People routinely sign up for credit cards to take advantage of sign-up bonuses, scoring $100 or more for free. But you don’t have to open a new line of credit just to make a few extra bucks – you can rack up free money from your local bank.
Bank bonuses are a lesser-known way to earn hundreds for free; all you have to do is open a new account. Like credit cards, many banks offer sign-up bonuses when you open a new checking or savings account and meet certain requirements. Check off these easy requirements, and you could have an extra $400 to spend.
Here’s how to make the most out of bank sign-up bonuses with the best bonuses available now.
Chase Bank: Up to $350 for Free
Chase offers a new customer bonus of $50, $200, $300, or $350 depending on the type of account you open. You can even qualify for a much higher sign-up bonus if you receive a direct mailer from the bank.
Open a basic checking or savings account, and you’ll earn $50. Choose the Chase Total Business Checking account to earn a $200 bonus. This is the easiest bonus to get – you don’t need a business, but you do need a minimum deposit of $1,000. The Chase Premier Plus Checking account offers a bonus of $300 with a $25 minimum deposit, but you must also sign up for direct deposit to get the free cash. The biggest bonus, $350, is available if you open a dual Chase Total Checking and Savings account. You need to deposit at least $25 into checking and $10,000 into savings to qualify, and the savings deposit must stay in the account for at least 90 days.
No matter which bonus you’re aiming for, you must keep the new account open for 6 months or your bonus will be deducted.
TD Bank: $150 or $300 in Bonuses
If you’ve never had a TD Bank personal checking account before, you can qualify for a $300 new customer sign-up bonus. Open a Premier Checking account with TD Bank – which you can do online if there isn’t a branch in your city – and have at least $2,500 in direct deposits within 60 days to earn the bonus.
Don’t want a Premier account? TD Bank offers a slightly smaller incentive for customers who don’t want to set up direct deposit. You can get a $150 bonus if you sign up for the Convenience Checking account instead and make a minimum deposit of $25.
Once you meet the qualifications for your new account, it can take up to 95 days to receive the bonus. Make sure you don’t close your account until you’ve received the bonus!
SunTrust Bank: Up to $500 for Free
SunTrust Bank may not be located in every U.S. city or state, but it offers one of the most lucrative sign-up bonuses available. All you need to do is sign up for one of SunTrust’s checking accounts.
If you open a Signature Advantage account and have $2,000 or more in direct deposits within the first two months, you’ll qualify for a $500 bonus. If you open a Select Checking account, which has fewer restrictions and a lower balance minimum (receive $1,000 or more in direct deposits in two months), you’ll qualify for a $250 bonus.
To qualify, you must be a new account holder and use the promo code Q118CHECKINGOL. Unlike other banks, SunTrust Bank accepts Discover, ACH, Paypal, and ING deposits as direct deposits toward the bonus, meaning you don’t have to have a regular paycheck. The one drawback to this incredible bonus is that you must live in a qualifying state – most of which are in the south. Customers in the west or east won’t qualify.
Fifth Third Bank: a $200 Bonus
Fifth Third has one of the easiest sign-up bonuses available because it does not require direct deposit. This common requirement can be hard to meet, especially if you’re only opening an account for the bonus. Instead, you just need to meet a minimum balance or deposit upon opening a new account.
Open an Essential Checking account at your local Fifth Third Bank branch and deposit a minimum of $500 to receive $200 for free. You have 45 days to reach $500, and then need to maintain that balance of at least $500 for 60 days to receive the bonus. Make sure you don’t close your account until you’ve kept that minimum balance for at least two months – it can take a few more weeks to see the bonus in your account.
PNC Bank: $50 to $300 in Bonus Cash
PNC Bank offers a sign-up bonus of $50, $200, or $300 for a special type of new account. If you open a virtual wallet online or in person at a local branch, you can earn any one of these bonus amounts. In order to qualify, you must make at least 10 debit card purchases and receive at least one direct deposit within 60 days via your new virtual wallet.
To earn the $50 bonus, you must receive a direct deposit of at least $500 into your wallet. The $200 bonus requires a Performance Spend virtual wallet, a higher tier with a higher spend and at least $2,000 in direct deposits. The $300 sign-up bonus requires a Performance Select virtual wallet and at least $5,000 in direct deposits, making this a tricky bonus to achieve.
It’s important to note that the direct deposit requirement with PNC Bank can be met with standard employment direct deposits, pension deposits, American Express Serve deposits, Paypal deposits, and Ally ACH. This makes it easier to meet the threshold. Just don’t forget that you must use your digital wallet and spend some money to qualify for the bonus.
HSBC: Up to $750 in Bonuses
HSBC is offering three different sign-up bonuses: $200, $350, or $750. In order to earn the $200 bonus, you must open a Choice Checking account and deposit at least $1,500. The $350 sign-up bonus requires an HSBC Advance checking account and a minimum deposit of $10,000. The $750 bonus requires an HSBC Premier checking account and a minimum deposit of $100,000.
For all bonuses, the minimum must be deposited within 30 days and remain in the account for at least 90 days. You do not need to deposit the full amount in the checking account, though; you can put some of it into a linked savings account. Once you meet the requirements, the bonus will be deposited within eight weeks. While two of these sign-up bonuses require high deposits, none require direct deposit – making it easier for those whose jobs don’t use direct deposit.
The most important gotcha, aside from monthly account fees, is the early account termination fee of $25 if you close your account within 180 days.
With all new account bonuses, make sure you understand the fees, penalties, and requirements before opening an account. You could find yourself at a loss rather than a gain if you close an account too early or fail to meet the deposit requirements. Instead, make it easy to earn a little – or a lot – extra cash by doing your homework beforehand.