Best bank account bonuses for March 2020

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March is here and spring is right around the corner. In addition to doing some cleaning at home, it’s a good idea to take the time to get your finances in order. While you’re at it, consider opening a new savings or checking account.

There are banks willing to hand out free money to new customers, and you could easily wind up with an extra $200 or $300 dollars (or more). Shopping around for a new bank account isn’t exactly exciting, but 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.

If you’re looking for a new savings account, consider whether you’re better off finding another bank that pays more interest.

“Those types of bonuses are only on accounts that really pay minimal, meaning that you’re not going to get that 1.55 percent, right,” says Deacon Hayes, founder of the website Well Kept Wallet. “You’re probably going to get less than a percent. So you’re kind of getting that bonus, but you’re sacrificing the long-term return. So you just want to weigh those options.”

Here are some of the best bank account bonuses in March. 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 savings account bonuses

Best checking account bonuses

Best checking and savings account bonuses

Best savings and money market account bonuses

CIT Bank: $100 or $200 bonus

New and existing CIT Bank customers who open a CIT Savings Builder account can walk away with an extra $100 or $200. To qualify, you must fund your account within 15 days of opening it and then maintain the minimum balance requirement for a certain number of days after the 15-day funding period (90 days for new customers and 30 days for existing customers).

How much you’ll earn as a bonus depends on the size of your deposit.

  • To earn $100, deposit between $25,000 and $49,999.
  • To earn $200, deposit at least $50,000.

New customers will need to use a promo code to qualify for the bonus (Bonus20). Savings Builder account holders can earn up to 1.75 percent APY.

CIT Bank is an online-only bank based in Pasadena, California. In Bankrate’s full review of its banking products and services, it earned four stars.

Chase Bank: $150 bonus

Through a deal that expires April 20, you’ll earn $150 for depositing $10,000 within 20 business days into a new Chase savings account and maintaining that balance for 90 days. By meeting the requirements for earning the savings and checking bonuses, you could earn a total of $350.

The downside? Chase’s savings account pays just 0.01 percent APY. (Check out the best high-yield savings accounts.)

Our review of Chase’s banking products and services gave the bank 3.8 out of five stars. Chase is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

Discover Bank: $150 or $200 bonus

If you open a Discover online savings account by March 2, you could earn up to $200. New Discover savings customers who meet certain requirements by March 16 can qualify for one of the following bonuses:

  • $150 bonus for depositing $15,000
  • $200 bonus for depositing $25,000

There’s no minimum deposit to open the account, but you must enter an offer code (OBE220) when you apply online. The Discover online savings account pays 1.6 percent APY.

Discover Bank is based in Greenwood, Delaware. In Bankrate’s review of Discover’s banking products and services, the bank earned 4.4 out of five stars.

Capital One Bank: $100 to $500 bonus

Through March 31, if you open a 360 Performance Savings account and use a special code (NEW500), you can earn a bonus. To qualify, account holders must:

  • Deposit between $10,000 and $50,000 (to earn between $100 and $500) within 10 days of opening your account.
  • Maintain the required daily balance for 90 days.

The 360 Performance Savings account currently pays 1.7 percent APY to savers across all balances.

Capital One is based in McLean, Virginia. The bank earned 4.7 out of five stars in Bankrate’s full review of its products and offerings.

CIBC Bank USA: $200 or $400 bonus

Customers who open a new Agility Savings Account from CIBC Bank USA can potentially earn $200 or $400. The offer expires March 16. To earn the bonus:

  • Sign up for online eStatements within 15 days of opening the account.
  • Deposit at least $25,000 to earn $200 or deposit $50,000 or more to earn $400.
  • Maintain your balance for 120 days.

The offer is available nationwide and the Agility Savings Account pays 1.85 percent APY.

CIBC Bank USA, which is headquartered in Chicago, has banking centers in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin. It’s backed by a global financial institution based in Toronto, Canada. In Bankrate’s review of its bank products and offerings, it earned 3.6 out of 5 stars.

Best checking account offers

Wells Fargo: $400 bonus

Earn $400 when you open an Everyday Checking account online by July 31. To qualify you must:

  • Not be the owner of a Wells Fargo consumer checking account or the recipient of a bonus within the past 12 months.
  • Deposit at least $25.
  • Receive direct deposits of at least $4,000 within 90 days of opening the account.

The bank, which is based in San Francisco, earned 4.1 out of five stars in Bankrate’s full review of its banking products and offerings.

U.S. Bank: $300 bonus

Through March 31, customers in the market for a new checking account can open one through U.S. Bank and potentially earn a bonus. You’ll need to use a promo code (2020Q1C) to qualify.

You must complete the following steps to earn the bonus:

  • Open a new Platinum, Gold or Easy checking account.
  • Have at least two direct deposits totaling at least $2,000 within 60 days of opening the account.
  • Sign up for U.S. Bank online banking or the U.S. Bank mobile app within 60 days of opening your account.

U.S. Bank is a large commercial bank that offers consumers who value the big bank experience an alternative to the biggest operators in the space. The bank, which is based in Minneapolis, earned 4.1 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s full review of its products and offerings.

Truist Bank: $200 bonus

Open an Essential checking account online or at a branch by March 31 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 offer is valid for residents in the District of Columbia, Maryland and nine southern states. SunTrust and BB&T have now merged to become Truist Bank.

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 3.5 out of five stars.

Chase Bank: $200, $300 or $1,000 bonus

Through April 20, you could earn $300 by opening a Premier Plus checking account. Or earn $200 by opening a Total Checking account.

You’re eligible for a bonus if you:

  • Don’t have an existing Chase fiduciary or checking account (or had one closed with a negative balance or within the last 90 days).
  • Have a direct deposit made within 90 days of opening the account.

There’s also a $1,000 bonus available for customers who open or upgrade to a Chase Sapphire account by March 6. To qualify, you must transfer a total of $75,000 to a combination of eligible checking, savings and/or investment accounts within 45 calendar days. Then, you must maintain that balance for at least 90 days.

Accounts can be opened online or in a branch. The bank has branches in 26 states including Georgia and Florida and in the western, southwestern, midwestern and northern parts of the country. See how Chase’s offers stack up against other checking account deals.

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

If you make 10 debit card purchases and receive a direct deposit within 60 days, you could qualify for one of the following bonuses:

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

The offers expire March 31. Visit a branch or go online to open a PNC virtual wallet.

Fifth Third Bank: $250 bonus

Through April 30, you can earn $250 from Fifth Third Bank.

To earn $250, you must:

  • Open a new Fifth Third Essential, Enhanced or Preferred, Free Checking or Free Checking plus Extra Time Checking account.
  • Make deposits and reach a balance of $500 within 45 days.
  • Maintain a $500 minimum daily balance for 60 days.

Email yourself a coupon through the bank’s website and then visit a branch to open your account.

Fifth Third Bank is based in Cincinnati, Ohio and serves customers in 12 states. In Bankrate’s review of Fifth Third Bank’s products and services, it earned 3.6 out of five stars.

Huntington National Bank: $150 or $200 bonus

Through April 7, earn $200 by opening a Huntington 5 checking account online or in a branch. 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 maintain that balance for 90 days.
  • Present the coupon code you email yourself from the bank’s website (if you’re applying in a branch).

You’re eligible for the bonus if you live in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania or West Virginia. There’s also a $150 bonus available if you open an Asterisk-Free checking account and make a $1,000 deposit within 60 days.

Huntington is based in Columbus, Ohio. In the full review of its banking products and offerings, the bank earned 3.6 out of five stars.

Best checking and savings account bonuses

HSBC Bank: $350 or $475 bonus

HSBC has a couple of checking account bonuses available online. Through March 1, earn:

  • 2 percent cash back for the first 12 months (up to $30 per month for a total of up to $350) after opening an HSBC Advance checking account and setting up recurring direct deposits.
  • $475 for opening an HSBC Premier checking account and receiving monthly direct deposits of at least $5,000 for three consecutive months from the second full month after opening the account.

Note that you’ll have to maintain a certain balance and meet other requirements to avoid a monthly maintenance fee. For example, for the premier checking account option, if you don’t have reoccurring direct deposits of at least $5,000, you’ll have to maintain balances of $75,000 in combined personal deposit and investment accounts.

HSBC is based in McLean, Virginia. It earned 3.9 out of five stars in Bankrate’s full review of its products and offerings.

Citibank: $200, $400, $500 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 a checking account in the Basic Banking Package. Deposit $5,000 within 30 days and maintain that balance for 60 days.
  • To earn $400, open checking and savings accounts in the Citibank Account Package. Deposit $15,000 within 30 days and maintain that balance for 60 days. You can earn an extra $100 (for a total of $500) by also having one direct deposit made each month for two consecutive months within a 60-day period.
  • 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 March 31. Citibank is based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, but bonuses are available nationwide. In Bankrate’s review of Citibank’s full suite of banking products and offerings, it earned 4.2 out of 5 stars.

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