High-yield savings accounts are paying a lot more now than they did last year — see the best savings account rates you can get now here — and sometimes banks are even sweetening the deal with cold hard cash hard to open a savings and/or checking account. with them.
“There are several favorable promotions in the market for opening a new account or making an initial deposit. These vary 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 is, of course, the fine print to consider. “While a few hundred bucks in exchange for minimal effort is nice, I would encourage consumers to use the fine print and think about the total cost of ownership. What do you have to do to earn the bonus? Besides opening the account, you may be required to set up direct deposits of potentially hundreds to thousands of dollars per month and minimum balance requirements are also common,” says Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate.
Consider a few other things as well: The fees associated with the account and the opportunity cost of opening it. “As well as a short-term bonus, that doesn’t necessarily mean the account is the best fit for you in the medium or long term. Let’s say you get an initial bonus of $200, but the account pays no interest; instead, you might be better off moving your money to a savings account that doesn’t offer an initial bonus but pays a high interest rate on your deposits,” says Rossman.
See the best savings account rates you could get right now here. So what’s that $2,000 bank account bonus all about?
Most of the easier-to-qualify bank account bonuses are between $100 and $300 (we’ve charted many of them below), but Citi offers Citigold Checking up to $2,000. The big catch with this account is that to get the maximum bonus of $2,000, you must have a balance of $300,000 or more to qualify (sigh).
The balance on your 20th day after opening your account will determine your maximum eligible cash bonus and you must maintain the minimum balance required in your eligible accounts for at least 60 days from 21st day. This is only available to new Citibank checking customers, and you can read another fine print here.
There are some good cash bonus offers below, but read the fine print before opening an account – note that we haven’t included all the qualifications for each account in this chart, just an overview of the offer.
Other things you may want to take into account, in addition to great 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 banks with the best rates aren’t household names, so insurance provided by the FDIC and NCUA is important peace of mind,” says Rossman.
One last thing to keep in mind: Bank bonuses are usually considered taxable income, so you’ll want to set aside some of the total for tax season, says Chanelle Bessette, a banking specialist at
See the best savings account rates you could get right now here.