Best Bank Account Bonuses, Offers, Promotions April 2022

ElitePersonalFinance
Last Update: April 4, 2022 Credit Card Reviews Credit Cards Loan Reviews

Each time we go shopping, we hunt for discounts. Be it a grocery store, a restaurant, or financial products, we compare prices and hope to obtain the best bargain.

Moreover, after doing a little homework, it’s possible to find ways to save money and improve your financial health. For example, banks aim to attract new customers and keep existing ones by offering bonuses and promotions. And often, this provides us with opportunities to make money-savvy moves.

Why Should You Trust ElitePersonalFinance?

With accuracy and accountability in mind, we pride ourselves on presenting the latest information from the most trusted sources. And our goal is to help you find the best products available in the marketplace. Moreover, we hope that our study will make it easier to contrast quality bonus offers from those that only look good on the surface.

To that point, we gathered the data by analyzing promotional offers at traditional banks, online banks, mobile-only banks and credit unions. And interestingly, our study revealed:

  • Regional banks have the best checking account bonuses.
  • Credit unions and traditional banks have the best savings account bonuses.
  • Mobile-only banks have the best referral bonuses.

However, since the details reveal the true story, please continue reading to find out if a bonus offer can improve your financial health.

Best Bank Promotions April 2022

We went directly to the source to determine the best offers available in today’s marketplace. At ElitePersonalFinance, we combed through financial institutions’ websites and compiled a list of the best bonus offers for 2022. Moreover, we arranged the offers by checking, savings, and referral bonuses. In addition, we’ll continue to update the list as promotional offers expire.

Checking Account Bonuses

With bonus offers that range from $50 to $1,500, switching to a new financial institution can provide you with checking account perks that are worthy of the deposit.

Financial Institution: Checking Bonus: Required Deposit: Expiration Date:
Citibank Up to $1,500 $15,000-$200,000 Jul. 17, 2022
First National Bank Up to $400 $1,500-$2,500 Dec. 31, 2022
PNC Bank Up to $400 $500-$5,000 Feb. 28, 2022
BMO Harris Bank Up to $350 $4,000-$7,500 Jan. 28, 2022
TD Bank Up to $300 $500-$2,500 Mar. 31, 2022
Huntington National Bank Up to $300 $1,000-$25,000 Feb. 7, 2022
M&T Bank Up to $250 $500 Mar. 31, 2022
HSBC $450 $15,000 Mar. 31, 2022
Santander Bank $400 $6,000 Jan. 28, 2022
Citizens Bank $300 $500 Feb. 17, 2022
Central Bank $300 $52 Dec. 31, 2022
Fifth Third Bank $300 $500 Mar. 31, 2022
Monifi Bank $250 $2,000 Jan. 31, 2022
Chase Bank $225 $1 Apr. 20, 2022
Bank of America $100 $1,000 Jun. 30, 2022
SoFi $100 $1,000 Jan. 31, 2022
OnJuno $50 $1 No Expiry

Citibank

Checking Bonus: Up to $1,500
Required Deposit: $15,000-$200,000
Expiration Date: Jul. 17, 2022
FDIC/NCUA Insured: Yes
Learn More

Offering new clients the chance to earn up to $1,500 in checking account bonuses, Citibank has an offer that may fit your needs. However, the deposit minimums are pretty steep and are only suitable for large accounts. For example, Citibank’s tiered deposit structure is as follows:

  • Receive a $300 cash bonus if you deposit $15,000 to $49,000 in an eligible Citibank checking account.
  • Receive a $700 cash bonus if you deposit $50,000 to $199,000 in an eligible Citibank checking account.
  • Receive a $1,500 cash bonus if you deposit $200,000 or more in an eligible Citibank checking account.

The critical point is that Citibank starts the deposit clock on the 20th day after opening the account. And from then on, you need to keep your daily balance within the minimum deposit ranges for 60 days to receive the total bonus. Moreover, if your daily balance falls to a lower minimum range within the 60 days, you only qualify for that range’s bonus. For example, if you hold $50,000 in your account for 50 days and then the balance drops to $49,000 on day 51, you will receive a $300 bonus instead of a $700 bonus. For context, you can split the funds between your Citibank checking and savings accounts. However, the rules regarding the deposit minimums still apply.

Moreover, Citibank’s Basic Banking Package is the cheapest option available. And you can avoid the $12 monthly maintenance fee if you make one qualifying direct deposit and one bill payment each month. Or, Citibank waives the fee if you hold an average daily balance of $1,500 across all your eligible deposit accounts.

Pros:

  • Citibank offers a hefty bonus if you can meet the deposit requirements.
  • Citibank has 65,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States.

Cons:

  • The bonus isn’t attainable for individuals with small account balances.

Who is the account best suited for?

  • If you have a high amount of liquid cash and receive regular paychecks, the bonus offer may be right for you.

The impact of COVID-19:

As a titan of Wall Street, Citibank’s investment banking division thrived during the pandemic. And with record profits not far behind, Citibank is putting some of that cash to work to try and win new retail clients.

First National Bank

Checking Bonus: Up to $400
Required Deposit: $1,500-$2,500
Expiration Date: Dec. 31, 2022
FDIC/NCUA Insured: Yes
Learn More

First National Bank offers new clients the opportunity to earn up to $400 in bonus cash by following a few simple steps. However, please note that First National Bank serves clients in 8 states. As a result, the promotion isn’t available nationwide. However, the offer should be on your radar if you reside in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, or West Virginia. It works like this: you receive a $400 cash bonus if you open a First National Bank checking account, make direct deposits worth $2,500 and make ten online bill payments within the first 90 days. Moreover, the promotion can be split, where you can earn a $150 bonus for making direct deposits worth $1,500 or making ten online bill payments within the first 90 days. The choice is yours.

If you think the offer is right for you, a First National Bank Freestyle Checking Account seems like a winner. You don’t have to worry about a minimum balance, and there is no monthly maintenance fee if you opt for online statements. In addition, you can write an unlimited number of checks, and your Visa Debit Card is functional with digital wallets.Furthermore, if you’re an existing client, you can also capitalize on the promotion by upgrading to a Penguins Power Play Package. The account has an annual fee of $25. However, it comes with valuable perks that are beneficial for Pittsburgh Penguins fans:

  • You receive Penguins branded checks and a team debit card.
  • You receive discounts on game ticket purchases.
  • You receive 15% off on PensGear purchased at the arena, Cranberry and Southside Works.

Pros:

  • First National Bank offers a sweet bonus and the eligibility requirements are achievable.
  • The promotion is open to new and existing clients.

Cons:

  • The offer is only available in select states.

Who is the account best suited for?

  • If you live in one of First National Bank’s service regions, it’s a solid bonus offer.
  • If you’re a Penguins fan, the added perks may be worth the $25 fee.

The impact of COVID-19:

Offering relief programs and access to Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) funds, First National Bank helped Americans bank with confidence during the pandemic. And while some branches suffered temporary closures, First National Bank ‘s online solutions helped fill the void.

PNC Bank

Checking Bonus: Up to $400
Required Deposit: $500-$5,000
Expiration Date: Feb. 28, 2022
FDIC/NCUA Insured: Yes
Learn More

At PNC Bank, up to $400 in bonus cash can be yours by opening a new Virtual Wallet. For context, the account combines checking and savings and helps ease the transition to mobile banking. Also, PNC Bank offers services in 29 states. So make sure to check if your region applies. If so, the promotion is tiered and applies to the following accounts:

  • Receive a $50 bonus when you open a Virtual Wallet and direct deposit $500 or more within 60 days.
  • Receive a $200 bonus when you open a Spend Virtual Wallet and direct deposit $2,000 or more within 60 days.
  • Receive a $400 bonus when you open a Select Virtual Wallet and direct deposit $5,000 or more within 60 days.

Now, a Virtual Wallet has no minimum deposit requirement. However, a $7 monthly maintenance fee applies unless you fulfill one of the following conditions:

  • Direct deposit at least $500 per month.
  • Hold a monthly balance of at least $500.
  • You’re 62 or older.

Spend Virtual Wallet has no minimum deposit requirement. However, a $15 monthly maintenance fee applies unless you fulfill one of the following conditions:

  • Direct deposit at least $2,000 per month.
  • Hold a monthly balance of at least $2,000.
  • Hold $10,000 across all of your PNC Bank deposit accounts.

Also, please note that WorkPlace Banking or Military Banking customers only need to direct deposit at least $1,000 per month to avoid the maintenance fee. Finally, a Select Virtual Wallet has no minimum deposit requirement. However, a $25 monthly maintenance fee applies unless you fulfill one of the following conditions:

  • Direct deposit at least $5,000 per month.
  • Hold a monthly balance of at least $5,000.
  • Hold $25,000 across all of your PNC Bank deposit accounts.

Pros:

  • PNC Bank offers a competitive bonus, and its Digital Wallets include helpful banking tools.

Cons:

  • The offer is only available in select states.

Who is the account best suited for?

  • If you’re comfortable with mobile banking, PNC Bank could be right for you.
  • PNC Bank has branches in 29 states, so in-person help is available to those residents.

The impact of COVID-19:

While PNC Bank is well-known as a traditional institution, the pandemic gave it a chance to spread its mobile wings. For example, mobility restrictions allowed PNC Bank to market its Virtual Wallets. And with the bank combining traditional security with mobile freedom, it’s a viable adversary to all Fintechs.

BMO Harris Bank

Checking Bonus: Up to $350
Required Deposit: $4,000-$7,500
Expiration Date: Jan. 28, 2022
FDIC/NCUA Insured: Yes
Learn More

With solid bonus offers from BMO Harris Bank, it pays to open a new checking account. And depending on your preferred option, your cash reward ranges from $200 to $350. The promotion looks like this:

  • Receive a $200 bonus when you direct deposit at least $4,000 in your Smart Advantage Account within the first 90 days.
  • Receive a $200 bonus when you direct deposit at least $4,000 in your Smart Money Account within the first 90 days.
  • Receive a $350 bonus when you direct deposit at least $7,500 in your Premier Account within the first 90 days.

BMO Harris Bank Smart Advantage Account is likely the best option when weighing the pros and cons. And why is that? Well, with no maintenance fees when you opt for online statements and no minimum balance requirements, your only obligation is to make an initial deposit of $25 when you open the account. As a result, it’s a no-fee way to earn a $200 bonus.

BMO Harris Bank Smart Money Account has a $5 monthly maintenance fee as a secondary choice. However, it’s free of charge if you’re under the age of 25. Also noteworthy, a Smart Money Account has no overdraft fees or non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees. Conversely, a Smart Advantage Account charges $36 for each, respectively. As a result, the Smart Money Account could be right for you if you think you’ll save money on miscellaneous charges.

Finally, a BMO Harris Bank Premier Account works best for individuals that can maintain a checking account balance of at least $10,000. That way, you can avoid the $25 monthly maintenance fee.

Pros:

  • BMO Harris Bank offers a $200 bonus if you open a no-fee checking account.

Cons:

  • In-person service is only available in select states.

Who is the account best suited for?

  • BMO Harris Bank offers nationwide online banking and has more than 500 branches in eight states.
  • If you value in-person service, BMO Harris Bank has you covered in select states.

The impact of COVID-19:

While BMO is a significant player in the Canadian market, its footprint in the U.S. is much smaller. As a result, the promotional offer aims to lure customers away from the most prominent competitors. And with plenty of pandemic stimulus still out there, BMO Harris Bank must feel that now is the right time to proposition new prospects.

TD Bank

Checking Bonus: Up to $300
Required Deposit: $500-$2,500
Expiration Date: Mar. 31, 2022
FDIC/NCUA Insured: Yes
Learn More

TD Bank is also offering a $300 bonus if you open a TD Beyond Checking Account. However, you need to make direct deposits that total $2,500 within 60 days to obtain the reward. Likewise, you can earn a $150 bonus if you open a TD Convenience Checking Account. And the promotion requires you to make direct deposits that total $500 within 60 days.

Moreover, to avoid a monthly maintenance fee of $25 with a TD Beyond Checking Account, you have to meet one of these three expectations:

  • Have $5,000 worth of direct deposits during the month.
  • Have a minimum daily balance of $2,500 in the account.
  • Hold $25,000 in combined assets across eligible TD Bank accounts.

However, to avoid a monthly maintenance fee of $15 with a TD Convenience Checking Account, you only need to meet one condition:

  • Have a minimum daily balance of $100 in the account.

Also, please note that TD Bank waives the requirement for Americans aged 17 to 23. As a result, if you’re a young adult or have the ability to maintain a $100 balance each month, a TD Convenience Checking Account is a solid choice.

Pros:

  • A TD Convenience Checking Account qualifies for the $300 bonus offer.
  • The group’s vast banking network and large employee base allow for reliable customer service.

Cons:

  • TD Bank operates in 16 states and the offer may not be available in your area.

Who is the institution best suited for?

  • TD Bank is one of the best options if you live in the service regions.
  • If you like the idea of having a branch near you, TD Bank may be right for you.

The impact of COVID-19:

TD Bank, like BMO, is a significant player in the Canadian market looking to grow its asset base in the U.S. Thus, the group’s promotion seeks to capitalize on Americans’ pandemic cash balances.

Huntington National Bank

Checking Bonus: Up to $300
Required Deposit: $1,000-$25,000
Expiration Date: Feb. 7, 2022
FDIC/NCUA Insured: Yes
Learn More

At Huntington National Bank, up to $300 in bonus cash can be yours, depending on the checking account that you choose. For context, all accounts have to be kept open for at least 90 days. Also, please note that Huntington National Bank only provides services in 12 states.

  • An Asterisk-Free Checking Account earns a $150 bonus if you deposit $1,000 within 60 days.
  • A Huntington 5 Checking Account earns a $200 bonus if you deposit $1,000 within 60 days.
  • A Huntington 25 Checking Account earns a $300 bonus if you deposit $25,000 within 60 days.

While it depends on your deposit habits, an Asterisk-Free Checking Account is likely your best bet. For example, there are no monthly maintenance fees, and you don’t have to worry about maintaining a minimum balance. In addition, paper statements are available free of charge. However, out-of-network ATM fees are $3 per transaction, overdraft fees are $36, bank checks are $6, and stop payments are $31.

Despite that, a Huntington 5 Checking Account has a $5 monthly maintenance fee — but Huntington National Bank will waive the fee if you house $5,000 across your combined deposit and investment accounts. Moreover, the fee schedule is nearly identical to an Asterisk-Free Checking Account. For example, out-of-network ATM fees are $3 per transaction, overdraft fees are $36, bank checks are $6, and stop payments are $31. However, a Huntington 5 Checking Account has some additional perks:

  • You can make five free out-of-network ATM withdrawals per month.
  • Your account includes free credit score monitoring.
  • Your checking account earns interest.

Please note that a Huntington 5 Checking Account has a 0.02% APY, and you won’t accrue much interest. As a result, both accounts have pros and cons: an Asterisk-Free Checking Account has a lower bonus offer ($150) and fewer perks, but you don’t have to worry about monthly maintenance fees. Likewise, a Huntington 5 Checking Account has a higher bonus offer ($200) and more perks, but it will cost you $5 per month unless you have $5,000 in combined assets at the bank.

Pros:

  • You can avoid fees and earn a $150 bonus by opening an Asterisk-Free Checking Account.
  • A Huntington 5 Checking Account has additional perks and you won’t pay fees if you deposit $5,000.

Cons:

  • The offer is only available in 12 states.

Who is the institution best suited for?

  • If you live in one of the 12 states, you have access to more than 1,100 branches and 1,700 ATMs.
  • The bonus offer is great for those who want a no-fee checking account and value in-person service.

The impact of COVID-19:

With Huntington National Bank offering mortgage loans, wealth management services, and brokerages services, Americans’ pandemic riches should have resulted in plenty of fees for the bank. And as investors cash in some of those gains, Huntington National Bank hopes that its bonus offer will help generate new deposits.

M&T Bank

Checking Bonus: Up to $250
Required Deposit: $500
Expiration Date: Mar. 31, 2022
FDIC/NCUA Insured: Yes
Learn More

As a sold welcome offer from M&T Bank, the institution offers a $250 welcome bonus if you open an M&T EZChoice Checking, MyChoice Plus Checking, or a MyChoice Premium Checking account and make a $500 direct deposit within 90 days of approval. For context, qualifying direct deposits include payroll, pension, and Social Security benefits. However, please note that M&T Bank serves clients in 11 states across the eastern and mid-western United States.

However, if you’re looking to refresh your deposit accounts, an M&T EZChoice Checking Account is a solid option. For context, the account is the cheapest of the three since the other two have direct deposit requirements or average daily balance requirements to avoid monthly maintenance fees. In contrast, an M&T EZChoice Checking Account does away with monthly charges and minimum balance requirements. Moreover, unlike other institutions, you can receive paper account statements free of charge. However, there is a $25 opening balance requirement, and M&T Bank’s fee disclosures show that out-of-network ATM fees are $3.00 per transaction. However, more than 1,600 fee-free ATMs are available across the U.S. In addition, the institution charges $10.00 for bank checks, $6.00 for money orders, $38.50 for overdraft charges, and $35.00 for stop payments. In addition, there is a $50 fee if you close your account within the first 180 days.

Pros:

  • You pay zero monthly fees when you open an M&T EZChoice Checking Account.
  • The account also has digital wallet capabilities — with access to Apple Pay, Google Pay, and others.

Cons:

  • The offer is only available in select states.

Who is the account best suited for?

  • The institution has branches and ATMs located in 11 states across the eastern and mid-western United States.
  • If you live in these regions, an M&T EZChoice Checking Account may be right for you.

The impact of COVID-19:

Like its predecessors, M&T Bank’s promotions help build new customer relationships. And with the pandemic forcing Americans to hunker down and stay close to home, dependable connections have never been more valuable.

HSBC

Checking Bonus: $450
Required Deposit: $15,000
Expiration Date: Mar. 31, 2022
FDIC/NCUA Insured: Yes
Learn More

HSBC offers a $450 bonus if you open an HSBC Premier Checking Account. However, the offer has plenty of hurdles to overcome. For example, you have to make three-straight $5,000 monthly direct deposits beginning from the second month when the account opens. In addition, to avoid a $50 monthly maintenance fee, you need to meet one of the following requirements:

  • Have $75,000 in combined assets across your HSBC deposit and investments accounts.
  • Make direct deposits of at least $5,000.
  • Have a single HSBC U.S. residential mortgage of $500,000 or more.

As a result, the account is most suitable for wealthy Americans that travel a lot. For example, an HSBC Premier Checking Account has no foreign transaction fees and includes no-fee international ATMs and priority service at international branches.

Pros:

  • HSBC has a solid bonus offer and its Premier Checking Account has plenty of perks.

Cons:

  • To earn the bonus, you need to have a large asset base and/or make large recurring deposits.

Who is the institution best suited for?

  • An HSBC Premier Checking Account is best for wealthy Americans that value international banking services.
  • HSBC is a global bank and can add value if you own property or assets in many countries.

The impact of COVID-19:

Like many traditional banks, HSBC has befitted from higher asset prices and countries’ generous stimulus programs. However, with China’s property woes likely to negatively impact HSBC’s loan portfolio, too much of a good thing could end up being harmful.

Santander Bank

Checking Bonus: $400
Required Deposit: $6,000
Expiration Date: Jan. 28, 2022
FDIC/NCUA Insured: Yes
Learn More

If you have $25,000 available for deposit, Santander Bank has a $400 bonus offer that may pique your interest. For example, the $400 reward is yours if you open a Santander Select Checking Account and make $6,000 in direct deposits within 90 days. Moreover, you can also earn another $200 if you maintain an average daily balance of $6,500 during that same timeframe. Also, please note that Santander Bank offers services in 9 states, so it’s best to check if your region is available.

However, the $25,000 that we referenced relates to the minimum balance required to avoid a $25 monthly maintenance fee with a Santander Select Checking Account. For context, the total includes eligible consumer, business, and investment products held with the bank. However, there are no monthly minimum balance requirements (though. $25 is required to open the account), and paper account statements are also free. Likewise, you’re eligible for $30 in rebates per month for out-of-network ATM fees, and you can forget about foreign transaction fees when you use your debit card to make ATM withdrawals. Also, please note that Santander Bank has more than 30,000 fee-free ATMs worldwide.

Also noteworthy, a Santander Select Checking Account has no fees for bank checks, money orders, or stop payments. However, overdraft charges are $35. As a comparison, Chase Bank charges $8.00 for bank checks, $5.00 for money orders, $34.00 for overdraft charges, and $30.00 for stop payments. Citizens Bank charges $10.00 for bank checks, $5.00 for money orders, $37.00 for overdraft charges, and $35.00 for stop payments. As a result, if you find yourself incurring regular expenses for bank checks, money orders, or out-of-network ATM fees, a Santander Select Checking Account may be worth the $25 per month.

Pros:

Cons:

Who is the institution best suited for?

The impact of COVID-19:
With Eastern states imposing harsher lockdowns during the pandemic, Santander Bank’s branches were likely affected. However, its Florida location likely benefited from the looser restrictions. Despite that, Santander Bank’s mobile app helped its customers bank with confidence during the pandemic.

Citizens Bank

Checking Bonus: $300
Required Deposit: $500
Expiration Date: Feb. 17, 2022
FDIC/NCUA Insured: Yes
Learn More

With Citizens Bank offering a high reward for little effort, the institution provides a $300 welcome bonus for opening a checking account and setting up a single direct deposit of at least $500 within 60 days of the account’s open date. In addition, you can also receive $2 per qualified debit purchase (up to $100 maximum) within the first 60 days.

To determine if Citizens Bank is right for you, please note that banking services are only available in 12 states. However, if you live in the eastern United States, more than 1,000 branch locations are available. Furthermore, Citizens Bank’s physical footprint allows you to speak with a representative in-person, which usually isn’t an option with online or mobile-only banks. Likewise, a Citizens Bank One Deposit Checking Account incurs a maintenance fee of $9.99 per month. However, you can avoid the charge if you deposit “any amount” per month. As a result, it’s a relatively low bar to overcome.

Also, an important determinant you should consider is whether other account fees fit your banking lifestyle. For example, Citizens Bank charges $10.00 for bank checks, $5.00 for money orders, $37.00 for overdraft charges, and $35.00 for stop payments. Moreover, paper account statements cost you $3, and foreign currency conversions cost $15. In contrast, Quontic Bank’s fee disclosures show that bank checks and money orders are free of charge, you won’t suffer overdraft fees, and a stop payment costs $20. For context, Quontic Bank is an online-only institution that’s also FDIC-insured. As a result, you should weigh the higher account fees against the value of in-person service to determine if it’s worth taking advantage of the bonus offer.

Pros:

  • Citizens Bank has a simple everyday checking account.
  • There is no monthly maintenance fee as long as you deposit money at least once per month.

Cons:

  • The offer is only available in select states.

Who is the account best suited for?

  • Citizens Bank has roughly 3,000 ATMs and 1,000 branches in the New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest regions.
  • Americans in these areas may find the promotional offer profitable and convenient.

The impact of COVID-19:

Since the pandemic has increased the money supply, the competition for access to consumers’ wallets has intensified. And since 12 other retail banks have more assets on their balance sheets, Citizens Bank is offering a solid bonus to help attract new clients.

Central Bank

Checking Bonus: $300
Required Deposit: $52
Expiration Date: Dec. 31, 2022
FDIC/NCUA Insured: Yes
Learn More

As a community bank that offers services in Missouri, Central Bank has an attractive checking account promotion for residents. For example, you receive a $300 bonus if you open a MyChoice Checking, MaxMoney Checking, Free Checking, Preferred Interest Checking, or a World Checking Account and make two direct deposits within 90 days. In addition, you need to deposit an additional $50 when you open the account. For context, Central Bank does not specify a minimum amount for the deposits. The only requirement is that they be your paycheck, pension, or recurring government benefits.

We think your best bet is a MyChoice Checking Account when parsing through the options. For context, a Free Checking Account has no monthly maintenance fee and no minimum balance requirement. However, there is an unlisted monthly fee to pay bills, and you have to opt for online account statements. And while a MyChoice Checking Account has a monthly maintenance fee of $3, you can avoid the fee if you make one recurring direct deposit each month. Moreover, the account has free bill payments if you choose online account statements, and most individuals will value this feature. As a result, a MyChoice Checking Account is Central Bank’s cheapest and best option that will earn you a $300 sign-up bonus.

Pros:

  • Central Bank offers a $300 bonus to open a checking account, and two accounts have next to no fees.

Cons:

  • Central Bank is a community bank that only operates in Missouri.

Who is the institution best suited for?

  • If you’re located in Missouri, Central Bank can fulfill all of your banking needs.
  • Central Bank has more than 140 locations across the midwest region and several ATMs.

The impact of COVID-19:

Central Bank’s mortgage and corporate finance divisions should have thrived during the pandemic like many other institutions. However, with forbearance programs likely delaying some of Central Bank’s interest income, the pandemic may have been a mixed bag for institutions with less exposure to the capital markets.

Fifth Third Bank

Checking Bonus: $300
Required Deposit: $500
Expiration Date: Mar. 31, 2022
FDIC/NCUA Insured: Yes
Learn More

At Fifth Third Bank, you also receive a $300 welcome bonus if you set up a direct deposit of at least $500 within 60 days of opening the account. Moreover, the $300 bonus is yours within ten business days of meeting the direct deposit qualification. However, please note that Fifth Third Bank serves clients in 11 states.

To qualify, you need to open a Fifth Third Momentum Checking Account. For context, you can also open a Fifth Third Preferred Checking Account. However, there is a $25 monthly maintenance fee unless you hold at least $100,000 in combined assets in your deposit and investments accounts. As a result, we think it’s prudent to focus our attention on the former. Speaking of which, a Fifth Third Momentum Checking Account does away with minimum balance requirements and monthly maintenance fees. Likewise, you have access to 50,000+ fee-free ATMs across the United States. However, out-of-network ATM fees are $2.75 per transaction.

Likewise, Fifth Third Bank’s fee disclosures show that the institution charges $8.00 for bank checks, $2.00 for money orders, $37.00 for overdraft charges, and $33.00 for stop payments. In addition, the currency conversion fee is 0.20% of the transaction amount. Conversely, suppose you lose your debit card. In that case, a replacement is free of charge, and checking account holders receive a discount on Fifth Third Bank’s Identity Alert and Identity Alert Premium subscriptions. For context, Fifth Third Momentum Checking Account holders receive a reduction of $3.95 per month on the standard version and a discount of $5.95 per month on the premium version. As a result, if identity theft protection and insurance are essential to you, then a Fifth Third Momentum Checking Account is a wise choice.

Pros:

  • You have free access to Fifth Third Bank’s 50,000 partner ATMs across the United States.
  • The bank’s contact-free debit card allows you to tap and pay for quick transactions.

Cons:

  • The offer is only available in select states.

Who is the account best suited for?

  • The promotion is attainable by Americans in the mid-west and the south.
  • If you live within the bank’s operational regions, the checking account bonus may be right for you.

The impact of COVID-19:

Offering hardship programs and access to in-person advice, Fifth Third Bank helped clients navigate the financial stresses of the pandemic. And through this recent promotional offer, it seems like the bank is hoping to build on the momentum.

Monifi Bank

Checking Bonus: $250
Required Deposit: $2,000
Expiration Date: Jan. 31, 2022
FDIC/NCUA Insured: Yes
Learn More

As a fee-free mobile-only bank that has a sweet promotion available, you can earn a $250 bonus if you open a Monifi Bank Spend Balance Account and initiate two direct deposits of at least $1,000 within 90 days. Moreover, the Spend Balance Account has no monthly maintenance fees, and you don’t have to worry about carrying a minimum balance. In addition, forget about ATM fees when you use the 55,000 within the Allpoint network. And, of course, your deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per person, per account.

As a result, if you have $1,000 deposits from your paycheck, pension, or government benefits that happen regularly, a Monifi Bank Spend Balance Account could be of value. However, please note that there are no branches or physical locations. And you need to be comfortable with mobile banking to get the most out of Monifi Bank’s services. However, with the online-only footprint allowing the institution to charge lower (or no) fees, it’s a win-win for the digitally inclined. Likewise, Monifi Bank’s combined savings account has a 0.60% APY, and there are no fees or balance requirements. On top of that, your Monifi Orange Visa Debit Card has digital wallet capabilities and is functional with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

Pros:

  • Monifi Bank will pay you $250 bonus to open a no-fee Spend Balance Account that also has a 0.60% APY.

Cons:

  • The firm doesn’t have any branches or physical locations.

Who is the institution best suited for?

  • If you’re comfortable with a mobile-only platform, Monifi Bank could be right four you.
  • Monifi Bank is great if you don’t need in-person assistance.

The impact of COVID-19:

As another digital bank looking to disrupt the financial industry, Monifi Bank hopes that the pandemic-related momentum will continue. With branches shuttered and in-person services paused, consumers turned to online banking. And for those that do it well, like Monifi Bank, the pandemic provided an opportunity to showcase the reliability of mobile financial services.

Chase Bank

Checking Bonus: $225
Required Deposit: $1
Expiration Date: Apr. 20, 2022
FDIC/NCUA Insured: Yes
Learn More

At Chase Bank, you can earn a $225 welcome bonus when you open a Chase Total Checking account and make a direct deposit within 90 days of approval. However, because Chase doesn’t specify a minimum direct deposit amount, we used a placeholder value of $1 for the required deposit. Moreover, when reading the fine print, it seems that any amount qualifies. However, Chase has branches in 48 states and plans to enter new markets in 2022. As a result, the promotion is available to a much wider audience.

To that point, a Chase Total Checking Account provides access to more than 4.700 branches and 16,000 ATMs. However, out-of-network ATM fees are $2.50 per transaction. Moreover, to avoid a monthly service fee, you need to fulfill one of the following three requirements:

  • Deposit at least $500 in the account per month.
  • Or maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,500 per month.
  • Or keep a minimum daily balance of $5,000 across all of your qualifying Chase accounts.

If you don’t meet at least one of these three stipulations, the monthly maintenance fee is $12. Likewise, Chase Bank’s fee disclosures show that the institution charges $8.00 for bank checks, $5.00 for money orders, $34.00 for overdraft charges, and $30.00 for stop payments. However, if you can meet the deposit/balance minimums and find Chase Bank’s fee schedule appropriate, the promotion is pretty sweet.

Pros:

  • A Chase Total Checking Account provides you with nationwide banking services.
  • You have more than 4,700 branches and 16,000 ATMs at your disposal.

Cons:

  • To avoid a monthly service fee, you need to fulfill deposit or daily balance requirements that range from $500 to $5,000.

Who is the account best suited for?

  • If you commute and want a checking account with nationwide coverage, Chase is your best bet.
  • Chase has branches in 48 states and plans to enter new markets in 2022.

The impact of COVID-19:

Under the umbrella of JPMorgan, the group has been a significant beneficiary of the pandemic. And as the rich get richer, they’re always looking for ways to expand their empire. And with Chase’s promotional offer aimed at luring clients away from regional banks, the company’s vast network helps solidify its premium position in the industry.

Bank of America

Checking Bonus: $100
Required Deposit: $1,000
Expiration Date: Jun. 30, 2022
FDIC/NCUA Insured: Yes
Learn More

Bank of America is challenging its traditional banking peers by offering a $100 bonus if you open a personal checking account and make qualifying direct deposits of $1,000 within 90 days. Moreover, since Bank of America’s services are available in 51 states, it’s a worthwhile promotion if the higher-bonus offers are out of reach in your region. However, please note that you need to input the offer code DNL100CIS when applying online.

You have three checking account options to consider to qualify for the promotion. Up first, Bank of America’s Advantage SafeBalance Account has a $4.95 monthly maintenance fee. However, you can avoid the fee if you’re a student under 25. For context, you can also avoid the charge if you enroll in Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards Program. But you need to house $20,000 in combined assets across your Bank of America deposit and investment accounts.

As a result, if the hurdle is too high, an Advantage Plus Account is our recommendation. To explain, the account has a $12 monthly maintenance fee. However, you can forget the fee if you make direct deposits of $250 or more per month. For context, these include payroll, pension, and government benefits. Also, you can avoid the fee if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,500, enroll in the Preferred Rewards Program, or if you’re a student under 25. However, please note that the student exemption expires on Feb. 18, 2022. As a result, the direct deposit requirement is the easiest to overcome. Also, please consider that Bank of America’s fee disclosures show that you have to make an initial deposit of $100 to open an Advantage Plus Account. Also, while Chase Bank doesn’t charge any fees to replace a lost debit card (standard shipping), Bank of America charges $5.00.

Pros:

  • Bank of America offers a mid-level bonus, but the promotion is available nationwide.
  • Students under 25 don’t have to worry about monthly maintenance fees.

Cons:

  • None.

Who is the institution best suited for?

  • If your region doesn’t qualify for other promotions, Bank of America’s bonus is a great fallback option.
  • You also gain the security and reliability that’s inherent with traditional banks.

The impact of COVID-19:

As another Wall Street powerhouse, Bank of America prospered throughout the pandemic. And as the second-largest consumer bank in the U.S., Bank of America hopes that its checking account promotion will help narrow the asset gap with JPMorgan.

SoFi

Checking Bonus: $100
Required Deposit: $1,000
Expiration Date: Jan. 31, 2022
FDIC/NCUA Insured: Yes
Learn More

While SoFi has a plethora of promotions available right now, its SoFi Money bonus offer is worthy of attention. For example, you can earn a $100 welcome bonus if you’re new to SoFi or an existing client who hasn’t set up direct deposit. To qualify, you need to direct deposit a total of $1,000 within 30 days of opening the account. And like other offers on our list, payroll, pension, or government benefits will suffice. Moreover, your deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per person, per account.

Also noteworthy, a SoFi Money Account has a 0.25% APY if you make recurring monthly deposits of at least $500. If not, the APY is 0.01%. However, there are no monthly maintenance charges at SoFi and no minimum balance requirements. In addition, you can access more than 55,000 fee-free ATMs, and you can deposit checks directly from your phone. Likewise, SoFi’s security features allow you to disable and enable your debit card from your phone too. As a result, if you lose it or suspect fraudulent activity, you can rectify the issue immediately.

All in all, SoFi’s offer is solid. However, please note that SoFi is an online-only institution that primarily provides mobile devices. And if you’re comfortable with digital banking, SoFi is a great option. However, if you prefer in-person service and the ability to visit a bank branch, you may want to look elsewhere.

Pros:

  • SoFi Money has no fees and you can earn a $100 bonus by making eligible direct deposits.
  • You can also earn a 0.25% APY if you meet the firm’s deposit minimums.

Cons:

  • The firm doesn’t have any branches or physical locations.

Who is the institution best suited for?

  • Some digital experience is required, and SoFi Money is best for avid mobile users.

The impact of COVID-19:

Like other digital disrupters, SoFi joins a long list of Fintechs hoping to reinvent financial services. And with online transactions supercharged by the pandemic, the digital institution hopes that Americans’ preference for technology continues to increase.

OnJuno

Checking Bonus: $50
Required Deposit: $1
Expiration Date: $0
FDIC/NCUA Insured: No Expiry
Learn More

If you believe in cryptocurrencies, then OnJuno is the Fintech for you. Offering a $50 bonus when you set up your first direct deposit, the institution allows you to merge your deposits with your crypto investments. So, for example, you can hold, buy, and sell crypto with only $1 in your account, and you can choose to receive a portion of your paycheck in crypto as well. Moreover, there are no monthly maintenance fees on checking accounts, and you don’t have to worry about a minimum balance. And, of course, your deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per person, per account.

On top of that, you earn 5% cash-back from five merchants. And whether it’s Amazon, Uber, or Walmart, you get rewarded for spending money at your favorite places. However, please note that the promotion limits $500 of total spending per year. As a result, the maximum cash-back reward is $25. However, if you make monthly direct deposits of $250 or more, you can upgrade to Metal status. And here, your spending limit increases to $3,000 per year, and the maximum cash-back reward is $150.

Thus, OnJuno is an attractive option if you’re a fan of crypto. And with cash immediately available when you make crypto sales, the platform does away with standard wait times. As a result, OnJuno is an excellent bridge between mobile banking and alternative currencies.

Pros:

  • OnJuno has a solid bonus offer and a great cash-back program.
  • You can buy and sell crypto directly on the app, and withdrawals are processed immediately.

Cons:

  • The firm doesn’t have any branches or physical locations.

Who is the institution best suited for?

  • If you already invest in crypto and are comfortable banking through a mobile app, OnJuno could be right for you.
  • The ability to choose your cash-back options helps separate OnJuno from the competition.

The impact of COVID-19:

With cryptocurrencies and mobile adoption gaining immense popularity during the pandemic, OnJuno hopes to capitalize on two secular trends. However, crypto is risky, and it’s unclear which coins will stand the test of time.

Savings Account Bonuses

If you’re searching for the best savings account options with money-enhancing bonuses, quality promotions are in effect in 2022.

Financial Institution: Savings Bonus: Required Deposit: Expiration Date:
Citibank Up to $2,000 $10,000-$1,000,000 Mar. 31, 2022
Discover Up to $200 $15,000-$25,000 Mar. 15, 2022
TD Bank $200 $20,000 Mar. 31, 2022
Alliant Credit Union $100 $100 per month Dec. 31, 2022
BMO Harris Bank $5 per month $200 per month 12 Months

Citibank

Savings Bonus: Up to $2,000
Required Deposit: $10,000-$1,000,000
Expiration Date: Mar. 31, 2022
FDIC/NCUA Insured: Yes
Learn More

While Citibank offers savers the opportunity to earn up to $2,000 in cash bonuses, the promotion is one of the least favorable on our list. To explain, the offer is only available in 10 states, and Citibank’s Accelerate High-Yield Savings Account — which has an APY of 0.50% — is deemed ineligible. Moreover, Citibank has an average savings account interest rate of 0.06% — which aligns with the U.S. national average. However, the APY is much lower than what you can obtain elsewhere in the marketplace. In addition, the bonus is tiered and requires a high savings balance to qualify:

  • Receive a $20 bonus if you open an eligible savings account and deposit between $10,000 and $29,999.
  • Receive a $60 bonus if you open an eligible savings account and deposit between $30,000 and $49,999.
  • Receive a $100 bonus if you open an eligible savings account and deposit between $50,000 and $99,999.
  • Receive a $200 bonus if you open an eligible savings account and deposit between $100,000 and $249,999.
  • Receive a $500 bonus if you open an eligible savings account and deposit between $250,000 and $499,999.
  • Receive a $1,000 bonus if you open an eligible savings account and deposit between $500,000 and $999,999.
  • Receive a $2,000 bonus if you open an eligible savings account and deposit $1,000,000 or more.

As a comparison, if you deposit the minimum of $10,000 and receive the $20 reward, the bonus yield is only 0.20%. Conversely, TD Bank pays a $200 bonus for a $20,000 deposit (1% bonus yield), and Discover pays a $150 bonus if you deposit $15,000 (also a 1% bonus yield). Moreover, a Discover Online Savings Account has a 0.50% APY — which is much higher than Citibank’s eligible accounts. To that point, Alliant Credit Union pays a $100 bonus on a $1,200 deposit (a bonus yield of 8.33%), and its High-Rate Savings Account has a 0.55% APY. And finally, BMO Harris Bank pays a $60 bonus for depositing $2,400 in your account over 12 months (a 2.5% bonus yield). Furthermore, while TD Bank, BMO Harris Bank, and Citibank’s savings accounts all have unattractive APYs, the bonus yields offered by the former two are much higher.

All in all, Citibank is a solid institution and offers best-in-class service. However, if you want your savings account to work for you, there are better options out there.

Pros:

  • Citibank offers the security and reliability that’s inherent with traditional banks.

Cons:

  • The promotion is less attractive than comparable bonus offers.
  • Citibank has some of the industry’s lowest savings account interest rates, like many traditional banks.

Who is the account best suited for?

  • Citibank is one of the best options if you like the idea of having a branch near you.
  • If you value in-person service, Citibank has you covered.

The impact of COVID-19:

As a titan of Wall Street, Citibank’s investment banking division thrived during the pandemic. And with record profits not far behind, Citibank is putting some of that cash to work to try and win new retail clients.

Discover

Savings Bonus: Up to $200
Required Deposit: $15,000-$25,000
Expiration Date: Mar. 15, 2022
FDIC/NCUA Insured: Yes
Learn More

While the bonus yield of 1% is much lower than the offer from Alliant Credit Union, Discover’s promotion is still worthy of your attention. For example, Discover offers a $150 welcome bonus if you deposit $15,000 in a Discover Online Savings Account. In addition, you can receive a $200 welcome bonus if you deposit $25,000. However, the bonus yield is higher if you opt for the first option. Though, it’s comforting to know that deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per person, per account.

Moreover, a Discover Online Savings Account has a 0.50% APY, and there are no fees or minimum deposit requirements. Thus, whether you need a bank check or you want to close your account, you won’t incur any out-of-pocket expenses. Moreover, Discover’s mobile app allows you to deposit checks directly into your savings account electronically. And customer support is available 24/7. However, unlike BMO Harris Bank, Discover doesn’t have any branches (similar to Alliant Credit Union). As a result, it isn’t possible to speak with a representative in person. Despite that, a Discover Online Savings Account is a solid place to invest your short-term savings.

Moreover, the bank has a solid slate of credit cards with no annual fee and APRs that range from 11.99% to 22.99%. In addition, Discover offers personal loans that range from $2,500 to $35,000 with APRs that range from 5.99% to 24.99%. As a result, Discover is home to a plethora of financial products with highly competitive terms.

Pros:

  • Discover’s bonus offer is one of the best in the marketplace.
  • With no account fees and a 0.50% APY, Discover is a solid place to invest your money.

Cons:

  • The bonus yield is smaller than the options mentioned above.
  • A high minimum balance is needed to earn the bonus offer.

Who is the account best suited for?

  • Discover’s promotion targets Americans with the most significant savings balances.

The impact of COVID-19:

Known for its low fees, Discover hopes that its pandemic savings offer will further spread the word. And with a plethora of banking products that help you make the most of your money, consumers should keep Discover on their radars.

TD Bank

Savings Bonus: $200
Required Deposit: $20,000
Expiration Date: Mar. 31, 2022
FDIC/NCUA Insured: Yes
Learn More

TD Bank offers savers a $200 welcome bonus on $20,000 deposits, a similar promotion on a slightly higher minimum balance. For example, you can open a TD Beyond Savings Account or a TD Simple Savings Account and earn the bonus. However, TD Bank’s average savings account interest rate is 0.033%. As a result, it’s the least attractive option of the four. Despite that, your deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per person, per account.

To qualify, you need to deposit the $20,000 within 20 days of opening the account and keep the funds invested for 90 days after that. And to avoid a monthly maintenance fee with a TD Simple Savings Account, you need to meet one of the following conditions:

  • Keep a minimum of $300 in your account at all times.
  • Open and link your account with a TD Beyond Checking Account.
  • Be under 18 or over 62.
  • Be under 24 and link your account to a TD Convenience Checking Account.
  • Make monthly transfers of $25 or more from an eligible linked TD checking account.

If you fail to meet one of these requirements, the account maintenance fee is $5 per month. Moreover, a TD Beyond Savings Account requires a minimum daily balance of $20,000 or for you to link your account to a TD Beyond Checking Account to avoid the $15 monthly maintenance fee. All in all, while TD Bank has best-in-class customer service and offers the ability to speak with a representative in person, there are better savings accounts and bonus offers out there.

Pros:

  • TD Bank’s $200 savings promotion is material with a bonus yield identical to Discover’s promotion.

Cons:

  • TD Bank’s savings APYs are near the lowest in the U.S.

Who is the account best suited for?

  • If you value the security and reliability that TD Bank offers, the account may fit your needs.
  • TD Bank has access to many other services, and the account may align with your overall banking goals.

The impact of COVID-19:

TD Bank, like BMO, is a significant player in the Canadian market looking to grow its asset base in the U.S. Thus, the group’s promotion seeks to capitalize on Americans’ pandemic cash balances. However, TD Bank’s APYs may be too low to encourage savers to make the switch.

Alliant Credit Union

Savings Bonus: $100
Required Deposit: $100 per month
Expiration Date: Dec. 31, 2022
FDIC/NCUA Insured: Yes
Learn More

With Alliant Credit Union and Suze Orman’s The Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account promotion offering a $100 bonus for new clients, the deal is one of the best out there. For example, the $100 is yours if you deposit $100 in your savings account each month for the next 12 months. In total, this works out to a $100 bonus on a $1,200 deposit. And with a bonus yield of 8.33%, the reward is much higher than the interest rate offered by online and traditional banks.

Alliant Credit Union’s High-Rate Savings Account has a 0.55% APY, and the minimum balance to maintain your account is $5. However, please note that you must maintain a $100 minimum daily average to qualify for interest payments. As a result, the $100 minimum is more relevant to potential savers. On the flip side, there are no maximum balance limits, and account fees are waived if you opt for e-statements. For context, paper statements cost $1. However, you can sleep safely knowing that your deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per person, per account.

Also noteworthy, Alliant Credit Union’s High-Rate Savings Account is one of the few out there that have ATM withdrawal capabilities. For example, if you don’t have an Alliant checking account, the credit union will issue an EMV chip card (which helps protect you from fraud) to make ATM withdrawals. However, please consider that the savings ATM card can only process deposits, withdrawals, and transfers, and you can’t use it to purchase items in-store or online. Despite that, there is no fee to obtain a savings ATM card, and Alliant Credit Union’s fee disclosures show that replacing a lost card is also free. However, the credit union may charge you $10 if you misplace your card several times. Moreover, Alliant Credit Union has more than 80,000 fee-free ATMs located across the U.S. As a result, its an attractive offer for aspiring savers.

Pros:

  • With a $100 bonus and a 0.55% APY, the latter is near the high-end in today’s marketplace.
  • Alliant Credit Union’s promotional offer is a great way to start your savings journey.

Cons:

  • None.

Who is the account best suited for?

  • The bonus is solid for new savers, and the $100 is more generous than comparable offers.
  • If you have a small investment account, you should consider making the $100 recurring deposits.

The impact of COVID-19:

With the pandemic initially increasing Americans’ financial anxiety, the importance of emergency savings hit home for many citizens. And since many Americans want to plan for the next crisis, financial institutions see the shifting mindset as a means to win new clients. As a result, Alliant Credit Union hopes to strike while the iron’s hot.

BMO Harris Bank

Savings Bonus: $5 per month
Required Deposit: $200 per month
Expiration Date: 12 Months
FDIC/NCUA Insured: Yes
Learn More

As the second-highest bonus yield on our list, BMO Harris Bank pays you $5 per month for each month you deposit $200 in your Savings Builder account. So, in total, you can earn a $60 bonus for depositing $2,400 in your account over 12 months. As a result, that’s a 2.5% bonus yield, and there are no monthly maintenance fees. Moreover, your deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per person, per account. However, there is a $25 deposit minimum to open the account, and the interest rate is rather pedestrian. For example, a BMO Harris Bank Savings Builder Account has an APY of 0.01%, and that’s 0.05% less than the U.S. national average of 0.06%.

Despite that, the bank’s website states that ATM withdrawals are permissible. And BMO Harris Bank has more than 40,000 fee-free ATMs across the U.S. However, the firm’s fee disclosures show that out-of-network ATMs cost you $3.00 per transaction, and replacing a lost ATM card costs $5. Moreover, there is a $50 fee if you close your account within the first 90 days.

All in all, BMO Harris Bank has some positives and negatives. On the one hand, the bonus offer is the second-best available in the marketplace. On the other hand, the bonus is all you get. Once your 12-month promotional period is up, the 0.01% APY isn’t very attractive. As a result, it’s an attractive option if you only plan to hold your money there for one year.

Pros:

  • The bonus offer from BMO Harris Bank is similar to Alliant Credit Union’s promotion.
  • And while not as high, the bonus yield of 2.5% eclipses the APYs offered by nearly all U.S. institutions.

Cons:

  • A BMO Harris Bank Savings Builder Account has an APY of 0.01%.

Who is the account best suited for?

  • Small savers will gain the most from BMO Harris Bank’s promotional offer.
  • For a $200 per month allocation to your account, the $60 bonus results in an attractive one-year return.

The impact of COVID-19:

As mentioned, BMO is a significant player in the Canadian market, though its footprint in the U.S. is much smaller. As a result, the promotional offer aims to lure customers away from the most prominent competitors. And with plenty of pandemic stimulus still out there, BMO Harris Bank must feel that now is the right time to proposition new prospects.

Why Do Banks Offer New Account Bonuses?

In the homogenized financial industry, it’s difficult to distinguish one product from the next. For example, checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards and mortgages are nearly identical across all institutions. In fact, only minute details like terms, fees, and annual percentage rates (APRs) allow institutions to separate themselves from the competition.

And that’s where new account bonuses are born.

With financial institutions competing for your business, they want you to swipe their credit cards, deposit your funds in their accounts and come to them when you’re ready to purchase your first home. And in order to establish these long-term relationships that they covet, the use sign-up bonuses to attract new clients.

To that point, a bank bonus is similar to a bonus offered by your employer. For example, instead of offering you a raise and incurring the additional expense in perpetuity, employers save money by offering one-time bonuses. Similarly, rather than increasing the annual percentage yields (APYs) on their savings accounts or waiving fees on their checking accounts, it’s cheaper for financial institutions to offer one-time bonuses.

Also, please note that bank account bonuses are often limited to new clients. As a result, the policy fits the narrative that institutions use the promotions to help win new clients.

However, while the dynamic is clearly beneficial for institutions, it can still be beneficial for us. And since we all desire a mix of checking, savings and other banking services, receiving a bonus in the process never hurts.

How to Separate the Good From the Bad

To avoid delayed disappointment, it’s essential to understand what’s required of you to achieve the bonus. For example, the savings account promotions on our list are pretty straightforward: if you meet the deposit requirements, the bonuses are yours.

However, when it comes to checking accounts, the situation is little murky. For example, Chase Bank’s checking account bonus offer requires $500 monthly deposits or a minimum daily balance of $1,500 per month to avoid the $12 monthly maintenance fee. And while the $225 bonus covers nearly 19 months worth of service fees, you’ll be in the red in less than two years. As a result, you’re better off choosing a different promotion if you can’t meet the specified deposit limits.

On the flip side, Citizens Bank pays you a $300 welcome bonus if you open a One Deposit Checking Account and set up a single direct deposit of at least $500 within the first 60 days. However, unlike Chase Bank’s offer, the a One Deposit Checking Account has no fees if set up one deposit of “any amount” per month. As a result, it’s an easy hurdle to overcome. However, while the offer is great, Citizens Bank’s products are only available in 12 states. And if you live in California, for example, you’re out of luck.

The bottom line?

Chase Bank’s bonus offer is less attractive because the group’s services are available nationwide. And because of that, Chase Bank doesn’t have to match the promotions offered by regional banks — its size and scale allows it to drive a harder bargain.

All in all, a good or bad bonus deal depends heavily on your location and your income status. If you have recurring paychecks available for deposit, you can meet Chase Bank’s requirements and obtain a sweet bonus. Likewise, if you’re located near a regional bank, you’re able to obtain more for less.

And as it relates to referral bonuses, it really comes down to your familiarity with technology. If you’re comfortable with mobile banking and don’t mind the lack of in-person support, mobile-only institutions also have some of the best high-yield savings accounts in the industry.

Other Account Fees to Consider

As mentioned, savings accounts are pretty vanilla. As a result, you won’t incur many hidden fess outside of:

  • Excess withdrawal fees if you surpass the federally-mandated limit of six per month.
  • External ATM fees charged by third-party operators (though, many savings accounts don’t allow ATM withdrawals).
  • Outgoing wire transfer fees (you can link an external bank account to avoid these).
  • Inactivity fees if your account is dormant for 12 months or more (you should receive a warning beforehand).

However, building on the checking account comparison that we outlined between Chase Bank and Citizens Bank above, the institutions’ fee structures are quite interesting. For example, neither charge fees for withdrawals made at bank-branded ATMs. However, for ATMs operated by third-party vendors, Chase Bank charges $2.50 per transaction, while Citizens Bank charges $3.00 per transaction.

What’s more, whether it’s stop payment fees, overdraft fees, or bank checks, Citizens Bank has higher checking account fees than Chase Bank. Conversely, the former is more affordable when considering domestic and international wire transfers.

As a result, when analyzing the merit of bank bonuses, it’s important to consider all of the details. For example, Citizens Bank’s ($300) offer is higher than Chase Bank’s ($225) and is avoid monthly maintenance fees is much easier. However, across nearly all other metrics, fees are higher at Citizens Banks than Chase Bank.

Thus, it’s important to consider which services are most useful, and how likely you are to incur a potential fee, That way, you determine which account offers the most long-term value when looking beyond the one-time bonus payment.

Which Bank Bonus is Right For Me?

To determine which bonus will gain you the most mileage, think of the account as if it’s your card: if you’re a city dweller that never leaves the downtown core, a pickup truck or an off-road vehicle may not fit your lifestyle. Conversely, if you’re hauling heavy cargo, a small convertible likely won’t meet you objectifies.

And when it comes to choosing financial products, the cost-benefit analysis is no different. For example, if you travel a lot and find yourself in remote areas, external ATMs may be your only source of short-term cash. As a result, you want to choose the checking account with the lowest non-bank ATM fees.

Likewise, if you have a small savings account and plan to make regular monthly contributions, a solid bonus offer makes it worth taking the plunge. For example, Alliant Credit Union’s promotional offer pays a $100 bonus on a $1,200 deposit. And with the majority of high-yield savings accounts having a 0.50% APY, you have to invest $20,000 for 12 months to earn $100 in interest. Thus, banking the bonus is a pretty sweet deal.

As for referral bonuses, most of them are a win-win for you and the recipient. For example, Chime pays a $200 total bonus ($100 each) if the recipient makes a $200 direct deposit within 45 days. Moreover, Chime’s website states that you achieve the referral bonus “every time” you onboard a new client. As a result, if you’re passionate about the platform, you can make plenty of money by spreading the news.

Can I Apply For More Than One Bonus Offer?

If its time to freshen up your checking or savings accounts, there’s no reason why you can’t take advantage of more than one bank bonus offer. However, if you plan on surfing the financial waves from one bonus offer to the next, some negatives consequences could materialize:

The potential impact on your credit score:

Since nearly all bank bonus offers are only available to new clients, financial institutions may want increase their familiarity with the applicant. Now, not all banks require a credit check. And those that do will often do a soft credit pull — which doesn’t impact your credit score. However, if the institution conducts are hard credit pull, it can knock a handful of points off of your credit score and stay on your credit report for up to 24 months.

As a result, if you apply for multiply bank bonus offers multiple times per year, the recycling of accounts could materially impair your credit score.

The potential impact on your credit report:

Beyond the negative impact on your credit score, line after line of opened and closed accounts can wreak havoc on your credit report. For example, lenders often assess credit reports to determine how many soft and hard credit pulls have occurred over a certain timeframe. And if your credit report is riddled with soft pulls, while they won’t affect your credit score, they could make lenders weary of doing business with you.  As a result, too much noise in your credit report may derail your ability to obtain a mortgage, personal loan or an auto loan at some point in the future.

Are Bank Bonuses Taxable?

Bank bonuses are taxable and they’re considered interchangeable with interest. For example, interest income is taxed at your marginal rate, similar to your salary or pension income. And when you receive a bank bonus, it’s no different than receiving a bonus from your employer.

In most cases, your financial institution will send you a Form 1099-INT that should show the bank bonus as part of your interest income. Then, you’re expected to declare the amount when you file your personal taxes.

Are the Accounts Insured?

Absolutely. Nearly all balances held within the accounts listed above are insured up to $250,000 per person, per account by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

And what is the FDIC?

As an independent agency of the U.S. federal government, the FDIC promotes public confidence by guaranteeing deposits if a member institution defaults. The agency also examines and supervises roughly 4,000 banks and savings institutions to ensure operational safety.

And what about the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)?

Born in 1970, the NCUA is essentially the FDIC for credit unions. For example, it’s an independent U.S. federal agency that Congress created to protect Americans that deposit their money at credit unions. And like the FDIC, deposits are insured up to $250,000 per person, per account.

The Impact of COVID-19 and What to Expect in 2022

With the CARES Act providing stimulus payments and enhanced unemployment benefits for many Americans throughout the pandemic, general fiscal spending helped shore up individuals and households’ finances. And in the process, data from the Fed shows that U.S. commercial bank deposits surged from $13.17 trillion in Q4 2019 to $18.03 trillion as of the week ended Jan. 5, 2022. For context, these figures represent the amount of money that Americans have in their checking, savings and other demand deposit accounts. To that point, with financial institutions seeing plenty of cash for the taking, the race to win new clients starts with bonus offers.

And looking ahead, the promotions should continue throughout 2022. For example, the Fed’s latest Summary of Economic Projections (SEP) shows that the median participant expects three interest rate hikes in 2022. Moreover, the latest rhetoric from Fed officials signals that liftoff could occur as soon as their March monetary policy meeting. As a result, the competition for new capital should heat up in the coming months.

Conclusion

With competition key in the banking industry, the race for new clients often heats up in the New Year. However, with institutions’ offers creating opportunities for savvy consumers, plenty of promotions can help make 2022 more profitable. As such, we’ll keep updating our list and help you stay on top of the latest offers.

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