“No such thing as a free lunch”. I agree, but in this scenario the “cost” is a 15-30 minute meeting which led to doubling a $250 investment. As simplistically as I can explain, here is how it works.
Each month in the mail we get coupons from Valpak
This summer I noticed two different banks offering money for opening an account. In reading the fine print, one bank required direct deposit. For the “free money” don’t do this one. For you that might work, but my current bank account requires direct deposit so switching would not make sense.
The free incentive with few, if any, strings attached is from Fifth Third.
Fifth Third has “up to $500” in bonus money available with this offer. The second $250 comes from opening a savings account with over $15,000… I would skip this one.
The offer which can double your money is the first incentive.
“Open a checking account and hit $250 deposit within 45 days”. After hitting this mark they will match your $250. After it is all done you effectively double your money within 60 days. Without some kind of gamble or risky investment.
The nuts and bolts of how this actually works:
- Acquire the offer code from the mail flier. Maybe a friend or family has an unused offer.
- Take the offer code to a Fifth Third branch and ask to set-up a checking account for the promotion ONLY.
- Review the checking account options. Most have a fee unless you are a student or deposit at least $1500. (Monthly fee will drop your “free money” down to ~$220, but its still free money)
- In my opinion, just be up front and honest with whomever is helping you set-up the account. You want the free money. Please no debit card, no credit card, no savings account, no investment strategist.
- Deposit the $250 right away to start the count on your 45-day timeline.
- After 45 days check your account balance. (Should now be $500, unless you have a maintenance fee)
- Go back to a 5/3 branch and close your account. Do not just withdraw the money, they will continue to charge your account a maintenance fee.
- Enjoy your 100% (or near 100%) return on investment.
- If you are able and choose to deposit $1,500 to avoid the maintenance fee this makes the return on investment more like 16.7%. Either way it is a free $250.
- Part of the account manager’s job is to get you to sign up for account frills. Stay confident in just opening the checking account to avoid fees and potentially hurting your credit score by opening an unused credit card.
- This only works if you have not had a 5/3 account within the last 12 months.
That’s it! This offer in particular has worked for myself and another family member. In the past I have had success with similar offers from Chase Bank and Huntington Bank. The key for me is to avoid direct deposit and opening credit cards.
The whole promotion is designed to get customers in the door and eventually offer other services like loans, credit cards, investments, etc. Many of these offers do have fine print stating you need to open with XXXXX amount of money, direct deposit, or that you will need to keep the account open for at least six months. This particular offer does not seem to follow this pattern and you can make some bonus cash in just a couple months time. I hope this was in someway helpful. Keep your eyes peeled for offers such as this and check the fine print.
Sometimes the deal is not too good to be true. Peace.