Best Cash Bonuses Online

May 28, 2010

Cash bonuses are a decent way to bring in a little extra one-time money. You’ve probably experienced this first hand with local bank promotions where you get a bonus if you open a new account.  Typically these types of deals online are from banks and credit card companies who offer you a cash bonus if you become a customer.  The payouts usually start around $20–25 at the low end and some of the best cash bonuses can earn you up to $100.

What’s the Catch?
Companies that offer these bonuses want your business and are willing to reward you for trying out their saving account, debit card, credit card, etc.  They’re confident in the quality and competitiveness of their product and that you’ll be satisfied with what they offer.  Even though it costs the company money to get you to try their services, they know enough people will stick around that the bonuses will eventually pay for themselves.

Beware the Bonus Trap
Since these companies know that adding customers will make them money in the long run, they’re willing to pay you a cash bonus to sample their service. Just be sure to avoid racking up bank fees and carrying a balance on your credit card, otherwise your bonus will just be spent on fees and interest.

What are the Best Cash Bonuses?
The best cash bonuses can change over time as banks and credit card companies start and end various promotions.  Some tend to be cyclical, they’ll pop up around the same time one or twice a year.  For example, the TradeKing bonus below isn’t active right now but seems to come up every fall.  The ShareBuilder Bonus was $25, went up to $50 for a while, and now is back to $25.

Not all bonuses are created equal, some have definite advantages over others. For example, some are actual cash and others are statement credits that you can use like cash. 

The amount of time it takes to redeem your bonus can vary from bonus offer to bonus offer. Most of them have you wait at least 30 days so you can’t open an account, take the money out, then close it the next day. One thing I’ve noticed is that bonuses for local banks tend to have more lenient rules because people actually have to take the time to come into the branch rather than simply entering promotion codes and an application on the web.

Whatever the terms of the offer, make sure you understand them when you sign up so you get your money. Here’s a list of popular cash bonuses:

Credit Card Bonuses

Bank Bonuses

Online Brokerage Bonus


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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