It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that banks are constantly looking for new ways to expand their business. Whether it’s through offering incentives to new customers, rock-bottom mortgage rates or investment advice, they use a variety of methods to gain new customers. Banking is competitive and they are constantly trying to gain new customers (and market share).
One of the ways banks gain new customers is through offering signup incentives for new customers. The incentives can range in value from a $25 iTunes gift card to an iPad mini. Their goal is to win over customers through their superior service. I find this a bit ironic because in my experience all big banks are essentially the same in terms of customer service.
The Easy Way to Earn Cash
Through a recent promotion at our local bank we were able to get about $900 in sign up bonuses. ATB Financial is offering $350 to anyone who signs up for a new chequing account. The customer must have either an automatic payroll deposit or 2 preauthorized payments (such as utility bills, cell phone bills, cable bills) linked to their account.
The other catch is that the customer needs to sign up for a chequing account that has bank fees. Since I don’t pay bank fees I made sure I had the minimum balance so the bank fees can be waived. This ensures I’ll keep my costs as low as possible (and my rate or return even higher).
Once I signed up for my account I made sure to refer my wife, who also has a new chequing account. In the process of referring her I earned $150. I also did this for a friend as well, so I’ll earn about $900 for simply moving my banking around.
How Signup Incentives Work
The incentives are almost always for new chequing accounts that involve either a monthly automatic payroll deposit or two preauthorized payments.
I am always a bit hesitant when it comes to these offers because it can be a big hassle to move payments around from bank to bank.
I decided to give it a shot with ATB’s latest offer and was pleasantly surprised. The entire process took about an hour and was much easier than I thought.
Read the Fine Print
When taking advantage of a banking offer you’ll want to make sure you read the fine print. Some offers require you to keep the account open for a minimum period of time (ie. one year) and if it’s closed early there can be fees involved. I’ve even seen one bank stipulate that if the account is closed within one year they reserve the right to bill the customer for the amount of the incentive, in this case an iPad mini worth $330.
Other incentives involve maintaining a minimum balance, and if the minimum balance isn’t maintained the bank fees can start to kick in.
Whatever the offer is, you’ll want to make sure you’ve read all the fine print and base your strategy around that. The incentives are available for new customers and come up periodically but the hidden fees can easily wipe away any rewards obtained by signing up.
ATB’s latest $350 signup bonus is the best I have seen in a while. If you’re interested in this offer, click here to find out more. You need to open an account by May 31/15 so there is still time. If you want to get even more cash, use my name as a referral (contact me here) and we can split the referral fee of $150 so you’ll get $425 for signing up. (Unfortunately, this offer is only open to those in Alberta since you need to go to an ATB branch to open an account).
RBC is currently offering an iPad mini for all new customers, and this offer ends June 15/15. Click here for more information. I should mention this one seems full of fine print and you’ll need to keep the account open for at least one year.
TD Canada Trust is currently offering a Samsung Tablet to anyone who signs up for a new account and this offer ends July 31/15. Click here for more information.
Conclusion: banking signups can offer some lucrative incentives, and it’s a good idea to read the fine print for each one so you know if there are any fees involved. The latest offer from ATB will net me about $900 – not bad for about an hour’s worth of work.