Checking account bonuses often have a direct deposit requirement that makes them tough to complete if you don’t have a paycheck from an employer (and annoying even if you do).

The Wells Fargo sign up bonus caught my attention since you can complete the offer without a direct deposit requirement… and it’s easy!

The $250 sign up bonus for a Wells Fargo checking account is our Free Money Friday offer.

How to Get Your $250 Sign Up Bonus

  1. Open a new account at Wells Fargo by February 17, 2017.
  2. Deposit $25.
  3. Within 60 days either:
    • Make 10 debit card purchases OR
    • Make a direct deposit of $500.
  4. Earn $250 credited to your account within 45 days.

Terms and Conditions

  • You cannot be: a current owner on a Wells Fargo consumer checking account, a Wells Fargo team member, or a recipient of a consumer checking bonus in the past 12 months (limit 1 bonus per customer).
  • All consumer checking accounts, including non-interest-earning checking accounts (except Teen CheckingSM) are eligible for the bonus of $250. The prepaid Wells Fargo EasyPay® Card is not eligible.

More on Wells Fargo Checking

Avoid Service Fees. The everyday checking account has a $10 per month service fee. You can avoid the fee with a $1,500 balance, $500 in direct deposits or 10 debit card purchases monthly.

Fund with a Credit Card. You should be able to open the account with a $50 credit card purchase on a Chase, Barclay or BOA card. I’m finishing up the spending on my Huge $5,325+ Credit Card Application Spree, so every last bit helps!

Amazon Gift Card Reloads. An easy way to meet the 10 purchases is to make 10 small Amazon gift card reloads. The minimum is $0.50 per reload.

More Popular Free Money Offers





A longtime reader, Richard, just sent me a copy of a new survey that tested airlines for frequent flier award seat availability. Topping the list for the fifth year was Southwest at 100% availability.

You know what that means? It’s time to pick up some Southwest points for summer travel!

Southwest is currently offering 50,000 bonus points on their Rapid Rewards credit card from Chase.

It’s Free Money Friday!

How to Get Your Sign Up Bonus

  1. Apply for the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card*.
  2. Spend $2,000 in the first three months.
  3. Get 50,000 Bonus Points, redeemable for flights or $500 in gift cards.

*Find and compare all current credit card offers in our credit card directory. I had to click “Show More Results” twice to find it at the bottom of the list.

Terms and Conditions

  • $99 Annual Fee.
  • This product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months.
  • The number of points needed for any particular Southwest flight is set by Southwest and will vary depending on destination, time, day of travel, demand, point redemption rate, and other factors and is subject to change.
  • No Blackout Dates and Unlimited Reward Seats apply to flights booked with points.

More on Southwest

Earning Points. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases & with Southwest partners. Earn 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else. Plus, get a 6,000 point anniversary bonus every year.

Points Expiration. Your points won’t expire as long as your card is open. If you close your card, you’ll need earning activity in your account every 24 months to keep points from expiring. I use AwardWallet to track expiration dates.

Companion Pass. If you earn 110,000 points you will qualify for a companion pass.

Southwest Perks. Southwest doesn’t charge fees for changing flights & you can check your first two bags for free!

More Popular Free Money Offers





Update: The 2016 American Express Small Business Shopping Offer is here: American Express 2x Rewards for Small Business Shopping.

One of my favorite annual holiday offers is back… sort of! American Express is running their Small Business Saturday promotion again.

However, this year they’ve changed the offer slightly! You can still earn a $10 statement credit per card, but you have to be targeted for the offer this year.

It’s our Free Money Friday this week!

How to Get Your $10 Statement Credit

  1. Log into your American Express account online and look for the Shop Small offer under your Amex offers.
  2. Add the offer to your card.
  3. Use your registered card for a purchase of at least $10 at a small business between now and November 28, 2015.
  4. Receive a $10 statement credit from American Express.

American Express Terms and Conditions

  • Limit 1 $10 statement credit per eligible American Express Card.
  • Qualifying small business locations appear on the Shop Small® Map available at ShopSmall.com. Please note that the businesses listed on the Shop Small Map may change.
  • Multiple transactions of less than $10 will not qualify even if the combined total of those transactions is over $10.
  • Online transactions do not qualify.

More on Small Business Saturday

Use Anytime. Since the Small Business Saturday statement credit is valid anytime from now until Nov. 28, there isn’t really a reason to wait to use it on Small Business Saturday.

Business Cards. Business American Express cards have a slightly different offer. The offer is $20 off $100 purchase.

Not Targeted? If you weren’t targeted for the offers, Dan’s Deals has some workaround links to try to register for the promotion.

Use Multiple Cards for Multiple Credits. If the offers appear on multiple cards in your account, you’ll need to open multiple tabs before adding the offer to your card. If you don’t, the offer will disappear on other cards once you add it to the first card.

I really hope many of you are targeted for this offer! We currently have 9 Amex cards and were targeted for…. zero!

More Popular Holiday Offers





We’re continuing our holiday cash back series with a special offer from Swagbucks!

Swagbucks allows you to earn points to exchange for gift cards that you can use for everyday purchases or holiday shopping. I just checked my account and I was pleased to see I still have over 16,000 Swagbucks to cash out (leftover from buying Visa Gift Cards Online last spring)!

Right now Swagbucks is offering a $5 sign up bonus. My Dollar Plan readers also get an extra 70 Swagbucks when you sign up.

How to Get Your SwagBucks

  1. Sign up for a SwagBucks account.
  2. Use the sign up code: DOLLARPLAN70, which is case sensitive.
  3. You’ll get 70 extra swag bucks just for signing up.
  4. Earn 2,500 Swag Bucks within the first 60 days of membership and get a $5 bonus.

Here’s more from Kate on Swagbucks if you aren’t familiar with the program:

What is Swagbucks?

Swagbucks is a site that allows you to earn cash back by visiting their site before online shopping, as well as playing games, watching videos, searching the web and answering surveys. You can then redeem your Swagbucks (points) for prizes, including gift cards.

What gift cards can I redeem my Swagbucks for?

You can redeem your Swagbucks for gift cards at a variety of stores, including Starbucks, Walmart, CVS, T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s and Amazon. A $5 gift card usually requires redeeming about 500 Swagbucks.

More on Swagbucks

Referrals. Swagbucks updated their referral program. You now earn 10% of the Swagbucks they earn for life. Referral programs that keep on giving are a great opportunity!

More Points. One way to really maximize your Swagbucks earnings is to use the toolbar they provide for searching the web.

Sign Up for Swagbucks




Do you ever read through some of the Class Action notices you get in the mail? Many times if you fill out the forms, you’re entitled to a cash settlement.

However, there are more settlements out there than just the ones that have to mail you a form.

We’re featuring class action settlements as our Free Money Friday offer this week!

How to Get Your Class Action Settlement Money

  1. Determine if any products you have previously purchased have open class action lawsuits.
  2. Fill out and file the claim form.
  3. Get a check in the mail.

Current Class Action Settlements

Here are some of the current class action settlements with upcoming deadlines you might be entitled to:

Where to Find More Class Action Settlements

How to find class action settlements through various websites and databases:

More on Class Action Settlements

Carla at Class Action Rebates shared some additional class action tips for readers:

Money Goes Unclaimed. Most people are eligible to claim money from class action settlements related to everyday products they may have purchased. But, because the rebates are poorly publicized, and written in legalese, few people file claims, and the money goes unclaimed.

Simple Claim Forms. Most claim forms take less than 3 minutes to fill out, and most don’t even need a receipt. For example, there have been recent settlements for Coppertone, Sketchers, Wal-Mart organic milk, Facebook, and EA Sports video games.

More Free Money





If you’re looking to start saving for college for your children or other close family members, this week’s Free Money Friday offer is for you!

Merrill Edge is offering a $50 sign-up bonus!

How to Get Your $50 Bonus

  1. Open a NextGen College Investing plan with Merrill Edge.
  2. Fund the account with at least $5,000 in cash within 30 calendar days.
  3. Get $50 deposited in your account to jumpstart your savings!

Terms & Conditions

  • One bonus per account.
  • Bonus will be applied to your account within 90 days.
  • $50 bonus will invested in the various securities based on your new-investment allocation in effect on the date that the bonus is provided.
  • Balance must be held in the account for a minimum of 90 consecutive days following the funding date.

More on the 529

Tax Benefits. We are huge fans of 529 college savings plans because they can help you save on taxes both now (with state tax deductions in certain states) and later (your money grows tax-free)!

Investment Options. Merrill offers you a number of options for investing, including age-based portfolios, single-fund portfolios and diversified portfolios.

Sign Up for Williams-Sonoma




Update: All of the current offers for credit card sign up bonuses are listed in our credit card directory.

Friday Featured Deal of the week! That’s my favorite celebration every Friday here at My Dollar Plan! Every week we feature a great deal, sign up bonus, or offer for you to earn some extra money. Our goal is to find the best offers that feature easy sign ups.

To kick off the New Year, it’s time to take a look back at the entire collection of active featured deals that we covered to date.

When I added it all up, you could potentially score anywhere from $2,500 to $3,000 in sign up bonuses, plus free flights and hotel stays per person. Now you know why it’s my favorite article each week!

Favorite Featured Deals

Featured Deals

High Dollar Featured Deals

My favorite featured deals offers right now are obviously the $400 and $500 credit card sign up bonuses. I sorted the list of credit card sign up offers by the bonus amount so you can start at the top and easily determine which offers are worth your time.

Credit Card Bonuses $400 – $500

Credit Card Bonuses $150 – $250

Credit Card Bonuses $100

More Featured Deals

You can also earn bonuses with investment accounts, free flights, cash back, gift cards and more. Here are more of the featured deals that you can take advantage of:

Investment & Checking Account Bonuses

IRA Account Bonuses

Free Flights

Free Nights

Cash Back Rewards Programs

Credit Card Rewards Programs

As always, we’ll be back next Friday with a new offer in the Friday Featured Deal of the week series!





Remember the FedEx and American Express $25 giveaway last year? If you took advantage of the offer, I’m sure you remember the debacle during the giveaway! Believe it or not, they’re attempting the giveaway again… with a few changes.

The free $25 gift card is our Free Money Friday offer. You’ll have to hurry, the giveaway ends tomorrow!

The gift cards are part of Small Business Saturday, the day after Black Friday, to encourage you to shop at small businesses.

How to Enter the $25 Gift Card Giveaway

  1. Visit and “like” FedEx’s Facebook page.
  2. Enter the giveaway to receive a $25 American Express gift card by November 3, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
  3. They’ll randomly select 40,000 people to get an American Express $25 gift card on or around November 4, 2012.
  4. Use the gift card on Small Business Saturday, November 24, 2012.

Terms and Conditions

  • You can “Unlike” the page at any time after entry.
  • Limit: One (1) entry per person/email address during the Promotion Period.
  • The winners will be sent their prize within 3 weeks of drawing to the physical mailing address entered on the registration form.

More on Fedex Shop Small

A Year Later. Last year the American Express $25 gift cards were first-come, first-serve. We were able to score some of the gift cards last year, however, they had a lot of technical difficulties. Hopefully, it will run more smoothly this year since it’s random. The good news? They’re giving away 40,000 instead of 30,000 gift cards.

Stacking the offers. The gift card will be in addition to the $25 you can get from American Express for Small Business Saturday American Express plans to roll out soon.

Sign Up for Fedex




I know that many of you are Free Money junkies just like me.

After a reader, Steve, left a comment about his accounts, I just knew you’d want to hear his story! Steve has 202 checking, savings, investment, credit card, and various other open accounts. He says: “I am also one who hates to pass up free money.” I asked Steve to tell us more about it!

Free Money Reader Profile

Name: Steve

Amount of Free Money: $6,000 in sign up bonuses last year.

What he’s doing: Steve’s method is pretty simple, if it has a bonus, he applies. And he hasn’t found a bonus yet that he can pass up.

How he manages it: Steve tracks all of his accounts on excel and calendars all of his bills in Outlook.

Tips and Tricks

Double Up. In order to double up on the bonuses, he also signs his wife up for an account too. Using the spouse is an easy way to double almost any bonus offer.

Recycle. He also likes to recycle bonus offers as often as he can, but he notes that: “some (like ING) don’t close your account and so their bonus is a one-time deal.” In order to recycle a bonus offer, you need to close the account after meeting all the requirements to get the bonus. Then, when they offer another bonus, you’re free to sign up again. Just be sure to read the terms and conditions to see if it’s a one time bonus (if it is, we usually try to list this when we highlight offers).

Credit Score. Here’s Steve’s take on the impact to his credit score:

I was somewhat concerned with my credit score, but I don’t need to buy on credit, so I asked “what are you saving it for?”. I have had a high of 790 and a low of 750. While 40 seems like a lot – it is not much when you consider the number of accounts. And 750 is still an excellent score, and that represents a lot of account opening and closings.

Free Money Future

Steve didn’t keep a detailed list of all the bonuses he signed up for (just a running total), but he is currently on pace to beat or come close to the $6k again this year. He adds: “Not bad for a part time JOB.” No, not bad at all, Steve! Thanks for sharing your story with us!

Are you also a free money fanatic? Want to share your story? Let me know and maybe we’ll feature your story in a future free money reader profile!





Time for 25,000 bonus miles on your Discover credit card with frequent flyer miles. Happy Free Money Friday!

Discover is offering a 25,000 bonus miles for the Escape by Discover Card.

How to Get Your Bonus Miles

  1. Open a new Escape by Discover Card.
  2. Earn 1,000 bonus miles by making one purchase each month for the first 25 months on your Discover credit card with frequent flyer miles.
  3. Redeem your bonus miles for travel credits, cash or gift cards.
  4. Promotional miles will be applied within 8 weeks.

Discover Terms and Conditions

  • There is a $60 annual fee.
  • Rewards have no expiration date.
  • 0% intro APR for 6 months for purchases and balance transfers.

More About the Miles

Extra Miles. In addition to the bonus miles, you earn 2 miles for each dollar you spend on all purchases on the Escape by Discover Card.

Miles Never Expire. The miles never expire, so you don’t have to worry about redeeming them right away. Just be aware if your account is inactive for 18 months you forfeit your miles.

Do the Math

To earn 25,000 miles over 2 years, you’ll have to pay $120 in annual fees. Keep this is mind and subtract it from the bonus miles.

I verified with Discover that 10,000 miles can be redeemed for a $100 credit for any travel purchase. For example, if you make $10 in purchases each month for 20 months, you’ll end up with 20,400 miles. Redeeming those for $200 in travel credit will cost you $120 for 2 years of annual fees. You’ll net $80, or about 40% cash back on your purchases.

Sign Up for Escape by Discover Card