16 Best Bank Promotions and Bonuses of September 2021

Bank bonuses and promotions aren't the only reason to choose a bank. But free money to fund your new savings or checking account sure doesn’t hurt.

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 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 Bank Bonuses and Promotions of September 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 monthly maintenance fees; over time, these could easily exceed a one-time cash bonus.

16 Bank Promotions that Give You Cash

Bank Promotion
Aspiration Account $150 See Details
Aspiration Plus $200 See Details
Chase Total Checking $225 See Details
TD Bank Convenience Checking $150 See Details
TD Bank Beyond Checking Account $300 See Details
Chime Referral Bonus $75 See Details
Alliant Credit Union Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account $100 See Details
Bank of America Advantage Banking $100 See Details
PNC Virtual Wallet $50 See Details
PNC Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend $200 See Details
PNC Virtual Wallet with Performance Select $300 See Details
Citizens Student Checking Account Up to $400 See Details
Citizens One Deposit Checking Account Up to $400 See Details
Citizens Quest Checking Account Up to $400 See Details
Huntington Asterisk-Free Checking $150 See Details
Huntington 5 Checking Account $200 See Details

Aspiration Account

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

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 and allows fee-free withdrawals at more than 55,000 ATMs. You’ll earn up to 5% cash back when you make debit card 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 account opening.
The fine print
Monthly fees are on a “Pay What is Fair” policy.
Expiration
None

Aspiration Plus

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

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 and allows fee-free withdrawals at more than 55,000 ATMs. You’ll earn up to 10% cash back when you make debit card purchases at socially conscious businesses.
Aspiration Plus

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 account opening.
The fine print
$15 monthly fee
Expiration
None

Chase Total Checking Account

Key Features
  • $12 monthly fee
  • Fee waived by meeting conditions
  • Basic checking account

The Total Checking $12 monthly service 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 bank accounts of at least $5,000. Direct deposit 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 account opening.
The fine print
$12 monthly fee, which can be waived.
Expiration
Oct. 18, 2021

TD Bank Convenience Checking Account

Key Features
  • $15 monthly maintenance fee
  • Good basic personal checking account
  • Fee can be waived

This checking account 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

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 account opening.
The fine print
Monthly fee waived with $100 minimum balance.
Expiration
None

TD Bank Beyond Checking Account

Key Features
  • $25 monthly maintenance fee
  • Checking account
  • Fees can be waived, guidelines vary

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

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 account opening.
The fine print
Monthly fee waived with $5,000 in direct deposits or $2,500 daily balance.
Expiration
None

Chime Referral Bonus

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

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, early paycheck deposit and 60,000+ fee-free ATMs.
Chime Referral Bonus

Bonus amount
$75 per referral, plus $75 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.
The fine print
Be sure to use a unique referral link from your own account.
Expiration
None

Alliant Credit Union The Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account

Key Features
  • $0 monthly fees with eStatements
  • High-yield savings account
  • Easy-to-track bonus criteria

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.
The fine print
Balance must be $1,200 at the end of 12 months.
Expiration
Dec. 31, 2021

Bank of America Advantage Banking

Key Features
  • Monthly maintenance fees
  • Standard checking accounts
  • Fees can be waived

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

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.
The fine print
Monthly fees can be waived.
Expiration
Dec. 31, 2021

PNC Virtual Wallet

Key Features
  • $7 monthly service charge
  • Checking can be combined with savings
  • Fee can be waived

Qualifying direct deposits include paychecks, Social Security, pension or other recurring monthly income. The account carries a monthly service charge that can be waived if you receive $500 or more via direct deposit each month; you maintain $500 or more between associated Spend checking account and Reserve savings account; or are 62 or older. This account does not earn interest.
PNC Virtual Wallet

Bonus amount
$50
How to get it
Receive qualifying direct deposits of $500 within the first 60 days.
When you get it
60 to 90 days 60 to 90 days after meeting requirements.
The fine print
Cannot have a current PNC account or have closed an account within the previous 90 days.
Expiration
Sept. 30, 2021

PNC Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend

Key Features
  • $7 monthly service charge
  • High direct deposit thresholds
  • Monthly fee can be waived

Qualifying direct deposits include paychecks, Social Security, pension or other recurring monthly income. The account carries a monthly service charge that can be waived if you receive $2,000 or more monthly via direct deposit; you maintain $2,000 or more between associated Spend checking account and Reserve savings account; or have at least $10,000 across all consumer PNC accounts.
Performance Spend

Bonus amount
$200
How to get it
Receive qualifying direct deposits of $2,000 within the first 60 days.
When you get it
60 to 90 days after meeting requirements.
The fine print
Cannot have a current PNC account or have closed an account within the previous 90 days.
Expiration
Sept. 30, 2021

PNC Virtual Wallet with Performance Select

Key Features
  • $7 monthly service charge
  • Highest direct deposit requirements.
  • Monthly fee can be waived.

Qualifying direct deposits include paychecks, Social Security, pension or other recurring monthly income. The account carries a monthly service charge that can be waived if you receive $5,000 or more monthly via direct deposit; you maintain $5,000 or more between associated Spend checking account and Reserve savings account; or have at least $25,000 across all consumer PNC accounts.
Performance Select

Bonus amount
$300
How to get it
Receive qualifying direct deposits of $5,000 within the first 60 days.
When you get it
60 to 90 days after meeting requirements.
The fine print
Cannot have a current PNC account or have closed an account within the previous 90 days.
Expiration
Sept. 30, 2021

Citizens Student Checking Account

Key Features
  • Only for new customers 25 and under
  • No monthly fee
  • Student checking account

Open a new account via the offer page and receive a direct deposit of $500 or more within 60 days to receive a $300 cash bonus. Receive up to $100 more making debit card purchases. For every debit card purchase you make, you will earn $2, up to $100, during the first 60 days. Direct deposits must be regular monthly income. No interest. Unlimited ATM transactions and a contactless debit card.
Citizens Student Checking

Bonus amount
Up to $400
How to get it
Direct deposit of $500, and use your debit card in first 60 days.
When you get it
If you open this month, your bonus will be paid out by Jan. 31.
The fine print
You must be a new Citizens banking customer and under 25 years old.
Expiration
Oct. 28, 2021

Citizens One Deposit Checking Account

Key Features
  • $9.99 monthly fee
  • Fee can be waived
  • Basic checking account

Open new account via the offer page and receive a direct deposit of $500 or more within 60 days to receive $300 bonus. Receive up to $100 more by making debit card purchases. For every debit card purchase you make, you earn $2, up to $100, during the first 60 days. Direct deposits must be regular monthly income. No interest. Fee will be waived if you receive at least one direct deposit each month.
Citizens One Deposit Checking

Bonus amount
Up to $400
How to get it
Direct deposit of $500, and use your debit card in first 60 days.
When you get it
If you open this month, your bonus will be paid out by Jan. 31.
The fine print
You must be a new Citizens banking customer.
Expiration
Oct. 28, 2021

Citizens Quest Checking Account

Key Features
  • $25 monthly fee, which can be waived.
  • Unlimited ATM transactions
  • Interest-earning checking account

Open a new checking account and receive a direct deposit of $500 or more within 60 days to receive a $300 bonus. Receive up to $100 more by making debit card purchases. For every debit card purchase you make, you will earn $2, up to $100, during the first 60 days. Direct deposits must be regular monthly income. $25 monthly maintenance fee can be waived with a $5,000 minimum deposit each month.
Citizens Quest Checking

Bonus amount
Up to $400
How to get it
Direct deposit of $500, and use your debit card in first 60 days.
When you get it
If you open this month, your bonus will be paid out by Jan. 31.
The fine print
You must be a new Citizens banking customer.
Expiration
Oct. 28, 2021

Huntington Asterisk-Free Checking Account

Key Features
  • No monthly fees
  • Only available in certain states
  • Quick cash bonus payout

This offer is only available to customers who live in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania or West Virginia. This account does not earn interest.
Huntington Asterisk-Free

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.
The fine print
Account must remain open for at least 90 days.
Expiration
Oct. 7, 2021

Huntington 5 Checking Account

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

This offer is only available to customers who live in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania or West Virginia. 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.
The fine print
Account must remain open for at least 90 days.
Expiration
Oct. 7, 2021

How to Search for Bank Account Bonuses 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.

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 bank 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.