How to Open a Checking Account

Learning how to open a bank account does not have to be a challenge. A checking account is an account from a bank to which you can deposit funds. In turn, you can also withdraw money from your checking account. When learning how to get a debit card, you will find that your checking account is very liquid because you can access the account through the bank, automated teller machines, electronic debit cards and other methods.

In this digital age, many account holders complete their transactions and manage their bank accounts online. In 2016, about 62 percent of account holders used mobile or online banking as their primary method of bank management. Seventy percent of Gen X and 68 percent of Millennials will usually turn to mobile or online banking. Continue reading for more information on a checking vs. savings account and how to open your own account.

Checking vs. Savings Account

When you are learning how to open a bank account, you will find out that you have the option to open a savings account. As stated before, a checking account serves the purpose for making transactions, such as purchases and withdrawals. Checking accounts can accumulate interest, but not all checking accounts are made equal.

When you find out how to open your checking account, you will see that most of these accounts make little to no interest. The best types of checking accounts are ones that have no monthly fees or offer uncomplicated ways to waive these fees. Additionally, some checking accounts offer sign-up bonuses.

The purpose of a savings account is in the name. These accounts used for saving money and earning interest on it. When discovering how to get your debit card, you will see that a savings account will have a monthly limit on withdrawals. However, this serves the purpose of enforcing you to leave money in this account and follow good spending habits.

One advantage of a savings account over opening a checking account is that the interest rates are higher, so you will be able to make more money over time than with a checking account. The best types of savings accounts are ones with an annual percentage yield of 1.5 percent or higher.

When you are learning about getting the best checking account offers or the best savings account offers, you can set up your checking account and savings account with the same bank. The benefits are that it makes bank management easier and transfers made between the accounts would most likely only take minutes to complete. Certain banks will waive monthly fees when you link up the accounts.

When researching how to get a bank account, you may come across banks that offer better rates for checking accounts or savings accounts. This is one of the downsides of having your accounts at the same bank. There are banks that can offer better rates for different accounts. In fact, most banks with high-yielding savings rates do not offer checking accounts.

How to Open a Checking Account

When learning how to set up a checking account, you must first identify what kind of bank you would like to open your checking account with. If you want widespread accessibility, you can set up your account with big name banks such as Bank of America or Citi. If you are discovering how to open a bank account with a credit union, they can also provide accessibility because you are guaranteed a nearby location. Credit unions require for new account holders to set up a savings account with them before setting up a checking account.

Once you have decided what bank to open your new account with, you can start your application. If you are applying online, it is as simple as clicking “apply now” on the bank’s web page. If you are completing the application online, then generally the prompts will show you want materials you need to submit.

If you are applying in person, the bank employee will show you how to open your checking account. While you are applying in person, the bank employee will also explain what to bring to open a bank account. The materials that you will need to open a checking account are typically the following:

  • Government issued identification, like a driver’s license or passport
  • Proof of address, like a utility bill or lease agreement
  • Social Security Number

Aside from the documents that you will provide, banks often conduct credit checks to get a better understanding of your credit history. Failure to pay maintenance fees on prior accounts, for instance, may cause the bank to reject your application. Although there are no fees, certain banks may ask you to provide an initial deposit. Get the best checking account proposals by researching this detail before setting up an account with a bank.

Best Checking Account Offers

Receive an instant checking account no deposit by taking advantage of checking account offers. Banks will have promotions that provide cash bonuses when you decide to create a new checking account with them. There are often requirements that must be met to receive these one-time perks.

For instance, you might have to set up direct deposit with the bank and have the account for a few months. At of the time of this article, these are the top checking account offers for banks such as HSBC, Santander Checking, Chase as well as other banks.

HSBC Advance Checking

Currently, when finding out how to open a bank account with HSBC, you will find that you can receive a cash bonus of $350. In order to receive the cash bonus, you must place $5,000 across all checking and savings account with HSBC within 30 calendar days of setting up your new account. You must also have qualifying monthly direct deposits for at least three months. You can apply online to get this offer.

Santander Bank Checking

When you discover how to open a checking account with Santander, you can receive a $225 cash bonus. There are specific checking accounts from this bank that qualify for this promotion, so review which type of checking accounts suits you best. There must be direct deposits of $1,000 within 90 days of opening the account.

Chase Total Checking

Signing up with Chase get you a $200 cash bonus when you open a Chase Total Checking account online or in person using a coupon. You must have direct deposit set up within 60 days of your new account. The account must stay open for six months.