Best Bank Account Sign-Up Promotions

Whether you're opening a personal account or a business account, banks want your business so bad they're willing to lay out cold. hard. cash. just to sign up. Find out how you can take advantage of this.

Best Bank Account Sign-Up Promotions

It's no secret, banks offer sign-up incentives (or promos) as a way to attract new customers, but did you know they also offer some perks as well?

These incentives & perks usually come in the form of cash bonuses, credit monitoring tools, e-statements and other things like Early Direct Deposit.

In this article, we'll discuss how to take advantage of sign-up promotions at banks, how much you can earn, the types of promotions that are available and what to look out for to get the best deal.

Types Of Sign-On Incentives For New Accounts

Cash Bonuses

Cash bonuses offered by banks for opening a new account can range from $100 to $400 or more, depending on the bank and the type of account.

Current Cash Bonus Offers On New Personal Checking Accounts

Bank/institution APY Bonus
SoFi Checking and Savings 3.75% $250
Discover Bank Online Savings 3.40% $200
Axos Bank® Rewards Checking 1.25% $100
Citigold® Checking Account N/A $200
Chase Total Checking® N/A $200
Citi Priority Account N/A $200
Chase Secure Banking℠ 0.15% $100
Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking® N/A $100
Chase Business Complete Banking℠ N/A $300
U.S. Bank's Bank Smartly™ Checking N/A $300
PNC Virtual Wallet® Checking Pro 0.40% $200
PNC Virtual Wallet Spend N/A $400
Wells Fargo Everyday Checking N/A $200
Alliant Credit Union Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account 2.95% $100

Not surprisingly, banks don't just court personal checking consumers, they want business customers as well!

Banks are in the interest-earning & lending game, so when they get business customers they're happy as a clam knowing they can throw an entire suite of financial products at them!

Current business checking account cash bonus offers

Bank/Institution Bonus
Capital One Spark Business Checking $200
Wells Fargo Business Choice Checking $200
Chase Total Business Checking $200
Bank of America Business Advantage Checking $100
BBVA USA Free Checking for Business $200
U.S. Bank Silver Business Checking $300
M&T Bank Basic Business Checking $200
Huntington Bank Business Checking 100 $200
TD Bank Business Convenience Checking $150
PNC Bank Virtual Wallet Business $300
Citizens Bank Business Checking $200
First Merchants Business Checking $200
Comerica Bank Business Checking $100
SunTrust Business Checking $200
Regions Business Checking $200
Fifth Third Bank Essential Business Checking $200
KeyBank Business Checking $200
BMO Harris Bank Small Business Checking $200
Flagstar Bank Business Checking $200
Zions Bank Business Checking $200
Ameris Bank Business Checking $200

As you might imagine, whether you're a small business or an individual account, banks aren't just going to hand you $100 - $400 the day you sign up.

Banks want a customer for life (or at least a long time) and typically require a commitment before the funds are released to your bank account. You'll get a deal, sure, but there are always strings. So pay attention.

So, to make sure you're getting the best deal you need to understand those terms. Some requirements are stricter than others. You might need to have $5,000 or $10,000 in your account, or have direct deposit enabled indefinitely, or agree to stay for a certain length of time.

Make sure you read that contract, and if it all makes sense, sign up and pocket that free money!

Waived Fees

The amount you can save by having fees waived for a certain period of time can vary depending on the type of fee and the length of the waiver period. Banks aren't typically known for their willingness to waive fees (read how banks rake in $24b per year on junk fees)

As a fee-waive example, if a bank waives a monthly maintenance fee of $10 for six months, you would save $60 in fees. Does this mean it's an amazing deal? Maybe, maybe not.

There are plenty of banks that offer free checking accounts (sometimes a minimum balance, or direct deposit is required) so it might make sense to avoid a bank that will eventually charge you maintenance fees if you can jump to a bank that doesn't.

Types Of Fees Typically Waived On Sign-Up

  1. Monthly Maintenance Fees: Banks may offer to waive monthly maintenance fees on checking or savings accounts for a stated period of time.
  2. Overdraft Fees: Some banks may offer to waive overdraft fees, typically 12 months.
  3. ATM Fees: Banks may offer to reimburse ATM fees incurred at any ATM for a limited number of months (or forever as long as your balance meets X thresholds).
  4. Minimum Balance Fees: Banks may offer to waive fees for falling below the minimum balance requirement, but typically if there's a minimum balance requirement it remains a requirement indefinitely.

Extra Perk: Early Direct Deposit

Early Direct Deposit is a feature offered by some banks that allows customers to receive their direct deposit payments earlier than the standard processing time. Which, if we're keeping score here, is a complete win for you!

Who doesn't want to get paid earlier, right?

Typically, direct deposit payments are processed and made available on the designated payday, but with early direct deposit, customers can receive their funds as early as a few days before payday.

For example, if payday is on the 1st of the month and the employer usually deposits payroll funds on the last day of the previous month, with early direct deposit, the funds may be made available a few days earlier.

This can be helpful for customers who need access to their funds sooner, such as to pay bills or make purchases.

I think we've all been there before. You get paid on the 1st, rent is due, you get off work, bank isn't open! ACK! Thankfully there are usually grace periods with major bills, but if there isn't, or late fees are tacked on 24 hours after the 1st of the month; getting paid earlier is a serious perk.

31 Banks That Offer Early Direct Deposit

If you don't see your bank on this list don't hesitate to call them up and ask if they offer Early Direct Deposit, or other perks that might not be listed on their website.

A cool hack is to call customer support, act like you're very seriously considering jumping to another bank and they'll start throwing perks and other incentives at you to get you to stay. Maybe they can't offer EDD, but what they can offer might surprise you and save (or earn) you more money.

What to Look Out For

As awesome as bank account bonuses are, some of them come with strings that you need to be aware of. So, rather than being shocked at a bill, or even scared away from doing it at all; here's a short list of things to look out for.

Surprises to Watch Out For: Some banks require a minimum balance or a monthly fee to get the bonus for a checking account. Read the fine print carefully to avoid any unexpected costs. A free checking account could be a better option if you want to keep more of your money.

Tax Alert: Bank bonuses are considered taxable income. This means your $100 bonus will be lower after taxes. Also, if you're a big saver, a large sign-up bonus may not make up for a low annual percentage yield (APY) over time. Consider finding an account with a high interest rate and no bonus instead.

Requirements and Timing: Banks may need you to enroll in direct deposit, complete a certain number of transactions, or wait a certain amount of time before becoming eligible for the bonus. Make sure you understand the requirements and timeline (if applicable) before opening an account.

Account Closure Fees: If you switched banks in the past year, your old bank may charge a fee to close your account. Keep this in mind before making the switch.

Alternative Ways to Earn: You can get a bank bonus without opening a new account by referring someone to the bank. Some banks offer referral bonuses for existing customers, so be sure to ask your bank about any referral opportunities.