This bank is now offering a $1,500 bonus for opening a new account – and it’s not the only lucrative bonus banks are currently offering

To attract new customers, many banks are now offering lucrative cash bonuses — anywhere from $100 to $2,000 — to easily transfer money to their various savings and checking accounts.

A recent Reddit thread highlights dozens of first-hand accounts of people making thousands of dollars by moving their money into different bank accounts to get the bonuses, then moving on. But while some options may seem enticing (ahem $2,000 cash), and moving your money can pay off, pros say a look at the fine print can help you decide whether the hoops — like minimum balances, required direct deposits, and more — that often are important are worth the money. Indeed, you may just be better off with a high-interest savings account, as many of those savings accounts pay more than they have in a decade (check out some of the best savings account rates you can get right now).

That said, if you want to get the job done, here’s what you need to know about the bank bonuses, and 10 of the best.

There will be hoops to jump through

The first thing to know is that these deals come with caveats. To get the bonus, you may need to move thousands (and sometimes tens of thousands) of dollars into a and leave it there for a period of time, make or make consistent deposits over several months or even years, maintain a minimum amount in the account and/or get a direct deposit. “If you miss the requirements, you’ve done all that hard work for nothing,” explains Brian Schmehil, general manager of wealth management at the Mather Group.

“The opportunity cost of making a few hundred dollars rather than the hassle of setting everything up at a new bank is usually not worth their time,” said Caleb Pepperday, a certified financial planner at JFS Wealth Advisors in Pittsburgh. .

Although, it can be. If you set aside enough money as a safety net, Schmehil says the return on your investment can be worth it. The “best option, if possible, is to just move cash to all these different banks to get the bonus while keeping your main checking and savings accounts intact,” says Schmehil, adding that “banks have realized this, so it’s getting harder and harder to do that without actually moving your banking relationship to another bank.”

Check out some of the best savings account rates you can get right now.

Only use the bonus as a factor to decide whether or not to switch banks

Bankrate banking analyst Matthew Goldberg thinks staying up to date on available bonuses is one way to make sure you don’t leave any money on the table. process when you compare accounts.”

But in many cases, bonuses come in the form of one-time payouts and aren’t the best long-term strategy, says Margarette Burnette, banking specialist at NerdWallet. “Even after you receive the bonus funds, which can take several weeks, it may not be worth hunting for another offer right away. If you try to close an account that has been open for less than six months, the bank may charge you an early closing fee.”

After all these considerations, Burnette says that considering a more stable investment option might pay off just as well, if not better. “A one-time bonus is nice, but it’s also good to consider putting your money in a high-interest savings account and letting it earn a little interest without extra work on your part,” she says.

Check out some of the best savings account rates you can get right now.

Best savings and checking account bonuses

If you’re looking for the best bank bonuses available today, MarketWatch Picks has done the research for you. Below are the top five offers for both checking and savings accounts. Make sure to read the fine print!

5 Best Savings Account Bonuses

Alliant Credit UnionGetting Free Money at Alliant may take some work, but you are eligible to earn $100 after holding an Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account for one year and by depositing a minimum of $100 for 12 consecutive months. Current Alliant members are not eligible, so this is a one-time offer only.

BMO Harris: New members who open a Savings Builder account can earn $5 per month or $60 per year by depositing $200 each month for the first 12 months.

To discover: Start your savings account and earn a $150 bonus when you deposit at least $15,000 and $200 when you deposit at least $25,000 into a new Discover Online Savings Account. However, the offer is not valid for existing or previous Discover savings customers, so this is essentially a one-time deal. Accounts must also be held for 30 days to be eligible.

CIT bank: Get a year of free Amazon Prime, a cash value of $139, when you open a money market account with CIT with promo code AMZN22. Some caveats here are a minimum balance of $15,000 that must be reached within 15 days, and also held for 60 days to be eligible. The offer must also be redeemed before March 24, 2024.

regional bank: Set up the automatic transfer feature from your Regions Bank to your LifeGreen Savings Account and earn an annual bonus of up to $100. Regions Bank is only available in certain states and the program does involve some work, so read the fine print.

5 best checking account bonuses

city: Earn $2,000 when you deposit and hold a balance of $300,000 and $1,500 for depositing and maintaining a minimum balance of $200,000. While that may seem like a lot, $10,000 balances also earn $200 with other offerings available on a sliding scale in between.

BMO Harris: If you don’t already have a BMO Harris checking account, you may be eligible for $200 to $350 bonuses by opening a Smart Advantage Account, Smart Money Account, or Premier Account. One account is limited per customer and must be opened between October 1 and December 30.

SoFi: Register, make direct deposits and earn up to $250 after it lands on your account. This process is estimated to take two to four weeks, according to SoFi. Those who deposit between $1,000 and $4,999.99 are eligible for a $50 cash bonus, while those who deposit more than $5,000 will earn $250 if done within the required 25-day evaluation period.

TD Bank: New TD Beyond Checking customers can earn up to $300 when they make $2,500 in eligible direct deposits within 60 days before October 31, 2023. or have ever received a checking account bonus are not eligible. This offer ends on October 31, 2023.

Huntington National Bank: Make the minimum account deposit of $25,000 and earn $300 when you open a new Platinum Perks Checking account. Apply before February 23, 2023 to be eligible.

The opinions, recommendations or rankings in this article are those of MarketWatch Picks and have not been reviewed or approved by our commercial partners.

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