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What do you need to open a bank account?

Before you apply, make sure you meet these requirements to open a bank account.

Requirements vary from bank to bank, but you’ll generally need to provide your personal information and verify your identity.

5 things you need to open a bank account

If you’re an existing customer with a bank, they’ll have your personal information on file and you likely won’t need to supply any extra details. But if you’ve never held an account with that particular bank before, you’ll typically be asked to provide the following information.

  1. Your name
  2. Your address
  3. Your phone number
  4. Your Social Security number
  5. Your email address

Depending on the type of account you open, there may also be circumstances where you need to supply some additional information.

  • Kids bank account. Your child’s birth certificate.
  • Student account. Your student ID, .edu email address or proof of enrollment.
  • Overseas account. Your passport, visa details, destinations and travel dates.
  • Linked account. Routing and accounts numbers of external banks.
  • Business account. You’ll typically need to provide details of your business structure, your employer identification number, your business license and any ownership agreements. If you’re not a sole proprietor, you’ll also need to include information about the other owners.

Eligibility requirements

Most banks require you to meet certain eligibility requirements before you can open an account. These include:

  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Resident of the United States.
  • Proof of address.
  • Government-issued photo ID.

How can I provide photo ID?

Some banks allow you to verify your ID online. You’ll need to have your ID handy when applying for a bank account online and then follow the on-screen prompts to photograph your ID. However, some banks may require you to bring your ID to the nearest branch. Alternatively, your bank may require you to provide a certified copy of your documents by mail.

How much money do I need to open a bank account?

The amount of money you need to open a bank account depends on the type of bank account you’re opening. Some banks don’t require any initial deposit to open a checking account, while others may ask for amounts ranging from $10 to $100. When it comes to savings accounts, you may need to open the account with an initial deposit to start earning interest. And for certificates of deposit (CDs), you’ll usually need an amount between $250 and $2,500 to get started.

Compare checking and savings accounts by switching tabs and comparing them by interest rates, fees and minimum required deposits.

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1 - 6 of 30
Name Product Account type Annual Percentage Yield (APY) FDIC or NCUA insured amount Minimum balance to earn interest Minimum deposit to open Offer Estimated total balance
SoFi Checking and Savings
Finder Score: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
SoFi Checking and Savings
Traditional savings,Checking

4.60%

0.50%

1.20%

Up to $250,000
$0
$0
Get up to $300 cash bonus with qualifying direct deposit. Terms apply. This offer is available until December 31, 2024.
$1,046
Barclays Online Savings
Finder Score: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
Barclays Online Savings
Traditional savings

4.35%

Up to $250,000
$0
$0
$1,043.50
Primis Savings account
Finder Score: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Primis Savings account
Traditional savings

5.07%

Up to $2 million
$0
$1
$1,050.70
Step Black Card
Finder Score: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Step Black Card
Savings app

5.00%

Up to $1 million
$0
$0
$1,050
Bask Bank Interest Savings Account
Finder Score: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Bask Bank Interest Savings Account
Traditional savings

5.10%

Up to $250,000
$0
$0
$1,051
Cash App Savings
Finder Score: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
Cash App Savings
Savings app

4.50%

1.50%

Up to $250,000
$0
$1
$1,045
loading
1 - 5 of 26
Name Product Fee Minimum deposit to open Annual Percentage Yield (APY) Offer
SoFi Checking and Savings
Finder Score: 4.5 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
SoFi Checking and Savings
$0 per month
$0
4.60% on balances of $0+
0.50% on balances of $0+
1.20% on balances of $0+
Get up to $300 cash bonus with qualifying direct deposit. Terms apply. This offer is available until December 31, 2024.
Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus
Finder Score: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus
$0 per month
$0
N/A
Primis Perks Checking
Finder Score: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Primis Perks Checking
$0 per month
$1
N/A
Earn 50 cents for every debit card swipe except for ATM transactions
Cash Card by Cash App
Finder Score: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
Cash Card by Cash App
$0 per month
$0
N/A
Step Black Card
Finder Score: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Step Black Card
From $0 per month
$0
5.00% on balances of $0 to $1,000,000
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Bottom line

Opening a new bank account is a relatively simple process, but it’s a good idea to have all your personal documents handy to make sure the process runs smoothly. And to get the best bank account for your needs, compare savings accounts and checking accounts before getting started.

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