Last week I picked up a $400 cash bonus for opening up Chase Bank Accounts. No joke. Here’s how I did it and how you can as well. If you’ve never had a checking or savings account with Chase (credit cards are okay) then you’re probably eligible for one of their current promotions. Right now Chase is offering a cash bonus to new customers who open up either a checking or savings, or both, and keep certain benchmarks.
Here’s an offer for $150 for opening up a checking account and setting up direct deposit by October 15th. Much like credit cards however, sometimes there are different offers all running during the same time. One website link might offer $100 while another might offer $125. One might require a minimum balance while one may not. Banks and credit cards do this to see which is appealing and which links are bringing them business.
When I logged into my Chase credit card portal for example, I saw an offer for $200 for opening up an account and keeping to the set off standards. I did some digging and found that there were even better offers out there, albeit expiring one after the other and requiring specific codes or coupons. There was even a group of financial bloggers advocating checking out ebay to purchase one of the coupon codes, in case I didn’t have the most lucrative one. I headed over to Ebay and found what seemed to be some good options. There were two things I was looking for. 1) The highest bonus 2) A waiver from the direct deposit requirement Most of the promotions I’d seen required a direct deposit, and were in the $150-$200 range. However one of the promo cards I found on Ebay had no direct deposit requirement and went as high as $200 each. If I opened both a checking account and savings account, I’d be able to grab $400 in cash bonuses! I decided to take a chance and for $19 I made the purchase. I hashed out the details with the seller and four days later my package had arrived.
Instead of direct deposit, the checking account required me to keep a balance of $1,500.
For the savings account, I was required to keep a balance of $15,000.
For both, I’d receive the $200 bonus within 10 business days, but I have to fulfill the terms for at least 90 days. If I go below the requirements within three months, Chase is able to take the bonus back. I got my card and was at the bank within 20 minutes opening up the two accounts.
I decided to write checks from another account to fund the Chase accounts. 20 minutes after that I’d arrived, I had all the paperwork I needed, receipts in hand, and everything I needed. For just $19, a few minutes of my time, and the ability to move some money around, I’d picked up $400 in free bonus cash! $1,500 to fund the checking account and $15,000 to fund the savings account may be beyond most people’s level of ability or comfort, but it does negate the requirement to set up direct deposit.
Check the Different Bonuses
If you’re thinking of searching for one of these higher promo codes on ebay, make sure you read through the details of every single offer. Some cards are $200 total, while some are $200 per account. Some require direct deposit and for other’s it’s just an option. The best offers I was able to find were free promo codes online for a $150 bonus. And actually when I came in to open the account, one of the tellers offered me a $100 promo card. So $100 might be the default they offer for those unaware of promotions, while $150 or so might be the offer for those who do an internet search via Chase. With $400 on the table though, it was well worth spending $19 to purchase it. A $381 bonus sounds pretty great to me.
For me, I have a relationship with Chase through their credit cards so I was happy to open accounts with them. And the fact that I’m grabbing $400 in FREE bonuses, makes it even better. Minus the ebay cost, I plan on using my $400 as spending cash for my Free Cruise Challenge. Some places require physical cash, whether it’s a taxi driver or local island shop, so I knew that would be my biggest challenge to getting a 100% free cruise, including travel to/from, extra shopping, any gambling I wanted to do at the casino, etc.
Depending on the amount of the bonus for opening up a checking account, the IRS traditionally treats this the same as interest earned in a bank account. That means exactly what you think it means; that you’re required to pay taxes on it. Blech… The bank may send you a 1099-INT form for the year you receive the bonus in, however you’re responsible for reporting it even if you don’t receive the form. I am not an accountant or tax attorney, so consult one if you want a professional opinion.
Attention any IRS agents who read my blog. First, hey thanks for reading, that means a lot! Second, I fully intend to properly file my taxes and declare this as taxable income as reported by law. For me, the hassle of losing about a quarter of my bonus is well worth not having to worry about the IRS surprising me with a letter many months or years from now.
Do you think you might check out the Chase bonus options for opening an account? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.