Update 7/30/2013: There's a new $200 Chase checking account bonus. It's scheduled to end on 8/15/13.
Update 7/30/2013: There's a new $150 Chase checking account bonus available online. It's scheduled to end on 10/5/13.
Chase bonuses are becoming larger, but beware that it's harder now to avoid monthly fees. The latest bonus is $200 for opening a new Chase Total Checking account and setting up direct deposit. You can apply online or you can request that a coupon be emailed to you so you can open the account at a branch. The offer is scheduled to end on 6/30/2012. Below is the small print of the offer:
Bonus/Account Information: Offer not available to existing Chase checking customers, those with fiduciary accounts, those whose accounts have been closed within 90 days or with a negative balance. Offer valid through 6/30/12. To receive the bonus: 1) open a new Chase Total Checking account, which is subject to approval; 2) deposit $100 or more within 60 days of account opening; AND 3) have your direct deposit made to this account within 60 days of account opening. Your opening deposit cannot be money held by Chase or its affiliates, nor can the bonus be used as the opening deposit. Your direct deposit needs to be an electronic deposit of your paycheck, pension or government benefits (such as Social Security) from your employer or the government. After we receive your first direct deposit, we'll deposit the bonus in your new account within 10 business days. You can only receive one checking account-related bonus per calendar year. We may change the terms of the account, including any fees or features. Cash bonus is considered interest and will be reported on IRS Form 1099-INT.
Account Closing: If your checking account is closed within six months, we will deduct the bonus amount at closing.
The promotions page also describes the monthly fees of the Total Checking Account and how they can be waived. At least Chase is upfront with these fees:
Chase Total Checking has no monthly Service Fee when you do one of the following each statement period:
- Option #1: Have monthly direct deposits totaling $500 or more made to this account; OR,
- Option #2: Keep the daily balance in your checking account at or above $1,500; OR,
- Option #3: Keep an average balance of $5,000 or more in your checking and other types of qualifying Chase accounts.
Otherwise a $12 monthly Service Fee will apply ($10 monthly Service Fee for CA, OR and WA). Credit for this find goes to FW member stormer who mentioned in this FW thread.
Chase also has a $200 business checking account bonus that's available online. You'll need a deposit of $5,000 or more. Offer expires 6/6/2012.
Not all Chase bonuses are online. Chase often mails targeted bonuses to customers. In January Chase mailed me a $100 offer for opening a new savings account with an opening deposit of $10,000 or more of new money. The promotion doesn't require that the $10K balance be maintained. As you might expect, the savings account rate is very low so you won't want to keep a large balance in this account. Hustler Money Blog reports of a $150 bonus for the savings account when the $10K balance is maintained for 90 days. The post also describes how you can find $200 coupons that don't require direct deposit.
Bonuses may be larger, but you have to be more careful to avoid monthly fees. All of Chase checking and savings accounts have monthly service fees. Most can be avoided if you meet certain requirements such as minimum balance or direct deposit. If you can avoid the fees, the bonuses can help offset some of this awful interest rate environment.
Other Bank Bonuses
We have a bank promotions page with a table of all of the active bank and credit union promotions. You can filter the table based on the type of promotion and based on your state. I have more details about how to use this page in this blog post.