How to Open a Savings Account

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Savings accounts are an important part of anyone’s financial portfolio. Unlike checking accounts, which are used more for day-to-day banking needs, savings accounts provide a secure place where you can put money away for a future goal or unforeseen emergencies.

Most financial institutions offer savings accounts, but some provide greater benefits than others. Before you simply head to a local bank, consider these key steps to opening a savings account, and how to find the one that’s right for you.

Internet searches and reviews are fine to start, but you’ll also want to look into these important factors:

Make sure you’re protected:

Banks that are a Member FDIC offer insurance coverage for savings accounts (up to $250,000 per depositor) through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). In other words, if anything were to happen to the bank, your funds would still be safe and secure.

Consider the APY:

One thing many people don’t realize is that a savings account is not just a place to put your money for safekeeping; it’s also an opportunity to grow your money. Online banks tend to offer more competitive earning rates, called APYs (annual percentage yields). PurePoint, for example, consistently offers a rate which is more than 20 times the national savings average. Wherever you choose to save, earning with a higher rate is a key way to stay ahead of inflation and preserve the value of your nest egg.

To compare rates and estimated earnings, check out the PurePoint calculator tool.


An online savings account can provide you 24/7 access to your funds with the touch of a button, which can mean greater flexibility. Look to see which options you have to fund your account (transfers, mobile deposits, etc.) before you enroll, so you can plan your initial deposit. Think you might be tempted to dip into your savings from time to time? Opening an account that isn’t linked to your regular checking account can help you avoid that temptation, and ultimately save more in the long run.

Read the fine print:

Some banks charge monthly account fees that can eat away at your balance over time. Make sure you understand each bank’s product features before you sign up.

What Do You Need To Open A Savings Account?

Conveniently, there are not many requirements for opening a savings account with most institutions. Here are the basics that you’ll want to have ready:

  • Personal information: Name, U.S. home address, date of birth, phone number, Social Security number and an email address.
  • Minimum deposit: Check to see if there is a minimum deposit  required to open or to earn the advertised APY. Try to have at least that much set aside for your initial deposit to maximize your earning potential.
  • You also need to be of age. Most banks allow anyone 18 and older to open an account. PurePoint gives young adults a chance to start a savings account earlier through custodial accounts, where a primary account holder can add a child between the ages of 13 and 17 as a joint account holder.

Procedure for Opening a Savings Account

Each financial institution has a slightly different process. We’ll walk you through the PurePoint online signup as an example, which only takes a few minutes to complete.

Step 1: Visit & click OPEN ACCOUNT
This button is located at the top corner of the web page. Select the account type (Savings).

Step 2: Enter the Application Process
Select whether you’re a new client, if you need to finish an application or if you’re an existing customer. As a new client, you would then proceed to the next step and enter your initial deposit amount, the type of account you’ve selected and your primary reason for saving.

Step 3: Indicate if you want an individual or joint account
An Individual Account would be in your name only, whereas a Joint Account would include another person. Each person would have access to those funds.
Step 4: Add your personal information
Share your full name, email, phone, and review the privacy policy. On the next screen, you’ll be asked to enter your Social Security number and birthdate.

Step 5: Review documentation
Make sure the information is accurate and read through the legal language before you accept. These agreements, which all banks require, protect both you and the bank.

Step 6: Fund your account
There are several ways you can add money to your account, including wire or bank transfers, or a mobile deposit. Have your other account information ready (routing and account numbers) so you can set up your deposit. Finally, create a username and secure password to complete your online account. The strongest passwords include multi-case letters, numbers and symbols, and are at least 8 characters long. 

Once you’ve found the bank and savings account that are right for you, start saving—as soon as you can. Your future self will thank you. Saving can have a profound effect, making us feel more confident in the short term, and empowering greater opportunities and a brighter future in the long term. For more information on PurePoint accounts and how they compare, click here.

This article was helpful.