Where you keep your money can significantly impact your financial stability and earning potential. That’s why you should regularly check banks and financial institutions other than your own to find the best banking solutions for your needs. Whether you need to avoid overdraft fees, reduce ATM costs, or want to make your money work for you, there is a bank and new bank account promotion just for you.
A quick online search shows that many banks offer sign-up bonuses and high-interest rate checking accounts. Before choosing one over another, check that the bank is FDIC-insured and has a positive Better Business Bureau rating.
Ensure you can maintain the new account’s qualifications and weigh the promotion against the bank account’s other policies. While a $300 bonus might seem significant, it could come with high monthly fees and unreasonable qualifications. With some due diligence, you should find great banking options with valuable new bank account promotions.
New Account Cash Bonuses
Almost every traditional bank, online bank, and other financial institution offers new bank account bonuses. They differ in bonus amount, qualifications, and the additional features of the bank account. When choosing your new bank, consider all these factors and not just the new account bonus.
The best new account bonuses range from $100 to $450. Both banks and other financial institutions, like credit unions, offer new account bonuses. Generally, the bigger the bonus, the more restrictive the qualification requirements.
The most common qualifications for new account cash bonuses are deposit requirements. Banks give you a set period to deposit or direct deposit a certain amount of money.
For instance, Huntington Bank offers a couple of new account bonuses. One of them, the Huntington 5 checking account, gives a $200 bonus for new accounts that deposit at least $1,000 within 60 days of account opening. The account must also stay open for 90 days to qualify. Once these qualifications are met, the account gets the bonus.
This is one of the lower deposit requirements. Other banks require anywhere from $2,500 to $25,000 and have various time limits to make the deposits. If you want to get a new account cash bonus, make sure you have the money necessary to make deposits in time to qualify.
Other common requirements
Other standard requirements include keeping your account open for a specified time, maintaining a minimum daily balance, and meeting first-time account holder requirements. Most banks will not give you a new account bonus if you do not keep the account active for a specified amount of time. Some banks require up to 12 months, but most require around 60 to 90 days.
Most accounts have service fees that are waived if you keep a specific amount of money in your account. If you dip below a certain balance, you may disqualify yourself from receiving the new account bonus.
Financial institutions give out first-time account holder bonuses to attract new customers. This results in some of the best new bank account promotions, which is why you should regularly check with banks other than your own for great promotions.
Most bank accounts, both savings and checking, have monthly account fees. They are usually around $25 a month, but banks waive them if your account has above a specific balance. The bank will require your account to have above an average daily balance or a minimum daily balance.
For minimum daily balance fee waivers, the bank waives your monthly maintenance fee if your account is above their specified amount every day that month. An average daily balance requires your bank account’s daily balance to be moderate over their specified amount during the month to waive the fee. Average daily balance requirements are more lenient than minimum daily balance requirements.
If you want to avoid monthly fees and their waiver requirements, search for bank accounts with no fees. Some banks waive their monthly fee if you opt for paperless banking.
Referral Bonus Promotions
Another of the best new bank account promotions available today is the referral bonus promotion. Since banks want as many qualified people as possible to open accounts, they sometimes reward current and new members for referrals.
If you are an existing account holder and your bank offers referral bonuses, you need to connect a new customer with the bank through your personal promo code. Often a bank’s app has a referral-specific section where you can find your referral code. The referred will just need to enter your promo code while applying for membership with your bank.
If your referral qualifies and opens a new account, you receive a financial award. Sometimes the newly-referred member also gets a bonus. These bonuses usually range from $50 to $200 per referral and cap out at a certain number of awardable referrals per year.
Early Paycheck Access
For many people living paycheck to paycheck, the timing of their direct deposit needs to be just right to avoid late fees on bills or overdraft fees with their bank. One way to relieve some of this stress is getting a bank account with an early paycheck access promotion.
If your job uses direct deposit and connects it to your bank, you may qualify for early paycheck access. Most early direct deposit programs get you your paycheck one or two days earlier than usual.
This not only gives people access to their money earlier, but it allows the money to start accumulating interest for two extra days. Over many years this can add up and make switching to a bank account with early paycheck access a financially responsible decision.
High APY Savings and Checking Accounts
Some banks offer savings and checking accounts with excellent Annual Percentage Yields (APY). This means the accounts accrue large amounts of interest compared to other accounts. For example, a savings account with an interest rate or savings rate of .5% will accumulate much more money than one with a .05% savings rate.
The national average saving interest rate is constantly changing, but it was .06% in the last week of February 2022. You should be able to open online savings accounts with APYs multiple times higher than the national average. They have similar requirements to other new bank account promotions, such as minimum balance and initial deposit requirements.
High-interest checking accounts
While savings accounts are usually associated with earning interest, some checking accounts have APYs above the national average. Since checking accounts are generally used for everyday purchases, it is important to understand the APY requirements for high-interest checking accounts. If you dip below a certain balance, you could lose your high-interest and APY rating.
Linked savings and checking accounts
There are also good APY incentives for combining a savings and checking account online. Some banks like PNC call this type of account a virtual wallet with performance spend. With some banks, it can double your savings account’s APY as long as your combined balances meet the bank’s requirements. Online financial institutions are known to give higher APY rates than traditional in-person banks.
Most checking and savings accounts have variable savings rates. This means that the rate at which your money earns interest can change at any time. While the rate could increase, it is also liable to decrease. If you are risk-averse with your savings and want a fixed savings rate, you should look into a certificate of deposit (CD) account.
Certificate of Deposit Accounts
CD accounts use fixed interest rates and time-bound deposits to create low flexibility and low-risk savings accounts. This means that you deposit money and cannot withdraw it for an agreed-upon amount of time. Once that time is up, the money you deposited and the interest earned is returned to you. Since the interest rate is fixed, you know how much money you should get after this period.
Generally, the fixed interest rate is higher for longer-term CD accounts—a three-year CD account results in higher interest payments than a one-year. As the interest rate market changes, your CD fixed rate stays the same. This is good when the market is falling and bad when the market is rising.
If you have extra money and find an interest rate you believe will be above the interest rate market over the CD account’s lifespan, you should put the money in it. You will earn more money than you would have with other types of banking investments.
CD account requirements
The majority of CD accounts have minimum deposit requirements, commonly around $2,000. Most accounts do not allow further deposits after the initial deposit.
A CD account’s lifespan is your decision, but they are typically not shorter than three months. Long-term CD accounts last five years before you can withdraw your money. There is a significant early withdrawal penalty if you are forced to withdraw before the end of the term.
Keep an Eye Out for Beneficial Promotions
Banking has many unique aspects, from business checking accounts to referral bonuses and high-interest checking accounts. While it can be confusing to understand all the banking options, you can significantly benefit your finances if you put in some time to learn about the different promotions that financial institutions offer.
Currently, banks are offering fantastic new account promotions like cash bonuses, early paycheck programs, and high-interest CD accounts.
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Disclaimer: All content on this site is information of a general nature and does not address the circumstances of any particular entity or individual, nor is the information a substitute for professional financial advice and services.