Most people think that opening a bank account is quite fast and easy. However, it can get a bit complicated. Take a look at the following steps and learn the best way to do it!
Opening a bank account isn't an easy task. Before you go to the bank and hand them your money you should prepare a few things. Have you already decided which type of account you want? Have you analyzed the fees and conditions involved?
Before you get more confused, take a look at these steps and get prepared to open your bank account.
Learn how to open your bank account
Prior to your visit to the bank, you may want to check your options. Not every bank offers the same conditions and benefits to open an account, so research what are the options you have near your home or work.
The main features you want to make sure you check are: fees, interest rate, conditions, number of branches, and ATMs (locally and nationwide), customer service, and online banking, among others.
Once you've decided on the bank, you should check which kind of account you need. It can be a checking or a savings account. Both of them will allow you to save your money and withdraw it whenever you need to.
Nevertheless, the checking account is mostly used for daily transactions and allows you to have a checkbook and debit card. Whereas, the savings account is used to stack your money and gain interest throughout time.
This means that the more money you have in the account and the longer you leave it there untouched, the more interest you will get.
Once you are all set, it's time to go to the bank! Make sure you take your ID, proof of income, and proof of address. Then, you will be ready to fill out some forms.
After you complete this step, make sure you keep the documents of the account in a safe place. These files usually have sensitive information you don't want to share, so take good care of them!
Top 10 checking accounts
If you want to change your checking account or if you want to open one, you should know that nowadays there are many suitable options available. There are plenty of big banks, small banks, or even online banks offering interesting checking account options, you just need to figure out which one suits you best.
Check out the 10 best checking accounts in the US and analyze which one covers your needs!
Ten best checking accounts in the US
1. HSBC Premier Checking
This is HSBC's premium account and it's a great match to those who can cover the maintenance fee waiver requirements.
It offers priority customer service and doesn't count with a minimum deposit requirement. However, you'll have a $50 monthly maintenance fee.
Although this type of account doesn't yield, as a Premier user you can have access to the HSBC Premier Savings, which is one of the highest-yielding savings accounts of the bank.
2. BBVA Online Checking
This checking account is free and available nationwide, except in Alaska and Hawaii. You will only be required to make a minimum opening deposit of $25 and then you will be all set!
It counts with fee-free ATM use and has great coverage in the country, so it's a great option for those who are looking for a mix of online service and in-person banking benefits.
Besides, this account has plenty of rewards and incentives for its users, such as joining the Simple Cash Back program for free, in which you can earn cashback on purchases at the bank's partners.
Bear in mind that you might be charged a $3 monthly fee for paper statements, but you can avoid this by opting for free electronic statements.
3. Citi High-Yield Checking
This account doesn't have a minimum opening requirement, it reimburses ATM fees and even grants a yield! Besides, it doesn't have monthly fees (as long as you meet the minimum balance requirement) and counts with many online and mobile banking features.
The average balance required per month is $5,000, otherwise, you'll have to cover a $15 monthly maintenance fee.
Regarding yield, it will depend on your balance. It offers 0.20% APY on those up to $9,999; 0.40% on balances between $10,000 and $24,999; and 1.01% to those above $25,000.
4. HSBC Advance Checking
As an affordable alternative to the Premier Account, HSBC Advance Checking offers free checks, a debit card and no minimum balance requirement.
However, you may be charged with a $25 monthly maintenance fee if you don't manage to keep a $5,000 deposit, a recurring deposit from a third party, or an HSBC US residential mortgage loan.
5. Azlo Business Banking
This is a fee-free account that was specially created for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners.
It offers plenty of mobile banking features, like mobile check deposit, granting flexibility to their users. Moreover, it doesn't have transaction limits or minimum requirements, which makes it an ideal option for small businesses.
6. Aspiration Spend & Save
This account has none minimum deposit or balance requirements and, if you upgrade to Aspiration Plus, it offers a yield of up to 1.00% APY on Save account balance.
Regarding rewards and incentives, it grants free ATM withdrawals at 55,000 ATMs in the Allpoint Network. In addition, you can get up to 5% cashback at Conscience Coalition merchants.
7. Simple Checking Account and Protected Goals Account
Simple offers a no maintenance fee checking account with a 0.01% APY yield on your balances.
It counts with many features, like Safe-to-Spend, which allows you to organize your spending, and a spending track that will help you create your budget.
On the other hand, Simple counts with its Protected Goals Account, which is a high-yield checking account that earns 1.40% APY on your balances. This account is ideal to save for long-term goals.
8. Varo Bank Account
This is an online checking account that doesn't have monthly fees or minimum deposit or balance requirements. In addition, if you open a Varo Savings Account you can earn 2.80% APY on balances of up to $10,000.
Regarding fees, it has no minimum balance or monthly fees. In any case, it may charge you a $2,50 fee for withdrawals out of their ATM network.
9. Chime Deposit Account
This account will only charge you fees ($2,50) if you make an over the counter withdrawal, and you can easily avoid this fee as the bank has 38,000 ATMs.
Moreover, it has no minimum deposit and balance requirements.
10. M1 Spend
The digital bank M1 Finance offers this checking account, which is a great option if you are considering an alternative to traditional checking accounts.
As you may have imagined, this account doesn't have a minimum opening deposit or balance requirements.
If you are looking for high-yield accounts, you may want to upgrade de M1 Plus, as you can earn 1.0% APY on all account balances.
Everything your new savings account must have
Even though you can open a new savings account in 5 steps, you need to be informed before doing so; it shouldn't be a decision made at random. If you know what aspects you should focus on and how they can impact your future earnings, you'll be able to thoroughly research which account suits you the most.
One of the most important things that your new account should have is easy access for you. You need to be comfortable transferring money and making deposits. If not, you risk skipping on good deals simply because of the inconvenience of using your account.
Once you find an account whose functionality and features help you access and move your money, you'll be one step closer to having the most profitable one. You should be able to easily transfer money from one account to another, make deposits, and monitor your savings. It's usually helpful to have a mobile app that you can use and ATM access close to you.
Another thing to be aware of is the possible fees. Even though most banks won't charge any management fees, you shouldn't forget to check them, especially if everything else is fantastic. They could be a deal-breaker if you end up spending more money on them than actually saving it.
When it comes to increasing the amount of money you have, the APY is the most important variable. You shouldn’t mistake this for the APR! A higher APY equals a bigger interest rate offered by each account.
Although you should still consider the possible fees and balance all costs, this item is very high on the list of things to consider.
However, for the APY to apply there are usually requirements to be met. If you direct your attention to the terms and conditions of the account that you're considering, you'll be informed of its possible minimum and regular deposit requirements. Since it's pointless to blindly open an account without considering these because you wouldn't get offered your wished APY, you should make sure that you'll be able to meet these minimum deposit amounts.
Even if you already have a savings account, you can still check if you’re making the most of it!