Is this wise or foolish? Probably both.
I often read websites such as bargaineering.com, which regularly directs readers to bank deals, where you get a monetary bonus for opening up an account.
So far I have claimed the following bonuses, totaling $250:
Chase checking, $125, need to set up direct deposit into this account. I have $40 routed from my paycheck to this account.
ING check card, $50. I already have a ING savings account, so I applied for a debit card to take advantage of the offer.
Bank of America online checking, $75. I had to have $125 in that account and make a certain number of purchases, and have a direct deposit into the account, AND, use online banking/paperless statements. I also sold my soul on this one because I frikkin’ hate BOA.
Finally, I also have a high-yield checking account. I net 3.51 % interest if I have a direct deposit or automatic payment, use online banking, and have 10 transactions with my debit card. Bargaineering gave me the great idea of making my ten transactions be $1 donations to a charity each month, so I also can claim that as a deduction on my taxes, and avoid using the card for purchases, thus keeping its balance high. I love my high-yield checking account and transfer nearly everything into it after I am done paying my bills for the month.
I am going to keep looking for this sign-on bonus accounts. I mean, $250 is not a bad take. These accounts have no minimum and no monthly fees. While I do have to claim the $250 as income, it’s the quickest $250 I ever made.