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January 2023 Checking Account Bonus Offers Available Nationwide

Put free cash in your pockets with a checking account bonus. Get paid to open a bank account and earn more than the national savings rate.

Bank savings rates remain historically low, currently at 0.21% APY. But one-way consumers can earn more for their money is through a checking account bonus offer.

Banks use checking account bonus promotions as an incentive to get you to sign up for a new account.

There are many bank promotions currently offered, but not all checking account bonus offers are a good deal for everyone's budget. Some have high minimum balance requirements and monthly fees that could eat into your bonus.

Get paid to open a bank account.

Checking Account Bonus Offers

1. Upgrade Rewards Checking: $100 Bonus Offer

Best for Everyday Spending. New customers can receive a checking account bonus without a direct deposit requirement with Upgrade Banking. In addition to the $100 welcome bonus, the Upgrade Rewards Checking gives customers 2% cash back on eligible debit card purchases at convenience stores, drugstores, restaurants and bars, on utility bills and certain monthly subscriptions. All other purchases with the Upgrade debit card get 1% cash back.

Bonus: $100
Account Type: Rewards Checking
Direct Deposit Required: No
Bonus Requirements: Complete three (3) eligible purchases with the Rewards Checking debit card within sixty (60) days from account opening
Checking Features
  • $0 opening deposit. No minimum deposit to open the account.
  • $0 monthly fee. No account fees, no ATM or overdraft fees.
  • 2% cash back. Get 2% cash back on “common everyday expenses.”
  • 1% cash back. Get 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
  • FDIC-Insured. All money in your Rewards Checking account is FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

2. SoFi Bank – Welcome Bonus up to $275

Best automatic saving features. Customers can organize money, set savings goals, and save change with Vaults and Roundups. In addition to the welcome bonus up to $275, the SoFi Checking account offers no overdraft fee and no monthly fees. Members can use their SoFi debit card to access 55,000+ fee-free ATMs within the Allpoint® Network. Members with direct deposit can earn 3.00% APY on their balances or 1.20% APY without direct deposit.

Here is the breakdown:

  • To earn the initial $25 bonus you must make an opening deposit of $50 by using a debit card or by linking to a different bank account.
  • $50 Cash Bonus: Total Qualifying Direct Deposits: $1,000.00 – $4,999.99
  • $250 Cash Bonus: Total Qualifying Direct Deposits: $5,000 or more

Bonus: Up to $275
Account Type: Checking Account
Direct Deposit Required: Yes.
Bonus Requirements: (1) Sign up and set up direct deposit. (2) Wait for your direct deposit to hit your account. (3) Collect the cash bonus of $50 or $250 depending on your direct deposit amount.
Rewards Checking Features
  • No monthly maintenance fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit of $10 using a different bank account or $50 if using a debit card.
  • Earn 3.00% APY on all your cash with direct deposit. Without direct deposit, you will earn 1.20% APY.
  • 55,000+ fee-free ATMs.
  • Get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposit.
  • No-fee Overdraft Coverage with qualifying monthly direct deposit.
  • Organize your money, set savings goals, and save your change with Vaults and Roundups.
  • Deposit checks, get real-time alerts, freeze or unfreeze your card, change your pin, and more—all from your phone.
  • FDIC insured.

3. Axos Bank Rewards Checking: Up to a $150 Bonus

Best for Rewards Checking. The Axos Rewards Checking Account is an online checking with unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements in addition to earning up to a $150 bonus for setting up direct deposit.

Here is the breakdown:

  • $150 Cash Bonus: Have a qualifying direct deposit(s) of at least $1,000.00 each calendar month during the first three (3) calendar months your account is open.

Bonus: $150
Account Type: Rewards Checking Account
Direct Deposit Required: Yes.
Bonus Requirements: Have a qualifying direct deposit(s) of at least $1,000.00 each calendar month during the first three (3) calendar months your account is open. Just use promo code HOLIDAY on your application by 12/31/22.
Rewards Checking Features
  • Only $50 to open an account
  • Zero monthly maintenance fees
  • Zero overdraft or NSF fees
  • Zero minimum monthly balance reqs
  • Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements
  • Online debit card management

4. CIT Bank – Amazon Prime ($139 cash value)

Best for New Business Owners. The CIT Money Market account earns 1.55% APY. Use bill pay to make payments to third parties from any CIT Money Market account. You can connect your money market account to Zelle and PayPal.

Bonus: A year of Amazon Prime ($139 cash value)
Account Type: Money Market Account
Direct Deposit Required: No.
Bonus Requirements: Fund your account with $15,000 within 15 days of opening. Maintain a minimum balance of $15,000 for 60 days. This offer is available to new or existing customers. Use promo code AMZN22.
Money Market Account Features
  • High-earning interest rate.
  • Electronic money transfer service.
  • No monthly maintenance fee.
  • Access your money easily with Zelle® & Bill Pay.
  • FDIC insured.

5. Axos Bank Business Checking – $100 or $200 Bonus

Best for New Business Owners. The Axos Basic Business Account is an online business checking account that offers affordable banking for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Enjoy perks like no monthly service fees, unlimited ATM reimbursements in addition to earning a $200 bonus just to open the account.

Bonus: $200
Account Type: Business Checking Account
Direct Deposit Required: No.
Bonus Requirements: Must be a new business incorporated after June 1, 2020 to earn the $200 welcome bonus. Just use promo code NEWBIZ200 on your application.
Business Checking Features
  • Zero monthly maintenance fees.
  • Zero minimum monthly balance requirements.
  • First 50 checks free.
  • Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.
  • $1,000 minimum opening deposit.

Can I Close the Account After Receiving Bank Bonus?

Yes, but you could get hit with an account closing fee. To qualify for a checking account bonus, you’ll likely have to set up direct deposit or at least keep the account open for a set period of time. If you choose to switch banks to get a sign-up bonus but you opened your last account within the past year, your old bank may charge you money to close the account.

Can I Get a Bank Bonus from Multiple Different Banks?

Yes, but most bonuses require a direct deposit. The direct deposit requirements may make earning bonuses more complicated for those without a paycheck from an employer or benefit payments from social security, pension or unemployment. For those with a paycheck, your employer may be able to split your direct deposit into several banks. For others like self-employed individuals, the direct deposit requirement may be achieved through other transactions that qualify as direct deposits by the bank.

Checking Account Bonuses are Considered Taxable Income

Bank bonuses for opening new accounts are taxable. Many banks post the bonus as an interest payment that means the bank will send you a Form 1099-INT. The IRS collects taxes on bank bonuses because it is considered an addition to your taxable income for the year in which it is paid.

Does Opening a Bank Account for a Bank Bonus Impact My Credit?

Most banks will do a soft credit pull when you open a new account. This type of inquiry doesn’t impact your credit score. However, if you have a freeze on your credit with Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, you will need to temporarily unfreeze your credit reports before applying. Opening checking accounts doesn’t have the same effect on your credit history as opening multiple credit cards but your ChexSystems report could be impacted.

Your ChexSystems report has no direct impact on your credit score. However, opening a new bank account can affect your ChexSystems report. ChexSystems is the bank's version of a credit bureau. ChexSystems is a consumer information database that stores information on how consumers manage their accounts. It's estimated that 80-90% of all banks utilize ChexSystems to help determine the risk of opening new accounts.

If a person commits check fraud or leaves their account with a negative balance, ChexSystems maintains that information in their database for up to 5 years in addition to other information like opening or closing a bank account. Some banks may consider opening several bank accounts in a short period of time a red flag, while other banks have no issue with it. Technically, a consumer can have an unlimited number of bank accounts as long as you haven’t left any accounts in bad standing.

If you've been denied a checking or savings account and have a ding in ChexSystems, consider banks that don't use ChexSystems when looking for a new account.


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