Opening a checking account is usually a pretty mundane experience. You walk into a financial institution or visit the website, open the account and deposit your funds.
But if you catch a bank on a good day, the experience can pretty great. You may be able to snag a free prize, bonus cash offer or even earn a much higher interest rate on your deposits.
Just about every financial institution offers some promotional rate or prize at some point, but we’ve nailed down the best checking accounts available so far in 2013.
Top 10 Checking Account Offers in 2013
1. Chase Bank — $200 Total Checking Promotion
One of the best checking accounts 2013 has to offer comes from Chase Bank.
Here’s how it works: First, open a Chase Total Checking account (available only to new Chase checking customers). After opening the account, set up direct deposit and you’re all done.
Within 10 days of your first direct deposit, you will receive $200 in your new Chase checking account.
Keep in mind that to qualify, you must deposit $100 or more into your account within 10 business days of account opening. Also, you must have your direct deposit made to the account within 60 days of account opening.
Offer expires August 15, 2013. Coupon must be used to take advantage of offer.
2. PNC Bank — $150 Virtual Wallet Deal
PNC Bank is making it easy to earn some quick cash when obtaining a Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend.
Customers must open a Performance or Performance Select Checking Account then making a qualifying Direct Deposit along with one payment via PNC Online Bill Pay. All requirements must be completed within 60 days of account opening.
It’s also important to note that the total amount of all qualifying Direct Deposits credited to the checking account must be at least $2,000. Once requirements are met, the bank will credit $150 to the account.
Offer ends July 27, 2013.
3. Sovereign Bank — $125 Checking Bonus
Sovereign Bank customers with the Premier Checking Package can enjoy a $125 bonus. To qualify, Sovereign Bank requires customers:
- Open the checking package (which includes the Premier Checking Account and Premier Money Market Savings Account) online by July 31, 2013.
- Make five debit card purchases or have one direct deposit by September 30, 2013.
- Get $150 cash bonus by October 15, 2013.
The process appears to be pretty simple, though note the deal also requires the following: (1) make a minimum deposit of $25 for checking and a minimum deposit of $10 for savings, (2) enroll online in Online Banking at account opening, (3) request a Sovereign Debit MasterCard at account opening and (4) make five purchases with the Debit Card or have one direct deposit by September 30th.
4. Capital One 360 — $50 Checking Account Bonus
Capital One 360 (formerly ING DIRECT) is offering a $50 deal with its 360 Checking account.
Customers will need to open an account online, then three card purchases or Person2Person payments (or any combo of the two) within 45 days of opening.
The $50 bonus will automatically be deposited into the account on day 50. The bonus is only available for new accounts with a new customer as primary owner.
Another bonus of this checking account is that it offers a variable interest rate for all balances (rates increase with dollar amounts saved). It’s pretty uncommon to gain access to interest, variable or fixed, with a checking account that comes with no fees, no minimums and access to over 38,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs.
5. Bank of America — $250 Keep the Change Offer
Bank of America is offering up to $250 to customers who sign up for the Keep the Change program, which automatically rounds up all Bank of America debit card purchases to the nearest dollar then transfers them to a Bank of America savings account.
One thing to keep in mind is it could take some time to reach the goal of $250 since after the first three months of participation have passed, the bank will only match up to 5 percent in your account, which is why it maxes at $250.
But with only a $25 opening balance in the checking account to participate and every debit card purchase — online or in-store — qualifying for the purchase, achieving this goal is possible.
6. U.S. Bank — S.T.A.R.T. Program $50-$100 Offer
By simply opening one of three U.S. Bank Package Checking accounts (Silver, Gold or Platinum — $25 minimum deposit is required to open any account), linking it to a U.S. Bank savings account of choice and setting up recurring transfers from your chosen checking account to savings account, you can take part in the S.T.A.R.T. Program.
Once $1,000 has been saved in the savings account, U.S. Bank will offer a $50 U.S. Bank Rewards Visa Card. If you are able to keep that $1,000 (or more) in the savings account for a year, U.S. Bank will offer another $50 Rewards Card.
7. Citibank — $400 Checking Offer
Citibank is offering one of the better checking account promotions out there — but you will have to work a little to make the most of it.
By opening a new Citibank Regular Checking account in the Citigold, Citibank or Basic Banking Account Package then completing one qualifying direct deposit and one qualifying bill payment for two consecutive calendar months, you could earn up to 30,000 in ThankYou Points, which are redeemable for up to $300.
The bank is also offering an additional 10,000 in ThankYou Points by downloading the Citi Mobile or Citi Tablet App then log in or enrolling in Popmoney and completing one transaction or signing up for Paperless Statements (one or more services must be completed within 60 days of opening).
The 10,000 points earned can be redeemed for up to $100, making the grand total $400 in offers.
ThankYou Points will be credited to the ThankYou Member Account within 90 days from the end of the statement period in which all requirements are satisfied. Offer expires July 31, 2013.
8. EverBank — 1.10% Bonus Rate
By opening the First-Time Checking Client Yield Pledge Account, customers can take advantage of the first-year interest rate along with a bonus rate (currently 1.10%) that is available on balances up to $100,000 for the first six months of the account.
Features of the account include:
- $1,500 to open
- No monthly fees plus free bill pay
- Unlimited ATM reimbursements with minimum balance
- Mobile check deposits
One thing that’s great about EverBank’s Yield Pledge is it guarantees that rates will always be in the top 5 percent of competitive accounts at leading banks.
9. Salem Five — $100 Visa Reward Card Offer
Salem Five is offering one of the better checking account offers with its $100 Visa Reward Card deal. Steps necessary to qualify for the card include:
• Open a new Salem Five Star, Gold Star or eOne Checking account as a primary owner
• Make two direct deposits over $250 each or 6 online bill pays over $25 or 20 debit transactions over $5 each within 60 days of opening an account.
The minimum balance to open a personal Star or Gold Star Checking account is $10 in person, $100 by mail or online. The eOne can only be opened online with a minimum $100 balance.
After completion of program requirements, customers will receive the $100 reward card within four to six weeks.
10. Chase Bank — $125 Total Checking Promotion
If you think you’re seeing double, you’re right! Chase Bank has made the list a second time for its $125 Total Checking Account promotion, making it one of the best banks for checking accounts.
Here’s how it works:
- Open a Chase Total Checking Account
- Set up a Direct Deposit
- Get a $125 cash bonus
So which of the banks above offers the best checking account? That determination can only be made by you and should be based on your personal preferences, budget guidelines and financial needs.
But whatever decision you make, it sure is great to know that there are so many amazing deals available!
Image courtesy of Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net