You learned about how to balance them in economics class in high school.
You got a “free” one when you went to college or entered the work force.
And unless you think you can go throughout life using only cash, you’re going to need one: the incredibly mundane checking account.
Raise your hand if you get excited about checking accounts.
No one? Come on, surely there is a banker in the crowd somewhere!
Checking accounts are dull. They are an every day part of life. They don’t pay hardly interest (or none at all). You have to order checks from your bank and reset your PIN number on your debit card every so often. Direct deposit gets set up from your employer, and money magically appears in your account.
Checking accounts lack the excitement, sophistication, and appeal of more rewarding accounts like an investment trading account. (“Open an account and make $10,000 on your first trade, guaranteed!”)
But not everyone needs, wants, or uses an investment trading account. Almost everyone will use a checking account in their lifetime.
So why let yours be … “blah”? Why not get an account that is not only worth having, but will reward you for signing up? Why not take advantage of some of the best new checking account promotions?
Best New Checking Account Promotional Offers
Looking to switch accounts and get rewarded in the process? These banks want you to open an account with them and are willing to roll out the red carpet to earn your business. These offers are all national checking account offers. Be sure to check your local community bank and credit union offers as well so that you don’t miss out on a promotion right in your home town.
Best National Checking Account Promotions
There are two types of promotions:
- Sign up cash bonus
- Incentive interest rate
You could also argue that cash back or an industry leading interest rate would be a promotion, but those benefits are part of the account that continue on after any promotional period. A promotional bonus means you’re getting something extra above what you would normally receive for having the account.
Industry leading interest rates, great customer service, and the ability to open multiple sub-accounts to manage your saving are just a few reasons I’ve been a Capital One 360 customer for years.
But now I’m kind of jealous because you can get $50 just for opening up a checking account with Capital One 360 Checking. (That’s the best promotional bonus available from what I’ve found.)
Don’t let the thought of not being able to go to a brick-and-mortar physical branch deter you from using an online bank like Capital One 360. The company allows you to deposit checks by simply snapping a photo with your mobile phone or by scanning the check with your computer. You can transfer funds in and out of the account to other banks if you want to.
Capital One 360 Checking comes with:
- a great interest rate
- a debit card with nationwide ATM access
- the ability to order paper checks if needed
- free online bill pay
- free postage — Capital One 360 will print and mail checks for you for free
- free P2P payments to friends and family
EverBank Interest Checking
EverBank is another online bank with a bit of a twist on the promotional bonus for your account. Instead of giving you a cash bonus they give you a bonus promotional interest rate on your checking deposits.
If you open an EverBank Interest Checking account today you will receive a 6 month promotional interest rate of 1.25%. That is significantly higher (by about 50%) than what other online banks are offering for interest checking accounts.
However, this is a promotional rate. After the 6 month period you rate drops to a lower rate that varies based on how much money you have deposited with the bank. EverBank is a solid online bank with a good reputation. The interest checking account has no hidden account fees or debit fees. The only fee you would pay is $8.95 for Bill Pay if your account balance is less than $5,000 and a $25 overdraft charge. Avoid overdrafting and keep your account balance above $5,000 and you won’t pay a single fee to have this account.
Citibank’s Citibank Account and Citigold Account
I’m including Citibank’s checking accounts here because they do technically offer a bonus. However, compared to the two accounts listed above, Citi’s accounts don’t seem worth it. If you’re on the hunt for some extra bonus dollars you can get them here, but Capital One 360′s bonus payment is better. Much, much better. And EverBank and Capital One 360 both pay better interest than Citi on their checking accounts.
The difference between Citibank Account and Citigold Account is of how large of a bonus you get and what requirements you must meet to get the bonus.
Let’s compare with Citibank Account coming first and Citigold second:
- Sign Up Bonus: $50 vs. $100
- Minimum Requirements to Avoid Monthly Fee: $15,000 in combined deposits vs $50,000 in combined deposits including retirement accounts (or $100,000 in loans, deposits, and investment accounts not including a 1st mortgage)
- Monthly Fee (if you don’t need requirements): $20 vs. $30
- Minimum Amount to Open Account to Receive Bonus: $1,000 for both
- Additional Requirements: Must 1 direct deposit and 1 qualifying bill payment for 2 consecutive months
So you’re telling me I need to deposit either $15,000 or $50,000 plus complete 2 direct deposit and 2 bill payments to receive either a $50 or $100 bonus?
That makes that $50 bonus from Capital One 360 just for opening a Capital One 360 Checking account look really nice. (Not to mention Capital One 360 also has no minimum balance requirement, no monthly fee, and no additional requirements.)
Other Checking Accounts to Consider
These banks don’t offer promotional bonuses at this time, but are both great institutions worth taking a look at.
Ally Bank Checking Account
Ally is a leader in online banking. We’ve written about how awesome Ally is in the past. (We ranked them as one of the best online checking accounts earlier this year.)
With Ally you get:
- Industry-leading interest rate
- Free online bill pay
- Free unlimited check writing
- Unlimited free checks
- Free ATMs (you are reimbursed for fees)
- No monthly maintenance fee
Perkstreet Financial Cash Back Checking
Instead of earning interest on your deposits within your checking account, Perkstreet offers you cash back on your spending. This type of account is best for people that don’t have sky high balances that would earn significant interest; instead you get your rewards through your normal spending.
The cash back you can is significant. Check out Perkstreet’s chart of cash back returns to you:
Cash back is limited to between $2,500 to $5,000 worth of spending depending on the reward category. Still, that means you can rack up several hundred dollars worth of cash back on your normal spending without having to use a rewards credit card.
As you can see, there are several new checking account promotions to literally cash in on. Reassess how much your bank is paying you on your checking accounts and see if you can get a raise today.