Two or three months ago, I opened an account at Bank Direct.
BankDirect Sign Up Bonus| Up to 22,000 AAdvantage Miles
This was the big reason I went through the hassle of setting up a new account – to give a balance jolt to my AAdvantage account.
- 1,000 miles for each new Mileage Checking or Mileage Money Market account
- 10,000 miles for payroll direct deposit (It must be for 3 consecutive months and your full payroll)
- 5,000 miles for using their Bill Pay services (at least 3 different merchants for a 12 month period)
- 5,000 miles for using the Visa debit card (12 transaction statements for 3 consecutive months)
- 1,000 miles when you’re referred by an existing Bank Direct customer (FYI: The person who refers you gets 1,000 miles as well). Since I am a BankDirect customer, I’d be happy to refer you. Just email htcheap at gmail dot com.
By the way, since BankDirect manually reviews a lot of this stuff, it all needs to be legitimate (not that I should have to say that). A commenter on this post shared that his 12 Visa transactions were denied because clearly they weren’t regular charges. If you get out and charge $1 twelve times a month, don’t expect to get the miles.
In this economy, I think miles are more valuable that interest.
In case you haven’t noticed, banks aren’t paying much of anything in interest! These days, if your bank savings account is giving you 1%, you’ve got something to brag about.
Money Market savings accounts are doing even worse with some of the top yielding accounts generating a measly .10% interest rate.
In my case, I looked at it this way. Let’s imagine I had an even $10,000 in my bank account.
Would I rather have:
a. $100 in interest at the end of the year
b. 12,000 American Airline miles
It would depend on how you spend miles, but in my case, I’d rather have the 12,000 miles as I get more than $100 value out of those miles.
Miles are tax free
This probably isn’t that big of a deal, but when you generate interest, you generate a tax liability. Essentially, you can save your income tax bracket percentage on that money you would be earning in interest.
Let’s say a person gets $100 in interest and has to pay 15%, then they really only pocket $85. Thus, the question really is do you want $85 in your pocket or 12,000 American AAdvantage miles?
I get interest, too!
It’s not much (.05%) but it’s better than nothing.
The cost of fuel is increasing, and the cost of plane tickets is going up.
If this trend continues, miles will get even more valuable.
I should note that it is also possible that an airline could just change its reward chart or add a fuel surcharge.
You can (and should) review all terms and conditions here.
BankDirect Review | What I Don’t Like About BankDirect
It’s not the most intuitive bank on earth.
My primary bank is ING Direct. I love ING’s Dashboard layout – it’s simple to use. It seems like ING is always anticipating my banking needs and helping to address them.
Well, I can’t say the same about BankDirect.
It seemed to take them a long time to set up the account. Part of the reason was because I forgot to sign one of the forms (:().
When I got the account set up, I actually had to call to ask how to transfer funds to my other bank. What? In this day and age, a relatively smart guy like me can’t figure out how to transfer funds?
You know those bonuses that I mentioned above? The sign up bonuses will post automatically, but for the other transactions, you need to let them know when you’ve fulfilled the requirements.
Translation: I would only park some money you don’t have a plan for! I wouldn’t do all my banking interactions with BankDirect.
In 2012 Bank Direct has started charging $12 per month on all accounts.
ATM fees are reimbursed up to four transactions per month.
Here’s a full list of fees.
Translation: I would only open a BankDirect account if I had more than $2,500 to park there.
Moral of the Story: I’m sticking with ING Direct as my primary bank. (By the way, if you want to open an account with them, I can send you a link to get $25 when you open an account.)
What I do like about BankDirect
The miles. Tax free miles. When I use my Turbotax (of course I find a discounted turbotax) I can see how much money I’m saving on taxes.
That’s it. I’m dumping cash that’s sitting idle in that account to accumulate miles.
If you’re a person who has trouble keeping your mileage account active, this is a great way so get some activity every month.
Sure, it’s not the most glowing review, but I still decided to get and keep a BankDirect account. If you want one too, just send me an email htcheap at gmail dot com.
Do any of you have any thoughts or experiences with BankDirect?