When opening a bank account, there are a few things you should be looking for: low (or no) fees, the highest interest rates possible, and promotional bonus offers.
With the latter, you can often score free money without doing anything extra. I don’t know about you, but that’s a win in my book! After all, promotional bonus cash is better than the free toasters that your local branch used to hand out, wouldn’t you agree?
Here is a list of our favorite bank deals that are available right now:
1. TD Bank Premier Checking – Get $300
This is a pretty simple bonus to earn, as long as you’re able to meet their minimum requirements. It’s available to new personal checking customers in Connecticut, Washington D.C., Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, and Vermont.
All you need to do is:
- Visit TD Bank’s website and sign up for a new TD Bank Premier Checking account.
- Set up and receive $2,500+ in direct deposits within the first 60 days of opening your account.
After you meet those requirements, TD Bank will deposit your $300 bonus into your new account.
Note: the TD Bank Premier Checking accounts do have a monthly service fee of $15. This can be waived if you keep a daily balance of at least $100.
2. Chase Total Checking® & Chase Savings – Get up to $350
This $350 bonus actually consists of two separate bonus offers. They can be combined or used separately, depending on your needs. Both offers together total $350 in free cash.
The first $200: In order to receive this bonus, you’ll need to:
- Open an approved Total Checking account as a new customer.
- Deposit a minimum of $25 at opening.
- Have a direct deposit made to this account within the first 60 days.
After completing all three of these steps, you will receive your $200 bonus in the form of a deposit into your new account, within 10 business days.
Note: Chase Total Checking® accounts do have a $12 monthly fee. This can be avoided if you a) have monthly direct deposits totaling $500+ made to the account, b) keep a minimum daily balance of $1,500+ in the account, OR c) keep an average daily balance of $5,000+ in any combination of qualifying Chase checking, savings, and other balances.
The remaining $150: Earn another $150 bonus by opening a Chase SavingsSM account as a new customer. In order to receive the bonus, you’ll need to:
- Open a new, approved Chase SavingsSM account.
- Deposit a total of $10,000 or more into the account within the first 10 business days.
- Maintain a balance of at least $10,000 for 90 days from the date of deposit
After completing all three of these steps, you’ll receive your $150 bonus in the form of a deposit into your new account. This deposit will show up within 10 business days, from the completion of the last step.
Note: Chase SavingsSM accounts do have a $5 monthly fee. This can be avoided by a) keeping a daily balance of $300+ in your savings account, b) have at least one repeating, scheduled transfer of $25+ from your Chase personal checking account (this needs to be scheduled through Chase OnlineSM Banking), OR c) have a linked Chase Premier Plus CheckingSM, Chase Premier Platinum CheckingSM, or Chase Private Client CheckingSM account.
This offer is in-branch only! In order to be eligible for these bonuses, you’ll need to visit this page, enter your email address, and print the coupon they’ll send. Then, take that coupon in to your local Chase branch to open the new account(s).
Once you complete these steps for each of the two new accounts, you’ll have earned a whopping $350 in free cash! Not a bad deal.
3. Chase Premier Plus Checking – Get $300 (expires 01/15/17)
This offer is different from the one above, and it is good through January 15, 2017. Instead of the Total Checking account mentioned in #2, this offer is for the next tier up: the Chase Premier Plus Checking account.
In order to earn your $300 bonus, you will need to:
- Open a new, approved Chase Premier Plus Checking account.
- Deposit a minimum of $25 at account opening.
- Set up your direct deposits to be made to this new account within the first 60 days.
After completing all three of these steps, Chase will deposit your $300 bonus into the new account within 10 business days. If you close this account within the first six months, however, they will deduct the full bonus amount from your closing balance!
Note: There is a $25 monthly service fee on this account, which can be waived by a) maintaining an average daily balance of $15,000+ in any combination of qualifying Chase accounts (checking, savings, and other balances), OR b) having a qualifying Chase mortgage and setting up automatic payments for it from your Premier Plus Checking account.
In order to be eligible for these bonuses, you’ll need to visit this page and either apply online or enter your email address, then print the coupon they’ll send. If you choose the latter option, you’ll then take that coupon in to your local Chase branch to open the new account(s).
4. Bank of America Checking – Get $100
If you’re new to Bank of America, here’s a $100 bonus good through the end of the year. All you’ll need to do is:
- Open a qualifying personal checking account (only available to new customers), online or in-branch; these include Core Checking® and Interest Checking® accounts.
- Deposit the minimum opening amount ($25 for Core Checking® and $100 for Interest Checking®).
- Set up two monthly direct deposits totaling $250 or more for at least the first 90 days.
Once you complete these requirements and keep your account in good standing, Bank of America will deposit your $100 bonus into the new account within 60 days.
Note: Both of these checking accounts incur monthly service fees. The Core Checking® account comes with a $12 fee, which you can have waived by a) having at least one direct deposit of $250+ made each monthly statement cycle, b) maintaining a minimum daily balance of $1,500+ each cycle, OR c) enrolling in Preferred Rewards. For Interest Checking®, the fee is $25 and can be waived by a) maintaining $10,000+ in combined balances between eligible, linked accounts each statement cycle, OR b) enrolling in Preferred Rewards.
5. Discover Cashback Checking – Get up to $120
This bonus is a little different, as the amount you’ll receive depends on the transactions you make. Oh, and it’s a recurring bonus of up to $120 a year.
If you’re an existing Discover credit card holder, you can open a new Cashback Checking account. Then, you’ll earn $0.10 in rewards each time you write a check, make a purchase using your debit card, or pay a bill online. There are no monthly service fees or balance requirements involved with these checking accounts.
6. Santander Bank Checking – Get $150 (expires 12/31/16)
This offer is only valid through 12/31/16, so be sure to jump quickly if you want the free $150. All you need to do is:
- Open an eligible checking account at Santander Bank as a new customer. These include the Simply Right®, Basic, and Premier Plus checking accounts.
- Make the minimum deposit ($25 for Simply Right® and Basic accounts, $50 for Premier Plus).
- Have direct deposits of $500+ made into the account within the first 90 days.
- Keep your account open for 90+ days.
Once all four of these requirements are met, the bank will deposit your $150 bonus into your new account within 30 days.
Note: These accounts each incur a monthly service fee. These can be waived in the following ways:
- Simply Right® ($10 fee) — All you need to do is make any financial transaction that posts within that calendar month. This includes deposits, withdrawals, transfers, or payments. Anything.
- The $3 monthly fee for the Basic checking account cannot be waived.
- Premier Plus ($35 fee) – Make a total of $6,000+ in direct deposits each month OR maintain a combined $75,000 in deposits + balances with Santander Investment Services.
You can apply online at Santander Bank, or go online to print a coupon and open your account in-branch.
7. Fifth Third Essential Checking® – Get $200 (expires 12/31/16)
This is another offer that is only good through the end of the year. It’s available to residents of Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia. In order to get your free $200, you’ll need to:
- Open a new, qualifying account online, in-branch, or by phone.
- Deposit a minimum of $50.
- Make at least three bill payments online.
- Set up a qualifying direct deposit within the first 90 days.
Once you meet all four requirements, you’ll receive your $200 bonus in the form of a deposit into your new account, within six weeks.
Note: The Essential Checking® account comes with an $11 monthly service fee. The fee drops to $8 a month if you have a monthly direct deposit totaling $500+.
Either of these fees can be waived if you a) maintain a combined monthly balance of $1,500 or more between your eligible accounts, b) spend $500 or more each month on a Fifth Third credit card, c) currently hold a balance on an existing Fifth Third mortgage, auto loan, or personal line of credit, d) are a current or former member of the US military and make monthly direct deposits of $500 or more, e) have a valid student ID, f) are a member of your employer’s Fifth Third banking benefits program and make monthly direct deposits of $500 or more, OR g) have a Business Premium or Business Elite Checking account.
8. M&T Bank Checking – Get $150 (expires 12/31/16)
If you live in Connecticut, Washington D.C., Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, or West Virginia and want to open a new checking account before 12/31/16, this offer is one way for you to earn $150 free from M&T Bank. You’ll need to:
- Open a new personal checking account online or in-branch (with this printed coupon).
- Make one qualifying direct deposit of $100 or more within the first 90 days.
- Keep your account open for at least 90 days more
That’s it. M&T Bank will deposit your $150 bonus cash into your new account within 90 days of the direct deposit.
Note: M&T Bank’s EZChoice Checking accounts come with a $6.95 monthly service fee. This can be waived by simply making one deposit to or withdrawal from the account during that charge cycle.
9. Charles Schwab – Get $100
If you are new to Charles Schwab, you can open one of a number of accounts, and earn $100 cash. This includes their personal banking accounts, as long as it is linked to a Schwab One® brokerage account. You’ll need to:
- Open a Schwab Bank Checking account through this link or by calling 800-398-8640 and mentioning the code REFER.
- Fund the account with any amount you choose — there is no minimum opening deposit OR minimum balance!
- Your application will automatically open a Schwab Bank brokerage account for you, too, which will be linked to the checking account.
- Fund the second account with any amount your choose — this account also has no minimum deposit or balance requirements.
- Keep the accounts open for a minimum of one year, to avoid the bonus being charged back.
Even if you put a single penny in these accounts, you’ll still receive your bonus of $100 about a month after opening them. Then, just keep the account open for a year. There are no monthly service fees and no minimums, so it’s a pretty easy way to earn free cash.
**Please note: While this is a very easy bonus to earn, without any big requirements, you need to watch the application process. Charles Schwab will often use a hard pull inquiry when opening accounts, especially for new-to-CS customers. This may be worth it to you (or it may not), but just be aware of the possibility.
10. Regions Bank Checking and Savings – Get up to $100
This one isn’t an instant-gratification bonus, but it’s free money, nonetheless. All you’ll need to do is:
- Open a Regions Bank LifeGreen® Checking account and a LifeGreen® Savings account.
- Link the two.
- Set up monthly automatic transfers of at least $10 from checking to savings, for an entire year.
At the end of the year, Regions will give you a 1% annual savings bonus, up to a maximum of $100. Oh, and there are no monthly fees with the checking account.
11. Capital One 360 Checking – Get $100 (expires 12/31/16)
Yet another bonus good through the end of the year, but if this is your first Capital One 360 account, it’s a nice freebie. You’ll need to:
- Open a qualifying Capital One 360 checking account through this link and accepts the terms and conditions (they stress this part, for some reason).
- Set up and receive a minimum of two direct deposits totaling $250+ in the first 60 days.
After you complete those two requirements, you’ll receive your $100 bonus deposit about 90 days later. There are no minimum balance requirements or monthly service fees associated with this account.
Updated September 23, 2017 and originally published November 7, 2016.