. But, his company allows him to have his paycheck direct deposited into 4 different institutes. So, we have our checking, investment accounts and the kids 529 accounts. This leaves one extra, which I use for my Bank Offers.

Since it is all automated online, I simply log in and change the account for the direct deposit to whatever Bank I need it at to qualify for a Bonus.

Then, if we need that money back in our actual checking, I will go online with the new bank and transfer the money to our actual checking account online after the direct deposit hits. I just always make sure I keep the minimum dollar amount needed to keep my account open in there.

If this new account has features I can utilize other places in my life, I set it up for that then. For example, for survey payments, paypal transfers, Online Offers, etc. There are many transactions I complete online that I do want linked to my overall checking. So, I can definitely use these smaller accounts for running my home.

But, please note: once you transfer money from one bank to another online, it appears to take about a week for the money to show up.

Once you have the requirements set up, just sit back and wait for your Bonus to arrive. I DO always mark my calendar when the Bonus should hit on my calendars. Why?

Well, I have had Bonuses not show up, and that is when you may need to get manual credit!

This is the reason you want a copy of the original mailing, newspaper ad or the screen print from online. You will need to submit this to prove you met the requirements.

All in all, it is a very straightforward and easy way to make extra money and becoming a new account holder!

One final note: banks do use a system called Chex System where they track your checking account openings. Some banks may decline your application for a new account if they see you opening bank accounts A LOT and over a short period of time. This does not affect your credit score, but the bank does have the right to decline your application. They are trying to find serious customers when they offer these bonuses.

Interested in Bank Offers, too? Take a look in the side bars. As I find new deals, I will post them for you. Come back anytime to see what is currently available.

10 comments:

Bobbi said...

Carrie,
I just started reading your blog a few months ago- I am truly amazed at how much you are able to do! Thanks for posting all of your how to info! I am slowly starting to try some of it.

Forgive me if this information is already on your site, but I do have a questions. With the bank offers, what do you find is the easiest direct deposit to do? Currently, we only have my husband's paycheck as a direct deposit. Does a transfer from a current bank account count the same?

Thanks, Bobbi

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

Hi Bobbi,

Usually, most banks only count direct deposits from employers, retirement, or the government as direct deposits.

But, call the bank you are going to sign up with to check.

In regards to only having your husbands paycheck...that is how my family is, too.

BUT, most employers will allow you to send your direct deposit to mulitple accounts.

So, you can still have the majority go to your regular checking.

Then, you can send ONLY the portion you need to qualify to the new bank.

Say for example the direct deposit needs to be $100, then just send that amount. AND, if you need that money back in your normal checking, you can log into the new checking account and transfer it electronically back to your regular account.

It all takes a matter of minutes and a few clicks online to transfer the money back.

In fact, with my husbands company, I can change his direct deposit online, too. And, cancel it online once the required number of direct deposits hit.

Make sure you double check with your husbands employer to see if you can split his direct deposit and if you can...can it be done electronically. That makes it very easy to do bank offers again and again.

Anonymous said...

Reward checking accounts pay 6% interest for customers who use online banking and check cards.I have one from a bank in Texas. Can't beat the 6% rates! Check Money-Rates.com or BankDeals.com for a listing of a bank in your city or state.

Misty said...

Hi Carrie,

Again, thanks for all your help. I'm in the process of signing my kids up for a sharebuilder account. I KNOW i read somewhere about how you search for penny stocks or something, but I cannot find it anywhere on your web
site now. Can you send me the link? I registered my daughter and it says I qualify for the $50, but nothing about putting $5 in. Do I need to do it today?

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

Email me directly.

Anonymous said...

I now have money in several different banks - but it looks like it is best to close the account once you have met the requirement (some require keeping the account open for six months).

But many of those banks offer bonuses again and again. Most will let you qualify for a bonus if you have not had an account with them for a certain amount of time. (Often a year).

So unless I am actually USING the bank - it looks like it is best to close the account and start the clock ticking for the next round of bonuses.

Janet

Chris said...

Great Post. I am about to start a Chase checking for 150.00 bonus. So I will definitely be checking into others I have seen on billboards and back to your site for some others. I didn't realize the credit pull thing. Thanks for the heads up.

busy mom said...

Hi, I have question for you. I downloaded the quicken.
I have my paypal in there( easy to do), but I tried to add WTDirect Savings Account
and nothing would come up. Do you know what else it may be called?
Thanks

Anonymous said...

Carrie,
I signed up for the WT Direct savings acct. thru Cashbaq. Cashbaq gave me the bonus and then took it back. I received email from Karen and she said WT Direct pulled them because they feel people opened the accts. soley for the bonus, I did but was planning on keeping the acct. She said they will monitor accts. and may reinstate the bonus. Becky H.

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

Becky,

We all got those emails last week.

I emailed Karen back and WT Direct asking for specifics.

My advice, seriously, if they can't get back to us within a few weeks with a response on the issue, time to file a complaint with the BBB.

It is frustrating to complete our end of the bargain, and to be penalized. They need specific directions and instructions to qualify, if they are going to start taking money away.

 
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