Easy Money

This is the easiest $250 dollars I’ve ever made. There’s just not that many (legal) ways to make $250 in 15 minutes – guaranteed and without any risk. No wonder it’s trending on Slickdeals and other deal sites. Read on if you want money for nothing… I’ll share a trick that makes this as painless as it gets, something I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere else.

I’ve played the sign-up game many times before… I opened a savings account with Capital One to get a quick $25. Why not – I wanted to bank with them anyway and I still use it today. I like how they let you set up several savings accounts. Helpful to keep things like tenant deposits, tax money, vacation money and other things separate.

I’ve also signed up with Airbnb, Uber, EbatesBeFrugal and other companies that offer incentives. I use most of them to this day so I guess their customer acquisition strategy worked.  

But this time it’s different. Wells Fargo has been in the news recently and for all the wrong reasons.

To summarize, it appears that Wells Fargo employees created millions of fake accounts to hit sales targets in order to earn performance-based bonuses. Wells Fargo employees moved some of their real customer money into those fake accounts without consent. Soon after, Wells Fargo customers started to get hit with insufficient funds and overdraft charges on accounts they didn’t know they had.

But why stop there? Wells Fargo also collected charges on a bunch of fake credit card accounts – annual fees, interest charges and overdraft protection fees.

This went on for about 5 years. In 2016 a scandal broke and 5,300 employees were fired. Wells Fargo admitted fault, paid $185 million in fines and kicked off an advertising campaign to contain the damage. Something about trust, responsibility and horses, I think.

Which brings us to early January 2017. We can speculate if the two events are related but one thing is clear – Wells Fargo rolled out a Slick Deal indeed. A new customer could get $250 dollars after opening a checking account and meeting a couple of requirements.

You can read a full description on Wells Fargo promotion offer page. In essence, any new customer can get $250 after opening a checking account through that link, depositing $25+ by 2/17/2017 and then, within 60 days of opening, either making 10 purchases with a debit card OR setting up a direct deposit for $500 or more.

As far as sign up bonuses go this is certainly one of the largest. It’s also relatively easy to fulfill the promo requirements. For example, there is no requirement to keep an account open for a period of time. Handy if you just want to make $250 and split. Usually similar promos ask for a lot more than $25 and like to tie up your money for a long time, say 90 days.

When Wells Fargo offers me $250 for nothing – I jump in it

I signed up online through the Wells Fargo offer page. I funded the account with $50 charged to a credit card. I could’ve done $25 but why not earn some extra reward points? I wish they allowed more! The whole application process took 5 minutes. I received a nice welcome email which also confirmed my bonus eligibility.

Three days later a debit card showed up. Now I needed to either make 10 purchases with the card or set up a direct deposit.

Direct deposit was out. It’s a hassle plus I don’t even have anything that would qualify.

Using the debit card 10 times for purchases is relatively easy but takes time. Plus don’t forget the opportunity cost of not using a credit card where each transaction earns points and helps repair your credit!

So I decided to try something else. I’m sure this has been done but it’s new to me! I added the Wells Fargo debit card as a payment method in my PayPal account. Then I sent 10 payments to my wife’s PayPal account hoping to fulfill the debit card payment requirement.

Of course PayPal charges a fee to use a card to send money. To minimize that fee I sent 10 one-cent payments which cost me 10 cents in PayPal fees. Not a bad ROI, PayPal! I figured –  worst case scenario I just wasted 10 cents on this experiment.

With the promo requirements fulfilled (in theory) I settled in for a long wait. Wells Fargo Terms and Conditions mentioned 60 days as the time frame for the bonus.

Imagine my surprise when I logged into my Wells Fargo account and saw the $250 bonus deposited the next day after making the PayPal transfers!

Total hustling time – 15 minutes. Total wait time from opening an account to receiving $250 – 8 days.

Thank you, Wells Fargo, for such great customer service! Unfortunately, I’m afraid I’ll have to take my $300 and close the account. I’m just not sure I can trust my hard-earned money to a bank with such a bad rep. Now I’m considering investing this new money into another money making idea, I’ve been reading the blog that belongs to Franklin Hatchett and I’m inspired by his ideas to use YouTube for some extra money.

But no worries, my wife heard about your promotion and decided to give you a chance to earn her business. So did my nephew, his girlfriend and a couple of my friends. Spread the word!     

P.S. If you want another $10 bucks, download Wells Fargo app and set up their Wallet payment feature. You should see the $10 offer appear in your Wallet. Use your phone to pay for a pack of gum and they’ll add $10 to your account.

P.P.S. I like $250 but I like $500 even better! My wife went through and decided to give Wells Fargo a try as well:

3 thoughts on “Easy Money

  1. Hi Insource,

    Love it! Just Love it! Great thinking on trying the PayPal 1 cent approach, and that they had it – I dont blame you for shouting about it – I just wish I could do the same this side of the pond!!

    That put a huge smile on my face for the day!


    • Do you guys get offers like this over there? I see it quite often here, but this definitely had the least hoops to jump through in comparison to some of the other ones.

      • Hi Insource,
        Not like you describe – or at least I certainly haven’t seen it! They have started doing a “Get £100 if you switch your current account” – but then you have to pay in at least £x per month, or setup so many direct debits etc.
        It is possible to do a bit of a benefit, but to be quite frank the hassle and disruption isn’t worth it for me… I am lazy 🙂


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