Posted by William Charles on May 19, 2015
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on May 19th, 2015 | by William Charles

118

Warning About Santander Extra20 Deal & ACH Transfers/Direct Deposits

Update: Santander has clarified what officially counts as a direct deposit and Paypal is specifically mentioned as not counting, so I daresay that will stop working soon if it hasn’t already.

In case you didn’t know, Santander offers a bank account that lets you earn a $20 bonus every month when you complete some simple requirements: direct depositing $1,500 every month and paying at least two bills with their bill pay service.

In the past basically any ACH transfer has triggered the direct deposit requirement, this has made it exceedingly easy to get the bonus. On March 20th, banks were required to change how ACH transfers code (some banks did this well before March 20th). ACH Transfers will now show up something like this:

“<Your Name> P2P Transfer” (sometimes it’ll show as a2a, not sure on difference)

A P2P transfer doesn’t qualify as a direct deposit (Santander doesn’t specify what a direct deposit is, but it usually needs to be your payroll or government benefit) and as such you don’t qualify for the $20 monthly bonus. To make matters worse, you also need the $1,500 direct deposit requirement to waive the $10 monthly fee on the checking account (there is no monthly fee on savings account which is also required).

Options

You have a few options though if you want to continue to receive this bonus:

  • Change your payroll or government benefits to hit this account. I think this is seriously worth considering given that this deal shows no sign of dying. If you’ve got automatic payments set on another account you could always set up an automatic transfer to transfer the funds out of your Santander account when they hit the account.
  • Use a business account to do a transfer. If you transfer funds into your Santander account from a business account (with a different financial institution) it won’t code as a P2P transfer and should still count as a direct deposit. Difficulty is getting a business checking account when you don’t have a business.
  • Use one of these banks. For some reason some banks are still not coding as P2P transfers and continue to work, here are ones that are still working that I know of:
    • Alliant
    • Chase
    • Capital One
    • Paypal

In addition the following banks definitely do not work anymore:

Another thing that could work is sending an ACH transfer from somebody other than yourself (e.g your partner) as that way the name will not match the name on your account. I’m not sure if this does or doesn’t work, so would appreciate any data points if anybody has tried it.

Final Thoughts

This is still a great bonus in my opinion, although my view is slightly biased as I’ve been receiving $20 for more than a year now. I think this bonus will continue though, so it’s not too late to sign up. Just be aware that Santander are cracking down on what they consider a direct deposit and an ACH transfer might no longer work (and the ones currently working could stop working at any time).

Also apologies for not informing people of this sooner, I didn’t realize they were cracking down quite this bad and would’ve expected more readers to alert me if this was the case! Either not many of you are doing this deal or you’re using a real direct deposit. Also thanks to Oren’s Money Saver for kicking me in the butt to get around to finally posting this.

I’ve also updated our “what counts as a direct deposit page” to reflect this. As always a list of the best bank bonuses can be found by clicking here and a full listing of them can be found here.



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Matt
Matt

Just to add a confirmation that Chase still works fine. I use Chase for my “direct deposit” and haven’t had any problems.

Miz
Miz

Does Chase still work?

Ben
Ben

Wondering the same thing. Mine did not seem to work this month (no bonuses for August with July transfer).

Matt
Matt

Didn’t see these posts until now – Chase still working for both me and my wife.

Oren

Haha! I did the same thing. I knew about it a few days ago and kept delaying. Thanks for the HT.

Travis
Travis

If you received the bonus from last month, should that mean you are good?

Travis
Travis

I mean this month….

Jeff
Jeff

As a data point, I’ve been using Redbird as my direct deposit source, and it still seems to work the same. The description hasn’t changed: SERVE ENTERPRISE EXCHANGE. For what it’s worth, I got my bonus on May 11 as I always have.

Eric
Eric

Jeff, did you get your bonus for June? If so, I will have to try Serve next month if PayPal fails this month.

Jay
Jay

I did a DD from Serve to BOA and it showed up with my first initial and last name on it.

Eric
Eric

Wasn’t your original post about Santander? Did your Serve to Santander work in June? Are you saying that Serve to BOA DID NOT work? I am interested as I also have a BOA promotion I need a DD for.

Dan
Dan

Do you mean May 20th? The strategy I’m using for direct deposit currently isnt one of the ones you mention but it is working fine. I DD from RB to Santander.

Ny
Ny

Redbird counts as a direct deposit for me, as did Serve when I had the card.

Mango
Mango

Will Mango and Union Prepaid be affected? Schwab has been working so far.

joe
joe

Does Schwab still work for You? do you xfer from brokerage or checking?

GlayTeru
GlayTeru

Was this a thing happening like right now or back several months earlier? I just opened my account in April and used discover to push 1500 into it. Several days ago I just received the first bonus. Please let me know.

Jeremiah
Jeremiah

I can confirm Chase still works. I’ve got semi-monthly automatic transfer set up and it’s still coding as a direct deposit. If it stops I may just divert some of my work DD over.

Eric
Eric

Doesn’t Chase charge to send money? Or is that Bank of America that does? I recall one of them used to charge about $3 to withdraw money.

Matt
Matt

Chase does not charge. Bank of America does.

Sam
Sam

I used Discover checking to push ACH and it appeared as “DISCOVER BANK PREARRANGE”.

Not sure whether it still falls into the DD category

John
John

Hi Sam, did it work in your case?

B
B

I tried Discover in April, and that worked.

Eric
Eric

Did Discover work in May?

Eric
Eric

Does Serve work for this? Do they charge the monthly fee the first time you miss a direct deposit?

I Can See for Miles
I Can See for Miles

A data point: Key Bank ACH transfers do not work.

Eric
Eric

Has anyone that uses PayPal as the direct deposit gotten credit in May? How about Capital One?

Chuck

CO360 worked for me in May.

Matthew
Matthew

Hey Chuck,

Not that I want to ask Santander but hopefully CO is still working I just put a deposit through and it doesnt note anything but the following:

CAPITAL ONE N.A. CAPITALONE 00003XXXXXXXXX

Penny
Penny

is CO360 still working? I’m switching jobs and taking a few months off so wondering if I can use CO360 instead of Paypal

Chuck

Not sure, I’ve been using other things recently.

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