I talk about bank bonuses a lot, but most of the ones I write about are what I consider to be beginner bank bonuses. They usually involve fintech banks and are easy because the requirements to earn the bonuses are simple and the accounts almost always come with no fees or minimum balance requirements. For someone getting started with bank account bonuses, getting started with a bank like Chime or Upgrade is an easy starting point.
The problem with a lot of these banks is that they’re one and done – once you’ve earned the bonus, you aren’t eligible for the bonus again. The big legacy banks, on the other hand, are different. Most of them have language in their terms that allow you to earn the same bonus every year or two. So for many of these banks, I’ll open the same accounts year after year, earning bonuses for them multiple times.
In this post, I wanted to go over some of the bank bonuses I do every year. Some of the bonuses are more advanced than others or require a bit more thinking and planning, but all of them are generally doable for most people.
Before you get started with these bonuses, be sure you understand how they work. I’ve written an in-depth guide called The Ultimate Guide to Bank Account Bonuses that goes into a lot of detail on how these bonuses work. I highly recommend you give that a thorough read so you understand what you are getting into.
With that said, here’s a list of the bank bonuses I tend to do each year, in no particular order. Some of these banks are national banks that you can open from any location in the United States. Others are regional banks that are limited to particular states. If you do your research, you’ll likely find similar regional banks in your area.
Wells Fargo is probably the bank bonus I’ve been churning the longest. Indeed, I’ve opened and closed a Wells Fargo bank account every year since I started earning bank account bonuses in 2016.
The bonus that Wells Fargo offers varies, but you can generally expect to earn $200 to $400 for a personal checking account bonus. These bonuses usually require you to complete a few direct deposits to qualify for the bonus.
The terms for all Wells Fargo bonuses are the same. For personal checking accounts, the terms state that you are not eligible for a bonus if “you have received a bonus for opening a Wells Fargo consumer checking account within the past 12 months.”
In plain language, this means you are allowed to earn a Wells Fargo bonus 12 months after you earned your last bonus. Accordingly, if your bonus posts to your account in January, you’d be eligible for another bonus in January or February of the next year. In theory, you’d be eligible 365 days after your bonus posts, but just to be safe, I always give a one-month buffer from when I last earned my bonus.
There’s some debate about whether it’s worth waiting for an enhanced bonus or whether you should grab whichever bonus Wells Fargo is offering at the time. I personally don’t wait for an enhanced bonus. The standard signup bonus is usually $200, so most of the time, I’ll grab the $200 bonus immediately, rather than wait for a bigger bonus. The way I see it, it’s better to get the clock moving on my next bonus, rather than wait for a higher offer that may or may not come.
In addition to the personal checking account, Wells Fargo also offers a business checking account that you can keep doing each year. The personal checking account and the business checking account are considered two separate products, which means the 12-month limitation is calculated separately for each account. In other words, for the personal checking account, you’ll look at whether it’s been 12 months since you earned a bonus on a personal checking account, and for the business checking account, you’ll look at whether it’s been 12 months since you earned the bonus on a business checking account.
The Wells Fargo business checking accounts usually require you to go into a branch to open the account, so it does require a bit more work. However, the bonuses for the business checking account are usually higher, which makes it worthwhile. The bankers also don’t question you much about your business, so even if you have a modest business, you can still open a business checking account.
US Bank is another bank bonus I regularly earn. The consumer and business checking accounts typically offer bonuses of $200 to $400 for new account holders. Like with Wells Fargo, the bonus terms typically require you to complete a few direct deposits and keep a certain minimum balance to keep the accounts fee-free.
One nice thing about the US Bank bonus is that it posts approximately one month after you meet the requirements. You can then withdraw your money and close your accounts immediately. At the most aggressive, you could have a US Bank account open for about 2 months before closing it. I usually try to keep my accounts open a bit longer, but I never keep my accounts open for more than 3 or 4 months.
I believe US Bank used to allow you to open a new account every 12 months, but they now limit you to one bonus every 24 months. The 24-month clock starts from the date you earn the bonus, so you should be able to earn a US Bank bonus every two years or so.
Like most of the banks in this post, US Bank also has a business checking account that regularly offers signup bonuses for new customers. This is considered a separate product from the consumer checking account, so you can earn both bonuses every two years or so. You usually don’t have to go in-branch to open a US Bank account, so that makes things easier.
Chase Bank is one of the most popular bank bonuses utilized by bank bonus enthusiasts. In the past, you could only earn these bonuses if you lived in a state with a Chase Bank, but in recent years, they’ve made their bonuses available nationwide.
In general, you can expect to see a $200 to $600 bonus for their consumer bank accounts. The nice thing is that Chase offers bonuses for both their checking and savings accounts, so you can often double up and earn bonuses on both. The downside is that the requirements can be difficult compared to other banks. To maximize your bonus, you usually have to complete a few direct deposits and keep $15,000 in the savings accounts for several months. Chase also requires you to keep your accounts open for six months or else you forfeit the bonus.
The Chase business checking accounts are similar, typically offering $500 or more to new customers that open an account and keep $10,000 in them for 60 days or so.
Chase limits users to a bonus on a Chase checking account every 2 years, so if you can meet the requirements, you’ll want to make sure you do this every two years.
Also, while I can’t prove it, anecdotally, I think having Chase checking accounts (personal or business), help you with getting approved for Chase credit cards.
Citi is a bank bonus I’ve repeated several times, although I’ve had issues opening new accounts recently. They regularly offer bonuses of $300 or more, making them worthwhile if you have the means to do them.
The nice thing about Citi is that their bonuses usually don’t require a direct deposit. Instead, the terms require you to deposit a large sum in the account and keep it there for 60 days. You can then close the account once you’ve earned the bonus. Citi allows you to earn a bonus 180 days from when you last closed your account, so ideally, you want to close your Citi bank accounts as soon as possible to get the clock rolling.
Citi also regularly offers business checking bonuses, but I haven’t been able to take advantage of those since you have to go in-branch to open them and there aren’t any Citi branches in my state.
Bank of America
Bank of America almost always has a bonus for their consumer checking account and regularly offers bonuses on their business checking account too. The terms usually require you to complete a direct deposit and keep some money in the account for a few months. Bank of America accounts are riddled with fees, so you’ll need to pay attention to what you have to do to avoid fees.
You can earn a bonus for a Bank of America account every 12 months, with the 12 months starting from the date you close the account. There are some data points online of people who claim that Bank of America has denied bonuses to people who had an account before because the bonus is only for new customers, which is odd because the terms don’t have any language saying it’s only for brand new customers. I’ve never had an issue getting these bonuses each year, but your mileage may vary.
One good reason to open a Bank of America account is to get a Bank of America debit card. That’s because Bank of America has a partnership with museums around the country where you get free admission on the first weekend of each month. To get free admission, you only have to show your Bank of America debit card or credit card. The museums don’t check to see that it’s an active card – they barely glance at it, in fact – so even having a debit card for a closed account will be useful if you’re someone that enjoys museums. You can check the list of participating museums on their website to see if there are any good museums you want to check out.
BMO Harris is a regional bank with branches primarily in the Midwest. They regularly offer signup bonuses on both their consumer and business checking accounts. Besides Wells Fargo, BMO Harris is one of my most churned bank bonuses.
The terms limit you to a new bonus every 12 months from when you closed your last account. The business checking account bonuses require you to go in-branch, which I do every year.
You’ll only be able to open an account if you live in a state that BMO Harris operates in, but if they do operate in your state, it’s worth adding this bank to your list each year.
Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third is a regional bank that is pretty easy to manage. To open an account at this bank, you’ll need to live in a state that Fifth Third operates in. I’ve only earned a bonus from this bank once because they don’t operate in my state.
You might be wondering how I was able to earn a bonus from this bank if I don’t live in a state they operate in. Interestingly enough, while you have to live in one of their operating states to open an account online, you can open an account in-branch, even if you don’t live in that state. A few years ago when I was visiting Chicago, I stopped into a Fifth Third branch and opened an account in person. It took me about 30 minutes to open the account and I ended up earning $500 from the bonus (well worth my time).
You can earn a bonus from Fifth Third every 12 months from when you last closed your account, so like with BMO Harris, if you live in a state that Fifth Third operates in, consider grabbing this bonus each year. Here’s a post I wrote with step-by-step directions on how to earn a Fifth Third bank bonus.
Marcus By Goldman Sachs
Finally, I figured I’d talk about Marcus by Goldman Sachs. This isn’t a bank that you would open and close each year, but I list it here because each year, they always seem to offer a bonus if you open a savings account and keep a certain amount in the account for a few months. What makes this interesting is that current account owners are eligible for this bonus too. All you have to do is opt into the offer, then move the required money into the savings account.
Marcus is an easier bank bonus than most because the account is free and doesn’t make you jump through complicated hoops. Even without the bonus, I think Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a solid savings account for your short to medium-term savings, but the fact they seem to offer a bonus each year for current customers makes it worth checking out.
There are a ton more banks that regularly offer bank account bonuses and allow you to earn them every 12 or 24 months. These are just a few of the major ones I do every year or two.
With any bank bonus, you want to carefully review the terms and make sure you understand what you have to do to meet the bonus. It’s always good to cut and paste the terms into a checklist, then check off each requirement as you meet it. That way, you’ll know you did everything.
The best list of bank account bonuses can be found at Doctor of Credit. That’s the first place I go to when I’m looking for new bonuses. And again, make sure you read my post, The Ultimate Guide to Bank Account Bonuses, which breaks down everything you need to know about how bank account bonuses work.
In the US, TD Bank only allows ONCE to receive their promotion. The bank changed their rules a few months ago. Citizens Bank, headquartered in Rhode Island, allows people to open an account every 6 months to receive a bonus. I keep a list of dates when I can return to the bank to score another promotion., based on when I last closed the account. An online tech financial company, Spiral, is shutting down its online business as of Dec 31, 2022. Fortunately, I received a $250 bonus from them earlier this year.
Wow! do we have such bonuses in Europe? It looks like our banks are so lazy in Spain 🙂 I’ve got only free services as a promotion. Never real money for action.
Financial Panther says
Unfortunately, this is mainly US based. Not sure how it works in other countries, but likely not as good.
Freedom, I found this link for you to explore. It is part of Santander Banco in Spain.
Financial Panther says
Citizens Bank is one of those regional banks that you can hit up over and over. Regions Bank is another one that I’ve done before. Truist also is another bigger regional bank.
BRIAN ANDERSON says
hi—-how much do you earn each year from these bonus’s ?
Financial Panther says
I typically earn around $6,000 to $10,000 per year between me and my wife. This year, I’ve earned $7,600 and hopefully will get a few more before the year is over.
Daniel Huang says
Do you use a particular software or accountant when it’s time to file taxes and about how much of it goes back to Uncle Sam ? It seems like there’s quite a lot of forms to manage and to keep track of.
It is very easy to do the 1099 INT with TurboTax Premier. Some banks state they will issue a 1099 MISC. However, the bonus would have to exceed $600 for the recipient to receive a 1099 MISC.
Great post! Would love to see a new post on any changes/new accounts/considerations to your emergency fund strategy using high yield savings accounts given many rate increases at different banks.
James, High Yield savings accounts can not top the US Savings Bonds Series I. You can lock in the current annual rate of 9.62% if you purchase I-Bonds before 10/28. That rate will reduce Nov 1st. However, for the next 6 months you would earn 4.81% plus half of the new annual rate when that changes! So, you will earn over 8% for your first year of owning this no risk bond. I made my online purchase today, at treasurydirect.gov.
Financial Panther says
Yeah, I still have my current setup of Netspend accounts, HEB Debit, Current, Service Credit Union, DCU, and Workers Credit Union, but these aren’t as valuable as they were several years ago when rates were so low.
Two banking apps I’m doing some research on are Juno and Enzo. Juno seems to say you can get 5% on up to $10k. I just need to make sure it’s FDIC-insured and not some weird stablecoin thing.
Enzo seems to have no limits, but I haven’t done enough research yet to say anything yet.
IBonds are also crazy good right now. I put $10k each year into them. They are a bit complicated though on how they work. Here’s a post I wrote about Ibonds. Buying I Bonds As Part Of My Emergency Fund Strategy