Whether you want to open your first bank account or switch to a new one, it can be a daunting process. You may be wondering “How long does it take to open a bank account?” Or, “What do I need to open a bank account?” You may also feel unsure about the next steps.
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Here’s the good news: it’s not difficult to open a new bank account. If you want to open up a free checking account, there are multiple options out there, including Chime. Chime is a no-fee account that makes managing your money a breeze — all from the comfort of your smartphone.
If you’re ready to open an online checking account and get started with online banking, you can set your worries aside as signing up for Chime takes less than two minutes. The best part? It’s completely free. Here’s what you need to do:
Open a Free Checking Account with Chime
Step 1: Open an Account Online for Free
One of the best parts about banking with Chime is that signing up is free and takes less than 2 minutes. No waiting in line. No annoying forms or paperwork. Just follow a few simple steps and you will be on your way to a better banking experience.
When opening an account with Chime, you’ll need to provide a few bits of personal information. You might wonder why you have to hand over some personal information, but don’t worry, it’s legit. In fact, federal law requires financial institutions to ask for personal information and verify your identity to help minimize money laundering and terrorism.
To start, you’ll provide your first and last name, email and a password so you can create a Chime account. Once you provide your information, Chime will confirm your eligibility, and voila, you’re a new Chime member (which is actually pretty fun and cool).
Step 2: Download the Chime app
Chime is a mobile-only bank that you can access via your smartphone. So, to get started, you can go to chimebank.com or go to the Google Play Store or Apple store to download the app for iPhone or Android.
In order to qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen and 18 years of age. Using Chime, you can sign-up for a Spending Account as well as an Automatic Savings Account. Your Spending Account can be used to deposit your money, manage your transactions and view your balance. Your Automatic Savings Account can be used to save for a rainy day, your next vacay or your future goals.
With Chime, you can save effortlessly. How? Chime rounds up all your purchases to the nearest dollar and puts the spare change into your savings. On top of that, you can opt to save 10 percent of each paycheck using Chime.
Step 3: Deposit money into your Chime account
Once your Chime account is open, it’s time to deposit your hard-earned money. You can easily set up direct deposit by providing your employer with the Chime routing number as well as your personal Spending Account number. You can find this information under Settings as well as the Move Money section.
If you’re switching bank accounts and starting fresh with Chime, you can make a transfer from your old bank account to your new Chime Spending Account. You can facilitate this with your old bank by providing the Chime routing number and your Spending Account number, and then making a transfer.
Step 4: Manage your money easily with the Chime mobile app
When you have money in your account, you can start to manage your transactions, view your balance, and stay on top of your finances (without all the typical bank fees). Aside from the mobile banking app, you will also have access to a Chime Visa Debit Card when you open a free checking account with Chime — aka your Spending Account.
On top of that, you can take advantage of your free checking account and forget about worrying about annoying fees. Chime has no overdraft fees, no monthly maintenance fees or minimums, and no foreign transaction fees. You’ll also get access to 30,000 fee-free ATM locations, so when you need to get cash you aren’t pinged with another unnecessary fee.
Just think: using the Chime account and mobile app, you get a free checking account and zero fees. Plus, you can effortlessly manage your money on-the-go and save without even thinking about it.
If you are considering other banking options:
Step 1: be sure to do your research:
Before opening a bank account, you’ll want to research all of your options. Luckily for you, there are a lot of bank accounts to choose from. The bad news? There are a lot of bank accounts to choose from. It can be overwhelming to choose a bank account, so here are some guidelines to follow.
- Decide if you want a checking or savings account, or both. A checking account allows you to pay bills, use a debit card, set up direct deposit, and write checks. A savings account, on the other hand, can be used to stash away funds for a rainy day or save up for a goal. Typically, opting for a checking and savings account is your best bet.
- Find the fees. Unfortunately, many bank accounts have fees associated with them such as monthly maintenance and overdraft fees. Before opening a bank account, you’ll want to be clear on any fees you might be responsible for before getting hit with an unexpected expense. To start, look for a free checking account, such as the one offered with no hidden fees.
- Access. A bank account is only as good as your access to it. If it’s difficult to access your checking account or bank account, you’ll be in for a frustrating experience. Instead, check to see if your bank offers online banking, and if there are branches in your area. If you go with a mobile-only bank, make sure that there are fee-free ATMs in your area. Also, research whether you can conduct online banking through the bank’s mobile app. This way you can access your bank account from anywhere.
- Interest. What if you could make money on top of the money you already have in your checking account and savings account? When you earn interest, you can do this. Look for a bank account that earns interest and specifically look for a high-interest savings account.
- Features. Before opening a bank account, check out the various features that banks offer.
Step 2: Gather your information and documentation
Opening a bank account is a big step in your financial life. But it does require a bit of paperwork, either in-person or online. To be prepared, gather your information and documentation ahead of time. You still may be wondering “What do I need to open a bank account?” You will need a government-issued I.D. such as a driver’s license or a passport. You’ll also need to provide personal details when opening a bank account, such as your full name, address, phone number, email and social security number.
Step 3: Open an account
When you’ve chosen a checking account and gathered your paperwork, it’s time to submit your application and open an account.
You can typically submit an application online or in-person when opening a bank account. Once you’re approved, you will need to make a deposit to fund your account. For easy access to your bank account, make sure you sign-up for online banking. Being able to bank online can make your life easier, allowing you to keep tabs on your finances 24/7.
Once everything is ready to go, you can start using your checking account to set up direct deposit at your work or begin auto-pay for certain bills. You’ll want to manage your checking account consistently, so it’s a good idea to sign-up for email or text alerts from your bank. This way, you’re in the know with what’s happening and can stay on top of your hard-earned money.
Opening a bank account doesn’t have to be tough. If you’re ready to make the switch or open your first bank account, opening a bank account with Chime is easy. Follow these 4 steps to get started within minutes and begin to manage your money easily from your smartphone – all while avoiding pesky fees.