The 13 Best Bank Account Bonuses for February 2021

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Originally published by Liz Hund on Bankrate.com.

If you’re wishing you had more savings right now, you’re not alone. Many Americans impacted by the coronavirus are finding that they need additional funds to make ends meet. A bit of extra cash could be a big help.

Fortunately, a number of banks are still giving out free stacks of cash. In exchange for opening a new savings or checking account, you could wind up with an extra $200 or $300 (or more).

Shopping around for a new bank account isn’t exactly exciting, but at a time like this it could be worth your while.

Here are some of the best bank account bonuses in February. Compare these offers along with CDs and other savings accounts that pay more interest. And check out other types of bonuses, too, like the best brokerage account bonuses.

Best checking account offers

Associated Bank: $200, $300 or $500 bonus

New customers have the opportunity to earn a $200, $300 or $500 bonus when opening a checking account with Associated Bank and completing qualifying activities by May 31, 2021.

To earn the bonuses, you must maintain a preset balance for the first 61-90 days.

  • To earn $200, you must maintain a daily balance of $1,000 – $4,999.
  • To earn $300, you must maintain a daily balance of $5,000 – $9,999.
  • To earn $500, you must maintain a daily balance of $10,000 or more.

In order to be eligible for the bonuses, you must not have opened an account with Associated Bank within the last six months and have to keep the account open for a minimum period of 12 months.

Associated Bank is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and has branches located in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

HSBC Bank: $200 or $450 bonus

HSBC has a couple of checking account bonuses available online. Through March 31, 2021, you can earn:

  • $200 for opening an HSBC Advance checking account online and receiving recurring monthly direct deposits totaling $500 for three consecutive months (from the second full calendar month after opening the account).
  • $450 for opening an HSBC Premier checking account online and receiving monthly direct deposits of at least $5,000 for three consecutive months (from the second full calendar month after opening the account).

Another option is to opt for a bonus that pays 3 percent cash back (up to $600 for new Premier checking account holders). This offer also expires on March 31. To qualify, you’ll need to set up recurring direct deposits to an HSBC Premier checking account at least once per calendar month for six consecutive months following the account’s opening month.

HSBC is based in McLean, Virginia. It earned 4 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s full review of its products and offerings.

TD Bank: $150 or $300 bonus

A $300 bonus is available for TD Bank customers who:

  • Open a Beyond Checking account online.
  • Have never had a TD Bank personal checking account.
  • Have at least $2,500 worth of direct deposit funds within 60 days of opening the account.

There’s also a $150 cash bonus if you’d prefer a Convenience Checking account (requires direct deposits of $500 within 60 days of opening the account).

Bonuses are available to residents in the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania and every state on the east coast except Georgia.

TD Bank is based in Wilmington, Delaware. In Bankrate’s review of TD Bank’s services and product offerings, it earned 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Chase Bank: $200 bonus

Through April 14, 2021, Chase is offering a bonus on new checking and savings accounts.

  • To earn $200, open a new Total Checking account and have a direct deposit totaling $500 or more within the first 90 days.

To qualify for the bonus, you must not have an existing Chase fiduciary or checking account (or had one closed with a negative balance or within the last 90 days).

Chase Bank has branches in 29 states, including Georgia and Florida and in the western, southwestern, midwestern and northern parts of the country.

Our review of Chase’s banking products and services gave the bank 3.4 out of 5 stars. Chase is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

PNC Bank: $200 or $500 bonus

As long as you don’t have an existing PNC consumer checking account and haven’t closed one within the past 90 days, you could qualify for a $200 or $500 bonus when you open a Business Checking or Business Checking Plus account, Treasury Enterprise Plan or Analysis Business Checking account.

To earn the $200 bonus, you must:

  • Open a Business Checking or Business Checking Plus account.
  • Maintain a minimum balance of $5,000 for each of the first three statement cycles.
  • Make at least 20 total qualifying transactions in the first three billing statements.

To earn the $500 bonus, you must:

  • Open a Treasury Enterprise Plan or Analysis Business Checking account.
  • Maintain a minimum balance of $30,000 for each of the first three statement cycles.

Accounts can be opened nationwide online or in-person. The offers expire on March 31, 2021.

PNC is based in Wilmington, Delaware, and earned 3.7 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s full review of its products and offerings.

Huntington National Bank: $150, $200, $400, $500 or $750 bonus

Huntington Bank has a few checking account bonuses available for both consumers and business owners. Through April 7, 2021, you can earn:

  • $150 for opening an Asterisk-Free Checking account and making a cumulative deposit of at least $1,000 within 60 days of the account opening.
  • $200 for opening a Huntington 5 Checking account and making a cumulative deposit of at least $1,000 within 60 days of the account opening.
  • $200 for opening a Business Checking 100 account and making a cumulative deposit of at least $2,000 within 60 days of the account opening.
  • $400 for opening an Unlimited Business Checking account and making a cumulative deposit of at least $5,000 within 60 days of the account opening.
  • $500 for opening a Huntington 25 Checking account and making a cumulative deposit of at least $15,000 within 60 days of the account opening.
  • $750 for opening an Unlimited Plus Business Checking account and making a cumulative deposit of at least $20,000 within 60 days of the account opening.

These offers are only valid for residents of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia, Illinois and Wisconsin.

Huntington is based in Columbus, Ohio. In the full review of its banking products and offerings, the bank earned 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Bank of America: $100 bonus

New checking customers can earn $100 from Bank of America when they open an account online. The offer expires June 30, 2021. To get the bonus, you must:

  • Not have had a Bank of America personal checking account within the past six months.
  • Open a new Advantage SafeBalance Banking, Advantage Plus Banking or Advantage Relationship Banking account online.
  • Make an opening deposit ($25 opening deposit for the Advantage SafeBalance Banking account and $100 opening deposit for the others).
  • Receive two direct deposits of at least $250 each within 90 days of opening your account.

An offer code (DOC100CIS) is needed to qualify for the bonus.

Bank of America is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. It earned 3.2 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s full review of its products and services.

Axos Bank: $100 bonus for new business owners

New small-business owners have the opportunity to earn a $100 bonus when they open a Small Business Checking Account with Axos Bank. The offer expires March 31, 2021. To get the bonus, you must:

  • Have incorporated your business after June 1, 2020.
  • Maintain a daily balance of at least $2,500.
  • All deposits must be new money.

An offer code (NEWBIZ100) is needed when applying.

Axos is headquartered in San Diego, California. It earned 4.6 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s full review of its products and services.

Best checking and savings account bonus

Citibank: $200, $400 or $700 bonus

Customers in the market for a new checking and savings account can open both through Citi and potentially earn a bonus.

  • To earn $300, open an eligible checking or savings account in the Citibank Account Package. Deposit $15,000 within 30 days and maintain that balance for 60 days.
  • To earn $700, open checking and savings accounts in the Citi Priority Account Package. Deposit $50,000 within 30 days and maintain that balance for 60 days.

Both offers expire April 1, 2021. Citibank is based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In Bankrate’s review of Citibank’s full suite of products and offerings, it earned 4.3 out of 5 stars.

Best bank account referral bonuses

Axos Bank: $20 for referral and referee

Current Axos customers have the opportunity to earn and give $20 for referring a friend to the Essential Checking account.

To qualify for the bonus, your friend must:

  • Not have owned an Axos Bank account.
  • Use your personalized referral link.
  • Add and maintain at least $500 for a full month.
  • Receive a direct deposit of at least $100 within the first two months.

If all requirements are met, both parties will receive $20 in their bank account.

Axos is headquartered in San Diego, California. It earned 4.6 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s full review of its products and services.

Chase: $50 for each referral up to $500

Current Chase customers can earn $50, up to $500 per calendar year, for each friend who opens a qualifying checking or savings account.

To qualify, your friend must:

  • Use your personalized referral link.
  • Open a Chase Total Checking, Chase Savings or Chase College Checking account.
  • Be in good standing at the time of payout.

The bonus your friend will receive depends on the type of account she opens and whether she completes the qualifying activities outlined in the bonus.

Our review of Chase’s banking products and services gave the bank 3.4 out of 5 stars. Chase is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

Chime: $50 for referral and referee

Current Chime customers can get $50 for each friend they refer. To qualify for the bonus, you must:

  • Be a new Chime customer.
  • Use your personalized referral link.
  • Receive a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more from a payroll provider within 45 days of opening the account.

If all qualifying activities are met, both parties will receive $50.

Chime is based in San Francisco, California and is a neobank, meaning it strictly operates online and partners with a bank to hold your deposits.

TD Bank: $50 for referral and referee

TD Bank customers can earn and give $50 when they refer a friend to a TD Bank personal checking account. To qualify for the bonus, your friend must:

  • Bring in a referral form with your information.
  • Be a new TD Bank customer.
  • Receive a direct deposit of at least $250.
  • OR make at least 15 debit card purchases within 60 days of opening the account.

You can refer up to 10 friends per calendar year, meaning you could earn up to $500.

TD Bank is based in Wilmington, Delaware. In Bankrate’s review of TD Bank’s services and product offerings, it earned 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Why banks have sign-up bonuses

Banks use sign-up bonuses to distinguish themselves from others in the industry. Cash bonuses also help financial institutions bring in new customers and new deposits.

While they could pay account holders a higher yield, for some banks, offering a bonus is preferable.

“It’s much easier to quantify the bonus than it is to raise the rate on what you’re paying out on deposits,” says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate chief financial analyst.

Some banks, like Citibank, offer more than one sign-up bonus. But qualifying for multiple bonuses at the same time at the same bank usually isn’t possible. Bank account bonuses are typically available only to new checking or savings account holders.

What to watch out for

Not every bank account bonus is a good deal. Before you sign up, read the fine print.

Watch out for sky-high minimum balance requirements and monthly fees that could eat into your earnings. If earning a bonus seems to require too much effort, you might want to look for another one.

If you’re applying for a checking account, make sure it’s a good match that meets your needs.

For example, if you need them, double-check that there are plenty of branches and ATMs in your area. That way, you’re not driving miles to meet with a banker or wasting money on out-of-network ATM fees. And with the coronavirus forcing banking to shift online more than ever before, look for a bank or credit union that offers a solid set of digital tools.

If you’re looking for a new savings account, consider whether you’re better off finding another bank that pays more interest.

For instance, these one-time bonuses are typically offered on accounts that pay minimal interest. So while the bonus is great initially, you may be sacrificing the long-term return.

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