When it comes to bank promotions, finding the best ones that give you the most bonus money is harder than it sounds.
Fine print, details and got you rules make comparing bank accounts with promotions and sign up bonuses for opening a checking or savings account extremely complicated.
In this post, we’re going to compare the best bank promotions and give you a summary of all the important details you need to know in order to make your decision.
After all, we all like getting free money!
But before we get to the list of banks that offer free money, lets’ find out why banks do it in the first place.
What will I learn?
Why would banks give you free money?
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With so many new online banking solutions and apps, banks have to constantly up their game in order to attract customers.
Even in the best of times, banks are always looking for new customers, and some customers never stop shopping around for a new bank. Certain studies, such as reposts done by the World Retail Banking Report in 2013 found that up to 10% of banking customers are prepared to switch their banks within 12 months.
And to stay ahead of the competition, many banks offer bonuses for opening new Checking or Savings accounts or they give you money for switching to them from another bank.
Bank Promotions: What’s the Catch?
If a bank is offering you $200 dollars to simply deposit $100 into your account, you probably feel like there is a catch.
After all, that’s a return of about 300%!
Well, there is and there isn’t a catch!
In the simplest of terms, there is no catch. Simply switch to a new bank ad open up an account, deposit the money and receive the reward. For banks, it’s basically the cost of acquiring new customers. It’s a form of advertising.
In less simple terms, the catch is the same as any other bank account would be. It comes along with all the hidden fees and pitfalls that go along with bank accounts, the perpetual risk of unknown charges for things like monthly maintenance or stagnation of account activity. These “catches” are pretty standard, as far as bank accounts go.
If you are one of the nearly 75% of Americans who have less than $1,000 in emergency savings, you might want to realistically consider shopping around for a new bank. It could earn a few hundred dollars which we could all use. However you should always be thorough in preparing to move banks, as sometimes the costs of closing accounts can overtake the cash that will be gained from moving the accounts.
Bank promotions without Direct Deposit?
A lot of people wonder if there are bank promotions without a direct deposit requirement.
Unfortunately, most banks do require you to make a deposit in order to qualify for the bonus.
Fortunately, there are banks where the amount required to be deposited is super low. For example, you might need to deposit only $25 or so.
Top Banks that Pay You to Open an Account
Before we get to the list, I’d like to quickly touch on one important point.
Please read the fine prints and all the details before you open an account with any bank. You don’t want to open an account thinking you get $100 for free only to find out later that you have to pay $39 account maintenance fee every year or $25 fee for not maintaining a minimum balance.
And this goes for any site or program, especially sites and programs that are tied to your money. Always read the fine prints and understand what you are getting into. That helps you avoid any unexpected surprises that could negatively affect your wallet.
With that said, here are the top (at the time of this writing) current banks offering sign-up bonuses.
1. Chase – $200
One bank that offers a new bank account bonus is Chase.
You can get $200 when you open a new Chase Total Checking account.
How to qualify: Open a Chase Total Checking account and a $200 checking coupon code will be applied. You need to set up a direct deposit. Your direct deposit must be made to the account within 90 days of coupon enrollment. And the direct deposit must be an electronic deposit of your paycheck, pension, or government benefits (such as Social Security) from your employer or the government.
2. TD Bank – $150 to $300
TD Bank gives you a bonus to open a checking account. There are two promotions available:
- Get a $150 bonus when you open a TD Convenience Checking account.
- Or get a $300 bonus when you open a TD Beyond Checking account.
How to qualify for the $150 bonus: Earn the $150 bonus when you receive direct deposits of $500 or more within 60 days of opening your account.
How to qualify for the $300 bonus: Earn the $300 bonus when you receive direct deposits of $2,500 or more within 60 days of opening your account.
3. Bank of America – $100
Receive a $100 bonus when you open an eligible Bank of America personal checking account.
How to qualify: Open an eligible personal checking account through the page linked above by June 30, 2021. You’ll need to use the offer code on the page. And then set up and receive two qualifying direct deposits of $250 or more each within 90 days of opening your account. This bonus is only available to new Bank of America personal checking account customers.
4. SunTrust – $200 to $1,000
SunTrust offers a number of bank account promotions.
- You can get between $300 and $1,000 for opening a checking account and savings account.
- And, you can get $200 when you open a new, eligible SunTrust Business Checking Account.
How to qualify for the $300 to $1,000 bonus: Open any new SunTrust personal checking account, then complete qualifying direct deposits that total $500 within 90 days of your account opening. And, open any SunTrust savings or MMA, and deposit one of these balances within 30 days to get a bonus of between $300 and $1,000:
- Less than $10,000 = $300 bonus
- $10,000 to $24,999.99 = $400 bonus
- $25,000 to $49,999.99 = $600 bonus
- $50,000 to $99,999.99 = $800 bonus
- $100,000 or more = $1,000 bonus
You must maintain these balances for 90 days after account opening. Accounts must be opened on the same day and with the same account ownership to be eligible for the reward. And, the offer is only valid from January 5, 2021, through March 31, 2021. You need to use the promo code featured on the page linked above when you open the account. The reward will be deposited into your new checking account within four weeks of verifying all the qualification requirements. Learn more about the SunTrust bonus here.
How to qualify for the $200 bonus: Valid only for new business checking clients. Open a new SunTrust business checking account online or in a branch from January 4, 2021, through March 31, 2021. IOTLA and Public Funds accounts are excluded. Make cumulative qualifying deposits of $1,500 or more into your new account within 30 days of opening the new eligible business checking account. Learn more about this bonus here.
5. HSBC – $200 to $450
The HSBC is offering two bank account promotions:
- Get a $200 bonus when you open a new HSBC Advance checking account.
- Get a $450 bonus when open a new HSBC Premier checking account.
How to qualify for the $200 bonus: Open a new account using the page linked above by March 31, 2021. Then make recurring monthly qualifying direct deposits that total at least $500 from a third party to your HSBC Advance checking account for three consecutive calendar months from the second full calendar month after you open your account. You’ll get the bonus is your account within 8 weeks after completing all qualifying activities.
How to qualify for the $450 bonus: Open a new Premier checking account using the page linked above by March 31, 2021. Then make recurring monthly qualifying direct deposits that total at least $5,000 from a third party to your HSBC Advance checking account for three consecutive calendar months from the second full calendar month after account opening. You’ll get the $450 bonus in your account within 8 weeks after completing all qualifying activities.
6. PNC Bank – $200 to $400
There are two bonuses available from PNC Bank.
- Get a $200 bonus with the PNC Performance Spend account.
- Get a $400 bonus with the PNC Performance Select account.
How to qualify for the $200 bonus: Establish direct deposits totaling $2,000 or more to the Spend account.
How to qualify for the $400 bonus: Establish direct deposits totaling $5,000 or more to the Spend account.
7. Citibank – $300 to $1,500
Depending on the type of account you open, you could get up to $1,500 from Citibank.
There are three different bonuses to choose from:
- Get $300 or $700 when you open new eligible checking and savings accounts and complete the required activities.
- Get $1,500 when you open a new Citigold account and complete the required activities.
How to qualify for the $300 bonus: Open new, eligible checking and saving accounts during the offer period, which is 1/6/2021 to 4/1/2021. Deposit $15,000 in new to Citibank funds between the new checking and savings accounts within 30 days after opening. And, you need to maintain a minimum balance of $15,000 between the checking and savings accounts for 60 consecutive calendar days.
How to qualify for the $700 bonus: Open new, eligible checking, and savings accounts in the Citi Priority Account Package during the offer period 1/6/2021 to 4/1/2021. And, within 30 days after opening your account, deposit $50,000 in new to Citibank funds between the new checking and savings accounts. You must also maintain a minimum balance of $50,000 between the checking and savings accounts for 60 consecutive calendar days.
How to qualify for the $1,500 bonus: Open, new eligible checking and savings accounts in the Citigold Account Package during the offer period, which is 1/6/2021 to 4/1/2021. Then, deposit $200,000 or more in new to Citibank funds between the new checking and savings accounts within 30 days of opening your account. You also need to maintain a minimum balance of $200,000 between the checking and savings accounts for 60 consecutive calendar days. The $1,500 bonus will be deposited into your open, eligible account within 90 calendar days after all the required activities are met.
8. Aspiration – $100 to $150
Aspiration Bank (review here) will give you $100 or $150 if you open a new Aspiration Spend & Save Account or Aspiration Plus Account.
How to qualify for the $100 bonus: Get $100 credit when you open a standard Aspiration Spend & Save Account and fund it with a deposit of at least $10. You must also use your Aspiration debit card to make at least $1,000 worth of cumulative transactions within the first 60 days from account opening. You’ll need to allow up to 120 calendar days from account opening for the $1o0 offer credit to post to your Aspiration Account.
How to qualify for the $150 bonus: Get $150 credit when you enroll into Aspiration Plus either during account sign up or no later than 60 days from account opening. And you need to continue to be enrolled in Aspiration Plus through the date of credit. You must make a deposit of at least $10, and use your Aspiration debit card to make at least $1,000 worth of cumulative transactions within the first 60 days from account opening. You’ll need to allow up to 120 calendar days from account opening for the $150 offer credit to post to your Aspiration Account.
9. Wise – $100
You can get $100 from Wise when you sign up. Wise offers business banking solutions. It provides business checking accounts.
How to qualify: Sign up and spend $1,000 on your Wise card, which is included in your account, in the first 30 days.
10. Axos Bank – $100
If you’re a new business owner, you could get a $100 bonus from Axos Bank.
How to qualify: If you incorporated your business after June 1, 2020, you can get $100 added to your new business bank account. You’ll need to use a promo code (found on the page linked above) in your application. You must submit your application before 11:59 pm on 3/31/2021 to qualify. In the first two months after account opening, you’ll need to have an average daily balance on your account of at least $2,500. The bonus will be sent to your account within 5 business days of your statement cycle date. And, your account needs to remain open for 180 or an early closure fee of $50 may apply. You must add new funds, so funds that didn’t come from another Axos Bank brand account in order to receive the bonus credit.
11. SkyOne Federal Credit Union – Up to $500
SkyOne Federal Credit Union will give you up to $500 for referring people.
For each referral, you get a $25 Amazon gift card. If you tell a friend about SkyOne, you both get the $25 gift card.
How to qualify: Enter your email associated with your SkyOne account to get your share link, and share it with friends via Facebook, Twitter, or email. Your friend gets the gift card when they open an account and deposit the minimum opening balance amount of $5. You get the $25 gift card when they become a member in good standing for 30 days. You can refer 20 people and earn up to $500 per year.
12. SoFi – $100 (Plus up to $10,000 in referral bonuses)
SoFi is an online personal finance company. Basically, it’s a nonbank financial service provider.
You can get a bonus with Sofi Money, which is a cash management account rather than a bank. But it’s still offering bonuses:
- You can get a $100 bonus when you switch your direct deposit to SoFi Money.
- And, Sofi offers a referral program where you can earn bonuses for referring friends.
How to qualify for the $100 bonus: Sign up for SoFi Money and add $250 to your account, and you’ll get $25. You will receive an additional $75 when you set up a direct deposit of at least $500.
How to qualify for referral bonuses: You can earn up to $10,000 in referral bonuses per calendar year. Send the link to your friends and family through social media, text, or email to earn referral bonuses. Learn more about the SoFi Referral Program here.
13. BMO Harris Bank – $200 to $500
When you open an eligible business checking account, BMO Harris will give you a $200 or $500 bonus.
- Get the $200 bonus when you open an Essential Business Checking account.
- Get the $500 bonus when you open a Business Advantage Checking account.
How to qualify for the $200 bonus: Open a new Essential Business Checking account between February 1, 2021 and April 30, 2021. And then starting day 31, your balance needs to be $1,500 and it can’t drop from that amount for the next 90 days. You must also have at least 10 electronic transactions post to the account within 90 days of account opening.
How to qualify for the $500 bonus: Open a new Business Advantage Checking account between February 1, 2021 and April 30, 2021. Then, beginning day 31, your balance needs to be $5,000 and it can’t drop below that amount for the next 90 days. Also, you need to have at least 10 electronic transactions post to the account within 90 days of account opening.
You’re only eligible for one bonus though. So, you can’t open both checking accounts and receive both bonuses.
14. Acorns – $10
If you’re looking to start an investment account, then you might want to give Acorns a try.
There are a couple of promotions available:
- It’s offering a $10 bonus investment to the military.
- Or if you’re not a military member, you can get a $10 bonus investment from Fond.
How to qualify for the $10 military bonus: Set up your Acorns Personal account, and make your first investment of at least $5 to get the bonus. Get more details of the military bonus from Acorns here.
How to qualify for the $10 Fond bonus: Get more details of the Fond bonus with Acorns here. Sign up with Acorn, answer a few questions about yourself to create your account, then make your first investment, and Fond will boost your account with $10. Your first investment can be as little as $5.
15. Huntington Bank – $150 to $750
Huntington Bank offers a couple of bonuses for opening up checking and business accounts:
- You can get $150 or $200 for opening checking accounts.
- And, a $200, $400 or $750 bonus for opening up a business checking account.
How to qualify for the $150 bonus: Open up an Asterisk-Free Checking Account, during the promotion period between January 1, 2021, and April 7, 2021, and make cumulative new money deposits into the checking account of at least $1,000 or more within 60 days of account opening. New money is money that’s not currently on deposit in any Huntington account, except maturing personal CDs. Your account must also remain open for at least 90 days before it becomes eligible to receive the bonus. Learn more about this bonus here.
How to qualify for the $200 bonus: Open a Huntington 5 checking account during the promotional period, and make deposits totaling $1,000 or more into the account within 60 days of the account opening. The account must be open for at least 90 days to be eligible to receive the bonus. Learn more about this bonus here.
How to qualify for the $750 bonus: You can earn up to $750 when you open up a new business checking account. There are three business accounts available each with its own bonus and requirements:
- Business Checking 100: $200 bonus: Minimum deposit $2,000 to earn the bonus.
- Unlimited Business Checking: $400 bonus: Minimum deposit $5,000 to earn the bonus.
- Unlimited Plus Business Checking: $750 bonus: Minimum deposit $20,000 to earn bonus.
Learn more about this bonus here.
16. Alliant Credit Union – $100
Alliant Credit Union has partnered with Suze Orman for The Ultimate Opportunity Savings account. This account offers a $100 bonus.
How to qualify: Apply for and get approved for The Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account, and deposit at least $100 a month into the account for 12 consecutive months. Once you’ve made those monthly payments, and have a balance of $1,200 or more, the $100 bonus will be deposited into your account.
17. Associated Bank – $200 to $500
Get up to $500 in bonuses when you open up a checking account with Associated Bank.
How to qualify: Open a new checking account and have direct deposits totaling $500 sent to your new checking account within 90 days of account opening. Then, the bonus you get depends on the average daily balances you maintain:
- $1,000 to $4,999.99: Earn a $200 bonus.
- $5,000-$9,999.99: Earn a $300 bonus.
- Over $10,000: Earn a $500 bonus.
The bank will check your balance for all open Associated Bank deposit accounts for days 61 to 90.
18. OneWest Bank – $150 to $300
OneWest Bank offers a few different bonuses for opening a checking account.
You can get:
- $150 for opening a Personal Checking Account
- $200 for opening a Premium Checking Account
- $300 for opening a OneAccount Checking Account.
How to qualify for the $150 bonus: Open a Personal Checking account and deposit $500 in new funds within 90 days of account opening. And maintain an average balance of $500 during the first 90 days following account funding.
How to qualify for the $200 bonus: Open a Premium Checking Account and deposit $2,000 in new funds within 90 days of account opening. You’ll also need to maintain an average balance of $2,000 for the first 90 days after you fund the account.
How to qualify for the $300 bonus: Open a OneAccount Checking Account and deposit $10,000 in new funds into the account with 90 days of account opening. You’ll also need to maintain a balance of at least the same amount for the first 90 days following account funding.
To get any of these bonuses, aside from the requirements above, you must also meet any three of the qualifying activities listed on the site linked above within the first 90 days following funding to your new account.
19. Citizens Bank – $1,000
Citizens Bank offers a college saving fund where you can get a $1,000 bonus.
How to qualify: Open a CollegSaver account, and you can get a $1,000 bonus plus interest when your child turns 18 years old. To get the bonus plus interest, you must save the monthly minimum amount each year. One skipped deposit is allowed per year.
20. Fifth Third Bank – $250
Fifth Third Bank will give you a $250 bonus for opening a checking account.
How to qualify: Open a new Fifth Third checking account and make direct deposits totaling $1,000 or more within 60 days of account opening.
21. M&T Bank – $250
Get up to $250 when you open an M&T checking account.
How to qualify: Open any personal M&T checking account featured on the page linked above by April 5, 2021. Then, make any qualifying direct deposits that total at least $500 within 90 days of account opening.
Expired Bank Account Bonuses
Almost all bank account promotions that give you a sign up bonus, whether it’s for switching from another bank to a new one or just opening a new checking or savings account with your current bank, are temporary. They all expire at some point. After all, they are promotions to get you to switch or open a new account. And since things change quickly in the financial industry, specifically when it comes to consumer banking, banks have to always come up with new strategies to keep up with the changes and their competitors.
So if by the time you come across this post and the bank account promotion from your favorite bank has expired, don’t worry. The bank will have another (and in most cases much better) promotion available. You can often find out about these newer promotions on the same page (that we linked to above) or just by doing a quick search on Google using specific keywords followed by the name of a bank.
Here are a few search term examples:
- free money from banks for opening accounts
- Wells Fargo checking account bonus
- Bank of America sign up bonus
- US Bank new checking account bonus
- bank offers to open a new account
- Associated Bank: $500 bonus
Of course, you can always call up the bank you are interested in dealing with and ask for their current promotions.
You are seeing all these $100, $200, $500 bonuses and you are thinking to yourself, “I could make money just by opening accounts left and right!“.
Well, you would be correct!
In fact there is actually a term for it, Bank Churning. It’s the same as Credit Card Churning.
But is Bank Churning legal?
Yes, it is, but it has its own risks and pitfalls which are beyond the scope of this post. But just to give you an example, while Credit Card Churning seems like a great way to earn points, air miles and cash, it could hurt you financially in the long run by damaging your credit score.
So if you do decide to try opening and closing bank accounts for bonuses, be sure to read up on it so you don’t end up making costly financial mistakes.
Free Money from Bank!
I mean, to me, the idea that banks make money from our money, yet bombard us with fees left and right is just crazy.
Let’s think about this scenario…
A friend of yours asks you to lend her $100 on the first of every month. As a good friend, you agree. But then, she starts charging you fees left and right for not giving her the money on the exact day you agreed to!
That’s what fees like late fees that banks charge you essentially are.
Think about that for a moment – you give your bank all your money to keep. They lend your money to other customers and earn money on interest and fees. But they also make money by charging you fees for all kinds of crazy stuff. Essentially you are paying banks so they can hold your money for you while using it to make money for themselves.
Now, I get that’s how the economy works and it’s safer to keep money at the bank than trying to find places to hide your money around your house so you can stick it under your mattress or pillow.
But it still gets me anyway.
OK, so there is nothing you can do about that really. But when the opportunity presents itself, you must take advantage of it.
When a bank is offering sign up bonuses and promotions, you should 100% go for it IF you are already thinking about opening a new account.
Basically these banks are giving away free money. You’d be crazy not to take it!
So Are Bank Bonuses Worth It?
Yes, depending on your goal and financial situation.
Bank promotions are best suited for someone who is already planning to switch to a new bank.
You could try to pick through them and take advantage of as many as possible, of course. After all, there are some pretty sweet incentives out there if you feel like the rewards are worth your time and effort.
Also, don’t forget that ANY time you sign up for a banking account, you need to know the little details: Does it bear interest? What monthly fees are there? Is Checking or Savings free? Are there perks?
Hopefully this list has helped you decide which bank account sign up bonus is worth it for your personal financial situation. We will do our best to keep his list updated and if we find new bank account promotions, we will add them to the list.