Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan: $100 Plus in Bonuses

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 Plan

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.

Ohio CollegeAdvantage BonusesBut here's the factor that helped me choose the Ohio plan over some of the other top 529 plans (like the Utah plan I was long considering): more than $100 in bonus money to get started.

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.

Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 Plan Referral 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

Sign Up

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.

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Last Edited: June 26, 2017 @ 5:03 pm
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a former practicing CPA, blogger, podcaster, husband, and father of three. PT is also the founder and CEO of FinCon, the conference and community dedicated to helping other financial influencers and brands. He created this website back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money, hold himself accountable, and to meet others passionate about moving toward financial independence.

PT uses Personal Capital to keep track of his financial life. This free software allows him to review his net worth regularly, analyze his investments, and make decisions about his financial future.

PT keeps a portion of his emergency fund in Betterment, the automatic investing tool that makes investing super simple. Betterment focuses on what matters most: savings rate, time in the market, investing costs, and taxes. PT recommends this service to anyone looking to get started investing for themselves.

All the content on this blog is original and created or edited by PT.


  1. Awesome. Thanks. Gonna help that young man out even more by setting up an account for him today.