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Month: September 2019

The Easiest $250 You Will Ever Make

Checking account bonuses are great. Some of them are greater than others, especially the ones that don’t make you jump through a million hoops and then wait three months to get them.

Enter M&T Bank. Go to this page and enter your zip code. If it says “Good news! A cash bonus promotion is available in your area,” you are about to make the easiest $250 of your life.

Open the MyChoice Plus account. When your application is approved, your account number will be displayed immediately. Write this down. I always forget to do this and then I have to message the bank to get it. Take that account number and go to your employer’s direct deposit page (hopefully you can do this online) and set up $500 to go into your new M&T bank for your next paycheck.

With 2-3 days of your next paycheck, you will receive a $250 bonus in your M&T account. Check out how simple this is below. From application start to bonus in the account: 11 days.

The one caveat: you cannot close the account immediately after getting the bonus unless you want to pay a $50 early termination fee. To avoid this fee, you need to keep the account open for 6 months. There’s also a $15 monthly fee on the MyChoice Plus account. So here’s what you do: message M&T bank online and tell them to downgrade your account to Classic Checking. Classic has a $5 monthly fee, but it’s waived with just one direct deposit a month. So set up you work DD to deposit $1 each pay period into your M&T account. Set a note on your calendar for six months. Transfer the $12 in your M&T account to another checking account. Once your balance is at $0, message M&T and ask them to close the account.

Rinse and repeat a year later. Yup, you can get this bonus every year. To play it safe, I would say apply again 13 months after you received the last bonus into your account.

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The 5 Best Credit Card Reward Offers Available Now

If you are going to play the credit card points game, you should be getting new cards every few months. I have been approved for four cards (from four different banks) in a single day numerous times. Yes, you do have to hit a minimum spend within a certain period of time to get bonuses, but even taking that into consideration, I’d say if you play the game smart, for every a hour of work/research you put into it, you can obtain points and miles worth thousands.

I’ve said it before, but I will keep saying it: opening new credit cards will not hurt your credit score. I currently have 14 credit cards. I closed 3 others recently and my credit score is 775. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at the five best signup bonuses out there right now for personal credit cards.

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

This card offers 125,000 Hilton Honors points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months after opening the account. Now, if you never stay at Hiltons or are just partial to another hotel chain, you should skip this one. But there are Hiltons all over the world so I like to keep a decent balance of HH points, which I value at about a half-cent each.

Of course the value does depend largely on where you travel to. 125,000 points won’t even get you two nights at most Hiltons in New York City. But they can get you four free nights at several hotels near Disney World in Orlando. There is a $95 annual fee for this card that is not waived the first year so I put the cash value of this bonus around $500. Apply here.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

This card gives you 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. Those points are worth $750 toward travel if you redeem them through the Chase travel portal, but the major value is in transferring them to airline and hotel programs (especially British Airways to book American flights and to Hyatt for hotels). There’s a $95 annual fee so this bonus is worth at least $655 and potentially over $1,000 if transferred to FF programs. Apply here.

Chase World Of Hyatt Card 

I’ve had this card for 10 years and I gladly pay the annual $95 fee each year. More on that in a minute, but the offer on this card is 25,000 Hyatt points after spending $3,000 in the first three months and another 25,000 points after a total of $6,000 in spending in the first six months. Hyatt doesn’t have the huge footprint that Hilton does, but the points go so much further.

I value them at 2 cents each so you are looking at about $900 in value with this bonus factoring in the annual fee. Each year you pay that fee, you get a free night in a category 1-4 hotel. The hotel below is an example of a category 4. Look at that cash price. We also love staying at Hyatt Places because you get a decent free breakfast. Get this card and keep it forever. Apply here. 

Hyatt Place Long Island City / New York City

Hyatt Place Long Island City / New York City
27-03 43rd Ave.
from 12,000 Points/Night
$312 Avg/Night (USD)
This card gets you 50,000 once you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months from account opening. You can redeem those points for statement credits worth $500 toward any purchases in the travel category. You can also transfer the points to various FF programs, but I’ve never done this myself with Capital One so I’ll just say this bonus is worth $500 and potentially a bit more. The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year. Apply here. 
Another fairly straightforward bonus. Spend $4K in the first 3 months and get 60,000 Thank You points, good for $750 toward flights through thankyou.com. If you don’t travel much, you can cash out the points for $600 worth of gift cards. There’s an annual fee of $95 that isn’t waived. Apply here. 
If you have a credit score above 700, it’s quite likely you could apply for 4 of these 5 cards in one day (you won’t get two Chases in one day) and be approved for all four. Of course, that would mean you would have be able to put a ton of spending on those cards within a few months to get the bonuses, but it can certainly be done with some manufactured spending (more on what that is here).

 

 

 

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