What Counts as a Direct Deposit When It Comes to Bank Sign-Up Bonuses?

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A man taking money from wallet

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! This will help those who recently signed up to get $600 bonus from Chase or the $400 bonus from Wells Fargo I wrote about recently.

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 from one of your existing bank accounts to the new bank account will also 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 of the ones 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 requesting money to be sent 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.

List of Banks (in alphabetical order)

Citizens Bank

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

Chase Bank

The following counts as a direct deposit:

  • Amazon Payments
  • Ameritrade
  • Discover Savings
  • Elements Financial
  • Fidelity Investments
  • First Technology Credit Union
  • Goldman Sachs
  • M&T Bank
  • Robinhood
  • Santander Bank
  • SoFi Invest
  • TD Ameritrade
  • Vanguard
  • Wealthfront

Santander Bank

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

Wells Fargo

The following counts as a direct deposit:

  • PayPal
  • PNC Bank
  • Robinhood
  • Santander Bank
  • USAA
  • Venmo transfers

U.S. Bank

The following counts as a direct deposit:

  • ACH
  • Alliant
  • Ally Bank
  • Capital One 360
  • Charles Schwab
  • Chase (YMMV, mixed reports)
  • Discover
  • Fidelity
  • USAA
  • Venmo transfers

3 COMMENTS

    • 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 🙂

  1. 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

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