High-yield savings accounts now pay a lot more than they did last year — see the best savings account rates you can get now here — and sometimes banks even sweeten dealing with cold, hard cash for opening a savings account or /and face to face with them.
“There are some favorable offers in the market for opening a new account or making an initial deposit. These range 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 dollars in return for minimal effort sounds nice, I would urge consumers to study the fine print and think about the total cost of ownership. What do you have to do to get the bonus? In addition to opening the account, you may also need to arrange direct deposits ranging from hundreds to potentially 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, too: The fees associated with the account and the opportunity cost of opening it. “As nice as a short-term bonus is, it doesn’t necessarily mean the account is the best for you in the medium or long term. Let’s say you get a $200 signup bonus, but the account doesn’t pay any interest. Instead, you might be better off moving your money into a savings account that doesn’t offer an introductory bonus, but pays a high rate of interest on your deposits,” says Rossman.
Check out the best savings account rates you can get right now here. So what’s the deal with this $2,000 bank account bonus?
Most of the easiest to meet bonuses for bank accounts are between $100 and $300 (we’ve made a chart of many of them below), but Citi Citigold Checking offers up to $2,000. The big win with this account is that to get the maximum bonus of $2,000, you need to have a balance of $300,000 or more to qualify (sigh).
The balance on the 20th day after opening your account will determine your maximum eligible cash bonus and you must maintain the required minimum balance required in your eligible accounts for at least 60 days from the 21st day. This is only available to new customers checking out Citibank and you can read more fine print here.
Some other good cash bonus offers are 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 consider, along with big sign-up bonuses, are ATM access, ease of use, customer service, fees, and minimum balance requirements. Additionally, Rossman says you should look for state insurance on your deposits provided by the FDIC for banks and the NCUA for credit unions. “Most of the banks with the best interest rates are not name-brand, so the insurance provided by the FDIC and NCUA represents significant peace of mind,” says Rossman.
One last thing to remember: Bank bonuses are usually considered taxable income, so you’ll want to set aside some of the total for tax season, says Chanelle Bessette, banking expert at
Check out the best savings account rates you can get right now here.