Opening a bank account is important for managing finances efficiently and creating long-term wealth-building opportunities down the road. Before you open an account, you may wonder: Do I need money to open a bank account? The answer isn’t that straightforward. The short answer is no — you don’t need money to open a bank account. However, most banks might require that you make an initial deposit when opening your new account. This amount can range from $25 up to several hundred dollars, depending on the type of account and the financial institution. Read on to learn just what you need to open a bank account.
What do you need to open a bank account?
Before you decide which type of bank account is right for you, it’s important to understand the main types of accounts available: checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), money market accounts (MMAs), and individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are just some examples of accounts that offer unique benefits depending on your individual needs and goals. Typically, a money market and CD will require the largest amount of money upfront to open the account.
There are certain documents you’ll need to show regardless of which account you go with.
Proof of identification
The bank will need to verify your identity. Whether you open the account in person or online, you’ll need to provide a copy of your state- or government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license, passport, or military ID card. The bank will also want an identification number, which can be a Social Security number, individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), passport number and country of issuance, alien identification card number, or another government-issued identification number. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, banks may also want to see your Social Security card and birth certificate.
Proof of address
Another requirement for opening a bank account is proof of address. The easiest way to do this is by bringing in a recent utility bill or rent receipt that has your name and address printed on it. Banks may also accept copies of your lease agreement or statements from other financial institutions if they have your current address on them.
On average, you’ll need $25 to $100 to open a checking or savings account.
Banks set minimum deposit requirements to help ensure that customers can take advantage of the features and benefits that come with an account. Generally, accounts with more features and benefits require a higher initial deposit and minimum balance requirement to be opened. For example, a basic savings account may require only a minimum of $25 to open but offer few features compared to a premium account that requires a minimum deposit of $1,000 and offers more features, such as higher interest rates or access to additional services.
These requirements are typically determined by the bank based on how much money is needed for it to provide the promised services. The funds deposited are used by banks to make loans or investments, so having enough funds available is important for banks to operate efficiently. Additionally, when customers have sufficient funds in their accounts, it reduces the risk of overdrafts, which can be costly for banks.
What do you need to open a checking account?
To open a checking account, you will need to provide a valid form of identification and proof of address.
Although banks don’t typically run credit checks for checking accounts, they may check your banking history. Chexsystems is similar to a credit report, but for banking. If you have overdrawn accounts or a history of bounced checks, it’ll show up in your Chexsystems report.
The financial institution may require an initial deposit to open the account. This amount will depend on its particular policies but generally ranges from $25 to $100 dollars or more, but you can find some banks that have no required deposit upfront.
What do you need to open a savings account?
To open a savings account, you will need to present identification information and proof of address. You’ll also likely need that standard deposit of $25 to $100 depending on the institution. Big banks require around $25 to open an account, but many smaller banks or credit unions require no initial deposit to open the account. Online banks frequently have no initial deposit requirement.
For savings accounts, they can also pull your Chexsystems report as part of the approval process.
Other requirements for opening a bank account
In addition to the standard documentation and requirements, there are other requirements for opening and maintaining a bank account.
Aside from deposits, some banks might also impose additional charges, such as maintenance fees, on a monthly basis. Fortunately, you may have the option to waive the monthly maintenance fee if a minimum daily balance is maintained in the checking account each month. The exact amount will depend on the bank. Other times, you may be able to avoid monthly fees by connecting your direct deposits.
Maintaining the account
Some banks require customers to maintain minimum balances to keep the account open. If this is something you are unable to do, it might be best to look into other banking options that offer different terms and conditions.
Banking requirements have become slightly more stringent in recent years, as banks look to ensure customers are engaging with their accounts in a responsible manner. Most banks now require some form of activity on the account at least once every few months. This could include transactions or just logging into the account.
Many banks require direct deposits for you to take advantage of features like free overdraft protection or lower interest rates on certain products. Direct deposits can be regularly scheduled payments from work salaries, pension payments, Social Security payments, or other sources of income.
Requirements and features vary
In most cases, you’ll need money to open a bank account — even if it’s not required right away. A ton of different banks and various accounts to choose from are out there, so it’s important to do your research. Compare what features the bank offers, monthly fees, and balance requirements before deciding on a bank.
Can I open a bank account with no money?
Some banks will allow you to open an account with no money, but most require an initial deposit of $25 to $100 or more.
Do banks charge to open an account?
Banks usually do not charge a fee to open an account, but they can have a minimum deposit requirement or charge a monthly maintenance fee for the account.
What is the fee for a bank account?
Banks don’t typically charge fees to open an account, but can charge maintenance fees associated with the account. These fees vary and can often be waived if you maintain a certain balance or have direct deposits.