22 Best Bank Promotions, Bonuses and Offers of December 2021

Bank bonuses and promotions aren't the only reason to choose a bank. But free money to fund your new checking or savings account is a nice perk.

Reviewed by Molly Moorhead, CFP®
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So, you’re looking for a new bank account.

You’ve got several factors to consider — ATM access, interest rates, monthly account fees, minimum balances, online bill payments and more.

Another factor: sign-up promotions and bonuses. Banks and credit unions frequently run promotions to entice prospective customers to open a new account — and they often come with cash. You have to meet specific criteria, such as making a minimum opening deposit, and generally the account must remain open for a certain amount of time — at least long enough to earn the cash bonus.

Many banks offer such sign-up bonuses, but often, they aren’t advertised. We did some digging to find the best bank promotions currently on offer.

Best Checking and Savings Account Offers of December 2021

Keep an eye on what each promotion requires, as well as any limitations. Recurring direct deposits and maintaining a minimum balance are common requirements in securing bank bonuses. Also pay attention to any monthly fees the account might carry; over time, these could weigh out the actual cash bonus. Otherwise, happy bank bonus shopping!

17 Bank Promotions That Give you Cash

Bank Top Feature Promotion
Aspiration Account No fees $150
Aspiration Plus Cash back on purchases $200
Chase Total Checking Account Fees may be waived $225
TD Bank Convenience Checking Account Good basic checking $150
TD Bank Beyond Checking Account High balance rewarded $300
Chime Referral Bonus No monthly fees $100
Alliant Credit Union The Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account High-yield savings $150
Bank of America Advantage Banking Fees can be waived $100
BMO Harris Smart Advantage No fees for paperless $200
BMO Harris Smart Money No overdraft fees $200
BMO Harris Premier Unlimited ATM use $350
HSBC Premier Checking Account No foreign exchange fees $450
Fifth Third Checking Account No hidden fees $300
Discover Bank Online Savings Account No min. opening balance $150 or $200
Huntington Asterisk-Free Checking Quick cash bonus payout $150
Huntington 5 Checking Interest on checking $200
PNC Virtual Wallet Great ATM access Up to $300

Aspiration Account

Best for Financial Beginners

Key Features
  • No monthly service fee
  • Save and Spend Account
  • 3%-5% cash back on socially conscious
5 out of 5 Overall

Once you open a new account, Aspiration will send you a debit card. Use it to make at least $1,000 of cumulative transactions within 60 days of account opening. The FDIC-insured account offers up to 1.00% APY on savings accounts and allows fee-free withdrawals at more than 55,000 ATMs. You’ll earn up to 5% cash back when you make debit purchases at socially conscious businesses.
Aspiration Account

Bonus amount
$150
How to get it
Open a new account and make a minimum opening deposit of at least $10.
When you get it
Within 120 calendar days of opening.
More information
Monthly fees are on a “Pay What is Fair” policy.
Expiration
None

The Aspiration Account boasts unlimited fee-free ATM withdrawals at all in-network (Allpoint) ATMs, plus up to 5% cash back on Conscience Coalition debit card purchases. You can even opt to plant a tree with every purchase roundup. You can access your paycheck up to two days early and earn up to 1.00% APY on your savings.

Aspiration Plus Account

Best for Socially Conscious Clients

Key Features
  • $7.99 monthly, $71.88 if paid annually
  • Save and Spend Account
  • 10% back/socially conscious purchases
4.5 out of 5 Overall

Once you open a new account, Aspiration will send you a debit card. Use it to make at least $1,000 of cumulative transactions within 60 days of account opening. The FDIC-insured account offers up to 1.00% APY on savings accounts and allows fee-free withdrawals at more than 55,000 ATMs. You’ll earn up to 10% cash back when you make debit purchases at socially conscious businesses.
Aspiration Plus Account

Bonus amount
$200
How to get it
Open a new account and make a minimum opening deposit of at least $10.
When you get it
Within 120 calendar days of opening.
More information
$15 monthly fee.
Expiration
None

The Aspiration Plus Account boasts unlimited fee-free ATM withdrawals at all in-network (Allpoint) ATMs, plus up to 10% cash back on Conscience Coalition debit card purchases. You can even opt to plant a tree with every purchase roundup and get carbon offsets for your gas purchases with Planet Protection. You can access your paycheck up to two days early and earn up to 5.00% APY on your savings.

Chase Total Checking Account

Best for Basic Checking

Key Features
  • $12 monthly fee
  • Fee waived by meeting conditions
  • Basic checking
5 out of 5 Overall

The Total Checking $12 monthly fee can be waived if you receive monthly direct deposits totaling $500 or more, keep a daily minimum balance of at least $1,500 in your new checking account, or keep a daily minimum balance across all your Chase accounts of at least $5,000. Deposits via person-to-person payments do not qualify. Access to 16,000 ATMs and more than 4,700 branches.
Chase Total Checking Account

Bonus amount
$225
How to get it
Receive a qualifying direct deposit within 90 days of account opening.
When you get it
Within 15 business days of opening.
More information
$12 monthly fee, which can be waived.
Expiration
Jan. 19, 2022

The Chase Total Checking account gets you access to more than 4,700 branches nationwide, plus 16,000 ATMs. The easy-to-use mobile app is highly rated. While Chase does charge a $12 monthly service fee, you can waive it by earning $500+ in monthly direct deposits, maintaining a daily balance of $1,500+ or having $5,000 across all your Chase accounts at the start of each day. Any of these options qualify you for the $225 checking account bonus offer while avoiding the monthly fee.

TD Bank Convenience Checking Account

Best for Financial Beginners

Key Features
  • $15 monthly maintenance fee
  • Good basic personal checking
  • Fee can be waived
5 out of 5 Overall

This checking option is good for financial beginners to manage. You only need to maintain a minimum balance of $100 to have the monthly maintenance fee waived. And if you are between the ages of 17 and 23, there are no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fees. The Convenience Checking account does not earn interest.
TD Bank Convenience Checking Account

Bonus amount
$150
How to get it
Receive direct deposits of at least $500 within 60 days of account opening.
When you get it
Within 140 days of opening.
More information
Monthly fee waived with $100 minimum balance.
Expiration
None

The TD Bank Beyond Checking Account’s monthly maintenance fee is steep at $25, but you have three easy ways to waive it (the $2,500 daily balance might be the easiest). Beyond Checking offers two overdraft fee reimbursements a year and no ATM fees, even for out-of-network ATMs (as long as you’ve got that $2,500 balance). Though the account boasts that it earns interest, the growth is inconsequential at 0.01% APY.

TD Bank Beyond Checking Account

Best for Clients with Big Balances

Key Features
  • $25 monthly maintenance fee
  • Checking account
  • Fees can be waived, guidelines vary
3.5 out of 5 Overall

The monthly maintenance fee on this personal checking account is waived with monthly direct deposits of at least $5,000, a minimum daily balance of $2,500 or a combined balance across all your TD Bank checking and savings accounts of $25,000. You won’t face fees for making withdrawals at TD Bank ATMs, and it’ll reimburse non-TD ATM fees if you keep a minimum daily balance of at least $2,500.
TD Bank Beyond Checking Account

Bonus amount
$300
How to get it
Open a new account and receive direct deposits of at least $2,500 within 60 days.
When you get it
Within 140 days of opening.
More information
Monthly fee waived with $5,000 in direct deposits or $2,500 daily balance.
Expiration
None

The TD Bank Beyond Checking Account’s monthly maintenance fee is steep at $25, but you have three easy ways to waive it (the $2,500 daily balance might be the easiest). Beyond Checking offers two overdraft fee reimbursements a year and no ATM fees, even for out-of-network ATMs (as long as you’ve got that $2,500 balance). Though the account boasts that it earns interest, the growth is inconsequential at 0.01% APY.

Chime Referral Bonus

Best for Referral Bonus

Key Features
  • Must be current Chime account holder
  • No minimum daily balance
  • Good for first-time banking clients
4.5 out of 5 Overall

If you refer a friend and they open a new account and receive a direct deposit of at least $200 in the first 45 days, you will each receive $75. Make sure to use the referral link from your account to get the cash bonus. Chime is great for beginners, offering fee-free overdraft, automatic savings account, early paycheck deposit and 60,000+ fee-free ATMs.
Chime Referral Bonus Account

Bonus amount
$100 per referral, plus $100 to the friend you refer
How to get it
Referred friend receives $200 direct deposit.
When you get it
Within two business days of account opening.
More information
Be sure to use a unique referral link from your own account.
Expiration
None

Though not technically a bank, Chime is becoming increasingly popular as an online financial institution for banking customers of all ages. Top features include early access to direct deposit, fee-free overdraft, 60,000+ ATMs, a 0.50% APY for the high-yield savings and plenty of features to automatically grow your savings.

Alliant Ultimate Opportunity Savings

Best for Fans of Suze Orman

Key Features
  • $0 monthly fees with eStatements
  • High-yield savings account
  • Easy-to-track bonus criteria
4.5 out of 5 Overall

Not only does Alliant Credit Union’s Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account (in partnership with Suze Orman) have one of the best APYs currently available (0.55%), it pays out its bonus pretty easily. No massive balances or monthly direct deposits to think about.
Alliant Opportunity Savings

Bonus amount
$100
How to get it
Deposit at least $100 a month for 12 months.
When you get it
Within four weeks of completion.
More information
Balance must be $1,200 at the end of 12 months.
Expiration
Dec. 31, 2021

The Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account from Alliant Credit Union has a lot to like: 80,000+ fee-free ATMs, no monthly fees if you opt in to online statements, a leading mobile app, and a strong APY at 0.55%.

Bank of America Advantage Account

Best for Standard Checking

Key Features
  • Monthly maintenance fees
  • Standard checking plans
  • Fees can be waived
4.5 out of 5 Overall

Open your Bank of America checking account online using the promo code DDX100CIS. Qualifying direct deposit must be regular monthly income, such as salary or pension payments. Bank of America Advantage Banking accounts come in three levels: SafeBalance, Plus and Relationship. All three carry Bank of America monthly fees that can be waived by meeting direct deposit and minimum balance requirements.
Bank of America Advantage Account

Bonus amount
$100
How to get it
Receive direct deposits of at least $1,000 within 90 days.
When you get it
Within 60 days of account opening.
More information
Monthly fees can be waived.
Expiration
Dec. 31, 2021

Bank of America’s Advantage account is broken into three tiers: SafeBalance Banking, Plus Banking, and Relationship Banking. SafeBalance boasts no overdraft fees or non-sufficient funds fees; Plus offers multiple ways to waive the monthly service fee; and Relationship earns interest (though the percentage is quite low).

BMO Harris Smart Advantage Account

Best for Fee-Free ATM Network

Key Features
  • No monthly fee if you go paperless
  • Standard checking
  • Fee-free transactions at 40,000+ ATMs
4.5 out of 5 Overall

Get a $200 bonus for opening a new BMO Harris Smart Advantage account and earning at least $4,000 in qualifying direct deposits within 90 days. The bank has physical branches in Indiana and you have to live in IL, IN, MN, WI, MO, KS, AZ or FL to take advantage of this account, which grants you unlimited fee-free transactions at over 40,000 Allpoint network ATMs in the U.S.
BMO Harris Smart Advantage Account

Bonus amount
$200
How to get it
Receive direct deposits of at least $4,000 within 90 days.
When you get it
Approximately 100 days after opening.
More information
Monthly fees can be waived with paperless statements.
Expiration
Jan. 28, 2022

Smart Advantage is BMO Harris’ most popular checking account. It requires no minimum balance, charges no monthly fees when you opt for paperless statements and gets you fee-free access to 40,000+ ATMs nationwide with the Allpoint network.

BMO Harris Smart Money Account

Best for No Minimum Balance

Key Features
  • No monthly maintenance fees if under 25
  • Standard checking
  • No overdraft or NSF fees
4.5 out of 5 Overall

Get a $200 bonus for opening a new BMO Harris Smart Money account and earning at least $4,000 in qualifying direct deposits within 90 days. The bank has physical branches in Indiana and you have to live in IL, IN, MN, WI, MO, KS, AZ or FL to take advantage of this account, which grants you unlimited fee-free transactions at over 40,000 Allpoint network ATMs in the U.S.
BMO Harris Smart Money Account

Bonus amount
$200
How to get it
Receive direct deposits of at least $4,000 within 90 days.
When you get it
Approximately 100 days after opening.
More information
There is a monthly fee if you’re over 25.
Expiration
Jan. 28, 2022

Like Smart Advantage, BMO Harris’ Smart Money has no minimum balance required. It’s also noteworthy for having no overdraft or NSF fees. With this account, you will get unlimited fee-free transactions at in-network ATMs (40,000+ nationwide). However, you’ll pay a monthly fee if you’re 25 or older.

BMO Harris Premier Account

Best for High Interest Possibility

Key Features
  • Interest tied to balance
  • High-yield checking
  • Unlimited ATM transactions
4 out of 5 Overall

Get a $350 bonus for opening a BMO Harris Premier account and earning at least $7,500 in qualifying direct deposits within 90 days. You have to live in IL, IN, MN, WI, MO, KS, AZ or FL to take advantage of this account, including its fee-free ATM access. The more you have in the account, the more interest you earn. Monthly maintenance fee can be waived if certain requirements are met.
BMO Harris Premier Account

Bonus amount
$350
How to get it
Receive direct deposits of at least $7,500 within 90 days.
When you get it
Approximately 100 days after opening.
More information
Monthly maintenance fees can be waived.
Expiration
Jan. 28, 2022

The highest bonus at BMO Harris comes from the Premier Account with Relationship Packages that reward you with more perks for banking more with BMO. The account earns interest, and the amount you earn increases with the amount of funds in the account. You also get unlimited access to any ATMs, in-network or not.

Fifth Third Checking Account

Best for Early Paycheck Access

Key Features
  • No monthly or hidden fees
  • Low interest-earning checking account
  • Overdraft avoidance feature
3.5 out of 5 Overall

Fifth Third Bank is a regional bank with a decent checking account. Its lack of fees, Extra Time overdraft fee avoidance feature, fraud protection, early access to paychecks and physical branches are all highlights, but its low APY (0.01%) and limited branch network (FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, , MI, NC, OH, SC, TN, and WV) work against the bank.
Fifth Third Checking Account

Bonus amount
$300
How to get it
Open a new account and make direct deposits totaling $500 or more within the first 60 days.
When you get it
Within 10 days of meeting bonus criteria
More information
Overdraft fee avoidance feature still requires that you quickly respond to avoid overdraft fees of $37
Expiration
December 31, 2021

Fifth Third’s checking account boasts immediate funds for all check deposits, Extra Time for overdraft fee avoidance, early paycheck access, no minimum balance and no hidden fees. The account also offers basic fraud protection services and unlimited check writing.

Discover Bank Online Savings Account

Best for APY Earnings

Key Features
  • High-yield savings account (0.40% APY)
  • No monthly fees or minimum opening deposit
  • No insufficient funds fees
4 out of 5 Overall

Discover Bank’s Online Savings Account offers a respectable APY, 8x higher than the national average. You can also pair the account with the Discover Cashback Debit account (one of the best online checking accounts of 2021). However, the deposit amounts to earn the bonus are quite high, making the bonus offer far less achievable for most.
Discover Bank Online Savings Account

Bonus amount
$150 or $200
How to get it
Open account using code BR21 and deposit at least $15,000 (for $150) or $25,000 (for $200) within 30 day
When you get it
Within 30 days of meeting bonus criteria
More information
Must be a first-time Discover savings account customer
Expiration
December 15, 2021

The Discover Bank Online Savings Account offers a competitive APY (0.40%) with interest compounded daily instead of monthly. THere’s no monthly fee with Discover, no minimum deposit and no insufficient funds fee. All in all, not a bad offer.

Huntington Asterisk-Free Checking

Best Regional Bonus

Key Features
  • No monthly fees
  • Only available in certain states
  • Quick cash bonus payout
5 out of 5 Overall

This offer is only available to customers who live in IL, IN, KY, MI, OH, PA or WV). This account does not earn interest.
Huntington Asterisk-Free Checking

Bonus amount
$150
How to get it
Open a new account and make deposits totaling $1,000 within the first 60 days.
When you get it
Within 14 days of meeting bonus criteria.
More information
Account must remain open for at least 90 days.
Expiration
Oct. 7, 2021

Huntington’s Asterisk-Free Checking Account doesn’t pay out any interest, but the lack of a monthly maintenance fee does make it appealing for an easy checking account. Key features include mobile banking, the No Overdraft Fee $50 Safety Zone and the 24-Hour Grace Overdraft and Return Fee Relief.

Huntington 5 Checking Account

Best for Quick Bonus Payout

Key Features
  • $5 monthly fee (can be waived)
  • Interest-earning checking
  • Quick cash bonus payout
4 out of 5 Overall

This offer is only available to customers who live in IL, IN, KY, MI, OH, PA or WV). This account does not earn interest. This account earns interest (currently a 0.02% APY, which is quite low). It also has a monthly maintenance fee of $5, which is waived if you have at least $5,000 across every Huntington bank account.
Huntington 5 Checking Account

Bonus amount
$200
How to get it
Open a new account and make deposits totaling $1,000 within the first 60 days.
When you get it
Within 14 days of meeting bonus criteria.
More information
Account must remain open for at least 90 days.
Expiration
Oct. 7, 2021

While the Huntington 5 account does have a monthly $5 fee, you can waive it by having $5,000 across accounts with Huntington. By upgrading to this account, you’ll get a higher bonus and ear 0.02% interest on your balance. Plus, you get five free ATM withdrawals.

HSBC Premier Checking Account

Best for Foreign Transaction Fees

Key Features
  • Monthly maintenance fee
  • Checking can be linked to high-yield savings
  • Unlimited U.S. ATM use
4.5 out of 5 Overall

The HSBC Premier checking account is a solid checking account. While it’s billed as fee-free, it does have a monthly maintenance fee, but you can waive it by maintaining at least $75,000 across accounts, getting $5,000+ in monthly direct deposits, having an HSBC loan of $500,000+ or maintaining Jade status. With this account, you can also travel worry-free with no foreign transaction fees.
HSBC Premier Checking Account

Bonus amount
$450
How you get it
Make qualifying direct deposits of $5,000+ a month for three consecutive months.
When you get it
Within eight weeks of completing qualifying activities.
More information
Subject to monthly maintenance fee of $50 unless conditions are met.
Expiration
Jan. 5, 2022

The HSBC Premier account provides one of the best checking account offers at $450, but it’s also a lot less attainable for average Americans. The $75K minimum balance across all HSBC accounts and investments, for example, is a hard criterion to meet to waive the monthly fee. Some more attainable accounts include Advance, Choice Checking and Basic Banking, but you’ll lose out on the bonus opportunity.

PNC Virtual Wallet

Best for ATM Power Users

Key Features
  • Geography based
  • No minimum balance to open
  • Digital financial tools
4 out of 5 Overall

The PNC Virtual Wallet includes three different Spend accounts: the baseline account, Performance Spend and Performance Select. All three require no minimum balance to open and get you access to 18,000 ATMs nationwide. The premium Performance Select account also reimburses fees at out-of-network ATMs.
PNC Virtual Wallet

Bonus amount
Up to $300
How you get it
Qualifying direct deposits must be received within 60 days of account opening.
When you get it
60 to 90 days after meeting bonus conditions.
More information
Monthly service fees ranging from $7 to $25 if conditions aren’t met.
Expiration
Dec. 31, 2021

PNC bonus offers are based on amounts of qualifying direct deposits and the offer is good in 22 states across the country. Your Zipcode will be used to determine if you are in a participating state.

Earn a $50 for making $500+ in direct deposits into the Virtual Wallet account; $200 for receiving $2,000+ in direct deposits into the Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend account; or $300 for receiving $5,000+ in direct deposits into the Virtual Wallet with Performance Select account.

To waive the Virtual Wallet monthly maintenance fee ($7), earn $500+ in monthly direct deposits to the Spend account or maintain a $500+ monthly balance across the Spend + Reserve accounts. If you’re 62 or older, the fee is automatically waived.

This account is available for people who reside in CA, TX, AZ, NM, CO, PA, FL, OH, WV, DE, NJ, SC, NC, GA, KY, IN, MI, IL, MD, DC, WV, WI.

PNC bonus offers are based on amounts of qualifying direct deposits, and this offer is good in specific states throughout the country. Your ZIP Code will be used to determine if you are in a participating state.

Regardless of whether you open the Virtual Wallet Checking Pro account with Spend only (checking account) or with Spend, Reserved & Growth (savings account), you will be eligible for a $200 bonus should you receive $2,000 in direct deposits

Unlike the Virtual Wallet account above offered in other states, this account does not charge a monthly service fee.

This offer is only available to residents of AR, CT, IA, ID, KS, LA, MA, ME, MN, MS, MT, NE, NH, ND, NV, OK, OR, RI, TN, UT, VT, WA and WY.

The Key Smart Checking account is a great account because of its lack of fees. While the account does not earn interest, most interest-bearing checking accounts hold a negligible APY anyway. Key Bank’s partnership with Allpoint gets you access to more than 40,000 ATMs nationwide.

The Key Advantage Checking account is an ideal option for the APY, but if a small interest rate on your checking account is not crucial to you and you can’t maintain $10,000 across Key accounts, stick with the Smart Checking account. Key Bank’s partnership with Allpoint gets you access to more than 40,000 ATMs nationwide.

The Key Privilege Checking account is ideal for ATM users. Not only do you get access to 40,000 in-network ATMs, but you can also get $6 in out-of-network ATM fee rebates each month. The interest rate is variable and usually low, and the monthly maintenance fee is steep ($25) and can be challenging for many to waive. But hey, at least the checks are free from this account. For those who invest through Key, this account does automatic daily sweeps and preferred pricing.

The Key Privilege Select Checking account is ideal for ATM users with unlimited ATM fee reimbursements for out-of-network usage. The interest rate is variable and usually low, and the monthly maintenance fee is steep ($50) and can be challenging for many to waive. But hey, at least the checks are free from this account. For those who invest through Key, this account does automatic daily sweeps and preferred pricing.

How to Search for a Checking Account Bonus on Your Own

Instead of listing approximately 193 bank promotions, we kept this list short and sweet — only highlighting the best bank promotions for checking and savings accounts.

But maybe you’re interested in banking with your local credit union, opening a small business checking account or exploring what investment accounts are available. There are often cash bonuses attached to these accounts too.

Banks don’t always make finding these promotions easy, so here are a few tips to help you get your hands on that cash bonus.

  • Check the bank website first. Sometimes it’ll advertise its offers with a blaring promo code. This is rare, but it’s worth a quick check — it could save you a ton of time.
  • Reach out to customer service. Let them know you’re shopping for a new account, and you’d like to know if the bank is running any promotions. More often than not, the nice representative will send you a special link.
  • Google the best bank account bonuses. You’ll likely dig up some offers from third-party sites, so make sure the offer:
    • Hasn’t expired.
    • Is legitimate. Make sure the bank is FDIC-insured and has a positive Better Business Bureau rating. Read some online reviews.
    • Doesn’t require outrageous qualifying activities. For example, it might not be realistic for you to maintain an average daily balance of $50,000.
  • Reach out to your own network to crowdsource bank recommendations. Sometimes banks have impressive referral programs, so both you and your friend could benefit from you signing up.

Overall, be smart. Don’t let the promise of a cash bonus blind you. Read the fine print so you don’t get stuck paying high monthly fees, interest rates or closing penalties. With the proper due diligence, you can earn a checking account bonus — or any other bank promotion — while also choosing the best bank for you.

Will Opening a Bank Account Hurt Your Credit Score?

If you’re worried that opening a new bank account or closing an old one will hurt your credit score, don’t be. Your bank accounts are not included in your credit report and therefore have no effect on your credit score, unless you have an outstanding negative balance that the bank turns over to a collection agency.

Sometimes when you go to open a new account, banks will do a soft credit check. However, that won’t affect your credit score.

Timothy Moore covers bank accounts for The Penny Hoarder from his home base in Cincinnati. He has worked in editing and graphic design for a marketing agency, a global research firm and a major print publication. He covers a variety of other topics, including insurance, taxes, retirement and budgeting and has worked in the field since 2012.

Editorial Disclosure: This content is not provided by the bank advertiser. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertiser. This site may be compensated through the bank advertiser Affiliate Program.