Banks are everywhere, and they’re in business to make money. Even small towns have multiple banks to loan out money to residents. Combined with the major national banks, it’s easy to see that the banking industry is very competitive. Because of the competitive nature of the industry, many banks resort to some creative strategies to lure in new customers. There are introductory interest rates on loans and free gifts.
When it comes to taking advantage of bank incentives, the most lucrative option that Americans can benefit from is the bank signup bonus. These are most commonly associated with the travel industry and credit cards, but there are many banks that will offer some nice signup bonuses for opening checking or savings accounts. The banks that attempt to lure in new customers through signup bonuses range from the small neighborhood banks to the big nationwide banks, and some of these bonuses can reach several hundred dollars in value.
Quick Tips for Earning a Bonus
Earning a bank bonus is not terribly difficult. However, each bank will have a few hoops that you’ll have to jump through before getting the bonus. It’s a good idea to take a few minutes to read the fine print when a few hundred bucks are on the line. Failure to follow the directions will make any offer null and void, and you’ll get nothing for your effort.
1. Follow the Instructions
As noted above, there are some stipulations you’ll need to meet to earn a bonus for opening a bank account. For a bonus on a new checking account, you’ll have to open the account and make an initial deposit. After that, you’ll usually need to set up a direct deposit for the account. A common number will be three direct deposits of $500 each, but this number can vary depending upon the bank and the particular offer. An additional requirement some banks will put on new customers is the use of a bank debit card a specified number of times each month. You won’t get the bonus until these requirements are met.
For a savings account, you’ll need to open the account and then leave a required amount in the account for a specified period. The amount you’ll need to put into a savings account can range up to $10,000 or more for the more lucrative bonuses. Failure to meet any of the stipulations will keep you from earning the bonus.
2. Check the Time Constraints
For both checking and savings account bonuses, there will usually be a time frame associated with earning the bonus. Some accounts will require you to leave a relatively large amount of money in the account for three months. Others will make you leave the money in for up to six months before the bonus hits. This can be a part of the fine print that will be necessary to read closely.
Additionally, some banks will require you to leave an account open for 12 months even if you’ve withdrawn most of the money you initially deposited. Like the funding and direct deposit requirements, closing an account too early will keep you from getting the bonus. Some banks reserve the right to claw back any bonuses that have already hit your account.
3. Watch out for Fees
Many bank accounts will come with monthly fees. These can vary based upon the bank, but they can definitely cut into any bonus you might be able to earn. At times, the fees could make another bonus from a different bank look more attractive. The fees are another reason to check the fine print of an offer. Some banks will waive the monthly account maintenance fees if you’re a student or if you keep a minimum balance above a given level. This level could be as low as $1,000, but it can go much higher from there.
4. Don’t Let a Bonus Cause Cash Flow Problems
Some of the bigger savings account bonuses can require leaving $10,000 to $25,000 on deposit with the bank. For some people, this can be a rounding error. For most, it’s a very large sum. If you’re not in the wealthy boat and $25,000 seems like a lot to leave in a bank account, it might be worth it to look for another bonus that requires a lower deposit. Leaving a large chunk of money in a savings account can lead to cash flow problems and make it difficult to pay the bills. It can also lead to a felt need to use a credit card to get through to the next month. It’s not likely any bonus will pay off if you fall into credit card debt to earn it. You’ll likely pay enough in interest to more than offset the benefit of earning the bonus.
5. Double up on Bonuses
Some bonuses are limited to one per household, but there are some that have no such limit. This means that your spouse can earn the same bonus you do. Doubling up on these bonuses are a great way to make even more money. Just keep in mind the point above that’s related to cash flow. If all that’s needed is a couple of direct deposits, you should be able to use that money for any purpose you deem necessary so getting another bonus can make sense. Just remember to keep up with the fine print, as it might have changed slightly if one spouse earned the bonus a few months earlier.
6. Keep up with Bonuses
When deciding to go for bank signup bonuses, it’s a good idea to keep up with the bonuses you’ve earned or expect to earn. A spreadsheet can really pay off in this regard. It can list out the bonuses you’ve signed up for, the minimum deposit requirements, when you’ve made the deposits and the date you’ve actually seen the bonus hit your account. You should also keep track of how long you need to leave an account open to keep the bonus on this spreadsheet. This last point can be important for a few reasons. Keeping an account open as long as necessary ensures you won’t lose the bonus. Additionally, keeping track of the money you’ve earned from bank signup bonuses can be a motivating factor that leads you to find even more bonuses that offer some easy money.
7. You Can Earn Some Bonuses Again
There is another reason keeping up with the bonuses you’ve earned. Some bank bonus offers have language that indicate you can only earn one in a lifetime. Not all offers will have this wording. Some will allow you to get the exact same bonus after sitting out for 12 or 24 months. This is doubling up in a whole new way. You’ll need to check the fine print and only go after those bonuses that you will actually qualify for.
8. Put the Bonus Money in Another Account
When you’ve started earning bank signup bonuses, it’s a good idea to have a special purpose for them. Otherwise, they’ll just go toward paying bills from your regular checking account. By taking the bonuses out and putting them in another account like a savings account that’s set up just for vacation expenses, you’ll be able to pay for a given expense without going into debt while wondering where all your money went. You could also use your bonuses to save up for your next car so that you don’t need to take out a loan for it. Another smart place to put any bank bonuses is into a retirement account. Bonuses can be a pretty painless way to put money away for your golden years or any other useful purpose.
Common Questions Regarding Bank Bonuses
Are Bank Bonuses Free?
You might wonder if bank bonuses are actually free. As long as the bonus exceeds any fees you have to pay to get it, it is most definitely free money. There is a opportunity cost tied to the time you take to sign up, but the payout per hour might be way higher than what you could earn in a comparable amount of time at your job. If it is, getting a bank bonus can definitely be worth the effort.
Will I Need to Pay Taxes?
Bank bonuses can be a great way to increase your income. Unfortunately, they are considered taxable income. Therefore, you should expect to get a 1099 form from each bank that pays you a bonus. Even though you’ll make some money, you’ll have to pay taxes on it. The rate could be 0% all the way up to 37% depending upon your income level and the particulars of your family’s tax situation. Still, for what amounts to free money, there could be worse things to have to deal with.
Can I Earn Multiple Bonuses from One Bank?
Whether you can earn multiple bonuses from the same bank can vary based upon a couple of factors. First, if a bank offers a bonus for a new checking and a new savings account, you should be able to earn the bonus for both unless it specifically states otherwise. On the other hand, if you’re looking to earn the exact same bonus from the same bank, it depends upon the bank. You might be able to earn a bonus every year, or your might be able to earn one bonus in your lifetime. Other banks might have different lengths of time you’ll need to wait before earning a bonus again.
Do Banks Offer Bonuses for Businesses?
Some banks will not only offer bonuses for opening a personal checking account, they will also offer a similar, if not better, offer for those who open a business checking account. Like the bonuses that are offered on personal accounts, it pays to check out the specifications for earning the bonus. If you fail to meet the bank’s requirements, you’ll get no bonus.
Can I Work on More Than One Bonus?
People can work on more than one bonus at any given time. You might work on both the checking and savings account bonuses from the same bank. You could also work on earning a bonus from two or more banks at the same time. Many employers will allow employees to split up their direct deposits between two or more accounts. If you decide to try this, it’s a good idea to check whether your cash flow will be enough to cover the required deposits.
Will Opening an Account Affect My Credit?
Many people wonder whether opening a new checking account will affect their credit scores. Generally speaking, if you open a new checking or savings account, there will be no hard pull on your credit report. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about seeing your credit score drop if you open multiple accounts at multiple banks over the course of a year.
What Bonus Is Best?
The bonus that’s best for you will not necessarily be the bonus that’s the best for someone else. There are multiple considerations to take into account. First, you’ll need to see if you’re eligible for a new account bonus at a bank. Some banks are legally able to operate in every state while some operate in only one state or a few states within a region. If you don’t live in one of the states listed in the fine print, you won’t be eligible for the bonus. If you can’t come up with the minimum deposit to earn the bonus, it’s not worth applying for a new account. Some banks will require you to tie up a large sum of money for months. If you need access to the money, you’ll want to work elsewhere. Once you find a bonus that meets all of your criteria, it’s likely worth the effort.
Banks want to earn your business. They’ve come up with some pretty lucrative incentives in hopes that they’ll earn it and keep it. By signing up for new checking or savings accounts, it’s possible to earn one or more bonuses each year. That’s pretty much free money that you can use for any purpose you choose. By getting creative, some families have been able to bring in thousands a year through bank bonuses alone.
General Questions about Bank Bonuses and Promotions
This section answers your general questions about how bank bonuses and promotions work
Which banks give bonuses for opening accounts?
There are lots of banks that give bonuses for opening an account. Some of the most popular include Regions, TD Bank, Chase, and Wells Fargo
When do banks pay bonuses?
That depends on the terms and conditions described in your account policy. You’ll need to ask a service representative at your bank for more information.
Are bank bonuses worth it?
For many people, yes. However, you should consider the specific bonus being offered and what you need to do to earn it to determine if a particular offer is a good deal for you.
Can a bank take back a bonus?
Sometimes, it depends on how the terms and conditions of your particular bonus or agreement. You’ll need to review your documentation or talk to a representative from the bank to find out.
Can someone revoke a bonus from your bank account?
That depends on the type of bonus and your specific situation. You’ll need to talk to your bank to find out how the process works in your case.
Can spouse sign up for same bank bonus?
In most cases, yes. However, be sure to check to see if there’s a limit on the number of bonuses per household before assuming it will work.
Can you open and close accounts to get bank bonuses?
Sometimes, it depends on the terms and conditions of the promotion. Make sure to read the fine print carefully to see if you can open and close an account to get a bank bonus.
Is it worth opening a bank account for the bonus?
For many people, yes. You’ll need to consider any annual fees and other things that go with the account, but many people see bank bonuses as an easy way to get free money. For example Marcus Goldman Sachs Savings is offering a $500 bonus right now.
What banks are offering a bonus for opening new account?
Different banks run promotions for new accounts all the time. Some of the most frequent offers come from Regions, TD Bank, and Wells Fargo.
What banks offer a loyalty bonus on CDs?
Ally bank is one of the most popular banking options that offers loyalty bonuses on CDs. You should check with local branches of banks in your area to see if anyone else has a similar reward program.
What banks offer switch over bonuses?
Lots of banks offer switch over bonuses. You’ll need to check to see if other new deals are being offered, but you can usually rely on a bonus from Chase, HSBC, Huntington, and Bank of America.
Why do large banks give bonuses?
Large banks give bonuses because it’s a good way for them to get customers. The customers will make more money for the bank than the bank will spend in bonuses.
What kinds of bank bonuses are there?
There are a few different kinds of bank bonuses. The most common are bonuses that give you cash after you’ve deposited a certain amount in the account through direct deposit. There are also switch-over bonuses and bonuses with credit card miles.
How much do you get from bank bonuses and promotions?
There’s a wide range of offers for bank bonuses and promotions. You’ll usually get an amount related to the deposit requirements. Banks with higher deposit requirements for their bonus will give higher bonuses.
When is the best time to get bank bonuses?
There are always at least a few bank bonuses, but the best deals are usually in the summer. That’s because most people graduate in the summer and start getting jobs, so banks want to attract these new customers.
Are there any restrictions on bank bonuses and promotions?
There are always some restrictions. You can check the terms and conditions to see if there are restrictions on the offer itself. Also, some states have laws that prevent banks from offering these kinds of bonuses.
What’s the best way to pick a bank bonus?
Bank promotions and bonuses change all the time – we recommend using an internet comparison tool to help you find the best deal available to you right now. You may want to check out the current Barclays savings bonus.
Questions about Specific Bank Bonuses and Promotions
We’ll cover questions about specific bank bonuses and promotions in this section.
When does Deutsche Bank pay bonuses?
The timing of a Deutsche Bank bonus depends on the specific nature of your account. You’ll need to check with them to get an accurate timetable.
Are Chase Bank signup bonus codes transferable?
That depends on the specific bonus code you’re referring to. There are some limits and restrictions that might prevent the code from transferring successfully in some cases such as with the Chase checking account bonus.
Are PayPal bank bonus promotions taxable?
Yes, any income you get from a bank bonus promotion is considered taxable income by the IRS.
Can I open Union Bank online for $500 bonus?
Union Bank isn’t offering a $500 bonus anymore. As of this writing, the bonus offered is $150.
Does Ally bank give a bonus for renewal CD?
Yes, Ally bank gives a 0.25% bonus for CD renewal.
Does Bank of America limit cash back bonus offers?
That depends on the specific product you’re using. You’ll need to check the terms of your agreement or call a BoA representative to resolve your question. Take a look at the current Bank of America checking account bonus.
Does CIT bank have a referral bonus?
We couldn’t find anything indicating that CIT bank has a referral bonus, but they might have a program that comes and goes according to the time of the year.
Does Huntington bank do bonuses on their asterisk free account?
Yes, you can get a $150 bonus by making at least $1,000 worth of deposits in your account within 60 days of opening it.
Does my Bank of America give me loyalty bonus?
That depends on your specific account with Bank of America. You’ll need to review your account agreement or talk to a representative to get your answer.
Does PNC bank offer bonuses?
Yes, PNC bank has special bonus offers on several of its products. One of the most popular is a $300 bonus for opening a Virtual Wallet with Performance Select. You can also check out the current Discover Savings bonus as a comparison.
How long for Compass Bank send sign up bonus?
Depending on your specific offer, it can take anywhere from 3 to 30 days to get your sign-up bonus from Compass Bank.
How long to get CITI bank $400 bonus?
It will take between 3 and 15 business days to get your $400 bonus from Citi Bank.
How soon for Key Bank bonus?
Key Bank bonuses take between 3 and 10 business days to process, depending on your account and other factors.
How to get TD Bank $300 bonus for premier checking?
You can get the $300 bonus by being a new customer to the bank, opening your account online, and receiving direct deposits worth $2,500 or more in the first 60 days you have the account.
Where is my Webster bank $350 bonus?
You’ll need to talk to a representative at Webster to find out where your $350 bonus is, it’s possible you didn’t meet the conditions to qualify for the bonus.
Why the bonus rewards shows pending in Bank of America?
Bonus rewards show as pending on your Bank of America account because the rewards take a few days to process and clear your account.
Has Fidelity Bank promo ended?
That depends on where you live – Fidelity Bank offers different promotions in different regions. Check your local branch to see if there’s a promotion going on now.
What is the Fifth Third bank loyalty award promo card?
The Fifth Third Bank loyalty award promo card is a Master Card gift card you can get from Fifth Third Bank.
Does Wells Fargo have bonuses for switching accounts to them?
Yes, you can get up to $400 from Wells Fargo by opening an account, depositing $25 or more, and making 10 posted purchases each month for three months. Read more about the Wells Fargo checking account bonus.
Does Capital One have bonuses for signing up?
Yes, there are lots of different bonuses available from Capital One. However, each Capital One 360 bonus has different deposit requirements, and some of them can be quite high, so you’ll want to carefully consider if it’s worth it before you change accounts.
Other Bank Bonus and Promotion Questions
This section contains questions about bank bonuses and promotions that don’t fit into our other categories.
Are bank bonuses taxable?
Yes, bank bonuses are taxable if they are distributed as income. However, if your bank gives you a bonus in the form of a rebate, then it might not be taxable.
Are bank account referral bonuses taxable?
That depends on how the bonus is structured. If it’s given to you as a bonus, then yes. However, if you receive it as a rebate or cash back, then it probably isn’t taxable.
Are bank bonuses considered interest income?
No, bank bonuses are not considered interest income in most cases. However, it all depends on how the bonus is structed. You should talk to an accountant or your bank for more information about your case. If you're looking for other ways to earn higher returns check out our recent review on an Ally Invest account.
Are bank sign up bonuses taxable?
In most cases, yes. However, it depends on how the bank bonus is structured. Direct bonuses are considered income, but rebates are not.
Are banks increasing signup bonus offer on thanksgiving?
Sometimes, it’s best to talk to local branches of different banks to see if they’ll let you know if there’s a signup bonus offer coming up.
How much can you make annually on bank account bonuses?
That depends on how much money you have. Most banks give bonuses after you’ve deposited a certain amount, usually through direct deposit. That means your ability to get these bonuses is limited by your ability to produce direct deposit funds.
Which bank gives you the highest cash bonus?
That depends on what kind of account you want to open and what kind of income you have. We like Chase’s $200 bonus as there’s no minimum deposit to open the account.
Which bank match the higher bonus miles?
There’s no set list of banks that will match higher bonus miles, it’s up to the specific bank managers and supervisors as your branch.
How do I see my offer bank promo?
You’ll need to log in to your bank account to see your Offer bank promotions.
How to add a promo from the bank in Quickbooks?
You should add a promo from the bank in Quickbooks by creating a new income account with the type “other income”. This will let you accurate track your bank promo money in your books.
Can banks take back promotional bonuses?
It’s unclear if banks can remove bonuses from your account that you’ve already been given. It depends on the laws in your state and the terms of your agreement with a bank. You’ll need to talk to a lawyer for more information.
Can I decline to take a bank bonus?
You can decline to take a bank bonus if you’re worried about tax implications or just don’t want the money. You’ll need to talk to your bank to see how you can waive your bonus.