Bank account bonuses are a great way to earn free money, and earning a $500 checking account bonus is even better!
It sounds like a lot and probably impossible, but you might be shocked to learn the number of banks that pay $500 or more to open a new checking account.
Check them out below.
Top Banks Offering a $500 Checking Bonus
Here are the top banks offering $500 checking account bonuses you can open an account with today:
1. Citi Priority
Citi Priority offers a checking account bonus of $200 to $2,000 for new customers. The amount you earn depends on the size of your deposit.
To earn a $500 checking account bonus, you must have a minimum balance of $30,000. If you only have $10,000 to deposit, you can still earn $200. If you have a $300,000 deposit, you can earn a $2,000 bonus.
- Open a new account online and enroll in the cash bonus offer
- Deposit the required funds within 20 days of opening your account
- Maintain the balance, such as $30,000 for a $500 bonus, for at least 60 days
You’ll receive the bonus within 30 calendar days of satisfying the requirements.
2. US Bank Smartly
New customers can earn a $500 checking account bonus by opening a US Bank Smartly Checking account, an additional $400 bonus for opening a US Bank Smartly Savings account, and a bonus of $100 for using the checking and savings account offers.
- Open a US Bank Smartly Checking account online, over the phone, or in the branch with at least $25
- Enroll in online or mobile banking
- Set up at least $10,000 in monthly direct deposits (earn a $300 bonus for direct deposits of $5,000 to $9,999)
- Open a US Bank Smartly Savings account with at least $25 online, in person, or over the phone
- Deposit $25,000 ($200 bonus) or $50,000 ($400 bonus) in new money by November 30, 2023
- Keep a balance of $25,000 or $50,000 until March 31, 2024
If you meet the requirements of both promotions above, you’ll earn a bonus of $100 in addition to the above bonuses.
3. Elgin State Bank
Elgin State Bank operates in Illinois and Wisconsin. If you live in either state, you can earn a $500 checking account bonus by opening a checking and savings account.
Elgin State Bank is a local bank with a national bank feeling, providing as many amenities as you’d find at much larger banks.
- Open a Total Access Checking account with at least $100 in-person or online ($300)
- Enroll in online banking
- Opt-in to e-statements
- Receive a direct deposit of at least $500 a month for two months
- Open a new Statement Savings account in-person or online ($200)
- Deposit at least $15,000 in new money into the account
- Maintain an average balance of $15,000 for three months
Elgin State Bank will deposit the earned bonuses within 30 days of satisfying the requirements.
4. Banner Bank
Banner Bank offers a new account bonus if you open a new checking and savings account.
They’ll pay a $500 bonus for at least $26,000 deposits in both accounts combined. The nice thing is you can open any checking or savings account and earn the bonus.
- Open a new checking account online or in person
- Set up at least $1,000 in direct deposits or carry an average balance of $25,000 within 30 days
- Open a Banner savings account at the same time you open the new checking account
- Deposit at least $1,000 in new money within 30 days
- Keep a balance of at least $1,000 for 90 days
- Have monthly recurring auto transfers of at least $25 from your checking to your savings account
After you’ve had the accounts for at least 90 days and satisfied all requirements, you’ll receive your bonus within 30 days.
How to Get More Than $500 From Bank Bonuses
Many banks offer more than a $500 checking account bonus. However, $500 is a large bonus, so any bonuses for more than this usually have strict requirements, including hefty deposit amounts.
If you’re looking for a conservative way to invest some money, you may get a nice bonus by investing your funds in a high-yield savings account, money market, or certain CD terms.
Some banks also offer bonuses for simultaneously opening a savings and checking account or opening a checking account with an investment account.
The BMO Relationship Checking account offers consumers great benefits beyond the standard checking account, and you can earn up to $600 in checking account bonuses when opening a new account.
Relationship checking accounts offer benefits outside the traditional benefits you’d expect, such as interest on your checking account balances, unlimited free non-network ATM transactions, and ID theft protection.
- Open a BMO Relationship Checking account
- Receive at least $7,500 in direct deposits in the first 120 days (cumulative)
You can earn an additional bonus of up to $3,500 if you open a Relationship Plus Money Market account. The bonuses range from $300 for deposits of $25,000 to $49,999.99 to $3,500 for deposits of $500,000 or higher.
Associated Bank offers a $600 checking account bonus for new customers opening any Associated Bank checking accounts.
- Open an account online or in person
- Set up direct deposits of at least $500 within 90 days
- Keep your balance growing for the next 120 days
You’ll earn a bonus based on the average daily balance across all Associated Bank accounts, as follows:
- $1,000 to $4,999.99 = $300 Bonus
- $5,000 to $9,999.99 = $400 Bonus
- $10,000+ = $600 Bonus
All bonuses are paid within 120 days of opening the account.
Huntington Bank has a $600 checking account bonus for new account holders of the Platinum Perks Checking account.
The account includes unlimited non-Huntington ATM withdrawals and earns interest. Account holders also have access to credit score and identity theft monitoring.
- Open a new Platinum Perks checking account
- Deposit at least $25,000 in new money in the account within 90 days
- Maintain the balance and an open account for at least 90 days
What Is a $500 Checking Account Bonus?
A $500 checking account bonus is money a bank pays you for opening a new account. They usually require you to open the account with ‘new money.’ In other words, you don’t earn the bonus if you transfer funds from an existing account with the same bank.
A $500 bonus is somewhat high, so expect banks to have strict requirements to earn it besides being ‘new money.’ For example, they may require a size opening deposit, or you must maintain a specific balance for 90+ days.
Always read the fine print to determine what the bank requires to ensure you can fulfill them to receive the hefty bonus.
Why Do Banks Offer Incentives for Opening Checking Accounts?
You might wonder why banks would give away money just to open an account. Fortunately, there isn’t a catch; it’s simply a marketing technique.
Banks earn much more than the $500 they pay in bonuses when you open a new account. By getting more customers, they earn more money from the fees charged.
How Are $500 Checking Account Bonuses Paid Out?
Most banks offer checking account bonuses as a direct deposit into your account after you satisfy the requirements. The fine print usually states when they’ll deposit the funds. Most banks pay the bonus within 90 days of satisfying the bank’s requirements.
How Are $500 Bank Account Bonuses Taxed?
You must pay taxes on any bank account bonuses earned. The bank will issue a 1099-INT to report the bonus, and you must include it in your taxable wages when preparing your taxes. How much you pay in taxes depends on your tax bracket and overall tax situation.
Qualifying for a $500 Checking Account Bonus
So, how do you qualify for a $500 checking account bonus? Here are five simple steps.
- Read the offer and determine if you can satisfy the requirements. Be sure to read the fine print as sometimes you’ll catch something in there that isn’t readily advertised, especially the time frame the money must remain deposited
- Open the account online or in person. If you open the account in person, check if there is a promo code you must provide the banker with to earn the bonus. Don’t assume you’ll earn it; read the instructions to ensure you meet the requirements
- Fund the account by linking an external bank account or making a deposit another way, such as cash or a direct deposit. Again, read the directions. Some banks require a specific number of direct deposits to earn the bonus, so be sure you have everything properly set up
- Satisfy any other requirements, such as making purchases with your debit card. Some bank bonuses require you to make 5 to 10 debit card purchases within a specific timeframe or have a direct deposit of a certain amount completed. Make sure you meet the timeline
- Receive your bonus after satisfying the requirements. Check your account within the timeframe you expect the bonus deposit. If you don’t receive it, contact the bank to determine the reason
Compare $500 Bonus Offers
It’s easy to get excited about a checking account offer and jump at the first one you see but don’t. Take your time comparing offers to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
- Requirements: Ensure you can meet the bonus requirements, such as the minimum deposit requirements or average daily balance
- Account fees: If the monthly fees are high, it can deplete the benefits of a bank bonus, so make sure the account is affordable and preferably has fees you can waive
- Account features: It doesn’t make sense to open an account that doesn’t have the features you need, especially if you must keep it open for a while. Checking accounts aren’t easy to open and close, so choose an account you can use
- Accessibility: Make sure it’s easy to access your cash or make deposits without incurring fees or causing too much work
Tips When Signing Up for New Accounts
When opening new accounts, beware of the following:
- Who is eligible: You may have to live in a certain area or be a new bank customer to be eligible for the account
- Interest: Bank accounts aren’t known for high-interest rates, but if you can earn interest, it might as well be the highest rate available. Look at the interest rate tiers to see what you’d earn on the account
- Timeline: Most new account bonuses require you to keep the account for a certain amount of time, so make sure you can fulfill the requirement without causing issues with any financial goals
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Open Multiple Checking Accounts To Receive Multiple $500 Bonuses?
You may be eligible for multiple $500 checking account bonuses, but you must be able to meet the requirements, such as depositing new money in each account.
How Long Do I Need To Keep the Account Open To Receive the $500 Bonus?
Every bank has different requirements regarding how long you must keep the account open. Plan to leave the account open for 90 to 120 days to receive the bonuses.
How Soon Will I Receive the $500 Bonus After Meeting the Requirements?
Most banks pay the bonus within 30 days of satisfying the requirements, but every bank differs.
Can Existing Bank Customers Qualify for the $500 Checking Account Bonus?
Most banks only offer bonuses to new customers, but it’s always worth checking to see if a bank has opportunities for existing banks, as some might.
Are These Bonuses Available for Business Checking Accounts, or Are They for Personal Accounts Only?
Many banks offer business account checking bonuses, too. Like personal checking accounts, you must meet the requirements to receive the bonus.