Best Checking Account Offers | March 2023
You can make an extra $200 or $300 (or even more) just for opening a checking account. However, sorting through the best offers can get tricky.
As long as the fees are low and they have easy access to their money, many people are happy to stick with the same bank and checking account for their entire life. Financial institutions that offer checking accounts know this. So, they are often willing to sweeten the deal by offering hundreds of dollars in signup bonuses for opening a new checking account.
One of the easiest ways to make a little extra cash is to take advantage of a new checking account signup bonus.
The Complete Guide to Checking Account Offers
Remember, when banks only offered t-shirts and toasters to get new clients to deposit their money?
Nowadays, financial institutions skip the promotional merchandise and go directly to what customers care about -- A friendly welcome and a wad of cash.
Most checking account offers are set up in the same way. You open an account, make a deposit, meet the promotion's requirements, and get the cash. In some cases, you will need to set up a direct deposit, make a minimum deposit, or agree to keep your account open for a minimum amount of time.
The checking accounts above are a great place to start if you are looking for offers, but signup bonuses are not everything. There are other features and perks to consider when shopping for a checking account, such as cashback rewards and $0 monthly fees. Here is a list of some of the best checking accounts currently available.
What to watch out for
There is no such thing as free lunch in banking. Not even when it comes to signup bonuses. There are strings attached to every checking account offer, so it's important to understand what you're getting into. Here are some things to consider.
- Signup bonuses are taxable income. Banks report bonus payouts as interest to the IRS. If you qualify for a bonus, you will receive a 1099-INT form, which requires you to file the income in your taxes for that year. Of course, this lowers the value of the signup bonus. The exact amount deducted will vary depending on what tax bracket you are in. The higher the bracket, the smaller your bonus.
- You may get a hard pull on your credit report. Banks may perform a credit check and a ChexSystem verification report when you apply for an account. Even if you don't have any skeletons hidden in your credit history, a hard inquiry into your credit can ding your credit score. Just one inquiry in your report won't do much, but several hard pulls on your credit can add up to a substantial drop in your credit score.
- Follow the instructions. To earn a checking account bonus offer, you may have to start your application from a specific page or use a promo code. Other institutions only offer the bonus if you open the account at a brick-and-mortar branch.
- Look beyond the bonus. Checking account bonuses are great, but they are not the only thing you should look for in an account. Make sure the features of the checking account make chasing the bonus worthwhile.
- Check for fees. Banks are fast to advertise bonus offers but may bury the fees in the small print. Once you open that account, you’ll be responsible for paying that fee each month. Over those months, paying the maintenance fee can quickly add up, cutting into the total bonus you’ll actually receive.
- Keep a copy of the offer page. It's a good idea to print a copy of the checking account bonus offer if your bank claims the promotional bonus never existed or try to change the account requirements. It also helps when offers expire, and banks no longer have access to the offer's details.
Who has the best checking account signup offer?
Many banks, such as Chase, HSBC, BBVA, and TD, offer cash bonuses. But banks change their offers regularly, so you need to shop around to see who has the best signup offer at any given time. The list above includes our best picks for currently available offers.
How to choose the best checking account bonus
First, check you can meet the account’s minimum balance. Many checking accounts will waive the monthly fee if you meet additional requirements, such as maintaining a minimum balance. The minimum balance can be pretty high, particularly for the accounts that offer higher bonuses. So, make sure you have enough cash to deposit if you're looking for the highest bonus.
Remember the accounts with the highest bonuses may not be the best checking accounts in the long term. For example, checking accounts with large signup bonuses don't always offer the highest rates. So, if you're interested in earning interest on your balance for the long-term, consider these high interest checking accounts.
- America's Credit Union Affinity Plus Checking
- Axiom Bank Checking
- BB&T Student Checking Account
- CNB Advantage + Perks Checking
- Century Bank of Massachusetts Silver Checking Account
- Chase Bank Sapphire Checking Account
- First Bank and Trust of Texas Signature Series Checking
- First Exchange Bank First Platinum Checking
- National Exchange Bank Trust Personal Checking
- Simple Checking
- Synovus Bank Inspire Checking
- Truist Bank Confidence Account