Getting Free Money Via Bank Offers

Only the referral money is left in this account.
A couple weeks back, I saw a post on Reddit about an offer to exchange $250 CAD to USD on par. This was offered by a relatively new bank called ZenBanx.

Due to the poor exchange rate, in order to exchange to $250 USD, you'd need to spend approximately $325 CAD. Essentially, ZenBanx was going to give you approximately $75 for free.

What was the catch? Well, you could only do this on one day. August 3. The Civic holiday. Also, the maximum you could exchange was $250 CAD.

No big deal. Free money is free money.

So what was the process of setting up an account?

Very simple actually. You just needed a void cheque, some form of ID, and your SIN number.

After a few minutes, my account was set up. Of course, to take advantage of this offer fully, I opened an account for Wifey as well. The process of verifying the account link took a couple of days. Once that was done, I transferred $250 CAD to both accounts.

Additionally, when I signed wifey up, I used myself as a referral. As a result, we both earned $10 once our accounts were verified.

Not bad.

On August 3rd, I exchanged the $250 CAD to $188 USD. A couple days later, we received credits of $62 USD to make it an even $250 USD.

I promptly exchanged the money back to CAD and effectively turned $500 to $652.

Sending the money back to my bank was a little problematic. I couldn't link another bank as I had 3 links already. Fortunately, wifey had one more spot remaining, so I sent the money her way. Two business days later, she received the money and then sent to back to me.

So why send it to me? Well, I have a USD account and that's how I got the $500 CAD to fund our accounts. I converted $390 USD originally. When I received the $652 from wifey, I put it all into my USD account. $652 CAD was approximately $488 USD, so overall, we made $98 USD.

That's not including the $20 we earned by referring each other. I left that money in ZenBanx. We're supposed to keep that account active by making one transaction a year. Worst case, we'll send money back and forth between wifey and I.

Does it seem like a lot of work for $98 USD and $20 CAD?

Of course. But it's free money.

If someone offered to give you twenty bucks for free, you'd take it. If they offered it to you, with the catch of a little work, you'd still take it.

Last year, Tangerine offered free money if you opened a chequing account, savings account and funded it. As wifey and I already had savings accounts at Tangerine, we were still able to take advantage of the chequing account offer. By opening a chequing account and funding it with $250, they gave us $50 in free money. With wifey's account, we earned $100 by opening an account.

Unfortunately for them, we don't use the accounts. Fortunately for us, Tangerine has no monthly fees.

So why offer free money in the first place?

Well, seems they are trying to cutting into the market share of the big banks. There are many alternatives to the big banks. It's just a lot of work to move your accounts, payroll deposits, and automatic withdrawals. People need an incentive. Money is a very good incentive.

A lot of these alternative options also have a refer a friend program where they will give you and your friend money if they sign up with your referral code.

Of course, these referral codes have been banned in the subreddit I frequent.

People will do pretty much anything to get free money.

So will I.


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