ChexSystems Report Check-Up


Since I opened over 20 different financial accounts of some type during the last half of this year, I was curious to see what my ChexSystems report looked like to see how much damage I made. This little-known company is like a credit bureau except it tracks bank accounts instead of credit accounts.

I put in a request for their free annual (FACTA) report through their website and waited for the report to come in the mail. It arrived in a few days and it had many pages to it, but as I looked through them, there were only three accounts shown on the report. Two were credit unions local to California, and one was Bank of the West.

I also learned that my Social Security Number, was issued when I was around 8 years old. I’m guessing my mom opened a bank account for me around that time. There is also a ranking of your “wealth index” that seemed rudimentary, but was interesting to see.

Only seeing these three accounts temporarily emboldened me for my bank bonus quest. However, I am somewhat suspicious. Doing some quick searching, I found there are a couple other agencies that do the same thing (EWS and Telecheck), so I plan on checking those out as well and will post on those as well.

ChexSystems Link

Free FACTA Report

Reference – Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Article

Bank Bonus (Checking): State Bank of India $150




This bank came to my attention since it offered a $1,000 deposit wit


h a credit card and is a bank based in California. Sometime after I opened the account, it is no longer possible to fund the account with a credit card.

After submitting my application I received a phone call to verify my identity. I was sent a debit card soon after opening the account. The bank has a very basic phone app and the web interface is somewhat dated, but functional. 

I ran into an issue where I specified my account on direct deposit was a savings account since I ran out of checking account slots, so the payment didn’t go through. I received a call from the bank to let me know this was happening. To speed up the direct deposit setup, since I wanted to make sure I had $500 deposited before the end of the month, I asked for a direct deposit slip to give to someone in my employer’s payroll department. The bank sent me a letter in the mail with a real printed voided check, which was a nice old-school touch.

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Varo $100 with $200 Deposit (Needs a Referral Link)

The Varo Bank bonus is a quick paying bonus with no hold requirement on the $200 deposit.

I opened the account via the iOS app and copied the routing and account numbers over to my Discover account. They make it super easy to copy by just letting you tap on the numbers. After the trial deposit verification, I made a transfer via ACH and the bonus hit immediately after the transfer finished.

The debit card design is different. I didn’t really know what the art was on the card until reading the mailer, which explains their logo is a mountain goat. When cropped on the card, I had no idea.



Bank Bonus: Discover Savings $150 or $200

This $200 bonus is fairly straight-forward and fast compared to others out there. I deposited $25,000 from a brokerage account into the account with an ACH transfer. After that the bonus immediately hit the account.

Other Strategies

If $25k is too much to transfer over, you can earn $150 with $15k of total deposits. Or you can do multiple deposits (transfer funds in and out) before hitting the promo deadline since it is a cumulative count of deposits into the account.

Some people suggest you could deposit an amount and repeatedly initiate an outgoing external transfer on the web interface and cancel (during bank business hours) to trigger a bonus. In other words it triggers a debit/credit pair each time you do it and the bonus algorithm just adds up the credits into the account. I felt in the spirit of the offer, it was best just to transfer the full amount at one time.

Offer Link

Discover Savings $200 or $150 Link

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Welcome to Bonus Hustle

Welcome to Bonus Hustle— a blog where I hope to help you and I earn extra cash through bonus offers. 

The “Side Hustle”

A few months ago, I signed-up for a rewards credit card with a large sign-up bonus. I looked into ways to help meet the minimum spending amount within the 90 day time limit for the sign-up bonus. I ran across blog comments mentioning banks accepting an opening deposit with a credit card coded as a purchase. In addition, some of these bank accounts offer a cash sign-up bonus, so I started opening a few savings and checking accounts.

Around the same time, I was reading and listening to podcasts about financial independence. Earning extra income through a side hustle, and diversifying your sources of income, is an important part of the path of financial independence. Starting a venture is an activity I am interested in and also feel is a big hole in my plan for financial independence.



“Earning extra income through a side-hustle, and diversifying your sources of income, is an important part of the path of financial independence.”

As the bonuses started to roll-through, I decided to share my experience here and keep track of my progress. Being a new dad and not having a ton of time, I decided researching and pursuing these bonus offers is something I could write about. I will try to steer my emerging bonus hustle into my first side hustle. This blog is starting out as a journal and hopefully will also serve as a guide to whoever is interested in this topic. I am not sure how sustainable the activity will be in the long-run, but I will see how far I can take it.


“This blog is starting as a journal for my bonus hustle, and hopefully will also serve as a guide to whoever is interested in this topic.”

Beginnings of the Bonus Game

I first started with a travel rewards credit card, but the credit card points game can be a complex process when trying to maximize rewards redemptions. Getting credit card bonuses goes more slowly if you value your credit score. Also, the premium cards are more difficult to get approved for and can demand a large amount in spending in a short amount of time to bag the sign-up bonus.


To indicate how complicated it can be, there are lengthy courses being offered for free on the internet with flow charts, case studies, and even entire podcast episodes where the hosts and guests could talk about every tip, trick, and caveat for hours.


So, to fill-in the time between applying for new credit cards, I turned to other banking products. For a modest amount of time, and shifting money around, earning bank bonuses in their various forms may be an appealing option for you.

Basic Financial Checklist

Before getting started, some things to keep in mind:

  • Build-up your emergency fund
  • Ensure all your bank accounts are in good standing with positive balances
  • Check your credit score
  • Focus on getting rid of any credit card debt
  • Figure out a method to stay organized and automate reminders

There are two main types of bank bonuses savings/checking

If you are a W2 employee, checking account bonuses can be a way to earn money without a holding period. There are methods of triggering direct deposits with bank accounts you own to be able to make moves faster or scale up beyond the size of your monthly paycheck.


Goals for the Blog

  • Be a trustworthy source of information and only recommending reputable bonus opportunities
  • Explore topics related to financial independence, banking, general opportunities to earn bonuses, ideas for investing to maximize those earnings
  • Create a space for discussion and discovery

“For a modest amount of time, and shifting money around, earning bank bonuses in their various forms may be an appealing option for you.”