Best Bank Account Bonuses – CNET Money


While some banks raise their rates to attract new customers, others compete for your dollars by offering new account bonuses. If you’re in the market for a new bank account, some banks and credit unions pay attractive cash bonuses — ranging from a few hundred dollars to $500 or more. 

While free money is a welcome perk, a bank account bonus shouldn’t be your primary reason for opening a new account. However, if you’ve narrowed down the choices and a bonus incentive makes sense, it can be the cherry on top. Here’s our list of banks with attractive account bonuses and reasonable requirements, ranked in order of the highest bonus available.

Best bank account bonuses

Bank Bonus offer Required deposits
BMO  $400 to $4,100 $4,000 to $500,000
Huntington Bank $400 to $600 Up to $25,000
TD Bank $200 to $500 $500 to $10,000
PNC Bank $100 to $400 $500 to $4,000
Capital One $350 $500
Axos Bank $300 $5,000 for 7 consecutive months
SoFi $50 to $250 $1,000 to $5,000
M&T Bank $200 $500
Chase $200 None
Alliant Credit Union $100 $100 for 12 consecutive months
Note: Bank bonuses shown are as of Nov. 2, 2023. CNET’s editorial team updates this information regularly. Bonuses may have changed since they were last updated and may vary by region for some products.


Four bonuses available depending on your balance

Cash bonus: $400 to $4,100 for new checking or money market accounts with balance requirements

BMO provides four ways to earn attractive bonuses when you open a new checking or money market account — but you’ll need to exercise patience. This bank requires you to open a checking account and receive $4,000 in direct deposits for a Smart Advantage or Smart Money checking account within 120 days in exchange for a $400 bonus. You can earn a $600 bonus with direct deposits of at least $7,500 into a BMO Relationship Checking account within the first 120 days. Both checking accounts charge monthly fees, though in some cases, the fees can be waived.

If you have a larger lump sum of cash, you might consider opening a Relationship Plus money market account and depositing at least $25,000 within the first 30 days and you’ll earn a bonus between $300 and $3,500. This bonus can be earned along with a new checking account bonus for a combined total of up to $4,100.

This offer expires on Dec. 8, 2023.

Huntington Bank

Huntington Bank

Earn one of two bonuses for new checking accounts

Cash bonus: $400 or $600 for new checking accounts

Huntington Bank operates more than 1,000 branches in the Midwest and Southern regions of the US but also offers a digital banking arm nationwide. Its welcome bonuses don’t require many hoops to jump through, but you will need some patience.

Open a new Perks Checking account and establish direct deposits from your employer, a pension or a government benefit (including Social Security) within the first 90 days to receive a $400 bonus. If you deposit $25,000 or more in a Platinum Perks Checking account within 90 days of opening a new account, you’ll earn a $600 bonus.

This offer expires on Feb. 7, 2024.

PNC Bank

PNC Bank

Receive your choice of $100, $200 or $400

Cash bonus: $100 to $400 for a new virtual wallet

PNC Bank will deposit either $100, $200 or $400 in your account when you establish a direct deposit into your virtual wallet of $500, $2,000 or $4,000, respectively. There’s no minimum required to open a checking account. The direct deposit must be received within the first 60 days of opening the account. But, you can’t rush this bonus. PNC will make you wait between 60 and 90 days before receiving the cash.


Axos Bank

Axos Bank

$5,000 in direct deposits will earn $300

Cash bonus: $300 for a new checking account

Open a Rewards Checking account and earn $300 when you fund your account within 30 days, and make $5,000 in direct deposits monthly for the first seven consecutive months that your account is open. Use the code SUNNYBONUS when applying for a new account. Don’t open this account if you’re only planning on using it to earn the bonus and cancel your account — Axos Bank charges $100 for accounts closed within 180 days.

This offer expires on Dec. 31, 2023.



A wide range of bonuses

Cash bonus: $50 to $250 for a new checking account

SoFi (short for “Social Finance”) is an online bank that offers a range of bonuses. To qualify, you must open a checking account and receive a direct deposit from your employer, payroll or benefits provider. How much you earn depends on the amount deposited within 30 days:

  • $1,000 to $4,999 in direct deposit: $50 cash bonus
  • $5,000 or more in direct deposit: $250 cash bonus

This offer expires on Dec. 31, 2023.

M&T Bank

M&T Bank

A solid bonus that might take a while to collect

Cash bonus: Up to $200 for any new checking account

M&T Bank also offers a $200 bonus for opening a new checking account — but it could take some time to get it. This bank requires you to open a checking account and make at least $500 in direct deposits within 90 days of opening the account before you receive the bonus. The upside is that M&T Bank offers a base checking account without pesky monthly maintenance fees.

This offer expires on Dec. 31, 2023.



Flexible deposit amounts

Cash bonus: $200 for a new checking account

Chase is a national bank that has branches in just about every state in the country. Though its certificates of deposit and savings accounts yields are below national average rates, Chase is offering a good bonus deal for opening a new checking account. You can get $200 when you open an account and receive at least $500 in direct deposits within 90 days from your employer, a pension or a government benefit (including Social Security). The only catch is that you must keep the account open for more than six months to keep the bonus.

Chase will charge a $12 monthly fee unless you set up monthly direct deposits of $500 or more, maintain a daily balance of $1,500 or maintain an average daily balance of $5,000.

This offer expires on Jan 24, 2024.

Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union

Bonus received after 12 consecutive $100 deposits

Cash bonus: $100 for a new savings account

Alliant will add to your savings account through its Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account promotion. When you open an Ultimate Savings Account and make 12 consecutive deposits of at least $100, Alliant will automatically deposit $100 in your account. Set up a recurring deposit or transfer because if you miss a month, you’ll have to start again to qualify for the bonus. You must maintain a balance of $1,200 to receive the one-time bonus. This offer is only available to new Alliant members.

This offer expires on Dec. 31, 2023.

How do bank account bonuses work?

Banks usually offer an account bonus to attract new customers. A bank will generally pay a cash bonus as high as $500 or more when you open a new account. 

You may have to jump through several hoops to receive the bonus. Conditions can include funding your account immediately, keeping your account open for a set time period, meeting a minimum daily account balance or receiving a set amount and number of monthly direct deposits within a specific period.

Bank account bonuses can be lucrative, so take note of the requirements to ensure you don’t skip a step and miss out on the bonus.

Are bank account bonuses worth it? 

If you’re already shopping for a new checking or savings account, it’s worth taking the time to review bonus offers as they can help you earn extra cash. But be mindful of the monthly fees associated with any account you’re considering as it can wipe out your gains. If, for example, you get a $200 bonus for an account that charges a $25 monthly fee, and you’re unable to waive the fee, you’ll wipe out your bonus gains in eight months.

Moreover, a bonus offer shouldn’t override accounts with better perks. It might be better, in the long run, to go with a savings account with a high annual percentage yield, or APY, and a lower bonus than one with a low APY and higher bonus, especially as there are stark differences in the market right now.

If you’re willing to meet the requirements just for a temporary period and close the account after receiving the bonus (also known as bank account churning), you may be charged an early termination fee. And bank bonuses are considered taxable income, so if you earn a handful of bonuses, you might find yourself with a tax bill at the end of the year.

Factors to consider when choosing a new bank 

As you begin your search, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will I be more comfortable with the option to speak with someone in person?
  • Are there reasons for me to visit a branch in person or can I handle my transactions online?
  • How important is having the latest technological innovations available in a bank?
  • How much do I travel and what type of banking tools do I need to access when I’m traveling?
  • How can a financial institution best help me reach both my short- and long-term financial goals?
  • Do you have enough steady income to meet minimum deposit or balance requirements?
  • Can you go without the money that would be needed to maintain that minimum deposit?

Answering the above questions should help you narrow the choice of whether a traditional bank, a fintech app or something in between could be the best financial fit overall. Once you have your shortlist, the next step is to compare the services each institution offers and make note of the fees you may be charged. Services to look for include:

  • Free checking account.
  • Savings accounts, money market accounts and/or certificates of deposit.
  • Ability to interface with peer-to-peer transaction services such as Zelle.
  • Overdraft protection.
  • Loan products.
  • Wealth management and/or professional advisory services.


Yes. Our list here is by no means exhaustive, and we base our picks on the bonus amount and accessibility. Some banks didn’t make this list because the bonus amount was too low or too cumbersome to obtain.

Generally, it’s better to go with a bank offering a higher APY than a higher bonus. A bonus is a one-time event, while banks offering competitive APYs are more likely to continue offering above average interest for your savings (even once rates dip). 

Sometimes you can find a welcome bonus offer at a bank offering a high savings APY. SoFi, for example, is offering a bonus of up to $250 and a checking and savings account at 4.50% APY once you set up a direct deposit account.

You can, but it’s not a strategy we recommend for earning passive income. Criteria for obtaining a bonus can be cumbersome, requiring you to keep the account open for a certain length of time, make qualifying direct deposits (sometimes in the thousands) and maintain daily balance amounts, not to mention the monthly maintenance fees associated with many checking and savings accounts.

Also, some banks will disqualify you from earning a bonus offer if you’ve had a negative balance in the past. Chase, for example, disqualifies customers from bonus offers if they’ve had a negative balance within the last three years.

If you do decide to try your luck scoring welcome bonuses by opening multiple accounts, it’s important to know that you’ll owe taxes on any money earned through these signup bonuses.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.


Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top