Chances are if you have a mailbox, you’ve received a lucrative offer from Chase to opening a checking and/or savings account.
The bonuses vary in size from $100 to $500 from what I’ve encountered. I recently took advantage of a $500 bonus from Chase, and I’m going to explain how it works and what I had to do to get the bonus.
Yes, it takes a little bit of work, but it’s really not that difficult to get this massive bonus.
First You Need a Chase Coupon Code
The first step to get your Chase banking bonus is to get your hands on a Chase coupon code. Like I said, they come in the mail, so there’s a decent chance there’s one laying around your house (assuming it wasn’t thrown away).
If you don’t have one, they’re actually sold on eBay. I guess that tells you how sought-after these bonuses are. The price obviously varies based on the size of the bonus and the demand from the underlying auction.
The one I used offered a $300 bonus when I opened a Chase Total Checking account, which is their most basic checking account offering.
And a $200 bonus when opening a new Chase savings account, for a total bonus of $500.
To meet the requirements of the offer, I had to be a new Chase checking account customer. It’s also not available to those who have closed an account within 90 days or those who closed an account with a negative balance.
I had never opened a Chase account before (other than credit cards), so I was all good there. And I didn’t have a Chase savings account either. I’m not sure if you can have multiple savings accounts to qualify for the savings portion of the bonus.
Then You Need to Visit a Chase Branch
For this particular offer, I couldn’t sign up online (sadly). Instead, I had to visit a Chase branch, ostensibly so they could upsell me on other products and so forth. Not really sure why, but that’s my guess.
So I showed up with my coupon code in hand and waved it in the air for the nearest clerk to see. He smiled and brought me over to his desk.
I explained that I wanted to open both a checking and savings account to take advantage of both bonus offers.
From there, it was the standard setting up of accounts. He asked for my drivers license, asked if I had an online account with Chase, etc.
Once he inputted all my pertinent information into the system, he brought up some promotional board that displayed the many checking and savings account options available to me.
I sped through all that and just had him open the most basic of accounts to avoid any nonsense fees later down the line.
So I wound up with a Chase Total Checking account and a Chase Savings account, as opposed to a “premier” or “plus” version that required a higher minimum starting balance or ongoing balance.
At that point I think I knew why I had to show up in person.
In order to open both the accounts, I had to deposit a minimum of $25 in each account. For the record, some of the premium accounts require $100 upfront.
Here’s where I messed up slightly. I didn’t have any cash on me, so they ran my debit card from Wells Fargo to load the accounts. He called it a cash advance, and that’s how Chase said they had to run it.
But because it’s a debit card, it’s referred to as a “Debit Card Over-The-Counter Cash Disbursement,” which entails withdrawing cash with your debit card from a non-Wells Fargo bank.
I say I messed up because Wells charged me $3 to process the cash disbursement (fortunately just once for the $50 total). But I suppose it was cheaper than using their ATM machine.
Once the accounts were loaded with $25 each, I was given a receipt and a sparkly new Chase debit card.
He also handed me two sheets of paper that explained what I needed to do to get the bonuses in question, complete with tracking numbers and contact info for my banker. Make sure you hang onto those just in case something goes wrong.
Then I Rushed Home to Get the Ball Rolling
I thanked my banker and got my rear end home to set everything up online. Fortunately, I already had an online Chase account, and while at the branch, I had him add the checking and savings accounts to my profile.
Once home, I added external bank accounts so I could transfer money in ASAP.
For the checking account bonus, you need to deposit a minimum of $100 into the account within 10 business days of opening the account.
Additionally, you need to have a direct deposit made to the account within 60 days of account opening. Notice it just says days, and not business days.
And while it might sound like a lot of time, direct deposits sometimes need to cycle a month before they can be moved to a different account.
So the minute I got home, I added my external bank accounts to Chase and added the Chase checking account to my chosen direct deposit.
It then took a couple days to verify those accounts. You’re probably familiar with the process, where they make one or two small deposits and you can verify the amounts.
Once I verified both my external bank account and direct deposit with Chase, I deposited $100 into the checking account to meet that requirement. And I made the Chase checking account the primary account for the direct deposit.
For the savings account bonus, I was required to deposit $15,000 into the account within 10 business days.
After my external bank account was verified, I immediately transferred $15,000, though it took about 3-4 business days to make it over there.
Now I need to maintain a balance of at least $15,000 for 90 days from the date I made the deposit. Once that happens, they’ll deposit the bonus within 10 business days.
Once I completed the checking account tasks, I immediately sent a secure message to Chase just to confirm that I did everything necessary.
They quickly responded and confirmed that the bonus would be deposited within a few business days. The savings account bonus will take several months seeing that the money needs to sit for 90 days.
You don’t need to send them a message, but I figured I would be thorough just in case I missed something (or if they dropped the ball).
How to Avoid Fees Going Forward and Earn Bonus Points
Once you get the bonuses (the checking bonus can be seen above), you need to make sure you follow the rules to avoid any monthly fees.
There are a variety of ways to do this, but the simplest way is to keep a minimum daily balance of at least $1,500 in your checking account. Or have a monthly direct deposit of $500 or more, OR keep an average daily balance of $5,000 between your checking and savings accounts.
Technically, the $15,000 in your savings will spare you from the fees, so you could withdraw from the checking account if you’d like.
However, you’ll want to leave your Chase checking account open if you have a Chase Freedom card. Why? Because you get a 10% bonus on your Chase Freedom points each year,
For the savings account, you only need a minimum daily balance of $300 or more to avoid monthly fees. So that’s pretty easy as well.
By the way, the APY on the savings account is like 0.01% or something ridiculous. So it really only makes sense to keep it open to get the bonus.
Just note that both accounts must remain open for at least six months from account opening, otherwise your bonus(es) will be deducted at closing. Lastly, you will receive a tax form for these bonuses, so factor that into your profit.