Best Checking Account Bonuses of 2024

Final Verdict

SoFi is our top overall pick thanks to the size of its bonus, and because it scored highly on our other criteria. All you have to do is open an account and sign up for direct deposit; as long as your deposits total at least $1,000, you’ll qualify for a bonus, and SoFi will pay it out within seven business days. 

But in general, checking account promotions are pretty easy to get. Explore the options and you’re likely to find one within reach.


Guide to Choosing Checking Account Bonuses

Factors to Consider When Claiming a Checking Account Bonus

Before choosing a bank and opening a new checking account to claim a promotional offer, consider the following factors: 

  • Fees: Some accounts have monthly maintenance fees that can cut into your account balance over time. Many banks will waive those fees if you meet certain balance requirements. 
  • Qualification requirements: Qualification requirements for cash bonuses can vary, but you’ll generally need to sign up for direct deposit or maintain a certain balance for a certain period of time. Those requirements can mean some of your cash isn’t available to use until after the bonus’s evaluation period is over. 
  • Perks: Some banks offer special benefits, such as fee-free ATMs or unlimited check writing. 
  • Availability: Online banks are increasingly common, but some people prefer the convenience of a brick-and-mortar bank, so find out if the bank operates branches near you. 

How to Find Checking Account Bonuses

Banks often advertise promotional offers on their websites, but they aren’t always easy to find. It may be easier to use a site like Investopedia, which researches available bank offers and posts updates on a regular basis. 

How to Switch Banks

If you are planning on switching banks, you can often open a new account online. The new bank will prompt you to fund the account (a minimum starting deposit is sometimes required), and you can also set up direct deposit. Once your account is funded, you can update your automatic payments for your credit cards, utilities, and other bills.

It’s a good idea to hold off on closing the old account for a month or two to make sure that all of your accounts have been updated. Otherwise, you risk late fees or missed payment fees. Once you’re sure all of your information has been updated, contact the bank to close the old account. 

Although banks don’t check your credit reports when you apply for a checking account, they may check your checking history through checking account reporting companies like ChexSystems or Early Warning Services.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Switching banks to get a cash bonus can be an easy way to get extra money. However, regularly chasing bank bonuses isn’t realistic or efficient for most people; every time you switch banks, you’ll have to update your direct deposit and automatic payments, and some banks charge closure fees. 

  • Cash bonuses you earn for opening a new checking account are taxable as income. The bank will send you either Form 1099-INT or Form 1099-MISC, which you’ll use to fill out your tax return and report the cash bonus.

  • Checking account bonuses vary by bank. Some are generous, offering hundreds of dollars with low deposit requirements, while others require you to deposit larger amounts and maintain a high minimum balance. Whether it makes sense to open a new account to take advantage of a promotional offer depends on how much extra cash you have handy, how liquid you need your money to be, and the value of the bonus offer.

  • Both national and regional banks offer checking account promotional offers, including Axos Bank, SoFi, Citi, Bank of America, Chase, U.S. Bank, and more. 


If you’re looking to switch savings accounts, consider moving your money to a high-yield savings account. As of January 2024, you can earn an annual percentage yield as high as 5.26% through the top high-yield savings accounts.


Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews. To rate checking account promotions, we collected hundreds of data points for nearly 30 accounts, including bonus amounts, APYs, fees, and account requirements, to ensure that our reviews help users make informed decisions about their banking needs.

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