We just opened a new checking account at Capital One 360 (formerly ING Direct). We not only got a $50 bonus, but we earn interest on our balance. This experience got me to wondering just how many great checking account promotions are available.
With a little bit of research, we came up with what I believe are the 20 best checking account deals and promotions you’ll find anywhere. We’ve divided the deals between those offering cash bonuses and those offering other rewards. If you know of others, please leave a comment below with the details.
Cash & APY Bonuses
1. Chase Bank – $300 Cash Bonus
To get the $300 bonus: 1) Open a new Chase Premier Plus Checking account, which is subject to approval; 2) Deposit $25 or more at account opening; AND 3) Have your direct deposit made to this account within 60 days of account opening.
2. Chase Bank – $150 Cash Bonus
Similar to the $300 bonus above, you can earn a $150 bonus with a Chase Total Checking account. To receive the $150 checking bonus: 1) Open a new Chase Total Checking account, which is subject to approval; 2) Deposit $25 or more at account opening; AND 3) Have your direct deposit made to this account within 60 days of account opening. Minimums to avoid monthly service charge are much lower with this account.
3. Everbank — Bonus APY
First-time account holders at Everbank can get a 1.40% bonus APY for the first six months on deposits up to $50,000. A minimum opening balance of $1,500 is required.
4. FNBO Direct – 0.65%
With cash bonuses you usually get a very low interest rate. That’s why I included Everbank’s bonus APY above. With FNBO Direct you get 0.65%. While it can change as interest rates change (they’ll probably go up!), this is NOT a bonus rate. It’s FNBO’s current rate on its checking account. There are no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements.
5. U.S. Bank – $100 Cash Back
Just open a U.S. Bank Package Checking Account, enroll in the S.T.A.R.T. program, and set up your account to automatically transfer money to savings. When you save $1,000, you get a $50 rewards card. If you keep that $1,000 for a year, you’ll get another $50 rewards card.
6. Citibank – $400 Gift Card Bonus
When you open an eligible Citi checking account, you can get up to $400 in gift cards. You’ll earn Citi ThankYou points that can be redeemed for the gift cards.
7. Capital One – $300 Cash Bonus (Business Checking)
Deposit at least $3,000 to a new Capital One Business Checking account within 30 days of account opening and get a $300 credit to your account. I’m in the process of taking advantage of this offer.
8. Bank of the West – $150 Cash Back
Open an Easy Checking or Choice Interest Checking with Bank of the West and get up to $150 back. You can get a $100 bonus for a qualifying direct deposit, and another $50 for qualified debit card usage. Be sure to read the fine print on this one. For the debit card bonus, you must “use a new Bank of the West Debit Card for 10 or more debit card purchases per month for each of the two full calendar months immediately following the month of account opening. Each purchase must be $3 or more. All required purchases must be posted by 5/31/13.” Also, these accounts to come with a monthly maintenance charge, but it can be waived if you maintain a certain minimum balance, use the debit card a certain number of times, or use direct deposit.
9. BB&T – $125 Cash Back
Just open a personal checking account and then sign up for bill pay or direct deposit. You’ll get $125 cash back for an eligible checking account until May 31st. BB&T is very popular in Northern Virginia where I live, but it may not be available everywhere.
10. HomeStreet Bank – Up to $300 Cash Back
Open a checking account with HomeStreet Bank and you can earn money for different activities. For instance, you could get $100 for setting up direct deposit, another $80 for using your Visa Check Card ($2 per purchase up to $80), and another $75 for using online bill payment ($15 per payment up to $75). HomeStreet also puts a twist on cash bonuses. The bank will give you $25 for giving them your old checks and debit card from your old bank ($15 for your check card and $2 per pad for checks up to $10) and $20 for signing up to receive FREE e-statements.
11. Astoria Federal – $50 Direct Deposit Bonus
When you open an Astoria Federal checking account and activate direct deposit, you’ll get a $50 bonus deposited into your account.
12. Key Bank – $150 Cash Bonus
When you switch to Key Bank and open a checking account, you can get $150 cash back. Key Bank also offers a unique Relationship Rewards program where you can earn points by using your account or debit card. Note that this offer is available online only.
13. First Trade Bank – $100 Cash Bonus
Open a Virtual Checking account with First Trade Bank, and earn $50 for enrolling in direct deposit, $25 for depositing a check with the First Trade Deposit app, and another $25 for enrolling in bill pay.
14. Bank of America – Up to $250 Cash
For the first three months after enrollment, Bank of America will match 100% of your Keep the Change contributions, up to $250.
15. PNC – $150 Cash
Open a Virtual Wallet account with direct deposit and online bill pay, make one payment via PNC Online Bill Pay, and receive a $150 reward to your account. These accounts also pay interest.
16. Sovereign Bank – Up to $125 Cash
Open an online checking package by March 31st at Sovereign Bank and make five debit card purchases or one direct deposit by May 31st to qualify for a $50, $75, or $125 reward, depending on your checking package.
17. BankDirect – AAdvantage Miles
With the BankDirect Mileage Checking Account, you can earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles. Get an extra 1,000 mils for opening an account, 5,000 miles for initiating direct deposit, and 2,000 miles for using their bill pay service.
18. BBVA Compass Bank – Free Kindle Fire HD
Get a free Kindle Fire HG when you open an account, make three qualifying payments with Online Bill Pay, and receive one qualifying direct deposit.
19. First Bank – iPod Touch or Kindle Fire
When you open a free checking account and sign up for direct deposit and online bill pay, you can get either an iPod Touch or a Kindle Fire.
20. Bank of America – McAfee Internet Security
Sign up for online banking with Bank of America, and get a free year’s subscription to McAfee Internet Security, and 50% off your second year’s subscription.
Note that the difference between the Chase Total Checking account with a $150 cash bonus and the Chase Premier Plus Checking account with a $300 cash bonus is the monthly fees. Chase Total Checking has no Monthly Service Fee when you do at least one of the following each statement period: Option #1: Have monthly direct deposits totaling $500 or more made to this account; OR, Option #2: Keep a minimum daily balance of $1,500 or more in your checking account; OR, Option #3: Keep an average daily balance of $5,000 or more in any combination of qualifying Chase checking, savings and other balances. Otherwise a $12 Monthly Service Fee will apply.
In contrast, Chase Premier Plus Checking has no Monthly Service Fee when you do at least one of the following each statement period: Option #1: Keep an average daily balance of $15,000 or more in any combination of qualifying Chase checking, savings and other balances; OR, Option #2: Have automatic payments to your qualifying linked Chase mortgage from your Chase account. Payments set up through Online Bill Pay do not qualify. Mortgages must be in good standing and be first mortgages with servicing retained by Chase. Otherwise a $25 Monthly Service Fee will apply.
If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, check out our list of free checking account offers.