10 Easiest Bank Accounts to Open Online

Banking

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.

1. U.S. Bank

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  • Up to $800 bonus
  • $25 minimum opening deposit
  • Monthly service fee can be waived
  • Over 40,000 fee-free ATMs

U.S. Bank is currently welcoming new applicants in 26 U.S. states with a special online offering:

  • Earn up to $800 when you open a new U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking account and a Standard Savings account and complete qualifying activities. Subject to certain terms and limitations. Offer valid through March 12, 2024. Member FDIC.
  • Offer may not be available if you live outside of the U.S. Bank footprint or are not an existing client of U.S. Bank or State Farm.

The account includes a free debit card that can be locked or unlocked if ever misplaced or stolen. There are no ATM transaction fees at U.S. Bank ATMs and no surcharge fees at over 40,000 MoneyPass® Network ATMs.

The checking account requires a $25 opening deposit and a $6.95 monthly fee. This fee can be waived for those 24 and under, 65 and over, or military members (must self-disclose).

Additionally, the fee can be waived with monthly deposits of $1,000+, an average balance of $1,500+, or holding an eligible U.S. Bank credit card. Qualifying for any Smart Rewards® tier (Primary, Plus, Premium, or Pinnacle) also waives the fee.

2. SoFi

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  • $300 sign-up bonus
  • Earn 4.60 APY on savings
  • Over 55,000 fee-free ATMs
  • Get paid up to two days early

The SoFi Checking & Savings account shines as a top digital banking solution, elegantly merging checking and high-yield savings. Free from the confines of minimum balances, monthly fees, and overdraft charges, SoFi also dangles a potential bonus of up to $300 with qualifying direct deposits.

You can earn 4.60% APY on savings and 0.50% APY on checking accounts. And for peace of mind, deposits are FDIC-protected up to $2 million.

Accessibility is a breeze with over 55,000 Allpoint® Network ATMs worldwide, ensuring cash withdrawals without extra fees. Additionally, direct deposit users might glimpse their paycheck up to 2 days earlier.

Not only is it one of the easiest bank accounts to open, but the SoFi debit card also lets you earn up to 15% cash back at select local businesses.

3. Chime

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  • No minimum opening deposit or monthly service fee
  • Over 60,000+ fee-free1 ATMs
  • Get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposit2
  • No credit check or ChexSystems

Chime is not a bank, but a financial technology company that 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 there’s no monthly maintenance fee. Additionally, they provide a secured credit card that can help you 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, such as up to $200 in overdraft protection, which is why many people consider Chime as the best checking account available online.

Check out our full Chime review to learn more.

4. Upgrade

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  • No ATM fees
  • Visa debit card, iOS and Android mobile app
  • Up to 2% cash back
  • $0 monthly fees and $0 overdraft fees

Upgrade is another financial technology company, offering financial services in conjunction with Cross River 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. Customers who set up monthly direct deposits of $1,000 or more can earn up to 2% cashback on debit card purchases.

By also signing up for the Performance Savings account, users can earn an impressive up to 5.07% annual percentage yield (APY).

5. Current

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  • 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

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 money transfers and even an option to get your paycheck earlier with monthly direct deposits.

With Current, your path to building credit is as simple as using your debit card for everyday transactions. No need for loans or credit checks.

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.

Check out our full review of Current to learn more.

6. Chase

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  • $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

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 bank account comes with many advantages, including no review of your banking or credit history, no ChexSystems, and no overdraft fees.

For maximum convenience, the account also provides access to over 16,000 ATMs, bill pay, and even free 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 debit card purchases 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.

7. UFB Direct

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  • No monthly service fee
  • Free access to over 91,000 ATMs
  • 5.25% APY
  • No minimum deposit requirement

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.

The UFB Preferred Savings Account offers an impressive APY of 5.25%.

You don’t have to concern yourself with account minimums or monthly fees. In addition, 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 deposit accounts without incurring any fees. The UFB Direct app is also available, enabling you to manage your money on the go.

8. Axos Bank

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  • No monthly service fees
  • 100% reimbursement of ATM fees
  • No overdraft fees
  • No credit check

Axos Bank is an online-only bank that offers several types of online 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 issue 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.

9. Albert

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  • $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

Albert is an online 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.

Users also 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 paid up to two days sooner by setting up monthly 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 fees. All funds are insured up to $250,000 through federally backed FDIC protection.

10. Ally

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  • No overdraft fees
  • No fees at over 43,000 ATMs
  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • No minimum deposit requirement

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 online 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.

You can check out our Ally Bank Review for more information.

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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.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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.

Security

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.

Bottom Line

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
Meet the author

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.