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Banks Giving Away Free Cash

March 30, 2009

By Clark Schultz | Money Rates Columnist

Banks spend money to find new customers. They buy advertise through print publications, on radio, on TV, online, and through the mail to try and bring in new customers and new deposits to their bank. These are the obvious ways a bank will promote their products and rates. Under the radar is another effective tool that some banks are using. Offering free gifts, including cash bonuses, can be an effective way for banks to entice customers to open new accounts. The interesting part about some of these programs is that they cannot be found easily (or at all) on the websites of the very banks offering the deal. You have to use a site like MoneyRates.com to find details of the offer and in some cases to receive a special offer code or link to cash-in on the offer.

 

Checking Account Offers
Finding a bank deal for your checking account is a great idea. If you keep your balances very low in your checking account, finding the best rates may not be your number one priority. Finding a bank that will give you a free $25, a free $50, or even a free $100, may be a better deal than worrying about the difference in interest earned between a 1.25% rate and a 0.50% rate. For instance, Sterling Savings Bank will pay a $101 bonus for signing up for a new checking account and using at least three of their checking account features. Sterling Savings Bank has branches in nine states, but the checking account can be opened online. Many of the cash offers, like the one from Sterling Savings Bank, are contingent on using online banking services, check cards, or direct deposit. Find a checking account offer that makes the most sense for your banking needs and activities.

 

Savings Account Offers
An online bank savings account is simpler than a checking account. Park the money in the account and let the interest compound. Regulatory limits of six preauthorized transfers apply to savings accounts, but most online banks do not charge monthly maintenance fees on their savings accounts. Savings account sign-up bonuses are available from a number of banks including one today from Capital One Bank. The offer from Capital One is a $50 bonus on any new savings account opened up with at least $10,000. To earn the $50 bonus a depositor must keep at least $10,000 in their account until May 8, 2009. After that a savvy person could go find the next savings account deal and another cash bonus. And then another cash bonus. You get the idea.

 

Other Bank Offers
If the cash offers are not enough to get you excited about opening a new bank account, banks are also giving away frequent flier miles, iPods, and gift cards. Bank customer will pay taxes on the value of any gifts that they receive, but the gifts are typically a lot nicer than the free toasters that banks of yesteryear gave away. Keep perusing the bank promotions and offers posted on MoneyRates.com to find the deal that is perfect for you.

 

FDIC Insurance
The FDIC insures bank accounts up to $250,000 per depositor. If you have concerns about a bank account that you find online, check FDIC.gov to verify details and information about the bank.

 

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