Thrifty Thursday: Earn money when you open a banking account

Right now there are a lot of banks that are looking for your business and they are offering promotions where you can earn money for opening an account. Here are a few that I am aware of, so I thought I would share (if you are aware of other offers, please feel free to share). The offers are in alphabetical order, not order of “preference.” All of these offers are ones that I have tried personally or that I have heard about through a creditable source (the only one I have not personally done is the TCF bank one).

Bank of America – (This offer is valid through 2/27/09) Open a new personal checking account and receive $50. To receive your $50, apply online or go to your nearest banking center. Use offer code AOU261208. Offer does not apply to second or multiple checking accounts and/or existing checking customers. Student checking accounts are not eligible for this offer. Bank of America associates are not eligible for this offer. The minimum deposit required to open a new, personal checking account and receive the $50 offer is $100. The deposit of $50 will be deposited directly into your new account. If they are unable to deposit the money, a check will be issued as a replacement. The money will be issued within 90 days of opening your account. Limit one check per household. To see all of the details of this offer, click here.

Citibank – get up to $225 in gift cards when you open Citibank checking and other qualifying accounts. Get 10,000 Thank You Points, which is redeemable for $100 merchant gift cards when you apply, get approved for, and make $100 in purchases during the first three months. Get 3,500 ThankYou Points, which is redeemable for a $25 merchant gift card when you open a Money Market account. Get 10,000 Thank you Points, which is redeemable for a $100 merchant gift card when you apply, get approved for, and make $100 in purchases within three months using a Citi credit card. You can access the details for this promotion here.

ING Orange Savings Account – Earn $25 when you are referred by a friend and you open an account with at least $250. ING is my favorite place for savings. I opened my first account there almost five years ago. I have opened an account for each of my children when they were born (with the referral bonus, of course!). I love it because you can easily create and link “sub accounts” so if you like to save for things such as vacations, Christmas, or auto registration/maintenance/repairs, (these are just a few of the things that we like to save for) you can have separate accounts but easily access them all from one place. The account is “electronic” so it makes it a little bit more difficult to access your savings, but it also helps to prevent impulse spending. You can link it to your accounts at a regular (“brick and mortar”) bank, and transfer money back and forth. (If you’d like a referral to start your own account, you can e-mail me using the address in the upper left hand corner of the blog.)

ING Electric Orange Checking account – Get a $50 bonus when you open an ING Electric Orange checking account. I’ll admit it. I originally opened this account just for the $50 bonus. I wasn’t sure what the benefit of having a checking account that was mainly “electronic” would be. Once I opened my account, I quickly grew to love it. When you open your account, they will send you an ATM/debit card. In my previous post, I mentioned that if you have an ING savings account, it’s a little bit more difficult to access the money. If you have the Electric Orange Checking account, you can instantly transfer money from an ING savings account to the Electric Orange Checking account and use your ATM/debit card to withdraw it (of course, if your purpose in opening the ING savings account was to make it harder to access your savings and avoid impulse purchases, this kind of defeats the purpose!). I keep our Christmas savings at ING, and I opened my checking account shortly before Christmas. I was able to transfer the money from my Christmas fund to the checking account and use the debit card to pay for all of my Christmas purchases. It still kept the money separate from the money in our regular checking account, but it also kept me from overspending! If you’d like to open your own Electric Orange checking account, here are the details:

1. Visit the ING website here
2. Click ‘Apply Now’
3. Open your Electric Orange
4. Activate your Electric Orange MasterCard® Debit Card
5. Use your Electric Orange Card to make at least 3 signature-based purchases in the first 45 days after your account has been opened
6. Your $50 bonus will be automatically deposited into your Electric Orange 50 days after your account has been opened (I applied my $50 bonus toward my savings!) – Get a $50 bonus for opening your account and making your first trade. I read about this on Misty’s blog. I had actually received e-mails from Sharebuilder (since I currently have an ING account) previously, but I just didn’t “get” it and was too scared to try it out. I went ahead and took the plunge. If you’re like me and you don’t quite “get” this stuff (Misty had to walk me through it – thanks for the help!), here’s some step by step instructions:

1. Click here to open your account
2. Under the first section, which says “Account Type” you will see a box that says, “Promotion Code.” Enter one of the following promotion codes into the box: (there will be a “default” code there that will give you $25, but you want $50!….don’t forget to change this)
3. Follow the steps for setting up an account
4. When it asks you to select a pricing program, click on “Basic Program.”
5. Go to your account. Click on “Automatic Investing” and then click on “Manage Plan.”
6. I chose “Create your own Automatic Investment Plan.” (There is a tool that will help you set up your investments, but you have to make a minimum investment of $50, which I didn’t want to do). I chose a stock that was less than $1. You do have to initially invest $5 because you have to cover the commission on the trade, which is $4.
7. For investment frequency, choose ‘one time.’
8. Add an account for the withdrawal and you’re done! You will be notified before the trade takes place.
9. You will receive your money 4-6 weeks after your qualifying trade!

TCF Bank – Get $50 in free groceries when you open a new checking account online or at a TCF Bank Location. Once your account is open and funded, you will receive a $50 grocery card (via mail if you open the account online or on the spot if you open it at a bank location). The offer is available only to individuals and small businesses without a TCF checking account in the past 90 days. There is a $25 minimum to open a TCF Totally Free Checking ACcount. Limit one card per customer. Please allow up to 4 weeks for grocery card delivery if you open your account online. You can access the details here. I heard about this deal from one of my NBBC friends (unfortunately, I can’t remember who the original poster of the deal was to give them credit, so if you’re reading, and it was you, feel free to share and thanks so much!)


  1. The only code that worked for me was GIFT50. The others ones said expired.

  2. Thanks for letting me know! They must have expired at the end of January! I’m updating my post now!

  3. Hi Melissa,

    I’m glad you found my blog and I yours! Thanks for linking to me, I’m glad i could help. And how do you find out about all these? I’m heading over to right now! Thanks again

  4. Hey Melissa,

    I did the bank of america account thing awhile ago, with $100 deposit, and still never got my $50! Do you know what I should do?

  5. disregard!! it wasn’t on my most recent statement, but i signed online and they just posted it đŸ™‚

    Also, i’m sorry I didn’t email about the freezer swap!! my daughter was in hospital and we’ve all been sick! I would definitely like the information, I have a few friend who want to get in one. Could I get the starter’s email address so I can ask her some questions? đŸ™‚ Thanks

  6. did you ever get your bonus? i just spoke with a rep. today and that promo code was only available to people that got it in the mail and then mailed something back to them. he was able to offer me a few free trades but no $50 bonus for me.

  7. Which account are you talking about? I got the Bank of America money and I know of others who got it as well. I also got the $50 from ING (for opening a checking). I opened a checking account for my dh at ING also and he got the $50 as well.