As the economic rebound continues, banks now find themselves in a position where they must attempt to win customers back. Therefore, many retail, community and online banks are vying for your business. While some institutions will no longer even offer you a free toaster, these banks are handing out cold, hard cash. Here are a few of the banks that are offering the best perks for new accounts. (Currencies can provide diversification for a portfolio that's in a rut. Find out which ones you need to know, in Top 8 Most Tradable Currencies.)

  • Bank of America
    The nation's largest bank is offering $100 to new customers that open a MyAccess checking account online. What's the catch? The account must be funded with a minimum of $500, open for at least 30 days and you have to use your debit card at least one time. Follow those simple steps and a cool $100 will be deposited into your checking account within 90 days.

  • BB&T
    BB&T is offering all new customers $100 for opening a free checking account. All you have to do to qualify is set your account up for direct deposit or make three payments using online billpay. After that, $100 will be placed in your BB&T free checking within 28 days.

  • Flagstar Bank
    Flagstar is offering $100 to anyone who opens a personal checking account and uses direct deposit. The direct deposit amount can be as little as $250, and the deposit needs to be made within 60 days of the account opening date. For just $50, you can open a Flagstar checking account, and the account needs to remain open for a minimum of six months. The $100 will be placed in your account 30 days after the first direct deposit transaction.

  • M&I Bank
    Marshall & Ilsley Corporation, also known as M&I Bank, is giving $100 to new bank customers who open an account between now and February 12, 2010. Just open a M&I Cash Bank checking account and make five purchases with your M&I check card within 45 days. $100 will be paid to you two weeks after the 45-day review period.

  • ING Direct
    ING is not just for savings accounts anymore. ING is giving a $50 bonus to any customer who opens an Electric Orange checking account. In order to qualify for the cash, bonus you need to make three purchases on your Electric Orange check card within 45 days. Your $50 bonus will be deposited into your checking account on the 50th day.

  • Perkstreet Financial
    First-time Perkstreet customers receive a $50 bonus for opening an online checking account and keeping the account open for just three months. It only takes $25 to open a Perkstreet online checking account. The account has no monthly maintenance fee, and no minimum balance ever.

  • PNC
    Open a personal checking account with qualifying direct deposit at PNC and receive $50 cash and 50,000 reward points. $50 cash is credited to your account within 30 days of the first direct deposit transaction. 50,000 bonus points are added to your PNC check card. Bonus points can be redeemed for cash, gift cards and electronics.

  • TCF Bank
    New TCF bank customers are given $50 cash just for opening a personal checking account, and can also receive a $25 referral bonus. The $50 bonus is paid out one business day after the account is opened. This is probably the quickest bonus payout of any bank.

Conclusion
At a time when money is tight for most people, it is important to get the maximum return on every dollar. There are some great bank perks available nationwide. Remember that if you don't ask about these promotions, the bank may never tell you about them, so don't be afraid to speak up. (They print money, they control inflation and much, much more. All you need to know about central banks is in What Are Central Banks?)

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