What to look for in an online checking account—and how to open one that fits your needs.
You can plan your day using an online calendar or task manager. You can communicate with friends and family via social media. And you could be managing your money online, too. When you open an online checking account, there is no “open” and “closed” sign, and you never have to wait in line to speak with a teller. You can check your balance, deposit a check, transfer funds or authorize a bill payment from almost anywhere using your smart device of choice.
While banks and credit unions may offer online banking, online banks could offer additional incentives, like higher interest rates or rewards.
BankFind tool to determine which financial institutions offer this protection.
2. Create a profile
Once you’ve decided where you’d like to open an online checking account, you’ll likely need to start by creating an online profile. This isn’t too different from creating any other online account. To help improve your account’s security when opening an online checking account, try to choose a long password that has a mix of letters, numbers and symbols; that you don’t use for other accounts; and that doesn’t rely on personal information such as your birth date. If you already have a relationship with the financial institution through a credit card or loan, you may be able to use your same login information when you open an online checking account.
3. Enter your personal information
Most online banks have a simple application that you’ll need to complete to open an online checking account. You’ll likely need to provide personal and contact information such as:
- Your full name, date of birth and mother’s maiden name
- Your Taxpayer Identification Number (often a Social Security number)
- A U.S. mailing address (not a P.O. box) and possibly a previous address
- Your email address and phone number
4. Pick an account type
If you haven’t already, you might need to choose the checking account type if the financial institution has several options. You may also have to indicate whether this is your account, a joint account, a trust or a Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) account. When an account isn’t solely your own, you may have to provide the personal and contact information for the joint account holder, trustees or custodian.
5. Fund your account
Once you’ve entered all of your information (almost there!), you’ll have to decide how to fund your account, which is an important step when learning how to open an online checking account. If there is a minimum deposit requirement, you’ll need to deposit at least enough money to fulfill the requirement. Generally, it’s easy to fund your new account by transferring money directly from another bank. Alternatively, you can mail a check when you’re opening an online checking account.
Using your new checking account
Once you know how to open a checking account online, you’ll be a few days away from being completely set up. If you order a debit card or checks, they should arrive in the mail shortly. You’ll also be able to create your personal identification number (PIN) so you can use your new debit card. In the meantime, you may be able to use your online account to transfer funds and pay bills online.
Rewards, lack of fees and access to a network of no-fee ATMs are all benefits that could come with your online checking account. Although there may be a few steps required to open an online checking account, working out all of the details doesn’t take too long. And once you’re done, you’ll be all set for easy, convenient, on-the-go banking.
1ATM transactions, the purchase of money orders or other cash equivalents, cash over portions of point-of-sale transactions, Peer-to-Peer (P2P) payments (such as Apple Pay Cash), and loan payments or account funding made with your debit card are not eligible for cash back rewards. In addition, purchases made using third-party payment accounts (services such as Venmo® and PayPal®, who also provide P2P payments) may not be eligible for cash back rewards. Apple, the Apple logo and Apple Pay are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries. Venmo and PayPal are registered trademarks of PayPal, Inc.