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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 Interest compounding Offer
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Finder Rating: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Up to 5.00%
$0 per month or $7.99 per month for Aspiration Plus ($5.99 per month if you pay annually)
$10
Monthly
Deposits are fossil fuel-free. A spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and deposits insured by the FDIC.
CIT Savings Connect
Finder Rating: 5 / 5: ★★★★★
CIT Savings Connect
2.40%
$0
$100
Daily
Earn an impressive APY on your entire balance. This straightforward online savings account has no monthly service or account opening fees.
Bread Savings™ High-Yield Savings
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Bread Savings™ High-Yield Savings
2.90%
$0
$100
Daily
Earn competitive interest rates with this high-yield savings account you can open in just minutes. Member FDIC.
UFB Elite Savings
Finder Rating: 5 / 5: ★★★★★
UFB Elite Savings
3.01%
$0
$0
Daily
Earn a 3.01% APY with no minimum deposit or balance amount with this no-monthly-fee savings account.
Quontic Bank High Yield Savings
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Quontic Bank High Yield Savings
2.15%
$0
$100
Daily
Interest is compounded daily. No monthly service fees. Competitive rates
Save Market Savings
Bonus
Save Market Savings
Up to 4.46%
0.35% annually (can be waived)
$1,000
Annually
Each time you successfully refer a friend, Save invests an extra $1,000 on both of your behalfs. After a year is up, Save keeps the $1,000 and gives you all the earned interest.
Each time you successfully refer a friend, Save invests an extra $1,000 on both of your behalfs. After a year is up, Save keeps the $1,000 and gives you all the earned interest.
A savings account that invests your interest in the stock market where it can earn an average 4.46% return.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product APY Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee Offer
HSBC Premier Checking
Finder Rating: 2.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
HSBC Premier Checking
0.01% on balances of $5+
$0
Free to use at all ATMs in the US
$0
Get a $500 welcome bonus when you open your account with qualifying activities. Must open HSBC Premier checking account through offer page by February 15, 2023, and set up qualifying direct deposits into the new account totalling at least $10,000 per month for three consecutive months. Conditions apply. Deposit products are offered in the US by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.

HSBC Premier Checking offers free global transfers and 24/7 customer support.
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Finder Rating: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
5.00% on balances of $0 to $10,000
3.00% on balances of $0 to $10,000
$10
55,000+ free Allpoint ATMs worldwide
$0
Deposits are fossil fuel-free and insured by the FDIC. Enjoy a spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards.
Varo
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Varo
N/A
$0
55,000 AllPoint ATMs around the world for free
$2.50
Earn $30 bonuses every time a friend signs up for an account and deposits at least $20 in one transaction
No monthly fees. No foreign transaction fees. No fees at 55,000+ Allpoint ATMs.
Chime Checking account
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime Checking 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.
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
Finder Rating: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
1.25% on balances of $0 to $50,000
$50
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
$0
Earn up to 1.25% APY while enjoying a suite of digital tools for smarter money management.
Bonus
BMO Harris Smart Money™ Account
N/A
$25
Unlimited transactions at 40,000+ ATMs nationwide
$3
Get a $300 cash bonus when you open a new account and have a total of at least $4,000 in qualifying deposits within the first 90 days. See terms and conditions
You’ll pay no monthly maintenance fee if you are under 25. It also offers no overdraft charges and no non-sufficient fund (NSF) fees.
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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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