MagnifyMoney reviewed dozens of bank bonus offers to find today’s best available checking account promotions. While these banks often require qualifying direct deposits and/or minimum balance requirements, those cash bonuses are a nice perk for opening a new checking account. BMO Harris currently offers $500 for opening a checking account and completing bonus requirements.
Top checking account sign-up bonuses in September 2022
BMO Harris Premier Account — $500
- Expiration date: 9/30/2022
- How to earn bonus: Receive a total of at least $7,500 in combined qualifying direct deposits within 90 days of account opening.
- Who’s eligible: Nationwide for those who are not currently BMO Harris personal checking customers and have not had a BMO Harris personal checking account in the last 12 months.
- Account information: The BMO Harris Premier Silver, Premier Gold, Premier Platinum and Premier Platinum Elite accounts offer different tiers of perks to customers. All the accounts bear interest and allow for unlimited transactions at non-BMO Harris ATMs.
- Monthly fees: $25, waived if you have a minimum balance of at least $10,000 in your Premier Account, have a combined balance of at least $25,000 in BMO Harris accounts or if you’re a client of the BMO Harris employee benefits program.
Citizens Bank Checking Accounts — Up to $400
- Expiration date: 9/29/2022
- How to earn bonus: Receive a direct deposit of at least $500 within 60 days of account opening to earn a $300 bonus; each debit card purchase within 60 days of account opening earns $2 for a maximum of an additional $100 bonus.
- Who’s eligible: Residents of Connecticut, D.C., Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia who do not have a Citizens personal checking account and have not had a Citizens personal checking account in the last six months.
- Account information: Citizens Bank offers five types of checking accounts that earn this bonus: Student Checking, One Deposit Checking, EverValue Checking, Quest Checking and Wealth Checking. Student is designed for those under 25, One Deposit is geared for everyday banking, EverValue has some lower fees, Quest is for those who want a relationship account with Citizens and Wealth is for high relationship balances.
- Monthly fees: $25 for Quest Checking, waived with at least $5,000 in combined deposits per month or a $25,000 combined balance in Citizens accounts; $9.99 for One Deposit, waived with at least one deposit each month; $5 for EverValue Checking, which cannot be waived; $0 for Student Checking for those under 25. Wealth Checking has no monthly fee, but you must maintain a relationship balance of at least $200,000.
First National Bank Checking Account — Up to $400
- Expiration date: 12/31/2022
- How to earn bonus: In order to earn the maximum bonus amount of $400, you must make direct deposits totaling at least $2,500 (for a bonus of $250) and complete 10 online bill payments using First National Bank’s Bill Paying Service (for a bonus of $150) within 90 days of account opening. You can still earn $150 with direct deposits totaling $1,500 (but less than $2,500) within 90 days of account opening. Use promo code PEN4000121.
- Who’s eligible: Residents of D.C., Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia who open a new personal checking account with FNB.
- Account information: FNB offers this promotion to those who open a Freestyle, Lifestyle, Premierstyle, eStyle, eStyle Plus or Workplace First checking account.
- Monthly fees: The fees for these accounts vary, but Freestyle checking has no monthly fee.
PNC Bank Virtual Wallet Accounts — Up to $400
- Expiration date: 10/31/2022
- How to earn bonus: To earn a $400 bonus, receive a total of at least $5,000 in combined qualifying direct deposits within 60 days of account opening in the Virtual Wallet with Performance Select. To earn a $200 bonus, receive a total of at least $2,000 in the Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend.
- Who’s eligible: Available in 28 states and Washington, D.C. for those who are not currently PNC consumer checking customers and have not had a PNC consumer checking account in the last 90 days.
- Account information: PNC offers different tiers with increasing levels of perks for their Virtual Wallet customers. There’s no minimum deposit required to open a Virtual Wallet account.
- Monthly fees: Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend has a fee of $15 and Virtual Wallet with Performance Select has a fee of $25. Those fees can be waived with certain minimum balances or minimum deposit requirements.
Fifth Third Bank Checking Accounts — $375
- Expiration date: 9/30/2022
- How to earn bonus: Receive a total of at least $500 in combined qualifying direct deposit within 90 days of account opening to earn a $375 bonus.
- Who’s eligible: Nationwide for those who do not have a Fifth Third checking account and have not had one in the last 12 months.
- Account information: The Fifth Third Momentum and Preferred Checking accounts are eligible to receive this promotion. Momentum has no minimum balance requirement or monthly maintenance fee. Customers with a Preferred Checking account can receive better rates on Fifth Third loans.
- Monthly fees: $0 for Momentum, $25 for Preferred, waived with a combined total balance of at least $100,000 across Fifth Third accounts.
First Tech Federal Credit Union Checking Accounts — Up to $350
- Expiration date: 12/31/2022
- How to earn bonus: New First Tech Federal Credit Union members can earn up to $350. Earn $200 by setting up recurring direct deposits of at least $1,000. Earn up to $150 through a 10% reward on spending on groceries, online streaming subscriptions and food delivery. You must set up direct deposit and complete transactions within 60 days to earn the bonus.
- Who’s eligible: You can join First Tech from anywhere in the U.S. by becoming a member of the Computer History Museum or the Financial Fitness Association.
- Account information: First Tech has a few checking account options, including Rewards Checking, which pays the highest APY with qualifying account activity; First Checking Plus, which has no monthly fee but still pays interest; and Carefree Checking, which is the most basic account.
- Monthly fees: First Tech checking accounts don’t have monthly maintenance fees.
Chase Bank Total Checking Account — $300
- Expiration date: 10/19/2022
- How to earn bonus: Earn a $300 bonus by opening a new Chase Total Checking account and setting up direct deposit. If you open a Chase Savings account alongside the Total Checking account (and complete required account activity), you can earn an additional $300 as well.
- Who’s eligible: Available nationwide for those who aren’t currently Chase checking customers.
- Account information: Total Checking is one of many checking accounts offered by Chase, and it offers a simple suite of services, including debit card access and online banking.
- Monthly fees: $12, waived with electronic deposits totaling $500 or more, a daily balance of at least $1,500 or an average daily balance of $5,000 in qualifying Chase accounts.
Laurel Road Loyalty Checking Account — $300
- Expiration date: 12/31/2022
- How to earn bonus: Make one or more qualifying direct deposits totaling at least $2,500 within 60 days to earn a $300 bonus.
- Who’s eligible: Available nationwide for new Laurel Road checking customers.
- Account information: Laurel Road is owned by KeyBank and has FDIC insurance. Loyalty Checking offers additional cash rewards (up to $20 per month) for qualifying direct deposits into the Loyalty Checking account.
- Monthly fees: There is no monthly fee.
Newtown Savings Bank Flagship Checking Account — $250
- Expiration date: 9/30/22
- How to earn bonus: Earn $250 by opening a Flagship Checking account by September 30 and receiving a qualifying direct deposit by November 29. You could also earn $150 for opening a Free Checking account by September 30 and receiving a qualifying direct deposit by November 29. If you add a Basic Money Market Savings account or Statement Savings account, you can earn an additional $150 or $50 with qualifying balances. Use promo code SUMMER22. Maximum $400 bonus per household.
- Who’s eligible: Available nationwide for new Newtown Savings Bank checking customers.
- Account information: The Flagship Checking account is an interest-bearing account with ATM fee rebates. The Free Checking account doesn’t have either of those features, but it doesn’t have monthly fees either.
- Monthly fees: $25 for Flagship Checking, waived with a $2,500 minimum daily balance or a combined $20,000 Newtown relationship balance.
Frequently asked questions
Checking accounts are deposit accounts that are designed for frequent, everyday use. They tend to provide unlimited deposits and withdrawals, and they often offer check-writing capabilities.
Many banks offer checking account bonus offers. Some are limited-time offers, while others extend their promotions on a rolling basis.
To receive a checking account bonus, you must typically be a new customer and complete direct deposits from a paycheck, pension or government benefit totaling a certain amount soon after opening the checking account.
BMO Harris has a bonus of up to $500 for their Premier Account, the highest bonus per the MagnifyMoney methodology for choosing bank bonuses.
Banks offer promotions to attract customers and ensure that those new customers commit to using that bank’s services by requiring recurring types of direct deposits, minimum balance requirements and other conditions.
Compared with other types of deposit accounts, like savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs), checking accounts have more liquidity. Some types of checking accounts bear interest, though rates are generally lower than other types of deposit accounts.
Savings accounts often have withdrawal limits and CDs are designed for long-term deposits and incur penalties for early withdrawals. Checking accounts typically include debit cards for purchases and ATM use.
Methodology: How we chose the best checking account bonus offers
MagnifyMoney reviewed dozens of bank bonus offers with information sourced from DepositAccounts and other sites to provide this list of the best checking account promotions.
We chose the accounts with the highest bonus amounts, provided that they met certain criteria, and sorted them by the size of the bonus. Only offers from financial institutions with Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) insurance were considered. Most bank promotions come with conditions to earn the bonus, so MagnifyMoney selected accounts with a deposit or balance requirement of $10,000 or less. Likewise, these accounts do not have onerous monthly maintenance fees — $25 or less with options to waive it.
This list of the best checking account bonuses does not necessarily feature accounts that are available nationally, though promotions with geographic restrictions must be available in several states.