The process of opening a Saving Bank Account:
1. Choose how to apply. Depending on the institution, you could apply online, by phone or in person. If you apply online, the process will probably take 10 to 20 minutes.
2. Gather your identification. For the application, you will likely need to provide your Social Security number and information from a government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport number.
3. Provide contact details. Along with your ID number, expect to enter your contact information, including your first and last name, address — typically, you must be based in the United States — and phone number. You may also be asked for information including your email address and date of birth.
4. Select a single or joint account. Let the institution know if you will be opening the account by yourself or with someone else. You’ll need the information from the previous steps for anyone else whose name will be on the account.
5. Accept the terms and conditions. This is where the bank asks you to confirm that you read disclosure documentation describing fees, liabilities and how interest is calculated. Ideally, you have selected an account that earns high rates and has no or low monthly service charges. This is your chance to double-check. (You can see NerdWallet’s list of accounts with the best savings rates to compare).
6. Choose your deposit amount. If you’re opening an account online or on the phone, you can transfer funds by providing the routing and account number from an existing bank account. If you’re opening an account in person, you can present a check to the bank teller. Some institutions will also let you mail a check or schedule a wire transfer. Many banks require a minimum initial deposit, often from $25 to $100, but others have no minimum deposit requirement. Even if you don’t have to fund your account when you first open it, you’re better off depositing money sooner rather than later. That way, you’ll be able to start earning interest sooner.
7. Submit your application. You’ll likely get an acknowledgment within minutes when you apply online, but it may take between two and five business days for the bank to verify your information and officially open the account. Once your account is open, you can set up direct deposit and schedule automatic transfers from checking to savings. Making regular savings deposits can help you build your bank balance with little extra effort.