Our pick for an online bank account: American Express® High Yield Savings
- Monthly fees: $0
- Interest compounded daily
- Minimum deposit to open: $0
Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.
Opening a bank account online usually takes about 10 minutes — much faster than visiting your bank branch. In today’s fast-paced world, this type of convenience is priceless. Here’s a rundown of what to expect when you open a bank account online.
Follow these steps to open a bank account online.
Shop around to find the best bank account. Factor in the card type, minimum balance requirements for savings accounts, whether you can bank online or via an app, and any fees, including ATM withdrawal fees, monthly fees and whether the account waives fees if you make direct deposits.
If you open a single account, you’re the sole owner and no one else can access your money. But with a joint bank account, you share ownership with someone else, usually a family member, significant other or business partner. They have equal access to the account and can use the money however they wish.
Click Go to site and a new window will open, sending you to the account provider’s website and a secure online application. You’ll need to provide basic information about yourself such as your name, date of birth, address and social security number. Make sure you have this information on hand before you start the application as the webpage can time out and close if you leave your computer unattended for too long.
After you complete an online application for a bank account, you’ll get an email from the account provider with information about what happens next. This email should come within a minute or two after you submit the application to the bank. It may come with instructions on verifying your identity, or you may need to do that first.
You’ll need to provide a government-issued ID before you’re approved for an account. Most banks will let you take a picture of your ID with your phone, though some banks require that you verify your identity in person. If you’re already a customer of the bank, you may be able to skip this step.
Most accounts will require you to make an opening deposit using a debit card or an account and routing number for an existing bank account. If this is your first bank account and you plan to make an opening deposit in cash, you’ll likely need to sign up for an account at a bank branch.
If the account you signed up for includes a debit card, it’ll arrive in the mail after you’ve been approved — you’ll find out how long it takes to ship in the confirmation email. The debit card and PIN are sent to you separately for security reasons. When you get your card, you need to sign the back and activate it so you can make withdrawals. This is a simple process that can be completed over the phone or online.
Your account is ready to go. You’ll be able to make deposits and withdrawals, as well as use any other features associated with your account. To finish setting everything up:
To open an account online, you’ll generally need to:
The whole process shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. If you’re at least 18 years old, you can apply for most accounts online. You’ll be provided with a checklist of things you should have with you before you apply. If you’re an existing customer of the bank, make sure you have your relevant customer ID or account number.
Requiring ID helps banks protect you from fraud. If someone gets ahold of your Social Security number, they could apply for an account in your name to hide illegal money — or even open a line of credit. Banks verify your ID to make sure it’s really you opening the account, and not someone trying to steal your identity.
Most accounts allow you to apply for a joint account with one or more people. If you’re applying for a joint account, all account holders will need to provide their personal information, including Social Security number(s) and ID.
Some institutions will let you open a bank account online with no deposit, but most times you’ll have to put a little money down. Minimum required deposits often increase with a higher interest rate or better features offered.
There’s no need to visit a branch to open a bank account anymore. You can open a bank account, deposit money and set up automatic payments all from the comfort of your home. Once you’ve applied, just wait for the card to be sent you in the mail, activate the account and you’re good to go.
You may have to visit a local branch to open a bank account if you run into any of these challenges.
The days of spending an hour at the bank to open an account are gone, and you can open a new checking or savings account from your computer or phone in minutes. But don’t let the speed and convenience rush you into making a decision. Compare savings accounts or checking accounts before getting started to find the one that’s right for you.
Learn how to strategically find and invest in booming companies.
CIT Savings Connect combines aspects of a checking and savings account in one product.
Compare pros and cons of selling on Poshmark vs. Tradesy to help you get the most for your secondhand clothing, shoes and accessories.
See how much interest you could earn with a savings account from Capital One.
7 tips for starting a portfolio if you’re new to investing.
An online savings account with a tiered interest model but not-so-competitive rates.
Help your child learn to spend and save wisely with a virtual, COPPA-compliant debit card.
Finder analyzes which states have the highest and lowest rates of employment for Black and African Americans.
A health savings account (HSA) can help you get prepared for your retirement. Learn more.
Take advantage of miles, points and perks with a card that best fits your lifestyle.
finder.com is an independent comparison platform and information service that aims to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions. While we are independent, the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which finder.com receives compensation. We may receive compensation from our partners for placement of their products or services. We may also receive compensation if you click on certain links posted on our site. While compensation arrangements may affect the order, position or placement of product information, it doesn't influence our assessment of those products. Please don't interpret the order in which products appear on our Site as any endorsement or recommendation from us. finder.com compares a wide range of products, providers and services but we don't provide information on all available products, providers or services. Please appreciate that there may be other options available to you than the products, providers or services covered by our service.