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Friendship Can Pay Off With Bank Referrals

You can earn cash for getting someone else to open a bank account.When it comes to banking these days, who you know might be less important than how many people you know.

Some banks and credit unions offer referral programs.

They work like this: If you refer a friend to your financial institution, and if they open an account, both you and your friend can get cash for your efforts.

Check your bank or credit union website to see if it has a referral program. A quick Google search also reveals dozens of offers from throughout the country.

Here are just a handful of the financial institutions offering refer-a-friend programs:

Consumers Credit Union ( of Waukegan, Ill., which has the best nationally available rewards checking rates at 4.09% APY, is trying to draw new members into the fold.

If you refer a friend or family member and they open a rewards checking account and fulfill the requirements two months in a row, you’ll both receive $50 in your accounts. That means your friend must make at least a dozen debit card purchases each month; make one direct deposit, electronic debit or online bill payment; access online banking; and sign up for eStatements. Anyone can join the credit union by paying a $5 fee and depositing $5 into a savings account.

Mission Federal Credit Union ( of San Diego has doubled its Refer-a-Friend bonus through Dec. 31 in celebration of the credit union’s 50th anniversary.

If you refer someone who opens a checking account and keeps it open 90 days, you both receive $50. It takes a minimum $100 deposit to open the account, and there must be a minimum $100 direct deposit or three bill-pay or debit card transactions within 90 days to receive the bonus. To join the credit union you must live, work or attend school in San Diego County.

First Citizens Bank (, based in Raleigh, N.C., offers $25 to you and your friend if your friend opens a checking account. The initial deposit amount depends on the type of checking account opened, and some accounts have no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. The bank has more than 400 branches in 17 states and the District of Columbia.

Dean Bank ( in Franklin, Mass., offers a gift-card bonus for referral. When the friend opens an account with a debit card, you both receive 3,500 DeanPoints that can be redeemed for a $25 gift card for various retailers, restaurants or merchandise. Dean Bank is a community bank with four branches serving Massachusetts and northern Rhode Island.

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Comments (2)
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2 Existing Comments
  1. Kathy at Bankaholic said:
    on December 28th at 09:31 am

    These deals are still being offered. (Note that Mission FCU’s ends Dec. 31, 2011, however.)

  2. Kathy at Bankaholic said:
    on January 10th at 09:30 am

    Mission FCU’s offer has expired, but the others are still available.