What Counts As A Direct Deposit When It Comes To Bank Sign-Up Bonuses?

A lot of bank account sign-up bonuses require a direct deposit, but not all banks have the same view on what counts as a direct deposit. Below I’ll list the best bank sign-up bonuses and what they consider a direct deposit!

What Is A Direct Deposit?

Most people think direct deposits are when you electronically deposit your employer’s paycheck or government benefits to your savings or checking account.

While that’s true, you don’t necessarily need to do that when it comes to bank sign-up bonuses. Changing where your paycheck or benefits are deposited can also be time-consuming.

Luckily, banks are more flexible on what they count as a direct deposit when it comes to bonuses. Transferring money electronically from one of your existing bank accounts to the new bank account will work in a lot of cases.

The list below shows what banks count as a direct deposit simply by transferring funds with an electronics fund transfer (EFT). Just be sure you’re making a push transfer and not a pull transfer – more on this below.

Each bank is different on what counts so be sure to use one that’s listed under the specific bank you’re applying for.

We’ll keep this post as a running list, so bookmark this page as a future reference to see what banks count as a direct deposit when it comes to bank account opening sign up bonuses.

What Is The Difference Between A Push Or Pull Transfer?

You should always do a push transfer and not a pull transfer in order to qualify bank bonuses. What’s the difference between the two?

  • Push Transfer: You’re logging on to an existing bank account and transferring money to your new bank account (pushing a deposit)
  • Pull Transfer: You’re logging into your new bank account and transferring money to it from another bank account you have (pulling a deposit)

For all other intents and purposes, there really isn’t a difference between to two, but for triggering bank bonuses, banks see a push transfer as something that qualifies as a direct deposit.

Ninja Note: Looking for the best bank account bonuses? See the entire list on this page.

List Of Banks (in alphabetical order)

Associated Bank

$500 Checking Bonus

The following counts as a direct deposit:

  • Ally Bank
  • PNC

Axos Bank

$100 Checking + Savings Bonus

The following counts as a direct deposit:

  • Data points being verified – to be updated

BBVA

$250 Checking + Savings Bonus

The following counts as a direct deposit:

  • Capital One 360
  • Charles Schwab
  • Fidelity
  • First Tech Credit Union
  • Merrill Edge
  • PayPal (seems to no longer work as of 2/2020)
  • Provident Credit Union
  • TD Ameritrade

Capital One 360

$1,000 Savings Bonus | $400 Checking Bonus | $250 Checking Bonus

The following counts as a direct deposit:

  • Ally
  • Charles Schwab
  • Clearview
  • Discover Savings
  • E*Trade
  • Fidelity
  • Fifth Third
  • First Tennessee
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Robinhood
  • TD Ameritrade
  • Vanguard

Chase Bank

$600 Checking + Savings Bonus | $500 Checking + Savings Bonus | $225 Checking Bonus | $25 Kids Bonus

Ninja Update 6/1/2021: For Chase, if your transfer has the description “PPD ID/ACH Transfer”, most likely that means it’s a valid transfer that will trigger the bonus. Anything with a “P2P” in it will no longer work.

The following counts as a direct deposit:

  • Ameritrade
  • CBC Federal Credit Union
  • Circle Pay
  • CIT Bank
  • Connexus Federal Credit Union
  • Consumers Credit Union
  • DoorDash
  • Elements Financial
  • Fidelity Investments (doesn’t seem to be working anymore)
  • First Technology Credit Union
  • Firstrade
  • Freshbooks WePay
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Google Adsense
  • Gulf Winds Federal Credit Union
  • Gusto
  • Keesler Federal
  • M1 Finance
  • MarketForce Payroll
  • Mercari
  • M&T Bank
  • Northern Bank
  • Orion Federal Credit Union
  • PenFed
  • Provident Credit Union
  • Robinhood (doesn’t seem to be working anymore)
  • Santander Bank (mixed reports since 2020)
  • SoFi Invest
  • SoFi Money
  • Stanford Federal Credit Union
  • TD Ameritrade
  • T-Mobile Money
  • Transferwise
  • Uber
  • Uber Eats
  • University Federal Credit Union
  • Vanguard (doesn’t seem to be working anymore)
  • Wealthfront
  • Wisebanyan

Chime

$100 Sign Up Bonus

The following counts as a direct deposit:

  • Ally
  • American Express Serve
  • Cash app
  • Charles Schwab
  • Chase
  • Circle Pay
  • Discover
  • TD Bank
  • Wells Fargo
  • USAA
  • U.S. Bank

Citizens Bank

$600 Checking + Savings Bonus | $400 Checking Bonus

The following counts as a direct deposit:

  • ACH
  • Alliant
  • Ally Bank
  • Capital One 360
  • Charles Schwab
  • Chase Bank
  • Fidelity Investments
  • Santander Bank
  • Vanguard
  • Venmo transfers

Discover

The following counts as a direct deposit:

  • Amazon Seller Disbursements
  • American Express Serve
  • Bank of America Business ACH
  • Capital One 360
  • Fidelity
  • Paypal
  • TD Ameritrade

HSBC

The following counts as a direct deposit:

  • Ally
  • American Express Bluebird
  • Chase
  • Discover
  • PNC Checking
  • Robinhood
  • Santander
  • SoFi Money
  • Wells Fargo

KeyBank

$200 Checking Bonus

The following counts as a direct deposit:

  • ACH
  • American Express Serve
  • Capital One 360
  • Chase (but instant transfers)
  • Discover (but not savings)
  • E*Trade
  • Huntington
  • Navy Federal Credit Union
  • Paypal
  • Stripe Transfer
  • TD Ameritrade
  • Transferwise
  • USAA
  • Wells Fargo
  • Venmo

PeoplesBank (MD & PA)

The following counts as a direct deposit:

  • Alliant
  • Ally
  • Charles Schwab
  • PNC
  • Wells Fargo

People’s United Bank

$400 Checking Bonus

The following counts as a direct deposit:

  • Alliant
  • American Express Bluebird

PNC Bank

$300 Checking Bonus

The following counts as a direct deposit:

  • Alliant
  • Ally
  • American Express
  • Bank of America
  • Capital One 360
  • Chase
  • Fidelity
  • PayPal
  • PenFed
  • Transferwise
  • Venmo transfers
  • Wells Fargo (mixed reports)

Regions Bank

$200 Checking Bonus

The following counts as a direct deposit:

  • ACH
  • Alliant
  • Ally
  • American Express Serve
  • Bank of America
  • Capital One 360
  • Charles Schwab
  • Chase
  • First Tennessee
  • PenFed

Santander Bank

$400 Checking Bonus | $225 Checking Bonus

The following counts as a direct deposit:

  • Alliant
  • American Express
  • Capital One 360 (mixed reports, I wouldn’t depend on this method alone)
  • BMO Harris
  • Chase
  • Charles Schwab
  • Fidelity
  • PayPal (no longer valid)
  • Wells Fargo
  • Venmo transfers

SunTrust

$1,000 Checking + Savings Bonus

The following counts as a direct deposit for SunTrust bonus offers:

  • ACH
  • Ally
  • Alliant
  • Adventure Credit
  • Capital One 360
  • Charles Schwab
  • Chase
  • Discover
  • Fidelity
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Navy Federal Credit Union
  • Vanguard
  • Wells Fargo

TD Bank

$500 Checking + Savings Bonus

The following counts as a direct deposit for TD Bank bonus offers:

  • ACH
  • Ally
  • Alliant
  • American Express Savings
  • Bank of America
  • Barclays Savings
  • Capital One 360
  • Charles Schwab
  • Chase
  • E*Trade
  • Fidelity
  • Marcus
  • PNC
  • Truist (formerly Suntrust)
  • USAA
  • Vanguard
  • Wells Fargo

Truist

$1,000 Checking + Savings Bonus

The following counts as a direct deposit for Truist bonus offers:

  • ACH
  • Ally
  • Alliant
  • Adventure Credit
  • Capital One 360
  • Charles Schwab
  • Chase
  • Discover
  • Fidelity
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Navy Federal Credit Union
  • Vanguard
  • Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo

$400 Checking Bonus | $200 Checking Bonus

The following counts as a direct deposit:

  • Bank of America
  • E*Trade
  • Fidelity
  • HSBC
  • KeyBank
  • PayPal
  • PNC Bank
  • Robinhood
  • Santander Bank
  • SoFi Money
  • USAA
  • Venmo transfers

U.S. Bank

$500 Checking + Savings Bonus | $300 Checking Bonus

The following counts as a direct deposit:

  • ACH
  • All America Bank
  • Alliant
  • Ally Bank
  • American Express Serve
  • Apple Cash
  • Capital One 360
  • Cash App
  • Charles Schwab
  • Chase
  • Discover
  • DCFU
  • Fidelity
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Marcus
  • PayPal
  • PNC
  • School’s First Credit Union
  • Simple
  • SoFi Money
  • Tech Credit Union
  • Unify FCU
  • USAA
  • Wealthfront
  • Wells Fargo
  • Western Vista Federal Credit Union

59 thoughts on “What Counts As A Direct Deposit When It Comes To Bank Sign-Up Bonuses?”

  1. Recently After being told a TD Bank that I couldn’t use the coupon that came to my house because my first name was spelled salvtro instead of salvatore because I’m not the person it was addressed to. Instead of telling him how to do his job and check online for any promotions I decided to do it myself at home. Which was a good thing because it directed here to you themoneyninja.com. I’ve been doing the bank bonus thing for a little over five years and wondering how I ever missed you, after reading your blog about the Pull and Push routine I’ve discovered a whole new way!! You have my praise Master!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you

    Grasshopper

    Reply
    • The Ally transfer worked for me. Just like the CO CS rep stated any deposit transfers will qualify and trigger the bonus. I did not have a real DD just ACH transfers from outside banks.

      18 Nov 2020 opened account funded with $1.00 transfer from Cap One 360 MM
      25 Nov 2020 First $500 posted ACH push from Ally CK
      01 Dec 2020 pull $500 back to Ally CK
      03 Dec 2020 Second $500 posted ACH push from Disc CK
      07 Dec 2020 pull $500 back to Ally CK
      06 Jan 2021 third $500 posted ACH push from Ally CK
      10 Jan 2021 pull $500 back to Ally CK
      19 Feb 2021 $400 Cha-Ching! New account bonus

      Reply
    • Hi Yuhuda – which Chase bonus are you referring to? There are several. There aren’t enough data points to know if Charles Schwab works with Chase, but I would ask this in the specific Chase post. A lot of members will be able to answer that 🙂

      Reply
  2. Hi Money Ninja,

    Under Capitol One 360 you have listed “Clearview”. Is that referencing Clearview FCU in PA? I assumed it had to be something else but I’ve searched “Clearview Bank” and all I can find is Clearview FCU. I have an account with them but it’s so small scale I would be surprised to see it listed of all places.

    Reply
  3. Especially for HSBC, can you push $5000, pull it out after a few days, and repeat this monthly for 3 months? I don’t see any average monthly balance or minimum deposit duration required.

    Reply
    • Hi Karana!

      I signed up for the HSBC promotion last summer and I’m currently getting the $120/month bonus. My company deposits my paycheck on the 14th of the month and I transfer it out by the 16th to my regular account. It has worked perfectly.

      No min. balance, monthly fee, etc. Just make sure you meet the minimum deposit requirement for the month. (I think it was $5000 direct deposit total per month when I signed up.)

      Good luck!

      Reply
  4. So you’re saying if I go into ally and transfer money into capital one this would qualify as “direct deposit” and trigger the bonus reward?

    Reply
  5. Hi. I opened a citizens bank account and wanted to get the $300 bonus. I thought the initial deposit counted as an ACH but I dont think it does. So I want to use venmo.

    The thing is I’m not exactly how to use venmo to trigger the bonus in the account (I dont use venmo at all). I have a capital one 360 account. Can I link both banks onto venmo, transfer money from 360 into venmo, and then send it to citizens? Or does the money have to be transferred into citizens FROM capital one 360 directly (through venmo)?

    Also can I just transfer money from my capital one 360 account to an “external account” and that will trigger? What about if I use bill pay to transfer the money?

    Please help! Appreciate your help in advance.

    Reply
  6. Great article.
    1 – Does a push transfer from Schwab to Chase work for the Chase bonus?
    2 – How do you *know* if a push was unsuccessful? Is there any way to know, other than just not receiving the bonus after the deadline passes?

    Reply
    • Hi Kevin,

      1) For the checking bonus, we haven’t had much data on Schwab so we don’t know if they would work. The others listed will though for the direct deposit requirement. For the bonus on the savings account, I recommend writing a check for mobile deposit. Apparently, some people are having issues transferring $15,000 with bank transfers (Chase’s fraud system providing a false positive).

      2) For Chase, if your transfer has the description “PPD ID/ACH Transfer”, most likely that means it’s a valid transfer that will trigger the bonus. Anything with a “P2P” in it will no longer work.

      Reply
      • Hello Money Ninja I wish I ready our post before doing wire transfer from Bank of America to Chase . We are waiting on it to reflect in our new account . What do you mean by chase fraud system providing false positive ? Pls kindly explain . Did the people who transfer that have issues fix it and was succeful deposit in there chase savings ?

        Reply
  7. My boyfriend and I are new to this whole “bonus” thing. He just opened the Citizens bank checking and savings accounts and is eligible for the $300 checking bonus. His new job also does not offer direct deposit until 90 days working there otherwise, I wouldn’t be on here googling how to trigger a direct deposit of $500 or more into his new citizens checking account within the next 60 days. I called and the representative said it needed to be considered as “pay wages” or something to that extent. I read your list on what triggers the citizens direct deposits, however I am still sooo confused about what ACH or Ally Bank, or Capital One 360 or Venmo transfers mean? Does it mean I have to make a push transfer (I did understand push vs pull transfers) of $500 or more from an account that we already have set up through one of those listed under the citizens bank? Or can I send him $500 from my Venmo account to his Venmo account and then he transfers it into his citizens account? Will that qualify!? PLEASE HELP!!!! Thanks!!!

    Reply
    • Hi Jackii,

      Citizens Bank may say it needs to be “pay wages”, but we’ve found electronic transfers at other specific banks trigger the bonus.

      So the banks or financial apps you’ve mentioned (Ally Bank, Capital One 360, Venmo) will trigger the bonus as long as the transfer is made when you’re logging onto the Venmo app and requesting the money to be sent to Citizens. This is considered a “push transfer” – you’re “pushing” money from another bank to Citizens.

      A “pull transfer” is when you’re logged into Citizens and “pulling” money from another account.

      You should always push and not pull. Hope that makes sense.

      Reply
      • Hi money ninja! Thank you for the response! I did the Venmo money transfer. I had my boyfriend download venmo app setting it up with his citizens checking account. I venmoed him $510 from my Venmo set up with my bank account and he got it in his Venmo account. Next he transferred the $510 instantly from his Venmo app into his bank account (citizens) making the total amount go to $504. Due to the % that Venmo charges for the instant transfer. We logged into his citizens account app and it shows he has $504 in his account. On the line it says RTP Credit $504.90. I logged into his account thru safari thru the online banking system instead of the app so I can see more specifics, and it said the same thing but more….. looked like this.

        RTP Credit $504.90

        Realtime Credit Venmo Sender Ref:
        20121600021271442
        12/15/20. $504.90

        Everything under the RTP Credit line in the right hand side is in smaller letters (so it’s basically giving me the reference number of the transfer and the date along with the new balance which is the same since there was $0.00 I. The account beforehand).

        Will that suffice as a direct deposit???

        Please help out!!! Thanks!!!!!

        Reply
  8. Do you know if PayPal will trigger the bonus for Capital One 360 accounts? It shows up as an EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) when I did it…..does that count as an ACH?

    Reply
    • Hi Oz – welcome to this site! I actually ran across your blog a while back (someone mentioned it on a thread I was participating in over at Flyertalk).

      To answer your question, I haven’t heard of PayPal working or not working for Capital One 360. Anything that has ACH coded as part of the description has worked in the past. The transfers that have been verified to trigger the bonus are from these banks:

      Ally
      Charles Schwab
      Clearview
      Discover Savings
      E*Trade
      Fidelity
      Fifth Third
      First Tennessee
      Goldman Sachs
      Robinhood
      TD Ameritrade
      Vanguard

      I updated this post to include this info.

      Reply
  9. I’m wondering if it counts as a push deposit if coming from someone else’s account via zelle, PayPal, or venmo, or other? depositing into keybank or chase?

    Reply
    • Push deposits from others are viewed in a similar fashion as push deposits from yourself. So for KeyBank, you can see PayPal and Venmo are listed as triggering the bonus. Chase doesn’t recognize PayPal and Venmo transfers.

      Reply
    • I just talked to Chase and Zelle won’t work. They consider that a bank to bank transfer. Why that doesn’t qualify seems ridiculous to me. I do some work for a friend and she pays me with Zelle, since I’m not her employee, and thought that should work since it’s from her business account…but nope.

      Reply
  10. To qualify the HSBC $450 bonus, there must be 3 recurring direct deposit for $5000 or more for 3 months after account opening.
    I did a push transfer from PNC checking into the HSBC premium checking, but HSBC shown the transfer as Web Transfer P2P. This HSBC premium checking has a $50 monthly account fee if there isn’t $5000 or more direct deposit.
    Any idea what I need to do next? Really don’t want to pay the $50 monthly fee 🙁

    Reply
    • I know some banks don’t count anything with a P2P in the deposit description, but the P2P designation still works for HSBC.

      11/13/19 opened
      11/20/19 $5k push from PNC checking (virtual wallet spend account)
      12/19/19 $5k push from PNC checking (virtual wallet spend account)
      1/16/19 $5k push from PNC checking (virtual wallet spend account)
      2/7/20 $750 bonus posted

      PNC transfer coded as: DEPOSIT FROM PNCBK SV WEBXFR-P2P

      Reply
    • Worked for too.

      DP:
      6/22: Account opened
      7/3: $5000.01 initiated from PNC checking
      8/7: $5001.00 initiated from PNC checking
      9/10: $5000.00 initiated from PNC checking
      10/7: $750 bonus posted

      This is what it coded as in HSBC:
      DEPOSIT FROM PNCBK CK
      WEBXFR-P2P
      SYSTEM GENERATED

      Reply
  11. Opened a HSBC premium checking hoping to receive the $450 bonus. Found out by transfer fund from PNC checking into HSBC premium checking was a Web Transfer P2P and not consider as a Direct Deposit. Anyone out here has success using other banks transfer as a direct deposit?

    Reply
    • It worked for me late last year. My data point:

      Opened account on 12/16
      Pushed 5k from PNC to HSBC Jan, Feb and March
      $750 posted

      Did you initiate the transfer from PNC and not HSBC? Which deal did you do?

      Reply
      • Did a push transfer from PNC checking to HSBC premium checking, but transaction shown Web Transfer P2P. I signed up for the HSBC $450 bonus requires 3 recurring qualifying direct deposit of $5000 or more for 3 consecutive months after account opening. This HSBC premium checking has a $50 monthly fee if without $5000 direct deposit. Any idea how to waive the fee?

        Reply
  12. Confirmed as working for me:

    Capital One
    Fidelity
    TD Bank

    You may want to push the question on the specific BBVA post. Maybe someone used PayPal recently can answer.

    Reply
    • I gave Fidelity a shot but had no luck so far. How long did the deposit take? Are you pushing from a fidelity cash management account?

      Reply
  13. I’m having trouble triggering the direct deposit for Chase Bank. I tried Acorn, Amazon payments and Pen Fed. I’m afraid that I’m going to lose the sign up bonus. I read the Capital One 360 didn’t work recently too.

    Reply
    • Hi Catyanna,

      I don’t have data points on Acorn, but a lot of people reported PenFed working. I’ve personally used Fidelity and Santander before and they both worked.

      How long since you pushed payments to Chase? I ask because the bonus doesn’t post immediately.

      Reply
    • Hi Thomas – it’s considered a “push transfer” if you log into your other bank and request a transfer to your new bank account that you signed up for. Going into another bank account to transfer money is always considered a push.

      A “pull transfer” is when you are in your new bank account and request money to be transferred into it. You’re “pulling” money away from an outside account.

      Does that help?

      Reply
  14. Awesome this is extremely helpful as i was trying to figure this out and when u call customer service they always tell u its a pay check or a govt payment

    Reply
    • That’s a great question, VO! You should always be PUSHING into the new bank accounts, not pulling. The terminology may be unfamiliar with some people so I’ll update this post shortly to explain 🙂

      Reply

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