Recently I discovered a problem. I have too much cash on hand. Well, I should say I had too much cash on hand.
I have been tucking away money in my “Mom’s Emergency Fund” for quite some time. Telling myself I would open a bank or investment account sometime soon, I kept putting it off.
A couple of weeks ago I looked up and realized I had over $2,000 just sitting around my house!! I needed to get to the bank – pronto! And I needed to take advantage of some bank bonuses!
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Why Did I Have All this Money?
I think the one word answer is: Pandemic. A small amount of that total was already stashed away when the Pandemic started. But during the past year, I have barely gone anywhere, barely spent any money.
Dutifully, I have still gone to the bank each month to fill our budgeted cash envelopes. And dutifully, I have taken out my “play money” – the money my husband and I allow ourselves to spend however we individually like.
Since I haven’t spent much of this money, it has quickly accumulated.
What I Plan to Do with My Money
When I realized what a large total I had amassed, I got it into my head that I wanted to turn my money into some quick cash. I still don’t have a goal item in mind for a big splurge (or a small one). Although I do have dreams of a mama getaway someday!
Since I don’t really know what I want to do with my money, I don’t have a time limit on my savings. I knew I wanted to accrue interest in some sort of savings or checking account.
Want to know more about Swagbucks and MyPoints? I have a starter guide for Swagbucks and I am working on a starter guide for MyPoints. Sufficed to say, they are ways to earn rewards (cash and gift cards) for online activities. They are owned by the same parent company, so their offers are often similar or identical.
Non-Direct Deposit Bank Offers
As I began my research, I noticed the offers for banks divided themselves into two categories – offers requiring direct deposit and offers not requiring direct deposit.
I do have direct deposits to my current bank account. But they are not usually large enough to meet the requirements detailed in the fine print of the offers.
So, I will be opting into these non-direct deposit offers slowly over the next six months. If I do all the offers, I will get around $230! To find these offers on the Swagbucks website, login to your account and click on Discover.
Note: these offers are subject to change. I trust you will read the fine print on these offers before opting in to them.
A mobile banking platform with no monthly fees and debit card, Varo provides the same protection as a normal bank account. It offers a little something when you sign up. Varo also has the options to save automatically by rounding up the totals on your purchases and saving the change or automatically setting aside a percentage of your direct deposits.
Swagbucks offer: Deposit $25, get $52
MyPoints offer: Deposit $25, get $52
An app intended to help young people get out of debt, Charlie helps debtors plan to be debt-free. The app also lays aside money (for debt or for savings) based on the rules set by the user. An example given may be: “Set aside $5 each time I spend at Target.”
Swagbucks offer: Deposit $10, get $10
MyPoints offer: Deposit $10, get $22.
BBVA Online Checking
The BBVA Online Checking account promotes it is fee-free. Their website shows the various fees of other online banks for checking. This fact makes it easy to sign up for an account for a short-term in order to get a little bonus. An initial deposit of $25 is required to open a free account.
Note: the fine print of this offer warns of an automatic paper statement fee of $3 per month. You can opt out of it, but you must opt out in order to avoid the fee.
Swagbucks offer: Open an online account, deposit $25, get $50.
MyPoints offer: Open an online account, deposit $25, get $50.
Another online personal or business account without fees, Oxygen is a debit-card based banking system. Both the business account and the personal account have a cash back program attached. They also have a referral program which can net you $50 for each friend who meets the requirements of a new account up to $500 every 6 months. The friend also gets a $50 reward.
Swagbucks offer: Open an online account, deposit $20, get $30.
MyPoints offer: Open an online account, deposit $20, get $32.
Actually a bank targeting teens, MyPoints still offers real money to give Copper a try. Braces and awkward disposition are not a requirement. As I was researching their website, I discovered they offer teens rewards for learning about finances. Financial literacy and bonus money – win, win!
MyPoints offer: Open an online account, deposit $10, make one purchase get $25.
An account marketed to freelancers, Lili is a debit-card based banking option. Fee-free banking and automatic savings options are great features of this bank. They also have a referral program which can net you $50 for each friend who meets the requirements of a new account. There is a $500 lifetime cap on rewards.
Swagbucks offer: Open an online account, deposit $200, get $40.
MyPoints offer: Open an online account, deposit $200, get $32.
A bank offering a hybrid of investing, credit, and cash banking, SoFi is proving a bit hard to navigate for me. This is the one I am trying out first. I signed up for my account a few weeks ago and I still cannot figure out how to fund it. It may be my bank (a smaller, local bank). Hopefully it will work for you. Since they offer hybrid banking, there are a number of offers for SoFi within Swagbucks and MyPoints. Make sure you are opening and completing the requirements for the bonus for the type of account which works for you. Here are the details on the current offers for the basic account.
Swagbucks offer: Open an online account, deposit $100, get $25.
MyPoints offer: Open an online account, deposit $100, get $25.
Direct-Deposit Bank Offers
As I mentioned, I don’t currently have a direct deposit high enough to qualify for most of these bank offers. But if you do have a direct deposit set up for your account, these offers may be a wonderful way to make extra cash for switching your bank account.
Note: It requires work to switch not only the bank account over, but also the direct deposit. Take that into consideration when deciding if these offers are right for you.
A modern banking option, Current is offering many of the fee-free banking benefits of the other banks detailed in this list. I like the ability to automatically save and create “pods” for specific savings goals. They also offer some banking options for families with teens.
Swagbucks offer: Open an account, have a direct deposit of over $250 in the first 30 days, get $100.
MyPoints offer: Open an account, have a direct deposit of over $200 in the first 45 days, get $105.
Another fee-free debit based account, Chime also offers a Savings Account when you sign up for their Visa debit account. They also offer automatic savings options to help you save money effortlessly.
Swagbucks offer: Open an account, have a direct deposit of over $200 in the first 45 days, get $125.
MyPoints offer: Open an account, have a direct deposit of over $200 in the first 45 days, get $135.
Rakuten offer: Open an account, have a direct deposit of over $200 in the first 30 days, get $40.