Apr 8, 2008

Free $25 - Weird but absolutely true

OK, the MoneySavingMom blog this morning has a "too good to be true, but is" posting about a bank that's opened up what they hope will be competition for PayPal. It's called Revolution Money Exchange and (here's the "too good to be true" part), just for opening an account, they give you $25.00. That's right -- $25 free. No strings. No depositing money of your own. Poof! $25.00.
Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange

I've done it, I've created an account. But I didn't do it until I got online and did some research on the parent company and, to the best of my knowledge and researching skills, it's legit. They are the First Bank and Trust in Brookings, SD, have 8 branch offices, are FDIC insured, etc. I do not fill out forms lightly on the internet, so you know I had to feel pretty secure to fill this form out. If you're so inclined to receive $25.00 free, use the button here in my post because I will get a $10 referral fee. Then go put it on your blog and do the same! Once you sign up, go to MY ACCOUNT and somewhere on there you'll see the word ACCEPT with a blue check mark - click on that to have the $25 put into your account. Once you do that, you can withdraw the funds!! Hey, free money is free money! ADDED LATER IN RESPONSE TO ANONYMOUS' COMMENT: I agree to ALWAYS be leary. However, can you actually give me the names of the web sites that called this a scam, because I don't find them (try doing a Google search for INTERNET SCAM "REVOLUTION MONEY EXCHANGE" ). Not only do I not find posts calling this a scam, I find the opposite. Here's what I find (and I'm not trying to push this on anyone!!! I'm just trying to make sure that something *I* signed up for is not a scam!!) Washington Post – "Former AOL chairman Steve Case is at it again, this time using his Revolution LLC investment firm to start a new credit card company he's calling Revolution Money…AOL vice chairman emeritus Ted Leonsis will chair the new company…the board also will include former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, former Mastercard CEO Russell Hogg, and former Charles Schwab chief executive David Potruck." USA Today - "Leonsis predicts the service will have 1 million merchants and 1 million customers signed up within a year." ReadWriteWeb - "The company recently announced a $50 million Series B round of funding from Citi, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and others." Bloomberg - Case's Revolution Introduces Credit Card With Lower Fees - Case, 49, has invested $100 million of his own money in Revolution. Computer World - CEO Jason Hogg says, "At the same time, you have greater security. I think there are opportunities for a better model, and an Internet-based payment platform affords us that opportunity." Wall Street Journal – "Revolution Money is also offering the first anonymous credit card with PIN-based encrypted technology. There is no name or account number on the card, 'drastically reducing the risk of identity theft, fraudulent charges and other consequences of cards being lost or stolen,' the firm said." TechCrunch - "Of course, if they want the money, they have to sign up for the application, and link it to their bank account. But that's exactly how PayPal went viral....In truth, Revolution Money sees MoneyExchange as a loss leader for its real business, which is the RevolutionCard, its credit card that undercuts Visa and Mastercard. It has no intention of making money off of MoneyExchange by charging for transactions because in its eyes the online payment service is just a way to build up a valuable network of potential credit card customers. You can be sure that every MoneyExchange member will get an offer for the RevolutionCard. Steve Case is just seeding the market."

STILL LATER: Thank you, Anonymous, for your comments and your clarification. I think we're both on the same page -- I just took the dive. I do want to report back on all this. I had no problem establishing an account. One person took me up on my offer, so my account then showed a $35 balance. Tonight I went into my account and requested a check for $32.50 (they charge a $2.50 fee for issuing a check vs direct deposit, but since I didn't want to give out my bank info, I preferred a check), which they say will arrive within 7 to 10 business days. The MY ACCOUNT area does have a function to close the account. However, since I'm an Ebay seller and would actually LOVE to see PayPal have some competition (their fees have grown enormously), I'm going to stay with it for a bit and see how many people join up. I have read several blogs that tell me Ebay Sellers are excited about the possibilities. I'm going to hang on and see. IF the check arrives I will post here. I will also watch my credit report watch dog service and make sure this hasn't in any way affected my credit report, and report back here if I see anything. The ONE drawback I see is that this new service does not pay interest on money you leave in the account, as PayPal does. When I'm actively selling on Ebay I often leave money in PayPal for months at a time (in case someone requests a refund), and I do like getting the interest on my money. We'll see!


Anonymous said...

I don't know...anything out there that asks for your social security number I would be very leary of. When I googled searched internet scam and money exchange revolution, several blog posts came up of people getting the run around and not being able to open accounts after a month of trying or opt out. If you can't opt out right away, everyone can have your personal information! Even though it may be legitimate as operated through the original bank, often times counterfeit scam artists duplicate the original offer onto their own site which unknowing people link up to. For me, it just isn't work the risk as PayPal does have the check and balances in place. Good luck! The old adage "buyer beware" and "there is no free lunch" have been around for a reason, I'm afraid in this day and age.

Anonymous said...

Hi again! If you re-read what I commented, I actually didn't say that I found posts where someone said it was an internet scam, but stated that several posts come up about them questioning the site, not being able to opt out, not being able to sign on, not receiving their money, being on hold 30 minutes while calling customer service, questioning that it is secure, questioning that money is really FDIC insured, etc.

So, I have no actual knowledge that this is not a credible, legitimate organization and I hope it is. It sounds like you have done your homework and feel safe with it and the money transfer will be useful to you, which is great!

What I question is even with anything starting out as being legitimate and being done solely on the internet and involves money and involves giving your personal information out (such as a social security card number, check routing numbers, etc.), which then gives "free" money for signing up and for "referrals,"...this all gets the slimiest of criminals involved, even though that wasn't probably their intention.

Below are just a few examples of people posting on a legitimate site, CafeMom, all trying to get in on a type of Ponzi scheme. I'm sorry, but I don't believe for a minute they have made all the money they claim to with this! It reminds me a lot of all those other "make $5,000 in a week money at home sites" that are on the internet.


If they aren't out there already, it is only a matter of time before the criminals, also posting their "secure" identical-looking link to money revolution, are able to get unknowing people to hand over all their information and clean out their accounts.

So, that was really my point! Nothing more, northing less.

Have a great quilting day!

Lisa said...

I too would love to see PayPal get a little competition, but eBay owns PayPal, so I don't know that I see that happening (at least not soon).

Since you have a whole dialogue going on this promotion, I thought I would add that as far as I call tell, opening an account with them is very similar to opening a bank account. Like, if you overdraw the account, they charge $35, just like a regular bank would. It seems like that would be easy to avoid, but I had a bank account once that I kept open just for local checks, and they changed their policy and charged $15/month for my dormant account. That put me in overdraft, and they were charging daily fees! Of course, I talked my way out of it, but something like that *could* be something to watch.