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My 2016 Roundup of Bank Account Bonuses (1099-Int Tax Season)

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Good morning everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend (except for the hardcore Atlanta Falcon fans – that was a heartbreaking defeat to the New England Patriots).  For the last few weeks, I have slowly begun receiving tax forms for my 2016 bank account bonuses.  I am a huge fan of Doctor of Credit and owe him a great big thank you for all the hard work he does covering bank account bonuses – he even updates his list on a monthly basis!  As a recap, here is my haul from 2015 (order based on account opening date):

  • 40,000 Citi Thank You Points – Citigold Checking (since downgraded to basic checking)
  • $125 – US Bank Gold Checking
  • $50 – US Bank START Savings
  • $300 – Chase Total Checking (offer is available again, so I will do this soon)
  • $50 – Discover Checking (still open – no minimum balance)
  • $400 – PNC Performance Select Checking
  • $150 – Technology Credit Union (Tech CU) Checking
  • $100 – Discover Savings (still open – decent 1% savings rate)
  • Total: $1,175

$1,175 was a pretty good haul for 2015 and I’m sure some of you are grumbling that I had to pay taxes on that amount (which I did), but as long as I am not paying 100% taxes, I come out way ahead.  Luckily for me, I jumped in deep with bank account bonuses and here are my bank account bonus scores from 2016 (order based on account opening date):

  • $1,000 – Bank of America Business Advantage Checking
  • $250 – First Tennessee Checking
  • $200 – HomeStreet Select Checking
  • $150 – Bank of the West Easy Checking
  • $100 – Northpointe Checking
  • $150 – Santander Simply Right Checking
  • $200 – Seacoast Checking
  • $500 – Chase Business Checking (currently the only open account on the list)
  • $150 – Amalgamated Convenience Plus Checking
  • $150 – TIAA Direct Interest Checking
  • Total: $2,850

I more than doubled my 2015 haul in 2016 and had a great start with the $1,000 bonus from Bank of America.  Most of these bonuses are easy to complete, but I have had my fair share of headaches and nightmares along the way.  You must be very organized and keep detailed records of when you open the account, what your deadline to complete the bonus requirements is, how to waive the monthly fees, and when to close the account.  If you do those 4 things, you will have a mostly smooth ride (except for HSBC, you will have to be very persistent in order to get the $350 bank account bonus).

Last but not least, here are the bank account bonuses that were opened in later 2016 / early 2017 that have yet to pay out their bonuses (order based on account opening date):

  • $350 – HSBC Choice Checking (just posted a few days ago)
  • $125 – Popular Community Bank Checking
  • $150 – My Banking Direct Checking
  • $300 – TD Bank Premier Checking
  • $300 – KeyBank Key Express Checking
  • $250 – Wells Fargo Everyday Checking (pending account opening approval)
  • $200 – First Merchant Bank eChecking (pending account opening approval)
  • $300 – Chase Total Checking (I will apply for an account in-branch later this week)
  • Cumulative total/estimate: $1,975

2017 is off to a great start so far and I hope to break my 2016 bank account bonus record.  Have you fully embraced the bank account bonus lifestyle?  If not, there is no better time than now to get on the bandwagon.  Most bank accounts do a soft credit check (no hard pull), some let you fund with a credit card (usually up to a few hundred dollars), and if you are a fan of money orders, you now have a few extra locations to make your deposits (but don’t structure!).  So there you have it.  How many bank accounts have you opened in 2016 and what was your total haul?  Please share your data points in the comments below.  Have a great day everyone!

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19 thoughts on “My 2016 Roundup of Bank Account Bonuses (1099-Int Tax Season)

  1. Traveler

    Dont all of these require you to
    1) Maintain a minimum value amount in the account.
    2) Ask of you to have a direct deposit from your payroll go into the account. Twice per month.

    Does direct deposit from a regular checking account into any of these qualifies as an ACH deposit?

    If only I had a way to maintain the $$ amount that they require, I would jump all over these.

    I am looking at Chase’s T&C for the $300 sign on bonus and its asking to keep the account open for 120 days or forfeit the bonus.
    Your thoughts please.

    1. Grant Post author

      Most checking accounts have a $1,500 minimum balance required to waive the monthly fee. Some will waive the monthly fee if you use your debit card a few times per month or get a $500+ direct deposit. Most of the time ACH transfers do not count as a direct deposit. Does that answer your question?

  2. anthonyjh21

    Have you received your 1099 for HSBC? No one that I know of (DoC thread) has received one yet. Seems the earliest it was issued would be in the 2016/2017 statement that spans Dec into Jan. From what I’ve gathered so far they may be claiming it to be part of 2017 or perhaps they’re just late to issue them. I can’t imagine a circumstance where they don’t issue the 1099 but stranger things have happened.

    1. Grant Post author

      The 1099-Int would be related to the year in which she received the checking account sign up bonus. I received my bonus in January 2017, so I won’t receive a 1099-Int until sometime in early 2018, but not for my 2016 taxes.

  3. Wyle

    Grant, you list the $200 bonus from Seacoast. Did you successfully open an account in 2016 or did you get the “goodwill” letter with a $200 check? Did you actually get a 1099 from them?
    I received the goodwill check, but no 1099 from them.

    1. Grant Post author

      Hi Wyle, I received the $200 check randomly in the mail from Seacoast a few months after applying for the account. No 1099-Int form received, but I did add it to my taxes anyway.

  4. venk

    Did you receive a 2017 1099 int for the below ?
    $350 – HSBC Choice Checking

    I am about to file taxes, but did not receive 1099int for hsbc

    1. Grant Post author

      Yes I did. You can call HSBC and see if they can send you a replacement 1099-INT form. Otherwise, you can just report the interest income on your taxes.

  5. venk

    Thanks Grant. Can you please tell me approx when you received the HSBC 1099int? Did you receive it just recently in March

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