PerkStreet Financial: How I Earn And Spend My Cash Back Perks

By now, you’re surely heard of PerkStreet Financial. They’re a financial institution that provides cash back for using your debit card. You heard me right, your debit card!

There might be a few of you out there who haven’t heard of such a thing. To you, I recommend reading my review of PerkStreet Financial, and make sure you check out Peter’s video Perkstreet review as well!

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PerkStreet Financial: Which Perk To Choose . . .

For those of you who already have signed up for a PerkStreet Financial checking account, you know that you can choose from three different perks:

  • Cash Back: There’s nothing like some crisp dough in your wallet . . . or, a MasterCard Prepaid card for that matter. You can also choose from a number of different retail gift cards!
  • Coffee: Yes, you can get some delicious Starbucks coffee with your perks. This will keep you bouncing off the walls just a bit longer . . . .
  • Music: iTunes rocks. You can listen to music, download videos, and even buy apps for your Mac now!
So which one did you choose? I’ll get to which one I chose in a moment . . . can you feel the suspense?

How I Earn Lots Of Perks

When I first signed up for PerkStreet Financial, I thought I wouldn’t use my debit card as much as I do now. I’m on the envelope budgeting system, and love it. But my wife and I only use cash on categories where we tend to overspend: groceries, fun money, etc.

I calculated that I wouldn’t be making very much with PerkStreet at the 2% rate of return, because I didn’t factor in some crucial categories. We found out later that we’re on track to make $588/year with PerkStreet. Wow! How is this possible?

Here are the two categories we found out later we could use our PerkStreet debit card with:

  • Emergencies. Naturally, because we don’t have predictable emergencies, we didn’t figure this in when we initially calculated how many perks we’d earn. Here’s what we do: when an emergency happens, we transfer money from our emergency fund at ING Direct to our PerkStreet checking account. Then we pay for the emergency with our PerkStreet Debit MasterCard.
  • Tuition. Yep. We found out that we can pay for my wife’s tuition with our debit card. Because college is rather expensive, we get a lot of perks by paying for college with our debit cards.
So there you have it. That’s how we earn a lot of perks. Now, here’s what we do with them . . . .

The Perk We Choose Month After Month

We do something rather boring with our perks. We pay our cell phone bill with cash back from our debit card purchases.

“But John, why not live it up and go buy yourself a cup of coffee or download some jammin’ tunes with your perks?”

Great question. The reason is simple: countless dollars are lost by the American public every year because they spend in order to earn. When they swipe their card, they feel like they aren’t paying much if not anything at all – because they know they’ll get rewards back!

My wife and I avoid the temptation to spend more by not using our perks as our fun money. If we were to earn more fun money by spending more, we would certainly spend more than we should.

So, we choose to get cash back and spend it on utilities. It’s simple, and very effective at keeping our expenses down while keeping our perks up!

If you’re thinking about opening a PerkStreet account, make sure you do your research first. PerkStreet isn’t for everyone. After all, they don’t have any branches! They are solely an online company. But I’m convinced that if you were tech savvy enough to get on the Internet and read this article today, you’re savvy enough to bank online. Go get your perks!

Sign Up For Perkstreet Financial Rewards Checking

Do you have a PerkStreet account? How much money do you make from it every month? If you don’t have a PerkStreet account, let us know your hesitations in the comments below!

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Last Edited: 19th September 2011

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  1. says

    I chose the cash back perks as well, and it’s amazing how fast they rack up when you’re using their debit card for regular purchases. In just over two months now we’ve earned almost $100 in cash back. That’s actually better than we’re doing on our high yield savings with quite a bit more in cash saved.

    Gotta love cash back for spending you’re doing anyway!

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