As promised yesterday, today’s post will detail how you can get at least $100 in bonus money for future college expenses. Even if you don’t have children yet.
This past weekend I finally got around to opening up a 529 Savings Plan, one of the most effective ways to save for college. We’ve been questioning whether we should open a 529 for some time, but what was ultimately holding me up was deciding on which State’s plan to use.
In the end, we decided on the Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan. Don’t let the name fool you, you’re allowed to use the Ohio plan regardless of which state you live in now or which state you’ll be using the funds in.
Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan
Other features of the Ohio CollegeAdvantage Plan:
- The funds can be used for tuition, books, and even room and board.
- Open an account with as little as $25.
- No enrollment or maintenance fees.
- Multiple, low-cost investment options (i.e. Vanguard), including FDIC-insured options.
- The plan is also very flexible, allowing you to change beneficiaries at any time. You can even open it if you don’t have kids yet.
And like all 529 plans, the earnings from the investments are tax free, if you use them for college.
Bonus College Savings
Here’s how I got the bonus money:
- Initial $25 Bonus – Just by opening an account and using a friend’s referral code I got a $25 bonus.
- 2nd Child “Refer a Friend” $50 Bonus – After opening my first account, I sent a refer a friend email to Mrs. PT. When she opens and funds a second account, I’ll receive $50 in my first account.
- 2nd Child Initial $25 Bonus – By using my referral code, Mrs. PT scored a $25 initial bonus of her own.
- Systematic Savings $25 Bonus x 2 – The CollegeAdvantage Plan is also offering a $25 bonus for each new recurring monthly electronic funds transfer (EFT) or payroll deduction you set up. Since we have two accounts, we will get two of these bonuses.
In total, we’ll earn at least $150 in bonus money to help us get started with college savings. Here’s the step-by-step guide to opening your account and getting your bonus money for college savings.
How to Get Started and Get Your Bonuses
Step 1: Open a new Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan account by December 15, 2009.
Step 2: Use the referral code 2506962. The picture below shows where you’ll need to place the code.
Step 3: Select a fund and deposit at least $25.
Step 4: You’ll receive your bonus within 7-10 business days after your account is established.
Step 5: Use the “refer a friend” to get unlimited $50 bonuses, plus new $25 bonuses for your new account and others you refer. Open one for another child, or your spouse by selecting “Yes, I am a CollegeAdvantage account owner, and wish to establish another account for a new beneficiary.” Do this for all your children. Be sure to use your referral code (which is your account number).
Step 6: Set up a recurring monthly electronic funds transfer (EFT) or payroll deduction by January 31, 2010. Set up another for even more bonus money.
Step 7: Contribute at least $25 per month for three consecutive months.
Step 8: Get the $25 bonus for each EFT after the EFTs have been active for 90 days.
As you can see, if you have multiple kids and multiple EFT setups you can really maximize the amount of bonus money to help you get started towards college savings. This is a great plan and a great time to start saving.
$25 Referral Code: 2506962
Need more convincing about the Ohio CollegeAdvantage Plan? Check out Bankrate.com’s review, Morningstar rankings, also see this Kiplinger State-by-State Guide. Remember to get all the IRS facts about 529 plans and consult a tax professional to get all the details if you’re unsure.