5 Checking Account Signup Offers That Are Almost Too Good to Be True

Banks want your business so badly that many are willing to pay you to open a checking account. Owning a checking account is convenient for depositing a paycheck and withdrawing funds. Many companies also look at your bank accounts to determine how financially risky it is to offer you credit.

When opening a checking account, you’ll need to keep in mind that many banks charge fees for ATM usage, overdrafts, and monthly service. According to Bankrate, the average monthly fee on non-interest accounts is close to $5. You might be able to avoid these regular costs by maintaining a minimum balance. The best checking account signup offers give you a signup bonus that can leave you with a few hundred extra dollars in your bank account, which offsets other fees and encourages you to choose them over their competitors.

1. Fifth Third Bank Checking

You can get $200 for opening a Fifth Third Bank Checking account. First, you must enter your email address on the offer’s promotional page to receive a code. Then, print that code out and bring it into a branch to open an account.

Fund the account with at least $500 within 45 days of opening it. Then, keep a minimum daily balance of $500 for 60 more days to qualify for the bonus. The bonus will be deposited up to 10 business days after you have completed the requirements.

You can choose from the Essential, Enhanced, Preferred, or Free Checking accounts. Each has different fees associated with it. Service charges range from $8 to $25 per month, but the charge can be waived if you meet certain requirements.

Pros

  1. You can choose from a variety of checking accounts.
  2. Fifth Third Bank partners with other financial institutions to offer more than 50,000 fee-free ATMs around the world.

Cons

  1. You must open Enhanced, Preferred, and Free Checking accounts in a branch.
  2. The Fifth Third Essential Checking account charges a monthly fee no matter what.

2. Citibank Account Package

If you can fund a new account with $15,000, you can get a bonus of $400 when you open a Citibank checking and savings account. Within 30 days of opening your accounts, you must deposit a minimum of $15,000 across the accounts and keep it there for 60 consecutive days. Citibank will give you an additional $100 when you perform at least one qualifying direct deposit per month for two successive months within 60 days of opening your account.

Rates and fees vary from state to state. The fees also vary from $0 to $30 per month depending on the type of account that you choose and the minimum balance that you maintain.

Pros

  1. You can choose from interest checking or regular checking.
  2. Citibank offers a variety of checking accounts with different fees and benefits.

Cons

  1. You must sign up for a checking and savings account.
  2. The minimum deposit of $15,000 may be too high for some.

3. TD Bank Convenience Checking

The bonuses that banks offer for opening a checking account are usually greater when you start with a higher initial deposit. If you only have $500 to begin with, though, you can get $150 from TD Bank when you open a Convenience Checking account. You must add $500 to your account via direct deposit within 60 days of opening it. You’ll also pay a $15 fee if your daily balance falls below $100.

TD Bank offers 24/7 customer service, free mobile, online banking, and no fees at TD Bank ATMs.

Pros

  1. You can get this promotion with a minimum balance of $500.
  2. A low minimum daily balance is required to waive monthly fees.

Cons

  1. This offer is not available in some states.
  2. You need to use direct deposit to qualify for the offer, which may not be available from some employers or if you’re self-employed.

4. Chase Total Checking

With Chase, you can get a bonus of $200 for opening a Chase Total Checking account and establishing direct deposit. The minimum required to open an account is only $25.

There is a $12 monthly fee associated with this account, which is waived if you make direct deposits totaling at least $500 every month, maintain a daily balance of at least $1,500 or have an average beginning day balance of at least $5,000 in this account as well as certain qualifying linked Chase accounts.

Pros

  1. The minimum qualifying deposit is only $25.
  2. You will receive the bonus within 10 days of opening the account and completing the qualifying direct deposit.

Cons

  1. This offer requires you to set up direct deposit.
  2. The Chase Total Checking account charges a $12 monthly fee unless you satisfy certain requirements.

5. PNC Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend

If you use your debit card frequently and have regular monthly income added to your account via direct deposit, you may qualify for a $200 bonus when you open a Performance Checking or Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend account at PNC Bank.

To qualify, you must establish direct deposit and use it to add at least $2,000 to the account within 60 days of opening it. You also have to make at least 10 qualifying purchases using the associated debit card within that time frame.

A Virtual Wallet account includes a Spend account, which is your primary checking. This is used to pay bills and is linked to your debit card. You also get a Reserve account, which allows you to accumulate short-term savings, which can also be used for overdraft protection. The Growth account is your long-term savings account, which offers competitive interest rates.

The monthly service fee is $15 unless you add at least $2,000 per month to the Spend account using direct deposit, maintain a $2,000 monthly balance in the Spend and Reserve accounts, or maintain a $15,000 monthly balance in other consumer deposit, mortgage or investment accounts.

Pros

  1. You can open your account online or in a branch.
  2. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on each of the 10 debit card purchases to qualify for the bonus.

Cons

  1. You must tell PNC to link your Virtual Wallet to your account to receive benefits.
  2. Requires direct deposit.
32