Smart Money Moves

Are you looking for some extra cash? Would you like to earn some extra money with little to no effort? It is possible and it is not a scam. You do not have to do anything crazy or illegal. What am I talking about? I am talking about unbeatable offers from brick and mortar banks, online banks and brokerage services; offers that you can take advantage of by doing something as simple as moving some of your current savings around.

I recently stumbled upon an excellent offer from Suntrust Bank that was sitting in my junk e-mail folder. Available to new and existing account holders – I am the latter -, you could earn between $100 to $150 by doing three things: open an account (if you don’t already have one), enroll into their bill pay program, and pay at least three bills for three consecutive months. That’s all. The $150 or $100 will be deposited into your account shortly after the last transaction. Too easy!

If you are already using bill pay to pay your bills, then you know all of its conveniences and the reliability of this type of service. The only caveat that I would like to put out there, which is based on personal experience, is that when you first enroll a bill into the bill pay program you need to plug in your payment amount and look at the delivery dates so that you will know exactly how long it is going to take for your payment to reach the company. This will give you an idea of how soon you need to schedule a bill to avoid being late. Also you can schedule bill payments weeks in advance eliminating the need to remind yourself to go back in to arrange for a bill to be paid.

In addition to this, I just read about some excellent savings rates with Ally Bank which is an online bank. For the three bank accounts that I currently maintain, in the past month, I have only gone into a bank branch once. That is it. All of my transactions are electronic, my deposits are made through payroll, and I move money between banks and between accounts with just a few clicks of the mouse. Why am I telling you this? Because some of you are leery about switching to an online only bank, such as Ally, but you really should consider how much physical need you have for a brick and mortar bank. Weigh that against the difference in interest income you could receive by switching banks or moving around just a portion of your savings. Additionally, at most online banks just like brick and mortar ones, deposits up to $250,000 are FDIC insured.

What else? Don’t forget Share Builder and ING Bank. If you want to get started investing in mutual funds, exchange trade funds, stocks and bonds, look out for freebie offers from Share Builder who tends to offer credits up to $50 for opening and maintaining an account for a set period of time. ING Bank also offers you free money for opening a savings account online.

Extra money is yours for the taking. Banks are practically throwing it at all of us. Be sure to get your fair share. Take your time reading bank e-mails and mail offers. As with everything, make sure that you perform your due diligence in ensuring that offers are legitimate before you provide your personal information or agree to anything. Also don’t forget to read the fine print.

More Family Finance:

Michelle Sharrow

Michelle P. Sharrow, MBA author and editor of Family Finance, is based in Waldorf, Maryland, she holds a Masters Degree with a concentration in Finance. Michelle provides a monthly column on ways to help families maintain their finances and stick to a budget titled, Budgeting and Savings for Families.
Michelle Sharrow SharrowFamily FinanceSmart Money Moves By Michelle P. Sharrow, MBA Are you looking for some extra cash? Would you like to earn some extra money with little to no effort? It is possible and it is not a scam. You do not have to...Parenting Advice| Family Fun Activities for Kids