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9 Best Bank Refer-A-Friend Programs: Get $50 Or More For Free

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Refer-a-friend programs are undoubtedly one of the easiest ways to make money online. If you’ve got friends, family, and co-workers, you have the potential to earn free cash. Most refer-a-friend programs offer your referrals a cash bonus, too.

Bank refer-a-friend programs offer some of the highest bonus payments. This post highlights nine banks that will pay you $50 or more to refer new members. The process is pretty easy overall, and these offers are 100% legitimate. Below you’ll find tips to get started, then you can read about each awesome referral program.

How Bank Refer-A-Friend Programs Work

Every bank offers unique referral programs, but the process is pretty simple across the board. I’ve broken down the process along with helpful tips. Here’s what you need to know:

  • You need to be a member of the bank to use the refer-a-friend program. If you aren’t currently a member, you can sign up to be one. This usually makes you eligible to start referring friends right away.
  • Reward payments take a while to show up in your account. Most banks will give you the referral payment within 30 to 60 days. A few banks may require you to wait 90 days or more.
  • Your referrals also get rewarded, so make sure to tell them! The friends and family you refer will get bonus offers, too. Let them know all about this, and they’ll likely be more eager to sign up. It’s a win/win situation for everyone.
  • Your referrals need to meet certain requirements. For example, the refer-a-friend program may only be available if they open a certain type checking account. The requirements for your referrals are listed for all nine banks in this post.
  • Your bank account needs to be in good standing. This means you can’t have negative balances, unpaid fees, and so on. The exact requirements are different for each bank.
  • Make sure to read the fine print. These refer-a-friend programs are the real deal, but there are always terms and conditions. We’ve offered as much info as possible for the nine banks in this post. Still, it’s important to check out all of the fine print for yourself.

1. First Commonwealth Bank – Earn Up To $500 Per Year In $50 Refer-A-Friend Bonuses

First Commonwealth Bank is a community-centered financial institution. They offer over one dozen personal and business banking products and services. The bank has 137 locations throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio. The refer-a-friend program makes it easy for members to earn $50 bonuses.

What You Need To Know

  • You’ll receive a $50 reward card when you refer new customers for personal checking accounts.
  • You’ll receive a $150 reward card when you refer new customers for business checking accounts.
  • You can receive up to $500 in rewards per calendar year.
  • Your reward cards are sent to you via mail.
  • You must register for the referral program online or call 844-232-4321.
  • You must provide a valid e-mail address for every person or business you refer.
  • Your referrals must meet the requirements in the section below for you to receive your bonuses.
  • You’ll receive your reward card within 4 to 6 weeks of your referral opening their account and meeting all requirements.
  • Your reward cards may be reported as income to the IRS.

What Your Referrals Need To Know

  • Your personal checking account referrals must complete one of the following within 60 days of opening their account:
    • Complete one qualifying direct deposit of $250 or more.
    • Complete 10 debit card purchases.
  • Qualifying direct deposits are any electronically deposited funds from an employer, government agency, or another outside agency.
  • The minimum opening deposits are $50 for a Hometown Checking account or $25 for a SmartPay Card account.
  • Your business checking account referrals must meet the following requirements within 60 days of opening their account:
    • Make a minimum of $2,000 in qualifying deposits.
    • Deposits must not include funds from First Commonwealth Bank.
    • Qualifying deposits include transfers from other financial institutions, in-branch deposits, ATM deposits, or mobile deposits.
  • The minimum opening deposit needed for a business checking account is $50.

2.  Union Bank And Trust – Earn Up To $500 Per Year In Referral Bonuses

Since 1917, Union Bank And Trust has offered many innovative financial services to customers. Their digital banking services are very convenient, and they offer a great refer-a-friend bonus. When you refer a friend, you receive a $50 bonus plus a designer debit card upgrade.

What You Need To Know

  • You and your referrals both earn a $50 bonus.
  • You can make 10 referrals per calendar year.
  • You’ll receive a $50 credit to your Union Bank and Trust checking account within 60 days of your referrals meeting all requirements.
  • Your referrals must enroll in e-statements through online or mobile banking and must make 10 VISA debit card purchases.
  • There’s a limit of one refer-a-friend bonus per household.
  • This offer applies to personal checking accounts only.
  • The refer-a-friend offer only applies to Union Bank And Trust checking accounts.
  • You can use the Refer-A-Friend site to refer your friends and keep track of your earnings.
  • Your friend or family member cannot be a current Union Bank And Trust member.

What Your Referrals Need To Know

  • Your referrals can earn a $50 bonus and free designer debit card upgrade.
  • Your referrals must enroll in e-statements online or through the mobile app for both of you to receive your bonuses.
  • Your referrals must also make 10 VISA debit card purchases – ATM withdrawals are excluded.
  • MyStyle Checking Accounts require a $50 opening deposit.
  • Bonus Checking Accounts require a $1,000 opening deposit.
  • Your referrals must be a new member of Union Bank And Trust.

3. Bridgeview Bank – $50 Bonus For You; $100 Bonus For Your Referrals

Bridgeview Bank Group was established in the Chicagoland area in 1971. They offer many personal and business banking services. If you live near one of their 13 locations, you can easily earn a $50 refer-a-friend bonus. This offer requires you to submit a form at the bank in person, so it’s geared toward Chicagoland residents.

What You Need To Know

  • You can receive an unlimited number of $50 bonuses.
  • You receive your reward when your referral opens a Personal Checking Account with qualified direct deposit.
  • Your $50 bonus is credited to your account on the billing cycle following your referral’s qualified direct deposit.
  • This offer only applies to Bridgeview Bank Checking Accounts.
  • To refer a friend, you need to download the form at the link above and fill it out.
  • Your referred friend must also fill out one of these forms.
  • Submit the completed forms to a banker at Bridgeview Bank.
  • If you receive $600 or more in bonuses, you’ll need to disclose the income on your taxes and will receive a 1099-MISC form.
  • Your Bridgeview Bank account must be in good standing to receive bonuses.

What Your Referrals Need To Know

  • Your referrals can receive a $100 bonus as a new Bridgeview Bank client.
  • Your referrals must open a new Personal Checking Account with a qualified direct deposit.
  • Your referrals must make a $100 minimum opening deposit to receive their bonus.
  • Your referrals must also make a qualified direct deposit within 60 days of opening their account.
  • A qualified direct deposit is a recurring direct deposit from your referral’s employer or the U.S. government.
  • This offer is not available to existing Bridgeview Bank clients or clients who have closed their accounts within the last 90 days.
  • Your referral’s $100 bonus will be applied to their checking account during the first statement cycle following their first qualified direct deposit.

4. Branch Banking And Trust – Earn Up To Five $50 Refer-A-Friend Bonuses

Established in 1872, Branching Bank And Trust (BB&T) has offered numerous financial services and products. Branch locations are located in over 12 East coast states and Texas. Online and mobile banking makes accounts easily accessible. BB&T members can earn a $50 bonus by referring a friend or family member to the bank.

What You Need To Know

  • You can earn $50 when you refer a new member to BB&T; your referral also receives $50.
  • You can refer up to five friends for a total of $250 in bonuses.
  • You’ll need to fill out the form at the link above to get started.
  • You must provide your referrals with a special web address and Friend Code.
  • All bonuses will be credited to your account within 120 days.
  • You must have a BB&T personal checking account in good standing with a minimum $100 balance.
  • This offer is available until December 31st, 2018.
  • This offer can’t be combined with any other offers or promotions.

What Your Referrals Need To Know

  • Your referrals will receive a $50 incentive for opening a BB&T personal checking account.
  • Your referrals will need to provide a valid Friend Code when you open your account.
  • Your referral’s accounts can be opened online using the refer-a-friend program or at any BB&T location.
  • Your referrals must meet the opening balance requirements to be eligible for the $50 bonus.
  • Your referrals must follow all of the standard opening account procedures, too.
  • Your referral’s bonus will be credited to their account within 120 days.
  • Your referral’s account must be in good standing for them to receive their bonuses.
  • This offer can’t be combined with any other offers or promotions.

5. Macatawa Bank – Get A $100 Bonus When You Refer A Friend

Macatawa Bank has served the West Michigan area since 1997. To date, there are 26 full-service branches available within the area. Macatawa Bank clients with personal checking accounts are eligible for a $100 bonus through the bank’s refer-a-friend program.

What You Need To Know

  • You get $100 each time your referrals open a personal or business checking account.
  • Your referrals must use your unique referral code.
  • Your referrals earn a $25 bonus and can earn up to $100 total.
  • You must have a Macatawa checking account or open one to receive referral bonuses.
  • You can earn up to $590 per year in bonuses.
  • You’ll receive your $100 bonus payment within 90 days of your referral opening a qualified checking account.
  • This promotional offer ends September 30th, 2018.
  • This offer is limited to one household or business.

What Your Referrals Need To Know

  • Your referral will receive a $25 bonus upon opening a personal or business checking account using your referral code.
  • Your referrals can earn an additional $75 by making 10 debit card transactions within 60 days of opening their accounts.
  • The minimum opening balance is $25 for a personal checking account and $50 for a business checking account.
  • Your referrals cannot be current Macatawa bank members, nor can they have been a signer on someone’s account within the past 90 days.
  • The $25 bonus is deposited within 90 days of an account opening.
  • The $75 bonus is deposited after the third statement cycle.

6. Bell Bank – Earn $50 Every Time You Refer A New Customer

Since opening in 1966, Bell Bank has expanded as the largest independently owned bank in the upper Midwest. They currently have 22 locations throughout Minnesota and North Dakota. The community-oriented bank offers customers a pretty simple referral program.

What You Need To Know 

  • You receive $50 when you refer a new customer and they open their first Bell Bank personal checking account.
  • This referral offer is unlimited – you receive $50 every time you do it.
  • E-mail your referrals a link or print the coupon found on the page above.
  • You’ll receive your $50 bonus 60 days after your referral opens their account and a direct deposit is made to the account.
  • You can only refer people who are new to Bell Bank (no current or previous members).
  • If you receive more than $600 in referral bonuses within a calendar year, you’ll receive a 1099-MISC form for your taxes.
  • The refer-a-friend bonus is not valid with any other offers.

What Your Referrals Need To Know

  • Your referrals also receive a $50 for opening a new Bell Bank personal checking account.
  • Your referrals will receive a 1099-INT form for the $50 bonus they receive.
  • A $50 minimum deposit is required to open a Bell Bank personal checking account.
  • Your referrals will receive their $50 once their accounts have been open for 60 days and they’ve received direct or automatic deposits.

7. MB Financial Bank – Get Unlimited $50 Referral Bonuses

For over 100 years, MB Financial Bank has offered personal, small business, and commercial banking services. This Chicagoland-based bank has over 90 banking locations and over 130 ATMs in the area. MB Financial Bank checking account owners can receive an unlimited number of $50 refer-a-friend bonuses.

What You Need To Know

  • You earn $50 each time you refer someone and they open and maintain an MB Classic account or MB Signature checking account.
  • There’s no limit on the number of referral bonuses you can get.
  • You’ll need to complete the referral form found at the link above.
  • You must be an existing MB Personal Checking customer to be eligible for the referral bonuses.
  • You’ll receive payment within 90 calendar days starting when your referral opens a qualified checking account.
  • Qualifications for new checking accounts are listed in the referral section below.
  • Private Banking Checking Accounts aren’t eligible for this offer.
  • Your referral payments are subject to 1099-MISC reporting for tax purposes.
  • This promotional offer ends October 5th, 2018.

What Your Referrals Need To Know

  • Your referrals will receive a special offer for new customers.
  • Your referrals must open either an MB Classic or MB Signature checking account.
  • Your referrals must keep a positive balance in their checking account for at least 30 calendar days once they’ve opened their accounts.
  • Your referrals must keep their accounts open until you receive your $50 bonus payments.

8. Community Bank & Trust – Unlimited $50 Refer-A-Friend Bonuses; Referrals Also Receive $50

Community Bank & Trust (CB&T) is a small Iowa-based financial institution. They offer several types of checking and savings accounts to meet client needs. CB&T also provides financial solutions for businesses. They have five locations throughout Waterloo, Kimball, Cedar Falls, and Cedar Rapids. Their refer-a-friend program is very simple.

What You Need To Know

  • You’ll receive a $50 account deposit when you refer new clients to CB&T.
  • You can make an unlimited number of referrals and receive $50 bonuses every time.
  • To receive the bonuses, you and your referrals need to fill out the short form at the link above.
  • Your referrals can open either a checking account or savings account with CB&T.
  • Your referrals will also receive a $50 gift.
  • You’ll receive your $50 gift when a referral makes a qualifying automated transfer to their new checking or savings account.
  • $50 gifts are reported as miscellaneous income using the 1099-INT form.

What Your Referrals Need To Know

  • Your referrals must fill out their portion of the short form at the link above.
  • Your referrals must meet the minimum opening balance for the account type they choose.
  • Minimum opening balances range from $1 to $1,000 depending on the account type.
  • Your referral will receive their $50 gift once a qualifying automated transfer is made to their new account.

9. Regions Financial – Refer Clients And Get A $50 Or $150 Visa® Reward Card

Regions Financial provides personal, small business, and commercial banking services. This financial institution was established in 1928 and boasts nearly 1,500 locations throughout the United States. Clients of Regions can enjoy the refer-a-friend program to receive $50 or $150 Visa® Reward Cards.

What You Need To Know

  • Receive a $50 Visa® Reward Card when your referral opens a Regions personal LifeGreen® checking account
  • Receive a $150 Visa® Reward Card when your referral opens a business checking account.
  • You can get up to 10 $50 Visa® Reward Cards per year or $500 Visa® Reward Cards per year total.
  • All referrals must be new Regions Financial clients.
  • Use the form at the link above to send referrals via e-mail, or share the offer via social media.
  • Your referrals must meet certain qualifications that are highlighted in the section below.
  • It may take 4 to 6 weeks for you to receive your $50 Visa® Reward Card after your referrals meet all qualifications.
  • Each Visa® Reward Card is valid for six months after it is issued.
  • This offer cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions.

What Your Referrals Need To Know

  • Referrals that are opening a personal checking account must complete the following within 60 days of opening their accounts:
    • Make a minimum opening deposit of $50.
    • Have at least one $300 ACH deposit made to their new account.
    • Make at least 10 Visa card purchases linked to their new account.
    • Sign up for online banking and online statements.
  • Referrals that are opening a business checking account must open their account within 90 days of receiving a referral e-mail.
  • They must also meet the following requirements within 60 days of opening their accounts:
    • Make a minimum opening deposit of $500.
    • Complete one or more Visa Business CheckCard purchases linked to their new account.
    • Sign up for online banking with online statements.
  • All referrals will need a Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number to meet the requirements listed above.

Final Thoughts

Overall, it’s pretty easy to make $50 or more through bank refer-a-friend programs. Opening accounts with more than one bank easily increase your earnings, too. Just make sure to follow instructions closely, and you’re good to go.

Bank referral programs aren’t the only way to make free money. Frugal For Less is always on the lookout for these offers, and we post every legit one we can find. Read 10 Apps & Websites That Give You A $10 Sign-Up Bonus and List of 20+ Apps & Websites That Give A $5 Sign-Up Bonus – No Credit Card Required to explore more great options.

Get Paid To Shop: The Shopkick app is a free mobile app that pays you walk into stores, link your credit card, scan barcodes in stores, shop online, refer friends and more. Convert points into gift cards and other cash prizes. This app makes shopping fun, and you even get a 250-point bonus when you sign-up as a new member. The best part? It's 100% FREE to join.

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