Simple Bank Bonus: $300 Bonus + 1.90% APY for $20,000 New Deposit

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Bonus updated 2/5/20. Simple is one of many fintech startups adding fancy tech and smartphone app sprinkles to your vanilla checking account. They were acquired by the big European-based bank BBVA in 2014. It looks like they are trying the direct route of customer acquisition (and my favorite of course) – paying you a cash bonus!

Simple has updated $150 and $300 bonuses for new accounts. They had similar bonuses in July and October 2019 that were bigger ($250/$500), but we are also in a lower interest rate environment these days. The competition is paying out less too.

$150 Bonus Details ($10,000+)

  • Open a new Simple Account by 2/15/2020 at 3:59 PM PT.
  • Deposit(s) totaling $10,000 or more must post to the new account by 3:59PM PT 10 days after the account is opened.
  • Maintain a balance of at least $10,000 through 4/30/20 4:59 PM PT.
  • The combined balance between your Simple Account and Protected Goals Account counts towards this bonus. The Protected Goals account currently pays 1.90% APY while the primary checking only pays 0.01% APY, so I would recommend opening one of those as well. Note that balances in *Shared* Accounts and *Shared* Protected Goals Accounts do not toward this bonus.
  • Qualifying customers will receive the bonus credit into the eligible Simple account by 5/15/2020 at 4:59pm PT.

$300 Bonus Details ($20,000+)

  • Open a new Simple Account by 2/15/2020 at 3:59 PM PT.
  • Deposit(s) totalling $20,000 or more must post to the new account by 3:59PM PT 10 days after the account is opened.
  • Maintain a balance of at least $20,000 through 4/30/20 4:59 PM PT.
  • The combined balance between your Simple Account and Protected Goals Account counts towards this bonus. The Protected Goals account pays 1.90% APY while the primary checking only pays 0.01% APY, so I would recommend opening one of those as well. Note that balances in *Shared* Accounts and *Shared* Protected Goals Accounts do not toward this bonus.
  • Qualifying customers will receive the bonus credit into the eligible Simple account by 5/15/2020 at 4:59pm PT.

This offer is for new accounts only. Any person who has applied for or opened any Simple Account before 4:00pm PT on 1/31/20 is ineligible to participate in this promotion. Maximum of one (1) $300 bonus OR one (1) $150 bonus per customer.

If there are two people with a lot of available cash in your household, you might have each person do the bonus individually. A couple could now earn $600 bonus + 1.90% APY (variable). No minimums, no monthly fees, FDIC-insured, see if you like the bells and whistles. Here is their full fee schedule.

Note that for some reason Simple limits ACH transfers to/from an external account to $5,000 cumulative during the first 30 days, when initiated on the Simple website. However, you can simply initiate a transfer from another bank (Ally Bank, Marcus, CIT, etc.) and there are no transfer limits.

Bottom line. Simple is offering a $150/$300 bonus on $10,000/$20,000 of new money. This works out to a 1.5% bonus after 90 days, which makes it roughly 6% APY annualized. The bonus is on top of the standard interest rate, currently 1.90% APY (as of 2/5/20). That is a pretty good return on FDIC-insured cash in this current rate environment. Compare with my most recent roundup of best interest rates.

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Comments

  1. joshua Katt says:

    First my application hung and I needed to call in and have it reset to try again. Now I got this? Anyone else? I said “retired” and “investments” to their questions? Or am I flagged in some sort of database somewhere? Just got approved for a few credit cards recently. Bastards…

    Thanks for applying to become a Simple customer. Unfortunately, your application doesn’t meet our requirements and we’re unable to open an account for you. We cannot provide you with any specific reason for denial of your application.

    We’re sorry we couldn’t open an account for you. We wish you all the best. Thanks for your interest!

    – The Team at Simple

  2. Thanks, Jonathan.
    I was uncertain whether to chase another bonus, but then I saw this might provide high-interest checking. They even have a page on their website that says “Check out our high-interest online checking account”.

    You say “The Protected Goals account pays 1.90% APY while the primary checking only pays 0.01% APY”, but they seem to imply that if you have both accounts, you get the higher interest rate on both.

    Is there anybody here who can confirm that, or is Simple just being too clever with their wording,

    • My understanding is that the Simple checking pays 0.01% APY and only money that is transferred to a Protected Goals account earns 1.90% APY. They are different buckets, although perhaps the Protected Goals account is also technically a “checking” account?

      • Ah, thanks for pointing that out. I think Protected Goals could be checking. Even though they talk about savings, there is no 6 transactions/month limit.

        (I said in another post that I couldn’t see comments … maybe it is something on my other PC since this one seems to be OK.)

    • It says “Balances in your Simple Account earn 0.01% APY. Also open an Individual Protected Goals Account to earn up to 1.90% APY and keep it safe from spending. Then we’ll use the combined balance between your Simple Account and Protected Goals Account to calculate your eligibility for the bonus.” So, only the money in ‘protected goals’ gets the good interest rate, though they’ll use the combined balance to determine what interest rate you get.

      • That’s probably right, but I think Simple (intentionally?) has misleading information on their website. For instance:
        “A high-yield checking account that’s different

        FDIC-insured up to the legal limit
        Earn up to 1.90% APY”

        (Jonathan: I am unable to see comments when I go to your website. Could this be something on my end?)

  3. From the fine print: BBVA USA may report the value of the bonus to the IRS as ?required by law.

    Does anyone know if “may report” means “will report” and if so, what the implications are?

    • They will issue you a 1099 at tax time. Anything over $600 requires it, but most banks will send one for anything over ten bucks or so.

    • I think it means you’ll probably receive a 1099 for the bonus.

      The worst I ever received was a $10 1099 from a brokerage firm for some “free trade” credits they gave me.

    • I agree, I would assume that the bonus will be included on a 1099-INT form along with the other interest earned on the account.

  4. Joejaynap says:
  5. Jason Boxman says:

    Ultimately it worked out; Checked today and found the bonus deposited (early!) for last year’s promo.

    The biggest thing to watch out for is, their UI interface is designed around their “goals” approach to saving and spending. But rest assured, you can easily get the routing and account #s and transfer to and from them from another financial institution as you normally would. I still can’t figure out how to transfer money around within Simple itself though; I prefer the traditional organization of accounts.

    Now I can reuse these funds for the Marcus promo!

    • Marcus promo has ended.

    • ” I still can’t figure out how to transfer money around within Simple itself though”

      Yes, for something calling itself “Simple”, it does seem a bit hard to understand.

      But is there even any reason to use the “normal” account? I think I just ACH in and out with the Protected Goal account (with the higher interest rate) and ignore the other with a near 0% rate.

  6. Jason Boxman says:

    I’m not clear on the interest rate for protected goals, though. The rate varies depending on the funds deposited, but I can’t tell if it’s blended or if you get the highest rate for the entire balance if you hit the threshold for that APY. (At Orion FCU, it’s blended, otherwise I’d never think to wonder.)

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