How to Apply for a Checking Account Online

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More and more traditional banks are allowing people to open checking accounts online, rather then have them opened inside a branch or over the phone. Brick and mortar banks such as Citibank and J.P Chase Morgan are using this tactic against banks such as ING Direct and HSBC, trying to make opening an account as easy as possible.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Internet access
  • Brick and mortar bank account
  • Money to open the account (typically around $50 to $100)
  • Select a bank to open an account with. You may choose to open an online account from a traditional brick and mortar bank, or open an account with an Internet-only bank.

  • Using the bank's website, begin the application process. Provide any personal information required, such as name, address, Social Security Number, and email. You will also need to provide information from a brick and mortar bank account you own.

  • Transfer money from the brick and mortar bank account to the online account. The website will usually assist you in performing this task by asking you to link your brick and mortar bank account with the new online bank account.

Tips & Warnings

  • It's important to maintain the brick and mortar bank account, because it's the primary way you will transfer money into the online account. Banks that are online-only may offer features that the brick and mortar banks don't have. Be sure to compare features of the different bank accounts.
  • Make sure your bank is legitimate by checking for FDIC status and online reviews, otherwise you may be giving your identity away to malicious individuals. Online banks do not have branches, so unless your bank has a phone number to call, you may be at the mercy of email or an internet form, should something go wrong. Some brick and mortar banks only allow you to open an account online if you don't live near a branch. Check with the bank to see if this is a problem.
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