250$ Birthday Present from Wells Fargo.

A Wells Fargo offer coincides perfectly with my son’s 18th birthday.  Part of setting up JumpStart Jr.’s finances includes opening accounts and establishing relationships with banks.  Hopefully these relationships will lead to a high credit score and let him take advantage of their bonus offers on various financial products.  Earning credit card bonuses might be tough without a credit record, but using cash to open a checking account shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.  This deal expires Feb 17,2017.

The terms require opening a new account and making 10 debits from that account to get 250$ 45 days later.  Sounds simple enough.  Wells Fargo has different versions of checking accounts and “Everyday Checking” and “Student Checking” are eligible but teen checking is not.  “Student Checking” does allow 17 year olds.

There are a few fees to avoid, and I hate paying banking fees, unless I am getting a great benefit in exchange.  Wells Fargo charges 10 bucks per month unless you jump through one of the following hoops.

The Wells Fargo Everyday Checking account has a monthly service fee of $10. The monthly service fee can be avoided with any one of the following each fee period: maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance; $500 or more in total qualifying direct deposits; 10 or more posted debit card purchases/payments from this checking account (this includes posted debit card purchases or posted debit card payments of bills from this checking account, but does not include transactions at the ATM); or linked to a Wells Fargo Campus ATM or Campus Debit Card. You also receive a $5 monthly service fee discount off the $10 monthly service fee when the primary account owner is 17 through 24 years of age.

Hoop choice #1.  Direct deposit.  It is a real pain to switch my work direct deposit around.  I have done it before to take advantage of offers, but I don’t feel like doing it again, and mixing my finances with my son’s.  I doubt his small restaurant employer does direct deposit, and don’t think he’ll consistently get 500$ pay checks.  This offer is out for us.

Hoop choice #2.  Use your debit card 10 times per month. You could actually get in the habit of using Wells Fargo for all your banking needs. There are methods to make this happen.  You could set up small auto deposits to Amazon for example.

Hoop choice #3.  Maintain a minimum balance of 1500$ in the account.  JumpStart Jr. doesn’t have 1500$ so it will not be done with his money.  I could loan him 1500$ or 1600$ in order to do the 10 debits to qualify for the bonus.

Hoop choice #4.  College linked ATM card.  List of available colleges is here.  I don’t really understand the details on this one, and VCU is the only Virginia school. Therefor JumpStart Jr. isn’t going with choice #4.

No hoops choice #5.  Consider the 10$ monthly charge against the bonus.  Instead of 250$, you get 200$ after 5 months of fees.

More complicated extra hoops choice #6.  Sometimes credit cards will loan money with low interest no fee.  Be careful, most of the time there is either interest or a fee.  If one of these offers is found, borrow money for free and place it in the bank account for 6 months, then close the bank account, earn 250$, and pay back the credit card.  Last year Discover gave bonuses for new savings if you deposited 15,000$.  I borrowed 15k$ from the USAA credit card offer, opened a Discover account and earned 350$, transferred the money and opened a discover account for my wife earning another 350$, let the money sit and earn 1% for 3 months, then cashed out and payed off the USAA credit card.  Both discover savings accounts are currently sitting with 25$ in fee free accounts, and we are up over 700$.

Thanks to Miles to Memories for sharing the deal.  My wife and I could also open accounts to earn another 500$. I hate don’t care for Wells Fargo as I explained in this post.  We already have eight saving or checking accounts and some have similar minimum balance requirements, so we will pass on this offer, but it will be a good starter account for JumpStart Jr.

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