If you’re wishing you had more savings right now, you’re not alone. Many Americans impacted by the coronavirus are finding that they need additional funds to make ends meet. A bit of extra cash could be a big help. Fortunately, a number of banks are still giving out free stacks of cash.
In exchange for opening a new savings or checking account, you could wind up with an extra $200 or $300 dollars (or more). Shopping around for a new bank account isn’t exactly exciting, but at a time like this it could be worth your while.
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.
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, like TD Bank, 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
Every bank account bonus isn’t a good deal. Before you sign up, read the fine print.
Watch out for sky-high minimum balance requirements and monthly fees that could eat into your earnings. If earning a bonus seems to require too much effort, you might want to look for another one.
If you’re applying for a checking account, make sure it’s a good match that meets your needs. For example, if you need them, double-check that there are plenty of branches and ATMs 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 coronavirus forcing banking to shift online more than ever before, 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, these 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.
Here are some of the best bank account bonuses in August. Compare these offers along with CDs and other savings accounts that pay more interest. And check out other types of bonuses, too, like the best brokerage account bonuses.
Summary of the best bank account bonuses
Best checking account bonuses
- Associated Bank: $500 bonus
- HSBC Bank: $200 or $450 bonus
- TD Bank: $150 or $300 bonus
- Investors eAccess: $250 bonus
- Huntington National Bank: $150 or $200 bonus
- SunTrust (Truist) Bank: $200 or $400 bonus
- Bank of America: $100 bonus
Best checking and savings account bonus
- Chase Bank: $150, $200 or $300 bonus
- BMO Harris: $200, $300 or $350 bonus
- Citibank: $200, $400 or $700 bonus
- Citizens Bank: $100, $200, $300 bonus
Best checking account offers
Associated Bank: $500 bonus
Earn $500 when you open a new checking account with Associated Bank by May 31, 2021. To qualify, you must:
- Not have opened an account with Associated Bank within the last six months.
- Keep the account open for a minimum period of 12 months.
- Receive direct deposits totaling $500 or more within the first 90 days of account opening.
Associated Bank is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin and has branches located in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
HSBC Bank: $200 or $450 bonus
HSBC has a couple of checking account bonuses available online. Through Sept. 30, you can earn:
- $200 for opening an HSBC Advance checking account online and receiving recurring monthly direct deposits totaling $500 for three consecutive months (from the second full calendar month after opening the account).
- $450 for opening an HSBC Premier checking account online and receiving monthly direct deposits of at least $5,000 for three consecutive months (from the second full calendar month after opening the account).
Another option is to opt for a bonus that pays 3 percent cash back (up to $600 for new Premier checking account holders. This offer also expires on Sept. 30. To qualify, you’ll need to set up recurring direct deposits to an HSBC Premier checking account at least once per calendar month for six consecutive months following the account’s opening month.
HSBC is based in McLean, Virginia. It earned 3.9 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s full review of its products and offerings.
TD Bank: $150 or $300 bonus
A $300 bonus is available for TD Bank customers who:
- Open a Beyond Checking account online.
- Have never had a TD Bank personal checking account.
- Have at least $2,500 worth of direct deposit funds within 60 days of opening the account.
There’s also a $150 cash bonus if you’d prefer a Convenience Checking account (requires direct deposits of $500 within 60 days of opening the account).
Bonuses are available to residents in the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania and every state on the east coast except Georgia.
TD Bank is based in Wilmington, Delaware. In Bankrate’s review of TD Bank’s services and product offerings, it earned 2.7 out of 5 stars.
Investors eAccess: $250 bonus
New account holders can earn up to $250 after opening an Investors eAccess checking account. The bonus is broken down into payments of $25 per month for 10 months.
To earn the bonus you must:
- Be a new account holder
- Have a direct deposit of $500 or more per statement cycle (personal deposits not allowed)
- Or make 10 or more point-of-sale transactions during your statement cycle
Accounts can be opened nationwide online. Investors eAccess is an online-only division of Investors Bank, based in Short Hills, New Jersey. In the full review of its banking products and offerings, Investors eAccess earned a 4.7 out of 5 stars.
Huntington National Bank: $150 or $200 bonus
Through Oct. 7, earn $200 by opening a Huntington 5 checking account online. To earn a bonus you must:
- Be a new Huntington checking customer who hasn’t closed a checking account within the past six months.
- Deposit $1,000 within 60 days of opening your new checking account and keep your account open for 90 days.
There’s also a $150 bonus available if you open an Asterisk-Free checking account and make a $1,000 deposit within 60 days (and keep your account open for 90 days). The offer is available from July 1 through Oct. 7, 2020.
To be eligible for both bonuses, you must live in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania or West Virginia.
Huntington is based in Columbus, Ohio. In the full review of its banking products and offerings, the bank earned 2.6 out of 5 stars.
Truist (formerly Suntrust and BB&T) Bank: $200 or $400 bonus
Open a SunTrust Essential checking account online by Sept. 30 and earn $200 by having direct deposits of at least $500 made per statement cycle for two consecutive cycles (within the first three months of opening the account). The promotional code you’ll need to use is Q320ESSENTIAL.
Another option is to open a SunTrust Advantage checking account by Sept. 30 and earn $400 by depositing at least $3,000 in direct deposits per statement cycle for two consecutive cycles within the first three full monthly statement cycles. The promotional code you’ll need to use is Q320ADVANTAGE.
The offers are valid for residents in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia or the District of Columbia.
To qualify, you cannot have an existing SunTrust personal checking account or have closed one on or after Jan. 3, 2020 SunTrust and BB&T have now merged to become Truist Bank.
Truist is based in Charlotte, North Caroline. In the full review of its banking products and offerings, the bank earned 2.6 out of 5 stars.
Bank of America: $100 bonus
New checking customers can earn $100 from Bank of America when they open an account online. The offer expires Dec. 31, 2020. To get the bonus, you must:
- Not have had a Bank of America personal checking account within the past six 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 two direct deposits of at least $250 each within 90 days of opening your account.
An offer code (PSR100CIS) is needed to qualify for the bonus.
Bank of America is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. It earned 2.4 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s full review of its products and services.
Best checking and savings account bonus
Chase Bank: $150, $200 or $300 bonus
Through Oct. 14, Chase is offering a variety of bonuses on new checking and savings accounts.
- To earn $150, open a Chase Savings account and deposit a total of $10,000 or more within 20 days and maintain the balance for 90 days.
- To earn $200, open a new Total Checking account and have a direct deposit totaling $500 or more within the first 90 days.
- To earn $300, open a Premier Plus checking account and set up direct deposits within the first 90 days. Maintain a balance of at least $15,000 to avoid account service fees.
To qualify for the bonus, you must not have an existing Chase fiduciary or checking account (or had one closed with a negative balance or within the last 90 days).
Chase Bank has branches in 26 states including Georgia and Florida and in the western, southwestern, midwestern and northern parts of the country.
Our review of Chase’s banking products and services gave the bank 2.7 out of 5 stars. Chase is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.
BMO Harris: $200, $300 or $350 bonus
Customers in the market for a new checking and money market account have the opportunity to earn up to $650 when opening accounts at BMO Harris.
- To earn $200, open a BMO Harris Smart Advantage checking account and have a total of $4,000 in direct deposits within the first 90 days.
- To earn $350, open a BMO Harris Premier checking account and have a total of $7,500 in direct deposits within the first 90 days.
- To earn an additional $300, open a Platinum money market account. To qualify, deposit and maintain a balance of $10,000 within the first 30 days. To receive a $200 bonus, deposit $25,000 and keep it in the account for at least 90 days. To earn a $300 bonus, deposit $50,000 and keep it in the account for at least 90 days.
All three offers expire on Sept. 30 and are limited to customers who reside in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Arizona, Kansas or Missouri.
BMO Harris is based in Chicago, Illinois. In Bankrate’s review of BMO’s full suite of products and offerings, it earned 3.4 out of 5 stars.
Citibank: $200, $400 or $700 bonus
Customers in the market for a new checking and savings account can open both through Citi and potentially earn a bonus.
- To earn $200, open an eligible checking account in the Basic Banking Package. Deposit $5,000 within 30 days and maintain that balance for 60 days.
- To earn $400, open eligible checking and savings accounts in the Citibank Account Package. Deposit $15,000 within 30 days and maintain that balance for 60 days.
- To earn $700, open checking and savings accounts in the Citi Priority Account Package. Deposit $50,000 within 30 days and maintain that balance for 60 days.
All three offers expire Jan. 5, 2021. Citibank is based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It earned 4.1 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s full review of its products and offerings.
Citizens Bank: $100, $200 and $300 bonus
Customers in the markets for a new checking and savings account have the potential to earn up to $600 when they do so with Citizens Bank.
- To earn $300, open a new checking account and make a direct deposit of $500 or more within the first 60 days.
- To earn $200, open a new savings account and deposit a minimum of $15,000 (not currently on deposit with Citizens Bank) and maintain the balance for three months. You will also need to open a checking account (no direct deposit required) to get the bonus.
If you open both a checking and savings account, you will be eligible to earn an additional $100. The offer expires on Oct. 1.
Citizens Bank is based in Providence, Rhode Island. It earned 2.8 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s review of the bank’s products and offerings.
Featured image by SOPA Images of Getty Images.