Published on May 19th, 2015 | by William Charles118
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).
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:
- Capital One
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.
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.