A bank account is a special arrangement between you and your bank of choice to deposit and use money. There are two major categories of bank accounts. These include savings and checking accounts. You can decide which type of bank account depending on your personal preferences. Opening a bank account can either be online or at a physical branch. You can get an online bank account with an instant virtual debit card.
An online bank account allows you to manage your account online using a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Opening an online bank account is straightforward since you only need to enter the required details with a few taps on your device or a few clicks on your computer. You also need to upload the required documents in the correct format as per your bank’s requirements.
When opening a bank account online, you must use a secure internet connection. This can be a private WiFi or cellular internet connection from your service provider. You have to use a secure internet connection to make sure that your information is safe. Insecure internet connections expose you to hackers and malicious software that can steal your data. That way, you may end up losing your money when you deposit.
How to open a bank account online
Opening a bank account online is the easiest thing you can ever do. You first need to gather all the required information before applying for your account. You require the following kinds of information.
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- An identification document which can be your government identity card, driver’s license, or passport
- Phone number
- Physical address
- Email address
The Social Security Number (SSN) helps to track your tax payment. Also, together with the identification document, they help ensure that criminals do not get access to bank accounts. These include people like terrorists, human traffickers, and money launderers.
The phone number is vital to help your bank to communicate with you in case of any need. Your email address will also serve the same purpose. You can also receive your monthly statements at your email address, where you can download them on your device.
Moreover, the physical address is necessary because you can receive your debit or credit cards from your bank, as well as your paper statements. Once you have all the requirements, you can visit your bank’s website and start your application. Some banks prefer that you download their banking app and apply from there.
Whichever the case, you will eventually get to open a bank account. Some banks do not even bother to check your banking history from ChexSystems, and thus you can get an online checking account with no ChexSystems nor opening deposit.
When filling out your bank account information, you have to enter your information in the space provided, then hit submit for verification. You will need to choose the most appropriate password or PIN for your account in the application process. The password is important to secure your account so that no one else can access it.
After you have finished applying for the account, your bank will communicate with you through your email address to tell you whether you succeeded in opening the account or not. If your application is approved, then you can start using your account.
What are the factors to check when opening a bank account?
You should consider various factors when opening a bank account to ensure that you get the most appropriate bank account ever. They include the following.
i) Monthly fees
Some banks have monthly fees for your account. That way, they can make money while other banks do not charge any monthly fees. If you are lucky to get a bank account that does not charge monthly fees, the better. However, some banks may not charge monthly fees but may charge you heavily when you transact. Therefore, it is good to weigh between the two.
ii) Annual fees
Annual fees are amounts of money that banks charge you after the end of every year. Such amounts are usually high, and it is good to open a bank account that does not charge annual fees.
iii) Inactivity fee
If your account stays dormant for some time, then some banks charge inactivity fees. However, some banks do not charge such fees, and you can resume using your account at any given time.
iv) Opening deposit
Some banks require you to deposit some amounts of money when opening a bank account. Others allow you to open an account and deposit later. The deposit amount is still yours, and you will be able to access it later. However, if you do not have enough money to deposit in your account, opening an account that requires a deposit can prove challenging.
You can therefore opt for a bank account that does not need any opening deposit. You might be opening a bank account to receive your salary. Therefore, there is no need for an opening deposit whatsoever. Most banks that offer second chance accounts charge an opening deposit. However, it is possible to get a second chance of checking with no opening deposit.
v) Interest rates
Once you open a bank account, there is no doubt that you will borrow loans. Therefore, it is vital to open an account with a bank account that does not charge much interest on their loans.
Which are the main types of banks?
There are two major categories of bank accounts. They include Checking and savings accounts.
a) Checking accounts
These are the types of accounts that allow you to access your money any time of the day. You keep your money to use for your daily spending needs, such as purchasing goods and services. A checking account has a debit card that you can use to access your money via an ATM point.
v) Saving accounts
Every bank offers a savings account where you can keep your money to use at a later date. Savings accounts help you earn some interest on your saved money to withdraw at a specific date with some profits on top. Most banks do not issue debit cards on savings accounts since such accounts are meant to help you save. If you have to withdraw, banks usually put a lot of restrictions.
The 10 best online bank accounts with instant virtual debit cards
There are numerous bank accounts that you can open and get an instant debit card to start enjoying accessing money in your account. You can quickly get an online bank account with an instant debit card that you can receive at your physical address and activate as per the given guidelines. The following are the bank accounts you can open online and get an instant debit card. Have a look.
1) Capital One 360 Checking
The Capital One 360 Checking bank account charges a $0 monthly fee when you open an account. Furthermore, you can get 0.10% APY with a $0 minimum balance. Unfortunately, you will not get any bonus when you open the account. The bank is FDIC insured, meaning that your money will be safe even when the bank collapses. You will have access to your funds via the bank’s app that is easy to use. You can also access the bank’s ATMs for free.
2) Axos Bank® Rewards Checking
When you open the Axos Bank® Rewards Checking account, you will be able to get a 1.00% APY with a $0 minimum balance. The bank account has $0 monthly fees. There are no overdraft fees either. Nerdwallet gives the bank account five stars, and you can be sure it will serve you right. The bank is an FDIC member, and your money is safe. You will also get unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements.
3) Varo Bank Account
Varo Bank Account is one of the best online banks that you can use for your day-to-day transaction activities. It has no hidden fees like some banks will to mince money from you. The bank charges $0 monthly fees, and thus you will be able to save big. Unfortunately, the account has no APY on its checking account. Again, the Varo Bank Account does not give you a bonus when you open an account with them.
4) Discover Bank Cashback Debit
Discover Bank Cashback Debit has five stars from Nerdwallet due to its overwhelming features. It does not charge monthly fees, and you will be able to save a substantial amount of money. There is no bonus when you open an account with the bank.
However, you will enjoy other features that the bank will give you. Interestingly, you will be able to earn cash-back rewards when you use the card for various kinds of transactions. You can get 1% cash-back on up to $3,000 on the debit card.
5) nbkc bank Everything Account
The bank account gives you a 0.15% APY with a $0 minimum balance on your funds, and you can earn substantial amounts of money, especially when you deposit large amounts of money. Furthermore, the nbkc bank account charges $0 monthly fees. The account does not offer an account opening bonus. You will be able to deposit checks as well as transact online.
6) Ally Bank Interest Checking Account
Ally Bank Interest Checking Account is another checking account that will give you a debit card when you open an account. It has 0.10% APY with a $0 minimum balance. Also, the bank account does not charge any monthly fees. Again, you will not get any bonus when opening your account. However, you can enjoy other features that come with the account.
7) Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking
The Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking account comes with a 0.20% APY with a $100 minimum balance. It charges no monthly fee and has no opening bonus. You can be sure to get a debit card that you can use for various kinds of transactions.
8) Nationwide Interest Checking
The account comes with 0.10% APY with a $0 minimum balance. It does not charge monthly fees, and you will be able to save significant amounts of money. The Nationwide Interest Checking account charges no monthly fees at all. Unfortunately, Nationwide Interest Checking has no opening bonus.
9) TIAA Bank Yield Pledge® Checking
TIAA Bank Yield Pledge® Checking is one of the best bank accounts you can ever have that gives you a debit card when you open an account. It has no opening deposit, and you can enjoy more features that come with the TIAA Bank Yield Pledge® Checking bank. The bank account has 0.10% APY with a $100 minimum balance. Unfortunately, the account has no opening bonus.
10) USAA Bank Classic Checking
The bank has an APY of 0.01% with a $1,000 minimum balance. It does not have any monthly fees. Unfortunately, the USAA Bank Classic Checking account does not offer any opening bonus.
How do I use a bank account?
A bank account is advantageous in many ways. There are various ways you can use a bank account. They include the following.
1. Send money
A bank account helps you to send money to other accounts of the same bank or a different bank. When sending money to an account of the same bank, you require only the recipient’s account number. However, when sending money to a different bank account, you need the account and the routing number of the receiving account.
2. Buy goods and services.
You can pay for your bills online using a checking account. Moreover, you can purchase items from online stores.
3. Receive payments
You can get a free checking account with no credit check nor deposit which you can use to receive payments from your employer or a government agency. All you need to do is to set up a direct deposit, and you are good to go.
4. Save money
When you open a savings account, you can easily keep the money for future use. You can earn APYs on savings accounts. Some checking accounts also allow you to earn interest when you maintain a particular balance.
A bank account is a special arrangement between you and your bank to deposit and use money. You can either open a checking or a savings account. A checking account allows you to access your money 24/7 and comes with a debit card. It is easy to open a bank account online with your phone or computer. All major banks in the US are FDIC insured.