Monday, January 12, 2009

Method Madness Marathon!! Bank Offers!!

I figured since I just posted the $100 TD Ameritrade bonus below, and I have a few more to post about this week, it was a great time to focus on making money with Bank Offers.

Many of you may have heard me talk about these quite often, as it is one of my most common posts. Whenever I find a good deal, I try to get it on my blog for everyone. And, I had already created a specific webpage for Bank Offers a while back. Click here to access or use the Bank Offers button in the left menu bar at any time.

But, I wanted to touch on it again on my main page as it truly is a great method and money maker.

First, I hear from a lot of readers who are nervous about doing Bank Offers and that they will affect their credit score. This is NOT TRUE in most cases. This is ONLY true if the bank does a hard pull on your credit. Most banks do soft pulls, which have no bearing on your score.

How do you find out if a bank is doing a hard or soft pull? Call them before you complete the online sign up process. It takes a few moments to talk to a customer service representative and find out.

Second, readers are worried about managing many different Bank accounts. I have found a new and FREE program from Quicken that will link all your accounts together, so you can see an overview of all accounts you currently have open and funded.

Click here to sign up. In fact, this is a good program to have even if you are not involved in Bank Offers just to help manage your own accounts.

Third, if the offer requires direct deposits, how can you do this without messing up your regular checking? This will depend on the company you work for, of course. And, it will depend on the Bank you are signing up with, too.

For example, my husband's company can set his direct deposit up online. And, he has the option to send direct deposits to 4 different locations. Check with your employer, you may be surprised to find that you are able to send your direct deposits to multiple accounts.

We have his account set up to send a set amount to the kids College 529s, another portion to our accounts for retirement and the rest to hit our checking ( where we pay our bills, etc ). That leaves one extra direct deposit for me to use for Bank Offers.

If a Bank requires that I send a direct deposit of $250 to get my bonus, then I use that one extra spot to send the money. Once it hits, I am able to go into my new Bank Account and do a transfer back to my checking ( where I pay my bills ) electronically. So, the money will still hit the same spot...only a few days later.

It sounds like a lot of work, but all in all, it is a few clicks of the mouse for a profit of hundreds of dollars! $848 last year!

Another option for some banks are paypal transfers or transfers of money from other banks. You will need to check on the specific offer you are interested in and always call the bank, but some do accept either of those as direct deposit qualifiers.

Fourth, can I do them more than once? Most banks do not let you get the bonus again and again. But, you can usually get it once per person. Again, read the terms or call the bank. But, most times it is per person, and not household.

This means, when you open your account, do not put your spouse as a joint owner. This way, if the bonus comes around again, you can open one in his name, too.

Fifth, do I keep my accounts open? This depends. I try to evaluate the benefits of each bank I open and whether I can use the account. Obviously, my College 529 account I have open and will for a time. And, the bonus I got for my high interest checking account was just icing on the cake.

Many of them I am able to utilize for Online Offers and Surveys, etc. Since I don't want alot of my online ventures linked up to overall checking for safety purposes, I can use these accounts to keep smaller balances in without as much worry.

Other accounts you may open are investment accounts. Meaning, you may actually be a stockowner when you are done. Yeah! Don't close those. You may find that next time you want to buy a stock or your very first stock, their fees are lower. You want to have access to that.

Overall, Bank Offers not only offer you wonderful incentives, but also access to some great accounts you can actually utilize in the future.

See you tomorrow as I focus on a new Method for our Marathon!


Anonymous said...

Hi Carrie

I was wondering, to do custodial, do I enter my information or do Ienter the kids?

Thanks for all you do.

Carrie @ said...

You enter your information first.

Later in the process they will ask for your children's info.

lperry95 said...

I started to open an account and then my computer froze before I could select the option to build over time. Is there a way to put that into the system? Is the $50 offer still valid - on their page it states $25.Are there any fees for using this Sharebuilder?

Carrie @ said...

The code was valid as of this evening when I set one up for my child.

You just have to make sure you type the promo code, or you will get the $25.

Also, the page just shows that it accepted the Gift50 Promo code.

There are $4 worth of fees. So, you pay $4 in fees, buy $1 of stock ( hence, the $5 ) and you get $50.

Cyndie said...

Man, I was bummed to find out that I can't do either one of these investing/banking deals. My husband works for a competitor and would require full disclosure and approval from his compliance officer to do these.

lperry95 said...

Thanks for the info! I wasn't sure if the first one worked, so I had to set up one for my husband. I did get the message that the promo code was accepted. Thanks again.

Anna McMullen said...

Can you do Sharebuilder additional times? I have already signed up my family under the 2008 code that was given in December.
Can you use it to open more accounts under the same names?

Carrie @ said...


It is the debate of the century.

You can sign up each family I have signed up 5 times.

Other sites have tested it and signed up with new codes again, and gotten their bonuses. So, apparently, it works.

Is it legitimate and honest? I don't know, in fact. I haven't called to check and see, as I am just opening the account for my last I haven't had to check yet.

My advice would be to call Sharebuilder and see.

BUT...if you do want additional bonuses on Sharebuilder and you already have an account...stay tuned. I am going to do a post on a bonus for us currently holding our stocks there.

It isn't as good of a deal...but still free money.

I'll try to get it posted tonight for you.

Anonymous said...

I tried to do the custodial account and when I entered my info. it immediately said "looks like you already have an account with us". How did you get around this?

Carrie @ said...

Ooopppsss...should have explained that in the process.

I actually did link those up. Ooppss...the instructions above were more for new accounts on their first time.

It still accepted my code when I linked my childs to our. So, just click yes, then and enter your login/password. Then, it will take you the part to enter your kids info.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. I'd like to open a custodial account for my child. Even though I do have an account, I enter "No" when asked if I have an account? Won't SB confirm this?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Carrie...didn't read your explanation to the person above me. Apologies. But another question...can I use the same account to link the trade to? (Same checking or savings that I used w/my own account setup?). Thanks!

Anonymous said...

That Quicken program worries me a bit. It asks for your account id and password information. I'm not sure I'm comfortable having that information all in one spot online.

Carrie @ said...

It does indeed link them all together, so it does need the login/password for your accounts to link them.

They should be giving you an additinal login to get into your Quicken account to view.

When you are signing up for anything online, a quick way to tell if a site is secure is to check the address. If it is https, it is secure.

If it is http ( with no s ) do NOT enter your info.

Of course, with that said, even the government has had their accounts hacked before. It could happen to your bank account today.

Or, there could be a dishonest teller working at your bank that has access to all your info.

There are creeps EVERYWHERE, unfortunately. I had someone break into my eBay/Paypal account last year and charge $1,000, that thankfully, got cleared up. But, the poor guy who shipped the $1,000 product was out!

I am an online type of gal, BUT I also make sure to check my credit score regularly and I also log in and check my accounts regularly.

Here is the information from their site:

BUT...with all that said...I highly advise you do what you are comfortable with for your family!! These are your records and your finances and if something isn't too your liking...definitely don't do it.

It is not worth have software to use if you are worrying about it, or thinking about it during the day...that would be no fun!

Hope all that info helps.

Carrie @ said...

You know, I am going to have to play stupid on that question. I honestly don't know.

When I set up my kids, I transferred the $5 from their savings accounts....of course, replenshing it plus an extra $45 when the bonus comes in. So, I haven't tried it with the same checking/savings as before.

But, I have never heard anyone have trouble getting the bonus for their kids...and I can't imagine everyone used seperate checkings for the I THINK you would be fine.

If your account is already linked and they give credit for that, I don't see why they wouldn't for funding from the same account.

Anonymous said...

I tried the same account (my checking), so we'll see what happens. I'll keep you updated!

Too, (I typed the Quicken question also)...yes, we too have had our accounts stolen from a time or two; so I'm very leery now. (The Etrade $25 account bonus signup asked me for my bank sign in info to verify my account! No, no, no! I opted for the deposit version of verifying).

Thanks,'re a wonderful resource and a good one to bounce questions/ideas off of!

Cent With Love said...

Just wanted to comment to those using the same bank account to deposit $$ for all members of their household - it WORKED just fine for me. For example, I set up 3 sharebuilder accounts under my main account - ie. my account was the main account, DD was another under the main account and DH was the third under the main account. All sharebuilder accounts were funded from the same checking account, and all three $50 bonuses were deposited to that same checking account.

Hope that helps someone :)

natalie said...

Thanks so much for another Sharebuilder code! Should receive my first $50 in a couple of weeks, and now with the new codes, it looks like I'll be getting one for my daughter in about 4-6. Thanks again :)

Crazy, Busy, Ordinary Life said...

I missed the print screen for the $50 offer. hope i got it.

any way to ck?

Evelyn said...


I just wanted to say that some of the financial institutions charge you to use Quicken. Salem Five Bank charges $5 (I think it was monthly). We use our local bank for our monthly bills and use Salem Five as a checking/savings account so we do not have a lot of monthly checks going thru the bank. We chose to enter the transactions manually over paying $5.

We have had lots of problems downloading the info. from many retirement and mutual funds, even after talking to Quicken. The quirks in the 2009 Quicken have not been worked out they hope the problems will be corrected in the future. So maybe the online version is the old version and does not have the quirks.

We are not using the online version of Quicken because my husband wanted to monitor our retirement and start doing a better job of making it grow. From our research the online version will work great for banks and simple things.

Carrie @ said...

It is pretty small print! If you missed it, not surprising. That is why I warn it will be on the next page, because it is hard to find.

When your deposit hits ( probably next Tuesday ) they should send you an email afterward stating your deposit hit and welcome. They usually include a message saying then that it will be about 4 weeks until your bonus hits.

lperry95 said...

I entered the original code you entered, GIFT50, and I recd. the message that the promotion code was accepted. How do you know if you qualified for the $50 promotion? Do you just have to wait and see? I'm checking because I started a custodial acct. for my DD and recd. the message about receiving a $50 account bonus after your first trade. I'm just curious, do you close the acct. after you receive the bonus or do you have to leave the money in there for awhile?

Carrie @ said...

If you got the message it was accepted, you should be fine. That is what I got, too. If you have any issues, email me. But, I would suspect in about 4 weeks we should have our bonus, that is how it normally works.

I don't close the accounts, simply because you then own stock. So, you would have to sell the stock ( pay the $4 fees ) and I would rather just hold on to it.

You can withdraw the bonus.

I also like that they occasionally offer bonuses for free trades, etc. and even if not...have low fees. So, it is always good to have the account for stock purchases, etc, that you may want for investment purposes.

lperry95 said...

The way I see it is a way to start to save for something else with the bonus money. The next trick will be to make the $50 grow to something bigger (maybe I'll use my bonus for another online offer)! BTW, I just sent in my certificate for my gas cards. I am so grateful for all your help and clear directions.Thank you!

Carrie @ said...

No problem, you are totally welcome.

Make sure to send a pic when you get that $500!

Misty said...

Carrie - I signed up with SB for my daughter's account and it said You will receive a $50 account bonus approx. 4-6 weeks after your first trade. But when I signed up for my sons, it just said thank you, your code has been accepted. not that I'd get it. Is this normal?

Carrie @ said...

I've had both before. No guarantees, but I have had no problems.