Free money is always a good thing. But there’s always something a little sweeter about earning free money from the comfort of your living room. That’s right, if you have an internet connection and are in the market for a new checking account, then you likely qualify for a pocketful of free money yourself.
Banks incentivize new customers by offering welcoming bonuses with added benefits, promotional interest rates, and cash bonuses. Qualifying can sometimes be as easy as setting up a direct deposit or maintaining a minimum balance for a set amount of time.
With that in mind, we’ll elaborate on the importance of checking accounts, what they’re used for, and which banks are offering the best checking account bonuses right now.
Checking vs. Savings Account
Though there are a lot of banks and credit unions to choose from, most accounts can be divided up into two distinct categories: checking accounts and savings accounts.
Savings accounts are used to store money and investment assets for extended periods of time. They often pay better interest rates, and force you to abide by a set of predetermined withdrawal and balance requirements.
On the other side of the proverbial banking coin is checking accounts. Instead of storing money long term, checking accounts are used to cover day to day expenses, pay bills, and accept direct deposits.
Most Americans use a combination of both accounts, relying on a checking account to handle short term transactions and a savings account to save for large purchases or retirement.
PNC Bank Virtual Wallet with Performance Select
Bonus: up to $4001
PNC Bank offers a number of different ways for new customers to earn free money. Open and use a new Virtual Wallet product and meet one of their simple requirements to earn a $50 welcome bonus.
You’ll need to open and use a new Virtual Wallet with a Performance Select account in order to maximize your welcome bonus. Earning the full $400 is a question of opening the account and accumulating $5,000 in monthly direct deposits. You can earn it by maintaining a balance of $5,000.
SoFi Checking and Savings Account
Bonus: up to $2502
Enjoy no-fee overdraft coverage, no account fees, and up to 15-percent cash back at local businesses with a SoDi Checking and Savings account. New SoFi customers can cash in on a limited time welcome bonus of $250 too.
Simply visit the SoFi website, sign up for a new checking and savings account, and receive at least one qualifying direct deposit to start earning your welcome bonus today. You’ll have to accumulate at least $5,000 of qualifying direct deposits to earn the entire $250, but $1,000 worth of qualifying direct deposits will still earn you $50.
Chase Total Checking
Bonus: up to $2003
There’s a lot to like about banking with Chase. Their Chase Total Checking accounts waive the $12 maintenance fee for those that keep a daily balance of $1,500 and require no minimum balance to open an account. They benefit from a top-rated mobile app too.
If you like what you see from Chase you can open up a new Total Checking account and earn $200 for good measure. You’ll need to set up a direct deposit within 90 days of opening the account in order to qualify.
U.S. Bank’s Bank Smartly Checking
Bonus: up to $4004
Smartly Checking indeed. U.S. Bank is offering new customers a great, limited time bonus. Anyone opening a U.S. Bank Smartly Checking account could qualify for up to $400 by setting up and completing two or more deposits within the first 90 days of the account opening.
You’ll need to accumulate a total of $6,000 or more in qualified direct deposits to earn the full $400, but even $3,000 worth of qualified direct deposits will earn you $200. U.S. Bank is offering a $200 bonus to new Standard Savings account customers too.
TD Bank Beyond Checking Account
Bonus: up to $3005
Don’t let the name confuse you, TD’s Beyond Checking account is really just a crafty name for a standard checking account. Granted, they offer more benefits and incentives than you might be used to seeing.
New customers that set up and receive $2,500 or more in direct deposits within 60-days of opening an account will earn you a $300 cash welcome bonus. Getting your monthly maintenance fees and TD ATM fees waived can be done by maintaining a minimum balance of $2,500 or more.
Pad Your Bank Account!
There’s never been a better time to be in the market for a new checking account. Some of the biggest banks in the world are offering impressive cash incentives to entice your business. Better yet, you can apply, set up, and earn free money with nothing more than your smartphone.
Extra cash might be nice, but intuitive apps and great customer service can go a long way too. So don’t just sign up for the highest bidder. Do your own research, understand what you need from a bank, and sign up for the one that suits your money the best.