Choosing the right bank account can have a big impact on your financial health.
If you’re considering opening a new bank account to take advantage of rising interest rates, one with a new customer bonus can put a few extra bucks in your pocket, and add to your balance. But it’s also important to weigh any bonus against the account’s long-term value — including any interest you may earn, fees, access, and minimums required.
Even if an account has a great upfront deal, you may be able to maximize your value more over time with a different account that aligns better with your needs. Many banks that offer bonuses are large or regional financial institutions that pay low (if any) interest on your balances over time. It can be difficult to find a bonus from online banks, which typically offer high-yield savings accounts— and even high-yield checking accounts, in some cases — that you may get more value from long-term.
But knowing what’s available and what you may qualify for is always a good way to get started.
Here’s an overview of the best bank bonuses available today, including savings account bonuses, checking account bonuses, and referral bonuses:
Before You Start
Not all of the banks on our list are available everywhere across the country. In fact, many bank bonuses are only offered by regional or local banks open to customers within a few states or credit unions with varying requirements for membership. Before you open any new account, check your eligibility on the individual bank’s website.
How We Chose These Banks
Our list of best bank account bonuses is a compilation of current offers available from our analysis of nearly 40 online banks. We determine this list using the banks we evaluate regularly for our list of best high-yield savings accounts, as well as commonly reviewed and searched-for bonus offers.
However, this is not a list of the best savings accounts or best checking accounts available now. We encourage you to compare for yourself the value of a bank account bonus against a savings account with a high interest rate, or a more flexible checking account with no fees. These bonuses are typically no more than $100-$200, so a bank account best suited to your needs, even with no bonus, may bring you more value over the long run.
Finally, all of the banks on this list are FDIC- or NCUA-insured.
Best Savings Account Bonuses
A savings account bonus can be a great way to kickstart your savings and increase your balance from the start. Savings account bonuses typically require some minimum deposit within a given timeframe or an ongoing minimum monthly deposit over the first year.
The downside? Many of the savings accounts that offer bonuses are not high yield savings accounts. They’re typically offered by regional or national bank brands with a number of branches, which can be a benefit. But if you’re looking to earn money on your balance, you may be better off skipping a bonus and choosing an online bank. It can pay to do your own research beforehand into whether you can get more value over time from a high-yield account with no bonus, especially in today’s rising interest rate environment.
For example, say you open an account and earn around $100 as a bonus. By contrast, some of the best savings account rates today earn 3% APY or more. If you have $10,000 to save, you could more from any of the best high-yield savings accounts today over your first year than you’d get from the bonus, and continue earning in the future — unlike an account with a great first-year bonus but no competitive ongoing APY. Just remember that savings account rates are variable, so they will fluctuate over time.
To help you determine which option is for you, here are some of the best savings account bonuses available today:
Alliant Credit Union
Open The Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account with Alliant, and you can earn a $100 bonus over the first year. You’ll need to deposit at least $100 into your account each month 12 consecutive months, for a total of $1,200 in your account.
Unlike other accounts on our list, Alliant’s savings account is also a high-yield savings account. So, on top of earning your bonus at the end of your first year, you can also maximize interest on your savings, at a rate comparable to the best savings account rates today.
There are no monthly fees if you elect for e-statements, and you must have a $100 minimum daily balance to earn interest.
The Alliant offer is only available to new members of the credit union, which you can join if you work for an eligible employer or live in an eligible location, or by becoming a member of Alliant’s partner charity.
BMO Harris offers a welcome bonus that can help you earn over your entire first year. You’ll get $5 each month you deposit at least $200 for the first year after opening a Savings Builder account with the bank.
The Savings Builder account has no monthly maintenance fees, a $25 minimum opening deposit, and a minimum ongoing balance of $0.01. Aside from the bonus, you’ll earn just 0.01% APY.
Earn between $40 and $3,500 when you open a new Citi Savings Account. The amount you’ll get depends on how much you deposit within 20 days of account opening and maintain for an additional 60 days. These are the different balance tiers:
- $10,000 to $29,999: $40 bonus
- $30,000 to $49,999: $100 bonus
- $50,000 to $99,999: $200 bonus
- $100,000 to $199,999: $400 bonus
- $200,000 to $499,999: $800 bonus
- $500,000 to $999,000: $1,750 bonus
- $1 million or more: $3,500 bonus
Citi’s savings account has no minimum opening balance and varying options for avoiding fees depending on the tier you qualify for considering your other accounts with Citi and total balances.
Earn a 1% annual savings bonus (up to $100 earned) when you set up automatic transfers to a Regions Bank LifeGreen Savings Account from a checking account with Regions. Your automatic transfers must be equal to at least $10 in a minimum of 10 out of 12 months before your account opening anniversary.
The LifeGreen account has no monthly fees or ongoing balance requirements, though you will need to deposit at least $50 upon opening if you open your account online. You must also have a Regions Bank checking account to open a LifeGreen account with Regions.
You can get a $200 cash bonus when you open a new TD Bank savings account and deposit at least $10,000 within 20 days, and then maintain the balance for 90 more days.
The offer is available for both the TD Signature Savings and TD Simple Savings accounts. Signature Savings has more restrictions on waiving fees, but offers a few additional perks compared to the more basic Simple Savings. Neither account is a high yield savings account, so you’ll earn very little in interest.
Best Checking Account Bonuses
Checking account bonuses can be a great perk of opening a new bank account. Instead of a one-time deposit, these bonuses typically require a certain number of direct deposits to be made within a given timeframe, or a certain balance directly deposited into your account.
Some checking accounts may be interest-earning accounts, which can help you earn a few extra dollars on your balance. Most importantly, though, make sure you understand any fees the bank may charge, since checking account monthly maintenance fees are often more common than savings account fees. You’ll typically need to meet specific requirements, like setting up a direct deposit or opting out of paper statements to avoid fees.
Earn up to a $150 new account bonus when you open a Rewards Checking Account and use code “HOLIDAY” on your application. You’ll also need to fund your account within 60 days and make qualifying direct deposits of at least $1,000 within a single calendar month during the first three months of account opening.
Axos Bank’s rewards account earns variable interest depending on your balance, as well as on other accounts and banking or loan products you have with Axos. There are no monthly maintenance fees and a $50 minimum deposit to open.
BMO Harris offers varying cash bonuses depending on the checking account you choose. Each of these accounts require a minimum $25 opening deposit.
- Smart Advantage Account: Earn $200 after making at least $4,000 in qualifying direct deposits within 90 days of opening. This account has no monthly fees when you choose paperless statements and no ongoing minimum balance requirement.
- Smart Money Account: Earn $200 after making at least $4,000 in qualifying direct deposits within 90 days of opening. There’s no ongoing minimum balance requirement and no fee if you’re under 25 years old.
- Premier Account: Earn $350 after making at least $7,500 in qualifying direct deposits within 90 days of opening. This is a relationship account with the bank, and offers tiers with different benefits depending on your balance across all your BMO Harris accounts.
Citibank’s checking account bonuses vary depending on how much you deposit into your checking account within the first 20 days of opening and maintain for another 60 days after that.
- $10,000 minimum: $200 bonus
- $30,000 minimum: $500 bonus
- $75,000 minimum: $1,000 bonus
- $200,000 minimum: $1,500 bonus
- $300,000 minimum: $2,000 bonus
You’ll need to open an eligible checking account package, which includes Citi’s Citibank, Citi Priority, Citigold, and Basic Banking packages. Each of these have different minimum balance and fee requirements, as well as varying benefits.
Earn up to $400 when you open PNC’s Virtual Wallet checking and savings account. There are three different Virtual Wallet checking accounts that may qualify for different bonus amounts:
- Virtual Wallet: Earn $50 when you make qualifying direct deposits of at least $500 within 60 days of account opening.
- Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend: Earn $200 when you make qualifying direct deposits of at least $2,000 within 60 days of account opening.
- Virtual Wallet with Performance Select: Earn $400 when you make qualifying direct deposits of at least $5,000 within 60 days of account opening.
Each of the checking account options have varying monthly fees, which you can waive by meeting certain requirements (minimum balance or monthly direct deposit amounts).
Open a SoFi online bank account and set up direct deposit to earn a bonus between $50 and $250, depending on your direct deposit amount:
- $1,000 – $4,999 deposit: $50 bonus
- $5,000 or more deposit: $250 bonus
The bonus will depend on the amount deposited within a 25-day period. SoFi’s Checking and Savings account has no fees and no minimum balance requirements, and earns a competitive APY (which is boosted even more when you set up direct deposit).
Earn a $200 or $300 bonus, depending on the type of checking account you open.
- TD Convenience Checking: Earn $200 when you make $500 in qualifying direct deposits within 60 days. This account has a $15 monthly fee that you can waive if you maintain a $100 daily balance.
- TD Beyond Checking: Earn $300 when you make $2,500 in qualifying direct deposits within 60 days. This is an interest-earning account and charges a $25 monthly fee that you can waive by meeting direct deposit or minimum daily balance requirements.
Best Referral Bonuses
Unlike a welcome or sign-up bonus, a referral bonus is a way to get rewarded if you already have an account with a bank. On the flip side, if you have a friend with an account at a bank that offers referral bonuses, you may also benefit when signing up with their referral.
Depending on the offer, some referral bonuses may apply to only the referrer, the referee, or both parties. Here are the best bank referral bonuses we found available right now:
Share a direct link from Axos with a friend, and you can both earn $50. The referred person will need to open a checking account with Axos and receive at least $1,000 in direct deposits within 90 days of account opening. There’s no limit to the number of people you may refer.
If you have an eligible Citi account, you can earn $500 every time you refer someone who opens an eligible Citi savings account. Citi allows you to earn this bonus up to 20 times.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs
You and a friend can boost your savings account APY by 1.00% for three months when you refer them to Marcus. The bonus is only available on Marcus’ online savings account. You can earn the referral on your savings account if your friend opens a CD with Marcus, but they won’t get the rate boost on their CD. You can earn up to five bonuses per year.
Refer a friend to open a Regions checking account, and you can earn a $50 Visa Reward gift card. To earn the bonus, your friend must open the account within 90 days of referral and within 60 days of account opening have a direct deposit of at least $300, complete at least 10 debit card purchases, and enroll in online banking with online statements.
Earn $50 when you refer someone to open a SoFi Checking and Savings account. The referred person must make a deposit of $10 or more within five days of registering.
If you’re referred by a friend, you’ll also get a $25 bonus for meeting the same requirements.
You and a friend can earn a $50 referral bonus when you refer them and they open a checking account at a TD Bank branch. They’ll also need to have a direct deposit of at least $250 within 60 days of account opening, or make at least 15 qualifying purchases with their debit card within 60 days.
You can refer up to 10 people each year for a total $500.
Invite others to open a Varo Bank Account with your link through the Varo app, and you’ll both earn $30 after they spend $20 within 30 days of account opening. You can earn up to five bonuses per calendar year.