I Ranked 9 Checking Account Bonuses Based On Their Welcome Offer

Banks offer sign-up bonuses to attract new customers. For checking accounts, the bonuses can be at least $100. That’s less expensive than launching a TV commercial campaign or buying ads in a magazine. It’s a win-win scenario as it saves them money and gives you an incentive to open an account.

I’ve done this for over 20+ years and have continuously monitored the internet for the latest offers. I compared and analyzed hundreds of personal checking accounts from banks and credit unions that offer a sign-up bonus for new account holders.

To rank the best checking account bonuses, I consider the following: my personal experience, amount of bonus, reasonable bonus requirements, and nationwide availability. All accounts listed here are either FDIC or NCUA-insured up to the maximum limit.

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission at no cost to you if you decide to make a purchase through my links. Visit this page for more information. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired.

1. Chase Total Checking® Account ($300)

Open a new Chase Total Checking account to earn a $300 welcome bonus, one of the easiest bank account opening bonuses available.

Simply open your account by July 24, 2024 and make direct deposits totaling $500 or more within 90 days of coupon enrollment. You’ll receive your $300 bonus within 15 business days of completing the offer requirements.

This checking account has a $12 monthly fee, but that can be waived if you meet at least one of the following criteria in each monthly statement period:

  • Execute direct deposits totaling $500 or more made to the account OR
  • Maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance OR
  • Maintain an average daily balance of $5,000 or more in qualifying linked deposits or investments OR
  • Pay at least $25 or more in qualifying checking-related services or fees

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC.

2. Key Smart Checking® Account ($200)

You can get a $200 bonus when you open a Key Smart Checking account by July 19, 2024, make an opening deposit of $10, and have one qualified direct deposit of at least $500 within the first 60 days of account opening.

You’ll receive a $200 cash bonus within 90 days of meeting the offer requirements. Your account must not be closed or restricted during the time of the promotional period.

Key Smart Checking is a simple checking account with no monthly maintenance fee, no minimum balance requirement, and $0 KeyBank and Allpoint® ATM access nationwide with your KeyBank Debit Mastercard®.

This offer is only available if you live in the following 15 states: AK, CO, CT, ID, IN, ME, MA, MI, NY, OH, OR, PA, UT, VT, WA.
KeyBank, Member FDIC.

3. Chase Private Client Checking℠ ($3,000)

This is the highest welcome bonus on my list. Get up to $3,000 when you open a Chase Private Client Checking account make qualifying transfers of new money or securities. The more you transfer over, the bigger your bonus:

Total TransferBonus
$150,000$1,000
$250,000$2,000
$500,000$3,000

Bonus Requirements:

  1. Get a Chase Private Client upgrade code by submitting your email address via the link below.
  2. Speak with a Private Client Banker to open a Chase Private Client Checking account at your nearest branch or over the phone.
  3. Fund your account with qualifying new money or securities to a combination of eligible checking, savings and/or J.P. Morgan investment accounts within 45 days of coupon enrollment. Your bonus will be determined on day 45.
  4. Maintain your new money for 90 days and enjoy your bonus – Chase will add it into your account within 40 days.

Chase Private Client is a program offered to Chase customers that keep a substantial amount of money in Chase banking and investment accounts. I think of it as an account for VIP customers that comes with many perks and benefits.

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC.

4. U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking Account ($700)

You can earn up to $700 when you open a new U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking account and a Standard Savings account and complete qualifying activities.

1) U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking Account Bonus Requirements – Earn up to $500 with a new Bank Smartly Checking account. Complete the following within 90 days of account opening:

  1. Enroll in online banking or the U.S. Bank Mobile App.
  2. Make two or more direct deposits totaling $3,000 to $4,999.99 to earn $100, $5,000 to $9,999.99 to earn $400, or $10,000 or more to earn $500.

2) U.S. Bank Standard Savings Bonus Requirements – Earn up to $200 with a new Standard Savings account:

  1. Make new money deposit(s) totaling $15,000 or more by July 17, 2024.
  2. Maintain that balance until October 31, 2024.

The checking account includes unique features and benefits, including:

  • Direct deposit switch
    • U.S. Bank has made it easier than ever to switch direct deposit with their industry-leading, secure, automated process.
    • The automated process makes it easier than ever to set up or switch direct deposit.
  • U.S. Bank Smart Rewards®
    • Bank more, get more. Bigger savings and fewer fees with personalized Smart Rewards. Sign up for Smart Rewards with your Bank Smartly Checking account.
    • Unlock fewer fees and personalized rewards. Sign up for Smart Rewards after opening your Bank Smartly Checking account.

Subject to certain terms and limitations. Offer valid through June 27, 2024. Member FDIC. Offer may not be available if you live outside of the U.S. Bank footprint or are an existing client of U.S. Bank or State Farm.

5. SoFi Checking and Savings Account ($325)

SoFi has a combo checking and savings account that gives the best of both worlds: a savings component that provides a very competitive APY and a checking account that allows you to pay your bills.

It’s also offering a welcome bonus up to $325 for first-time customers that open an account and set up direct deposits. You’ll get $25 of the bonus as soon as you open the account and fund it with $50 or more.

Then receive up to $300 based on your total direct deposit amount made within the Direct Deposit Bonus Period, which begins when SoFi receives a direct deposit and ends 25 calendar days later:

Deposit AmountBonus
$1,000 – $4,999$50
$5,000+$300

6. Fifth Third Checking Account ($200)

Grab a $200 sign-up bonus when you open a new Fifth Third Momentum or Fifth Third Preferred checking account and make direct deposits totaling $500 or more within 90 days of account opening. The $200 bonus will be added to your new account within 10 business days of completing qualifying activity requirements.

This offer is available in the following 11 states, but you must apply before the expiration date of June 30, 2024:

  • FL
  • GA
  • IL
  • IN
  • KY
  • MI
  • NC
  • OH
  • TN
  • WV
  • SC

I recommend choosing the Momentum Checking Account as this product has no monthly service fees, no minimum balance requirements, and fee-free access to over 50,000 partner ATMs nationwide. The Preferred Checking Account charges a $25 monthly service fee, but the fee is waived if you have a combined total balance of at least $100,000 across Fifth Third deposit and investment accounts.

7. Axos Bank ($300)

Open a new Axos Rewards Checking account by June 30, 2024 and get a $300 cash bonus when you make a total of at least $5,000 in qualifying direct deposits each calendar month during the first seven (7) calendar months your account is open.

Bonus Requirements:

  1. Open a new Axos Rewards Checking account using the link below.
  2. Apply the promo code AXOS300 during account sign-up.
  3. Make one or more direct deposits totaling $5,000 each calendar month during the first seven (7) calendar months your account is open.
  4. Maintain a minimum average daily balance of $7,000 in your Rewards Checking account.
  5. Receive a $300 welcome bonus deposited into your checking account within 5 business days of your third statement cycle date.

A unique feature of this checking account is the ability to earn up to a 3.30% APY (rate as of 5/1/24) that’s based on the products and services you use during the month. For example, you can enjoy an APY boost for actions like making a direct deposit of at least $1,500 or for using your debit card 10 times (min. $3 per transaction).

Axos Bank, Member FDIC.

8. Wells Fargo Everyday Checking ($325)

Wells Fargo is offering a $325 bonus when you open a new Wells Fargo Everyday Checking account with a minimum opening deposit of $25 and make qualifying electronic direct deposits totaling $1,000 or more within 90 days of account opening.

This account is Wells Fargo’s most popular consumer checking product. While there’s a $10 monthly service fee, it can be avoided with one of the following during each fee period:

  • $500 minimum daily balance
  • $500 or more in total qualifying direct deposits
  • primary account owner is 17-24 years old
  • link to a Wells Fargo Campus ATM Card or Campus Debit Card
  • qualifying monthly non-civilian military direct deposit

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Member FDIC.

9. Citi Checking Account ($300)

You can enjoy a $300 cash bonus when you open a Citi checking account by July 8, 2024 and complete qualifying activities. To earn the bonus, complete the following:

  • Open a new eligible Citi checking account with Enhanced Direct Deposits.
  • Make at least two Enhanced Direct Deposits of at least $1,500 combined into your Citi Checking account within 90 days of account opening.

Deposit your way from recurring paychecks, retirement payments, pensions, and more. Your cash bonus will be deposited into your open checking account 30 days after completing the requirements.

There’s a monthly service fee of $5 or $15 depending on which checking account you open, but it’s waived when you have at least $250 in Enhanced Direct Deposits within a monthly billing cycle.

The Bottom Line

These are several hand-picked selections by me, but there are a lot more offers from other banks, credit unions, and financial institutions.

It’s nice that many banks are willing to provide a welcome bonus to try out a new account, but remember that you shouldn’t choose a bank account based solely on a bonus. Review its features and benefits to see if it’s the right one for you.

For example, while it’s nice if a savings account has a sign-up offer, you could end up losing money in the long-term by saving your money in an account with a low interest rate. This is even more important if you’re planning to save a sizeable amount of money in it.

Take my real life situation. I have $250,000 that I’m using to purchase an investment property with next year. I can put that money into a savings account that offers a $200 bonus, but the yield is only 0.50%. After one year, I’d earn just $1,250 in interest.

Instead, I opened an account with UFB Direct that earns 5.25% APY. That will pay me $13,125 in interest the first year. That’s a difference of $11,675 ($200 bonus + $1,250 interest compared to $13,125 in interest)!

About John Pham

John Pham is a personal finance expert, serial entrepreneur, and founder of The Money Ninja. He has also been fortunate enough to have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, and U.S. News & World Report. John has a B.S. in Entrepreneurship and a Masters in Business Administration, both from the University of New Hampshire.

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