This is something I really wish was around (or I knew about) when my kids were younger.
Citizens Bank is offering a $1000 bonus when you open a CollegeSaver savings account with them before your child turns 12 and you deposit a minimum monthly amount between that time and the time your child turns 18.
The minimums are very reasonable:
- If you open the account before your child’s 6th birthday, you need to open it with at least $25 and deposit at least $25 each month until your child turns 18.
- If you open the account after your child’s 6th birthday, but before your child turns 12, you need to open it with at least $500 and deposit at least $50 each month until your child turns 18.
The $1000 bonus is paid when your child turns 18 and you can open one account per child. The account can be opened by anyone, including parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.
Citizens Bank is located in Pennsylvania, but it doesn’t appear that you have to live there to take advantage of it.
The CollegeSaver account is an interest-bearing savings account, not a 529 plan. You can see the overview, details, and FAQ here. You can use this account alone, or alongside other accounts and investments you have set up for college savings.
Not only is this $1000 in free money, it’s a great way to set up a system of regular savings deposits for college. You’re allowed to miss one monthly deposit per year and still be eligible for the bonus, but I would recommend setting up some kind of automatic system so you don’t miss any.