Checking account bonuses are nothing out of the ordinary from Chase. But recently, the bank started promoting a very enticing bonus offer: a $300 cash bonus when you open a Chase Total Checking account. (Normally, the bonus is around $150.) Thinking about signing up? I show you what you need to know first, and how to maximize the offer and other lucrative bank offers you may come across in the near future.

Chase is also sending out these attractive bonus offers in the mail.
Chase is also sending out these attractive bonus offers in the mail.

What’s the deal?

Chase is giving $300 to new customers that sign up for a Chase Total Checking account and meet just two requirements — a small $25 opening deposit and post a direct deposit transaction on the account within 60 days of account opening.

Before you do anything, you must visit the promotional page to get a coupon code for the $300 bonus offer. Enter your email address and Chase will send a code, which you print out and bring with you to a Chase branch.

(UPDATE: This offer has expired and is no longer available – check the bottom of this story for the latest offers.)

It is not common for Chase to offering such a large bonus for a new checking account. The other optional savings account bonus, however, is much less enticing.
It is not common for Chase to offering such a large bonus for a new checking account. The other optional savings account bonus, however, is much less enticing.

This offer expires on May 7, 2015. However, I wouldn’t suggest that you wait too long to sign up because I’ve seen outrageous offers like these before, and Chase has a history of ending promotions early if they feel like it.

More ways to get direct deposits

For the two requirements, the $25 deposit is pretty straightforward. But, the direct deposit may be an issue for some people, especially if you don’t want to reroute your direct deposit away from an existing checking account.

Luckily, there are other forms of income that are still considered valid direct deposits. For example, government benefits, earnings from selling on eBay and Amazon and other side income also qualify as direct deposits when deposited electronically to your Chase account.

I received this Chase email alert after an incoming transfer to the checking account, from my online savings account.
I received this Chase email alert after a direct deposit posts to my account.

To ensure that a direct deposit was posted to your account, set up account alerts to notify you that your direct deposit has arrived. The $300 bonus should post within 10 business days of completing these requirements.

When you set up a direct deposit, Chase will waive the $12 monthly fee on the Chase Total Checking account. You just have to have a total of $500 in monthly direct deposits. In order to meet the requirements for the $300 bonus, however, any direct deposit amount will work.

Is it worth your time?

I’ve seen many people scoff at the idea of signing up for a bank account just for the bonus. But, $300 is not an amount to be taken lightly.

For this bonus, I estimate you will need approximately around two hours total to open the account and redirect your direct deposits — not too shabby for an extra $300 in your pocket. (For this particular deal, you’ll have to visit a branch, which will take time.) Or think about it this way: you need $30,000 in a savings account paying 1.00 percent APY for a year to earn the equivalent of $300.

Did you know? Bonuses that you receive from opening a new bank account are subject to taxes. They are taxed the same way as interest earnings are taxed, so you’ll receive a Form 1099-INT at the end of the year for the $300 bonus. While it will decrease your effective bonus, it is still a very attractive offer.

I wished that this new account bonus was available when I decided to open my Chase checking account, because I definitely think it’s worth it.

Have you signed up for any Chase bonuses? What was your experience like? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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Ask a Question

  • Elliott

    I was recently denied a new account bonus from Chase because my direct deposit came from Ally. I was told by a Chase customer service representative that, since the direct deposit needs to come from an employer or the government, my ACH from Ally did not qualify.

    • That’s odd. I’ve looked around various financial forums and it seems like many people are still able to qualify for the bonus without an actual direct deposit or payout of government benefits.

      However, I do know that Chase has become more stringent with what transfers count as direct deposits — Ally may no longer be an option (though I would still think that you can use Ally for avoiding the monthly fee).

      How long into your 60-day window did you discover that Ally didn’t work for you? You may still have time to split a portion of your paycheck (the guaranteed method of meeting the requirement) to your account.

  • SW

    4+ hours away from the nearest branch. Any anecdotal evidence of an account being opened remotely, via fax/email?

    • Chase does not allow you to open an account electronically if it doesn’t serve your ZIP code. I’ve heard cases where people were able to open an account in-person when there were no Chase branches in their home ZIP code. So, it sounds like you’d have to make a visit to a branch if you want to take advantage of this bonus.

  • Ida Kim

    Don’t go with Chase, they do not honor their bonuses 100% of the time. Find a bank that delivers on what they promise. They’ve done this to me twice after keeping my money for over a year and trying to get my bonus is like pulling teeth! I’m done with Chase now.

    • Can you share what happened? Did the promotional code not get accepted when you signed up for an account? Or was it some other reason?

  • Ryan

    Chase worked out well for me, they opened it fast and paid the bonus quickly. PNC had more ridiculous requirements and did not pay.