How to Open a Bank Account in the U.S.

Having a checking account can be a safe and practical way to manage your money, but there are a few things to know first.

4 min read

If you’re thinking about opening a bank account in the U.S., there are a few things to know first. Having a checking account can be a safe and practical way to manage your money, and when you bank with N26, you also get powerful tools to help you take charge of your finances. It’s all part of our mission to empower you to live and bank your way.

But first, you’ll need to sign up for an account. Here’s our guide to the easy way to open a bank account in the U.S. 

To open a bank account in the U.S., you must meet two requirements: 

  • You must be 18 years of age or older. If you’re under 18, you may be able to open a “joint” account that you share with a legal adult, like a parent.  

  • You must be a legal resident of the United States. People that aren’t U.S. citizens or permanent residents are typically eligible to open an account as long as they are in the country legally. However, they may have to provide additional documentation (see below).

  1. Choose a bank or financial institution that fits your needs.

  2. Gather the required documents. Your bank will need to verify your identity, so you’ll have to show them some documents. There’s more information about what you’ll need below.

  3. Visit your bank’s website, and begin the signup process. For traditional institutions, you may need to visit a branch in person. But mobile banking solutions like N26 let you open an account online, right from your phone.

  4. Download your mobile banking app. This is not necessary for some institutions, but it will allow you to manage your money while on the go. 

  5. Wait for your debit card to arrive in the mail.

Pro tip: The easiest way to open an N26 account is by signing up online from your mobile phone. You won’t have to go anywhere — and it only takes five minutes.

The requirements may vary depending on the bank. To open an N26 account, all you’ll need is a valid ID to verify your identity, which you can do directly with photos or video from your smartphone. You’ll also need to know your address and your Social Security number. 

For other accounts, some general requirements include:

  • Government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport

  • Social Security number (if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident)

  • Immigration forms (if you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident)*

  • Proof of your physical address, such as a utility bill

  • Minimum opening deposit and/or fees

*If you are living in the U.S. legally but are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you may need to provide additional documentation such as your source of income or foreign tax payment information. 

While you have many different banks to choose from, there are two main types to consider: traditional banks and challenger banks.

Traditional banks offer an in-person banking experience with physical, brick-and-mortar branches where you can go to deposit and withdraw money.

Challenger banks offer banking services without the complexities and costs that are associated with traditional banks. Like N26, they are digital financial institutions that you access online or via mobile app. You’ll enjoy unique benefits when you choose a newer, digital bank like N26: 

  • You can open an account easily. It’s a breeze to sign up with N26 online or on your mobile phone. There’s no complicated paperwork, and it only takes five minutes.

  • You won’t have to wait in line or go to the bank at all to handle your business.

  • You’ll avoid many common banking fees that traditional banks often throw at you. N26 never charges hidden fees.


Opening a checking  account is a smart way to take charge of your finances and start planning for the future, and it’s easier than ever with N26. We’re committed to being transparent, fair, and flexible — and we’re here to support your financial goals and help you make good decisions. Rest assured that your money is in good hands at N26. Sign up for an account today.

The N26 account is offered by Axos Bank®, Member FDIC. N26 Inc. is a service provider of Axos Bank. All deposit accounts of the same ownership and/or vesting held at Axos Bank are combined and insured under the same FDIC Certificate 35546. All deposit accounts through Axos Bank brands are not separately insured by the FDIC from other deposit accounts held with the same ownership and/or vesting at Axos Bank. The N26 Visa® Debit Card is issued by Axos Bank pursuant to a license by Visa U.S.A. Inc. The N26 Visa Debit Card may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.

By N26

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