Side gig – Sign up bonuses

Working on SSDI means you are limited to $1,100 a month or you lose your benefits. Losing the income would be difficult, but losing the medical would be deadly.

This said, during times when I am not so bad off I try to come up with ways to bring in additional income that is unearned. You could be a bazillionaire. Win the lottery. Have millions in investment income, but you cannot earn more than $1,100 a month in working income or you lose your benefits.

It’s not instantaneous or anything, but doing so begins the process and the prospect of losing medical insurance is so petrifying that even if I could earn another $100 because I was having a good month, I won’t.

It’s not that I’m unable to do anything ever. It’s that I’m unable to do anything consistently. If there was a job out there that would provide a living wage based on working when I was able that would be fantastic. If we had universal health care in the US many people in my same position would be able to work to the best of their ability instead of limiting themselves when they feel slightly better because we know we will have 4-5 crap months every year and not be able to work. It’s a conundrum, yo.

I’m always on the search for passive/unearned income opportunities and one that I found several years ago and do a couple times a year is open checking accounts for the sign up bonuses. Doing this twice a year can net you $500-$700 and it’s minimal work.

If you are like me and have no liquid funds available, it can be a little more challenging, but if you have $2,500 – $5,000 liquid you could be seeing 10% returns on your emergency fund every year! I don’t have access to that amount of money and therefore can’t take advantage of the really big bonus offers, but I can do some of the smaller ones.

I’ve done Chase Checking twice in the last 3 years and found them easy to set up and easy to close with little hassle and requirements of balance to maintain. This referral link will get you a $200-$350 sign up bonus depending on which account you open.

I also just opened an account with HomeStreet Bank, but it appears the promotion was direct to consumer only for those with an existing mortgage with the bank, but that promo is for $350. I’ll lose some of it because of the monthly checking fee due to not having a $2,500 balance, but $230 is still free money!

I’ve actually considered that once everything is settled with my small amount of debt and my car sold that I might finagle some deals with my credit cards to use checks to hit the minimal balance and increase my payouts. I haven’t done all the math on it yet, but with a 0% interest rate and a 1% fee I might be able to increase my income from this sort of sign up bonus program significantly.

I’ve read that some people are pulling in $10-20K annually doing this, but I believe the highest earners are opening accounts in their name and their partner’s names as well and have some of the liquid money to meet minimal account balances. Still, good to read and aspire to!

I’m always reading about things that don’t apply to me. They may never apply to me, or to my utter shock and awe, after a few years they DO APPLY TO ME. Always take the time to learn and read up in advance to be prepared for when opportunity or “luck” catches up with you!



  1. I’ve always been great at doing credit card bonuses but am terrible with doing banking offers and I have no idea why! But I’m getting on that horse this year. I’ve got four accounts going between myself and my spouse, and I might be able to take on Chase as well.


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