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How To Open a Checking Account Online

Discover the simple steps for opening a checking account online, and explore expert tips so you can find the best checking account for you. Get started today! 

Opening a checking account is a great first step in securing your financial future. Checking accounts provide you with a safe place to store your hard-earned money while still having quick access to it through a variety of means. You can shop online, make in-store purchases, pull cash from an ATM, or visit with a teller at your local financial institution. You have lots of options. Opening a checking account is typically easy too. Stop in and open your account in person or open a checking account online from anywhere. Interested in learning more? 

The financial experts at Capital Credit Union list below the steps for opening a checking account online and provide some tips to use when looking for the best checking account for you. 

Do You Prefer Online or In-Person Banking? 

Your first decision to make before you open your checking account is deciding if you prefer online banking or in-person banking. There are great checking account options for both banking types, and many financial institutions offer both the convenience of online banking and multiple branch locations if you prefer a face-to-face experience. Your comfort level when it comes to technology can help you decide which option suits your needs best when you’re ready to open a checking account. 

A Step-by-Step Guide: How To Open a Checking Account Online or In Person 

Whether you’ve decided to open your checking account online or in person, follow the steps below to make it go as smoothly as possible. Opening a checking account can be a quick and easy process when you prepare ahead of time. 

Step 1: Gather All of Your Documentation 

The first thing you’ll need to do is gather any necessary documentation. This step applies to both online and in-person applications. Don’t head over to your credit union or bank without the proper paperwork in hand. 

Each financial institution has its own requirements as to which documents will be needed to complete the account opening process, but many have similar documentation requirements. Most likely, you will need some form of official identification, such as a government-issued photo ID or driver’s license, Social Security card or an individual taxpayer identification card, passport, or birth certificate. You will also need proof of your home address, which can be in the form of your lease agreement, mortgage deed, utility bill, or a recent credit card statement. Having these at hand before you log on to complete your checking account application will save you some time later. 

Step 2: Fill Out Your Application 

Once you have all your official documents ready to go, go to your banking website and look for an “Open an account” or “Get started” button or link. The Capital Credit Union button says, “Open My Checking.” This should lead you right to their online application form where you can begin inputting your information and start the process to open your new checking account from anywhere with an internet connection. 

If you prefer to go into a branch and work face-to-face with a teller, look for an option to make an appointment or just walk into your local branch and let the teller know you’d like to open a new checking account. 

Step 3: Make Your Opening Deposit 

Once you have completed your application and you are approved, you can make your opening deposit by transferring money from another bank account or paying by check. If you are going into a branch to open your account in person, you may be able to transfer funds using your debit card or use cash to make your initial deposit in your new checking account. 

And that’s it! Your new checking account should be set up and ready for use. Congratulations! 

Tips for Choosing the Best Checking Account 

Opening a checking account is easy, but before you apply for just any old checking account, it’s smart to do a little research and find an account that meets your needs. Here are a few things to consider: 

Choose a Checking Account at a Financial Institution That Is Insured 

One of the greatest features of having your money safely stored in a credit union or bank is that your funds are insured. Credit unions like Capital CU are insured by the NCUA, while banks are typically insured by the FDIC. Insurance means that if your institution fails, you will be reimbursed for any money you lose, up to $250,000 per individual account or $500,000 per joint account. 

Review the Schedule of Fees 

It’s important to review the schedule of fees for any checking account you’re considering. There are many free checking account options, particularly if you work with a credit union, but some checking accounts have a list of fees they may charge, such as overdraft fees, non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees, fees for too many (or too few) transactions, minimum balance fees, and so on. These costs can often be avoided if you review the fees and manage your funds accordingly, but that involves knowing they exist. 

What Is the Minimum Required Deposit Amount? 

We mentioned this above. Many checking accounts require you to keep a minimum dollar amount each month to avoid a monthly fee. It is always a good idea to inquire what the monthly minimum required balance is to ensure you can comfortably keep those funds in your account at all times to avoid paying a monthly fee. If you have any doubts, opt for a checking account without a minimum balance requirement. 

Do They Offer Earned Interest and/or Rewards? 

Some checking accounts offer either earned interest on any balance you carry forward from month to month, for instance, the Capital CU Cha Ching checking account, or they offer rewards for using your debit card like the Capital CU MyMoney account, which is similar to getting cash back on credit card purchases. 

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If you are ready to open a checking account online and are in the northeastern Wisconsin area, apply with Capital Credit Union. With multiple checking accounts to choose from, you’re certain to find the right account for you. 
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