Uncertain economic times can drive many consumers to find novel ways to earn additional money.

And for those also looking to open a new checking or online savings account, current promotions at some banks provide an additional financial incentive to move their funds now to a new home — as much as an extra $200 or $300 (or more).

Checking account promotions tend to offer the largest bonuses. That could be because people tend to keep the same checking account for an average of 17 years, according to a Bankrate survey published in January 2023.

Compare these bank account bonus offers to find the best deal — and check out other incentives, too, such as bonuses offered for opening a brokerage account.

Bankrate’s picks for the best consumer bank account bonuses in February 2024

Best checking account bonuses

Best savings account/money market account bonuses

Best referral bonuses

  • American Airlines Federal Credit Union: $25 for each family member referral up to a maximum of $250
  • Axos Bank: $50 for a referral and $50 to the referred customer
  • Chase Bank: $50 for each referral up to $500
  • Chime: $100 for a referral and $100 to the referred customer
  • M&T Bank: $50 for a referral up to $500
  • TD Bank: $50 for a referral and $50 to the referred customer up to $500
  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs: Additional 1 percent promotional rate increase for three months – up to five referrals per year.

Best business bank account bonuses

A closer look at the top consumer checking account promotions

Chase Bank (Private Client): Up to $3,000 bonus

You can earn up to $3,000 for opening a Chase Private Client Checking account by April 17, 2024.

To get the bonus, you’ll need to:

  • Meet with a Private Client Banker by the promotional deadline.
  • Transfer at least a total of $250,000 of money or securities from outside the bank over to Chase within 45 days.

The Chase Private Client checking account has a $35 monthly maintenance fee if you don’t keep at least $150,000 more in this account or in linked deposit accounts or investment accounts at Chase. A linked Chase Platinum business checking account can also help you avoid that monthly service fee.

By following all of the rules for this promotion, you’ll earn:

  • $1,000 if you deposit between $150,000 and $249,999.
  • $2,000 if you deposit between $250,000 and $499,999.
  • $3,000 if you deposit $500,000 or more.

Chase earned a 3.5 out of 5 rating from Bankrate. The bank is headquartered in New York.

Citibank: Up to $2,500 bonus

Citibank is offering up to $2,500 to customers who open a new checking account by July 8, 2024. To qualify for the bonus, funds must be deposited within 20 days after opening the account. The account balance after 20 days determines the bonus amount.

  • Making a minimum deposit of $30,000 and maintaining that minimum balance can earn you $500.
  • Making a minimum deposit of $300,000 and maintaining that minimum balance can earn you $2,500.

Other important information about this offer:

  • Customers who have closed a Citibank checking account within the last 180 days are ineligible.
  • Children under 18 years of age are also ineligible for this offer.
  • These offers are not available in all areas.
  • Applicants must sign up on Citibank’s website that details the offer.
  • Your offer’s balance must be maintained for 60 days after the account has been open for 21 days.
  • Checking accounts must be opened between Jan. 10, 2024 and July 8, 2024 to qualify.

Citibank is based in New York. In Bankrate’s review of Citibank’s full suite of products and offerings, it earned 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Huntington National Bank: Up to $600 bonus

Huntington Bank has two checking account bonuses available for both consumers and business owners. Through June. 7, 2024, you can apply to earn:

  • $400 for opening a Perks Checking account and making cumulative deposits of at least $1,000 within 90 days of the account opening.
  • $600 for opening a Platinum Perks Checking account and making at least $25,000 in cumulative deposits within 90 days of the account opening.

These offers are valid only for residents of Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Note that only money deposited from outside of Huntington Bank is eligible to meet the cumulative deposit requirement. (Funds from Huntington CDs are eligible for these offers when they mature.)

Huntington is based in Columbus, Ohio. In the full review of its banking products and offerings, the bank earned 4.2 out of 5 stars.

BMO: Up to $400 bonus

Consumers who don’t have a BMO checking account are eligible to earn a $250 to $400 bonus by opening a Smart Advantage Checking account, Relationship Checking account or Smart Money Checking account.

  • A $250 bonus applies to the Smart Advantage Checking account and requires a minimum $4,000 in direct deposits within the first 120 days.
  • A $250 bonus can be earned for opening a Smart Money Checking account, with a minimum $4,000 required in certain direct deposits during the first 90 days.
  • A $400 bonus can be earned for opening a Relationship Checking account and having a total of $7,500 in certain direct deposits during the first 120 days.
  • Qualifying direct deposits for the Smart Advantage account, Smart Money Checking account and Relationship Checking account include payroll, pension, Social Security or other government payments.

Here are some other details:

  • One checking account bonus is permitted per customer.
  • Accounts must be opened between Dec. 11, 2023 and May 3, 2024.

BMO earned 3.7 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s review.

PNC Bank: up to $400 reward bonus

You can earn one of the following bonuses at PNC Bank:

  • $400 by opening a Virtual Wallet with Performance Select (qualifying direct deposits of $5,000)
  • $200 by opening a Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend (qualifying direct deposits of $2,000)
  • $100 by opening a Virtual Wallet (qualifying direct deposits of $500)

To be eligible for this offer, all signers must:

  • Not have a current PNC personal checking account
  • Not have closed an account within the past 90 days
  • Not have received a bonus from PNC in the past two years.

These offers are from Jan. 3 to April 30, 2024 and the offers might vary by location.

PNC Bank’s headquarters is in Pittsburgh. It earned a 4 out of 5 during Bankrate’s review.

Axos Bank: earn $300 bonus

New Axos Bank checking customers can earn $300 by making direct deposits of at least $5,000 into a new Rewards Checking account for seven straight months.

You’ll need to open your new Rewards Checking account using the AXOS300 promotional code for this bonus.

You’ll need to deposit $5,000 or more of funds from outside of Axos Bank within 30 days of your account opening date. And you’ll need to continue having $5,000 or more via direct deposit for your first seven months with the Rewards Checking account.

This offer requires code “AXOS300” and your account needs to be opened at Axos between Aug. 1, 2023 at 12 a.m. PST and June 30, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Axos is headquartered in San Diego. The bank scored 4 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s review of its offerings.

Wells Fargo: $300 bonus

New checking customers can earn $300 at Wells Fargo.

To earn the bonus, you need to:

  • Open a Wells Fargo Everyday Checking account through Wells Fargo’s checking offer website and provide your bonus code when you open your account. You can also follow instructions to open an account at a Wells Fargo branch.
  • Have a cumulative direct deposit amount of at least $1,000 into your account within the first 90 calendar days of opening this new account.
  • Deposit at least $25 into that new account by April 1, 2024.

Wells Fargo earned 3.6 out of 5 stars in Bankate’s review. Wells Fargo has its headquarters in San Francisco.

SoFi Bank: Up to $300 bonus

New SoFi Bank customers can earn up to $300 by opening a Checking and Savings account. You’ll need a direct deposit to earn the bonus. The amount of your total qualifying direct deposits during the bank’s 25-day evaluation period, which starts after SoFi receives a direct deposit, will determine the bonus amount according to SoFi Bank’s website.

  • A direct deposit between $1,000 and $4,999.99 earns $50.
  • A direct deposit of at least $5,000 earns $300.

The offer ends June 30, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

SoFi earned 4.5 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s review.

Chase Bank: $300 or $100 bonus

Through April 17, 2024, Chase is offering a bonus on certain new checking accounts.

To earn $300, open a new Total Checking account and have direct deposits of at least $500 within 90 days of signing up for a Chase offer coupon.

To qualify for the bonus, you must not have an existing Chase checking account (or had one closed with a negative balance in the past three years or closed within the last 90 days).

  • To earn $100, open a new Chase College Checking account.
  • This account does have a $4.95 monthly service fee.
  • College students ages 17-24 qualify for this account

Ten qualifying transactions (debit card purchases, online bill payments, checks paid, Chase QuickDeposit, Zelle or ACH credit to the account) within 60 days of coupon enrollment are required to earn the College Checking and  Secure Banking bonuses. The coupons can be found on Chase’s website.

You can also earn a $100 bonus by opening a Chase Secure Banking account. (Note: This account has a $4.95 monthly maintenance fee.) And make 10 eligible transactions within 60 days of bringing your coupon to a Chase location and opening the account.

Our review of Chase’s banking products and services gave the bank 3.5 out of 5 stars. Chase is headquartered in New York.

M&T Bank: Up to $200 bonus

You can earn up to $200 for opening any personal checking account at M&T Bank from Feb. 1 to May 31, 2024.

  • Within 90 days of the checking account’s opening, a qualifying direct deposit of at least $500 must be made to qualify for the bonus.

M&T Bank earned 4.1 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s review. M&T Bank is headquartered in Buffalo, New York.

Bank of America: $200 bonus

New personal checking customers can earn $200 from Bank of America when they open an account online. The offer expires May 31, 2024. To get the bonus, you must:

  • Not have had a Bank of America personal checking account, or been a co-owner on an account, within the past 12 months.
  • Open a new Advantage SafeBalance Banking, Advantage Plus Banking or Advantage Relationship Banking account online.
  • Make an opening deposit ($25 opening deposit for the Advantage SafeBalance Banking account and $100 opening deposit for the others).
  • Receive qualifying direct deposits of at least $2,000 each within 90 days of your account opening.

Offer code TWA200CIS is required to qualify for the bonus.

Bank of America is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. It earned 4 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s full review of its products and services.

KeyBank: $100 annual bonus

You can earn an annual bonus of $100 by opening a Key Select Checking account and having direct deposits of $60,000 or more go into your new account.

The bank will start tracking the $60,000 requirement after your second statement cycle. And then you’ll need to meet or exceed the $60,000 direct deposit requirement during that one year period.

  • You’ll need to have at least qualifying direct deposit during the last 60 days of your one year period that starts during the third statement cycle.

KeyBank has its headquarters in Cleveland. It earned 3.7 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s bank review of its products and services.

A closer look at the top savings account/money market account bonuses

Wells Fargo: $525 bonus

New Wells Fargo customers can earn $525 by opening a savings account by April 1, 2024.

  • You’ll need to open the account at a branch with at least $25, and you’ll need to have at least $25,000 in the account within 30 days. You’ll then need to keep at least a $25,000 balance for at least another 90 days.

Wells Fargo earned 3.6 out of 5 stars in Bankate’s review. Wells Fargo is based in San Francisco.

Barclays: $200 bonus

Customers who are new to Barclays can earn $200 for opening a Barclays Savings account.

  • You’ll need to deposit at least $25,000 into the account within 30 days.
  • You’ll need to keep at least $25,000 in the account for 120 consecutive days.
  • The bonus will be credited to the account within 60 days after the requirements have been completed.

This bonus offer started March 4 and ends May 3. Terms apply.

Barclays earned 4.1 out of 5 stars in Bankate’s review. Barclays Bank Delaware is based in New York.

TD Bank: $200 bonus

You can earn $200 by opening a new TD Signature Savings or TD Simple Savings account.

  • A deposit of at least $10,000 from funds outside of TD Bank is required into a new TD Signature Savings or Simple savings account and a balance of $10,000 or more must be maintained for 90 days to earn this bonus.
  • This bonus offer ends April 30, 2024.
  • Customers who’ve had a personal money market account or savings account with TD Bank in the previous 12 months are ineligible for the offer.
  • You also won’t be eligible if you’ve redeemed a previous savings bonus at TD Bank.

TD Bank has its headquarters in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. In Bankrate’s review of TD Bank’s services and product offerings, it earned 3.7 out of 5 stars.

Alliant Credit Union: $100 bonus after a year

New members of Alliant Credit Union who open an Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account can earn $100 after a year by making monthly deposits of $100 or more for 12 consecutive months into that account.

Current Alliant members are ineligible for the offer.

Chicago-based Alliant earned 4.6 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s review.

BMO: Up to $60 bonus in a year ($5 maximum monthly)

Customers can earn up to $5 a month ($60 a year) by depositing at least $200 each month for a year in a new Savings Builder account. Existing accounts aren’t eligible, and the initial deposit must be received in the month the account was opened to be eligible for all 12 savings rewards.

  • Customers who opened a BMO statement savings account and earned a savings reward from Feb. 3, 2020 to Oct. 18, 2021, are ineligible for the offer.

BMO earned a 3.7 overall rating out of 5 in Bankrate’s review. BMO has its headquarters in Chicago.

A closer look at the top consumer bank account referral bonuses

American Airlines Federal Credit Union: $25 for a family member referral

American Airlines Federal Credit Union members can earn $25 for each family member referred, with a maximum of 10 referrals per calendar year. The number of referrals is capped at 10 for 2024.

  • The family member receiving the referral must open an account starting Jan. 1, 2024, and ending Dec. 31, 2024.
  • “REFER25” must be entered as the promo code.
  • The person who refers you needs to include your name and email address.

American Airlines Credit Union earned an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 in Bankrate’s review of the credit union.

Axos Bank: $50 for a referral and $50 to the person you referred

Current Axos customers have the opportunity to earn and give $50 for referring a friend to the Essential Checking account.

To qualify for the bonus, your friend must:

  • Use your referral link from Axos Bank’s website and open an Essential Checking or Rewards Checking account.
  • Not have owned an Axos Bank account.
  • Use your personalized referral link.
  • Receive a direct deposit of at least $1,000 within the first 90 days.

If all requirements are met, both parties will receive $50 in their bank accounts.

Axos is headquartered in San Diego. It earned 4.0 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s full review of its products and services.

Accounts closed within 90 days may be charged an early closure fee.

Chase Bank: $50 for each referral up to $500

Current Chase customers can earn $50, up to $500 per calendar year, for each friend who opens a qualifying checking or savings account.

For you to qualify, your friend must:

  • Use your personalized referral link.
  • Open a Chase Total Checking, Chase College Checking account or another eligible account.
  • Be in good standing at the time of payout.

The bonus your friend receives depends on the type of account she opens and whether she completes the qualifying activities outlined in the bonus.

Our review of Chase’s banking products and services gave the bank 3.5 out of 5 stars. Chase is headquartered in New York.

Chime: $100 for a referral and $100 to the person you referred

Current Chime customers can get $100 for each friend they refer. For both parties to qualify for the bonus, the referred person must:

  • Be a new Chime customer.
  • Use your personalized referral link.
  • Receive a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more from a payroll provider within 45 days of opening the account.

If the terms are met, both parties will receive $100.

Chime is based in San Francisco and is a financial technology company, meaning it strictly operates online and partners with a bank to hold your deposits.

M&T Bank: $50 for a referral

M&T Bank customers can earn a $50 gift card for each family member or friend that opens an account at M&T Bank.

The bank even encourages you to share this offer on social media.  Your earnings on this offer are capped at $500 per year.

Bankrate’s most recent review had M&T Bank earning 4.1 out of 5 stars. M&T Bank has its headquarters in Buffalo, New York.

TD Bank: $50 for a referral and $50 to the person you referred

TD Bank customers can earn and give $50 when they refer a friend to a TD Bank personal checking account. To qualify for the bonus, your friend must:

  • Bring in a referral form with your information.
  • Be a new TD Bank checking customer.
  • Receive a direct deposit of at least $250 or make at least 15 debit card purchases within 60 days of opening the account.

You can refer up to 10 friends per calendar year, meaning you could earn up to $500.

TD Bank has its headquarters in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. In Bankrate’s review of TD Bank’s services and product offerings, it earned 3.7 out of 5 stars.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs: 1 percent promotional rate increase for a current customer and a friend

Current Marcus by Goldman Sachs customers and their referred friends can receive a 1 percent promotional rate increase for three months when a friend opens a Marcus savings account using a current Marcus customer’s referral link.

Only customers who haven’t had a Marcus savings account or CD in the last one-year period are eligible to be referred.

  • The maximum amount on deposit cannot exceed $1 million in an account and each account owner can’t have more than $3 million.
  • You can refer five friends per year for a yield bonus.
  • You can only receive a bonus on your Marcus savings account.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs has its headquarters in New York. In Bankrate’s review of Marcus by Goldman Sachs’ banking products, it earned 4.1 out of 5 stars.

A closer look at the top business checking account bonuses

Huntington National Bank: $100, $400 or $1,000 bonus

You can earn up to $1,000 by opening the following new business checking accounts at Huntington National Bank:

  • Business Checking 100: Get a $100 bonus with a minimum deposit of $2,000.
  • Unlimited Business Checking: Get a $400 bonus with a minimum deposit of $5,000.
  • Unlimited Plus Business Checking: Get a $1,000 bonus with a minimum deposit of $20,000.

Here’s what you need to do to earn these offers:

  • Open one of the accounts listed by April 30, 2024.
  • Make the aggregate deposits needed within 60 days of account opening and keep the account open for at least 90 days. Deposits must be from outside of Huntington National Bank.

Huntington Bank has its headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. It scored 4.2 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s review of its offerings.

PNC Bank: $200-$1,000 bonus

Opening a new PNC business checking account, business checking plus account, analysis business checking account or treasury enterprise plan can help your business earn a bonus.

Opening a new business checking account or business checking plus account can earn you a $200 bonus if you meet certain requirements.

  • Maintain an average ledger balance of at least $5,000 during all of the first three statement cycles.
  • Complete 20 or more eligible debit card purchases during the first three statement periods.

Getting a new analysis business checking account or treasury enterprise plan can earn you $500 if you maintain an average ledger account balance of $30,000 during your first three statement periods or $1,000 for having an average ledger account balance of at least $100,000.

New business checking accounts must be opened by March 31, 2024, to qualify for a bonus.

PNC Bank has its headquarters in Pittsburgh. The bank scored 4 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s review of its products.

Axos Bank: earn up to $400 bonus

Small businesses can open a business checking account at Axos Bank to earn up to a $400 bonus. For this offer, you’ll need to open a Business Interest Checking account or a Basic Business Checking account and complete requirements.

For this offer, you’ll need to:

  • Use the NEW400 code when you apply for the Axos business checking account.
  • Deposit money into the new account within 30 days of opening it.
  • You can earn $75 for each statement cycle (up to $300), during the first five statement cycles, when you: maintain an average daily balance between $25,000 and $49,999.99; complete 10 debit card transactions of at least $3 each; have bill pay set up for the account.
  • Or, you can earn $100 for each statement cycle (up to $400), during the first five statement cycles, when you: maintain an average daily balance greater than $50,000; complete 10 debit card transactions of at least $3 each; have bill pay set up for the account.
  • The bonus will be deposited into the account within 10 business days following the end of the statement cycle in which the balance requirement was met.

This offer ends June 30, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. PT. An early closure fee of up to $400 may apply if the account isn’t kept open for 150 days.

Axos can limit you to one promotional offer per year, according to its website. Also, if you’ve had an Axos Bank for Nationwide checking account or an Axos Bank checking account – for a business or as an individual – in the previous 12 months, you’re not allowed to redeem this bonus.

Axos is headquartered in San Diego. The bank scored 4 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s review of its offerings.

Why banks have sign-up bonuses

Banks use sign-up bonuses to distinguish themselves from others in the industry. Cash bonuses also help financial institutions bring in new customers and new deposits. Banks are particularly inclined to offer bonuses in a rising interest rate environment, when the spread between the interest rate they offer customers for deposits versus the interest rate they can get by lending money widens.

While they could pay account holders a higher yield, for some banks, offering a bonus is preferable.

“It’s much easier to quantify the bonus than it is to raise the rate on what you’re paying out on deposits,” says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate chief financial analyst.

Some banks offer more than one sign-up bonus. But qualifying for multiple bonuses at the same time at the same bank usually isn’t possible. Bank account bonuses are typically available only to new checking or savings account holders.

What to watch out for

Not every bank account bonus is a good deal. Before signing up, read the fine print and be realistic about your ability to meet the requirements. Watch out for sky-high minimum balance requirements and monthly fees that could eat into your earnings.

If you’re applying for a checking account, make sure it’s a good match that meets your needs. For example, if you need to use branches and ATMs, double-check that there are plenty of them in your area. That way, you’re not driving miles to meet with a banker or wasting money on out-of-network ATM fees. And with online banking becoming more popular and convenient, look for a bank or credit union that offers a solid set of digital tools.

If you’re looking for a new savings account, consider whether you’re better off finding another bank that pays more interest.

For instance, one-time bonuses are typically offered on accounts that pay minimal interest. So while the bonus is great initially, you may be sacrificing the long-term return.

Sign up for a Bankrate account to read insights, analysis and bank reviews from our team of banking experts.

How are bank account bonuses taxed?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) taxes any bank account bonuses you earn at the same rate as your income, which is between 10 and 37 percent in 2023. Ahead of tax season, your bank will likely send you a 1099-INT form if you earned a bonus of more than $10. Alternatively, the bonus may show up on a 1099-MISC form.

Your bank may also choose not to send you a tax form for a bonus you’ve earned. If this happens, you’re still responsible for paying taxes on the bonus. You can list the income from a bank account bonus on a 1040 form, which enables you to report any additional income from sources such as unemployment compensation or money associated with prizes or awards.

As soon as you receive a bank bonus, it’s a good idea to set aside a percentage of it (based on your tax bracket) for taxes. This way, you’ll have the money to cover any related tax obligations.

Promotions in this article may have additional requirements that aren’t listed here. Terms and conditions may apply to these offers.

Read the full article here

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