Bank bonuses are a very easy way to make extra money and this one is particularly exciting. Flag Star Direct is offering $100 to anyone who opens a free checking account with their bank.
I don’t see when this deal ends, but I would take advantage of it quickly. This is a much higher bonus than we normally see. It also appears that anyone in the United States can apply for a checking account.
Here are the specifics:
- $1 minimum opening deposit
- No fees – completely free checking
- Must set up a direct deposit within 4 months of opening the account
- $100 bonus will be added to your account within 30 days of establishing direct deposit
Tip: You can direct deposit a number of things besides your regular paycheck. I like to keep my paycheck going to my primary bank account, but for bank bonuses I use other sources of income to fund it. Try to think of other places that you get monthly income. Do you get a social security check? Insurance check? Second job income? Mystery shopping payouts? A number of the “paid-to-email” sites also offer direct deposit. I know that Fusion Cash does, because I get a nice cash-out from them on the 20th of every month.
Whenever I post a bank bonus I get emails asking me if opening a new checking account will affect your credit score. The answer is no. Banks do not pull a credit report when opening up a simple checking account. You are also free to close the account without penalty to your FICO score. I always suggest you keep an eye on your report though; start thinking about pulling your free credit score once a month just to make sure there have been no unauthorized credit inquires.
The application is pretty easy and can be done online. You can apply here.
Good luck Penny Hoarders!
UPDATE: A reader emails to let me know that while many banks simply pull a “ChexSystem” report, some bank are now pulling what is known as a “soft” credit report. Neither type of report will lower your score, but if you have outstanding debts with another financial institution, you may be denied a checking account. Kiplinger has an article about the subject here.