I’ve heard several times that as you save, more opportunities to make more money present themselves. We’ve been able to see this in a large way for the first time.

Right now my wife and I are in the process of saving up for a down payment for house. We have been putting the down payment into Marcus from Goldman Sachs due to their 1.5% annual percentage yield they had in January 2018. Their rate has increased to 1.8% in the last 5 months, not to shabby. (Quick tip if you sign up for Marcus… their website will not allow you to sign in if you are using a VPN.) I have not found a better rate to date with zero risk and the ability to keep the entire down payment in a liquid state… until now.

Update: 08/21/2018 Marcus’s current interest rate is 1.85%.

Enter the Sign Up Bonus(es)

Chase bank is currently offering a sign up bonus of $300 when you deposit $25,000 within 20 business days of opening the account as long as you maintain a $25,000 balance for 90 days. The return rate here works out to be 4.8%:

Chase Savings Bonus APY:
$300 / 3  = $100 monthly return
$100 * 12 = $1,200  annual return

$1,200/$25,000 = 0.048
$25,000 * 4.8% = $1,200 annual return
$1,200 / 12 = $100 monthly return

Within Marcus:
$25,000 * 1.8% = $450 annually
$450 / 12 = $37.50 monthly

$100 - $37.50 = $62.50 additional for 3 months

So, for letting Chase hold our down payment for a few months we get a 3% increase on our APY. After these 3 months the rate drops down to their usual 0.01% APY. The down payment will most likely be headed back to Marcus unless there is some amazing benefit that I’ve missed with the Chase savings account.

This offer is available until August 6, 2018.

Granted, this all assumes that we follow the fine print to the ‘T’ by leaving the money in for 90 days after the deposit clears, maintaining the minimum balance of $300 every day to avoid a $5 fee, and keeping the account open for six months to avoid having the bonus withdrawn. There are other ways to accomplish this in their terms, however this is the most straight forward path that will work for us.

More Bonuses!

We were also able to take advantage of a similar signup bonus twice over with First bank, a local Colorado bank. The $300 sign up bonus is dependent on a single direct deposit over $500 within the first 90 days of the account being opened. An optional debit card costs $5 a year, first year waved, but we declined this altogether. The account must also have a positive balance each day and remain open for one year to keep the bonus.

This deal sadly expired on July 8th, so as of this writing there is no link to share for this one.

Direct deposit takes a few minutes to setup with our employers and then we’ll have to allocate a few additional minutes to move the funds back into our usual checking account after deposit to pay bills. We both spent an hour at a local branch getting the account finalized. All in all, not bad for $600 as a couple as long as we follow the fine print.

I also humorously managed to trigger Chase’s anti-fraud protections, locking myself out of my online account, by trying to do one lump sump transfer. This was easily remedied by a twenty minute visit to a local branch though.

After years of honing in our expenses we now have the float to withstand moving around our direct deposits, delaying parts of our paychecks for a few days, and moving our down payment around all in one month. I am extremely thankful to be in a place to take advantage of the opportunities that July has presented.

From now on I am going to be much more inclined to read the “junk mail” as this could all have been spread out over the last few months if I had read the mailers a few months ago. We also would have been able to have used the Chase bonus twice if I had read about it a few months earlier.

Update: 07/31/2018

So far so good! We’ve received the two First Bank bonuses already, one of which went directly to an unexpected $300 expense and the other has already been deposited into the down payment fund.