Introduction to Bank Bonuses

11 January 2019

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Many friends and family ask how they can make passive income outside of their normal day jobs, so I decided to consolidate all my tips and tricks into a blog. One of my favorite ways is bank bonuses, ranging from $100 - $500 apiece. Many banks offer sign up bonuses when you open a new account. Collectively, increasing your income at least $2,000 per year. I’ve created ATL Daily Deals as a beginner’s guide for all my friends and family in the Atlanta area. Below you’ll find typical questions I usually receive about Bank Bonuses.

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Does it affect your credit?

  • Most of the time your credit will not be affected. Most checking and savings accounts have their own credit reporting agency called ChexSystems. This is known as a “soft pull” on your credit, which doesn’t affect your credit score. However, typically credit unions and some banks will do a “hard pull” on your credit, such as an inquiry on Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. To avoid hard pulls on your credit, one of my favorite bloggers has compiled a list of which banks do hard pulls and which do soft pulls.

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How do I get the bonus?

  • The majority of banks require you to complete a certain number of tasks to receive the bonus. This usually includes (i) Direct deposit (ii) Debit card transactions, or (iii) Minimum balance requirements

    • For direct deposit, it’s easier than ever to update your direct deposit to any bank online through your employer via Workday, ADP, etc. Usually the fine print on the bonuses states it must be a deposit from your employer or a government benefit; however, if you do not have this luxury, most banks thankfully can’t differentiate between a simple ACH transfer and a payroll payment. Again, my favorite blogger has outlined the ACH transfers that do and do not count as direct deposit for each bank

    • Debit card transactions are the easiest requirements. Simply use your debt card for everyday transactions. Personally, I prefer to use and reload my gift card balance by various amounts ranging from $0.50-$1.00. Please note – doing 10+ $0.50 could freeze your account, so I typically do $0.50, $0.51, $0.52, etc. and have never had an issue.

    • Minimum balance is probably the most difficult for the majority of people. Banks can require keeping a minimum balance of $100 - $15,000 for a designated number of days.

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How many bank accounts can you open?

  • Personally, I’ve opened over 70 in the past 2 years, and my credit score hasn’t been impacted.

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Do I have to pay taxes on these bonuses?

  • Yes! The bonuses are treated as interest; so you should receive a 1099-INT at the end of the year.

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How can I close these accounts?

  • This varies bank by bank. I will post this information on each bank bonus.

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Credit Card Offers will also be posted on ATL Daily Deals. Note that these are hard pulls on your credit and DO affect your credit score. Credit card offers can be extremely lucrative. For example, I was able to book 2 roundtrip tickets to Italy for free with my Chase Sapphire Reserve and Preferred sign up bonuses. These offers take a lot more work and time. Because of the complexity, I have attached a beginner’s guide by Doctor of Credit.