The majority of bank account bonuses have a direct deposit requirement, strictly speaking this is supposed to be from payroll or a government benefit. The most popular bonuses don’t have this direct deposit requirement, but you’re really missing out on a lot of value if you only focus on accounts without this requirement.
The most common is to simply do an ACH transfer from an existing account (keep in mind that you can see datapoints for what does/doesn’t work for each bank here), this works the majority of times but it seems some banks & credit unions are cracking down on these transfers that code as P2P (person to person). Below are a number of ways to uniquely meet this requirement.
- Tax Refund. Technically your tax refund counts as a government payment and as government benefits are almost always included as a qualifying direct deposit this should always work. Remember that you can also split your tax refund as well.
- Topcashback Payout. Topcashback (cashback shopping portal) offers the ability to get funds transferred to your bank account via ACH. This seems to work more often than a regular ACH from one of your own accounts (likely because it’s coming from a different name and also a business account so it’s not showing as a P2P transfer)
- Prepaid cards. Often work when ACH do not, this is because they don’t show up as a P2P transfer. Unfortunately most people will no longer have access to an American Express Serve or Bluebird card.
- Withdrawal From Trading/Investing/Brokerage Platform (e.g E*Trade, Robinhood, Fidelity etc). This likely shows up as investment income or similar.
- Amazon Payments. If you sell things on Amazon then you should be able to request a deposit into your new account. More info here.
- Raise.com Payout. Raise is a third party gift card exchange, if you sell your gift cards on there you can request a payout to the account you’re trying to get a bonus on. The raise account should be a business account so should be useful for meeting minimum spend requirements.
If anybody else has any sneaky ways they get around this direct deposit requirement, let us know in the comments. We will make sure to add it to our master database here.