New Checking Account Promotions: Citibank, Chase, M&T Bank

Interest rates looks to remain tiny for a long time, so if you want to boost your interest earned while keeping your money safe in banks, taking advantage of sign-up bonuses is one way to do it. Earning 1% APY on $10,000 is just $100 a year, and it’s even hard to get 1% APY now! Why not double or triple that with some new accounts.

Citibank $50 bonus if you open a Citibank account with $1,000 and complete 1 direct deposit and 1 electronic bill payment for 2 consecutive months. New checking account customers only. There’s no monthly service fee if you maintain a $15,000 combined average monthly balance requirement in eligible products; otherwise $20.00 monthly service fee is applied. Eligible products are linked deposits, loans, mortgages, and investment accounts. $100 bonus available with Citigold account.

Chase Bank $150 bonus when you open a Chase Total Checking account and set up direct deposit (new Chase checking customers only). This account is free if you make a $500+ direct deposit each month, or have $1,500 minimum daily balance.

M&T Bank $100 bonus when you open a MyChoice checking account and set up direct deposit within 90 days. This account is free if you maintain a direct deposit each month or have $500 minimum daily balance. $125 and $150 bonuses also available with upgraded accounts (and higher requirements).

Capital One $100 bonus when you open a Interest Online Checking account by 1/31/2012 using offer code CHEC168DF and make a direct deposit of $250 or more within 90 days. No monthly service fee, and pays 0.75% APY on balances less than $100k.


  1. That citibank deal is pretty bad. Commiting 15,000 for $50 is quite an effort… you’d probably make more money leaving it in savings than their 0.1% interest for several months, so it’s only for people that already have money with them. There are better citibank deals out there. Last I looked there was a deal for 20,000 thank you points. I’m currently doing 50,000 points for citigold…at that reward level I’m willing to bite their steep penalty for not meeting the minimum level.

  2. Chase’s disclosures say the direct deposit needs to be payroll, pension, or social security. Do you know if they actually validate the source of the deposit? If they don’t, it’s possible for some one with an online bank account to send a direct deposit once a month and enjoy the $150 that Chase will pay them for doing so.

  3. Alex,

    For Chase, pushing money from ING Direct or Ally Bank has always worked for me to satisfy the direct deposit requirement.

  4. The Capital One account is not available in my area. Didn’t realize the internet is different in MD.

  5. The Chase fine print also states you need to keep the account open for 6 months or they reclaim the bonus money upon closure. So much for my idea of closing the account as soon as the conditions to obtain the bonus were satisfied.

  6. FYI, Chase will will include the bonus money on your Interest tax form at the end of the year.

  7. Capital One application system is messed up. They use Chex systems and, invariably, our applications ended up as denied by supposedly incorrect answers. This never happened before.

  8. Do you have to have a repeating direct deposit for the Capital One account, or just a one-time direct deposit? Do ACH transfers from other banks, PayPal, or brokerage accounts count? Or does it have to be a real paycheck? Do you forfeit the $100 bonus if you close the account within a certain time period? Is it open to residents of PA? (I’ve never seen a Capital One bank branch here.)

  9. Chase does not allow non-us citizens apply through their online systems which is kind of sucks.We need to visit physical bank location which does not exist in my state. I did not have problem with ING/Alley before.

  10. Does Chase pull your credit (i.e. hard inquiry) when you apply for a checking account?

  11. so how does direct deposit from another bank work? using bill pay that is payable to yourself? or linking two banks for ach transfer?

  12. @Stephen I’m not sure about your other questions, but most offers do have in the fine print that the accounts must remain open for 6 months otherwise you forfeit the bonus or at worse incur an early account closing fee.

    To play the bonus game you have to jump through the hoops. It’s not hard: the easiest way to trigger the bonuses and avoid fees is to split your employer direct deposit via HR so that a small amount ($10, $25, $50, etc) goes into the promo account. But you do have to read the offer’s fine print.

  13. theres got to be a site out there that will mimick direct deposits

    anyone know of one?

  14. Dan - BankVibe says:

    Citi just relaunched their $200-$400 checking account bonus last week. Watch out for fees though if you plan on keeping less than $1,500 in the account…

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