How to Earn Free Money with a Bank Account Bonus

Cash in wallet

Photo: torbakhopper

These days, many banks are offering a cash bonus for opening a new account with them. If you’re in the market for a new bank account, this can be a great way to get a few extra bucks in your pocket. By offering a bank account bonus, financial institutions are sweetening the deal of opening an account with them, but if you’re on the hunt for a new account, it’s important to understand exactly what you’re getting into. We’ll take a look at the best checking account offers and new bank account offers to help you decide which account is right for you.

The best bank account bonuses of 2020

The best bank account offers

Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking: $100

With Bank of America, you can open up an Advantage Safebalance Banking account, which not only will get you a $100 bonus, but the account also comes with no overdraft fees. To qualify, you have to open up the account with $25 and then receive two direct deposits of at least $250 each within 90 days of account opening.

This account will come with a monthly fee of $4.95 that can be waived if you’re a student under 24 or if you are a member of its Preferred Rewards program.

HSBC Choice Checking: $100

If you’re a student and open up a Choice Checking account with HSBC, the bank will give you a $100 welcome bonus. To qualify, you must have “student” as your occupation on your application and deposit at least $25 within 30 days of opening the account. Then you need to do one of the following for three consecutive months: directly deposit $500, spend at least $100 on the attached debit card or set up electronic bill payments from the account. HBSC will also waive the monthly fee for six years for students.

Please Note:Information about this offer has been collected independently by TheSimpleDollar.com. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Chase Savings℠ Account: $150


With a new Chase Savings℠ account within 20 business days of account opening. In addition, you have to maintain that balance for at least 90 days. Chase will then deposit the bonus into the account within 10 business days. You must keep the account open for at least six months or else Chase will deduct the bonus amount from any balance, or draw the account negative for the bonus amount, when you close. The account has a $5 monthly service fee, but that can be waived by meeting one of the required activities.

Chase Total Checking®: $200


When you open up a Chase Total Checking® account with Chase, it’ll deposit $200 straight into your account. You just have to follow a few easy requirements in order to get there. If you have a direct deposit set to the new account within 90 days of account opening, you’re qualified for the bonus and will receive it within 10 business days.

An important note about this account is it comes with a $12 monthly that can be waived and the account also has to remain open for six months, or else Chase will deduct the bonus from any balance in the account.

Highlights:

  • Enjoy a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking® account and set up direct deposit
  • Access to 16,000 Chase ATMs and nearly 4,900 branches
  • Chase Mobile® app – Manage your accounts, deposit checks, transfer money and more — all from your device.
  • Open your account online now.
  • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. For branch locations, visit locator.chase.com.

SunTrust Advantage Checking: $300

New customers can receive an extra $300 from SunTrust by opening an Advantage Checking account and having at least $3,000 directly deposited into the account per statement cycle for two consecutive cycles. This has to be done within the first three months of account opening, and SunTrust will deposit the bonus amount in the account within eight weeks of the requirements being met. You must keep the account open for at least 180 days after account opening; otherwise, SunTrust will deduct the bonus amount from the account.

Wells Fargo Everyday Checking: $400

If you open up an Everyday Checking account at Wells Fargo with $25, you can earn $400 for your account. This account will require you to directly deposit at least $3,000 for three consecutive months, and that has to be done within 150 days of account opening. Wells Fargo will deposit the bonus into the account within 45 days after the requirements are met. This account is also accompanied by a $10 monthly fee, but it can be waived.

CitiBank Citi Priority Account: $700

Have a large balance to deposit? You could get an extra $700 from CitiBank by opening a Citi Priority Account and depositing at least $50,000 into the account. The deposit has to be made within 30 days of opening the account, and you’re also required to open up a savings account with it. The savings account could potentially be a high-yield savings account, which can earn you worthwhile dividends on the deposit. The funds need to remain in either the savings or checking account for a minimum of 60 days.

There is a $30 monthly fee with the Citi Priority account, but there are multiple ways it can be waived for customers.

Chase Sapphire℠ Checking: $1,000

You can open a Chase Sapphire℠ Checking account or savings account and earn yourself a sweet $1,000. To qualify for this bonus, you have to deposit at least $75,000 into the checking and/or savings within 45 calendar days of opening the account. Once you deposit those funds, it has to remain in the account for at least 90 days in order to complete the bonus eligibility requirements.

The account has a $25 monthly service fee, but the fee can be waived by meeting qualifying activities on the account. In addition, Chase also refunds ATM fees to customers with this account.

The bottom line

Opening up a new bank account or making the switch to a new financial institution can seem like a complicated process. However, knowing that you can get a few extra bucks in your pocket just for doing standard banking business can make the deal a little sweeter. It’s always important to make sure you’re signing on for an account for which you can meet the requirements. Be sure to read all the fine print and ask questions before you sign on the dotted line.

Editorial Note: Compensation does not influence our recommendations. However, we may earn a commission on sales from the companies featured in this post. To view a list of partners, click here. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult our advertiser's page for terms & conditions.

Holly Johnson
Contributing Writer

Holly Johnson is a frugality expert and award-winning writer who is obsessed with personal finance and getting the most out of life. A lifelong resident of Indiana, she enjoys gardening, reading, and traveling the world with her husband and two children. In addition to The Simple Dollar, Holly writes for well-known publications such as U.S. News & World Report Travel, PolicyGenius, Travel Pulse, and Frugal Travel Guy. Holly also owns Club Thrifty.