Top 5 Checking Account Promotions and Bonuses!

June 27, 2013 19 Comments »
Top 5 Checking Account Promotions and Bonuses!

Banks will do all they can to snap up new accounts. Checking accounts, being gateway-accounts for the banks, tend to command the most in terms of rewards and bonuses. While the checking account themselves rarely make the banks any money, the prospect of signing you up for a mortgage, credit card, and/or jumbo CD sometime in the future is what makes  banks so giddy about starting a relationship.

Although we only originally featured the best 5 checking bonuses available, this list has since evolved into the best 8 (with a runner-up award). So without further ado, here are the top 10 checking account promotions available in 2013 (updated monthly).

If you know of a checking bonus that you think we’ve missed please share by leaving a comment. Any associated coupon code for the account would be helpful too!

 

#1 Capital One “360 Checking” with $50 Sign-up Bonus + Interest Rate

cap_one_360_checkingHere’s our favorite checking bonus available in 2013. It’s the only checking account that comes with a cash bonus for signing up AND an interest rate. I know interest rates are low right now, but this is a variable rate that will rise as interest rates rise! We also like Capital One’s checking account for three additional reasons – A) the widespread availability of this account. Capital One’s 360 checking account is available throughout the country and can be opened online. B) It’s a straight forward checking account with no fees, no minimum balance requirements and no ATM surcharges. C) Despite the horrible savings environment this account still offers an interest rate and is FDIC insured. With many of the country’s most well known banks (BofA, Wells Fargo and, most recently, CitiBank) imposing fees on checking accounts and debit card usage, it’s nice to see one account still offering no fee checking accounts with interest AND a sweet $50 bonus for signing up!

[Visit Capital One's $50 Checking Promotional Page Here.]

 

#2 PNC Bank Checking Account – $150 Bonus

PNC-150-bonusTaking the number 2 spot is a solid promotion being held by PNC Bank from now until the end of July 2013. For new customers depositing at least $2000 into a PNC checking account within 60 days of opening the account are entitled to $150 from PNC bank as a thank you for signing up. Use this link to open an account online or have them mail you a coupon which you can bring into a physical location. PNC’s checking account bonus is eligible for residents in the following states - AL, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MD, MI, MO, NC, NJ, OH, PA, SC, VA and WI.

 

#3 Chase Bank Checking Account Bonus – Between $100-$200

[Available with direct mail coupon code only] Here is another checking account promotion that almost always seems to be available in some shape or form. The bonus associated with Chase Bank’s checking account usually varies between $100 and $200. Basically you just need to set up a direct deposit with their “Chase Total Checking Account” either by stopping into a local branch or by having the coupon emailed to you. Their latest promo is dated to expire at the end of 2013. Visit Chase.com to view most updated terms. You can also purchase a coupon code for the $200 bonus on E-Bay for $15…so your bounty amounts to just $185. Be sure to see the fee structure associated with the total checking account. It can get pretty pricey for someone without much cash in it!

 

#4 Perkstreet Checking Account – 2% Cash Back

Some Perkstreet account holders are seeing up to $1,000 cash back from their debit card each year. Perkstreet Financial came on the scene a while back with a unique approach to checking. They created an online checking account with a cash back rewards structure that rivaled some of the top cash back credit card offers. Today, upon opening the account, you’ll get 2% cash back on your shopping and bills along with 5% cash back on purchases from select merchants. You’ll also get free checking at 37,000 ATMs nationwide and the account is FDIC insured.

[Go to Perkstreet to learn more about the account.

 

#5 US Bank Checking/Savings Account – $100

Here’s another bonus that requires opening two accounts. Open a US Bank checking account and make a monthly recurring payment to your US Bank money market or savings account and earn a total of $100 over the course of a year. They’ll give you a rewards card worth $50 just for signing up for the accounts and depositing $1,000. If you then keep your average balance above $1,000 for 365 days, they’ll give you another $50 rewards card. Visit USBank.com for more information.

 

Local Checking Deals Only

 

#6 First Trade Union Bank Bonus – $100 – Northeast

first_trade_union_bank_checking_bonus First Trade Union Bank has a “Virtual Checking Account” featuring a bonus of up to $100. The bonus is good on any new accounts opened before June 30, 2013, although there’s a good chance this date may be extended. Like a couple of the other checking bonuses mentioned here, the $100 is broken down into two payments that are dependent on you making a few qualifying actions.  To earn the first $50 you must set up at least one direct deposit of $50 or more. To earn the second $50 you’ll have to set up an automatic bill pay. While these actions may seem simple they are essentially demanding that this be used as your primary checking account. To see other accounts offering rewards based on similar criteria, check out our coverage of “rewards checking accounts.” You may find a better deal based on above average interest rates rather than one-time cash bonuses.

 

#7 Citizens Bank Checking Bonus – $150 – EastCoast

To much is given, much is expected. That’s the case for this $150 bonus associated with Citizens Bank. They break this bonus into three segments – each worth $50. The first $50 comes after you make your initial direct deposit of at least $500. The second comes after enrolling in online bill pay and making 3 online bill payments. The third $50 comes as a final bonus for meeting the first two step requirements by 4/30/2013. Note – although it is past the date, their promotional page (link below) is still active so we are assuming they will still honor the deal.

 

Go to Citizens Bank’s $150 checking promotional page here for further information.

 

#8 HomeStreet Bank – $300 – Pacific Northwest/Hawaii

homestreetbank_300Here’s a pretty significant bonus that requires several actions on your part to earn the full $300 bounty. In a nut shell they have basically 3 different account types all with different features and a different set of potential fees (pay attention to minimum balance requirements). You can earn the bonus with any of the 3 checking account offers. The breakdown is as follows – earn $100 or the initial direct deposit, earn $80 in $2 increments for each purchase with your debit card. $15 per online bill payment (up to $75), $25 for your old check book, and $20 when you sign up for e-statements. Whew…think you can handle all that?

 

#9 Bethpage Federal Credit union  - 1.00% APY + $50 Bonus – New York

Screen Shot 2013-06-27 at 12.31.46 PMIm always a sucker for an account that offers an interest rate plus a cash bonus (even when interest rates are this terrible), that is why I like the offer from Bethpage. Granted most of you wont be able to take advantage of it since it’s geographically exclusive to residents in Long Island, NY, but I still think its worth a mention. The account comes with a 1.0% interest rate, a $50 bonus and no ATM fees. You’ll have to join Bethpage FCU before opening the account. Visit their promotional page here.

 

#10 M&T Bank – $100 Cash – East Coast

Screen Shot 2013-06-27 at 12.38.36 PMWe like this offer from M&T and have reported on it a number of times in the past as it disappears and reemerges regularly throughout the year. Currently those living on the East Coast can simply sign up for a new M&T bank checking account and will get a cool $100 deposited into their account after 90 days of opening it. One thing to keep in mind is you’ll need to make either 10 debit card transactions per month or keep an average minimum daily balance of $500 to avoid a $6.95 monthly fee. Visit MTB.com for further details.

 

CiT Bank Online Savings Account – 0.90% to 1.00% APY

CitSavingsOk ok, so it’s not technically a checking account, however, we really like CiT bank’s new online savings account because of it’s low minimum balance requirement and it’s generous interest rate. If you want to compare it to a checking account with a bonus then look at it this way – if you keep on average, say $10,000 in the account throughout the year – then that’s equivalent to a $90 bonus each and every year. Compare that to a one-off $100 bonus for signing-up and you see why we chose it for the number 2 spot. That being said, if you have just a smaller amount to stick in the account, then the rewards are obviously much less. There are zero fees with the account and the minimum opening balance requirement is just $100. One negative aspect of the account (and the primary factor separating it from a traditional checking account) is that you are allowed just 6 withdrawals per month. You’ll earn 0.90% APY on balances under $25k and 1.00% on balances above that amount. Additional perks – Free online transfers, Free incoming wire transfers, Free outgoing wire transfers, and zero account closure fees. Visit BankonCit.com for more information.

Runner-up Award: Sovereign Bank -Three checking account promotions available. Promotions consist of $125, $75 and $50 cash bonuses for account holders. Their “premier checking package” provides the $125 bounty but you’ll have to pay close attention to the fee structure to avoid getting dinged. All of Sovereign Bank’s checking packages come with minimum balance requirements to avoid fees – which is why it didn’t quite make the cut this year.

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  • shannon

    Here is one you missed!

    Bank of the West has a $100 checking account promotion. apply for any of their free checking, interest checking or something called choice checking and will get $100 for free.

    here is the URL

    https://www.bankofthewest.com/campaigns/personal-banking/checking2.html

    here is the fine print

    Offer not available for existing Bank of the West checking customers with an open account as of 1/31/11. Offer valid for new personal checking accounts opened from 2/14/11–3/25/11 with a minimum checking account opening deposit of $100 or more with funds new to Bank of the West. New personal checking account customers must either establish a monthly direct deposit of $250+ each deposit with the first deposit posting to the account within 60 calendar days of account opening or, make 10 payments of at least $25 per payment to a third party business using Bank of the West Online Banking within 60 calendar days of account opening. Two or more direct deposits that add up to $250 do not qualify. The 10 bill payments must be successfully completed and payment posted to your account within the promotional period to qualify Offer subject to change or termination without prior notice at the Bank’s discretion. Offer cannot be combined with any other offer and does not apply to second or multiple checking accounts. Limit of one $100 bonus per address per 13-month period. Customers who received a bonus from Bank of the West between 1/1/10 to 1/31/11 are not eligible. Account must be in good standing to be eligible to receive the bonus. Accounts with a zero balance, overdrawn or closed at the time the bonus is awarded are not eligible. Any applicable taxes are the responsibility of the account holder. All accounts are subject to the Bank’s standard terms and conditions and fee schedule. ©2011 Bank of the West. Member FDIC.

  • BankVibe

    Nice find Shannon! Thanks for the tip, I think we’ll cover this offer more extensively in an upcoming post. Thanks again!

  • JsS

    What is up with the Bank of Georgia 2% cashback checking account? Is that deal to be trusted? I saw it online someplace in forum comments, but otherwise there’s practically no reaction to it.

    It seems like a very good deal with the most straightforward rewards, but is anyone actually signing up?

  • BankVibe

    Hey JsS, the Bank of Georgia cash back offer is definitely a decent offer as well. I think it made some noise when it first came out, but PerkStreet has done far more to market their cash back checking account than BofG did. The primary pitfall with that account is that you can only earn up to $30 cash back per month with it…

  • JsS

    Thanks for the info on the Bank of Georgia. I came across their deal last week, and there was nothing useful about them online. No reviews, nothing. I’m glad you think it’s a decent offer. There’s no way I’m going to spend $1,500 a month to get the max $30 with them, so that limit is not a negative for me. PerkStreet is a hassle with their minimum balances, gift cards, and I don’t find their 5% offers personally useful… Time to check out that bank of georgia with their simple 2% back :)

  • frank f

    Is the flip phone still available???? I have emailed them about the offer twice and haven’t heard back. Please let me know!

  • BankVibe

    Frank – that deal is no longer available. but they reinstate it fairly often. When it does become available you must act fast though, because I believe they only get a limited number to give-away. they should be offering the deal again shortly.

  • at

    Avoid the citibank offer, here’s the fine print …

    “Citibank Account Balance Requirements: There’s no monthly service fee if you maintain a $15,000 combined average monthly balance requirement in eligible products; otherwise $20.00 monthly service fee is applied. Eligible products are linked deposits, loans, mortgages, and investment accounts. Ask for details.”

  • Sam J.

    A cash back checking account is probably going to get you more $$ in the long run than any of these signing bonus accounts. All of them come with monthly fees. Ridiculous.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/IHKM4RNVH3UUP35GTH2XI5KW6A Norse Thunderstorm

      Why not do both?

  • Tony w

    I joined chase back in sept 2012 I got my $150 checking plus $50 for opening a credit card have not paid one fee for either of them. Did do direct deposit. Also got interest free on the credit card for 15 months. Very pleased.

  • Jim

    I believe the Citizens offer has expired…

  • admin

    @ JIm – you’re right, the $225 Citizens Bank checking bonus expired on the 7th of December. They still have the URL live though despite it being expired:

    citizensbank.com/225/

    It’ll likely be reinstated sometime in 2013 would be my guess.

  • Andrew

    BB&T has a nice offer for $125 to open a new account, only need to make one qualifying direct deposit or initiate 5 online bill pays…monthly service fees can be waived by maintaining $1500 balance average monthly.

  • Michael

    BBVA Compass has a free Kindle Fire when you open a checking account.

    http://www.bbvacompass.com/special/201301/kindle/?cid=01162013SpecialKindle_int

    Expires 3/31/13

  • Jesse

    SmarterBucks.com

  • http://twitter.com/pfdeals pfdeals

    Bank of America also has a nice offer: $100 bonus for new checking accounts. You need to have a code for it though.

  • Josh Josh

    perkstreet isn’t all that great. I was getting only 1% from them. it has been awhile since they’ve offered 2% on purchases, except for a narrow selection of online only bonus merchants, which was a smaller subset of what you can get from other cards anyway.

  • http://www.doctorofcredit.com/ doctorofcredit

    It should be noted that some of these accounts are hard pulls to open.