Cheese Checking Account $70 Referral Bonus

Cheese is shutting down. They sent out an email to its customers in early August. Those with accounts will have them closed on November 10, 2022 and remaining funds will be returned via paper check.

Cheese is a digital checking account that offers up a debit card you can use to earn up to 10% cash back at a variety of places (10K+ at last count). It is marketed towards immigrants and Asian Americans (many bonus categories are for Asian restaurants and stores) but there’s really no reason why anyone couldn’t use a Cheese account.

As is the case with companies like this, they are offering sizable bonuses for folks to sign up and try them out:

Table of Contents
  1. How to Get up to $70 from Cheese [EXPIRED]
    1. It’s App Only
    2. Referral / Invitation Code
    3. Connecting a Bank Account
  2. Other Cheese Promotions
  3. What is Cheese?
  4. What are some alternatives?

How to Get up to $70 from Cheese [EXPIRED]

Cheese currently has a massive $70 referral bonus if you satisfy a few easy conditions, none of which include a direct deposit.

  • Get $2 just for opening an account with Cheese
  • Get $45 when you make a deposit of $50 or more
  • Get $23 when you use the debit card to spend $5 or more

All told, it’s a $70 bonus for you if you deposit $50 and use the card once on a purchase over $5. I can’t think of an easier bonus to achieve, especially considering you don’t have to mess with any direct deposit!

This $70 offer isn’t always available so I’d get it while you can.

It’s App Only

It can be on Android or iOS but Cheese is only available through an app – there’s no login on the website. When you sign up, you’ll be directed to download the app and then do all of your business within that app.

The sign up process is fairly quick though and despite asking for a Social Security Number, there is no hard inquiry. I was up and running in a few minutes, the hardest part was my email when I accidentally added a space on the end and I couldn’t figure out why it kept saying it was an invalid email!

Referral / Invitation Code

When you sign up, on the screen that asks for your name, be sure to enter this Invitation Code:

JIM9MX86

Connecting a Bank Account

Cheese uses Plaid to connect your bank accounts together, which makes it easy to transfer the $50 you need to get the $45 bonus. It took me only a minute or so to connect my bank and transfer $50.

Other Cheese Promotions

From time to time, Cheese offers additional promotions to existing customers.

For example, in Thanksgiving 2021 (November 1 – November 30, 2021), they offered:

  • $100 when you spent between $1,000 and $3,000
  • $300 if you spend $3,000 or more

There were limits in that the total payout from the promotion was $100,000 but as long as you were swift, this was a pretty significant bonus (~10%).

Then, in December, they offered a promotion where you get $12 after making 12 transactions of $5 or more. I suspect this is an ongoing trend and something you could use regularly.

What is Cheese?

Cheese is a fintech company that offers banking services through Coastal Community Bank, which is FDIC insured #34403. They have a little over a dozen locations and are headquartered in Washington. They are a State Chartered Bank, member of the Federal Reserve System. Coastal Community Bank white labels a lot of banking services and is what’s known as a BaaS (banking as a service) provider. They’re still a bank but they work with other companies to offer services – such as Aspiration.

What Cheese offers two differentiators:

  • A 3% deposit bonus for 30 days when you refer a friend that meets the referral requirements, with a cap of $25 each month
  • A debit card that offers up to 10% cash back at over 10,000 stores, including many Asian owned businesses and restaurants.
  • They also offer 2-day early deposit (which many other companies now offer)

What are some alternatives?

If you are curious, here are the best offers we know of right now:

⭐Citi Priority Account – up to $2000

Citi Priority is offering up to $2000 bonus when you open an account by 1/9/2023. Then, within 20 days of opening your account, deposit at least $10,000 in New-to-Citi® funds and keep it there for 60 days after the 21st day. The bonus amount is based on how much you can transfer but the lowest tier starts at $10,000.

👉 Click here to learn more

Discover Online Savings Account – $150 or $200

Discover Bank is offering a $150 or $200 bonus when you open your first Discover Online Savings Account with the promotion code WH922 and deposit at least $15,000 into the account within 30 days. You get $150 if you deposit $15,000 or more and $200 if you deposit $25,000.

👉 Click here to learn more

Bank of America – $100 Bonus Offer

Bank of America offers a $100 Bonus Offer cash bonus if you open a new account and set up and receive qualifying direct deposits totaling $1,000 or more into that account within 90 days of account opening. It has a monthly fee that is easy to have waived.

👉 Click here to learn more

Chase Total Checking® – $200

Chase Bank will give you $200 when you open a Total Checking account and set up direct deposit within 90 days. There is a $12 monthly fee that is waivable with a monthly direct deposit of just $500, so no gotchas on this deal!

👉 Click here to learn more

Huntington Bank – up to $300

If you are a resident of Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, West Virginia, or Wisconsin then you could get up to $300 from Huntington Bank for opening a new checking account. There are several checking accounts that qualify but they’re great offers if you live in their geographic region.

👉 Click here to learn more

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About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a forty-something father of four who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard's Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here's my treasure chest of tools,, everything I use) is Personal Capital, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.

He is also diversifying his investment portfolio by adding a little bit of real estate. But not rental homes, because he doesn't want a second job, it's diversified small investments in a few commercial properties and farms in Illinois, Louisiana, and California through AcreTrader.

Recently, he's invested in a few pieces of art on Masterworks too.

>> Read more articles by Jim

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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