An online checking account will allow you to conveniently manage your money at any time of day or night, without the hassle of traipsing along to a brick-and-mortar branch. What’s more, it’s incredibly quick and easy to apply for a checking account online; it should involve no more than 15 minutes of your time. This article will walk you through the steps you’ll need to take.
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Research the right checking account for you. Consider whether you need a single or joint account and make sure that the account’s features and fee structure are going to work for you. Check to see whether the bank you’re planning to apply to is FDIC insured – if it is, your money will be protected if the bank goes bust.
It’s also worth checking your credit report to make sure there won’t be any nasty surprises awaiting you at the end of the application process. If you’ve had a history of managing other bank accounts poorly, you may find that you can’t open a new bank account just yet.
To apply for a checking account online, you’ll need to have some documents to hand. The bank may want to see your driving license and other approved identification documents to prove you’re “you” and that you have citizenship. For joint accounts, you’ll need this information for the other account holder too.
If the online account you choose requires you to make a deposit, you’ll also need your debit card details from another bank account so that you can transfer the necessary amount of funds.
Make sure you have a secure internet connection when submitting your application online. Fill in your details where prompted – your personal information, such as your name, mailing address, phone number, date of birth and social security number. Some banks will want to know your employment details and whether you’re subject to backup withholding.
If you’re required to make a deposit into your new online checking account, you’ll be able to transfer the funds across from another bank account as part of the application process. If you don’t have an existing account to do this, you may need to find another way of making the deposit. Some banks may accept a money order or a cash deposit in one of their branches.
You can open an online checking account instantly (if approved), which means you’ll be able to start using your account right away to make deposits and transfers. Once you’ve received your new debit card, you’ll be able to withdraw cash from ATMs. If you’ve had to make an initial deposit, you may have to wait for a few days until the funds have finished processing before using your account.
Traditional checking accounts often come with fees attached, such as a monthly service charge or a minimum balance fee. The benefit that an online checking account can bring, aside from being highly convenient, is that quite often, fewer fees apply.
How is this possible, you might ask? Well, one of the reasons is because online banks can save money by doing away with physical branches. The bottom line – using an online bank could mean that more of your money stays in your pocket!
There are several banks that in fact offer fee-free checking accounts, here are a few you can check out for starters:
- Capital One – their 360 Checking® account has no monthly fees to worry about and you won’t need a deposit to open the account. Apply
- BBVA Compass – they have a ClearChoice Free Checking account with no monthly service charge and no ATM fees at BBVA Compass ATMs. It can be opened with a small deposit of $25. Get started.
- Bank of Internet USA – their Essential Checking account is fee-free and offers the benefit of exclusive cashback rewards. This might not be the best one to try if you have a poor credit history – if your credit is frozen, this bank won’t be able to process your application. Learn more about this account here.
Further reading about online checking accounts can be found in this article: Open checking account online instantly.
An online checking account can not only make your life easier concerning your day-to-day banking, but it could also save you money too. Applying for an account is very straightforward and quick to do, once you’ve chosen the one that’s most suited to your needs and gathered your identification documents together.
* The information presented in this article is correct at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.