The Best Checking Account Bonus Offers in October 2021

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Updated on Friday, October 1, 2021

Financial institutions frequently use bonuses to attract new customers, and checking account promotions are an easy way to earn a few hundred bucks if you plan on switching to a new bank or credit union. As long as you complete the requirements to earn the bonus, which often include qualifying direct deposits, you’ll receive some money that’s debited to your account.

Why trust us: MagnifyMoney is a leading outlet in the deposits space, and our team of experts has years of experience tracking banks and credit unions. We are a free, independent service that evaluates and compares financial products, including checking accounts.

Best bank bonuses for checking accounts in October 2021

BMO Harris Premier Account — $500

BMO Harris — $500 bonus
  • Expiration date: 10/15/2021
  • 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: Residents of Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin 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 have a BMO Harris investment account.

Citizens Bank Checking Accounts — Up to $400

Citizens Bank Platinum Checking
  • Expiration date: 10/28/2021
  • 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, Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont 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 three types of checking accounts that earn this bonus: Student Checking, One Deposit Checking and Quest Checking. Student is designed for those under 25, One Deposit is geared for everyday banking and Quest is for those who want a relationship account with Citizens.
  • 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; $0 for Student Checking for those under 25.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Citizens Bank (RI)’s secure website

Member FDIC

First National Bank Checking Account — Up to $400

First National Bank Checking Account — Up to $400
  • Expiration date: 12/31/2021
  • 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.
  • 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 — Up to $400

PNC Bank — $300 bonus with $5,000 direct deposit
  • Expiration date: 10/31/2021
  • 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; to earn a $250 bonus, receive a total of at least $2,000 in combined qualifying direct deposits within 60 days of account opening; to earn a $100 bonus, receive a total of at least $500 in combined qualifying direct deposits within 60 days of account opening.
  • Who’s eligible: Nationwide 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 the Virtual Wallet, Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend and Virtual Wallet with Performance Select. There’s no minimum deposit required to open a Virtual Wallet account.
  • Monthly fees: The Virtual Wallet has a monthly service fee of $7, 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.

BMO Harris Smart Advantage — $300

BMO Harris Smart Advantage™ Account
  • Expiration date: 10/15/2021
  • How to earn bonus: Receive a total of at least $4,000 in combined qualifying direct deposits within 90 days of account opening.
  • Who’s eligible: Residents of Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin 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 Smart Advantage Account has no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees, and it’s the most popular account offered by BMO Harris. BMO Harris is part of the Allpoint ATM network, and there are no fees or limits on in-network ATM transactions. This bonus is also available for the BMO Harris Smart Money Account.
  • Monthly fees: $5, waived with paperless statements.

TD Bank Beyond Checking — $300

TD Beyond Checking
  • Expiration date: 11/30/2021
  • How to earn bonus: Receive a total of at least $2,500 in combined qualifying direct deposits within 60 days of account opening.
  • Who’s eligible: Nationwide for those who are not currently TD Bank personal checking customers and have not had a TD Bank personal checking account in the last 12 months.
  • Account information: The TD Bank Beyond Checking account is interest-bearing. While there’s no minimum balance to open or minimum balance requirement, there’s a monthly maintenance fee if certain requirements aren’t met.
  • Monthly fees: $25, waived if you have monthly direct deposits of at least $5,000, have a minimum daily balance of at least $2,500 or have a combined balance of at least $25,000 in TD Bank accounts.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on TD Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

People’s United Bank Advantage Plus Checking — $300

Advantage Plus Checking — $300
  • Expiration date: 10/29/2021
  • How to earn bonus: Receive a total of at least $2,500 in combined qualifying direct deposits within 60 days of account opening and mention promo code FALL300 when opening the new account.
  • Who’s eligible: Residents of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York who do not have a People’s United personal checking account and have not had a People’s United personal checking account in the last 365 days.
  • Account information: People’s United Advantage Plus Checking is an interest-bearing account with cash back rewards. It offers free use of non-People’s United ATMs as well as some domestic ATM fee rebates.
  • Monthly fees: $25, waived if you have a combined average balance of at least $7,500 in People’s United deposit accounts.

Fifth Third Bank Checking Accounts — $300

Fifth Third Bank Checking Accounts — $300
  • Expiration date: 12/31/2021
  • How to earn bonus: Receive a total of at least $500 in combined qualifying direct deposit within 60 days of account opening.
  • 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.
  • Monthly fees: $0 for Momentum, $25 for Preferred, waived with a combined total balance of at least $100,000 across Fifth Third accounts.

PSECU Checking Account — $250

PSECU Checking Account — $250
  • Expiration date: 12/31/2021
  • How to earn bonus: Receive at least $200 in recurring monthly qualifying direct deposits within 90 days of account opening.
  • Who’s eligible: Nationwide for those who are new members of PSECU. Headquartered in Pennsylvania, PSECU offers eligibility to anyone in the state or anyone outside of the state who joins a nonprofit organization for membership.
  • Account information: PSECU members must have a Savings Share Account with a minimum balance of $5 to open a checking account, but it is an interest-bearing account with no fees.
  • Monthly fees: $0

Summary of 9 top bank sign-up bonuses in October 2021

Methodology for choosing 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 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.

Advantages of checking accounts

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. 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.

Ultimately, most bank customers and credit union members tend to have checking accounts because they offer the quickest and most efficient level of access to their money; 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.

Checking accounts: FAQs

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 currently offers two broadly accessible promotions for their Premier Account and Smart Advantage account totaling $500 and $300 each.

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.