Our top picks of timely offers from our partners

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Blue Cash Preferred® Card
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New $300 statement credit welcome offer after meeting spending requirements
Great balance transfer offer with one of the longest intro APR periods available
American Express® Gold Card
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Our top pick for rewards and travel plus, exclusive dining benefits
One of the longest intro APR periods of any card plus, cell phone and fraud protection
$200 cash rewards bonus offer and unlimited 2% cash rewards in purchases
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Banking

Best checking account bonuses of October 2021

Select reviewed dozens of checking accounts from online banks, brick-and-mortar banks and credit unions to find the best ones with new account holder bonus offers.

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If you’re looking for some extra cash right now, you may be able to open a checking account and benefit from a new account holder bonus worth $100 or more.

In order to qualify for these bonuses, you typically need to jump through a few hoops, but it can be worthwhile for the extra cash. Banks often limit these bonus offers to new customers, require you to set up direct deposit and transfer a certain amount of cash into the account within 30 to 90 days from account opening. Once you meet the requirements, you can expect to receive your bonus.

While bonus offers can range from $100 to $750, the higher the reward, the more money you’ll need to deposit. Before you take advantage of one of these offers, figure out how much money you have available to transfer to a new account, then select the bonus that fits your budget.

Select analyzed and compared dozens of checking accounts offered by online and brick-and-mortar banks and credit unions that have bonus offers for new account holders.

When ranking the best checking account bonuses, we focused on the following criteria:

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

The accounts on our list had to meet all of the requirements above to be considered one of the best. In addition, all checking accounts mentioned below provide access to thousands of free ATMs and offer mobile check deposits. (See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best checking accounts.)

Best checking account bonuses

PNC Virtual Wallet® with Performance Select

Information about the PNC Virtual Wallet® with Performance Select has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the bank prior to publication. PNC Bank is a Member FDIC.
  • Monthly maintenance fee

    $25, with options to waive

  • Minimum deposit to open

    $25

  • Minimum balance

    $5,000 average monthly balance in Spend and Reserve in order to avoid monthly maintenance fee

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    For current interest rates, call 1-888-PNC-BANK (1-888-762-2265)

  • Free ATM network

    9,000+ PNC ATMs

  • ATM fee reimbursement

    2 per statement period

  • Overdraft fee

    $36, option to enroll in overdraft protection at no charge

  • Mobile check deposit

    Yes

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • New account holders can earn a welcome bonus of up to $200
  • Earn cash or points through PNC Purchase Payback® program
  • Reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees
  • Options to waive monthly maintenance fee

Cons

  • $25 monthly maintenance fee
  • Have to call PNC Bank to find out the APY offered in your area

Bonus: up to $300

Expiration: September 30, 2021

How to earn the bonus: Establish qualifying direct deposits of $5,000 or more to your new Spend account within 60 days from account opening. Qualifying direct deposits include recurring electronic deposits made by an employer or an outside agency. The bonus will be credited to the eligible account within 60 to 90 days after all the requirements have been met.

Who's eligible for the bonus? You can qualify if you don't currently have signing authority on an existing PNC Bank consumer checking account, haven't closed an account within the past 90 days and haven't received a promotional premium in the past 12 months.

Monthly fee: $25, waived with one of the following:

  • Direct deposits of $5,000 or more to your Spend each statement period
  • An average monthly balance of $5,000 in Spend and Reserve
  • A combined average monthly balance of $25,000 in PNC consumer deposits and/or investments

Chase Total Checking®

On Chase'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

    16,000 Chase ATMs

  • ATM fee reimbursement

    None

  • Overdraft fee

    $34 (max of 3 overdraft fees per day)

  • Mobile check deposit

    Yes

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

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

Cons

  • $34 overdraft fee
  • 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: $225

Expiration: TBA

How to earn the bonus: Set up direct deposit within 90 days of account opening. After you've completed the requirements, Chase will deposit the bonus in your new account within 10 business days. If your account is closed within six months after opening, Chase will deduct the bonus amount at closing.

Who's eligible for the bonus? You can qualify if you don't have an existing Chase checking account, you haven't received a Chase account-opening related bonus in the past two years, and you haven't closed an account within 90 days or closed an account with a negative balance. You can receive only one bonus per account.

Monthly fee: $12, waived with one of the following:

  • Monthly direct deposits of $500 or more
  • A minimum daily balance of $1,500 or more
  • An average beginning day balance of $5,000 or more in this account and qualifying linked Chase bank accounts

Chase College Checking℠

Information about the Chase College Checking℠ Account has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the bank prior to publication. Chase is a Member FDIC.
  • Monthly maintenance fee

    $6, with options to waive, including being a college student 17 to 24

  • Minimum deposit to open

    $0

  • Minimum balance

    $5,000 average beginning day balance unless you're a student 17 to 24

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    None

  • Free ATM network

    16,000 Chase ATMs

  • ATM fee reimbursement

    None

  • Overdraft fee

    $34

  • Mobile check deposit

    Yes

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • Top-rated mobile app
  • No minimum deposit to open an account
  • New account holders can earn a $100 bonus
  • No. 2 on J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. National Banking Satisfaction Study

Cons

  • $34 overdraft fee
  • No APY
  • No reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees

Bonus: $100

Expiration: Jan. 19, 2022

How to earn the bonus: Complete 10 qualifying transactions within 60 days of account opening. Qualifying transactions include:

  • Debit card purchases
  • Online bill payments
  • Checks paid
  • Chase QuickDeposit℠
  • Chase QuickPay with Zelle®
  • Direct deposits

Once you've met these requirements, Chase will deposit the bonus into your new account within 10 business days.

Who's eligible for the bonus? You can qualify if you don't have an existing Chase checking account, you haven't received a Chase account-opening related bonus in the past two years, and you haven't closed an account within 90 days or closed an account with a negative balance. You can receive only one bonus per account.

Monthly fee: $6, waived with one of the following:

  • College students age 17 to 24, who show proof of student status at account opening, waived up to five years
  • One direct deposit each month
  • An average beginning day balance of at least $5,000

Our methodology

To determine which checking accounts provide the best place to deposit your money and earn a bonus, Select analyzed dozens of U.S. checking accounts offered by online and brick-and-mortar banks, including major credit unions. We narrowed down our rankings by only considering checking accounts that have bonuses available to new applicants.

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
  • FDIC or NCUA insured up to $250,000

All of the accounts included on this list are Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) 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.

The rates and fee structures for checking accounts are subject to change without notice and they often fluctuate in accordance with the prime rate.

Your earnings depend on any associated fees and the balance you have in your checking account. To open an 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.

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.