Best Checking Account Bonuses of 2021

If you need a new checking account, banks from coast to coast are offering attractive promotional bonuses to lure your business. A bank checking account bonus usually consists of cash deposited into your account after you open a new account and meet certain criteria within a specified timeframe, including making a minimum deposit, setting up a direct deposit, or making a set number of debit card or bill payments.

This list focuses on higher-dollar personal checking account offers at banks with a national or significant regional presence. It is by no means exhaustive, and some will be limited to customers in certain states. You’ll want to check with smaller local banks you’re considering to see whether they have any promotions, too. If you know of a great offer we’re missing, let us know in the comments below.

You’ll note that many of the accounts below require you to jump through some hoops to avoid monthly fees. If you’d rather not deal with that headache, check out our post on the Best Free Checking Accounts.

If you’re also in the market for savings options, we offer advice on the Best High-Interest Savings Accounts and the Best Money Market Accounts. If you’re considering CDs, read up on How to Find the Best CD Rates.

Nationwide and Online Offers

Chase Total Checking®

If you’re new to Chase bank, you can get a $225 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking® account and set up direct deposit.

Highlights

  • New Chase customers enjoy a $225 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking® account and set up direct deposit
  • Access to 16,000 Chase ATMs and more than 4,700 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.

Chase Secure BankingSM

Enjoy $100 when you open a Chase Secure BankingSM account with qualifying activities.

Highlights

  • New Chase checking customers enjoy $100 when you open a Chase Secure BankingSM account with qualifying activities.
  • No minimum deposit to open, no fees for Chase OnlineSM Bill Pay, money orders, cashier’s checks or to send money
  • No paper checks to track
  • Just a simple $4.95 monthly service fee
  • Use the Chase debit card to help you spend only the money you have available, without worrying about overdraft fees.
  • Bank with the Chase Mobile® app and Chase OnlineSM
  • Get helpful account alerts so you can monitor your balance and more.
  • No need to worry about unauthorized card transactions when reported promptly with Zero Liability Protection.

Discover Bank Checking: Earn 1% Cash Back

Earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month (up to $360 per year).

Highlights

  • No minimum to open an account
  • No-fee withdrawals are available at over 60,000 ATMs in the U.S.
  • No monthly fees or balance requirements on your account
  • You can redeem your cashback bonus for any amount.
  • No fee for check order or for a replacement debit card

Learn More

Bank of America: $100 for new checking customers

Anyone who doesn’t already have a personal checking account with Bank of America can receive a $100 bonus by opening a new account by the end of the year. You’ll need to use promo code BAW100N when you open the account, and you’ll have to set up and maintain direct deposits of at least $2,000 a month for 90 days.

Bank of America’s Core Checking has a $12 monthly service fee that can be waived if you:

  1. hook up at least one direct deposit per month of at least $250,
  2. keep an average daily balance of at least $1,500, or
  3. are a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client.

You’ll also have online bill pay, a debit card with embedded chip technology, access to the Keep the Change savings program, and a network of more than 16,000 ATMs. Bank of America has more than 4,900 branches nationwide.

Wells Fargo: $100 bonus for new checking customers

Open any Wells Fargo checking account (except teen checking) and receive a $100 bonus until Feb. 22, 2016. To receive the bonus, you must open your account with a minimum opening deposit of $50 at a Wells Fargo branch or $25 when you open it online or by phone. Then, within 60 days, you’ll need to either hook up direct deposit or make 10 debit card purchases using the new account.

Wells Fargo’s Everyday Checking account has a $10 monthly service fee that can be waived if meet any of the following criteria:

  1. Make 10 debit card purchases or payments from the checking account,
  2. make direct deposits totaling $500 or more,
  3. keep a minimum daily balance of $1,500, or
  4. link a Wells Fargo Campus ATM or debit card to the account.

Wells Fargo checking accounts offer free online banking and bill pay, free account alerts, and access to more than 12,500 ATMs and 6,200 branches.

Charles Schwab: $100 bonus for new checking customers

Open a Schwab Bank High-Yield Checking account and receive a $100 bonus. You’ll need to use reference code REFERKRCXV when opening the account and deposit $10,000 within 45 days to receive the bonus.

Schwab Bank’s High Yield Checking has no monthly fee, no account minimum, unlimited ATM fee rebates, free bill pay, and free mobile deposit. You’ll also receive a linked no-fee Schwab One brokerage account.

Bank of Internet USA: $50 for new checking customers

Open a Rewards Checking account with Bank of Internet USA (don’t let the fake-sounding name fool you: It’s a real, FDIC-insured financial institution) and get a $50 bonus until March 14, 2016. You’ll need to open the account with a minimum of $100 and maintain an average daily balance of $1,000 for 90 days to receive the bonus.

Bank of Internet USA’s Rewards Checking account has no monthly maintenance fee, no monthly minimum balance, and no overdraft or non-sufficient funds fees. You’ll also earn 1.25% APY on your balance up to $150,000. Accounts also feature free mobile deposit and domestic ATM fee reimbursements.

EverBank: 1.60% APY bonus rate for new checking customers

Open a Yield Pledge Checking account with EverBank, and you’ll receive a 1.60% APY bonus rate for the first six months on balances up to $100,000. After that, your rate will adjust to anywhere from 0.30% to 0.61% APY, depending on your balance.

You’ll need at least $1,500 to open the account. There is no monthly fee, and you’ll receive free online bill pay and mobile check deposits. EverBank also reimburses fees from ATMs nationwide.

Regional Offers

KeyBank: Up to $300 for new customers

KeyBank will give you a $200 bonus until March 4, 2016, when you open certain types of KeyBank checking accounts.

To receive the bonus, open a Key Advantage, Key Privilege, or Key Privilege Select account with code ONAS0116 and make a direct deposit of $500 or within 60 days. To avoid a monthly $18 fee on the Key Advantage checking account, you’ll need either:

  1. a combined balance of $10,000 across KeyBank accounts,
  2. a KeyBank-originated mortgage and automatic payments on that mortgage from your checking account, or
  3. Key@Work program membership and at least $1,000 in direct deposits to your checking account each statement cycle.

You’ll get free online banking and bill pay, and access to nearly 1,300 ATMs. There are nearly 1,000 branches in Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.

First Tennessee: $250 for new checking customers

Open a qualifying checking account with First Tennessee Bank, and receive a $250 bonus until March 31, 2016. You must open an Express, Classic, Premier or Select checking account online using code ONLINE and hook up direct deposit within 60 days. To avoid a monthly $5 fee on the Express Checking Account, you’ll need to receive at least one direct deposit per statement cycle.

SunTrust Bank: Up to $250 for new checking customers

Suntrust Bank will give you a $150 or $250 bonus, for opening a new Essential Checking or Select Checking account.

For the $150 offer, and must hook up $500 or more in direct deposits within 60 days. For the $250 offer, and must set up $2,000 or more in direct deposits within 60 days. Minimum opening balance for both accounts is $100.

To avoid a $7 monthly maintenance fee with Essential Checking, you’ll need either:

  1. 10 transactions per statement,
  2. $500 or more in direct deposits per statement, or
  3. at least a $500 daily balance.

For Select checking, you have to keep a minimum daily balance is $2,000, or make $2,000 in direct deposits, to avoid a $15 monthly fee.

Benefits include free online banking and bill pay, a Mastercard debit card, free access to more than 2,500 ATMs, and no-fee person-to-person payments. SunTrust has more than 1,500 branches primarily in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Regions Bank: $200 for new checking customers (select markets only)

Open a LifeGreen checking account with Regions Bank, and receive a $200 bonus until March 31, 2016. You’ll need to make 10 purchases with your Regions Visa check card and hook up at least a $500 direct deposit, both within 60 days of opening the account, to receive the bonus. The offer is only good in select markets, including Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Nashville, Dallas, Houston, and Austin. You can avoid the $8 to $10 monthly maintenance fee on the LifeGreen account with:

  1. one direct deposit of $500 or more a month, or several totaling $1,000, or
  2. an average monthly balance of at least $1,500.

You’ll receive free online banking and bill pay, free mobile banking, and access to 2,100 ATMs. Regions has more than 1,700 branches in the South and Midwest.

M&T Bank: $150 for new checking customers

Open any personal checking account with M&T Bank, and receive a $150 bonus until March 31, 2016. You’ll need to link up at least a $100 direct deposit within 90 days to receive the bonus. You can avoid the $6.95 monthly maintenance fee on M&T’s MyChoice checking account with:

  1. direct deposits of at least $200 a month, or
  2. 10 or more debit card purchases or payments each month, or
  3. an average monthly balance of at least $500.

You’ll receive free online banking and bill pay, and access to more than 1,500 ATMs. M&T has more than 650 branches in Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Saundra Latham

Contributing Writer

Saundra Latham is a personal finance writer and editor. Her work has appeared in The Simple Dollar, Business Insider, USA Today, The Motley Fool, Livestrong and elsewhere.