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It turns out that you can open a bank account online with no money. It may seem counterintuitive as banks are used to store money; however, this option opens up many opportunities. Whatever your reasons for opening an account without a deposit, we're going to break it down, so you know all of your options.
Opening an Account Traditionally vs. Modern Options
What do you need to open a bank account? Traditionally, banks have required a minimum deposit because that's how they operate. Banks make money through lending, but they don't lend their own money. Instead, they lend their account-holders money. The banks then earn interest from loans, which allows them to pay a small bit of interest to their customers. These earnings allow banks to pay overhead costs for their brick and mortar locations, among other things.
Without a deposit, even if you intend to make a deposit shortly thereafter, your business has little immediate benefit to traditional banks. Fortunately, the modern era has paved the way for online banks, which have much lower overhead because of their virtual status. This allows online-only banks to be much more flexible with their customer base. See more online banking pros and cons.
How to Open a Bank Account with No Deposit
Online-only banks have most of the same features as traditional banks and often a few extra perks beyond your average brick-and-mortar institution. Opening a bank account takes some research to find your ideal location. First, consider what factors are important to you in your bank.
Factors that vary between institutions include:
• Online transfers
• Mobile banking
• ATM access
• Online bill pay
• Direct deposit
• Debit cards
• Overdraft fees
• Minimum balance requirement
• Automatic savings
• Customer service hours
• Interest rates
• Number of accounts
Once you've determined what features are important to you, opening a bank account online with no money is as simple as applying. You'll choose whether you want a checking account, savings account, or some combination. A checking account will allow you to spend your money freely, while a savings account can be good if you don't intend to access the money frequently. Then, you'll choose your bank.
To apply, you'll need personal information such as your home address, date of birth, social security number or taxpayer ID, driver's license or government-issued ID, phone number, and email address. You'll also need your previous address if you've moved within the last two years. This information is used to confirm your identity.
Banks that Don't Require an Opening Deposit
If you're interested in opening an online account, we've compiled a quick overview of banks without deposit requirements that might be a good fit for you.
Ally Bank is a high-interest option with unique online integrations such as mobile check deposits, money transfers by voice, and automated savings programs. It also boasts no minimum balances and no maintenance fees.
Axos is a 100% online bank and has early mobile deposits and no overdraft fees. The online app is also designed to integrate easily with third-party money apps.
With the Capital One 360 checking account, you get 24/7 customer service support and access to over 70,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide. And while you have to option to bank exclusively online, Capital One also has in-person branches.
Unlike many of the other online banking options, Discover offers a wide variety of banking products beyond a checking or savings account. You can also access Money Market accounts and certificates of deposit. Discover also boasts no fees, including overdraft fees. It's important to note that some vendors do not accept Discover cards.
Monorail is an online-bank dedicated to help you save for your goals. The all-in-one app helps you save for wishlist items, personal goals, and travel while also offering a debit card. Monorail doesn’t charge banking fees or require a deposit. And Monorail even offers human customer support – a feature lacking from many online banks of its type.
State Farm isn't just for insurance—they've partnered with US Bank to offer online checking accounts with no opening deposit. While there are no fees for the first 12 months, State Farm does charge monthly fees after that point if certain qualifications are not met. They also have different packages with varying degrees of service and associated fees.
Varo is another exclusively online bank with early direct deposit and cash back features. You'll also find that Varo has very few fees attached, not even overdraft fees.
Minimum Balance Requirements, if Any
While the banks mentioned above don't require you to have a balance to start, many of them expect you to deposit within 30 days. Otherwise, you run the risk of having your account close. If you don't plan on having income to deposit within a month of opening your account, it might be prudent to wait.
Reading the fine print before you apply will help you determine whether banks will have minimum balance charges. And when in doubt, you can contact the institution directly.
When you're finally ready to deposit money into your new account, you can do so in one of three ways. The first is through mobile deposit, which can be set up with your company. You'll likely need a voided check to do so. You can also deposit a check via mobile deposit by taking a photo or a cash deposit by visiting an in-network ATM. And of course, if you have an existing account, you can link the two and make a transfer. Keep in mind that it can take a few business days to link accounts and another few days for a transfer to be complete.
Yes, You Can Open a Bank Account with No Deposit
No matter the reason, you have many options for online banking that don't require you to make a deposit upon opening an account. Online banking is a great way to bank no matter where you go.
And the last option that may give you the best features and the typical benefits of an online bank, you can look to apps such as Monorail. See how you can save for your financial goals and open a checking account with Monorail spending features.
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