Whoever said there’s no such thing as a free lunch was kidding themselves. Banks are literally throwing money at customers to try and get them through the doors.
Take for instance the ING Direct Orange Everyday account: it costs nothing to get it and you can and will earn $60 for free by simply depositing money into the account, making a purchase with your Visa Debit card, and debiting money from your account ($20 each). On top of this, every time you withdraw $200 or more from an ATM, ING Direct will pay you $0.50.
Perhaps you’re the kind of person that likes credit cards rather than debit cards? Not a problem! Sign up for the HSBC Credit Card and you’ll be credited with $50 when you make your first purchase. Or the Woolworths Everyday Money Card, which gives you a $50 shopping card after you make 3 purchases. If you’re smart about these types of deals then you could be making yourself a tidy little sum for about half an hour’s work of filling in application forms. The banks are obviously hoping you will stay with them, but if you wanted you could simply then pocket the money, pay off the purchases and then cancel the card. However be careful doing this, because if you make lots of applications for credit this will show up on your credit history – and that may make it harder to get credit in the future!
Perhaps a better way of getting something for nothing from a credit card is via rewards points on a card that has no annual fee. If you always pay off your card in full, of course! There’s not many cards out there like this, but they include the American Express Gold Ascent Rewards Card, American Express Blue Sky Credit Card, the Bank of Queensland Blue Visa and the Coles Group Source Mastercard. There are also a few rewards cards that waive the annual fee if you spend more than a certain amount each year, including the Amex cards offered by AMP, HSBC and Suncorp.
If you’re the kind of person that can walk past a $50 note lying in the street then this blog isn’t for you. If not then enjoy your free lunch. I know I did.
(Note: the offers mentioned in the article were valid at the time of writing, but they may not be by the time you read it. And of course, there may be terms and conditions on each offer that we’ve not reproduced here.)