One of the first rules of economics is that there is no such thing as a free lunch...that's true, but these are a few free lunches for you and I, the only ones paying the bill are a few larger corporations.
ING Direct: Been using this savings account for years, and I have never had a problem with it. Pays out a very competitive interest rate (currently about 3.4%). I like it because it gets the cash out of my checking account and it makes it a bit more difficult to get at. It takes 2 or 3 days to transfer cash between your ING Direct account and your checking account, that way, it gives you time to think about a big ticket item purchase.
ING offers $25 referral bonus to new accounts (online savings, and another $25 for their electric online checking account) as long as you deposit $250 in each to start. Yeah, $250 might be tough to get together, but its a 10% risk free gain in one day, then you have $275 compounding at 3.4% instead of yur $250 you deposited. The electric orange works the same way, but it pays a bit lower interest rate, and their are alot of perks to it as well...free checks, free postage because they send the checks out for you, and debit card with a ton of locations in your area to withdrawl cash from.
Revolution Money Exchange: The guy who started this company seems to be trying to compete with paypal...there was an article a few weeks ago in USA Today about it. Anyways, if I refer you to open up an account with this bank, as soon as you open it up...you get $25 and I get $10 for a referral. It is that easy. The ING Direct needs you to deposit the money to get the bonus, for this, you do not need to deposit any money, it is credited to your account right away. Then, link it up with your checking account that you already have and you can pull the money out. I have played around with it a bit, and it does seem like it could be a pretty cool thing to use...if you owe your buddy some money from the bar tab the night before you can send the money to him through this bank just by knowing his e-mail address.
Virtual Bank: Again, just like ING Direct, it is an online savings account, pays out a decent rate, and you get a free bonus and so do I for you opening an account. Ill send you a referral e-mail, and you open the account, fund it with $100 and they will give you a $20 bonus for opening the account...I as well will get a bonus for referring people. Again, thats a 20% gain, RISK FREE right off the bat.
None of these are scams at all, I know it seems odd that banks are giving money away like that, but it is their way of advertising. If you see a bank on TV that has a good rate you might open it up, but if your buddy tells you about it, and the good experience they have had with it, PLUS a free bonus, I bet you are more likely yo open the account, and it may be cheaper for the banks then paying millions of dollars to run a commercial prime time.
Send me a message, or post, and Ill send you a referral link and we can both benefit.