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Are you looking for a checking account with the more rewards? The best checking account bonuses 2020 is an excellent starting point. Banks are willing to reward your loyalty by giving you cash rewards.

What are some of the best checking account bonuses 2020? Photo by HSBC

The Best Checking Account Bonuses for 2020

It’s easy to solely focus on maximizing credit card bonuses but overlook checking accounts. After all, credit cards tend to be more exciting and are usually advertised more frequently. However, having the right checking account can both pad your wallet and make it easy to access your cash.

However, note that before applying for any bonus, make sure you read the bonus offer details. Look for any potential fees. Don’t give back your earnings to the bank because of extra fees.

Chase Bank ($200 Bonus Cash)

The information for Chase Total Checking has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Chase Total Checking is offering the chance to earn $200 for a limited time. To earn the full $200 bonus:

This checking account is great for personal banking because it’s easy to waive the monthly fee. However, you will need to pay non-Chase ATM fees, money orders, and anything other than essential Chase banking services. If you need local bank access for deposits and withdrawals, this is a good option. Both the online and mobile Chase Bank platforms are free to use.

You can waive the $12 monthly account fee by meeting one of these conditions:

  • Direct deposits of at least $500 per month OR
  • Minimum $1,500 balance at the beginning of the day OR
  • Average $5,000 or more daily balance in any combination of this account and linked qualifying Chase checking, savings, and other balances

Having a Chase Total Checking® account doesn’t automatically waive the monthly fee for your linked Chase Savings account. If you’re interested in a business account, check out the Chase Total Business Checking® option. New members can get $300 as a new Chase business checking customer when they open a Chase Total Business Checking® account with qualifying activities. Offer expires 10/09/2020.

Related: Best Chase Checking Accounts

CIT Bank

The CIT Bank eChecking account doesn’t offer a signup bonus but offers these perks:

  • No monthly service fees
  • The entire account balance earns interest
  • Up to $30 in monthly non-network ATM fee reimbursements
  • Online bill pay

The minimum initial deposit is $100. You do not need to enroll in direct deposit or maintain a minimum balance, hassles that some of the other banks require to earn a bonus, or waive the monthly service fee. Having an average daily balance of at least $25,000 waives the $10 outgoing wire transfer fee.

An eChecking account can be your best option if you want a (mostly) fee-free checking account or only have a small amount of cash to deposit. Two incidental fees you might pay are a $30 overdraft fee and a 1% fee for international purchases and ATM withdrawals. While CIT Bank is an online-only bank, you have plenty of ways to access your cash. For instance, you can transfer money to friends using Zelle, Samsung Pay, or Apple Pay.

Savings Options Worth Mentioning

CIT Bank has several savings account options you may like as well. The CIT Bank Money Market Account requires a $100 initial deposit. Unlike other money market products, this one doesn’t come with a debit card or paper checks. But you can enroll in online bill pay and can make up to six free monthly withdrawals. This account can be a good option if you don’t want separate savings and checking accounts.

The CIT Bank Savings Builder High Yield Savings Account can motivate you to save at least $100 each month. After the minimum $100 initial deposit, a recurring monthly deposit of $100 (or a minimum $25,000 account balance) lets you earn up to 0.55% APY. This interest rate is higher than most standard savings accounts.

Each account can have higher interest rates and make it easier to waive the monthly service fee than most brick and mortar banks.

Chime Bank

Chime Bank offers a free Spending Account that’s similar to checking accounts that banks offer. There are no monthly account fees and you get a free Visa debit card. You cannot get a paper checkbook but Chime will mail checks of up to $5,000 for free within the 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Your Chime Spending Account includes these perks:

  • Free-free SpotMe overdraft protection
  • Receive direct deposits up to two days early
  • Over 38,000 fee-free ATMs (MoneyPass and Visa Plus Alliance networks)
  • Instant money transfers to other Chime members
  • $0 initial deposit
  • No minimum balance requirement

You can qualify for free SpotMe overdraft protection when you receive at least $500 in monthly direct deposits. Your overdraft protection limit is between $20 and $100. Chime uses your next deposit to repay the negative payment balance.

Your Chime Visa debit card can make fee-free withdrawals at MoneyPass and Visa Plus Alliance ATMs across the United States. If you forget your card, the Chime App lets you instantly freeze and unfreeze your card.

Savings Accounts Worth Mentioning

One downside of opening a Chime Bank Spending Account is no signup bonus. Chime Bank is a good option if you’re new to banking or want a simple fee-free account. If you transfer money to friends often, Chime Bank has fewer instant transfer capabilities than other banks. You can make instant transfers to other Chime members using Chime’s Pay Friends mobile app. Chime supports other third-party payment apps including Apple Pay and Google Pay.

It’s possible to make up for the lack of a Spending Account bonus by stashing your extra cash into a High Yield Chime Savings Account. All deposits currently earn 1.00% APY with no required minimum balance. You won’t pay a monthly account fee with this savings account either.

You can optimize your spending and savings accounts by enabling savings round-ups with your Chime debit card. Chime can round up your debit card purchases and transfer the round-up to your savings account. It’s also possible to schedule recurring transfers from each Spending Account direct deposit.

Citi (Up to $400)

The information for Citi has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Citi is currently offering a checking account bonus worth up to $400. You will also need to open a Citi savings account to earn the full bonus. Here’s how much you can earn if you complete the following activities:

  • $400 cash bonus: Open a new eligible checking and savings accounts in the Citibank® Account Package during the offer period (07/01/2020 to 01/05/2021); Deposit $15,000 in new funds between the new checking and savings accounts within 30 days of account opening; Maintain a minimum balance of $15,000 between the checking and savings accounts for 60 consecutive calendar days. You will receive your bonus within 90 days after completing the required activities.

If depositing $15,000 is a bit too steep, you may consider the Basic Banking Package that earns $200.

  • $200 cash bonus: Open a new eligible checking account in the Basic Banking Package during the offer period 07/01/2020 to 01/05/2021; Within 30 days of opening your account, deposit $5,000 in New-to-Citibank funds into the new checking account; Maintain a minimum balance of $5,000 for 60 consecutive calendar days.

Related: Best Citi credit cards

Bank of America ($100 Bonus Cash)

The information for Bank of America has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

The Bank of America has one of the smallest yet easiest bonus offers to earn. Non-BofA customers can earn $100 by opening one of three Advantage Banking checking accounts. It’s possible for current BofA customers to qualify for a targeted bonus as high as $300.

Open an eligible account by December 31, 2020, using this link and make a minimum initial deposit ($25 or $100). Then, set up and receive two direct deposits of at least $250 each within 90 days of account opening.

All three checking account options let you earn Preferred Rewards with select credit cards including the Bank of America Travel Rewards.

Related: Best Bank of America credit cards

HSBC (Up to $450 Bonus Cash)

The information for HSBC has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

If you have a high net worth, check out the HSBC checking account promotions. It’s possible to get up to $450 bonus cash which is a large checking account bonus.

As a heads up, HSBC bonus offers have some of the strictest terms and conditions. After meeting the initial account setup rules, you may need to maintain minimum activity for several months.

Premier Checking

You will need to open a Premier Checking account to get a $450 cash bonus. The promotion requirements include:

  • Opening an account by September 30, 2020
  • Make recurring monthly Qualifying Direct Deposits totaling at least $5,000 from a third party to your HSBC Premier checking account(s) for 3 consecutive calendar months from the second full calendar month after account opening
  • Automatically receive $450 Welcome Deposit in your checking account 8 weeks after completing qualifying activities

Premier Checking benefits include:

  • No fees on everyday banking transactions (includes wire transfers)
  • Unlimited ATM withdrawals
  • Global Premier status at all worldwide HSBC affiliates

Advance Checking

An easier HSBC promotion to qualify for is for an Advance Checking account. You get a $200 cash bonus after these actions:

  • Open an account using this webpage by September 30, 2020
  • Make recurring monthly Qualifying Direct Deposits totaling at least $500 from a third party to your HSBC Advance checking account(s) for 3 consecutive calendar months from the second full calendar month after account opening
  • Automatically receive $200 Welcome Deposit in your checking account 8 weeks after completing qualifying activities

Santander ($225 Bonus Cash)

The information for Santander has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Open a Santander Simply Right checking account and you can earn $225 bonus cash:

  • Open a Simply Right checking account by September 30, 2020, using the unique promotion code shown on this page after you provide your name and email address
  • Direct deposits must total $1,000 or more within the first 90 days
  • Keep your account open for at least 90 days

This offer is only available to residents of NH, MA, RI, CT, DE, NY, NJ or PA. If you live in one of these states, this can be one of the easier checking account bonuses to earn.

PNC Bank (Up to $200 Bonus Cash)

The information for the PNC Bank has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

You can earn $200 by joining PNC Bank.

  • $200 bonus cash: Open and establish total qualifying direct deposit(s) of $2,000 or more to the new Spend account

This offer expires on August 31, 2020.

Associated Bank (Up to $500)

The information for Associated Bank has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Living near an Associated Bank branch lets you earn up to $500.

You will earn the first $400 by:

  • Open an Associated Choice Checking account
  • Have direct deposits totaling $500 or more into your new checking account, within 90 days of account opening
  • Add funds into your checking or other deposit accounts
  • Collect your bonus in 120 days

You can earn an additional 10,000 points worth $100 cash back by opening a new Associated Bank American Express Premier Rewards Credit Card and spending $1,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.

If you want a larger credit card bonus, you may decide to apply for a credit card directly from American Express.

Related: Best American Express credit cards

Summary of Best Checking Account Bonuses 2020

If you live in a region served by one of the brick and mortar banks, this can be a fun way to add some extra cash to your wallet. Banks may only offer these banks to new customers. If you can achieve the bonus offer requirements, it can be worth opening a new bank account. Hopefully one of these best checking account bonuses 2020 options works for you.

FAQs

Which banks offer a bonus for opening an account?

Most national banks offer one-time signup bonuses for new bank customers. It’s possible to earn bonuses for opening new checking and savings accounts. How much you can earn depends on which account you open and the bonus requirements.

For instance, offers that require larger initial deposits or direct deposits tend to offer higher bonus payouts.

Some of the banks to consider looking at first include:

  • Chase
  • Citi
  • Bank of America
  • Wells Fargo
  • PNC
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • US Bank
  • HSBC
  • TD Bank

You are less likely to find bonus offers for online-only banks. However, it’s easier to avoid ongoing fees that traditional banks usually charge.

Are checking account bonuses taxable?

Yes, any bonus cash you earn from checking account or savings account signup offers is taxable income. When your bank sends you a Form 1099 tax form to report your taxable interest earned for the calendar year, this form will include your bonus cash too.

Paying income tax is one downside of checking account bonuses. To avoid this tax, you may focus on earning credit card signup bonuses which are not subject to taxes under current tax rules.

Which bank is best to open a checking account?

The best bank to open a checking account mostly depends on where you live. Most brick-and-mortar banks require you to enter your zip code to see your available account options. For example, you may live in an area served by Chase Bank but not by Bank of America.

If possible, try opening a Chase Bank checking account first. They make it easy to avoid the recurring fees with the Total Checking account. If you have a large cash surplus, you may consider opening a Chase Sapphire℠ Checking account. This “ultimate” account gives you complimentary access to most banking services. It can also be a good fit if you own a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

To easily avoid fees, consider joining an online bank like Capital One 360 or Discover Bank. If you don’t need local branch access, this is a free way to get a debit card and have a place to enroll in direct deposit.

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Josh Patoka
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