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 bank referral bonus, including gift cards, pre-paid Visa cards, and other prizes. Some banks even offer new customers cash bonuses and other welcome gifts through referral marketing programs.
11+ Best Bank Referral Offers
Here are some of the top bank referral programs you can use today:
- Regions Bank
- Macatawa Bank
- Bell Bank
- Community Bank
- TD Bank
Referral Bonus: up to $1,000+
Acorns has one of the best (and easiest) referral programs out there if you have a lot of friends, but it’s a little different than most.
How to Earn the Acorns Referral Bonus:
Each week, they’ll email out a new offer for referring friends. You’ll see something like;
- “Earn $300 when you invite 2 friends to join Acorns”
- “Earn $600 when you invite 3 friends to join Acorns.”
(The highest one we’ve seen yet is $1,200 for inviting 4 friends!)
The catch is that each friend you invite that week has to sign up for an Acorns account with your referral link and make a minimum $5 deposit, all within that same promo period. You can track their progress from within the app to ensure everyone stays on track.
Once each week ends, Acorns will verify you met the requirements and deposit the bonus into your investment account.
As a bonus, you’ll also earn the standard referral bonus for invites, which ranges from $5-$10 each.
Keep in mind this bonus is all or nothing. If you need to invite 3 friends, but only 2 of them meet the requirements in time, Acorns will not pay out the bonus.
Earn $20 when you sign up for Acorns today, then learn more about their offers below.
|Acorns Acorns Invest [Referral Program]||$400||December 9, 2023||
Referral Bonus: $100 per referral (subject to change)
Chime is an online bank providing accounts with no minimum balance requirements and monthly maintenance fees.
Some of the perks it offers its customers are similar to what other financial institutions offer, including cashback on selected credit/ debit card purchases, fee-free overdrafts of up to $200, and no withdrawal charges when using selected ATMs.
How to Earn the Chime Referral Bonus:
- Register as a Chime Affiliate by completing an application form
- Receive your unique Chime affiliate link
- Share the link with friends and family
- Earn your referral bonus
You must first register as a Chime Affiliate to benefit from their referral offer.
3. Axos Bank
Referral Bonus: $20 for new Essential Checking accounts
Axos Bank is a federally chartered American bank based in San Diego, California. It offers various accounts, from personal checking and savings accounts to business checking and savings accounts.
They also cater to business banking and provide commercial and personal loans. Some of their accounts include cashback on selected purchases, unlimited ATM fee reimbursements, and no monthly maintenance fees.
How to Earn Axos Bank Referral Bonus:
- Retrieve your unique referral link by logging into your Axos Bank account
- Share the code with friends and family
- Your referral must open an Essential Checking account and meet the minimum deposit requirements
- Receive your $20 bonus
4. Regions Bank
Referral Bonus: $50 Visa Reward Card on Personal LifeGreen checking accounts
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.
How to Earn Axos Bank Referral Bonus
- Submit email addresses of friends or family you want to refer by logging into your account and clicking on ‘referral’
- Regions Bank will invite them to open a Personal LifeGreen checking account
- The referral has 90 days to open the account
- The referral must set up a direct deposit of at least $300 or make 10 Visa CheckCard transactions and enroll in online statements
- Receive your bonus
5. Varo Bank
Referral Bonus: $30 for each referral
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 at more than 55,000 ATMs. They also offer a great bank referral bonus.
How to Earn Varo Bank Referral
- Obtain your unique referral link in the ‘My Varo’ section of the Varo app
- Share the link with family and friends
- Your referrals must open an account and spend $20 in 30 days
- Receive your referral bonus
6. Chase Bank
Referral Bonus: $50 for opening a new account
Chase is one of the country’s largest banks by asset size, and they have over 5,000 branches to do your banking in person. They have accounts for personal and business use with many options for people with many types of financial needs.
How to Earn Chase Bank Referral
- Become a Chase customer with any Chase bank account
- Obtain your personal referral code from the Chase app or online portal
- Receive $50 for each new account your referrals open
There is a maximum referral bonus of $500 annually.
7. Macatawa Bank
Referral Bonus: $100
Macatawa Bank offers a full range of financial services and has branches all over West Michigan. Their business and personal checking accounts offer many benefits, including linked debit cards, online and mobile banking, remote deposit, and free eStatements.
How to Earn Macatawa Bank Referral Bonus
- Complete a referral form to request your referral code
- Share your unique code with friends and family
- Your referrals must use your code to open a new account
- Receive your $100 reward
*Note, you cannot share your code on gaming or social media platforms. This could make your code ineligible.
8. Bell Bank
Referral Bonus: $50
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.
How to Earn Bell Bank Referral Bonus
- Tell friends and family about your Bell Bank account and provide code REFER50
- Your referrals must use the code provided and your full name as it appears on your bank account when opening an account
- Referrals must keep the account open for 60 days and meet the debit card transaction requirement for the chosen account
- Receive your referral
9. Community Bank and Trust
Referral Bonus: $50
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, wealth management, and trust services.
How to Earn Community Bank and Trust Referral Bonus
- Tell friends and family about Community Bank and Trust
- Have an account in good standing
- Your referrals must complete a Referral Slip when opening a new checking account
- The referral must keep the account open for 30 days, meet the debit card transaction requirements, and keep a positive balance
- Receive your referral
Referral Bonus: Up to $200 per referral
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 for new business and personal banking customers.
How to Earn Citibank Referral Bonus
- Get your referral link from your account dashboard
- Share your link with friends and family members
- Receive your bonus for each referral that opens a new checking account
11. TD Bank
Referral Bonus: $50
TD Bank is one of the ten largest banks in the US. They offer a wide range of consumer and business banking products and have over 1,100 locations nationwide in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast. They call themselves ‘America’s most convenient bank.’
How to Earn TD Bank Referral Bonus
- Download the TD Bank Referral Form and complete it
- Give the form to up to ten friends or family members
- Your referral must open a personal TD checking account at a local branch using your form
- Your referral must set up direct deposit for at least $250 or make 15 qualifying debit card purchases within 60 days
- Receive your $50 bonus
Referral Bonus: $75
SoFi is an online personal finance company with an online bank. They offer a wide selection of personal finance products, including personal banking products like checking and savings accounts. They also offer personal loans, student loan refinances, credit cards, and mortgages.
How to Earn the SoFi Referral Bonus
- Download the SoFi app
- Get your unique referral link from the app
- Share your link with friends and family
- Referrals must open and fund an account within 14 days for you to receive the bonus
Looking for additional bank referral programs for checking and savings accounts that didn’t make our top list?
|HSBC Premier [Referral]||$300||December 29, 2023||
|Wescom Wescom Checking||up to $200||December 31, 2023||
|Community Banks of Colorado Personal Checking||$50||Limited Time||
|Independent Bank Business Checking||up to $150||Limited Time||
|Arvest Bank Personal Checking||$50||Limited Time||
|Jovia Financial Credit Union Go Green Checking||$50||Limited Time||
|St. Paul Federal Credit Union Simply Checking||up to $125||Limited Time||
|TrueCore TrueCore Checking||$100||Limited Time||
|Bank Midwest Personal Checking||$50||Limited Time||
|Hillcrest Bank Personal Checking||$50||Limited Time||
|Frontier Personal Checking||$50||Limited Time||
|SouthEast Bank Business Checking||$100||Limited Time||
|Prestige Community Credit Union Personal Checking||up to $200||Limited Time||
|Advia Credit Union Personal Checking||$200||Limited Time||
|Albert Albert Cash Account||$100||Limited Time||
|Broadway National Bank Free Checking||$50||Limited Time||
|SoFi SoFi Checking and Savings||$75||Limited Time||
|Independent Bank ONE Account||$50||Limited Time||
|ACNB Bank Personal Checking||$25||Limited Time||
|NorthOne Business Banking||$75||Limited Time||
|Hawthorn Bank Business Checking Referral||$50||Limited Time||
|Hawthorn Bank Personal Checking Referral||$50||Limited Time||
|Rivermark Community Credit Union Free Checking Plus||$100||Limited Time||
|Centier Bank Personal Checking [Referral]||$50||Limited Time||
|Desert Financial Free Checking||$100||Limited Time||
|SCB Personal or Business Checking||$25||Limited Time||
|SouthEast Bank Personal Checking||$50||Limited Time||
|Delta Community Credit Union Personal Checking||$50||Limited Time||
|Trustone Financial Personal Checking||$50||Limited Time||
|First Citrus Bank Personal and Business Checking||$100||Limited Time||
|GO2Bank Deposit Account||$50||Limited Time||
|Great River Federal Credit Union Free Checking||$100||Limited Time||
|First Commonwealth Bank Business Checking||$150||Limited Time||
Types of Bank Referrals
The three types of referrals are as follows:
- 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, potential customers who look for a particular facility or service will gravitate towards banks specializing in that area.