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Opening a bank account online has never been easier than it is today. However, with so many banks, credit unions, and financial institutions offering financial services online, choosing the right one can be quite a challenge.
For most of us, convenience and simplicity are high priorities when it comes to banking online. If you’re trying to figure out which online bank account is best, and which are the easiest banks to join, you’re in the right place.
10 Easiest Bank Accounts to Open Online
Whether you’re looking for a new checking account, savings account, reliable mobile banking, or simply to avoid monthly maintenance fees, the options we’ve analyzed below are sure to satisfy your needs.
Chime is a financial technology company which partners with The Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank to provide banking services to their customers.
Chime is one of the leaders in online banking because it’s easy to sign up and they don’t charge a monthly maintenance fee. Additionally, they offer a fantastic secured credit card that can help to build your credit score.
Signing up for a Chime checking account is as easy as getting online and entering your basic details – name, email, and Social Security Number.
You don’t need to worry about credit checks, a minimum deposit, minimum balances, or even foreign transaction fees with Chime.
They also offer other fantastic products and services, which is why many people consider Chime as the best checking account available online.
If you reside in one of the 26 eligible states, you can easily open a U.S. Bank Smartly™ Checking account within five minutes by making an initial deposit of $25.
You are qualified to apply if you live in any of these states: AR, AZ, CA, CO, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NM, NV, OH, OR, SD, TN, UT, WA, WI, or WY.
By opening a Bank Smartly™ Checking account before April 11, 2023, and completing qualifying activities, you have the potential to earn up to $600.
This checking account comes with several advantages, such as a free debit card that can be easily locked or unlocked if lost or stolen.
Additionally, you can make transactions without fees at any US Bank ATM or any of the 40,000 ATMs within the MoneyPass Network.
To open the account, you only need a minimum deposit of $25, and there’s a monthly service charge of $6.95. However, you can avoid the monthly fee by either keeping a balance of at least $1,500 or receiving a minimum of $1,000 in monthly direct deposits.
Get paid up to 2 business days early with early direct deposit
Chase Bank has been a prominent player in the U.S. banking industry for years, and now offers a secure and convenient option with Chase Secure Banking. This account boasts several benefits, including no credit checks, no ChexSystems, and no overdraft fees.
For maximum convenience, the account also provides access to over 16,000 ATMs, online bill payment, and even complimentary money orders and cashier’s checks.
Chase’s extensive network of branches, with 4,700 locations across the country, is a major plus for those who prefer in-person banking.
New account holders can also enjoy a $100 cash bonus for simply making ten purchases with their debit card within 60 days of opening the account.
Getting started with Chase Secure Banking is quick and straightforward, with instant approval and a speedy delivery of your debit card.
While there is a small monthly fee of $4.95, there is no minimum deposit required.
UFB Direct, a division of Axos Bank, offers consumers high-yield money market and savings accounts. By eliminating the need for physical locations, UFB Direct can offer more competitive interest rates.
You don’t have to concern yourself with account minimums or monthly fees. Additionally, all balances earn the same interest rate, meaning you don’t have to maintain a specific amount to receive the highest rate.
The savings account includes a debit card, and you can withdraw funds without any fees at over 91,000 ATM locations.
You can also transfer funds between your accounts without incurring any fees. The UFB Direct app is also available, enabling you to manage your money on the go.
Current claims that you can open an account online in less than two minutes, which might be a record.
In any case, this forward-focused fintech offers a bank account that is geared towards cashback rewards, quick peer-to-peer transfers and even an earlier payday with monthly direct deposits.
You won’t pay a monthly fee with a Current account, and you can get paid up to 2 days faster with direct deposit.
One interesting aspect of a Current account is their Savings Pods. You can earn up to 4.00% APY on your savings (up to $6,000). This makes Current a potential option for those looking to earn on their savings and benefit from a no-fuss digital checking account.
Axos Bank is an online bank that offers several types of checking accounts for new customers. These include Rewards Checking, CashBack Checking and a more straightforward “Essential” Checking account.
There are also a range of savings and investing accounts available from Axos.
Axos is also low on fees, like most internet banks. They also offer unlimited reimbursements for ATM withdrawals, which is pretty rare. There is no minimum balance requirement and you can earn up to 3.30% APY once you meet the criteria for rewards.
Axos Bank sign up takes around fifteen minutes. It’s a little longer than most of the other banks on this list, but still relatively quick and easy compared to a traditional bank.
Learn more about Axos Bank by reading our comprehensive review.
Albert is an online fintech banking platform that allows users to open an account without any minimum deposit requirement. There’s also no credit check.
When you open a new cash account and set up direct deposits with Albert, you can earn a $150 bonus.
Additionally, users receive a free Mastercard debit card with cashback rewards and have access to the “Ask a Genius” feature on the Albert app, which is available 24/7 for any personal finance related questions.
With Albert, you can also get your paycheck up to 2 days sooner by setting up direct deposit and have access to 55,000+ ATMs for fee-free cash withdrawals as a Genius subscriber.
Furthermore, there are no minimum balance requirements and no monthly maintenance fees. All funds are insured up to $250,000 through federally backed FDIC protection.
Upgrade is another financial technology company, offering financial services in conjunction with Sutton Bank.
Upgrade’s products include a no-fee checking account with generous cashback rewards, along with multiple cards and even personal loans.
You can open an account online with Upgrade in a matter of minutes. With no-fees and up to 2% cashback on debit card purchases, their Rewards Checking Account is an attractive choice for those who don’t need any other frills.
Ally, which is part of Ally Financial Inc, is an online-only bank. Ally offers a high interest checking account with no monthly fee. Account holders also get free access to over 43,000 ATMs nationwide.
Like most digital banks, signing up takes just a few minutes and basic information such as your contact information, address, and Social Security Number.
The checking account offers a 0.25% APY. This is a better interest rate than some savings accounts with traditional banks.
While Ally does not support cash deposits, there are several other convenient ways to fund your account, such as wire transfer and mobile deposit.
There’s also no balance requirements or minimum opening deposit. Ally will also reimburse you up to $10 per statement cycle for any fees you’re charged using an out-of-network ATM in the U.S.
Online banking provides many features that attract consumers. But, it’s important to have a clear idea of both the pros and cons of online banking in general. This can help you to understand what online banks can do for you, and also find out which features are most essential to meet your financial needs.
Access 24/7: Online and mobile banking is always accessible. You can check your balance, transfer money, and use other banking services at any time. This might sound obvious, but in comparison to brick and mortar banks with business opening hours, it’s pretty convenient. Your access may be restricted if your mobile banking app undergoes maintenance from time to time. However, you’ll still be able to spend your money and use your card.
Low fees: Many online-only banks offer significantly reduced banking fees in comparison to traditional banks. With an online checking account, you can save on overdraft penalties, monthly maintenance fees, and even ATM fees. That means you can automatically make savings just by finding a bank or credit union to join online.
Savings, bonuses & rewards: Online banks are generally focused on offering checking accounts. However, it is possible to find and benefit from a high annual percentage yield APY with an online savings account. There are also some great bonuses, as well as products such as a cashback rewards checking account on the market.
Non-traditional customer service: Banking online means that you won’t have face-to-face customer support as you would at a traditional brick and mortar bank. You can still get great customer service online. But, many people like to have the option of dealing with any issues in-person. If that’s you, then you’ll probably want to look for an online banking provider that offers customer service over the phone.
Limited cash deposit options: Many banks with online services rely on direct deposits or transfers to fund accounts, with cash deposits somewhat left behind. You can usually deposit cash in specific network ATMs, use mobile check deposit, or route it via a traditional bank account or third party.
Less comprehensive banking: With many bank accounts online, there tends to be a focus on one kind of account or product, meaning you may not have all of your banking needs met. Compared to traditional banks, an online account will tend to be less comprehensive in terms of the services available to you.
What to Look for in an Online Bank Account
Before you open an online account, there are a few key elements to look for. Let’s run through the most important features that all the best checking accounts offer:
Security: Make sure that any bank you sign up with is FDIC insured. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) helps insure the accounts of legitimate financial institutions (checking, savings, money market accounts and CDs) against bank failure. They protect you for up to $250,000. Also consider things like two-factor authentication, and any other security features.
Fees: Most online-only banks and credit unions can waive the traditional fees for checking accounts, including overdraft and maintenance fees. Pay attention to the small print, however, because sometimes there can be hidden fees.
Customer Service: Get clear on the options available to you for customer service. Take note of the operating hours and also the channels, such as phone, email, and text chat.
Additional Products & Services: There are plenty of banks online that offer no-frills checking accounts. However, if you’re interested in other financial products such as loans, credit cards, and high interest savings accounts, then it’s worth shopping around to find the best fit for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the easiest bank account to open?
When it comes to finding the easiest bank account to open, online banks and credit unions often come to mind. These financial institutions typically have simple and straightforward account opening processes that can be completed entirely online.
Many of them offer free checking accounts with no minimum deposit requirements and no monthly maintenance fees. Additionally, some online banks and credit unions offer instant approval for their accounts, allowing customers to start using their accounts right away.
What bank account can I open online without a deposit?
None of the banks above require an initial deposit. There are also more traditional banks offering online accounts without a deposit, such as Capital One and Discover Bank.
Can you open a bank account online with poor credit?
Yes. There are numerous banks and credit unions that don’t use ChexSystems or perform a credit check to evaluate account applications. This can be particularly advantageous for people who have a negative banking history or issues with overdrafts or bounced checks in the past.
Which banks have no minimum balance requirements?
Most of the banks listed above have no minimum balance requirements. You’ll also find that the majority of online-only banks don’t require a minimum balance to maintain your account.
Can you deposit cash with an online bank account?
The vast majority of online banks allow you to make cash deposits either via network ATMs, direct deposit from a traditional bank account, or via other means such as mobile check deposits.
There are a lot of great bank accounts online, as well as some competitive savings and rewards bank accounts. No matter what your money needs are, all the banks we’ve looked at here make it really easy to sign up and get started with your new account right away.
Steven Brennan is a freelance writer specializing in finance and cryptocurrency. He has an MA in Literature from Maynooth University in Ireland, and lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and young daughter.