It’s called chasing sign-up bonuses and some people do this kind of thing on a regular basis. You can do it with credit cards and bank accounts. I’ve done both, and neither one takes much time. As of late, I’ve been focusing more on chasing credit card sign-up bonuses, but I recently started thinking about opening another bank account to reap the rewards.
It only takes about 30 minutes (give or take a few) to open up a bank account, so time really isn’t a factor here. And most bonuses you’ll get after three, or six months are more lucrative than keeping that same amount of money in a savings account for the same amount of time. For example, if you open an account with $1,500, and get a bonus of $100 after six months you’ll close that account with $1,600 in your pocket. If you left that same $1,500 in a savings account you’d get less than $10 in interest in six months. Which one would you pick?
Anyways, I figured I’d write this to help me (and hopefully you) decide which banks have the best deals right now. Listed below are some of the better deals I found:
$50 bonus - Capital One 360: You’ll be eligible for this $50 bonus if you open a new Capital One 360 checking account account, and make three debit card or Person2Person payments within 45 days of opening the account.
$1,000 bonus for college savings - Citizens Bank: Yes! You can earn a free $1,000 by opening a CollegeSaver savings account as long as you save the minimum monthly contribution until your kid turns 18. The younger your child is when you open it - the less the minimum monthly contribution is (it could be as low as $25 a month).
1.40% Bonus APY for first 6 months - Everbank: A big APY can be just as lucrative as a cash bonus. And that’s exactly what the online bank Everbank is offering. First timers who open a checking account (minimum $1,500 opening balance) will get an APY of 1.40% for the first six months after opening the account. If my math is correct (someone should probably double check it), $1,500 will you’ll get you roughly $10 after six months. And that’s the minimum.
$50-$100 bonus - U.S. Bank: Enroll into U.S. Bank’s S.T.A.R.T. savings program to give yourself the opportunity to get that $100. You’ll need to open a Package Checking and Package Money Market Savings Account (with a minimum of $25 in each account), then set up recurring transfers between your checking and money market accounts. Once your money market account gets to $1,000 you’ll get a $50 Rewards Visa. Keep the balance over $1,000 for a year and you’ll get another $50 card.
AAdvantage miles - BankDirect: If you’re an avid traveler, this one may be for you. First, you’ll need to open a BankDirect Mileage Checking account. That alone will get you 1,000 AA miles. Earn 10,000 miles if you set up a direct deposit of at least $2,000 for six consecutive billing cycles. You can also earn 5,000 miles for using their bill pay feature. Again, this is for six billing cycles and must be at least $500 in bills. I did find that there is a $12 monthly fee for this kind of checking account. So, if you’re not an avid traveler, it may not be worth it.
Even though all of these bonuses are very appealing, pick only the one(s) that work for you. That is important. Consider what you like and/or need when picking a bank - whether it’s free checking, a seemingly unlimited amount of free ATMs, or an account that has a higher interest rate. Consider other things too - like how accessible will your money be, customer service, or the other perks (like the free museum admission) the bank offers. Don’t just blindly open accounts just to get the bonus. Do your own legwork, and you could end up walking away with quite a bit of free money.
What do you think of bank bonuses? Have you ever taken advantage?