Chase Bank is promoting a new checking account, Chase Sapphire Checking, by offering 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points for opening or upgrading an existing account. In order to receive the bonus, you have to complete the following:
- Open or upgrade to a Chase Sapphire Checking account – Meet with a banker at any branch OR
For new Chase checking customers, you can apply online for a new account
- Deposit money into your new account – Within 45 calendar days, transfer a total of $75,000 or more in qualifying new money or securities to a combination of eligible checking, savings and/or investment accounts, and maintain that balance for at least 90 days
- Enjoy your 60,000 Ultimate Rewards bonus points – Within 45 business days of completing step 2, Chase will add 60,000 bonus points to your Chase Sapphire card with Ultimate Rewards
Several forums and bloggers have pointed out that while the bonus points are worth anywhere from $600 to $1,200 (Chase issues the account holder a 1099 for tax purposes, valuing the points as $600 of income), you are essentially foregoing earned interest by keeping it in a Chase savings or checking account, which has a nearly 0% interest rate.
Well, here’s a way to avoid earning 0% interest while your money is parked at Chase and still get the generous Ultimate Rewards sign-up bonus points.
- Open a Chase You Invest account – It’s easy to open up a Chase You Invest account, which is a new self-service brokerage that offers unlimited commission-free trades on stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds for Chase Sapphire Checking customers. It takes 1-2 business days after submitting your application online to start trading in your account.
- Transfer money or securities into your Chase You Invest account – You can transfer existing assets (stocks, ETFs, or mutual funds) in-kind from another brokerage to Chase or deposit cash into your Chase Sapphire checking account, and then transfer the cash into your Chase You Invest account. Just keep in mind that Chase does not charge a fee to transfer assets into your account, but Chase may charge a fee (around $75) to transfer in-kind assets out of your account.
- Purchase stocks, ETFs, or mutual funds – If you do not want to invest your cash into stocks or bonds, there are several money market funds that pay healthy interest. I personally do not want to risk my money in the market right now, so I purchased Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund (VMMXX), which has a very good yield compared to CDs and other bank savings interest rates.
So there you have it… you can actually have your cake and eat it too with this sign-up bonus offer. Let us know what you think of this offer in the comments section below.