Firstly a mobile number. Given that a good number of residents come from outside the States, having a network which gives you free calling to your home country is a BONUS. That's where UltraMobile comes into place. I know in my previous post I said H2O is good, but trust me when I say that UltraMobile is the real deal. For 30$ per month, you get unlimited calls to India with 1GB of 4G data, which is PRETTY IMPRESSIVE! It also has an option of getting nano sim, so in case you decide to upgrade your phone, which many of you will do, it has got your back covered! :) You can get the initial sim on Ebay for 10 bucks which gives you the first month for FREE!
It is totally up to you on how risky you want to be. If you want to buy it directly from UltraMobile, here is your link
Next is for earning cash back when you open a bank account. Generally find the bank which your institute has a tie up with. Go to their site and check for any promos that they are running. They might have an offer that should you open an account with their bank you will get a bonus of $ XYZ for signing up!!! which is PRETTY AWESOME!
P.S.- I used Keybank and got 1/3 of a $1000 :P
The last trick that again, my senior taught me, was regarding getting a credit card. Most of the USA banks DO NOT give you a credit card UNLESS you have a credit history. However, Discover does give you one with no credit history with a credit line of $1500 which is PRETTY COOL! So in case you are still hunting around for a credit card do head out to Discover and check it out. You can shoot me an email @ firstname.lastname@example.org if you want a referral, following which you and I get a referral bonus for $50 each.
That's it, folks!
UPDATE: Just FYI for the bank you need a direct deposit to get the bonus. For both SSN is needed. For the credit card you need address proof as well.
If you do have any other tricks, please do let me know. After all we are here to help each other! :)