Personal Finance 

Grand Plan: How to Make $1000 Risk Free

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Stack of Cash
How would you like to make $1000 risk free starting with just $1? It sounds too good to be true right? It sounds like a scam? Well, 99.999% of the time it’s a scam. This is that 0.001% time it isn’t and when you read through my Grand Plan, you’ll know it’s not a scam.

You won’t get rich with the Grand Plan, you’ll just get a little bit ahead. What you do with your new found wealth is up to you – you can pay off some high interest debt, you can put it in a high yield savings account, you can put it in the stock market, or you can just hide the money in your house somewhere. Whatever you do, please don’t squander it. Once you do the steps on this list, chances are you won’t be able to do it again. Don’t waste it.

If you’re on unemployment, earning money may jeopardize your unemployment benefits. The tips in this post should not affect your unemployment benefits because they will be reported as bank interest for tax purposes. They will be reported on a 1099-INT form at the end of the year. Confirm with your state’s unemployment benefits department before doing anything recommended here.

ING Direct Bonus

ING DirectThe first step is to get your dollar and open an ING Direct account. You only need $1 to open an ING Direct account and there are no fees associated with it. If you have $250 to spare, you can open an account using an ING Direct referral and get a $25 boost. The promotion requires you to keep the $250 in your account for thirty days.
Balance: $1 ($26 with ING Direct referral bonus)

ING Direct Orange Savings Referrals

Once you have opened an account, you can start referring people to ING and earn $10 each. You have 50 referrals. You can ask your friends, your enemies, whomever you want. You earn $10 and they earn $25. If you don’t have any friends or enemies, you can always participate in Bargaineering’s Bucks program and bid in the auctions on the right to put referrals on Bargaineering.
Balance: $501 ($526 with bonus)

ING Direct Electric Orange $50 Bonus

ING Direct also have a $50 promotion bonus on their Electric Orange checking account. Simply open an account, use the debit card three times, and you’ll be sent a cool fifty bucks. A word of advice, you will have your credit pulled.
Balance: $551 ($576 with bonus)

Open a New Checking Account

ChaseIf you don’t have a checking account, nows a fine time to open one offering some sort of cash bank deal. The amount of the bonus will vary but you can find one with a $100 minimum opening balance and a $100 bonus. There’s a Chase $100 checking account bonus, there’s a PNC Checking $100 bonus, and many more.

Be sure to check for fees and minimum balance requirements, as they can get you in trouble if you don’t look carefully. For Chase, the minimum balance is $100, you need a direct deposit or make five debit purchases, and then keep that account open for 6 months. My recommendation is that you find a bank you want to do business with, then find out if they have any new account offers.
Balance: $651 ($676 with bonus)

VirtualBank Referrals

Virtual BankAnother bank that has a customer referral program is Virtual Bank. You won’t find them on any best online bank lists but that’s not why you need them, you need them for the referrals.

For each referral, you and the person you refer will get $20 if they open an eMoney market account. You get up to 50 referrals, which is a potential $1,000 in your pocket. These referrals aren’t as easy to pass along as ING Direct referrals and there’s easy way to pass them along (you have to email the person through their system), so we’ll discount it a little. Let’s say you can get 15 referrals of the 50 possible referrals, that’ll put $300 into your pocket.

Since you’ll need an account, you can email me for a referral and tack on another $20 to the total.
Balance: $971 ($996 with bonus)

Sharebuilder Promotion

ShareBuilderSharebuilder often has promotion bonus codes and you can use them for some quick and easy money. Their latest is a $25 promotion code and requires that you deposit $25, make one trade, and $25 will be credited to your account. Purchases are $4 but sales are $9.95, which cuts into the bonus.

If you’re patient, you may find a code for free trades on Sharebuilder, letting you keep more of the $25. For the purposes of our Plan, we’ll put the value of this promo at $21 ($25 minus the $4 transaction fee).
Balance: $992 ($1017 with bonus)

At this point, you’re either $8 away from a full thousand or $17 over it, all with absolutely no risk whatsoever! If you can find a few dollars in your couch cushions or maybe in your winter coat, here’s a bonus offer that might interest you.

TradeKing Bonus Offer

Tradeking - Discount Online BrokerIf you’re looking for a place to stick that newly minted one thousand dollar bill, consider TradeKing. Trades are only $4.95 plus you can earn $50 per referral. If you refer someone who opens a new account with at least $1,000 and executes a trade, you and the person you refer will earn $50. I am a happy TradeKing customer and I can refer you, just email me and let me know.

Here are the terms & conditions of that offer, it expires June 3rd, 2010.

There are intangible “costs” associated with this entire project. Whenever you open a checking account with overdraft protection, the bank may do a hard inquiry on your credit report which can lower your score. There are also risks associated with anything involving the stock market, but there are no risks with any of the banks I’ve mentioned – they are all FDIC insured.

With that I leave you to the Grand Plan, a safe and easy way to earn a thousand bucks… starting with just one lone Washington.

What do you think? Was there a promotion or deal that I missed? Please share your thoughts.

(Photo: amagill)

{ 30 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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30 Responses to “Grand Plan: How to Make $1000 Risk Free”

  1. Philip White says:


    So, the “easy” way of making $1,000 is to convince just 65 people to open bank accounts?

    Good luck.

    • Martha says:

      I think that you leverage the bargaineering’s bucks auctions to have people sign up through your links on the website you’ll be on your way a lot easier than not trying!

  2. hoosierbee says:

    I took advantage of the Sharebuilder promos a long time ago, and recently started using the account again, finally. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. cubiclegeoff says:

    I think you’d have to be pretty hopeful to be able to get enough people to take your referral. Since a lot of people don’t discuss finances and money, I think referals are hard to pass along.

  4. zapeta says:

    Fundamentally the plan is sound, assuming you can somehow get that many people to use the referral links. I’d say that the plan would work but it will take a long time to execute. I’ve had an ING account for several years and I ran out of friends who wanted accounts long ago.

  5. echidnina says:

    Electric Orange (checking) has referrals too 😀 But referrals aren’t as easy to get as you might think (unless you have a high-traffic finance blog, I guess). The only ING referrals I have are through this site. (Not that I’m complaining! 🙂 )

  6. cm says:

    I would be impressed if any given person got THREE referrals, let alone *65*!

    You’re right, it is risk-free: there’s no risk of you actually making the $1,000.

  7. govenar says:

    For ShareBuilder, note that if you’re a Costco Executive member you can get $100 instead of $25.

  8. lostAnnfound says:

    Got $25.00 for opening ING Direct Savings, $25.00 from Sharebuilder (didn’t have to trade/purchase, just deposit $25.00 at that time), and $80.00 in ING Direct referrals (Thank you, Jim!). It’s not $1,000.00, but an extra $130.00 risk-free works for me (so far).

  9. rtbeal says:

    I just need to start building up the BB bucks so I can get a refferal on your page!!

  10. Saul says:

    How many credit checks will be done before this process is over? If you go for a loan within a year after doing this you may have ended up with a net loss in interest rate hikes.

    • Jim says:

      There aren’t a lot of credit checks but if you are getting a loan in the next year, one check is one too many.

      • Saul says:

        Do you know if tradeking or sharebuilder pull credit? I am guessing that if they include margins they will.

  11. Great article. Of course gathering that many referrals will be difficult, but at least this shows us the vast amount risk-free money available to us.

  12. Saul says:

    I would add the lendingclub $25 bonus, does bargaineering have a code for that? I believe they don’t pull credit.

  13. I agree with several of the others that making $1000 with this plan is perhaps a little optimistic (or at the least, a very, very long term plan); however, I think that if you do several of the options, opening new accounts and fulfilling the requirements, the result would be nothing to turn your nose up at. $400ish isn’t $1K, but it is still nice for simple, risk-free money!

  14. BTW, the PNC promo has already ended. I bring that up because you specifically linked to it. The Chase one is still active, for those who do not already have a checking account with Chase.

  15. Saul says:

    Can anyone comment on whether or not this can be done for you and a partner and a custodial account?

  16. eric says:

    I chuckled a little bit. 🙂

    But true to your word: it’s possible!

  17. edgecrusher says:

    @Saul- Agreed, that’s what I was thinking. Open an account for myself, wife, and son, park 750 bucks total at ING for a month, make 95 bucks in 30 days. 152% annualized ROI FTW!

    • Saul says:

      Let us know how it goes. I might be wrong, but couldn’t you and your wife both set up custodial accounts for your son? With separate custodians you have separate accounts. I’d like to know if sharebuilder pulls credit reports because they have bonus for costco members as well.

      • edgecrusher says:

        Good point about the wife opening a custodial account too, I hadn’t thought about that. I’m gonna try it out today and I’ll let you guys know how it goes.

  18. moljacks says:

    I already have a ING savings and a sharebuilder but I just took the plunge for the Electric orange. The extra $50 will help my vacation fund!

  19. jsbrendog says:

    this isn’t foolproof as someon has to actually take the referrals and one i won a week ro so ago still hasnt been used.

    • jsbrendog says:

      fail on my part. it was, ing just never sent me an email cause i switched them. guess it was lost in the fog. either way this is a lot of effort but yes it is doable, but still it also i snot foolproof.

      but either way

      <—fail ha

      • Saul says:

        How do you make a general referral? It looks like one needs to enter an email and send it to someone particular.

  20. edgecrusher says:

    My account is open, and $250 is transferred, but no $25 bonus! How long does it take for them to deposit that in the account, I couldn’t find an answer in the FAQ.

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