Best bank account bonuses for October 2020

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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 October. 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

Best checking and savings account 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 Jan. 7, 2021, 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.  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.

PNC Bank: $50, $200 or $300 bonus

As long as you don’t have an existing PNC consumer checking account or you closed one within the past 90 days, you could qualify for one of the following bonuses:

  • $50 bonus for opening a virtual wallet and receiving a $500 direct deposit within 60 days.
  • $200 bonus for opening a virtual wallet with Performance Spend and receiving a $2,000 direct deposit within 60 days.
  • $300 bonus for opening a virtual wallet with Performance Select and receiving a $5,000 direct deposit within 60 days.

Accounts can be opened nationwide online. The offers expire Oct. 29. PNC is based in Wilmington, Delaware and earned 3 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s full review of its products and offerings.

Huntington National Bank: $150, $200, $400, $500 or $750 bonus

Huntington Bank has a few 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.
  • $200 for opening a Business Checking 100 account and making a cumulative deposit of at least $2,000 within 60 days of the account opening.
  • $400 for opening an Unlimited Business Checking account and making a cumulative deposit of at least $5,000 within 60 days of the account opening.
  • $500 for opening a Huntington 25 Checking account and making a cumulative deposit of at least $15,000 within 60 days of the account opening.
  • $750 for opening an Unlimited Plus Business Checking account and making a cumulative deposit of at least $20,000 within 60 days of the account opening.

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

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. 

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, $300 or $500 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 $200, open a new Chase Savings account and have a direct deposit totaling $15,500 or more within 20 business days and maintain the balance for 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 earn $500, open both a Total Checking and Chase Savings account and complete qualifying activities to receive an extra $100 for doing so.

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.

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.

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