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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.

Name Product Annual percentage yield (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Finder Rating: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
5.00%
$0 per month or $7.99 per month for Aspiration Plus ($5.99 per month if you pay annually)
$10
Deposits are fossil fuel-free. A spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and deposits insured by the FDIC and a $100 bonus when you spend $1,000 in your first 60 days.
Axos Bank High Yield Savings
Finder Rating: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank High Yield Savings
0.61%
0.25%
0.15%
$0
$250
No monthly maintenance fees. No minimum balance requirements. Interest compounded daily.
BlockFi Interest Account
BlockFi Interest Account
Up to 8.25%
$0
$0
Score up to 8.25% APY with this free crypto-interest account. Not available in New York and not FDIC insured.
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.
Gemini Earn
Gemini Earn
Up to 8.05%
$0
$0
Watch your cryptocurrency earn up to 8.05% APY with this nationwide account. Not FDIC insured.
Nexo Earn
Nexo Earn
Up to 12.00%
$0
$0
This account accrues up to 12% APY on crypto, and interest gets deposited into your account on a daily basis. Not FDIC insured.
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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: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
5.00% on balances of $0 to $10,000
$10
55,000 free in-network ATMs
$0
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.
Chase Secure Banking℠
Chase Secure Banking℠
N/A
$0
Access to 16,000 ATMs and more than 4,700 branches nationwide
$2.50
Chase Secure Banking offers no overdraft services
Douugh
Finder Rating: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
Douugh
N/A
$0
more than 38,000 ATMs in the MoneyPass ATM network
The Douugh app is an AI assistant focused on your finances.
OnJuno
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
OnJuno
1.20% on balances of $0 to $50,000
0.25% on balances of $50,000.01+
$0
more than 85,000 ATMs nationwide
$0
OnJuno embraces an open banking system for everyone, regardless of their age, location, or income.
Lili
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Lili
1.00%
$0
32,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
$2.50
Freelancers get paid up to two days early and can automatically set aside money for taxes with the Lili digital bank account. Get up to 10 referral rewards, or $1000.
Chime Spending account
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime Spending account
N/A
$0
60,000+ fee-free ATMs
$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.
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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.

Image source: Getty Images

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