Best bank account bonuses for September 2021

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

And for those also looking to open a new checking or 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). Shopping around is the best way to find the best deal.

Here are some of the best bank account bonuses. 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 consumer bank account bonuses in September

Best checking account bonuses

Best savings account bonuses

Best referral bonuses

  • Axos Bank: $20 for a referral and $20 to the person you referred
  • Chase Bank: $50 for each referral up to $500
  • Chime: $100 for a referral and $100 to the person you referred
  • TD Bank: $50 for a referral and $50 to the person you referred

Summary of the best business bank account bonuses in September

Best consumer checking account offers

Citibank: Up to $1,500

Opening a new checking account can earn you up to $1,500 at Citibank. You’ll need to open this new eligible checking account between July 1 and Oct. 4 and deposit funds for the bonus within 20 days after opening this new account. Your account balance on the 20th day determines your bonus amount.

  • Making a minimum deposit of $15,000-$49,999 and keeping that minimum balance will help you earn $300.
  • Making a minimum deposit of $50,000-$199,999 and keeping that minimum balance will help you earn $700.
  • Making a minimum deposit of $200,000 or more and keeping that minimum balance above $200,000 will help you earn $1,500.

Other important information about this offer:

  • You won’t be eligible for this offer if you had a checking account in the past 180 days.
  • This offer may not be available in all areas.
  • You’ll need to apply for the account on the Citibank webpage that has this offer.
  • You’ll need to keep your balance above $15,000 to be eligible for a bonus. And you’ll need to maintain your Day 20 balance for another 60 days.

The offer expires Oct. 4. Citibank is based in New York. In Bankrate’s review of Citibank’s full suite of products and offerings, it earned 4.3 out of 5 stars.

PNC Bank: up to $300 bonus

As long as you don’t have an existing PNC consumer checking account or have not closed one within the past 90 days, you could qualify for a $50, $200 or $300 bonus.

This offer may vary or not be available in different regions.

To earn the $300 bonus, you must:

  • Make more than $5,000 of total qualifying direct deposits into your Spend account.

To earn the $200 bonus, you must:

  • Have $2,000 or more in qualifying total direct deposits in your Spend account.

To earn the $50 bonus, you must:

  • Have $500 or more in qualifying total direct deposits in your Spend account.

The offer expires Sept. 30.

PNC is based in Pittsburgh and earned 3.7 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).

These offers are set to expire Nov. 30. 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 Cherry Hill, New Jersey. In Bankrate’s review of TD Bank’s services and product offerings, it earned 3.5 out of 5 stars.

M&T Bank: up to $250 bonus

You can earn up to $250 for opening any personal checking account at M&T Bank by Oct 5.

  • Within 90 days of opening the checking account, you’ll need a qualifying direct deposit of at least $500 into this checking account.

M&T Bank earned 3.5 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s review. M&T Bank is headquartered in Buffalo, New York.

Chase Bank: $225 bonus

Through Oct. 18, Chase is offering a bonus on certain new checking accounts.

  • To earn $225, open a new Total Checking account and have a direct deposit totaling $500 or more within the first 90 days.

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).

  • College students, 17-24 years old, can earn $100 by opening the Chase College Checking account.

You’ll need to complete 10 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 to earn this bonus. The coupon can be found on Chase’s website.

Chase Bank has branches in 38 states and Washington, D.C.

Our review of Chase’s banking products and services gave the bank 3.4 out of 5 stars. Chase is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

Wells Fargo: $200 bonus

People that don’t have a Wells Fargo checking account could earn $200 by opening an Everyday Checking account.

  • The Everyday Checking account will need to be opened by Sept. 30.
  • You’ll need to deposit at least $25 into this new checking account.
  • You’ll need to have a total amount of at least $1,000 in direct deposits into this new Everyday Checking account within 90 calendar days from the time you open this account.

Our review of Wells Fargo’s banking products and services gave the bank 3.2 out of 5 stars. Wells Fargo is headquartered in San Francisco.

Huntington National Bank: $150 or $200 bonus

Huntington Bank has two checking account bonuses available for both consumers and business owners. Through Oct. 7 you can earn:

  • $150 for opening an Asterisk-Free Checking account and making a cumulative deposit of at least $1,000 within 60 days of the account opening.
  • $200 for opening a Huntington 5 Checking account and making a cumulative deposit of at least $1,000 within 60 days of the account opening.

These offers are only valid for residents of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Huntington is based in Columbus, Ohio. In the full review of its banking products and offerings, the bank earned 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Bank of America: $100 bonus

New personal checking customers can earn $100 from Bank of America when they open an account online. The offer expires Dec. 31. 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 $250 each within 90 days of your account opening.

An offer code (DDX100CIS) is needed to qualify for the bonus.

Bank of America is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. It earned 3.2 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s full review of its products and services.

Best savings account bonuses

Citibank: Up to $2,000

You can earn up to $2,000 by opening a Citi Savings account. You’re rewarded based on the balance you keep in the account for 60 straight calendar days.

  • You’ll earn a $2,000 bonus for depositing and maintaining a balance of $1,000,000 or more for 60 straight calendar days.
  • You’ll earn a $1,000 bonus for depositing and maintaining a balance between $500,000 and $999,999 for 60 straight calendar days.
  • You’ll earn a $500 bonus for depositing and maintaining a balance between $250,000 and $499,999 for 60 straight calendar days.
  • You’ll earn a $200 bonus for depositing and maintaining a balance between $100,000 and $249,999 for 60 straight calendar days.
  • You’ll earn a $100 bonus for depositing and maintaining a balance between $50,000 and $99,999 for 60 straight calendar days.
  • You’ll earn a $50 bonus for depositing and maintaining a balance between $25,000 and $49,999 for 60 straight calendar days.
  • You’ll earn a $20 bonus for depositing and maintaining a balance between $10,000 and $24,999 for 60 straight calendar days.

Other important information about this offer:

  • The new Citi Savings account needs to be opened by Sept. 30.

The offer expires Sept. 30. Citibank is based in New York. In Bankrate’s review of Citibank’s full suite of products and offerings, it earned 4.3 out of 5 stars.

TD Bank: $200

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

  • You’ll need to put at least $20,000 of new money into one of those new savings accounts and keep that balance at $20,000 or more for 90 days.
  • The offer is valid from Jan. 20 and ends Nov. 30.
  • You’re not eligible for this offer if you’ve had a personal money market account or savings account with TD Bank in the previous 12 months.

TD Bank has its headquarters in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. In Bankrate’s review of TD Bank’s services and product offerings, it earned 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Best consumer bank account referral bonuses

Axos Bank: $20 for a referral and $20 to the person you referred

Current Axos customers have the opportunity to earn and give $20 for referring a friend to the Essential Checking account.

To qualify for the bonus, your friend must:

  • Not have owned an Axos Bank account
  • Use your personalized referral link
  • Add and maintain at least $500 for a full month
  • Receive a direct deposit of at least $500 within the first 90 days

If all requirements are met, both parties will receive $20 in their bank account.

Axos is headquartered in San Diego. It earned 4.6 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s full review of its products and services.

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 will receive 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 3.4 out of 5 stars. Chase is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

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

Current Chime customers can get $75 for each friend they refer. To qualify for the bonus, you 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 all qualifying activities are met, both parties will receive $75.

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

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 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Best business checking account offers

Huntington National Bank: $200, $400 or $750 bonus

You can earn up to $750 by opening the following new business checking accounts at Huntington National Bank:

  • Business Checking 100: Earn $200 (Minimum deposit of $2,000 required to earn the bonus.)
  • Unlimited Business Checking: Earn $400 (Minimum deposit of $5,000 to earn the bonus.)
  • Unlimited Plus Business Checking: Earn $750 (Minimum deposit of $20,000 required to earn the bonus.)

Here’s what you should know about this offer:

  • You’ll need to open one of the accounts listed above before Nov. 7.
  • You’ll need to make the required cumulative deposits within 60 days of account opening and keep the account open for at least 90 days. These deposits must be new money from outside of Huntington National Bank.

SunTrust Bank: $200 bonus

New business checking customers can earn $200 by opening a Simple Business Checking account, a Primary Business Checking account or a Business Advantage Plus account.

In order to earn the $200, you’ll need to:

  • Open one of those three accounts between July 1 and Sept. 30 and make cumulative qualifying deposits of $1,500 or more into the account.

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

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 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 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, 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.

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Written by
Matthew Goldberg
Consumer banking reporter
Matthew Goldberg is a consumer banking reporter at Bankrate. Matthew has been in financial services for more than a decade, in banking and insurance.
Edited by
Wealth editor
Reviewed by
Kenneth Chavis IV
Senior wealth manager, LourdMurray