Thursday, 29 October 2020

Best Checking Account Bonus Offers

Best Checking Account Bonus Offers
21 Feb
11:59

It’s easy to stick with the same bank your whole life. If you’re not rate-chasing for the best deals out there, all you really need from an account is convenient access to your money to get by each day. At least that way, you get to avoid the hassle of switching your money and accounts, even if it does mean you miss out on some great savings rates.

Banks realize that it’s easy to stay put, too. So in an attempt to gain some new customers, banks can offer some great bonus offers on checking accounts. The promise of a few hundred dollars just for opening an account can be enough to incentivize potential customers to open an account. These bonus offers can be so tempting, that many people chase bonus offers to try and make a few extra bucks.

When looking for bonus offers, it’s important to look past the promotional dollar amount that’s being advertised. For starters, make sure you trust a bank before opening an account with them. You don’t want to be stuck with a new bank that has terrible customer service! Also, be sure to check what’s required of you to snag that bonus offer. Often, it’s opening the new account with a certain balance and maintaining that balance for the next few months. It could also require several direct deposits posted to the account. Make sure you can fulfill these requirements before opening an entirely new bank account.

If you should see an offer you like, just be aware that you may have to open the account from a specific webpage to qualify for the bonus. Other banks could require you to visit a branch to redeem your offer, so it’s important to double check the application requirements.

The 10 best checking account bonus offers in 2019

Bank Bonus* When the deal expires
SunTrust Up to $750 4/30/2019
HSBC $750 3/29/2019
Citibank $600 3/31/2019
Citibank Up to $500 3/31/2019
HSBC $350 3/29/2019
TD Bank $300 No current expiration date
Chase $200 4/15/2019
Fifth Third Bank $250 3/31/2019
Santander $225 3/31/2019
Citibank $200 3/31/2019
HSBC $200 3/29/2019
Wells Fargo $200 2/28/2019

*Terms apply

Methodology

The best checking account bonus offers are — simply put — the ones with the biggest cash amounts we could find at the time of publishing. Below, we’ll detail each of the 10 best checking account bonus offers. You’ll find out whether it’s available in your area and what the requirements you have to meet to earn the bonus.

You might also want to read more about what each account is like on its own. For example, you might want to snag the highest bonus, but what if the account normally charges a monthly fee that you can’t afford? Check it all out below.

SunTrust — $250, $500 or $750 cash bonus

Offer ends 4/30/2019

Offer rules: This checking account bonus offer applies to new SunTrust Advantage Checking accounts. You can potentially unlock three reward levels by meeting qualifications. All levels require you to deposit at least $100 within 14 days after account opening, make at least $3,000 in direct deposits into the new SunTrust Advantage Checking account within 60 days of your account opening and make at least 10 debit card purchases within 60 days of account opening.

  • Meeting all three of those steps will earn a $250 bonus.
  • To earn a $500 bonus (total), you must open the new account with $25,000 in total new balances (not money already held in a SunTrust account) within 30 days of account opening and maintain that balance for at least 90 days of account opening.
  • To earn the maximum $750 bonus, you must open the account with at least $100,000 in total new balances within 30 days and maintain that balance for at least 90 days of account opening.

Your total balance includes money in the new SunTrust Advantage Checking account, any linked Purpose checking accounts, personal Savings, personal money market, CD and SunTrust IRA accounts that have you as the first-listed owner.

Who’s eligible: This offer is available to new SunTrust personal checking customers. You can’t even be a secondary account holder on another account or have closed a personal checking account within 180 days of July 6, 2018. You must also have a mailing address in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia or D.C. to qualify.

To qualify, you must use the application link on this SunTrust page. You can also use the page the email yourself a coupon to bring into a SunTrust branch to redeem the offer.

Account details: The SunTrust Advantage Checking requires at least $100 to open. It earns interest on all balances, although the rate is minimal . The account charges a monthly maintenance fee of $20. You can waive this fee each month by meeting a certain balance or transaction requirements. The account also includes three free non-SunTrust ATM transactions per statement cycle.

HSBC — $750 bonus

Offer ends 3/29/2019

Offer rules: Opening a new HSBC Premier Checking account can get you a $750 bonus. You’ll need to open the account with at least $100,000 in new money (not already held with the bank) in combined balances within 30 days of account opening. The combined balance includes checking, savings and certain investment accounts. You must also maintain a balance of at least $100,000 for 90 days.

Who’s eligible: To qualify for this checking account bonus offer, you need to complete the application from the correct HSBC webpage linked here. You must also be 18 years or older, have a Social Security Number, have a current U.S. residential address and have had U.S. residency for the past three years.

You’re not eligible for this bonus offer if you had an HSBC consumer deposit or investment account at any time from Dec. 28, 2015 to Dec. 28, 2018.

Account details: The HSBC Premier Checking account charges a monthly service fee of $50. Since this is pretty hefty, you’ll want to waive the fee if you can. You can do this by maintaining at least $100,000 in the account or if you have an HSBC commercial balance, you can use that to qualify for a personal HSBC Advance relationship.

This account earns interest on balances of $5 and over, although the rate is minimal. Since this is a high-level account, you’ll have access to a number of perks like a Premier Relationship Manager, priority international banking services and home financing services.

Citibank — $600 bonus

Offer ends 3/31/2019

The offer: To earn the $600 bonus on a new Citi Priority Account Package, you’ll can apply at a Citi branch, call a Citi representative or through this Citibank page. You must make an initial deposit of at least $50,000. The money must be new to Citibank and cannot be deposited in cash. You can use direct deposit, write a check, use a wire or ACH transfers. You must also maintain at least that balance for 60 calendar days following account opening. The Citi Priority Account Package includes both a checking and savings account, so your total balance can stretch between the two.

Citibank fiduciary, estate, business and/or trust accounts are not eligible for this bonus offer.

Who’s eligible: You qualify for this checking account bonus offer if you have not had a Citibank checking account within the last 180 days. You must also be at least 18 years old and have a valid W-9 or W-8 BEN on file with Citibank and are not subject to backup withholding.

Account details: The Citi Priority Package earns interest on its checking account, although at a minimal rate. You’ll also have a savings account, either Citi Savings or Citi Accelerate Savings, that earns interest depending on your balance. The package includes access to Citi Personal Wealth Management Financial Advisors by phone, investment resources and financial planning tools. It also adds extra perks like waived fees for overdraft protection, checkbooks and incoming wire transfers.

The Citi Priority Package charges a $30 monthly service fee. You can waive it by maintaining a combined average monthly balance of $50,000 or more in eligible linked deposit, retirement and investment accounts.

Citibank — $400 or $500 bonus

Offer ends 3/31/2019

Offer rules: You can earn $400 in bonus cash if you open a new eligible checking and savings account in a Citibank Account Package. You’ll need to deposit at least $15,000 in new-to-Citibank money within 30 days of opening. Since the package includes a checking and savings account, you can split that deposit between the accounts. You cannot make the deposit in cash (ACH transfers, direct deposits and checks are fine). You’ll need to maintain at least that much money in your accounts for 60 consecutive days to receive the bonus.

You can earn $100 more — total $500 bonus — when you complete at least one qualifying direct deposit (within 60 days of account opening) each month for two consecutive months

You cannot open an account with this bonus as a fiduciary, estate, business or trust account, nor as a Private Banking client.

Who’s eligible: You qualify for this offer if you haven’t been a Citibank checking account customer within the last 180 calendar days. You must also be at least 18 years old with a valid W-9 or W-8 BEN on file with Citibank and are not subject to back-up withholding.

Account details: The Citibank Account Package earns interest on your checking account balance, but at the lowest rate compared to the bank’s other accounts. The savings account earns interest according to balance tiers. The account includes certain perks like a free order of checkbooks, fee-free ATM access (when you meet balance requirements) and the opportunity to earn Citi ThankYou Rewards.

The Citibank Account Package charges a $25 monthly service fee. You can waive the fee if you keep at least $10,000 in eligible linked deposit, retirement and investment accounts with the bank.

HSBC — $350 bonus

Offer ends 3/29/2019

Offer rules: Opening a new HSBC Advance checking account here can snag you an extra $350. You’ll need to open the account with at least $10,000 in new money (not previously held with HSBC) in combined HSBC checking and savings accounts within 30 calendar days of opening. You must also maintain a balance of $10,000 or over for 90 days after you make your deposit.

Eligibility: To qualify for this bonus offer, you must not have had an HSBC consumer deposit or investment account from Dec. 28, 2015 to Dec. 28, 2018. You must also be at least 18 years old with a Social Security Number and current U.S. residential address and must have had U.S. residency for the past three years.

Account details: The HSBC Advance checking account includes a few useful perks like free HSBC Advance checks, the option to apply for a Select Credit personal line of credit and four non-HSBC ATM fee rebates per month. It also earns interest — although at a very low rate — on balances of $5 and over.

There are three different ways to waive the account’s $25 fee. First, you can maintain at least $5,000 in the account with a recurring third-party direct deposit at least once per month. Your second option is to maintain at least $10,000 in combined balances. This includes personal deposit and investment accounts. Finally, if you’re a business owner who banks with HSBC, you can use your qualifying commercial balances to waive the Advance checking account fee.

TD Bank — $300 bonus

No expiration details available currently.

Offer rules: You can earn a $300 bonus when you open a new TD Premier Checking account. The account needs to receive direct deposits of at least $2,500 within 60 days of opening to qualify. The direct deposit must be from your paycheck, pension or government benefits from your employer or the government.

Eligibility: To qualify for this checking account bonus offer, you must be a new TD Bank customer, without any previous or current TD Bank personal checking accounts. You must also open the account through this web page.

You cannot redeem the offer if you’re a Canadian cross-border banking customer.

Account details: The TD Premier Checking account earns interest on balances of $2,500 and over, but the rate is pretty minimal. You’ll also have free access to non-TD ATMs and the chance to get reimbursed for other ATM surcharges. The account also includes a free first order of standard checks, money orders, stop payments, paper statements and incoming wire transfers.

The account charges a $25 monthly maintenance fee, which you can waive when you keep at least $2,500 in your account.

Chase — $200 bonus

Offer ends 3/05/2019

Offer rules: When you open a new Chase Total Checking account with at least $25 and set up direct deposit, you can get a bonus of $200. The direct deposit needs to be made to the account within 60 days of account opening. This can be your paycheck, pension or government benefits.

Opening the checking account alone can earn the $200 bonus. If you would also like to open a Chase Savings account along with the Chase Total Checking, you can boost your total reward to $350.

Eligibility: You cannot open a new account with the checking account bonus offer if you already have a Chase checking account. The offer also doesn’t apply to those with fiduciary accounts, who have had accounts closed within the last 90 days or closed with a negative balance.

Account details: Chase Total Checking is the bank’s most popular checking account out of its three checking options. It’s also the most basic and straightforward without any added perks or features. It charges a $12 monthly service fee that you can waive with either direct deposits of at least $500, a minimum daily balance of at least $1,500 or an average daily balance of at least $5,000 in combined linked qualifying Chase checking, savings and other balances.

Fifth Third Bank — $250 bonus

Offer ends 3/31/2019

Offer rules: You have the option of opening a new Fifth Third Essential, Enhanced, Preferred or Free checking account to earn the bank’s $250 bonus offer. While you don’t need to open the new account with a specific deposit amount right away, you have 45 days to reach an account balance of at least $500. Then you’ll need to maintain at least $500 in the account for 60 days to qualify completely for the bonus.

Availability: To redeem this offer, you will need to visit this Fifth Third webpage, email yourself the offer coupon and bring it to a Fifth Third branch to redeem. This limits the offer’s availability to customers near a branch, which you can find in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia.

You do not qualify for this checking account bonus offer if you are already a Fifth Third Bank customer, or have closed an account with the bank within the last 12 months.

The account: Unlike most other banks, Fifth Third Bank allows you to choose which checking account – Essential, Enhanced, Preferred or Free (when available) — you’d like to open with the bonus offer. This gives you the flexibility to open the account that works better for you in the long run. The Fifth Third Enhanced and Preferred Checking accounts earn interest on your balances, with the Preferred Checking earning at a slightly higher rate. As for fees, the monthly service fee ranges from $8 to $25, which you can waive with minimum balances.

Citibank — $200 bonus

Offer ends 3/31/2019
Offer rules: Opening a new Citibank checking account in a Basic Banking Package can earn a $200 bonus if you deposit at least $5,000 in new money within 30 days of opening. You can make your deposit through direct deposit, checks, wires or ACH transfers, but not with cash. You need to maintain at least that minimum in the account for 60 consecutive calendar days, too, to fully qualify for the reward.

Who’s eligible: You can redeem this checking account bonus offer through the offer webpage, by visiting a Citibank branch or calling a bank representative. You’re eligible if you’re a new Citibank customer who is at least 18 years old with a valid W-9 or W-8 BEN on file with the bank and are not subject to back-up withholding. You must not have been the owner of a Citibank within the last 180 calendar days.

The account: The Basic Banking Package is made for simple checking. It includes unlimited check writing and free non-Citi ATM usage for customers 62 and older. There is a $12 monthly fee that you can waive by making one qualifying direct deposit and one qualifying bill payment each cycle or by keeping a combined average monthly balance of at least $1,500 in this account and other eligible linked accounts. Customers 62 and older can also waive the fee.

HSBC — $200 bonus

Offer ends 3/29/2019

Offer rules: This $200 bonus offer applies to new HSBC Choice Checking accounts. You’ll need to open the new account with at least $1,500 in new money within 30 calendar days of opening. You also have to maintain at least that balance for 90 calendar days from the day you made your initial deposit.

You’ll need to use the application link through this webpage to qualify.

Who’s eligible: You must be a new HSBC customer to be eligible for this checking account bonus offer. This means you cannot have had a consumer deposit or investment account from Dec. 28, 2015 to Dec. 28, 2018. You must also be at least 18 years old with a Social Security Number, a current U.S. residential address and have had U.S. residency for the past three years.

Account details: The HSBC Choice Checking account is a pretty simple checking account, meant for more everyday use rather than big perks. You’ll have worldwide access to HSBC ATMs. you’ll also have the option of opening a Select Credit personal line of credit.

The account comes with a $15 service fee. You can waive it with either regular direct deposits or with at least $1,500 in combined balances in your personal HSBC deposit and investment accounts.

Wells Fargo — $200 bonus

Offer ends 2/28/2019

Offer rules: You have a couple ways to meet this offer’s requirements when you open a new Everyday Checking account with Wells Fargo. This offer can also apply to an Opportunity Checking account. For starters, you’ll need to open the new account with at least $25. After that, one option is to set up at least three consecutive monthly direct deposits totaling $500 or more within 150 days of account opening. Your second option is to use your Wells Fargo Debit Card to make 10 posted purchases each month for three consecutive months within 105 days of opening.

Who’s eligible: You can redeem this checking account bonus offer directly from this online page or by bringing in an offer code, also found on that page, to a Wells Fargo branch in the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas, Orlando, Fla., and Phoenix areas. You cannot use this offer if you already have a Wells Fargo consumer checking account or have received a Wells Fargo bonus offer within the past 12 months.

Account details: The Wells Fargo Everyday Checking account is simple, with a Platinum Debit Card and access to more than 13,000 Wells Fargo ATMs. There is a $10 monthly fee on the account, which you can waive in a few different ways:

  • Make 10 or more debit card purchases or payments
  • Receive qualifying direct deposits totaling $500 or more
  • Maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance
  • Link a Wells Fargo Campus ATM or Campus Debit Card (for college students)
  • The primary account owner is between 17 and 24 years old

5 things to watch out for with checking account bonus offers

#1 Checking account bonus offers aren’t entirely “no-strings-attached.” You can see above the various requirements you typically have to meet to earn a bonus, whether that’s meeting a minimum deposit amount or completing a certain number of direct deposits. But there’s often more to checking account bonus offers than what meets the eye.

#2 Banks report bonus payouts as interest to the IRS. In the year you receive your bonus, you’ll also receive a 1099-INT form, indicating you need to file the “income” in your taxes for that year. This lessens the total reward you gain from the checking account bonus offer. The exact amount deducted will depend on your tax bracket, but the higher the bracket, the smaller your final bonus.

#3 Banks may pull a credit check and a ChexSystem verification report when you apply for an account. This allows them to check for a history of good account standing, or, to the opposite, any dings in your financial history, like a trail of unpaid fees or bounced checks. Even if you have nothing to hide, a hard inquiry into your credit can temporarily dip your score just a little, so if you’re just opening one account, the effect won’t be catastrophic. However, if you’re opening multiple new accounts within quick succession, your credit score can take a hit.

Opening several accounts can also appear in a ChexSystem report. Whenever a bank pulls a ChexSystems report, it shows up as an inquiry. While this doesn’t ding your credit score or financial history, it may hurt your chances at a new account if a bank sees all those recent inquiries.

#4 You need to keep the account open for at least a few months. If you thought you could quickly open an account, collect your checking account bonus and close the account before moving onto the next one, we’re here to tell you that’s not how it works. Remember all those requirements you need to meet to redeem the offer? Not only is there a minimum deposit requirement, but you also need to keep your balance above that minimum for a certain number of days, typically 60.

Even after waiting two months to fully qualify, you may not see the bonus deposit into your account until months later. For example, Citi will deposit your bonus into the qualified account 90 days after you complete all the required activities. You may need to wait even longer if there are delays in depositing your reward. If that does happen, though, contact customer service to see what the delay might be.

You could also lose your bonus rewards if you close the new account within a certain time period. For example, Chase will deduct the checking account bonus amount from your account at closing if you close the account six months after opening with the bonus offer. This protects banks from paying out too many bonuses without getting any new account deposits in return.

#5 Finally, make sure you’re opening your new account the right way. To snag a checking account bonus offer, you often need to start your application through the right webpage. Other banks may require you to visit a branch to redeem the offer. Pay attention to the specific bank and account requirements; otherwise, you could find yourself with a new checking account, just without a bonus.

Think beyond the bonus offer when committing to a checking account

Although it’s tempting, you shouldn’t open new accounts left and right just for a checking account bonus offer. Once you snag that bonus, you’re stuck with an entirely new checking account. You should make sure that you’re comfortable enough with the account to make chasing the bonus worthwhile.

Pay attention to the account’s fees. Banks are quick to advertise the checking account bonus offer and the account’s many benefits. But make sure you also look for the account’s monthly maintenance fee. Once you open that account, you’ll be responsible for paying that fee each month. Plus, don’t forget that it takes months to meet the offer requirements in the first place, and another few months for the bonus to be deposited into your account. Paying that fee over those months can really add up, cutting into the total bonus you’ll actually receive. No one wants to be trapped paying an unnecessary and high fee that could have been avoided.

If you do choose to close your new account, whether before or after snagging the bonus, you’ll likely face a fee for closing it early. Paying this fee certainly isn’t worth it if you didn’t earn the bonus. But even if you do earn those extra dollars, paying any fee lessens the total reward you could have received. Some banks may also deduct the checking account bonus amount from your account if you close it too early, leaving you with zero net gain.

Make sure you can meet an account’s minimum balance. You can often waive an account’s monthly fee by meeting further requirements, typically a minimum balance. These can reach pretty high, though, especially when accounts have several features and perks. These accounts also tend to offer higher bonuses, so be careful if you’re looking solely for the highest bonus.

Instead, look for the checking account bonus offers that require lower balances to qualify. These accounts tend to charge smaller monthly fees. Even better, look for an account that doesn’t charge a monthly service fee, no matter your balance.

The accounts with high bonuses may not be the most favorable ones. Banks create these checking account bonus offers to invite consumers to become a customer. But perhaps there’s a reason why not too many new customers are opening these accounts. If you take a look at the accounts above, you’ll see they’re all from brick-and-mortar banks. They all charge monthly fees and can require sky-high balances to waive those fees. Those that earn interest only earn at the most minimal rates. These accounts, while appealing in the short-term for their bonuses, may not be the most beneficial in the long run for your finances. You should invest in accounts that grow and save you money.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Lauren Perez
Lauren Perez |

Lauren Perez is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lauren here

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Source: https://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/best-of/checking-account-bonus-offers/

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