Over the last few months, I have been taking advantage of various banking promotions to generate a little extra income. I signed up for new accounts and got $50 from ING checking, $50 from ShareBuilder, and $150 from Chase checking. Last week I received a mailer from Banner Bank with another $50 new account promo. Previously, I ignored these mailers and just stuck with my credit union, but this year, I’m taking full advantage of any promotions I can find.
The only downside to these new account promos is that I will have to keep track of them. I have 4 checking accounts now and do I really need another one? However, $50 is a great bonus in this low interest environment. My ING savings account is paying out only 0.8% interest at this time. That’s only $32.50/month with our $50,000 emergency fund. My Credit union saving account pays out even worse at 0.2% interest. At this rate, it’s better off to scatter the cash and earn some new account bonuses. I used to think $50 is peanuts and it wouldn’t make much difference to our finances, but when the cash flow is tight, $50 does make a difference between a positive and a negative month.
Bank new account promotions
The Banner Bank promo sounds good to me because I only have to deposit $50 to receive the $50 bonus. After a few months, I’ll close the account and transfer the money back. I don’t think opening a new checking account is a big deal. It doesn’t impact our credit scores so there shouldn’t be any adverse side effects.
Credit cards new account bonus
On the other hand, applying for a new credit card can lower your credit score especially the store cards. At this time I am still ignoring credit card promotion offers, but I’m starting to waver. I’m really tempted by some offers since we are planning to travel to Denver in September for the 2012 Financial Blogger Conference and haven’t purchase the flight tickets yet. The reward would go a long way toward paying for the trip.
What about you? Do you ignore the new account promotions like I used to do or do you take advantage of them? Are there any good promos that you have taken advantage of lately? Don’t hesitate to share. 😉
Disclosure: I’ll receive a commission if you sign up through the link above.