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Banking

These are the best checking account bonuses of February 2024

New account holders can earn hundreds when signing up for these checking accounts.

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To attract new customers, many banks will often offer a sign-up bonus when opening a new account. For checking accounts specifically, these bonuses can be at least $100.

Qualification is usually easy, with new account holders tending to just need to set up a direct deposit and transfer cash within a certain amount of days, like 30 to 90 days from account opening, to earn the bonus. Sometimes, there's a minimum deposit you have to make to earn the bonus.

CNBC Select analyzed and compared dozens of consumer checking accounts offered by online, brick-and-mortar banks and credit unions that offer sign-up bonuses for new account holders. To rank the best checking account bonuses, we focused on the following criteria: reasonable bonus requirements, available nationwide, physical branch locations, online and mobile accessibility, large ATM network and NCUA- or FDIC-insured up to $250,000. The accounts on our list had to meet all of these requirements to be considered one of the best. (See our methodology below for more information on how we created this list.)

Best checking account bonuses

Bank of America

Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking®

  • Monthly maintenance fee

    $0 for eligible students under 25

  • Minimum deposit to open

    $100

  • Minimum balance

    None

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    None

  • Free ATM network

    16,000+ ATMs

  • ATM fee reimbursement

    None

  • Overdraft fee

    None

  • Mobile check deposit

    Yes

Terms apply. Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.

Pros

  • Top-rated mobile app
  • No overdraft fees
  • Savings program that rounds up debit card purchases and transfers the difference to your savings account

Cons

  • $25 minimum deposit to open an account
  • No APY
  • No reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees

Bonus: $200 (online only with offer code TWA200CIS); also available with Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking® and Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking®

Expiration: March 31, 2024

How to earn the bonus: Set up and receive Qualifying Direct Deposits totaling $2,000 or more into that account within 90 days of account opening.

Chase Bank

Chase College Checking℠

On Chase's secure site
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    None

  • Minimum balance

    $5,000 to waive monthly service fee

  • Monthly fee

    $6 monthly service fee; no monthly service fee for up to 5 years if you're a student between the ages of 17 to 24 at account opening with proof of student status

  • Free ATM network

    More than 15,000 Chase ATMs

  • ATM fee reimbursement

    None

  • Overdraft fee

    With Chase Overdraft Assist℠, Chase doesn't charge an Overdraft Fee if you're overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the business day OR if you're overdrawn by more than $50 and you bring your account balance to overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the next business day (you have until 11 PM ET, 8 PM PT, to make a deposit or transfer). Chase Overdraft Assist does not require enrollment and comes with eligible Chase checking accounts

  • Mobile check deposit

    Yes

Terms apply.

Pros

  • No minimum deposit to open an account
  • Overdraft assistance
  • Top-rated mobile app
  • Chase is no. 2 on J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. National Banking Satisfaction Study
  • Send and receive money with Zelle®

Cons

  • No APY
  • Monthly fees, but there are options to waive
  • No reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees

Bonus: $100

Expiration: April 17, 2024

How to earn the bonus: Open a new Chase College Checking ℠ account and complete 10 qualifying transactions within 60 days of coupon enrollment. Qualifying transactions include:

  • Debit card purchases
  • Online bill payments
  • Chase QuickDeposit℠
  • Zelle®
  • ACH credits

Chase Total Checking®

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    None

  • Minimum balance

    $1,500 daily balance to avoid monthly maintenance fee

  • Monthly fee

    $12, with options to waive

  • Free ATM network

    More than 15,000 Chase ATMs

  • ATM fee reimbursement

    None

  • Overdraft fee

    *Chase Overdraft Assist℠, - no overdraft fees if you're overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the business day or if you're overdrawn by more than $50 and bring your account balance to overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the next business day*

  • Mobile check deposit

    Yes

Terms apply.

Pros

  • No minimum deposit to open an account
  • Overdraft assistance
  • Top-rated mobile app
  • Chase is no. 2 on J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. National Banking Satisfaction Study
  • Send and receive money with Zelle®

Cons

  • No APY
  • No reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees

How to avoid the monthly fee:

  • Electronic deposits made into this account totaling $500 or more,
  • or a balance at the beginning of each day of $1,500 or more in this account
  • or an average beginning day balance of $5,000 or more in any combination of this account and linked qualifying Chase checking, savings and other balances

Bonus: $300

Expiration: April 17, 2024

How to earn the bonus: Be a new Chase checking customer, open a Chase Total Checking® account and make direct deposits totaling $500 or more within 90 days of coupon enrollment.

Chase Private Client Checking℠

On Chase's secure site
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    0.01% APY

  • Minimum balance

    Customers who work with a J.P. Morgan Private Client Advisor generally intend to invest $100,000 or more

  • Monthly fee

    $35, with options to waive

  • Free ATM network

    More than 15,000 Chase ATMs

  • ATM fee reimbursement

    Chase will refund ATM fees charged by the ATM owner/network

  • Overdraft fee

    N/A

  • Mobile check deposit

    Yes

Terms apply.

Pros

  • Option to waive monthly fees
  • Reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees
  • Overdraft assistance
  • Top-rated mobile app
  • Chase is no. 2 on J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. National Banking Satisfaction Study
  • Send and receive money with Zelle®

Cons

  • Low APY
  • Requires a substantial amount of cash
  • Monthly fees

Bonus: $1,000 to $3,000

Expiration: April 17, 2024

How to earn the bonus:

  • Earn $1,000 when you when you open a Chase Private Client Checking account and deposit $150,000 to $249,999
  • Earn $2,000 when you when you open a Chase Private Client Checking account and deposit $250,000 to $499,999
  • Earn $3,000 when you when you open a Chase Private Client Checking account and deposit $500,000+

Citibank

Citi® Simple Checking

On Citibank's secure site
  • Monthly maintenance fee

    $12, with options to waive

  • Minimum deposit to open

    $0

  • Minimum balance

    $1,500 daily balance to avoid monthly maintenance fee

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    None

  • Free ATM network

    Access to more than 2,300 Citibank ATMs and over 60,000 other surcharge-free ATMs in the U.S.

  • ATM fee reimbursement

    None

  • Overdraft fee

    $0

  • Mobile check deposit

    Yes

  • *Terms Apply.

You may be eligible for a cash bonus when you complete required activities - click here for details.

Pros

  • No overdraft fees
  • Top-rated mobile app
  • No minimum deposit to open an account
  • Send and receive money with Zelle®

Cons

  • No APY
  • No reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees

How to avoid the monthly fee:

  • Make one enhanced direct deposit and one qualifying bill payment per statement periodor maintain a combined average monthly balance $1,500 or more in any combination of this account and eligible linked accounts

Bonus: $300

Expiration: July 8, 2024

How to earn the bonus: Open a new eligible Citi® Simple Checking account with enhanced direct deposits, and enroll in this offer by applying directly from this special offer page. Deposit at least two enhanced direct deposits, totaling $1,500 or more, directly into your new checking account within 90 calendar days from account opening.

PNC Bank

Virtual Wallet® from PNC Bank

PNC Bank is a Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    Up to 4.00% APY on select Virtual Wallet Growth accounts with relationship rates

  • Minimum balance

    Varies depending on Virtual Wallet account

  • Monthly fee

    Ranges from $7 to $25 depending on Virtual Wallet account, with options to waive

  • Maximum transactions

    Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle

  • Excessive transactions fee

    None

  • Overdraft fee

    Overdraft protection offered by your Reserve and Growth accounts

  • Offer checking account?

    Yes

  • Offer ATM card?

    Yes, if have a PNC Bank checking account

Terms apply.

Pros

  • New account holders can earn a welcome bonus of up to $400
  • Virtual Wallet includes individual checking and savings accounts that work together
  • Earn cash or points through PNC Purchase Payback® program
  • Reimbursable non-network ATM fees
  • Account holders can choose the Virtual Wallet best for them 
  • Options to waive monthly maintenance fee 
  • Higher APY relationship rates are available

Cons

  • Has monthly maintenance fees
  • Have to call PNC Bank to find out APY offered in your area

Bonus: $100 to $400

Expiration: February 29, 2024

How to earn the bonus:

  • Earn $100 when you open and use a new PNC Virtual Wallet® (minimum $500 direct deposit)
  • Earn $200 when you open and use a new Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend (minimum $2,000 direct deposit)
  • Earn $400 when you open and use a new Virtual Wallet with Performance Select (minimum $5,000 direct deposit)

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking

U.S. Bank is a Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    None

  • Minimum balance

    $25 minimum deposit

  • Monthly fee

    $6.95 monthly service fee, with options to waive

  • Free ATM network

    4,700 U.S. Bank ATMs

  • ATM fee reimbursement

    None

  • Overdraft fee

    Consumer checking accounts assessed an Overdraft Paid Fee may qualify for a fee waiver

  • Mobile check deposit

    Yes

Terms apply.

Pros

  • Low minimum deposit
  • Options to waive monthly fee
  • Overdraft assistance

Cons

  • No APY
  • $25 minimum deposit
  • Monthly fees, but there are options to waive
  • No reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees

Bonus: Up to $500

Expiration: March 12, 2024

How to earn the bonus: Open a new U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking and enroll in the U.S. Bank Mobile App or online banking and complete two or more direct deposits totaling $3,000 to $4,999 to earn $100, $5,000 to $9,999.99 to earn $300 or $10,000 or more to earn $500, all within 90 days of opening the account.

Wells Fargo Bank

Wells Fargo Everyday Checking

Wells Fargo Bank is a Member FDIC.
  • Monthly maintenance fee

    $10, with options to waive

  • Minimum deposit to open

    $25

  • Minimum balance

    $500 daily deposit balance to avoid monthly maintenance fee

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    N/A

  • Free ATM network

    13,000 Wells Fargo ATMs

  • ATM fee reimbursement

    None

  • Overdraft fee

    $35 (max of 3 overdraft fees per day)

  • Mobile check deposit

    Yes

Terms apply.

Pros

  • Four ways to waive the monthly maintenance fee
  • Send and receive money with Zelle
  • Easy-to-use mobile app

Cons

  • $25 minimum deposit to open an account
  • $35 overdraft fee
  • No APY
  • No reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees

How to avoid the monthly fee:

  • Maintain $500 in combined minimum deposit balances,
  • or make qualifying direct deposits totaling $500 or more,
  • or be between 17 - 24 years old
  • or have a linked Wells Fargo Campus ATM Card or Campus Debit Card (for college students)

Bonus: $300

Expiration: April 1, 2024

How to earn the bonus: Open a new Wells Fargo Everyday Checking account with a minimum opening deposit of $25 and receive a total of $1,000 or more in qualifying direct deposits to your new checking account within 90 calendar days of account opening (the qualification period).

Compare offers to find the best checking account

FAQs

While a sign-up offer is an incentivizing reason to open a new bank account, before taking advantage of a bonus you should figure out how much money you have available to transfer to a new account. Then, select the bonus that best fits your budget. Bonus offer amounts can range, and higher-end bonuses tend to require a higher deposit of cash.

Because the IRS considers bank sign-up bonuses additional income — similar to prize winnings or jury duty pay — you do have to pay taxes on this extra cash. Bank bonuses are usually taxed at the same rate as your income. Tax filing software will often ask about additional income and will inform you how much you owe.

Keep in mind that this differs from credit card bonuses, where cardholders usually have to meet a spending requirement to earn the bonus — therefore qualifying this extra cash as rebates on purchases, not income.

Bank account churning is opening new bank accounts to earn their sign-up offers and then often moving your money or closing the account. Yet opening many bank accounts in a short period of time can backfire and raise suspicion among banks. You may be denied an offer from a bank you've applied to multiple times, have the bonus deducted if your account is closed within a certain time frame after account opening or closure fees could eat away at any bonus you do receive.

Bottom line

Virtually everyone has a checking account, but it might be worth switching yours to easily score some extra cash. These checking accounts offering welcome bonuses up to $400 are a good place to start.

Why trust CNBC Select?

At CNBC Select, our mission is to provide our readers with high-quality service journalism and comprehensive consumer advice so they can make informed decisions with their money. Every checking account review is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors with extensive knowledge of banking products. While CNBC Select earns a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links, we create all our content without input from our commercial team or any outside third parties, and we pride ourselves on our journalistic standards and ethics. See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best checking accounts.

Our methodology

To determine which consumer checking accounts provide the best place to deposit your money and earn a bonus, CNBC Select analyzed dozens of U.S. checking accounts offered by the largest national banks and credit unions. We narrowed down our ranking by only considering consumer checking accounts that have bonuses available to new applicants and that come from brick-and-mortar banks with broad availability, offering access to at least 700 physical branches and over 4,000 fee-free ATMs in the U.S.

While the accounts we chose in this article all have bonus offers, we also compared each checking account on a range of features, including:

  • Reasonable bonus requirements
  • Available nationwide
  • Physical branch locations and/or online accessibility
  • Large ATM network
  • NCUA- or FDIC-insured up to $250,000

All of the accounts included on this list are NCUA or FDIC-insured up to $250,000. This insurance protects and reimburses you up to your balance and the legal limit in the event your bank or credit union fails.

Product and feature availability vary by market so these accounts may not be offered depending on where you live. Most brick-and-mortar banks require you to enter your zip code online for the correct account offerings. The rates and fee structures for checking accounts are subject to change without notice. Any return on your checking depends on any associated fees and the balance you have in your checking account. To open a checking account, some banks and institutions may require a deposit of new money, meaning you can't transfer money you already had in an account at that bank.

Catch up on CNBC Select's in-depth coverage of credit cardsbanking and money, and follow us on TikTokFacebookInstagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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