Banks have long offered generous sign-up bonuses to encourage new customers to take out checking or savings accounts with them. At any given time, there’s a financial institution offering from free cash to entice you to become one of their customers.
These bonuses can provide a quick infusion of cash to your new checking accounts. But banks will require that you actually use your new checking account once you open it.
To make sure of this, most will require that you make a certain number of deposits in the account to qualify for the sign-up bonus. So don’t plan on opening several checking accounts, ignoring them and collecting your bonus. Banks won’t send you the sign-up bonus if you don’t actually make your required deposits.
But if you do meet the requirements and make your necessary deposits, you can earn some solid rewards today for opening a new account.
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Checking Account Bonus Offers
Total® Checking Account
Premier Plus Checking Account
TD Convenience Checking Account
TD Premier Checking Account
Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend
Virtual Wallet with Performance Select
|Up to $300||5/31/2019|
HSBC Advance Checking Account
HSBC Premier Checking Account
Huntington 5 Checking® Account
AL, AR, FL, GA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, WV, VA, D.C.
|Up to $750||4/30/2019|
Neighborhood Account, Relationship Account or Foundation Account
Express Checking Account
AR, GA, MS, NC, TN, VA
Simply Right Checking Account
|Fifth Third Bank
Essential Checking Account
Capital One 360 Checking
AL, AR, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KY, LA, MS, MO, NC, SC, TN, TX
Basic Banking Account Package
Citi Account Package
Citi Priority Account Package
|Up to $500||6/30/2019|
Savings Accounts Bonus Offers
Chase Savings Account
|Annual 1% bonus (up to $25)||Ongoing|
Capital One 360 Money Market
|Up to $500||Expired|
Credit Card Bonus Offers
|Bank of America® Cash Rewards™||$200 cash rewards||Spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening|
|Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World MasterCard®||70,000 miles||Spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening|
|Capital One Venture® Rewards||5,000 miles||Spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening|
|Chase Freedom®||$150 cash back||Spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred®||60,000 points||Spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||50,000 points||Spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening|
|Discover it®||Matches the cash back you earn in the 1st year||-|
|Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card||75,000 points||Spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||60,000 points||Spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening|
Is it Worth Opening a Checking Account with a Cash Bonus?
You've probably seen more than one bank advertising a new checking or savings account sign-up bonus of a few hundred bucks for new customers. However, not all bonuses are created equally, and if you've been on the fence about opening a new account at a bank because you're unsure if it's worth it, read on to learn what four signs you should look for.
1. The bonus isn't small change
Some banks tend to be more open-handed than others when it comes to how big the new account bonuses are. Big banks are more likely to offer large bonuses for new customers who open multiple accounts at once.
Bank bonuses can easily be worth several hundred dollars. That's a pretty generous payoff just for moving your money over to a different bank.
Did you know? Bank account bonuses are considered interest income for tax purposes and must be reported on your annual return.
2. You can easily meet the account requirements
New account bonus offers never come without certain strings attached. For instance, you'll most likely have to maintain a minimum balance in the account each month to avoid a fee.
As long as you're planning on transferring a large amount of money over to the new account, the minimum balance requirements shouldn't be an issue. The other thing you have to keep in mind, however, is the direct deposit requirement. It's become increasingly common for banks to require new account holders to set up some type of direct deposit in order to qualify for a bonus.
One of the easiest ways to do it is to set up an ACH transfer from one bank to the other. Depending on how the new bank codes these transactions, this kind of transfer may show up as a direct deposit. Many banks classify incoming transfers from online banks in this manner. In addition to qualifying you for the bonus, setting up direct deposits from the different bank is another work-around for avoiding the monthly maintenance fee.
Here are the top online banks that have highest savings accounts rates and free interest checking accounts:
This method may not work at every bank, but fortunately, there are some alternative direct deposit options to try if it doesn't. Setting up a person-to-person payment or transferring money from a third-party payment app, for instance, may be enough to get the job done, so you don't miss out on the bonus.
3. The fees from the new bank are reasonable
Aside from the monthly maintenance fee, you need to know what other charges go along with the new account. Some of the most expensive ones to compare include wire transfer fees and overdraft fees, which can take a big bite out of your balance.
There are also lots of smaller fees that can leave you feeling nickel and dimed. Some banks, for instance, charge a fee for speaking with a teller or for receiving paper statements. If you're on the fence about signing up for a new account, you need to be sure that any fees you're paying won't cancel out what you're getting in the form of a bonus.
Tip: Check out offers from online banks since they tend to charge fewer fees and have less stringent minimum balance requirements compared to big banks. They also tend to offer better savings account rates.
4. Opening a new account isn't a hassle
It used to be that when you wanted to open a new checking or savings account you had to go down to the bank and fill out a bunch of paperwork. You can open accounts almost instantly online. To snag a bonus, you may need to get a promotional code first, but that's usually a matter of visiting the bank's website and entering your email address.
If you're going to leave your old bank behind entirely, you want to make sure that moving everything over to the new bank isn't going to tax your time. A lot of banks now offer switch kits to make the transition easier. Just be sure to find out whether your old bank is going to charge an account closure fee if you're taking your business elsewhere.
When you should pass on the sign-up bonus
A sign-up bonus certainly isn’t worth if you’ll end up paying more in bank fees with your new checking account.
It can be easy to run into higher fees if you’re not careful about reading the fine print before signing up for a new checking account.
Fees could cost too much
A large bonus is certainly a good reason for many customers to open a new account. But it might not be a good fit for you depending on your savings and spending habits.
But, if you don’t meet the fee-waiver requirements associated with the new checking account, you might accumulate a large amount of fees that could exceed the value of the bonus.
Your new checking account might also charge hefty overdraft fees – usually, these fees run about $35 – that you could be hit with if you write a check that you can’t cover with the funds in your account. If you’re a bit sloppy with your recordkeeping, you might want to avoid a checking account that comes with overdraft fees, even if this account offers a sign-up bonus.
Other checking accounts will require that you maintain a minimum balance. If you don’t maintain this balance, you could be hit with a costly fee. This is fine if you always have plenty of money in your bank accounts.
But if you live paycheck-to-paycheck and end each month with $200 or less in your checking account, an account with a minimum balance requirement could cost you plenty in fees.
Even if that sign-up bonus looks good, it’s best to search for a checking account that doesn’t give you a financial hit when your funds dwindle.
Look carefully at the fine print with sign-up bonuses and you’ll discover that many banks require a certain number of transactions each month with your account.
If you don’t hit this number you’ll have to pay another fee. Look at your banking habits before opening such an account. If you don’t make many debit transactions or write checks often, you might end up losing that sign-up bonus to costly monthly fees.
Finally, consider the convenience factor before signing up with any bank, even one that is trying to lure you in with a lucrative sign-up bonus.
Does the bank you are considering offer a robust online banking platform? Does it have plenty of locations and ATMs near you? How do its hours of operation mesh with your work schedule?
You want to work with a bank that is convenient as possible, one in which it’s easy to make deposits with your phone and pay your bills online each month.
If your new bank doesn’t offer the services you use the most each month, pass on the sign-up bonus and find a different financial institution.
Shop Around for the Best Deal
Banks will continue to offer sign-up bonuses for new customers. This is good news for you; you can be selective when searching for a new checking or savings account.
You might like one sign-up offer but not like the fees or restrictions associated with the checking account affiliated with it. Don’t despair. Search around.
The odds are good that you’ll find a new checking account offer that fits better with