What do you need to open a bank account? | finder.com

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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

You’ll typically be asked to provide the following pieces of information when opening a bank account.

  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.

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 to apply for a bank account

There are several ways to apply for a bank account. You can:

  • Apply online. You can open an account online by filling out an application on the bank’s website or, if you’re already a customer with the bank, through your online banking account.
  • Apply on the app. Many banks allow you to apply for a new account by following the prompts through their mobile app.
  • Apply by phone. Some banks will let you open a new account over the phone. You may be required to verify your identity online, by mail or in person.
  • Apply in person. You can visit your nearest bank branch to apply for an account in person.

Eligibility criteria

Before you apply for a bank account, you’ll need to make sure that you meet any eligibility criteria that apply. These criteria vary depending on the type of account you would like to open but can include:

  • Age requirements. You’ll need to be at least 18 years of age to open an account by yourself, though minors may be able to open a joint account with a guardian. And different age limits can apply to some special accounts, such as a kids or seniors account.
  • Residency requirements. You’ll typically need to be a US resident to open an account, but in some cases it is possible to open an account from overseas.
  • Deposit requirements. Some accounts require a minimum deposit in order to open an account, such as $500 or $1,000.

Other criteria may apply, so check the terms and conditions before beginning an application.

What do I 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 unless you’re setting up a business or kids account. However, if you’ve never held an account with that particular bank before, you’ll need to provide:

  • Personal details. This can include your gender, full name, date of birth and residential address.
  • Contact details. The bank will require your phone number and email address.
  • Social Security number. You’ll need your Social Security number to open a new account

If you’re opening a joint account, you’ll need to provide the above information for all account holders.

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 are opening. Many banks don’t require any initial deposit to open a checking account, while others ask for small amounts ranging from $10 to $100. When it comes to savings accounts, many banks don’t require any specific amount to open an account. But with certificates of deposit (CDs), you’ll usually need an amount between $250 and $2,500 to get started.

Compare popular bank accounts

To find the best bank accounts for your lifestyle, compare interest rates, fees and minimum required deposits. Switch tabs in the below table to compare checking and savings accounts.

$
$
months
Name Product Annual percentage yield (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open Interest earned
American Express® High Yield Savings
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
American Express® High Yield Savings
0.40%
$0
$0
Enjoy no monthly fees and a competitive APY with this online-only savings account. Accounts offered by American Express National Bank, Member FDIC.
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Finder Rating: 3.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Aspiration Spend & Save Account

1.00% on $0 to $10,000 but you’ll need to be enrolled in Aspiration Plus and make at least $1,000 in debit card purchases a month
$0 per month or $15 per month for Aspiration Plus ($12.50 per month if you pay annually)
$10
Deposits are fossil fuel-free and insured by the FDIC. Enjoy a spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and a $100 bonus when you spend $1,000 in your first 60 days.
Chime Savings
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime Savings
0.50%
$0
$0
Grow your savings automatically with recurring transfers, round-ups on debit card purchases and 0.5% APY.
Axos Bank High Yield Savings
Finder Rating: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank High Yield Savings
0.61%
$0
$250
No monthly maintenance fees. No minimum balance requirements. Interest compounded daily.
Discover Online Savings Account
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Discover Online Savings Account
0.40%
$0
$0
Take advantage of a high-interest online savings account with no fees, no minimums and more.
UFB Direct High Yield Savings
Finder Rating: 3.6 / 5: ★★★★★
UFB Direct High Yield Savings
0.20%
$0
$100
Earn an APY when your balance is higher than $10,000 with this no-monthly-fee savings account.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product APY Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Finder Rating: 3.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Up to 1.00%
$10
55,000 free in-network ATMs
$0
Deposits are fossil fuel-free. A spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and deposits insured by the FDIC.
Citibank® Account Package
Citibank® Account Package
0.50%
$0
No access to ATMs
$2.50
Earn a $300 bonus after opening new eligible checking and savings accounts and completing required activities.
HSBC Premier Checking
Finder Rating: 2.7 / 5: ★★★★★
HSBC Premier Checking
0.01%
$1
Free to use at all ATMs in the US
$0
Get a 3% cash bonus in the first six months (up to $600) or $450 welcome bonus when you open your account with qualifying activities. Must open HSBC Premier checking account through offer page by June 30, 2021, and set up qualifying direct deposits into the new account. Conditions apply. Deposit products are offered in the US by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
Chime Spending account
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime Spending account
N/A
$0
38,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
$2.50
Get rid of fees with this financial app offering consumer-friendly accounts. Chime can also help you save easily and access your paycheck faster.
Axos Bank Essential Checking
Finder Rating: 5 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank Essential Checking
N/A
$0
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
No fees. Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.
OnJuno
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
OnJuno
Up to 2.15%
$0
more than 85,000 ATMs nationwide
$0
OnJuno embraces an open banking system for everyone, regardless of their age, location, or income.
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Compare up to 4 providers

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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