Opening a savings account should take less than an hour (sometimes just a few minutes), and the account will serve you for many years to come. The easiest way to open an account is to do it online or with your mobile device. If you prefer in-person guidance, visit a bank branch.
- Compare banks by reviewing interest rates, fees, minimum balance requirements, and other
- If you’re considering credit unions, verify that you’re eligible to join.5 Look for that information online, or call the credit union and ask about opening an account.
- Choose the bank or credit union that meets your needs. Get an account that’s easy to use and that you’ll actually put money into, whether that means the branch is conveniently located or the mobile app makes sense to you. A slightly higher savings rate is not critical unless you’re going to make large deposits.
- Gather the information you need to open an account: government-issued identification (a driver’s license number, military ID, or other ID), your Social Security number, and a mailing address.
- Open an account online or in person by submitting an application.
- Fund the account with an initial deposit if required.
To open an account, at least one account holder needs to be 18 years old or older.6 Specifics vary from bank to bank, so ask customer service for details if you’re opening an account for a minor. Several options are available for saving money for a person younger than 18, so evaluate all of the options.
Talk to the staff at small banks and credit unions if you have significant assets. Ask what they can offer if you bring your deposits to them.
The institution’s president may be just down the hall, and you may get a nice offer on the spot. Consider how long you can lock up your assets and ask what they can offer for a 12- or 36-month commitment.
If you find yourself looking at institutions you’re not familiar with, be sure that they’re FDIC insured, or NCUSIF insured if it’s a credit union.