Americans are looking for relief wherever they can as inflation rages across the U.S. and the Consumer Price Index rises 7.5% in 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Dow Jones Industrial average has decreased by over 5.4% since the beginning of the year.
Maybe you’re skeptical about investing in the stock market at the moment. Perhaps you’ve been considering cryptocurrency, but the volatility gives you second thoughts. Or maybe you’ve been sitting on a savings account and don’t know how to maximize your funds.
Yet you can beat the market with no investing whatsoever.
What may come as a surprise is that banks themselves are literally giving out free money to whoever wants to claim it.
Here’s a breakdown of how to take advantage of this free money.
What Is It?
Banks want you to open new accounts with them. Similar to cell phone companies, banks often offer incentives to leave your existing bank and “switch” to their services. In the old days, they offered a free toaster or alarm clock. Now they've upped their game, with cold hard cash – if you meet their specific set of requirements to claim a new account bonus.
Often, this involves depositing a minimum amount of money into an account you set up with the new bank and keeping it there for a certain amount of time before being credited with free money. In other cases, bonuses are awarded without a required minimum balance – a simple direct deposit from an employer will get you your free money.
Why are banks offering free dough? It’s simple: banks take the deposited funds and then turn around and lend it out – at a much higher rate of return. As a result, the amount of money they reward new customers for opening an account is relatively small compared to what they are bringing back via lending or reinvesting.
Is Switching Banks Difficult?
In 2022, switching banks is easier than ever. This is because most – and in some banks’ cases, all – of the process can be done digitally, much like switching cell phone services. Essentially, you would have to follow the following steps:
- Open an account with your new bank
- Fund that new account with the minimum funds (via either digitally transferring from your old bank or physically withdrawing with cash or check), attaching your paycheck direct deposit information, or other requirements
- Close your old account, if needed
- Maintain your new account requirements for the stated time period (often 90 days)
- Receive your free money!
Often, the biggest adjustment is becoming familiar with your new bank’s mobile app, which shouldn’t take a lot of time at all. But, overall, the process is simple.
How Often Can Someone Switch Banks?
There is no limit to how often you can switch banks. As long as you keep your money in the account for the agreed-upon timeframe, nothing stops you from withdrawing that money (and the bonus!) and switching banks again, receiving another new account bonus.
Keep in mind that individual banks have their own policies to prevent abuse of this system. Chase, for example, limits any new account bonus to one per customer in a two-year span.
What Banks Are Giving Out the Most Money?
New account bonus offers change all the time, but currently, in March 2022, some of the largest banks in the U.S. have excellent offers.
Receive a $100 bonus if you receive direct deposits of $1,000 or more into a new account within the first 90 days
Receive a $225 bonus if you receive a direct deposit into a new account, no minimum deposit
Receive a $300 bonus when you deposit $15,000 into a new account within the first 20 days of account opening and maintain at least $15,000 in the account for an additional 60 days
Receive a $300 bonus if you receive direct deposits of $1,000 or more into a new account within the first 90 days
If big banks aren’t your preference, there is still free money to be found by opening accounts with smaller, regional banks and online-only banks. In many cases, these banks give out more free money than those listed above. Keep in mind that these offers change often, so make sure to head over to each bank’s website for more information and availability.
However, you may view switching banks as a hassle you do not want to go through. Although there are generous new account bonuses out there, maybe you don’t want to get accustomed to a new mobile app, or you don’t want to go through the whole money-transferring process. That’s okay!
Another excellent way to get free money is by opening a CD with LendingClub. Take advantage of one of the nation’s top rates while enjoying the freedom of no monthly fees.
Opening a 1-year CD with LendingClub makes it easy to save for your future or simply cash in on some free money. With a guaranteed 1% return on your money, every $10,000 you deposit will earn you $100 once the CD-length is complete. LendingClub makes the whole process quick and transparent – and it may be even easier than switching banks!
We get it – markets have been volatile, inflation has caused prices to skyrocket, and it may seem easier to sit back instead of investing any large sum at the moment.
There’s a silver lining here, though. Many banks literally give out free money, and it can be yours for the taking.
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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Featured image: Unsplash.