Best bank account bonuses for October 2021

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

And for those also looking to open a new checking or 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 October

Best checking account bonuses

Best savings account bonuses

Best referral bonuses

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

Summary of the best business bank account bonuses in October

Best consumer checking account offers

Citibank: Up to $1,500

Citibank is offering up to $1,500 to customers who open a new checking account by Oct. 4. To qualify for the bonus, funds must be deposited within 20 days after opening the account. The account balance on the 20th day determines the bonus amount.

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

Other important information about this offer:

  • Customers who have closed a Citibank checking account within the last 180 days are ineligible.
  • These offers are not available in all areas.
  • Applicants must enroll from the Citibank webpage that details the offer.
  • A $15,000 minimum balance is required to be eligible for a bonus and that balance must be maintained for 60 days after the 20th day of the account’s opening.
  • The offer expires Oct. 4.

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 $100, $200, $250 or $400 bonus.

These offers may vary or not be available in different regions.

To earn the $400 bonus, you must open a new PNC Virtual Wallet with Performance Select is required for this offer. You’ll need to make more than $5,000 of total qualifying direct deposits into your Spend account.

To earn the $250 bonus, you must open a new PNC Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend and have $2,000 or more in qualifying total direct deposits into your Spend account.

For the $200 bonus, a new PNC Virtual Wallet Checking Pro account is required with direct deposits of at least $2,000 to qualify.

To earn the $50 bonus, a new PNC Virtual Wallet is required, along with $500 or more in qualifying total direct deposits in your Spend account.

Qualifying accounts for the $100, $250 and $400 offers must be opened between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31.

The $200 offer available in certain regions, requires that your account be opened by Dec. 31.

All offers require direct deposits be received within 60 days of account opening.

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).

The offers expire Nov. 30. Bonuses are available to residents of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and the District of Columbia.

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

M&T Bank earned 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 New York.

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.

Offer code DDX100CIS is required 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

TD Bank: $200

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

  • A deposit of at least $20,000 is required into a new TD Beyond or Simple savings account and a balance of $20,000 or more must be maintained for 90 days.
  • The offer ends Nov. 30.
  • Customers who’ve had a personal money market account or savings account with TD Bank in the previous 12 months are ineligible for the offer.

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.

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
Senior wealth manager, LourdMurray