Tired Of Earning Too Little Interest On Your Checking Account? Earn AA AAdvantage Miles With BankDirect!

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Bank Direct Linky

A good checking account these days is one that earns 1% interest.  Plus after paying the applicable federal, state, city, social security, and medicare taxes on the interest you’re probably making less than 0.7%

Bank Direct is an online, FDIC insured bank, that gives AA miles based on your average checking account balance.  You get 100 miles for every $1,000 you have in the account every month.  Plus miles are not taxable.  You won’t get a 1099 for the interest income like you do on a regular interest bearing account.
So if you have $25,000 sitting in an account earning 1% interest for a year you’ll get $250 interest. Assuming a 40% marginal tax rate between all those fed/state/city/social security/medicare taxes you’ll only have $150 to show for it.
With the mileage checking you would have earned 30,000 tax-free miles instead. Plus they do actually pay .05% interest on top of the miles.

I’ve been using this account for some time now and have been very happy with them.

-You get 1,000 miles signing up. If you email me at I can send you a personal link that will give us both another 1,000 miles, so you’ll actually get 2,000 miles for signing up.

-If you pay a bill every month for 12 months you will get another bonus 2,000 miles. I have a $1 bill pay automatically set up from the Bank Direct website for the 15th of every month to my credit card account.

-You can also get another 5,000 miles if you have direct deposit set up.

-Withdrawals are easy, you can use any ATM for free and they will reimburse the other bank’s ATM charge up to 4 times per month.

-You can make deposits at your local bank and ACH it online to Bank Direct.  Or you can mail in a deposit as well.

-You get 50 free personalized checks when you open your account.

-There is a $2,500 minimum balance to avoid fees.

AA miles have some of the best availability out there and are quite valuable. You can even use them for one-way awards on AA and on all of their partners, including El Al. They also have a great distance based OneWorld chart. Date and route changes on AA awards are free!
AA has very well priced off-peak awards that are good for the majority of the year. Just 20,000 miles each way from the US to Europe or South America or 17,500 each way to Hawaii for example. You can get to Israel via Europe off-peak for 40,000 miles or nonstop on El Al for 45,000 miles in coach or 67,500 in business class each way.
AA Zone Based Award Chart Linky
AA OneWorld Distance Based Award Chart Linky

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38 Comments On "Tired Of Earning Too Little Interest On Your Checking Account? Earn AA AAdvantage Miles With BankDirect!"

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joshy

This sounds like a great idea… if you send me a link… how long till it expires?

I’m not so familiar with ach payments…. I’ll check forums.

Thank you Dan!!

Dan/Ctownbochur

@joshy:
Send me an email to get the link for 2,000 miles for signing up.

It doesn’t expire, they’ve been doing this for years!

ACH is just an easy way to link up checking accounts to easily transfer funds between them for free.

Bank Direct even allows you link other people’s checking accounts to it so that you can even ACH funds into other people’s checking accounts from your Bank Direct checking account.

henry

is there a limit to how many miles you can get with this program in a year

aaron

Which bank is this? Are they a secure bank? I’ve never heard of them. Thanks dan. With a street value of .015 for aa miles combined with .05 interest its like getting .02 on your money which is hard to beat these days. By the way you only pay income tax on interest. Social security, medicare, etc. Is only on wages. But point well taken.

aaron

Actually since you are getting the miles for 12 months on 1000 you will get 1200 miles for the year times that by .015 and its 180$ so its like 1.8% annually plus the .05 interest its more like 2.3% on your money annually. CAN’T BEAT THAT!

md

I checked the the bank website says that they are a holding of Texas Capital Bank NA, I see that Texas Capital is FDIC, however do you know of any info connecting BankDirect to Texas Capital Bank regarding FDIC?
Thanks

Josh

How long do I need to have direct deposit on to get the 5K ?

swinger

Can I link MY aa account to a checking account under someone elses name? (With her permission of course) or do the names on the checking have to match the name on the AA account?

Kayef

How does opening bank accounts affect your credit? Is it bad for it?

jack

do they have a bus. account too?

d

what are the fees for a balance lower than stated? how much are the check blanks after the first 50? thanx,dan.

Dan/Ctownbochur

@aaron:
Here’s info on their parent bank and their FDIC insurance:
http://www.bankdirect.com/security/memberfdic.aspx

Personally I aim to get a minimum of 1.8 cents usage per mile from my AA miles.
So if I have $25K sitting in a checking account that would earn 30K miles, which I would value as $540 post-tax dollars.
That’s 2.16% post-tax, or comparable to earning 3.6% interest in another pre-tax account if you pay a combined 40% marginal rate.
You really can’t beat that!
I’m actually planning a trip now in First Class that will be a value of about 12 cents per AA mile! Although you won’t get those values in coach, attaining 2 cents value in coach isn’t hard at all.

I’m no tax person, but do I not pay the 15.3% self-employment tax on interest income?

@swinger:
You can try, but I’m not sure what will happen.

@Kayef:
Some banks do a hard credit check, but most do not.

@d:
$15/month for balances under $2,500=Not recommended.

You can get 250 designer checks for just $4 here:
http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/9836

eli

Sorry to burst everyones bubble. But if you read the mileage chart, you will see the interest they pay is negligible. You dont get a half a percent interest, you get half of one tent of a percent!! 5 onee hundredths a percent.

Dan/Ctownbochur

@eli:
You’re not going to burst anyone’s bubble. Nobody’s doing this deal for the .05% interest, they’re doing it for the miles.

aaron

@dan:

You don’t pay the 15.3% self employment tax on interest. That’s only for employment income. On interest you pay just income tax.

Eric

What is the $1 Bill pay account that you have set up? Is there a maximum amount of miles one can earn in a year?

Thanks!

elie

how long does it take for a transfer from your checking to bank direct and also for the other way from bank direct to your checking account?

Dan/Ctownbochur

@aaron:
Good to know, thanks for the tax lesson 🙂

@Eric:
You can set up auto bill payments from the bank direct site once you have an account. It should take all of 15 seconds to set up.

There is no cap of the miles you can earn!

@elie:
It depends on the other account (for example Citi offers a next day ACH), but figure on somewhere between 1-3 days.

Eric

Dan, I know I can set it up, but im wondering what type of account has a $1 monthly payment?

Dan/Ctownbochur

@Eric:
I just use it to pay $1 towards my credit card to qualify for the bill-pay miles.

Tax advice

To be more precise, u only pay self employment tax on “earned income” as opposed to interest income which is “unearned income” because you you don’t have to do anything and it still gains income, now for the people who show up to work and collect a check for not doing anything, well they have a complaint maybe they shouldn’t pay pay it either as they haven’t earned it,
Actually I need to get back to work now, Out!

elie

Dan please explain what is a ACH, and do you know what bank of america offers?

elie

Dan did you hear (or anyone else) about the new 75,000 AA offer, is it real or bogus?

Anonymous

Eli you missed the boat…the 75,000 AA offer WAS real until October 31st when it expired. Where were you? Sleeping? Its been all over this site and dan even made a special posting to remind us it was ending! Oh well ….

elie

i”m talking about a new offer untill feb, 28th 2011 when spending 4,000 within the first six months!

Av

Elie, I got my wife to sign up for the 100k AA CC, and we just got the second 50k points.
If I’m not mistaken there are links out there for the 75k and 100k AA CC.

Marc

I called the bank, there is no cap for miles, for every 1000 dollars you get 100 miles per month. for 100,000 dollars you would get 120,000 miles by the end of theyear

Simcha

can u send me the link for refer a friend program for the AA bank direct account. Thnk you

Anonymous

@elie: it seems like its real 4k in 6 months and you get 75k and a free companion ticket! Expires feb 28th 2011

elie

do you have any link for that NEW OFFER?

Wow

When is the off peak season? I assume not summer. Thanks.

Jeff

Ive had a checking account opened with Bank Direct and theyve been depositing miles into my AA account like clock work for almost 2 years now. The only problem is you need to mail in your deposits and it often takes 2 weeks to post . They website really sucks however a great way to earn miles!

Dan/Ctownbochur

@Wow:
Peak season is defined for each destination in the AA Zone Based Award Chart linked to in the post.

@Jeff:
Why not just ACH money over from your local bank?

jacklyn

@Anonymous:
please send the linki for the 4k in 6 months and you get 75k and a free companion ticket! Expires feb 28th 2011

Thanks

YOSSI

How long did it take to get the 2,000 miles ? for the 5,000 miles Does the direct deposit have to be payroll , would ACH work ?

Mike Oxlong

Is there anything better out there these days? For low-risk $100k parking?

akohen

New Certificates of Deposit:

* Earn 1,000 miles for every $1,000 invested in a two-year Mileage CD

Mark

Just spoke to BankDirect. They have changed the offers a bit.
1. 5,000 miles (instead of 2,000)
If you pay 3 bills every month for 3 months you will get another bonus 5,000 miles. I have a $1 bill pay automatically set up from the Bank Direct website for the 15th of every month to my credit card account.

2. 10,000 instead of 5,000
-You can also get another 10,000 miles if you have direct deposit set up.

These are both one time bonuses only.

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