Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Free Money!

For some unknown reason, Chase Bank decided to start imposing a minimum balance for all free checking accounts. For someone who keeps all his money in the stock market, I naturally don't have an opportunity for keeping any large amounts of cash in the checking account at any given time. The checking account is only used when I must make big payments with checks, and I typically transfer the money from my brokerage account before I actually make the payment. Chase Bank was willing to let me keep the checking account with no minimum balances as long as I would use their debit card about six times a month. Although this sounded tempting, I have not used my debit card at all since I started using my credit card, and I knew that there was no way I would make that many purchases every month. Therefore, it was time to close the account and switch to Apple Saving Bank's truly free checking account with no strings attached.

Once I switched all my money to the new account it was time to establish new connections between the Apple Bank account and the other places where I might need to transfer money. I first went to my PayPal account and broke the connection with Chase. I had never even used the PayPal account, but I figured it may be a useful thing to have, and I have always connected my bank account with their site. I started the process of connecting the new account with PayPal. After completing all of the forms, I was requested to verify the account. I guess they needed to make sure that I was the true owner of that account. One option for verifying was to give PayPal all my bank login information and let them conduct an instant verification. Although I trusted PayPal wouldn't use my information in an improper manner, I ran into complications while trying to use the instant verification. The other verification option would take a few days to complete, but I found this method to be very interesting. To verify my account, PayPal would make two small deposits into my account and then test to see if I knew the exact amount. I thought this sounded interesting, and I chose that option before going about my business surfing other sites on the World Wide Web.

When I went to check out my Apple account a few days later I was a little surprised at what I saw. PayPal had lived up to their promise, and there in my new bank account was free money! The amount was very low, but I was a little amazed that this was actually happening. I didn't do anything but connect the accounts, and I had never even used PayPal to make purchases, and here they were giving me a generous donation. The story only started to sound even better when I tried to connect my brokerage account to the checking account as well. They had the same deal! It seems that there is a new fad with these online verifications, and some companies are really giving away free money. After a few days I noticed that the brokerage firm had given me more than twice the amount of money as PayPal. My winnings from online account connecting were beginning to pile up. I started to wonder how much money I could make doing this. For instance, what would prevent me from just breaking the connections each day and then reconnecting them a few days later? I could open many checking and savings accounts and connect them to many different brokerage accounts and PayPal accounts, and I would be able to earn a decent amount of free money all day long. I could write programs to automate the process, and I could borrow other people’s identities to generate exponential growth in profits. The profit margins are 100%. The money is free, and it is guaranteed.

On second thought, I think this process is starting to sound like a lot of work as it is. Like panhandling, this scheme is also just another way of working hard for small amounts of money. I think I would rather not quit my day job, or better yet, I think I should continue to search for a day job. But it is still cool to watch free money enter my account no matter how little. I have already made about 80 cents just from having a new bank account. Has anyone else made such a substantial amount with their new accounts?

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