Bank bonus and ms theories

Would like to start a forum within Fragile Deal on methods of recieving bank bonuses and some MS discreet secrets. I know DOC and Redditt cover this but since i am an avid MSer and have been sidelined due to virus…upstate NY…i have and am making $$ via bank bonuses, until i can safely hit the big stores again. There are currently many lucrative bonuses you can do from your couch. I don’t bother with bonuses less then 225.00 and DOC data points on what banks consider to be a DD is not very accurate lately. I experimented on my own and have some data points. These bonuses are much better then the low interest previously paid by certain banks.


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I’m not that active in them due to the lack of a viable direct deposit.

Not banks, but we should also add Fintech startups to the list. Sofi, etc.

H i… Thats the point. You do not need a real direct deposit. Been doing this for years. Most banks accept tranfers… Ach from other banks and it codes a dd. Problem is to find out what banks accept as dd. From another bank. (Must code as DD).Doctor of credit has extensive list of what banks consider which bank ach is a dd. My latest problem is the 400.00 bonus from WF. according to DOC… His data shows Alliant and Boa as coding as DD. they did not. Coded as transfer. Now awaiting 4k ach via Santander. To see how it codes. Im sending same $$ back and forth. Banks seem to be tightening up. Data from another site that Santander codes as dd. Ill let you know. Btw i have 9 bank accts for ms purposes.


I’ll pin this to the top of the sub forum to make it easy to find.

I did the Wells Fargo bonus earlier this year and Alliant coded as DD for me at that time.

I’m definitely leaving a lot of money on the table by not experimenting with what counts as DD.

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^ Same.

I did the Chase and Citi this year , the Chase deal is gone now. Curious what other deals are out there.

There’s a new one every week on DoC seemingly, but they’re often for certain regions only.

for me I did an Alliant AcH push to WF new checking acct and coded as an online transfer. A BOA push (cost 3.00) coded as P2P. Waiting to see what Santander codes as.

I’m pretty sure there’s no special code or banking definition for “Direct Deposit”. An ACH deposit IS a direct deposit. The sending bank is just sending money via ACH. The receiving bank is deciding whether that transfer satisfies their own definition of “direct deposit”. I suspect that even if the ACH transfer from your own personal account from some bank does not work, a very similar ACH transfer from another person’s account or from a business account from the same bank could work. Especially if you can argue that this is how you get paid by your employer.

This may be why data points differ if they don’t make a distinction between personal and business, own or someone else’s account.

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Don’t know why you say the Chase deal is gone, I just signed up for one a few days ago. $300 for checking, $200 for savings and another $100 for doing both. I believe there’s limitations on how frequently you can do it.

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Yeah Chase is still good for $600: link. “You can receive only one new checking and one new savings account opening related bonus every two years from the last enrollment date”.

The national banks like Chase, Citi, and USBank are most lucrative in my experience, although Citi is a PITA as the bonuses don’t always post when they’re supposed to and their first level CSRs are dumb as rocks. I’ve not churned the smaller banks because the bonuses are too small (< $200) and there aren’t many of them. And sometimes the offers are B&M only (lol).

I meant the Chase deal of up to $1,000 is gone but there is one up to $600

I always wondered if was worth having a business checking account with the ability to generate payroll direct deposits just to game these deals? At least if you could code as payroll without actually remitting any taxes to the various government agencies.


I started my Bank Bonus hustle at the end of 2016 and began doing accounts that required direct deposit (DD) in 2017. I had done 9 bank bonuses doing transfers from banks according to what folks on Doctor of Credit (DoC) has said counted, and they all worked. It’s a great strategy, but I was avoiding signing up for accounts where the DD had to come from a bank in which I didn’t already have an account.

Then, after doing a business account bonus with Wells Fargo in 2017, I stumbled into exactly what you describe @TravelerMSY. They have a feature for their business accounts called Direct Pay. It’s 10/mo and .50 per payment. It mimics a Direct Deposit almost perfectly. I say almost, because it didn’t work automatically on two occasions.* But it has worked like a charm over 35 other times. To be clear, it hasn’t worked with 35 banks, but it has worked 35+ times. I’m married and my wife likes to sign up for the same bonuses as I do (with my help). It has also worked for co-workers who I’ve referred, sometimes with us mutually making money, other times no referral for me but the satisfaction of helping them make ~$300 during their lunch break.

2017 was my most lucrative year, and I assumed after one of the best cash cows wised up and added restrictions, and other banks seemed to follow, the game would end. My revenue dropped by 66% from 2017 to 2018. Then 2019 rolled around and the banks just keep on giving it away. Thanks mostly to NeoBanks (like Chime, SoFi, Varo, MoneyLion) and my co-workers jumping on the train using my referrals, I doubled my prior year revenue. 2020 has looked just as good. I’m hoping to pass my 2019 revenue with none of the 2019 NeoBank type referrals.

If you are going to take this hobby even remotely seriously, I suggest you get a business account with some sort of ACH out feature that allows you to send payments directly to an outside account with no verification (unlike P2P ACH transfers). It makes things so much simpler.

*I Secured Messaged (SM) two banks after I didn’t receive my bonus. Both saw my DD that came from my WF business account. They didn’t deny me outright like they did for other folks that just used P2P transfers. But they did tell me that they would pay me if I sent in a paystub. It’s not hard to mock up a fake paystub, but I didn’t want to take my hobby to that next level. I’ve never lied directly to a bank before. I’ve always played by their rules. So I just tipped my cap to those banks for having a better system in place to stop people from doing easy bank bonuses without real direct deposits.


I may be wrong on this (I only looked at the surface as a small business) but any kind of payroll company you set up will charge fees way higher than the benefit of using them for gaming the system for DD.

Edit: Just read mead18’s post above. Good to know. Didn’t realize that existed. You have been a member of FWF for many years, why only start 4 years ago? This a great game. $100+/hr or more. If only we could scale it better! Good job getting co-workers involved. Most people I talk to tend to get a glazed over look LOL.

Granted, when I sign up for 5+ accounts at a time I have a whole slew of checklist items to set up and it becomes difficult tracking everything (transfer times/linking accounts/meeting transfer and debit counts to waive fees, etc).

I usually only do two signup bursts per year. My motivation for closing accounts after 6 months is my motivation for another round of sighnups.

I didn’t start getting serious on FWF until 2016. I can’t say for sure why I didn’t start the Bank Bonus hustle in earnest until 2017. I guess that’s just when they started to catch my eye and when I first found Doctor of Credit.

I think my first bank bonus was like $10 or $20 from ING Direct back in the mid 2000s. Then a random one from HSBC in the early 2010s which left me hating the whole process. Funny thing is, I think that ING bonus disqualified me from ever being able to get a Capital One savings account bonus.

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