Summer officially begins this month, but mentally, many of us are already in vacation mode. Whether you’ll be traveling to the ends of the earth or staying local this season, it doesn’t hurt to have some extra money in your pocket. Before you pack your backs and leave home, consider whether you could use a new checking or savings account.
In exchange for opening a new checking or savings account, your bank might put some money in your pocket. And if you’re strapped for cash after paying taxes, an extra $200 or $300 could be just what you need.
Why banks have sign-up bonuses
Banks use sign-up bonuses to distinguish themselves from others in the industry. Cash bonuses also help financial institutions bring in new customers and new deposits.
While they could pay account holders a higher yield, for some banks, offering a bonus is preferable.
“It’s much easier to quantify the bonus than it is to raise the rate on what you’re paying out on deposits,” says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst.
Some banks, like TD Bank, offer more than one sign-up bonus. But qualifying for multiple bonuses at the same time at the same bank usually isn’t possible. Bank account bonuses are typically available only to new checking or savings account holders.
Banks offer these cash bonus incentives in hopes that their customers deposit more money into their new accounts. The more money banks can bring in the money the more money they have to perform their other functions like lending money to consumers which is the real business of banks.
These bonus incentives are great to take advantage of because banks encourage it since they will eventually make more money bank than they initially paid out for a new account.
Another great benefit of opening an online account is the option of opening a savings account also! If you have a savings account with a bank they are more likely to loan you money for a real estate line of credit, car loan, or anything.
Benefits of an Online Savings Account
These new online-only banks have many benefits over traditional brick and mortar banks like Wells Fargo or Chase. They are smaller so they generally provide better customer service and are often willing to offer much higher interest rates.
Do you ever get frustrated when your bank is closed for the holiday or weekend? Online banks are open 24/7 and will sometimes offer ways to deposit checks via a mobile app or online. Because you access your funds online, they are always available for you to transfer, withdraw, or do online bill payments. These online banks are 100% real and backed by the FDIC, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. This means that your money is guaranteed by the federal government up to $250,000 per account just like the traditional brick and mortar banks.
Best savings and money market account bonus
Discover Bank: $150 or $200 bonus
There’s no minimum deposit to open the account, but you must enter an offer code when you apply online. The Discover online savings account pays 2.10 percent APY.
Chase Bank: $150 or $200 bonus
If you have at least $10,000 to stick into a savings account, you can earn $150 for maintaining that balance for 90 days. When combined with the $200 Total Checking account bonus, you’ll earn $350 total.
The downside? Chase’s savings account pays just 0.01 percent APY. Check out the best high-yield savings accounts.
Best checking account offers
Wells Fargo Bank: $400 bonus
Earn $400 when you open an Everyday Checking account online or in a branch by July 26. To qualify you must:
Not be the owner of a Wells Fargo consumer checking account or the recipient of a bonus within the past 12 months.
Open your checking account online.
Chase Bank: $200 or $300 bonus
You could earn $300 by opening a Premier Plus checking account. Or earn $200 by opening a Total Checking account. Through another promotion that applies to accounts, you can earn $300 for opening a Total Checking Account and up to $600 when you also open a Chase savings account.
TD Bank: $150 or $300 bonus
A $300 bonus is available for TD Bank customers who:
Open a Premier Checking account online.
Have never had a TD Bank personal checking account.
There’s also a $150 cash bonus if you’d prefer a Convenience Checking account.
Santander Bank: $225 Bonus
Earn $225 from Santander Bank You can open a new checking account online or in a branch. To get the bonus, you must:
Keep your account open for 90 days.
Elements Financial: $200 bonus
An Indiana-based credit union is offering a $200 bonus to new members who open a high interest checking account and To qualify for the bonus you must:
Set up a recurring direct deposit within 60 days.
Anyone nationwide can join Elements Financial by becoming a member of Tru Direction and paying a $5 membership fee. The credit union earned four out of five stars in the latest review of its financial health.
Huntington National Bank: $200 bonus
Earn $200 by opening a Huntington 5 Checking account online or in a branch. To qualify you must:
Be a new Huntington checking customer who hasn’t closed a checking account within the past six months.
HSBC: $200, $350 or $750 bonus
HSBC has several checking account bonuses available online.
To qualify for a bonus, deposit new money within 30 calendar days and maintain the qualifying balance for 90 days. Don’t want your entire deposit to go into a checking account? You can still earn the bonus if part of it goes into a new savings account (or for the $750 bonus, an eligible investment account).
Best checking and savings bonus
Citibank: $200, $400 or $600 bonus
Customers in the market for a new checking and savings account can open both through Citi and potentially earn a bonus.