Ohio SaveNow 3% Savings Account

We last looked at the Ohio resident program offered by the State, called SaveNow, back in 2011. At that time, the State of Ohio introduced the SaveNow program and offered residents a locked 3.25% savings account. Residents were also allowed to partake in the program every other year. Since the programs introduction, it now offers a comparable program with slightly different terms.

Here are a couple of key things to note:

1) Individuals must be an Ohio resident
2) One account per person.
3) Must have an email address to participate.
4) No age restrictions to participate (i.e. you are able to open plans for your children as a custodial account).
5) The money goes into an interest bearing savings account.
6) No fees, minimum deposit, or balance requirements.
7) The 3.00% interest rate is only paid on balances up to $5,000. In this market, that is a nice rate of return. Plus you have the knowledge that the money is at least liquid if you do need to get at it, compared to a CD.
8) You will need to complete an educational survey to receive the interest rate bonus.

Participating Banks include:

CF Bank

Fahey Bank

Nationwide Bank

First National Bank

PNC Bank

Wayne Savings Bank

Interest rate bonus will be deposited in the 13th and 25th months of participation in the program.

Save Money, Travel More!

Source: InACents

BankDirect & American Airlines AAdvantage Banking Bonuses

BankDirect American Airlines

Quite a few updates have happened to the program since publishing and the article has been revised accordingly.

BankDirect offers one of the few opportunities to earn airlines miles on a banking product. Teamed with American Airlines, the partnership allows you to earn AAdvantage miles for doing things like maintaining a balance in your checking account, referring a friend, direct deposit, and bill pay all earn the customer valuable miles.

Lets look at the program in more detail. I am only looking at the Mileage Checking Account and Money Market programs, but they also offer miles for their CD products.

1) Earn 1,000 miles for opening a new Mileage Checking Account (or Mileage Money Market Account).
2) 10,000 miles for direct deposit into a checking account (note this bonus is not available on Money Market products)
3) 5,000 miles for using bill pay
4) 5,000 miles for using BankDirect Visa® CheckCard
5) up to 10,000 miles for referring a friend

You used to be able to fund the account with $100,000, and earn 1,000 miles. Max 5,000 miles for $500,000 initial deposit. However, this benefit looks to have been removed.

In addition, earn the following each month.
– 100 miles for each $1,000 on deposit in the mileage checking account up to $50,000, and 25 miles per $1,000 over $50,000.

Direct Deposit

10,000 bonus miles are earned after performing a minimum $2,000 direct deposit per month for six (6) consecutive months. However, note that this bonus is only valid on the checking account and not on the money market account.

Bill Pay

In order to receive the 5,000 bonus miles associated with this activity, you need to make a minimum of three (3) different payees totaling at least $500.00 a month for six (6) consecutive months. Note, again this is only valid on the checking account and not the money market account.

Visa Checkcard

5,000 additional miles are earned after a minimum of twelve (12) transactions per month totaling at least $500.00 and must be performed for a minimum of six (6) consecutive months. Checking account only.

Referral

Users can earn up to 10,000 bonus miles at a rate of 1,000 miles per referral.

In Conclusion

BankDirect is an internet-only bank (however, per a readers comment, Bankdirect is an online division of Texas Capital Bank, where you can physically visit to make a deposit/withdraw), so you need to be comfortable with this approach to banking. The accounts are FDIC insured, so your money is safe! Second, looking over the bank fee schedule, the AAdvantage account comes with a $15 early closure fee if you close the account within 90 days of opening. In addition, BankDirect charges $7 for a cashier’s check upon closure of the account.

One of the biggest things that has been revised with this program is you no longer need to separately notify BankDirect each time you meet the requirements of the promotion. Miles will automatically be credited within 6-8 weeks after meeting the requirements.

Both the checking account and money market accounts require a minimum of $500 deposit at account opening (previously only $100). However, the real caveat comes with the monthly fee schedule and balance requirements.

The fee and balance requirements are also the major change since we originally ran this offer. The money market account comes with a $10,000 minimum monthly balance to avoid a $10 monthly fee. The checking account used to come with a $2,500 minimum balance requirement, or otherwise there was a $15 monthly fee; however, now there is a flat $12 fee per month on checking accounts.

It now becomes crucial to calculate how many miles you will earn from this program to offset the monthly fee.

Unfortunately, to earn the most miles, you need to fund and use the account for at least six (6) months, netting you 21,000 miles if you meet all the requirements minus the referrals, not including the 100 per $1,000 balance per month. However, you would also have to pay the monthly fee of $12 per month, or $72, at which point you could potentially close the account without paying an early closure fee. You would also be required to pay the $7 cashier check fee.

You would be purchasing miles at a rate of less than $0.004/mile, which is still really good, though I am not 100% convinced it is worth the effort.

Save Money, Travel More!

Source: InACents


10/30/13- Updated
5/9/11- Originally published

Discover 5% Extra Cashback Pick A Store

For the last quarter of the year, Discover is offering a 5% cashback bonus for Online Shopping and Department Store purchases through December 2014. This in itself is a great offer on $1,500 in purchases, which is fairly easy to do over 3 months, especially when you factor in the Christmas holiday and present buying.

Oct-Nov 2014 Discover 5 percent cashback bonus

We also like that you can use the Discover Deals and Shop Discover programs to double dip cashback bonus opportunities.

Now, Discover has introduced a new promotion called Pick A Store, where you earn an additional 5% cashback bonus when spending $1,000 in purchases, in-store or online, at a store of your choice from October through November.

Stores offered are: Applebee’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Lowe’s, Olive Garden, Shell, or Walgreens

Program Details

*Sign up to earn 5% Cashback Bonus on up to $1000 in total purchases made at your choice of one of the following stores: Applebee’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Lowe’s, Olive Garden, Shell, or Walgreens from 10/1/14 (or the date you sign up, whichever is later) through 11/30/14. Once you sign up, no changes can be made to your selection. Purchases made using virtual wallets or third party payment providers will not be eligible. Purchases made outside of the U.S. will not be eligible. Rewards are added to your Cashback Bonus account within 2 billing periods. See Cashback Bonus Program Terms and Conditions for further details.

The great thing about this promotion is that several of the stores for this promotion also sell gift cards, making it a great chance to save on other establishments as well.

To sign up, visit Discover and sign into your account.

Then, click the Pick A Store promotion page.

You will then select the store that you would like to use for the duration of the promotion.

Save Money, Travel More!

Source: MisterCheap at FW