Are you the kind of person who searches far and wide for the best bank account for bonuses?Â The type who says, “Wow, a $50 bonus, just for opening an account! How can I resist?”Â This is not an uncommon practice, but sometimes it can yield unwanted results.
It is no secret that banks, credit unions and brokerage firms are always looking for new customers.Â In the search for these customers, many of these institutions are more than willing to fork over a bonus for new accounts.Â Some are generated by referrals from their existing customers, in which both the referring customer and the new one both receive a bonus.Â Others can be acquired from opening the account online, or using coupons, not unlike the ones used at retailers.Â Whatever the case, “account jumping” usually ends in one of two ways:
The bonuses are collected, and the customer is happy.
Unfortunately, much of the time this outcome is not the result.Â If a customer is trying to take advantage of multiple deals (as many do), organization is the key.
Keep detailed records of the accounts you have opened and what is required to get the bonus.Â
Read the fine print of the bonus.Â Often times, a minimum balance is required and has to be maintained for a length of time in order to collect the offer.Â
Use one account as your primary. Too many open checking or savings accounts are far too much to manage if there is constantly money coming into or going out of them.
The customer does not get the bonus and is unhappy.
Mistakes in any of the above practices can result in loss of the new account bonuses.Â Overdrafts are common among bank jumpers, and institutions count on this. Overdraft fees account for approximately 30% of profits for most banks.Â Usually, the more desperate and anxious to open an account a customer is, the more money the bank makes from said customer.Â These customers, anxious to take advantage of the “free money” offer, usually will not read the specifics of the deal, and not only do they miss out on the bonus, but often end up owing the bank.
Failure to pay is also a common occurrence with institutions.Â Whether it is a neglectful associate who fails to enter your bonus, or a “system malfunction”, you may end up having to make some phone calls to customer service just to get what is due.
Weigh the choices and decide for yourself.Â Just remember, institutions want you as a customer.Â That does not mean that they want to keep up their end of the deal.Â I have seen and heard of far too many occurrences of new account bonus horror stories to become an account jumper myself.Â Feel free to comment and add any new account bonus knowledge you may have.