3 On Your Side

Consumers are 'banking on bonuses'

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Some banks are offering cash bonuses to open up new accounts. (Source: 3TV) Some banks are offering cash bonuses to open up new accounts. (Source: 3TV)

Marcia Noyes likes to bank as much of her hard-earned money as possible. So, she was thrilled when she found she could actually earn cash just by opening new bank accounts.

"I think it's around $1,125 that I have collected over the time."

She now juggles six different accounts---at six different banks. Sure, managing money all over can be a chore, but she says the sign-up incentives are just too good to pass up.

"It's like picking up money off the ground. It's easy and it's uh, fairly easy, you know, quick to do," Noyes said.

Sean Mcquay of Nerdwallet.com says the banks are stepping up their game with offers that can range from $50 to $350!

He says it's petty cash for banks who hope to woo you now so they can serve you over the long haul.

"If your checking and savings account are with them, then chances are you're going to think of them first when you need a mortgage or need a loan, and that's where banks are making a lot of their money," Mcquay said.

Before you get too excited about your bonus money, Mcquay says make sure you understand all the requirements of the new account.

"For many of these, it's you need to have a certain amount of money auto or direct deposited into the account, or you need to keep a certain amount of money in the account," Mcquay said.

As always, read the fine print and look for potential restrictions and fees.

"If the account is offering you $200 to sign up for it, but they're charging you $10 a month, that means over the course of two years you've lost out on that money and you're financially worse off than you were before."

It can really add up if you have multiple accounts at multiple banks. Marcia benefited in the long run by moving to accounts that pay a higher interest. She says the cash incentives turned her into a savvy bank shopper.

"It gives you a chance to try them out and make money in the process."

Copyright 2017 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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