9 Best Bank Promotions Without Direct Deposit Requirements

Best Bank Bonuses Without Direct Deposit
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Many banks offer sign-up bonuses on their checking and savings accounts to attract new customers. Below are the most attractive bonuses currently available that don’t require a direct deposit.

We also included investment brokerage accounts that do not need cash deposits and require minimal investment activity. 

BankMinimum depositMinimum bonus
U.S. Bank$5,000$500
Chase10 transactions$100
Upgrade3 debit card purchases$200
Citi$10,000 $200
Live Oak$30,000$300
Wells Fargo$25,000$525

Each bank on this list is either SIPC or FDIC insured and is available in most states. 

Ranking Methodology

To come up with the best no deposit sign-up bonuses, we considered several factors:

  1. Bonus amount. The higher the bonus offered, the better the deal (provided that other criteria were also favorable).
  2. Minimum deposit. While none of these accounts require a direct deposit, most of them require some level of initial funding. We looked at the minimum deposit requirement and favored the ones with lower thresholds.
  3. Holding period. We also considered the amount of time one must keep the account open or maintain a certain balance to qualify for the bonus.
  4. Fees. If the bank charges monthly fees (or other fees) that might offset the bonus, this was also factored into our rankings.
  5. Ease of qualification. We considered the complexity and number of steps required to qualify for the bonus.

Using this methodology, we analyzed each bank promotion without a direct deposit requirement to rank them in terms of value for our readers. Our top picks balanced high bonus amounts with reasonable minimum deposit requirements and holding periods, minimal fees, and straightforward qualification processes.

#1. U.S. Bank

Bonus:$500 to $750
Account type:Business checking
Requirement:Maintain a balance of $3,000 for 60 days after account opening.
Holding period:105 days (60 for balance, 45 for payment).
Fees:Varies based on account level.

U.S. Bank offers a hefty $500 bonus for new business checking customers, but you must use the promo code Q2AFL23 when you sign up. You must have a minimum deposit of $100 to open the account, but you’ll need to deposit $5,000 in new money (i.e., not held by U.S. Bank or its affiliates) to snag the $500 bonus. 

That $5,000 must hit your account within 30 days of opening. You can increase the bonus to $750 if you deposit $15,000 or more. 

To qualify for the bonus, your funds must stay in the account until the 60th day after account opening. 

The $500 bonus equates to an FDIC-insured 10% return on your money in 60 days! 

#2. Chase

Account type:Checking
Requirement:10 qualifying transactions in 60 days.
Holding period:None
Fees:$4.95 per month.

To get this Chase sign-up bonus, you’ll need to have 10 qualifying transactions, which include Zelle payments, debit card purchases, ACH deposits, Chase QuickDeposits or online bill payments. The bonus is typically credited within 15 days after you qualify.

This checking account has no account minimum, no fees for overdrafts, for sending online bill payments, for money orders, or for Zelle transactions. The downside is the unavoidable $4.95 monthly fee, though you don’t have to pay this fee on your first two monthly statements.

This account is perfect for snagging a bonus without dropping a ton of cash for an initial deposit. While you don’t have to set up a direct deposit to get a Chase checking account bonus, you can get your paycheck up to two days early if you do set it up. 

#3. Axos

Bonus:$100 or $200
Account type:Business checking
Requirement:Maintain an average daily balance of $2,500.
Holding period:180 days
Fees:$50 early account closure fee.

Open a business checking account with Axos to get a $100 or $200 bonus. You’ll need an official business for this account, but if you’re a gig economy worker, a freelancer, or have a side hustle, it shouldn’t be hard to qualify.

If you incorporated your business during or after June 2020, use the promo code NEWBIZ200 to get $200. If you formed your business before that, use NEWAXOSBIZ for $100. 

This type of checking account is designed for smaller businesses, so it doesn’t have monthly maintenance fees or a minimum deposit requirement. Once you qualify for your bonus, it will be deposited within five days of your closing statement date.

An Axos account could be a good fit for small businesses that want the perks of an online bank — and a bonus to go with it — but also need to make occasional cash deposits. Axos is connected to the MoneyPass and AllPoint networks, so you can make cash deposits when you need to. They’ll also reimburse two domestic wire transfer fees per month.

Sign up for Axos here.

#4. Upgrade

Account type:Checking (with other features).
Requirement:Make three debit card purchases within 60 days.
Holding period:60 days after the third debit card purchase.

Upgrade checking accounts are unique in that they blend the attributes of a checking account, personal loan and debit card into one account. You fund the checking account with your own money, use the Upgrade debit card anywhere you use a Visa, and repay it with predictable monthly payment amounts as you would a personal loan. 

Note that Upgrade charges 15% to 30% interest on balances, so treat this as a credit card, not a personal loan to avoid high interest charges.

If you love getting cash-back from your credit cards but don’t want to pay an annual fee, this checking account will give you 1% to 2% cash-back when you make a payment, up to $500 per calendar year. There’s also no minimum deposit requirement. 

To qualify for the welcome bonus of $200, you just need to make three debit card payments within 60 days of opening the account. Your bonus will be paid within 60 days of the last debit card payment.

If you plan to deposit cash often, Upgrade might not be a great fit for you since they only allow electronic deposits. If you need to deposit cash, you’ll have to do it from another institution then transfer the funds to your Upgrade account. 

#5. Discover

Bonus:$150 to $200
Account type:Online Savings
Requirement:$15,000 to $25,000 deposit within 30 days of account opening.
Holding period:60 days

If you’re looking to boost your emergency fund while also earning a little extra cash, Discover’s Online Savings account is a good way to do it.

Their Online Savings account pays 3.75% interest, and if you deposit a minimum of $15,000 within 30 days of opening, you’ll earn a nice $150 bonus. That number goes up to $200 when you deposit $25,000. 

To qualify for the bonus, use the promo code GOBP223 when signing up. It’s worth noting that there are no account closure fees, but the account must be open when the bonus posts or you won’t receive it. The bonus should post within 60 days of your qualifying deposit.

This offer is only good for first-time savings customers of Discover.

#6. Citi

Bonus:$200 to $2,000
Account type:Checking
Requirement:Maintain a balance of $10,000 to $300,000 for 60 calendar days (tiered bonus structure).
Holding period:80 days
Fees:$0 to $30, depending on the type of checking account.

Citi offers a tiered bonus structure for deposits in their checking accounts. You can qualify for this offer as long as you haven’t had a Citi checking account in the last six months. 

To apply, use this link and fund your account with at least $10,000 within 20 days. Funds must be new to Citi. Note that cash deposits — i.e., physical currency — do not count.

Maintain your balance for 60 days (this period starts after the 20-day funding period), because the lowest day’s balance will determine the level of bonus you’re eligible for. 

For instance, if you fund your account with $200,000 and keep it there, you’re eligible for a $1,500 bonus. But if you withdraw even $1 and your balance dips to $199,999, you’ll get bumped down a tier and will only be eligible for a $1,000 bonus. Bonuses are paid 30 days after the 60-day waiting period.

Since there are no other qualifying activities, this bonus is best for those who want to set it and forget it.

#7. Live Oak

Account type:Business savings
Requirement:$30,000 deposit within 15 days.
Holding period:90 days

If you’ve got a large chunk of cash that you want to earn interest on, parking it in a Live Oak business savings account could be a good bet. 

Open your account and fund it with at least $30,000 within 15 days. Keep the funds in the account for 90 days to earn a $300 bonus, as well as 4% interest. 

Even though the bonus amount for such a high deposit isn’t amazing, the interest rate on this account is stellar compared to competing options, so it’s worth considering as a way to hedge against inflation. 

This bonus offer is only for new Live Oak customers and funds cannot be transferred from another Live Oak account to count toward the bonus; you must deposit new money from an external account. 

The bonus will be paid within 45 days after the 90-day holding period.

#8. Wells Fargo

Account type:Savings
Requirement:$25,000 deposit within 30 days.
Holding period:90 days
Fees:$5 per month (avoidable).

If you haven’t had a Wells Fargo savings account in the last 12 months, you can qualify for a handsome $525 bonus for opening a Way2Save account. Use this website to enter your email to receive your bonus offer code, as you’ll need it before you apply in order to get the bonus.

While the account only requires a $25 initial deposit, you must deposit $25,000 in new money within 30 days of opening the account to qualify for the bonus. Those funds must remain in the account for 60 additional days (90 days from account opening). The bonus will be paid within 30 days of meeting the qualifications.

There is a $5 monthly fee for this account, but if you meet the deposit requirements for the bonus and don’t withdraw your money, that fee will be waived.

While the dollar amount of the bonus is high, there are others that offer a better ROI for such a hefty deposit requirement. The Way2Save account only offers 0.15% APY, which is behind the times as other accounts are offering closer to 3% to 4%. 

Wells Fargo’s offer is decent, but there are better ones out there.

Tips for Success

If you’re just looking to make a few bucks off of a checking account you were going to open anyway, you can skip this section. But if you’re going after multiple accounts and bonuses, read on for a few tricks to maximize your efforts. 

Chasing bank account bonuses can be a profitable, risk-free way to grow your money, since the banks use FDIC to insure deposits up to $250,000. 

  • You’ll need to make sure you meet all the requirements in the right time frame to trigger a bonus. if you’re even a day late or a dollar short, you won’t get anything. 
  • To maximize your chances of success, we recommend using a spreadsheet to keep track of the accounts you open, their bonuses (take a screenshot as these change often), the due dates, and the deposit requirements. 
  • Bank bonuses are taxable, so each account you open should send you a tax form at the end of the year.
Jenni Sisson
Jenni Sisson is a freelance writer and editor focused on personal finance, technology and entrepreneurship. A serial side hustler, Sisson has started businesses selling maple syrup, teaching piano lessons, transcribing medical records, selling on eBay, mystery shopping and more.

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