Do you like free money? We thought you might. And a lot of banks think you might as well. That’s why they are offering bonuses to open up a bank account with them. Banks want your business, and many have offers that almost sound too good to be true.
$600 to open an account? What’s the catch? While there are usually a few terms and conditions, like the amount of time the money has to stay in your account or a minimum balance, banks essentially give away money to get business.
If you are shopping around for a new bank, take a look at the eight highest paying checking account bonuses below and enjoy a nice boost to your balance.
Checking vs. Savings Account
When you go to open a bank account, you will generally be faced with two options: a checking account or a savings account. There are multiple versions of each but let’s keep things simple for now.
Checking accounts are usually used for day-to-day expenses, monthly bills, and income deposits. You can write checks from these accounts too. They are designed to handle a lot of transactions, and are a convenient way to store cash that you plan on spending in the short term.
If you’re looking to save money then you’re looking for a savings account. These accounts commonly set monthly limits on transactions and withdrawals, but they also pay more interest.
Most people rely on a combination of both accounts. It’s not uncommon to have a checking account for daily expenses and a savings account to earn extra interest on the money that you don’t plan on needing right away.
Bank vs. Credit Union
You’re likely going to have to choose a place to put your money too. There are a lot of options to choose from, but all of them can be categorized as either a bank or a credit union. You’re probably familiar with how banks operate, and while credit unions are quite similar, let’s look at a few of the key differences.
Banks are large, for-profit companies that provide a range of financial services for their customers. Banks usually have a larger network of branches than credit unions and more available ATMs.
As for online services, banks usually excel there too. Banks take advantage of their size and available resources to design more intuitive websites and easier to use apps. Doing business with a bank can be a lot more convenient, which is a big reason why most Americans prefer banks.
Credit unions on the other hand, are non-profit organizations that are owned by the people that bank there. They restrict their customer base to a geographic area, workplace, or organization membership. But, no matter where you live in the U.S., you can find a credit union near you.
These smaller, more localized institutions typically excel in the areas of customer service, fees, and interest rates. Credit unions do not have to turn a profit, which allows them to offer superior interest rates and lower banking fees compared to large banks. Credit union members even get to vote on new policies and operational decisions.
SoFi Checking and Savings Account
Bonus: up to $250
New SoFi banking customers can qualify for a $250 bonus on a new checking and savings account. It’s easy to cash in too. Just open a qualifying account with SoFi and receive at least one qualifying direct deposit.
There’s more benefits to a SoFi Checking and Savings account than just the sign up bonuses. Customers can take advantage of no account fees, no-fee overdraft coverage, and up to 15% cash back at local businesses.
CITI Citigold Checking Account
Bonus: up to $2,000
Yes, you read that right. New Citibank customers can cash in on a staggering $2,000 bonus when they open a Citigold checking account. Earning that bonus requires a minimum deposit and balance of over $300,000, but deposits and balances of $10,000 can earn $200.
Additional benefits of the Citigold account include complimentary financial planning, preferred pricing and rates on select products and services, and travel benefits. It’s a premium account that’s greatly enhanced by a number of premium features.
Chase Total Checking Account
Bonus: up to $200
It’s easy for new Chase customers to earn an extra $200. Simply sign up for a new checking account and set up direct deposit within 90 days. Chase Total Checking customers can get their monthly service fees waived by maintaining a minimum daily balance of $1,500 or by setting up electronic direct deposits totalling $500 or more.
Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking
Bonus: up to $100
The Bank of America executives aren’t just going to let all of the other banks scoop up new customers. They’re making it easy to earn extra cash too. Right now you can earn an extra $100 by first opening a new checking account. Next, you’ll need to set up and receive qualifying direct deposits totalling $1,000 or more within 90 days of opening the account.
TD Bank Beyond Checking Account
Bonus: up to $300
Opening a new Beyond Checking account at TD bank could earn you an extra $300. It’s as simple as signing up and receiving qualifying direct deposit funds of $2,500 or more within the first 60 days of opening your account.
If you plan on maintaining a minimum daily balance of $2,500 you could get your monthly maintenance fees waived, and all of your non-TD ATM fees reimbursed, among other perks.
HSBC Premier Checking
Bonus: up to $500
Premier Checking accounts offer HSBC customers local and global benefits that include free international account opening, no HSBC fees, no foreign transaction fees using your Premier debit or credit card, and more.
Qualifying new customers can earn a welcome bonus of $500 too. To qualify, you’ll have to maintain recurring qualifying direct deposits totalling at least $10,000 a month for three consecutive months.
U.S. Bank’s Bank Smartly Checking
Bonus: up to $600
To earn this great bonus, new customers must open a U.S. Bank Smartly Checking account, enroll in the U.S. Bank mobile app, and complete two or more direct deposits. Bonus values start at $200 with direct deposits that total $3,000, but climb as high as $400 for those whose direct deposits total $6,000 or more.
You can earn another $200 by opening a Standard Savings account and maintaining a minimum balance of $25,000 for a set amount of time. Not a bad return for something that amounts to little more than an online e-transfer.
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
Bonus: up to $150
Open an Axos Bank Rewards Checking account, enter a promotional code, and set up qualifying direct deposits to earn yourself a $150 welcome bonus. But even with the bonus, Axos offers great interest rates, an intuitive banking app, and no fees to sweeten the pot and attract new customers.
It’s Time to Cash In!
With so many options to choose from when looking for a financial institution, banks are trying to entice customers by offering them bonuses to open a new account. If you are in the market for a new checking account, you can take advantage of some of these offers. Some offers require large deposits and minimum balances to qualify for their bonuses, but some only require a small amount.
Don’t underestimate the importance of customer service when choosing a bank or credit union. Review your options carefully and go with the best fit for you. If it all works out, you could be enjoying a hefty bonus just for being a member.