Posted by sirtheta on September 10, 2018
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on September 10th, 2018 | by sirtheta


[Targeted] Bank of America $300 Checking Bonus

Update 09/09/18: Reposting as a new set of people have been targeted. End date is still December 31st, 2018. Hat tip to readers Abey & Nick.

Update 05/09/18: Offer is back again, extended until December 31st, 2018 and extended to new set of targeted people.

Update 01/25/18: Offer is back and new set of people targeted.

This is a quarterly refresh of a standard targeted Bank of America checking bonus, but I’ve written it up for two reasons: (a) you can check if you’re targeted very easily; (b) you won’t be misled if you see this elsewhere without the full details. You will not get this bonus if you are not targeted, so I wouldn’t even try.

With respect to (a), you can check if you are targeted by logging in to online banking & clicking on the “Special Offers & Deals” header. You may also see it prominently displayed in the Activity Center, after clicking on the “Special Offers & Deals” square. If it’s in your online banking, you should also receive e-mails & physical mail about the offer over the course of the promotion. Some people also see it when they log out. Those without any relationship with Bank of America may still get the offer via physical mail.

Having done this offer in summer 2016, my experience is that having credit cards with Bank of America is a good way to be targeted. An existing non-checking relationship, such as a savings accounts, is also likely to be a good way.

Offer at a glance

The Offer

Targeted offer, see above. Direct link here, keep in mind you’re unlikely to get the bonus unless you were targeted

  • Open a new Bank of America Core Checking ($25 opening deposit) or Bank of America Interest Checking ($100 opening deposit) account and receive a $300 bonus when you:
    • Are targeted, AND
    • Set up and receive qualifying direct deposits totaling $4,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening your new checking account


The Fine Print

  • This exclusive offer is only for select Bank of America customers who don’t already have a personal checking account with us and who received an email or direct communication from Bank of America, or have seen the offer when signed into Online or Mobile Banking.
  • Must open a new Bank of America Core Checking OR Bank of America Interest Checking personal checking account by April 30, 2018, in a participating financial center, online, or via phone, AND
  • Set up and receive Qualifying Direct Deposits equaling a total of $4000 or more in your new personal checking account within 90 days from account opening.
  • You are not eligible for this offer if you were a signer on or owner of a Bank of America personal checking account within the last six (6) months.
  • Bank of America may change or terminate this offer before this date without notice.
  • A “Qualifying Direct Deposit” is a recurring direct deposit of a paycheck, pension, Social Security or other eligible regular monthly income, electronically deposited by an employer or an outside agency into your new checking account. A transfer done via ATM, online, or teller, or a transfer from a bank or brokerage account, Merrill Edge® or Merrill Lynch® account is not a Qualifying Direct Deposit.
  • If you meet all the requirements for the $300 Checking Account bonus, the earned bonus will be deposited directly into your new checking account within sixty (60) days of meeting the qualifications. Your new personal checking account must be open up to and including the date the bonus is paid in order to receive the bonus.
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest, and as such you have to pay taxes on them. You will be issued a 1099-INT at the start of next year.

Avoiding Fees

Core Checking

The Core Checking account has a $12 monthly fee, which can be waived in any of the following ways:

  • Make at least one qualifying Direct Deposit of $250 or more, OR
  • Maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,500 or more, OR
  • Be a student under age 23 and enrolled in high school, college, or vocational program, OR
  • Enroll in the Preferred Rewards program and qualify for the Gold, Platinum, or Platinum Honors tier (first 4 checking accounts only).

Interest Checking

The Interest Checking account has a $25 monthly fee, which can be waived in either of the following ways:

  • Maintain combined balances of $10,000 or more each statement cycle, OR
  • Enroll in the Preferred Rewards program and qualify for the Gold, Platinum or Platinum Honors tier (first 4 checking accounts only).
  • “Combined balances” include:
    • Average daily balances for the statement cycle in eligible linked checking, savings and money market savings accounts, AND
    • The current balances, as of the end of the Interest Checking statement cycle in linked personal CDs and IRAs, AND
    • The current balance, as of two business days before the end of the Interest Checking statement cycle, in your eligible linked Merrill Edge and Merrill Lynch investment accounts.

Our Verdict

This is a standard targeted offer and pretty much as good as it gets with Bank of America. Go for it if you have it and can meet the DD requirement (you can view our DPs here). Do note that Bank of America is pretty strict when it comes to what counts as a DD, and many ACH transfers have been found not to work. Unless you’re aiming to become a Preferred Rewards client, the Core Checking account is the way to go, due to the low requirements for the fee to be waived. There is a public bonus for $100 which you can find here.

If you have any questions or thoughts, please comment below and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:

Hat tip to u/seamuson on r/churning, who was very thorough.

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From experience, don’t apply if you aren’t targeted– they have an efficient cross-check system based on current customer/SSN. This is one bank bonus where you won’t slip through if not targeted.

Amazing about this given how poor their systems are for credit cards.

agreed. the worst credit card system I have ever seen.

Yep. Whoever heard of no autopay.

There IS an auto pay, but it’s super-hidden. You have to call them to get set up. I’ve been a BOA customer for years and my auto-pay drafts monthly. I agree it’s a huge pain in the ass.

Similarly, BA’s “phone tree” if you dare to call in for “help” is also — by far — the most irritating, nasty, rude, unhelpful phone tree I’ve ever encountered. (nothing worse that arguing with a BA computer about just why you are calling — and then that arrogant computer refusing to be corrected) The BA reps are generally great — once you get through the robots killing the bank’s reputation.

Dad’s account is targeted for $100 only because of merrill lynch CC is added into online banking. When clicking the above direct link seeing there’s a place to enter the offer code so I stopped right there. I know the offer is targeted. But I just sent an email to a banker at BofA and hope he can get me the code.

I too received the $100 offer.

I just opened Merrill+ card in November and have no previous relationship with BofA. I was targeted for just $100 checking bonus. Boo!

Woohoo targeted! An added benefit of my December BofA CC application spree! Almost makes up for them only approving me for the Platinum Plus Alaska card.

Application went to pending, but I assume that’s fairly normal for BofA (certainly has been for many CCs), and they’ll ultimately approve it.

For reference my BofA relationship is the MLB card opened last summer, and Merryl Lynch/Amtrak cards opened in December.

I closed a personal checking account with Bank of America on 8/27/2016. I should be good for this bonus after 2/27/2017, right? Hopefully, I’ll still be targeted for the $300 bonus by then.

Didn’t get targeted for the $300 offer, but noticed a similar $100 offer that popped up in the last few days, requiring 2 separate direct deposits of >$250 each, within 90 days (expires 4/15/17).

Also have had a $200 small business checking offer on that page for a while, requiring only a deposit of ?$1k within 60 days (expires 12/31/17).

In my account logged in under “Special Offers & Deals” I see this offer. Nice 🙂

Just saw though BofA is strict about what counts as DD. Any updated DPs? Unfortunately payroll isnt an option for me (self employed)

Would be nice to know as well what has worked recently for others. Could move regular DD, but would rather not.

As always, we can only add data points that readers share. So make sure you always share your datapoints, even if nothing has changed.

Bad day for me… first earlier tonight was denied opening a Santander checking account in an attempt to get in on the $150 deal and now this… no nothing nada zero special offers are displayed in my Special Offers section when logging into BOA even though I have three current BOA credit cards (NEA, Worldpoints & Cash Rewards) and had the MLB last year. What’s the trick? At least I should be good to go on the WF $250 deal 😉

Thanks for the tips. I churned checking accounts with them past two years but without a personal credit card open with them at this time, am not targeted. I just opened a savings account per your advice.

Doc, I do not have account or credit cards with BofA, but I clicked on the link you posted, I saw the following message

As a valued customer, you’re eligible to receive this
exclusive offerFootnote *
Here’s how to qualifyFootnote 1:

I have not received any targeted letter or email for this offer. so do you think the message shown above would make me eligible? Thanks.

The link is public, but it says “*This exclusive offer is only for select Bank of America® customers who don’t already have a personal checking account with us and who received an email or direct communication from Bank of America, or have seen the offer when signed into Online or Mobile Banking.”. My suspicion is they will easily be able to identify you’re not targeted when you sign up and you won’t get the offer.

Only $150 targeted for me. I usually don’t bother unless it’s over $200.

I was targeted for $300 when I checked the special offers for you tab. Thanks!!!

I have a CC and an Auto Loan. But I wasnt targeted.

Nope. Almost 1 yr with just one BOA CC. Oh well.

There is a DP on Reddit saying a transfer from Chase is currently waiving the fee that requires a DD so may be worth to try.

Thanks for sharing. Ill go ahead and give it a shot. Hope it works

Good DP, but I won’t add this to the list as often times the requirements for the bonus are more strict.

Transfer from Chase worked for me last year when I opened a Bank of America account to get the bonus. I’m hoping it works again, because I’m open to open another one.

Scratch that. I just realized that direct deposit wasn’t required for the bonus on their business checking account.

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