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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 Account type Annual Percentage Yield (APY) FDIC or NCUA Insured Minimum balance to earn interest Minimum deposit to open Offer Estimated total balance
SoFi Checking and Savings
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
SoFi Checking and Savings
Traditional savings,Checking

4.20%

1.20%

$0
$0
Earn up to $250 with a qualifying direct deposit, terms apply. This offer is available until December 31, 2023.
$1,042
Western Alliance Bank High Yield Savings Account through SaveBetter
Finder Rating: 4.9 / 5: ★★★★★
Western Alliance Bank High Yield Savings Account through SaveBetter
Traditional savings

5.05%

$0
$1
$1,050.50
American Express® High Yield Savings Account
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
American Express® High Yield Savings Account
Traditional savings

3.90%

$1
$0
$1,039
Step
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
Step
Savings app

5.00%

$0.01
$0
Earn $1 for every person that joins using your unique link or code. They'll also get $1
$1,050
Upgrade - Premier Savings
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Upgrade - Premier Savings
Traditional savings

4.81%

$1,000
$0
Upgrade to Rewards Checking and earn 2% cash back on common everyday expenses and recurring payments and unlimited 1% cash back on every other debit card charge2
$1,048.10
CIT Bank Platinum Savings
Finder Rating: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
CIT Bank Platinum Savings
Traditional savings

4.85%

0.25%

$0
$100
$1,048.50
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Name Product Fee Minimum deposit to open Annual Percentage Yield (APY) Offer
Chime Checking account
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime Checking account
$0 per month
$0
N/A
Save easily and access your paycheck up to 2 days early with direct deposit. Pay $0 monthly fees, and no minimum balance is required. Access 24/7 support and get daily balance and transaction alerts. FDIC insured.
BMO Harris Smart Advantage™ Account
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
BMO Harris Smart Advantage™ Account
$0 per month
$25
N/A
Get a $300 bonus when you open a new Smart Advantage account and have a cumulative total of $4,000 or more in qualifying direct deposits in the first 90 days.
Earn a $300 cash bonus after $4,000 deposits in the first 90 days. Pay $0 monthly fees and no minimum balance. Access a large nationwide network of free ATMs. Member FDIC.
Chase Total Checking®
Finder Rating: 3 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
Chase Total Checking®
$12 per month
(can be waived)
$0
N/A
New Chase checking customers enjoy a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking® account and set up direct deposit.
Chase Total Checking® is easy to use and gives you access to 16,000 ATMs and more than 4,700 branches. It offers a $200 signup bonus to new Chase customers. Member FDIC.
PSECU checking account
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
PSECU checking account
$0 per month
$0
0.20%
Earn up to $300: $100 when you get a savings and checking account and activate your debit card with digital banking within 30 days. $100 with monthly payroll direct deposit of $200+ within 90 days. $100 when you maintain direct deposits for an additional 90 days. Select Level Up Your Banking to see terms and get the promo.
Earn a bonus and 5 or 10 cents in rewards on all eligible purchases. Pay $0 in monthly fees, no overdraft fees and get ATM fee reimbursements. NCUA insured.
US Bank Smartly Checking
Finder Rating: 3.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
US Bank Smartly Checking
$6.95 per month
(can be waived)
$25
N/A
Earn up to $400 when you open a new U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking account and a Standard Savings account and complete qualifying activities. Subject to certain terms and limitations. Offer valid through June 20, 2023. Member FDIC.
Take control of your spending with integrated tools such as automated budgeting, upcoming due date alerts, low balance alerts and more, available in the US Bank Smartly Checking mobile app. Easily send and receive funds via Zelle. Waive overdraft fees by depositing money before the forgiveness deadline. Member FDIC.
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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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