Easy $500 return on a $2,500 investment

I am always looking for easy ways to make money that doesn’t require a lot of effort. One opportunity that I decided to explore this year is checking and/or savings account churning. This is where you open a checking or savings account for the sign-up bonus. I’ve heard of people earning enough in one year to fully fund their IRA account, so I thought it was worth looking into.

One of the things that you want to be careful about with account churning are the terms and conditions. Some banks have so many requirements (like a high minimum amount you have to maintain in your account, direct deposit, a certain number of transactions, etc.) that it’s not worth the sign-up bonus.

For my first foray into the world of account churning, I decided to open an account with Chase for their $500 bonus. Their current offer has very minimal requirements to obtain the bonus and the bonus equates to an annualized rate of return of 44% if you look at it as an investment since the minimum amount of money that you have to maintain in the account, $2,500, only has to be kept in that account for 6 months. 

This is a far higher return than you can get from any CDs, or even the stock market at the moment, and it’s a guaranteed return that is FDIC insured.

To get the $500 bonus, all you have to do is:

1. Open a new Business Checking account (I consider my rental properties to be my business–if you have an Etsy business, eBay business, or any side hustles–those should work, too). 

2. Deposit a total of $2,500 or more in new money into your new checking account within 20 days of account opening. 

3. Maintain at least $2,500 balance for 60 days from the date of deposit. The new money cannot be funds held by your business at Chase or its affiliates. 

4. Complete 5 qualifying transactions within 60 days—debit card purchases, Chase QuickDepositSM, ACH (Credits), wires (Credits and Debits), and 

5. Keep the account open for at least 6 months, or Chase will deduct the bonus amount for that account at closing.

To get the offer, I first signed up for the special $500 bonus (the current offer on http://www.chase.com is only $300) through this link: https://accounts.chase.com/consumer/business/online/500checking?jp_aid_a=54495 (This is NOT an affiliate link–I have no affiliation with Chase.) This offer expires on April 16, 2020. 

Chase then sent me an email with a code that I printed out and took to a branch to open an account with a personal banker. The personal banker asked me a few questions about my business (what is the name of the business, is it a sole proprietor/LLC/Corp, does it have a store front, will I be accepting credit card payments, etc.). It was all very easy and straightforward. I deposited a little more than $2,500 into my new account (I would suggest depositing maybe $3,000 if you plan to meet requirement #4 above by completing 5 debit card purchases).

After you have completed all the above checking requirements, Chase will deposit the bonus in your new account within 10 business days. You can receive only one new business checking account opening related bonus every two years from the last enrollment date and only one bonus per account. Bonuses are considered interest and may be reported on IRS Form 1099-INT (or Form 1042-S, if applicable).

Note: Chase Total Business Checking ® has no Monthly Service Fee when you maintain a daily minimum balance of $1,500 or more or if you maintain a linked Chase Private Client CheckingSM or ChaseSapphireSM Checking personal account. Otherwise a $15 Monthly Service Fee will apply ($12 Monthly Service Fee when enrolled in Paperless Statements). 

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