What Are the Best Checking Account Bonuses?
Competition is a great thing for consumers, and that applies to your choices when it comes to selecting a personal checking account. One effective ploy that banks use to snare new customers is to offer cash bonuses for opening a new account. It’s a one-time bonus, and unlike the old days when banks handed out toasters and coffee-makers, today cold hard cash is the rule. To qualify, you must keep the account open for a specified period. Some banks are strict about who qualifies, while others are rather relaxed.
Checking vs Savings Accounts
This article is about checking accounts. Many of them pay interest, sometimes only on balances that exceed a threshold amount. However, if you don’t write a lot of checks, you might want to consider an online high-yield savings account instead of or a checking account. Typically, these savings accounts pay higher interest (right now, APRs generally exceed 2%), although they might limit the number of checks you can write each month.
Role of Honor
We list here the checking accounts that are currently (July/August 2019) offering the best bonuses. These offers change over time, but you should be able to count on these banks to offer solid bonuses year round. We present these in alphabetical order.
Chase Sapphire Checking
If you own a Chase Sapphire or Chase Freedom credit card, this offer might be perfect for you. You can earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points, worth as much as $900 when applied to travel expenses. All you have to do is open the account with the coupon code you receive via email and transfer at least $75.000 of new-to-Chase money into the account within 45 days. You then have to maintain that balance for 90 days. As long as you maintain the minimum balance, Chase will waive the $25 monthly fee. Other perks include commission-free trading from J.P. Morgan and fee-free ATM usage. By the way, Chase also offers bonuses of $200 to $300 when you open a Total Checking Account or Premier Plus Checking Account, respectively.
Citibank Account Package
Open new eligible checking and savings accounts online from Citibank to earn a $400 reward. You must deposit at least $15,000 of new-to-Citibank money to your accounts and maintain that balance for 60 consecutive days.That’s not all! You can earn an additional $100 by receiving at least one qualifying direct deposit per month for the initial two months. You should receive your bonus within 90 days after qualifying for it. Your Citibank checking account allows you to earn interest on your balance.
HSBC Advance Checking
This is an online checking account that offers a $350 bonus for depositing $5,000 or more to an HSBC checking and/or savings account within the first 30 days. This must be new-to-HSBC money, i.e., you must not have had an HSBC account starting after June 2, 1016. The deposit must remain there for at least 90 days. In addition, you must have qualifying direct deposits for three consecutive months, and you must be a U.S. citizen or resident of at least three years. Expect to see your bonus about eight weeks after qualifying. The account charges $25/month, which you can sidestep by keeping $10,000 on deposit, or with $5,000 more directly deposited monthly, or by having an HSBC mortgage.
HSBC Premier Checking
This is the big brother of the bank’s Advance Checking account. You can earn a $750 bonus by depositing new money to this online account and receiving recurring third-party direct deposits totaling at least $5,000/month for three consecutive months after starting the account. The monthly fee is $50, but it’s waived if you keep $75,000 or more with HSBC, or receiving $5,000 via one or more monthly third-party direct deposits, or by having an HSBC mortgage with an original balance of $500K or more. In other respects, Premier Checking follows the same rules as those for HSBC Advance Checking.
The nice folks at this bank will give you $225 for opening any one of four different checking accounts (online or branch) using a coupon you receive via email. You must receive direct deposits of at least $1,000 within the first 90 days. The offer is good for residents of eight states. You can’t have had a Santander checking account within the last 12 months. You’ll receive your bonus within 30 days of qualifying. Monthly fees range from $3 to $25, some waivable by jumping through various hoops.
Simple Protected Goals Account
Fans of virtual banking might enjoy up to $500 bonus money and 2.02% APY from this online-only bank. You get $250 each for opening a shared account and an individual account. You must keep at least $10,000 per account for 75 days.
This bank offers two similar checking accounts with similar bonuses. TD Bank Convenience Checking offers a $150 bonus for receiving at least $500 in deposit deposits within 60 days. The monthly fee is $15, avoidable by keeping at least $100k. The similar TD Bank Beyond Checking account provides a $300 bonus, but you must receive $2,500 in direct deposits over the first 60 days. The $25 month fee is waived by receiving monthly deposits of at least $5,000, or by maintaining a $2,500 checking account balance, or by keeping $25,000 on deposit across all your eligible TD accounts. For either account, you must apply online, be a new TD Bank checking customer, and reside in one of 16 states.
Wells Fargo Everyday Checking Account
By opening this account online or at a branch and depositing at least $25, you can earn a $400 bonus. If that seems too good to be true, factor in the fact that the account must be new, that you can’t have received a bonus in the last 12 months, and you must receive direct deposits of at least $3,000/month into the account for three consecutive months.
We’ve listed just some of the many bonuses available to folks who open a new checking account. Honorable mentions also go to:
Bank of America
Christian Community Credit Union
Fifth Third Bank
In addition, there are dozens of bonuses available from business accounts, state-specific banks, and region/branch specific accounts. Comparison shop, then reap the rewards!