How to open a checking account
Wednesday, 25 November 2020
Are you thinking of opening a checking account to better manage your income and expenses?
With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting jobs and the economy, it's a good time to make sure you're in control of your finances. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to open a checking account.
One of the most important steps is to decide on the kind of checking account you want. There are lots of different types of accounts, with many different features and benefits.
Checking account features
Things to think about:
- Do you want to manage your account exclusively online, or would you prefer to have access to bank branches?
- How many ATMs are available both nearby and around the country? The more the better so you can easily withdraw cash when you need it.
- What type of fees will incur for ATM withdrawals, statements, account service charges and so on?
- Is the bank's mobile app well-reviewed?
- What, if any, are the account's daily ATM cash withdrawal limits?
- Will you have access to features like overdraft protection, purchase protection, interest on your checking account balance and cash back on purchases made with your debit card?
All of these vary from bank to bank, so do some research before you choose your checking account. And note that if you're a student, in the military, a veteran or a senior, there are sometimes special checking account perks available.
What you need to open a checking account
Once you've decided on the type of checking account you want, it's easy to apply. Here's the information you'll need to have available:
- Your name, date of birth, address and Social Security number
- Your mailing address if it's different from your physical address
- Contact information, such as an email address or phone number
- A form of ID for verification, like a valid passport, driver's license or state ID with a photo
- Confirmation that you're a US citizen or resident, and that you're over 18
Most checking accounts require you to make a minimum deposit to open the account.
It should only take a few minutes to complete an online application for a checking account. Your application is usually processed within a couple of days, and then you'll get your debit card a few days after that. Then you'll be ready to start managing your money with your new checking account.
The content provided is for informational purposes only. Neither BBVA USA, nor any of its affiliates, is providing legal, tax, or investment advice. You should consult your legal, tax, or financial consultant about your personal situation. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BBVA USA or any of its affiliates.
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