Here’s a quick easy buck you can make.
If you can spare 30 minutes on your way to/from work or on your lunch break, stop by your local bank to get a couple hundred dollars free.
This morning I opened an account at Icon Credit Union to take advantage of the $200 dollars they were giving away to new account holders. Opening bank accounts is one of the easiest and simplest ways to make a few hundred dollars. In fact, I make close to $1000 every year just by opening bank accounts.
But for whatever reason, most people don’t take full advantage of these offers because they think there’s going to be some catch or they’ll have to set up direct deposit or something that is inconvenient.
We’ll I’ve got news for you.
If you don’t think it’s worth $200 (of free money in your pocket) to use a debit card 10 times (that you would be swiping anyways), I’m sorry, but you can’t fix stupid. The rate of return on the $200 is far more than any credit card reward points – so don’t use that as an excuse.
Myths about owning multiple bank accounts:
- “You won’t be able to keep track of everything”- FALSE – Use an app like Mint or Level that you can link with your bank accounts to keep track of everything in one place.
- “You’d have to use your debit card a certain amount of times each month, on every account” – FALSE – There’s usually just a 90 day period to qualify for the cash sign on bonus, then move on with your life.
- “You’d end up having more fees if you have a lot of bank accounts” – FALSE – Just don’t open bank accounts that have fees. If your bank charges you fees, you’re with the wrong bank.
Pay attention to the fine print. Some bank sign on bonuses are completely worth it (like the Icon Credit Union Checking Account I opened this morning). Some bank sign on bonuses are not worth it (like the Chase Bank offers I always get in the mail).
Here’s the Scoop on the Icon Credit Union deal:
- Receive $200 for opening an Icon Credit Union Checking account
- Minimum balance of $25
- Use your debit card 8 times a month for 3 months
- Use their FREE bill pay service at least once
- Set up direct deposit
So here’s what I did. I submitted a form to switch my direct deposit to Icon for a SINGLE direct deposit (then I moved it back to my primary bank account). I made a SINGLE bill pay payment to my water bill this month (all my future payments will be from my primary bank account). I put a sticker on the back of my debit card to tally up how many times I’ve used it each month (easy way to keep track of the 8 uses per month for 3 months). All in all, this is taking about 15 extra minutes of my life. So add up the 30 minutes to stop by the bank and open the account + 15 minutes to set up the requirements and immediately setting everything back to the way it was = 45 minutes to make $200. (I’m sorry I lied. I told you it would take only 30 minutes at the beginning).
BONUS: Another good reason to open another bank account
So we’ve already established that having multiple bank accounts is a GOOD thing as long as you don’t have a bank that charges you fees. Here’s the bonus. Having multiple bank accounts is a great way to hide your money from yourself.
What? Hide your money from yourself?
Why in the world would I want to do that?
You never want to keep all your eggs in one basket. Ever heard that? Yes, that saying typically is directed towards investments. But I’m here to tell you keeping your money in more than one bank account is a good thing.
- You don’t realize you have as much money, so you don’t spend as much
- It’s an easy way to keep money separate for a rainy day fund
- Or a travel fund
- Or a quick investment opportunity
- Or whatever you want to save your money up for… etc
There’s a few other things you’ll want to keep in mind when “hiding” your money from yourself in multiple bank accounts though. First off, don’t keep too high of a dollar amount in an account that’s not earning a good interest rate. Keep your higher dollar amounts in investments. Use your bank accounts for the immediately accessible cash that we all need from time to time. Also make sure your money is working for you. For example, my primary checking account pays 5% interest. That’s right – I said 5% interest on a checking account that is guaranteed with no risk. But that’s enough for today, if you want to know about the bank account that pays 5% interest, check out the Making Saving Simple manifesto – because I already wrote up how to take advantage of that deal there.