The $2,000 bonus for opening a new bank account? It exists, and here’s the deal with it

Banks pay cash bonuses, and here are some of the best.

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High-yield savings accounts now pay significantly more than they did last year – see the best savings account rates you can get now here – and sometimes banks even soften the treatment of cold, hard money for open a savings account and/or checking account with them.

“There are favorable promotions in the market for opening a new account or making an initial deposit. These range from $100 to $2,000 as long as certain requirements are met,” says Kevin Barr, Certified Financial Planner and Director of financial planning at Facet Wealth.

That said, there are of course the fine print to consider. “While a few hundred dollars for minimal effort sounds nice, I urge consumers to read the fine print carefully and consider the total cost of ownership. What do you need to do to earn the bonus? Besides opening the account, you may also need to arrange direct deposits ranging from hundreds to potentially thousands of dollars per month and minimum balance requirements are also common,” says Ted Rossman, Senior Industry Analyst at Bankrate.

Also consider a few other things: the fees associated with the account and the opportunity cost of opening it. “As nice as a short-term bonus may be, it doesn’t necessarily mean the account is best for you in the medium or long term. Let’s say you get a $200 introductory bonus, but the account pays no interest; Instead, you might be better off transferring your money to a savings account that doesn’t offer an introductory bonus, but pays a high interest rate on your deposits,” says Rossman.

See the best savings account rates you can get now here.

So what’s the deal with this $2,000 bank account bonus?

Most of the easiest bonuses to qualify for bank accounts are between $100 and $300 (we’ve charted them below), but Citi Citigold Checking offers up to $2,000. The big catch with this account is that to get the maximum bonus of $2,000, you need to have a balance of $300,000 or more to qualify (sigh). The balance on the 20th day after opening your account will determine your maximum eligible cash bonus and you must maintain the minimum required balance in your eligible account(s) for at least 60 days from the 21st day. This is only available to new Citibank customers, and you can read more fine print here.

Some other great cash bonus offers are below, but read the fine print before opening an account – note that we haven’t included all qualifications for each account in this table, just an overview of the offer .

Account name APY Cash bonus

SoFI Checking and Savings

2.00% APY

Earn a $300 bonus when you sign up with direct deposit

Citi Verification Citigold

N / A

Earn up to $2,000 bonus cash based on deposited balance

Chase Total Verification

N / A

$200 bonus when opening an account with direct deposit

Fifth Third Bank

N / A

$375 when you have direct deposits of at least $500 within 90 days of opening a new account (need unique code)

BMO Harris Smart Advantage Account/Smart Account/Premier Account

N / A

$300 bonus with a minimum of $4,000 in direct deposits within the first 90 days of opening an account by 9/30/22

M&T Bank

N / A

$200 bonus when opening an account before 11/30/22 with a direct deposit of $500 within 90 days

Advantages Chequing Account National Bank Huntington

N / A

$200 when you make a cumulative deposit of at least $1,000 within 60 days of account opening

Bank of America personal checking account

N / A

$100 bonus for new account holders with an opening deposit of $100 and a direct deposit of $1,000 within 90 days

Alliant Credit Union High Rate Verification

0.25%

$100 bonus until 10/7/22 when you open an account

Other things you might want to consider, in addition to high sign-up bonuses, are ATM access, ease of use, customer service, fees, and minimum balance requirements. Additionally, Rossman says you should seek government insurance on your deposits provided by the FDIC for banks and the NCUA for credit unions. “Most of the banks with the best rates aren’t household names, so the assurance provided by the FDIC and NCUA represents significant peace of mind,” Rossman says.

One last thing to remember: bank bonuses are generally considered taxable income, so you’ll want to set aside a portion of the total for tax season, says Chanelle Bessette, banking specialist at NerdWallet.

See the best savings account rates you can get now here.

Any advice, recommendations, or rankings expressed in this article are those of MarketWatch Picks, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by our business partners.

About Marilyn Perkins

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