Santander Bank Extra20 Checking: $20/Month for Free

Santander Bank Extra20 Checking

I love free money.  You probably hear that from a lot of people but I don’t think any of them mean it as much as I do.  I really love free money.  So when an opportunity like this comes up for a recurring $20 a month for about 15-30 minutes of work, I’m all in(hat tip to TFB).

There are lots of ways to get free money these days: doing online surveys, reviewing products, etc.  But all of these methods require a lot of time and don’t pay very much.  I like jobs and deals that require minimal effort but have a decent reward at the end of the road.  This deal is the perfect example.

Most people are too lazy to follow through with a deal like this since it requires a little research, an online application and setting up some bill pay/direct deposits.  But if you’ve done this as long as I have, the whole process can be completed in just under an hour.

Here’s the deal:

1.  Open the extra20 checking and savings account with Santander Bank.

Opening the accounts is pretty straightforward.  Just fill out the online application and fund your account.  I funded my account with my credit card and was able to deposit $500 for free.  This was a nice bonus since I need to spend a lot of money to hit the spending requirement on my latest card.  (Note: I was charged a cash advance fee of $25 and interest of $2.80 by Citi for using my credit card.  I forgot that Citi has this weird policy where they code all transactions with financial institutions as cash advances – YMMV on this part.  Either way, I called Citi and they waived the fee for me.)

You will also have to upload two forms of ID to their website(you can do this right after you submit your application).  There is no hard inquiry for opening a credit/savings account with Santander but you will need to provide your social security number and answer some verification questions.

About a week later, you’ll get your user ID in the mail and a signature form.  Sign the form and send it back in.  A few days later you’ll get your temporary password in the mail – be patient.  By the way, once you get your User ID/account number go ahead and add Santander Bank as a transfer partner so that the verification deposits will be there waiting for you when you first log in with Santander.

2.  Make direct deposit(s) totaling $1,500 or more in each statement period.

Not everyone knows that an ACH push from most banks actually counts as a direct deposit.  The ACH system doesn’t have a way of differentiating ACH pushes from a bank from a direct deposit from an employer.  So go into your bank account(whether it’s Ally, Chase, etc) and set up a recurring transfer of $1,500 to your Santander bank account.  Santander’s routing number is 231372691.

3.  Use Bill Pay to pay two bills each month.

First, you need to add a biller under “Add a company or person to pay”.  Then you go to manage my bills, select the biller and then “Add an automatic payment”.  You can pay the same person or company twice as long as the payments are on a different day.

4.  Receive $20 a month into the savings account at the end of each statement.

There’s no minimum account balance so you can make the process fully automatic by setting up a transfer out.  Initiate a recurring transfer from Santander bank back to your original bank account(Ally, Chase, etc) in the amount of $1,500 and at the end of your statement your balance will be $0.

If you plan on paying two bills of $10 each, set up your direct deposit for $1,520.  The $20 bonus is deposited into your savings account, not checking so you can just let the free money build up or withdraw it once in a while.  I’ll probably do the former so that I can see the fruit of my labor and withdraw it all at once if this program ever ends.

This deal isn’t as lucrative as some of the other credit card offers out there(like the Barclay Arrival Card) but there’s no credit inquiry and you get a recurring monthly payment of $20.  This program will probably come to an end if too many people sign on, but might as well take advantage of it while it’s available.

Disclosure: I have no financial relation with Santander Bank other than the fact that they pay me $20/mo for holding a checking and savings account with them.  I do get a small referral fee though if you use my Barclay’s link :)

Readers, what do you think about this new program by Santander Bank?  Is there an easier way to make $20/month indefinitely?

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-Harry @ PF Pro

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Hi, I'm Harry, the owner and head writer for Your PF Pro. I started this site back in 2011 in order to create a place where young professionals could come and get all of their financial questions answered. On the site, you'll find articles on everything from asset allocation for retirement to saving money at Chipotle! So enjoy..

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  1. says

    We have Santander bank branches here in NYC. They’re a Spanish bank so I think they’re trying things like this to get a bigger US market share.

    I got $150 from Flushing Bank (local NYC bank) after doing 6 debit card trasactions and 6 bill pays in a 90 day period after opening the bank. That was a huge motivation to get an account with them!
    Tara @ Streets Ahead Living recently posted…Are we bad at math or are we in a self-fulfilling prophecy?My Profile

    • says

      Yes it’s pronounced San-tan- dar – ay I think haha. There are a lot of these little checking bonuses popping up – seen a few on slickdeals the past few weeks. I like this one b/c it pays you indefinitely where as the other ones only pay you one time. My Citi deal that I mentioned in the comment above is still paying me 1,050 pts a month(month 12 right now).

      Still $150 for less than an hour’s worth of work is fine by me. No credit check though for most of these deals but the money is taxed :(

  2. says

    Just a quick note on what counts as a direct deposit, not all ACH pushes will work anymore as they are trying to cut down on this. For example, Alliant ACH push no longer works. The following will work though:

    Chase, Discover, Ally & American Express Serve. If anybody else has any other data points let me know!
    William Charles recently posted…How Much Does A FICO Score Cost A Lender?My Profile

      • says

        Each bank is different when it comes to what they do and don’t accept as a direct deposit. Some banks actively close down methods (e.g Chase) whilst other banks will allow pretty much anything.

        Somebody reported Alliant not working with Santander anymore on FatWallet. I’ve compiled a list of what does and doesn’t count for the different banks on my site which might be some value to your readers.

        I’ve already made $700 from bank account sign up bonuses this year!
        William Charles recently posted…How Much Does A FICO Score Cost A Lender?My Profile

        • says

          Gotcha. For the banking deals that only require a single DD(no min. amount) I will send over a couple bank pushes(ie Ally and Chase) just to be sure. But with deals like this, where they have a $1,500 min. DD, I’ll take the time to figure out which banks count as a DD. I think I did the research for this deal via TFB’s post that I linked to at the beginning of the article.

          $700 is a nice score, congrats my man. Although most of these banking deals don’t require a credit check, the bonuses are taxable which for me reduces their value by about 40%. So I usually only do a couple banking bonuses and try to focus on the credit card sign up bonuses.

          Just did the 100k AA offer and that will net me a few thousand :) tax free too!

          • says

            Actually all bank account bonuses are taxable, they are treated as interest by the IRS. Some banks won’t sent you a 1099 form, but legally you are still required to report it to the IRS and pay taxes on it.

            Yeah, credit card bonuses are definitely where the real money is – but bank account bonuses give me a nice little earner in between applications and give some spending money for frivolous purchases.
            William Charles recently posted…How Much Does A FICO Score Cost A Lender?My Profile

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