How to open an online bank account
Aug. 26, 2020 • 4 min read
What we'll cover
What to consider when selecting a bank
The benefits of an online bank account
The advantages of an Ally Bank account
Are you ready for a more flexible and accessible banking experience? One where you can manage your money straight from a mobile banking app on your phone? Convenience is just one reason you might look into opening an online bank account — not to mention great rates, helpful tools, and more.
No need to worry if you aren’t sure how to open a bank account online. We’ll walk you through the process for opening an account with an online bank — it’s simple.
Step 1: Find the best bank for you.
When you want to open a new bank account, it’s a good idea to shop around different financial institutions, like banks and credit unions, to find one that fits your style and your needs. Be sure to compare the annual percentage yield (APY), monthly fees , ATM fees, and overdraft fees. Because your bank shouldn’t nickel and dime you — it should help you grow your balance!
With competitive interest rates, 24/7 customer support, plus easy-to-use and accessible banking options both online and on mobile, Ally Bank could be the best option for you. And as an FDIC -member bank, all of our customers’ deposits are insured up to the maximum allowed by law.
Whether you’re looking to open an Interest Checking Account or an Online Savings Account, we offer top-notch tools and features that anyone can take advantage of. Our Online Savings Account includes buckets and boosters that allow you to easily super charge and customize your savings strategy.
Step 2: Pick the account type.
You have several bank account options to choose from, depending on what your financial goals are and your reasoning for opening an account.
If you want to put your money into an account with locked-in rates for a specific amount of time, a Certificate of Deposit (CD) could be best for you. Just remember that depending on the type of CD you choose, there may be a penalty for withdrawing your funds before the maturity date.
Perhaps you want to put your savings in an accessible account with competitive interest rates. If so, consider our Online Savings Account.
If you’d like even more flexible access to your savings, you might sign up for a Money Market Account.
Finally, if you’re interested in opening an everyday checking account — one in which you can earn competitive interest on your cash and pay zero monthly maintenance fees — our Interest Checking Account could be for you.
Step 3: Pull together your personal info.
No matter which account type you choose, you’ll need a few key pieces of information in order to sign up. Be prepared with your:
Social Security number
Date of birth (you must be 18 years or older to sign up for an Ally Bank account)
Residential street address (and previous address, if you’ve lived at your current one less than five years)
Contact info (email and phone number)
Mother’s maiden name
Transfer information for your initial deposit
Keep in mind: Most financial institutions will require similar basic information to open a bank account — but if you are not banking with Ally, it’s possible you may be asked to provide additional documentation.
Step 4: Open your account.
Now, you’re ready to make the banking magic happen. And the best part? You don’t even have to leave the couch. Instead of visiting your local bank branch, you can simply visit the website of your bank of choice. Then, follow the instructions for filling out an online application (using the information you’ve already pulled together).
Most online applications, like ours, are easy to use and walk you through each and every step. Your bank may ask questions to find out if you’re already a current customer, what kind of account you’re opening (Individual, Joint, Trust, or Custodial Account), and what your initial deposit amount will be. At Ally, no initial deposit amount is required, and we only ask to help you plan ahead.
If you want to open an account with Ally, all you’ll generally need is about five minutes. Head to Ally.com and find the “Open Account” button under the “Checking & Savings” tab. Then, pick the account type and click “Open Account” to officially start the process.
If you open an Ally Bank Interest Checking Account , you can also choose to receive a free debit card, free Ally Bank standard checks, and Overdraft Transfer Service. If you choose Overdraft Transfer Service, you will need to link an Ally Bank Online Savings Account or Money Market Account to your Interest Checking Account. That way, if you exceed your checking account cash balance, we'll automatically transfer available funds in increments of $100 from your savings account to cover the transactions at no charge to you.
Whether you bank with Ally or another financial institution, once you’ve entered your personal information (and if you’re opening a joint account, the information of the second account owner as well), be sure to review the legal disclosures. Now, you’re ready to submit your application.
Step 5: Make your initial deposit.
Now that you’ve set up your online bank account, it’s time to make a deposit. Be sure to check if your bank has any minimum deposit or daily balance requirements, so you don’t incur fees. To make a deposit, you may be able to link another bank account to transfer funds or mail in or deposit a check through mobile, depending on the bank you choose.
To fund your Ally Bank account, you can make a direct deposit by transferring funds from another account, wire money, make a mobile deposit using Ally eCheck Deposit℠, or mail us a check. Like we mentioned earlier: We don’t require a minimum deposit to open your account or a minimum daily balance. That being said, the sooner you fund your account, the sooner you can start taking advantage of all our account features.
Step 6: Bank your way.
Once you’ve started using your online bank account, don’t be afraid to take advantage of the benefits and special features your bank may offer. Some of the biggest perks of online banking are the flexibility and accessibility you receive. Whether you choose to access your account through a web browser or a mobile app, if you have internet, you can log in and check your bank account online. That means you can manage your money from wherever you are — and you don’t have to wait for monthly statements in the mail to view your transactions or see where your balance stands.
By downloading the Ally Mobile app to your smartphone, you can check your balance at any time and make transfers when you need to, Plus, you can deposit checks directly from your phone just by snapping a picture.
We’re a digital-first bank, but with our Interest Checking Account, there’s no need to stress about ATM fees. You can use any Allpoint ATM in the U.S. for free or be reimbursed up $10 per statement cycle for fees charged by other ATMs nationwide.
Our goal is to help you make the most of each and every penny in your bank account, no matter if it’s interest checking or an Online Savings Account. With competitive and often higher interest rates than you’ll see for traditional brick-and-mortar banks, as well as easy-to-use buckets and boosters, you can grow your savings knowing that we always have your back.
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