Not everybody knows about this, but it’s possible to make a surprising amount of money by getting a new bank account. Quite a few bank bonuses are worth hundreds of dollars. I once made over $1,000 in a year just from earning bank account bonuses.
It’s always nice to make extra cash, especially when there’s hardly any work involved. But there are rules involved for earning bonuses with bank accounts. It would be frustrating to not receive a bonus because of something in the terms you missed. To avoid that, it’s important to know the most common reasons a bank could deny your new account bonus.
1. The bonus offer wasn’t attached to your application
Bank account bonuses normally aren’t available to everyone who opens an account. They’re special offers, and to qualify, you need to either:
- Open the account through a special link
- Enter a promotional code while applying for the account
Let’s say you see a bank bonus advertised with a link to open an account. If you go to the bank’s website yourself to open an account, without using the link, the bonus offer likely won’t be attached to your application.
You may be able to contact the bank in this situation to get the bonus. It’s always worth a try, and banks will sometimes help you out. But if you use the right link or promotional code, you won’t have this problem in the first place.
2. You didn’t complete all the requirements
Every bank bonus has requirements you need to fulfill to earn it. Here are a few examples:
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- Deposit a minimum amount of new money, such as $5,000, $10,000, or $25,000 (new money means funds you had outside the bank — if you already have another account with the bank, transfers from that account likely won’t count toward the deposit requirement)
- Receive a direct deposit of any amount, or receive a minimum amount of direct deposits, such as $1,000 or $5,000
- Complete a minimum number of qualifying activities, such as receiving deposits and using your account’s debit card
Make sure to read the requirements carefully, so you know exactly what you need to do. These usually aren’t too complicated, but the details matter.
3. You didn’t maintain the balance long enough
Many bank bonuses have deposit requirements. These bonuses usually also require that you maintain the deposit for a certain amount of time, such as 90 days.
Let’s say a bonus offer requires that you deposit at least $5,000 into your new account. You probably can’t just deposit $5,000, and then immediately withdraw it. The bank likely has a condition that you also need to maintain a $5,000 balance for a minimum amount of time.
4. You closed the account too soon
Another condition banks often have to protect themselves is early account termination fees. Banks don’t want clients who are going to take the money and run.
An early account termination fee normally states that you forfeit your bonus if you close your account within six months or one year of account opening. If there’s still money in the account, the bank will deduct the bonus from your remaining balance. If not, your account will have a negative balance, and the bank will bill you for it.
5. You already earned the bonus before
You can earn some bank bonuses multiple times. That even includes new account bonuses, if you’ve closed your previous account and enough time has passed. But once again, most banks have conditions covering this.
Some banks won’t allow you to earn the same new account bonus more than once. Or, there may be a formal waiting period. For example, the terms may state that you can only earn a bonus once every two years, at most. Note that these rules generally only apply to the same type of account. For example, if you previously got a checking account bonus with a bank, you could still likely qualify for a bonus on one of its savings accounts. Check the terms to verify this, though.
If you follow all the rules, you shouldn’t have any trouble earning a bank account bonus. Just make sure to dot your i’s and cross your t’s, so there’s no reason for the bank to deny it.
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