The Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan is currently offering a $25 refer-a-friend bonus if you open an account and deposit at least $25 by December 15, 2008. You can be a resident of any state, and there are no application or annual fees.
Is This Ohio Plan Any Good?
After doing some research on the best 529 plan for those without an in-state tax break, my opinion was that the two best overall 529s were the Ohio CollegeAdvantage and the Illinios BrightStart plans. Illinois uses Vanguard, has a decent variety of low-cost index options (average ~0.20% total annual expense ratio), and has one of the lowest fee structures around. Ohio is similar – they use Vanguard, are a bit more expensive (average ~0.30% total annual expense ratio), but have a few more investment options like inflation-protected bonds. So yes, it is a solid plan.
Collecting 529 Bonuses
We don’t have kids (yet), and yet I’ve opened a bunch of different 529 plans in different states for their bonuses or in-state resident tax advantages. The nice thing is that you can usually roll them over into another 529 plan, although some states do a tax recapture. (Oregon didn’t.) So open an account, get the bonus, and just see if you like it. If you don’t have kids yet, simply list yourself, your spouse, or even your parents as the beneficiary. You can always change it later.
For the curious, I am currently in a New Hampshire plan run with 0.50% expense ratio by Fidelity because I have a grandfathered-in 2% cash back card that deposits into the 529. Given how good the Ohio account is, one day I might be rolling everything over there.
Referral Bonus Instructions
Both the referred and referree get $25, and I’d love for you to help fund my future kid’s college. 😉 Here are the easy instructions:
- You can enroll online or via mail. The online process was quick and easy, and I didn’t have to mail in anything.
- The first step is to input your personal info and choose a login/password. Next, you’ll verify your e-mail and complete the application.
- After that, you’ll choose your funding amount and select an investment fund. Your initial deposit must be a least $25, and is funded using the account/routing numbers of your bank account. At the bottom, you will need to enter a referral code to get the bonus. Enter 2465786.
- In 1-3 days, your initial deposit will be sucked out, and in 5-7 business days you will get your $25 bonus. The $25 will be deposited directly into the 529 account, and will be invested in the same thing as your initial deposit.
I opened the account last week and got my $25 bonus successfully and as promised: