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If you’re in the market for a new checking account, you could supercharge your savings by choosing one that offers a cash bonus: you’ll get a place to park your savings and earn extra cash. Some of the best checking account bonuses offer up to $600. 

However, to earn the cash bonus, you’ll likely need to meet requirements like making a certain number of direct deposits within a few months of account opening. 

To save you time and effort, the Fortune Recommends™ editorial team reviewed more than 10 checking accounts offering bonuses and put together our top 5 picks. We analyzed factors like bonus amounts, minimum balance requirements, annual percentage yields (APYs), and customer service options to bring you the best offers on the market.


SoFi Checking & Savings

APY 4.60%
Minimum Balance Required to Earn APY $0
Minimum Opening Deposit $0
Monthly Maintenance Fee None

The 5 best checking account bonuses of March 2024

Note: The numbers in our list below are up to date as of February 2, 2024, and are subject to change. 

Huntington Bank

Great for: new savers looking to score a substantial bonus

Bonus $400–$600
APY 0.02%
Minimum Opening Deposit $0

Why we picked it

Huntington is offering a bonus for two of their checking accounts: Perks Checking and Platinum Perks Checking. Neither account has a minimum opening deposit, which makes it a solid option if you’re starting to build your savings. However, you’ll have to pay a monthly maintenance fee unless you meet certain requirements. 

To avoid the $10 monthly fee on the Perks Checking account, you must make deposits totaling $1,000 monthly or maintain a total relationship balance of at least $5,000 eligible deposits or investments held through Huntington Bank or Huntington Financial Advisors.

For the Platinum Perks Checking, the $25 monthly fee is waived by having a balance of at least $25,000 in eligible deposits or investments held through Huntington Bank or Huntington Financial Advisors. 

The Perks Checking account has a $400 bonus. To get the bonus, you’ll just need to make at least one qualifying direct deposit within 90 days of coupon enrollment and then keep the account open for 90 days. 

The Platinum Perks Checking account offers a $600 bonus, but you’ll need to receive a much higher amount in direct deposits. To qualify, you must receive direct deposits totaling at least $25,000 within 90 days of account opening, then keep the account open for 90 days. 

These offers are available through June 7, 2024.

Axos Bank

Great for: customers who plan to receive a lot of direct deposits

Bonus $300
APY Tiered variable rate, starts at 0.40% but can be up to 3.30%
Minimum Opening Deposit $50

Why we picked it

While the Axos Rewards Checking account bonus has more requirements than other banks on our list, customers who qualify can score a generous $300 bonus. However, if you don’t have a lot of cash on hand to put in your checking account this account likely isn’t the best choice for you. 

To earn the checking account bonus, you must receive at least $5,000 worth of qualifying direct deposits each month during the first seven months your account is open. That’s not all though. You’ll also need to maintain a minimum average daily balance of $7,000.

This offer is available through June 30, 2024.


Great for: savers who don’t mind monthly maintenance fees

Bonus $300
APY 0.00%
Minimum Opening Deposit $0

Why we picked it

Citi stood out because of its generous welcome bonus and relatively low deposit requirements to score the bonus. To earn the $200 bonus, you can open one of two Citi checking account options: the Access or Regular checking accounts. 

So what’s the difference between the two accounts? The Access account doesn’t offer checks but is cheaper than the Regular account—the monthly service fee is only $5, but it can be waived if you meet specific requirements.

On the other hand, the Regular account offers unlimited check-writing capabilities even though it’ll cost you $15 a month. Like the Access account, you can get the fee waived. 

To earn the bonus, you’ll just need to make at least two enhanced direct deposits, totaling at least $1,500. Chase considers enhanced direct deposits as electronic deposits through the ACH network of payroll, Social Security, and other payments to your account.

You can take advantage of this offer through July 8, 2024.


Great for: savers who can make a modest direct deposit

Bonus $300
APY 0.00%
Minimum Opening Deposit $0

Why we picked it

Unlike some of the other banks on this list that have high minimum deposit thresholds, the Chase Total Checking account has a reasonable requirement.

To earn the $300 bonus, all you’ll need to do is make qualified direct deposits totaling $500 or more within 90 days of signing up for the bonus. 

While the Chase Total Checking account isn’t an interest-bearing account, it can be a free checking account option as long as you meet one of these three requirements every month:

  • Receive electronic deposits totaling $500 worth or more
  • Maintain a balance of $1,500 or more at the beginning of each day
  • Have an average beginning day balance of $5,000 or more in this account and linked qualifying Chase checking, savings and other balances.

This offer is available through April 17, 2024.

Wells Fargo

Great for: savers who want a checking account bonus but aren’t chasing APYs

Bonus $300
APY 0.00%
Minimum Opening Deposit $25

Why we picked it

When you sign up for the Wells Fargo Everyday Checking account, you could be eligible to receive a $300 bonus if you make $1,000 worth qualifying electronic direct deposits within 90 days of account opening. 

However, if you’re looking for a checking account that enables you to earn some extra interest, this account probably isn’t the best choice as it’s a non-interest bearing account. You should also be aware of the $10 monthly maintenance fee, which is waived if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $500 or receive $500 or more of qualifying direct deposits each fee period. 

This offer expires on April 1, 2024.

What to know about checking account bonuses 

Checking account bonuses are usually only available for a limited time and come with eligibility requirements, including making a minimum opening deposit, maintaining a minimum balance, and making a total dollar amount of direct deposits within the first few months of account ownership.

It’s important to carefully read the terms and conditions before signing up, as failure to meet the requirements means you miss out on the bonus. You should take the time to read up on the bank’s reviews—whether it’s on the Better Business Bureau or Trustpilot websites—to make sure it’s the right banking partner for you.

And you should expect to pay taxes on your checking account bonus because it’s considered taxable interest. You should receive a form from the bank and report the bonus amount to the IRS when you file taxes the following year.

How to choose the best checking account

When choosing a checking account, you’ll want to think carefully about the features and perks that matter most, as everyone’s spending and saving habits are different. You might consider these factors:

  • APY: Are you hoping to earn interest on your balance? Or do you already have a high-yield savings account that does the job?
  • Monthly fees: Do you mind paying monthly account fees in exchange for additional perks, or do you prefer to avoid the added expense?
  • Bonus offers: Some banks sweeten the deal for new account holders by offering a bonus for opening a checking account. You shouldn’t open an account solely for the bonus, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to explore bonus offers and consider them when choosing a checking account.
  • Minimum balance requirements: Pay attention to any minimum balance requirements highlighted within the terms of your checking account, and think about whether or not those requirements align with your spending habits. If you’re the kind of person, who doesn’t let their balance fall below a certain threshold, a higher minimum balance requirement likely won’t be a dealbreaker. However, if you’re a big spender—this kind of stipulation could result in added fees and penalties.

Checking account alternatives

While getting a bonus on a new checking account is always a nice perk, this type of account isn’t ideal for every situation. Checking accounts typically don’t carry high interest rates, so if savings is your primary goal you should likely look elsewhere. Here are some options to consider:

Checking accounts vs. savings accounts

While these are the two most common types of accounts the average depositor holds, there are many differences between the two. Checking accounts allow for frequent withdrawals, at the cost of bearing very low interest rates.

By contrast, savings accounts are best for depositing funds that you won’t need access to for a while. There is typically a limit on the number of times you can withdraw from savings accounts each month, but in return you earn higher interest rates.

Checking accounts vs. money market accounts

Money market accounts are similar to both savings and checking accounts. They are similar to checking accounts as they often come with debit cards or checkbooks, allowing you to withdraw funds easily when needed. However, unlike checking accounts, money market accounts and savings accounts may set limits on the number of withdrawals you can make per month.

Both types of accounts typically come with debit card and/or check-writing privileges, although this isn’t always true.

A money market account may be the best fit for account holders who want to earn a higher APY and have some but not unlimited access to their funds. However, if you’re looking for an account that supports your everyday spending and plan to have a separate high-yield savings account for growing your money, a standard checking account might be a better option.

Checking accounts vs. certificates of deposit (CDs)

Certificates of deposit, or CDs, are another form of long-term deposit account. But unlike savings accounts, which limit how many times you can withdraw money each month, a CD “locks up” your funds for a defined period of time. At the end of that time you get back everything you deposited plus the interest, with many CDs earning 5% APY or more.

Our methodology

The Fortune RecommendsTM team compared over 10 checking accounts across major banks, credit unions, and online-only banks to help you find the highest checking account bonus and the best account overall for your financial needs. Our top picks are available to customers across the U.S. no matter where you’re located, subject to the terms of each checking account. 

To determine which account offered the best bonus, among other features, we ranked the best accounts in the following categories and weighted each category as outlined in the percentages below:

  • Bonus amount (60%): Many banks and credit unions offer a cash bonus for opening a new checking account. In some cases, account holders must meet certain balance requirements, sign up for direct deposit, or make a certain number of qualifying purchases using their debit card to qualify. Bonus offers are for a limited time. We favored checking accounts that offered higher bonuses. 
  • Minimum opening deposit (15%): Some financial institutions require a deposit amount when you open your account. We rate a higher opening deposit as less attractive. 
  • Monthly fees (10%): Some banks charge monthly maintenance fees. We ranked banks with lower (or zero) monthly fees higher on the list.  
  • Annual percentage yield (APY) on your account balance (10%): This percentage represents the real rate of return on your balance; the higher the APY, the better. 
  • Customer service (5%): Top picks offer customers three ways to get in contact: chat support, phone, or even email. Among the three options, we gave phone support the most weight. 

We think that the best checking accounts offer a lucrative bonus, low or zero monthly service fees, no minimum balance requirements, and the ability to earn interest on your balance. The bonuses, rates, fees, and minimum balance requirements on these checking accounts are available for a limited time. APYs are subject to fluctuation, which could impact how much interest you earn. All the banks and credit unions on this list are insured by the FDIC and NCUA, respectively.

Frequently asked questions

How do checking account bonuses work?

Some financial institutions offer checking account bonuses (usually for a limited time) to incentivize new customers to open an account. Bonuses are generally cash deposited directly into your account after meeting a minimum balance requirement or direct deposit threshold.

Do you pay taxes on bank account bonuses?

Yes. Bank bonuses are taxed. The IRS considers bonuses taxable interest and will likely send you a Form 1099-INT or Form 1099-OID reporting interest payments and/or tax-exempt interest of $10 or more. 

Can I close a checking account after receiving a bonus? 

Many banks require you to keep your account open for a certain length of time. Closing your account before you reach that threshold could mean paying an account closure fee or forfeiting your bonus. 

Should I have both checking and savings accounts with the same bank?

Having all of your financial accounts under one roof can be convenient and make it easier to manage your finances, but it isn’t necessary. Do your research and compare offerings across financial institutions to select the best accounts for your needs.

Are checking accounts safe?

As long as you open a checking account with a financial institution that is FDIC-insured or NCUA-insured, your deposits are protected up to $250,000 per depositor, per account ownership category, in case of bank failure.

Is it important that a checking account has a high APY?

A high APY isn’t necessary; however, it can help you grow your checking account balance over time. If you hope to boost your balance, opting for an account with a higher APY can help speed things along.

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