“There’s basically $500 sitting on my desk, but I can’t decide whether I should grab it or not.”
Put the situation this way — and you probably think I’m crazy. But what if I told you it’s not actually cash staring me in the face?
These are the two offers sitting on my desk:
- A promotional deal for $200 from Nationwide Bank for its e-checking account
- A similar offer from Citibank for another $300
The Nationwide offer doesn’t seem to have any strings attached, as long as I enter a personal promo code and keep the bank account open. The Citibank deal is a bit more cumbersome, because I’ll have to qualify for Citigold — essentially, I’ll have to transfer a portion of retirement funds and/or taxable investments to a Citibank account. Otherwise, I’ll only get $125.
So aside from the minor hassle of opening accounts and transferring assets (just paperwork), it’s a pretty painless way to earn $500.
Would you make the effort to get the free money?
Typing my thoughts out to this point makes the offers sound like no-brainers, but I’m still hesitating to pull the trigger. Is it the hassle? Or is it the lingering doubts of missing a costly detail?
I mean, similar financial gains could be had with those 0% balance transfer credit cards we’ve talked about here for years, but I’ve never leveraged myself to the tilt to grab the spread either.
In fact, I always urge my wife not to fall for those small discounts the retail cashier dangles in front of her just to get a credit card application started. If you absolutely have to grab a sign-up promotion, at least go for the bonuses worth hundreds of dollars.
A year ago, however, I remember thinking I should start taking advantage of all the sign-up bonuses the financial world offers. With no plans to move, and mortgage rates unlikely to be so low that a refinance makes sense, there’s not much worry I’ll be putting my ability to borrow at risk with too many financial accounts.
So this is my chance. I don’t even have to research the options, because the offers are right in front of me. Should I just pull the trigger? What would you do?