Intro: How to Open a Checking Account Online with No Deposit


When your schedule is busy, you don’t want to have to rush to make it your bank’s local branch before closing time. Selecting an online bank is the new way to make managing your money more convenient than ever.

You can open a checking account online in just a few minutes, and, oftentimes, you can even open a bank account online with no deposit.

Online banks make it easier, faster, and significantly more attractive to switch from your traditional brick-and-mortar building onto the Internet. They offer fee-free checking accounts and savings accounts where your balance can accrue interest while you watch. Benefits abound with it comes time to open a bank account online with no deposit.

Can you open a bank account online? We’re going to go through the basics of how to select the right online bank for you and how to open a checking account with an online bank.

how to open a checking account

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Choosing an Online Bank

Can I open a bank account online? If you’re asking yourself this question, it’s time to take a look at what online banks have to offer.

According to recent surveys, 39 percent of people prefer Internet banking to more traditional options. It is a great way to get more access and control over your finances whenever you want to, but you have to be sure that you’ll be comfortable with an Internet bank’s policies long term. Before you decide to make the switch from your current bank to an online bank, you need to consider a few things.

  • Is it FDIC-insured?

If you’re going to open a checking account online, you’ll need to make sure that your funds are going to be secure. Scams are easy to find on the Internet, especially because there are no physical locations for consumers to double-check an institution’s credentials. Don’t take the FDIC symbol on an Internet bank’s website at face value. Check the FDIC’s list of insured banks before making a decision.

In addition to verifying FDIC membership, you will also want to be positive you are on the correct website. Phishing sites will sometimes modify the spelling of a popular site and create a similar interface to trick users into entering their personal information on an unsecure site.

  • Do its services match what you need?

Take inventory of which services you use the most with your current institution. Make note of whether you deposit lots of paper checks, utilize a specific form of overdraft protection, tie your checking accounts and savings accounts together or pay your bills online. These are the items you’ll want to ensure your new bank includes before you start looking at how to open a checking account.

If you make frequent cash or check deposits, find out what the turnaround time is for those funds to become available in your account. Sometimes, checks can be deposited with a mobile app while, other times, they must be mailed in, which significantly lengthens your processing time.

  • How is its customer service?

When there are no physical locations for you to come to with questions, you’ll need to evaluate what other customer service options are available. Many Internet banks offer customer service lines that are open 24 hours a day, but some are only available during business hours or slightly longer. Try to reach a customer service representative to ask a few questions about how to open a bank account online with no deposit to see how long it takes you reach a live person and how satisfied you are with his/her response.

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Checking Account Fees

If you’re already interested in how to open a checking account online for free with no deposit, then it’s safe to assume that you probably don’t want any monthly maintenance fees either. A survey by the American Bankers Association discovered that approximately 45 percent of Americans pay monthly fees for their checking accounts each month, an avoidable waste of money.

According to Forbes, there are several ways that a bank may decide to waive these fees if they weren’t already free. You may be able to waive them if you open a checking account online and register for direct deposit, maintain a minimum balance or opt for paperless statements.

Since you are looking to open a checking account online, you will want to closely examine the options available for ATM access. While some online banks have plenty of fee-free ATMs in your area, others may only allow you to withdraw your funds via cash back at the register when you make another purchase. Urban areas typically have a higher concentration of fee-free ATMs available for online banks, but this is definitely something to consider before you start asking how to open a bank account online.


How to Open a Checking Account Online with No Deposit

open a checking account online

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Before you can open a checking account online, you’ll need to round up a few of your important documents. By this time, you should have already ensured that this bank was FDIC-insured and has a secure website in order to enter your sensitive personal information.

Can you open a bank account online? It doesn’t require much to open checking account online with no deposit. In fact, you’ll need just a handful of items: your Social Security number and a government-issued ID of any kind (driver’s license, state ID card or a United States passport). You will also need basic information, like your date of birth, address, email address, and phone number.

For online banks like Huntington Bank and Ally Bank, this is all the information you will need. While you’re looking to open a checking account online for free with no deposit, you will likely want to add some funds to your account so you can use your account immediately. You will need to provide a way for the funds to transfer as well. At Ally Bank, you have four choices for how to add money to your new account:

  • Online funds transfer
  • A deposit scan
  • Wire transfer from another financial institution
  • Mailing a paper check to the bank

Depending on how quickly you can type, it should take less than 15 minute for you to open a bank account online with no deposit. Since you are interested primarily in how to open a checking account online with no deposit, you are free to skip adding new funds to your account if you would like to.

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Online Checking Accounts with Interest

If you’re already researching how to open a bank account online, you might also want to look into opening a high-yield checking account online to allow your money to work for you. With these checking account options, your money can earn a return without tying up the funds. If the same money was invested in a CD, for example, your money would not be accessible until the CD’s term was up. An interest-bearing checking account allows you to earn a return and still withdraw your money if and when you need to.

Can I open a bank account online, specifically a high-yield checking account? Absolutely, and you might not even need a deposit to do it. Nerd Wallet has compiled a list of online banks that offer the ability to open a bank account online with no deposit and still accrue a great interest rate:

If your goal is to open a bank account online with no deposit, you should take advantage of the best possible option to make sure that your money works best for you. High-yield checking accounts do typically have a few requirements to ensure that you are utilizing their services in order to receive the interest. For example, most will require a specific number of debit card transactions each month or direct deposit into your accounts. You may earn a lower rate on your balance for the month if you cannot meet the minimum requirements.

As your balance grows, you interest rate may grow also. Banks want customers who maintain high balances in their accounts, and they’re willing to pay out more interest in order to maintain customer loyalty. With the accounts above, you can still open a bank account online with no deposit and begin earning interest right away. However, you may earn even more over the long run as you increase the balance and increase your usage of a bank’s debit card programs.

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Online Checking Accounts

There are a multitude of online banks available, not all of which will allow you to open a checking account online with no deposit. Some of the online banks which do allow it include:

This list is by no means exhaustive of all the online bank options available for you to open a bank account online with no deposit. Each bank may have slightly different requirements for how to open a checking account, but the overall process will be very much the same. You will go through a series of screens requesting varying personal information, upload a copy of a driver’s license or other government-issued ID, and be provided the opportunity to add new funds to your account.

According to Nerd Wallet’s 2016 list of the best online bank checking accounts, you may also want to investigate how to open a checking account online for free with no deposit at the Schwab High Yield Investor Checking. You get free ATM withdrawals around the world, no monthly maintenance fees, and no required deposits. You accrue some interest (0.06% APY), but you also get a free brokerage account.

Nerd Wallet’s review is a great starting place to determine what you’re interested in for your checking account, but some banks on this list do require a deposit.



Opening an Online Checking Account: Conclusion

Can you open a bank account online? With the surge in popularity of online banks, you might find yourself wondering this same question. Online banking can simplify your current money management techniques and allow you to open a checking account online with no deposit. They offer attractive programs that can waive monthly maintenance fees and even accrue interest on your balance.

If you’re investigating how to open a bank account online, you’ll want to spend a good bit of time researching the financial institution you are interested in. Only once you’re positive that the bank is legitimate and a good fit for your needs should you move forward to open a checking account online.

The process itself is very simple and user-friendly, requiring only a good Internet connection and a handful of personal documents. Each bank’s application will be slightly different, but with so many similarities, there isn’t a disadvantage to any one particular application process over the other. If you follow this guide on how to open a checking account online, you’ll be moving forward to open a bank account online with no deposit in no time at all!

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