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, here are 10 of the easiest bank accounts to open online.
- Up to $800 bonus
- $25 minimum opening deposit
- Monthly service fee can be waived
- Over 40,000 fee-free ATMs
- $300 sign-up bonus
- Earn 4.60 APY on savings
- Over 55,000 fee-free ATMs
- Get paid up to two days early
- No ATM fees
- Visa debit card, iOS and Android mobile app
- Up to 2% cash back
- $0 monthly fees and $0 overdraft fees
- Build credit and earn points with every swipe
- No minimum opening deposit
- No monthly fees
- Get paid up to 2 days faster
- No credit check or ChexSystems
- $100 bonus after 10 purchases in 60 days
- Free access to over 16,000+ ATMs
- $4.95 monthly service fee
- Get paid up to 2 business days early with early direct deposit
- No monthly service fee
- Free access to over 91,000 ATMs
- 5.25% APY
- No minimum deposit requirement
- No monthly service fees
- 100% reimbursement of ATM fees
- No overdraft fees
- No credit check
- $150 sign up bonus
- Fee-free overdraft up to $250 with no fees
- No fees at over 55,000 ATMs
- Get your paycheck up to 2 days early
- No overdraft fees
- No fees at over 43,000 ATMs
- No monthly maintenance fee
- No minimum deposit requirement
Pros & Cons of Online Bank Accounts
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 when opening a new bank account. This can help you 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 have 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 a bank that offers customer service over the phone.
- Limited cash deposit options: Many banks with online services rely on direct deposits or transfers to fund bank 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.
Factors to Consider When Opening an Online Bank Account
In today’s digital age, opening a bank account online is a breeze. Yet, not all online bank accounts are created equal. While hunting for the easiest bank accounts to open online, it’s essential to look beyond the surface. Here are some vital factors you should evaluate:
Type of Account: Checking or Savings?
When opening an account online, the first question to answer is the type of bank account you need.
- Checking account: Ideal for daily transactions, these accounts offer features like debit card access, online bill pay, and typically, no or low minimum balance requirements. If you frequently use your debit card or need to pay bills directly from your account, this might be your go-to.
- Savings account: A nest for your savings. While not as fluid in transactions as checking accounts, they usually provide better interest rates. If your primary goal is to save and grow your money, consider this option.
Watch Out for Fees
Banks are notorious for charging fees. Here’s what to be vigilant about:
- Overdraft fees: Overdrawing can cost you. Some financial institutions offer protection services, while others might impose hefty fees.
- Monthly fees: Some banks charge monthly fees for account maintenance, but they might waive them if you meet certain conditions like maintaining a minimum balance or setting up a qualifying direct deposit.
- Foreign transaction fees: If you travel often or shop on international sites, these fees can add up. Some online-only banks offer deposit accounts with no foreign transaction fees.
Make sure that any bank you sign up with is FDIC insured. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) insures bank 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.
Minimum Deposit Requirement
This is the initial amount required to open a bank account. Not all banks have this, but some might ask for a nominal amount to set up your new bank account. Make sure you’re comfortable with whatever that amount might be.
Interest Rates: The Higher, the Better
Especially crucial for savings accounts, interest rates determine how much your money grows. Online banks, not bearing the overhead of physical branches, often offer competitive rates compared to traditional banks. Always shop around for the best rates, as even a difference of 0.5% can have a significant impact over time.
Online Services: Seamless Banking Experience
A full service online bank should offer a suite of services that makes your banking experience smooth.
- Mobile and online account management: From checking your balance to setting up direct deposit, ensure that the bank’s online portal and mobile app are user-friendly.
- Mobile deposit: This feature allows you to deposit checks using your smartphone, a boon in today’s fast-paced world.
- Alerts and notifications: For account balance, suspicious activities, or due bills, timely alerts can be lifesavers.
- Customer service: Customer service shouldn’t be compromised just because it’s an online bank. Make sure there’s a robust support system, whether through chat, phone, or email.
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.
We didn’t mention any credit unions on our list above, but there are plenty of credit unions that anyone can join.
Many of them offer free checking accounts with no deposit required and no monthly maintenance fees. In addition, some online banks and credit unions offer instant approval for their accounts, allowing customers to start using their accounts right away.
Is it safe to open a bank account online?
Yes, opening a bank account online is generally safe, especially when done through reputable financial institutions. These institutions invest heavily in encryption and cybersecurity measures to protect customers’ information. However, it’s crucial for users to follow the best security practices, such as using strong, unique passwords and enabling two-factor authentication when available.
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 bank accounts with no 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.
Can I open multiple accounts with different banks online?
Yes, there’s no restriction on the number of bank accounts you can open with different banks, as long as you meet the individual requirements of each financial institution. However, managing multiple accounts might be challenging, so it’s essential to track each one diligently to avoid any potential fees or penalties.
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.