The Simple Way to Get Drenched in Cash

There are simple ways to get cash when you have money to play with. These ways require very little effort on your part. Let’s look at the methods we use to get more money in our hands and accelerate our financial independence.

Savings, inflation and the stock market

If your mindset is similar to ours, you’re probably the type of person who would save a significant amount of money to pay in cash for a large purchase, such as a car, or aggressively fund the early retirement years.

While many people struggle to save due to a lack of discipline, those who do save may be content with a savings account offering less than 1% APR. Simply because they may be unaware of how inflation works.

People like us, on the other hand, have a more difficult time dealing with money sitting in an account for an extended period of time. We believe that our money should at the very least keep pace with inflation. We are sometimes tempted by the stock market’s downward swings and want to invest when stocks appear to be on sale. However, we all know that money that is needed in the short term should not be invested in stocks.

If money is invested, there is a risk that it will not be available when needed. This money must be risk-free so that it is available when we need it to meet our objectives.

Hello banks!

Fortunately, if you’re willing to work a little harder, some companies will pay you a bonus to try their products and services. All you may have to do is leave a certain amount of money there. This is mostly risk-free because it is FDIC-insured.

I’m talking about banks. Some provide excellent promotions as well as the opportunity to try out their accounts and services. All while earning a good return on your investment.

As we build up the short-term reserves required for early retirement, we face the dilemma I just described.

Is there a way for us to earn a higher return on our money than a CD account without taking any additional risks?

Cash bonuses

We looked around and discovered that many banks were offering cash bonuses. Most require little effort, such as opening an account online and completing a few tasks.

PNC Bank was offering a $400 cash bonus in the fourth quarter of 2015.

All we had to do was:

  1. Open a Virtual Wallet with Performance Select Checking account
  2. Have qualifying direct deposits for a month equaling $5,000,
  3. Pay one bill using their bill-pay feature.
  4. Keep the account open for at least six months to keep the bonus. Note: We did need to keep a $5,000 balance to avoid the $25 monthly fee.

In layman’s terms, we spent 15 minutes opening the account online. In addition, we deposited $5,000 for a 6-month period. We paid a few bills with the account and received an 8% return!

Wow, that’s a better return than investing in stocks right now, and the best part is that it’s risk-free! For the record, if we had no other choice, we would keep the money in CD accounts. Our primary goal was to keep it risk-free rather than maximize its return at the risk of losing a fraction due to an investment downturn.

We opened the first account and received our reward within the first two weeks of meeting the requirements. Sweet!

A $400 bonus deposited to our accounts from PNC bank.

How to look for these offers

A quick Google search on “bank bonus offers” will bring up sites like HustlerMoneyBlog. They have a chart that gets frequently updated showing the most popular deals.

Google search on “bank bonus offers” will bring up sites like HustlerMoneyBlog. They have a chart that gets frequently updated showing the most popular deals.

To qualify for the bonus offer, make sure you read the fine print. For a month, PNC required a large direct deposit. If your monthly direct deposit is less than the required amount, you may need to adjust it. Perhaps open it during a month with a three-paycheck cycle or when you have a job bonus coming in?

Be nice!

Take the time to try out the bank’s services and give them a fair chance to win your business. As we complete transactions with PNC, we are making comparisons with our current bank. It’s good to check options and be open to switching if it makes sense.

However, we wouldn’t pay a monthly account fee or maintain a substantial amount of money deposited without getting a competitive interest rate. If we were to keep doing business with them, we’ll have to search for other account alternatives.

I also went into a branch that was conveniently located near my workplace to make a deposit. I was genuinely surprised by how the layouts of banks have evolved over time. People rarely go inside a branch to deposit or cash a check anymore, which is a sign of the times. With mobile check deposit, even ATMs are becoming obsolete.

At the branch I visited, there were no tellers, only a few representatives with office space. As I struggled to make a deposit, the helpful branch manager approached and assisted me. Making the deposit in his office added a personal touch to the transaction.

What’s next?

Now that our first bonus has been posted, we are waiting for Tatiana’s PNC bonus. We both opened separate accounts. And there are more fish in the sea beckoning us to try them. Look what I found in the mailbox just yesterday…

Offer in the mail for a cash bonus

Would $150 be worth the effort? TBD. Let the drenching continue. 🙂

Have you discovered any other ways to multiply the return on your investments that are risk-free or very low risk? What exactly are they?


After dedicating 13 years of his career to Vanguard, José retired from the corporate world at the young age of 44. During his tenure at Vanguard, he expertly coordinated the production of both electronic and print educational materials for 401(k) participants. Now, he relishes in his early retirement, cherishing time spent with his family, indulging in his favorite hobbies, seeking out new experiences, and savoring meals in the comfort of his own backyard.

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