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