Bank Promos Are The New Interest Rates
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  1. #1
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    Default Bank Promos Are The New Interest Rates

    One of my favorite frugal hacks is to take advantage of those big bank promotions. You know the ones that give you $200 - $300 just for signing up and meeting some conditions? I have had so many checking accounts in the last few years I can't even count them on two hands. Usually all it takes is a few direct deposits and sometimes so many transactions on your debit card to earn the reward, but if you're diligent and frugal and pay attention to these details (I use a spreadsheet to track dates and amounts and fees), you can often cycle through several per year, amounting to hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Big banks like Chase will often give the most generous amounts and allow you to do it every 6 months (just remember to close the account after you get the promotion).

    If you're fortunate enough to be in a situation like mine and have access to your own HR web interface, you can set up your own direct deposits. Mine will allow up to 4 or 5 banks with a single direct deposit. If not, check your HR department and check to see how many you can set up.

    Also, if you're good about paying credit cards off, credit card companies frequently have a sign-up bonus as well. Usually awarded if you spend around $1000 in 3 months. I've done several of these as well and always close them out after getting the reward money. (Note your credit score will be negatively impacted by closing too many credit cards because your score is partially based on age of debt as well as the overall credit potential. Don't do this if your credit is already suffering.)

  2. #2
    Registered User MaryinFL's Avatar
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    Being self employed, I can never take advantage of those direct deposit offers, and I would like to.
    I do participate in the credit card offers, and love when they send me the zero interest for a year or more on balance transfers.
    I ran up quite a bit of credit card debt due to medical issues, and those balance transfers have allowed me to pay a good bit of it off with no interest.
    BJs just ran an offer for free membership when you are approved for their credit card, and 5% cash back on purchases. The card also comes with a zero interest for 15 months on balance transfers, so I am moving my 14.99% card balance and saving the interest on that card.

  3. #3
    Registered User CPA-Kim's Avatar
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    I've been doing the credit card thing for years. The key is having a great credit rating and keeping a couple of cards open for very long periods of time. I have a Master Card that started out as a Sears card since 1978. I have one other long-term American Express card.

    The rest I open, use, get the bonus (I got $500 on one), then close the following year. I do about two or three a year and it has never cause my credit score to go below 800.

    Like you said, you have to keep track of when opened, when used, and the bonus. I haven't opened any this year but am looking for another good one.

    My American Express has so many cash back options, it's the only card I use besides Ally. It's hard to beat 6% on groceries.

    I love working the system to score cash!
    Kim
    The Lord will provide

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