11 Best Bank Referral Programs

Referral Marketing Programs are an excellent way for banks and credit unions to bring new customers on board. Potential customers are generally more inclined to trust a financial institution if referred to them by someone they know.

Experience-based referrals hold more weight in the eyes of the bank when compared to regular marketing practice.

New business generated via word of mouth is more likely to convert into long-standing business relationships and customers. Some banks and credit unions opt to incentivize referrals by offering a range of cash bonuses.

Prize draws, gift cards, pre-paid Visa cards, along with other benefits to their existing customers. Some banks even offer cash bonuses and other welcome gifts to new customers through referral marketing programs.

In This Article

11 Best Bank Referral Programs

Here are the top 11 bank referral programs you can review today:

  1. Chime
  2. Axos
  3. Regions Bank
  4. Varo
  5. Lili
  6. LendingClub
  7. Porte
  8. Macatawa Bank
  9. Bell Bank
  10. Community Bank
  11. Citibank

Chime: $100 Referral Bonus

Chime is an online bank that provides accounts with no minimum balance requirements and no monthly maintenance fees.

Some of the perks it offers its customers are in line with other financial institutions. These include cashback on selected credit/ debit card purchases, fee-free overdrafts of up to $200, and no withdrawal charges when using selected ATMs.

The “Pay Anyone” feature on their app is notable. The feature allows you to transfer money to both Chime and non-Chime customers instantly without using third-party apps.

Chime takes a slightly different approach to referral marketing and bank referral programs. To benefit from their referral offer, you would first need to register as a Chime Affiliate.

You can register by completing and submitting an application form for review by the bank. Once the bank has approved your application, you’ll receive a unique Chime Affiliate link. You will then be able to share the link with your friends as many times as you like.

Chime will pay a referral bonus to you for each referee who successfully opens an account with Chime. The referral fee may vary from time to time, currently, it is at $100 per referral, and there is no capping on referral bonuses.

Chime Bank LogoChime Spending Account $290 November 30, 2021
  • Direct Deposit
Chime Bank LogoChime Spending Account $250 November 30, 2021
  • Direct Deposit
Chime Bank LogoChime Spending Account $50 December 31, 2021
  • Direct Deposit
  • Referral
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Axos Bank: $20 Referral Bonus

Axos Bank is a federally chartered American bank based in San Diego, California. It offers various accounts ranging from personal Checking and Savings accounts to Business Checking and Savings accounts.

They also cater to business banking along with providing both commercial and personal loans. Some of their accounts come with cashback on selected purchases, unlimited ATM fee reimbursements, and no monthly maintenance fees.

Their refer-a-friend program on their Essential Checking Account is quite generous. Get your unique referral link through their online banking platform and share it with as many friends or family members as you like.

Once the referee opens their Essential Checking Account and meets the minimum deposit requirements, they will deposit a cash bonus of $20 into both the referrer and referee’s accounts.

For each referee that adds funds to their Essential Checking Account, opened through your referral link, you will receive an additional bonus deposit into your account.

Axos Bank LogoAxos Self-Directed Trading $150 December 31, 2021
  • Minimum Balance
Axos Bank LogoAxos Rewards Checking $100 November 30, 2021
  • Direct Deposit
Axos Bank LogoAxos Self-Directed Trading $100 December 31, 2021
  • Minimum Balance
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Regions Bank: Up to $150 Referral Bonus

Regions Bank is a full-service provider for both personal and commercial banking. Their physical bank branches are located in the South, Midwest, and Texas.

Their customers can benefit from a vast range of perks that come with their multiple account types, along with debit and credit cards.

Their bank referral programs only allow referral bonuses on specific accounts.

Successful referrals for the Personal LifeGreen checking account will be eligible for a $50 Visa Reward Card.

Referrals for the business checking account will be eligible for a $150 Visa Reward Card after all the necessary criteria are met.

To refer friends or family members, submit their email addresses through the Regions website or provide the potential new customers’ contact information to an associate at one of the bank’s branches.

The bank will then contact the referee to invite them to open one of the eligible accounts. The referee must open their business or personal checking account within 90 days of receiving the invitation from the bank. Business checking account referees would also need to make an initial deposit of $500 or more on opening their account.

Within 60 days of account opening for Regions Personal LifeGreen Checking Accounts, the new customer must:

  • Have at least one direct deposit or $300 or more (a payroll deposit or government benefit deposit).
  • Make at least 10 Regions Visa CheckCard purchases on the new account.
  • Enroll for online statements through online banking.

Within 60 days of account opening for Regions Business Checking Accounts, the new customer must:

  • Make at least 1 Visa Business CheckCard purchase on the new account.
  • Enroll for online statements through online banking.
Regions Bank LogoRegions LifeGreen Checking $200 December 31, 2021
  • Direct Deposit
  • Card Spend
Regions Bank LogoRegions Business Checking $150 Limited Time
  • Card Spend
  • Referral
Regions Bank LogoRegions LifeGreen Savings $100 Limited Time
  • Minimum Balance
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Varo Bank: Sweepstakes Entries

Varo is a digital bank that prides itself on not having hidden fees. There are no monthly account maintenance fees nor minimum balance requirements even when opening a new account with them.

Some of the perks include no bank transfer fees, foreign transaction fees, or ATM withdrawal fees, along with many others.

Varo Bank doesn’t offer a direct referral bonus like other bank referral programs or credit unions. Instead, they run weekly sweepstakes draws where you can potentially win a far more substantial prize.

You can invite friends to open an account by generating a unique referral link through the “my Varo” section on the app itself.

You can then send the link to as many people as you’d like through the app directly. Alternatively, copy the link and send it to friends through messaging apps, email, or social media platforms.

For each person who uses your unique link to open a Varo Bank Account successfully, you’ll get a sweepstakes entry. There is no limit on sweepstakes entries either. You have the chance of winning up to $5,000 in every drawing you have sweepstakes entries in that week.

The more sweepstakes entries you have for each draw, the higher your chances of winning are. Both the entry and draw dates are made available on the Varo website. After each draw, the winners will get an email to let them know they’ve won.

Once due diligence has been completed, the bank will deposit your winnings into your Varo bank account.

Winnings are typically classed as interest, so winners must submit a 1099-INT form to the IRS. Forms will be sent to all customers for submission that calendar year after the funds have been transferred.

Varo Bank LogoVaro Money Varo Account 12,000 Swagbucks Limited Time
  • Minimum Balance
Varo Bank LogoVaro Money Varo Account 20,000 MyPoints Limited Time
  • Minimum Balance
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Lili: $100 Referral Bonus

Lili is an all-in-one banking app designed with the banking services of freelancers and gig-grabbers in mind. The banking app intends to make transactions as straightforward as possible.

It offers no minimum balance requirements, no monthly service charge along with no ATM withdrawal fees, and quite a few other perks.

To participate in the Lili bank referral programs, you need to be a Lily bank account holder in good standing. There is no limit on how many friends you can refer to open a bank account, but you can only send a referral link to each friend once.

The referee must be a new Lili customer who has never held a Lili bank account before. The referee has to open their bank account and complete several qualifying transactions.

Once all the qualifying transactions have been concluded, you as the referrer and your referred friend will receive $100. The cap for referral rewards under this referral program is $1,000 per Lili account holder.

LendingClub Bank: $50 Referral Bonus

Lendingclub Bank, formerly Radius Bank, is an online-focused bank based in Boston, Massachusetts. It is also a member of FDIC.

It offers a whole array of checking and savings account options to meet the needs of any customer. It also offers cashback on selected credit/debit card purchases along with the added benefit of worldwide ATM withdrawal fee rebates. Due rebates will automatically be credited to your account by the bank at the end of each calendar month.

To qualify for their referral program, you need to hold a Rewards Checking Account in good standing.

Your account must have been open for at least 30 days before you can qualify. You’ll need to log into your Lendingclub mobile app and go to the Refer A Friend section to refer someone.

You’ll find your unique referral code at the bottom of the Learn More page. Click, Share Your Code and choose how you would like to send it.

Once the referee has opened their Rewards Checking Account, they will need to keep it open for 60 days.

Their account balance on the 60th day must be more than $500 for their account to be qualified under the program.

Once their account has been qualified, you will both receive a $50 cash bonus within 30 days of the qualification. They occasionally bump up the referral fee bonus, so make sure to keep an eye on the amount stated on their website.

Porte: $50 Referral Bonus

Porte is a deposit account established by MetaBank®, N.A. All funds up to $250,000 are FDIC insured under MetaBank®, N.A.

Porte offers its account holders features such as cashback on purchases, Porte Perks, and a Porte Visa Debit Card – without a monthly maintenance fee.

These include gift cards and discounts that can be activated and redeemed periodically. There’s also a program that makes donations to support charities and causes of your choice based on your spending habits.

To participate in their refer-a-friend program, you need to be a holder of a Porte account. Once you access the mobile app, you can directly send your unique referral link to your friends or family members.

The referee must use your link to open a Porte account and receive a qualifying direct deposit of $500 or more from an employer or government benefit.

Both you and the referee will receive a $50 bonus within 24 hours of the qualifying deposit made by the referee.

The maximum amount you can earn through this Refer a Friend program is $500.

Macatawa Bank: Up to $150 Referral Bonus

Macatawa Bank offers a full range of financial services and has branches all over West Michigan.

Their Business Checking account and Personal Checking account options offer MasterCard Debit cards and a selection of other perks depending on the type of account you hold.

To participate in their refer-a-friend program, you need to be an account holder in good standing and fill in a referral form. Once you’ve submitted your request for a referral code, you would need to wait for it to arrive via email and then share it with your friends or family members.

When opening a business or personal checking account, the referee must use your referral code. Then, Macatawa Bank will deposit your $100 cash referral bonus into your account.

The referee will receive an initial cash bonus of $50 when they open their bank account with your referral code.

Should the referee opt for a Macatawa Bank Debit Card and complete ten transactions within 60 days of account opening, they will qualify for an additional $100 cash bonus.

Keep in mind that you may become ineligible for this program if you share your referral code on gaming or social media platforms. The bank will not pay out any cash bonuses if you have been flagged.

Bell Bank: $50 Referral Bonus

Bell Bank is a privately owned bank based in Fargo, North Dakota, and all its accounts have maximum FDIC coverage.

They offer both Personal and Business accounts with no monthly service fees and no minimum balance requirements.

You can also benefit from Visa credit cards, loans, and safe deposit boxes in their brick and mortar branches.

Participating in their referral program is extremely simple and requires the referrer to do very little. The referee must use the referral promo code REFER50 and insert the referrer’s full name when opening a bank account online.

Alternatively, they can visit one of the bank’s branches and state the referrer’s name when opening their account.

The referrer and the referee will receive a $50 cash bonus when the new account has been open for 60 days or they reach a qualifying amount of debit card transactions. Make sure to read the terms and conditions to benefit from your referral program fully.

The bank will also send the relevant IRS form to the customers directly for submission that calendar year.

Community Bank and Trust: $50 Referral Bonus

Community Bank and Trust is a Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust division based in the Cedar Rapids Region of Iowa. They offer checking account and savings account options, personal and business loans, and wealth management and trust services.

To take advantage of their referral program, you will need to be a bank customer with accounts in good standing.

The referral program is valid on all their checking account options. The referrer and the referee will receive a cash bonus of $50 if you meet all the requirements.

Contact a bank representative or visit one of the bank’s branches to refer your friend or family member.


Citibank is a division of the multinational corporation Citigroup. Its base of operations in the US is in New York.

They offer various checking and savings account options and run sign-up bonuses to new customers for business and personal banking.

Their member-get-member program is available to bank customers with accounts in good standing, but cash bonuses vary. To be part of their referral program, you would need to speak to a bank representative directly.

Citi LogoCiti Citi Priority Account $1500 January 4, 2022
  • Minimum Balance
Citi LogoCiti Citigold® Checking Account $1500 January 4, 2022
  • Minimum Balance
Citi LogoCiti Citi® Savings Account $2000 January 4, 2022
  • Minimum Balance
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Bank Referral Programs FAQs

Do banks have referral programs?

Yes, many banks have referral programs and run referral promotions periodically to attract new customers to their bank.

Should you already have an established relationship with a bank not mentioned here, you might want to consider checking their website for any referral promotions.

What are the best bank referral programs?

All bank referral programs have different requirements, so your eligibility for the referral program should lead you to which program is best for you.

This article has listed various referral programs you can use to start your search for the best referral program.

What are the three types of bank referrals?

The three types of referrals are:

  • Experience-based referrals: These are driven by someone’s own experience with a particular company. They would then refer that company to their friends and family based on their positive experience dealing with them.
  • Reputation-based referrals: Banks with an extensive marketing reach are likely to be perceived as offering a better service than lesser-known banks.
  • Specialization-based referrals: These are directed by a bank leading in a specific niche or area. So, if potential customers look for a particular facility or service, they will gravitate towards banks specializing in that area.