Bank Bonuses: A Bonus Way to Make Money?

By Michael Reilly on March 28, 2018

If you’re someone like myself who goes around surfing the web reading through several personal finance blogs in search of different interesting ways to make money, you’ve likely come across the idea of opening a new bank account. There are a couple of key benefits that can be found by opening a new account. One is that the interest is higher at this new bank then your previous one. Another is that many banks offer bonuses when you open up an account with them. These bonuses can range anywhere from $150-$500, which in my opinion is certainly enough to turn some heads.

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Of course, when it comes to receiving these bonuses you first have to qualify. For some banks, this involves setting a qualifying direct deposit or having to make an initial deposit of a predetermined amount. Something very important to keep in mind when opening a new bank account is being aware of any fees or requirements that come along with it.

For example, there’s a $300 bonus when opening a ‘Premier Plus Checking Account’ with Chase bank. Although to qualify you must first set up a direct deposit and have it deposit money into the account within the first 60 days. According to the information on this chase.com page, there’s no specification of there being a minimum amount of money in order for the direct deposit to qualify. As you’ll see from visiting the page, it then says within 10 business days the bonus will be deposited in your account.

Quite frankly, this sounds like a pretty simple process and anyone who doesn’t take advantage of it is a complete and utter moron, right? Well perhaps not exactly, with the Chase premier plus checking account there’s a $25 monthly service fee. Kind of a little much for a fee one would think, but this service fee can be waived if you keep an average daily balance of (drum roll) $15,000 between all of your Chase accounts.

So if you’re someone like me who as a college student only has so much money to throw around in the first place, opening a new account with Chase that charges $25 a month for a service fee (even with a $300 bonus) doesn’t seem very practical.

What about other bank bonuses? Well, when looking at this list of the “25 Best New Bank Account Promotions & Offers – June 2017” on moneycrashers.com it appears many of the accounts do either require maintaining an average balance or have a monthly service fee. Now your current bank may already charge you a monthly service fee (luckily for me, my bank doesn’t). Therefore, if you find a bank offering a bonus and has a lower service fee (or none at all) than your current bank, then it’s open season for you.

Let me present you with this possibly though: opening up a new account, waiting till the bonus get puts into the account, then dropping the account. Of course, this all depends on a couple of important factors; how long it takes for the bonus to be put into your account and whether or not doing this is actually legal. I guess it does seems like cheating in a way almost, so I could definitely see the possibility this of being a “no-no” in the finance world.

After a little bit of research, it turns out this action is technically legal, but the real question that still remains; is it worth it? As I already mentioned, it depends on when the bonus is put into your account, are there monthly fees, if so how much? Something else to keep in mind is knowing if the particular bank you open a new account with has any ATMs in your area (as using other ATMs could result in more fees).

Bottomline, when it comes to using new bank account bonuses as a way to make extra money, there are obviously a handful of factors that come into play as we talked about. So if you do your research you could very well come across a bonus offer that fits your financial circumstances and will put some extra money in your pocket (or bank account of course). To help get you started, check out this article on retireby40.org that talks more about the potential of bank account bonuses as a way of making extra money.

By Michael Reilly

Uloop Writer

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