Banking » Guides » How To Open A Joint Bank Account
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How To Open A Joint Bank Account

While the process of opening a joint bank account is fairly similar, we’ll look at some specific banks to demonstrate how the process can vary
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

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Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

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Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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couple open a joint bank account
(Photo by Ground Picture/Shutterstock)

Whether you’ve just got married, moved in with someone or otherwise need to share finances, you may need to consider a joint bank account.

For many people, the prospect of a joint bank account can seem daunting, but here we’ll explore the concept in more detail and how to open a joint bank account.

Can I Open a Joint Bank Account?

A joint account acts like how standard bank account work, but rather than having just one account owner, there are two or more owners. You can use a joint account to pool funds, which can be helpful for both savings and paying shared expenses such as utilities, mortgage payments, and grocery bills.

A joint account also allows both account owners to withdraw cash, write checks, make online payments, and see how the money has been spent. This makes budgeting easier as the account activity is visible to both of you.

You Can Open A Joint Account With Practically Anyone

Any two people can open a joint account together, and you can open more than one account. However, most often, it is likely that you’ll open a joint checking account with a partner, spouse, or family member.

Yes, individuals can open a joint account with anyone. Most often, however, joint checking accounts are opened between partners or family members, but any two people can open one together. Remember that the person you share the account with has as much right to the funds as you do.

So, even if the account is solely funded with your paycheck, your joint account holder can withdraw or spend all or some of the money. This means that you need to be completely confident that you can trust the person with whom you open the joint bank account.

CIT Bank CD add joint
Add a joint account owner on CIT Bank application (Screenshot from cit.com)

What Do I Need to Open a Joint Bank Account?

Similar to what you need to open sole bank accounts, you will need to verify your ID and your address to open the account. However, since it is a joint bank account, both applicants will need to provide this ID.

Financial institutions, including banks and credit unions, require that applicants provide government-issued ID as proof of ID. This includes a driver’s license, passport, or a state-issued ID. You may also need to provide a utility bill or bank statement to confirm your address.

Some bank accounts also have a minimum deposit, which means that you will also need to provide some method of funding your account. It is well worth considering funding the account even if it doesn’t have a minimum deposit, particularly if an account management fee can be waived if you deposit funds.

amex add joint account
Add a joint account owner on Amex Bank application (Screenshot from americanexpress.com)

How to Open a Joint Bank Account

While the process of opening a joint bank account is fairly similar, we’ll look at some specific banks to demonstrate how the process can vary.

Bank/institution
Monthly Fee
Min Deposit
Promotion

axos-bank-logo

$0
$50
$300 Use Promo Code “AXOS300” for a $300 bonus when you apply for a Rewards Checking account. Expired on 06/30/2024

citi bank logo

Citibank Checking Account
$12 Can be waived if you make one qualifying direct deposit and one qualifying bill payment per statement period, maintain a combined balance of $1,500 per month across your eligible accounts or if you’re aged 62
$0
$200 – $2,000 Minimum deposit of $10,000 – $300,000 needed. Expired on 07/07/2023

capital one bank logo

$0
$50
None
Wells_Fargo-Logo
Wells Fargo Everyday Checking
$10 Related to Wells Fargo Everyday Checking. The fee can be waived if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $500 or receive at least $500 in qualifying direct deposits per month. The fee is also waived if you’re 17 to 24 and have a linked Wells Fargo Campus Debit Card or Campus ATM card linked to the checking account
$25
$300 Minimum deposit of $1,000[/sc] needed. Expired on 01/14/2024
pnc bank logo
PNC Standard Checking
$7 – $25 per month can be waived if you maintain $500+/$2,000/$5,000 direct deposit per month, $500+/$2,000/$5,000 monthly balance in savings or age 62+/$10,000 in all PNC consumer deposit accounts/$25,000 in all PNC consumer deposit accounts/
$0
Up to $400 Open a base Virtual Wallet account and receive $500/$2,000/$5,000 or more in monthly direct deposits within 60 days to earn a $50/$200/$400 bonus. Expired on N/A
chase bank logo
$12 Can be waived if you maintain a $1,000 minimum daily balance, making direct deposits or Associated SnapDeposits of $500 or more per statement cycle, or holding $2,500 in combined deposit accounts with the same statement cycle date or having a Health Savings Account or investment account
$0
$300 Expired on 7/24/2024

Opening a Chase Joint Bank Account

Chase allows customers and potential customers to open checking and saving accounts online.

While it is possible to visit a local branch, most people will find the online account opening procedure more convenient. There are a few basic steps to open your joint Chase bank account.

  1. Click on the Product: You can explore all the Chase bank account options on the official Chase website. When you find an account that appeals to you, you just need to click the “Open Account” button. You’ll have an option to tick if you are an existing Chase customer. If you already hold a Chase loan, savings account, mortgage or credit card, Chase will port your details across. At this stage, you will also need to indicate that you want to add a joint applicant.
  2. Enter Your Personal Details: If you are a new Chase customer, you will need to provide your basic details, including your full name, Social Security Number, date or birth and contact details. You will also need to confirm your citizenship status.
  3. Enter the Second Account Holder Details: Once you’ve provided your details, you’ll need to provide the same details for the second account holder. This means that you will need to have their full name, Social Security Number etc.
  4. Verify Your ID: The next part of the application requires that you verify your ID, with a Driver’s license or other government issued ID number. You will also need these details for your partner.
  5. Complete the Application Form: Once you reach the end of the application form, you’ll need to click submit. Chase will process the application and will contact you via the email address you provide once the account has been opened.
open bank account chase
(Photo by Diego Thomazini/Shutterstock)

Opening a Bank of America Joint Bank Account

Bank of America offers many types of checking and savings accounts. The Bank of America accounts opening process is quite similar.

  1. Choose Your Account: Visit the official Bank of America website and select the account.
  2. Complete the application form with details including your name, address, financial status and contact details.
  3. Add Your co-signer: Once you provide your application details, you should see the option to add a co-signer. When you click, yes, you’ll be redirected to a form to provide their complete details.
  4. Complete the account set up: At any point, you can save your application, but when you’re ready the site will guide you through account set up. You will need to review the terms and conditions before you can submit your application.

Opening a Capital One Joint Bank Account

Capital One makes it very straightforward to open a new account online. In fact, the account opening process takes approximately just five minutes.

  • Browse the Product Pages: You’ll find all of Capital One’s available products on the website along with complete descriptions, features, benefits and potential fees. When you find the account you want, just click “Apply.”
  • Complete the Application Form: After you click apply, you’ll be redirected to an application form. As per the other banks, you’ll need to have the full name, address, contact details and other basic information for both you and your account partner.
  • Confirm IDs: You will need to provide proof of address and proof of ID by scanning a government issued ID.
open Capital One 360 checking account
Open Capital One 360 checking account (Screenshot from Capital One)

Opening a Wells Fargo Joint Bank Account

Wells Fargo allows customers to open accounts in branches or online. However, the online process has been designed to be quite straightforward.

After you decide which account you would like to open, start the account opening process with the “Open Account” button.

  1. Answer the Basic Questions: After the welcome screen for the account opens, there is a very basic form asking if you are an existing customer and whether you want to open a joint or sole account. There is also a disclaimer and you’ll need to confirm that you have read it before you can click continue.
  2. Complete the Application: Again, this is fairly standard, providing your name, contact details, address and Social Security Number. Wells Fargo also requires that you consent to a credit search and confirm if you are subject to any W-9 backup withholdings.
  3. Review: After you complete your application, Wells Fargo provides an opportunity for you to review the account terms and options.
  4. Fund Your Account: The final stage of the process is funding. Wells Fargo will direct you to a funding page, where you can provide an initial deposit and then complete the account opening. 

Opening a Citi Joint Bank Account

With the exception of some business checking accounts, you can apply at your local Citi brand or online. The online account opening procedure is simple.

  1. Complete an Application: After you click “Apply” for the appropriate product, you’ll be directed to an application form. Again, you’ll need to provide your basic details and the details of your account partner.
  2. Choose a Preference: Citi has a number of options that can help you to decide which is the best account package for you. Citi checking and savings products have been designed to work together. Each of these packages has different interest rates, balance requirements and benefits.
  3. Fund Your Account: Once you’ve confirmed your application information, Citi will direct you to the funding options. If you’re applying for an account with a promotion, you typically require a minimum funding amount within a specified timeframe, so it is a good idea to fund the account immediately to avoid missing out.
  4. Follow Up: Citi will send you an email to let you know that your account is now open or if you need to complete a few more steps before the account opening request will be approved.
citi bank monthly fees concept
(Photo by Sundry Sulastri Sulastri/Shutterstock)

Opening a PNC Joint Bank Account

You can open most PNC bank accounts on its website. Just look for the “Learn More and Apply” button to apply for a specific account.

  • Confirm your zip code: PNC requires your location to direct you to an appropriate product page. Once you enter your zip code, you can read through the product details and then click “Apply.”
  • Complete the application: This is fairly standard and similar to the other banks.
  • Submit: Once you complete the application and click submit, the PNC team will evaluate it and provide an approval decision. In most cases, this will be almost immediate, but you may need to wait a couple of days for an answer.
fill personal detailsd when open citi account
Citi bank account application

How to Set Up a Joint Bank Account

While it is quite simple to open up a joint bank account, setting it up can be a little more complicated. Merging finances can be complicated and if both account owners are not on the same page, it can quickly become a source of arguments.

However, there are some tips for how to set up your joint bank account that may help you.

  • Discuss Funding: You’ll need money in your joint bank account to be able to use it, so you will need to discuss how you will fund your account. If the account is to be used for joint expenses, you will need to know who is going to be contributing what each month. This could be done by changing your bank details with your employer so your salary comes into the account or by setting up an automatic transfer.
  • Discuss Spending: You will also need to both be aware of how the money in the account will be used. If the checking account is for your shared expenses, will you both be using your debit card for purchases? Both of you need to be aware of what bills will be charged to the account and when each month.
  • Set a Budget: Finally, be sure that you have a budget in place that relates to this account. It is a good idea to have some “rules” that will make it easier to manage the account. For example, while paying for coffee with your card may be fine, but purchases over $50 need to be discussed before using the account.
PNC Virtual Wallet Spend
PNC Virtual Wallet tools for spend account (Screenshot from PNC app)

Joint Checking Account Fees

Banks and other financial institutions charge different fees such as overdraft fees, account inactivity fees, ATM fees, and more.

The most popular fee is the monthly management fee also called the monthly service fee. While some online banks may offer a free joint account, most banks require this fee – but offer some options to waive it.

The monthly service charges vary with banks and the type of account a person holds.  In the following table, you can see the fees for some of the most popular banks

Bank/institution
Monthly Fee
bank of america bank logo
Bank of America Advantage Plus Checking
$12 can be waived by maintaining an account balance of $1,500, qualifying deposit of $250+ per month or enrol in Preferred Rewards
TD_Bank logo
TD Bank Checking
$15 per month Can be waived if you’re aged 17 to 23 or if you maintain $100 minimum daily balance

citi bank logo

Citi Checking Account
$12 Can be waived if you make one qualifying direct deposit and one qualifying bill payment per statement period, maintain a combined balance of $1,500 per month across your eligible accounts or if you’re aged 62
pnc bank logo
PNC Standard Checking
$7 – $25 per month can be waived if you maintain $500+/$2,000/$5,000 direct deposit per month, $500+/$2,000/$5,000 monthly balance in savings or age 62+/$10,000 in all PNC consumer deposit accounts/$25,000 in all PNC consumer deposit accounts/
us bank logo
U.S. Bank Checking
$6.95 Can be waived by maintaining an average account balance of $1,500, have $1,000+ in direct deposits per month or be aged 65+
Wells_Fargo-Logo
Wells Fargo Everyday Checking
$10 Related to Wells Fargo Everyday Checking. The fee can be waived if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $500 or receive at least $500 in qualifying direct deposits per month. The fee is also waived if you’re 17 to 24 and have a linked Wells Fargo Campus Debit Card or Campus ATM card linked to the checking account

However, there are many banks and financial institutions that do not charge a monthly fee such as Discover, CIT Bank, Capital One, American Express, Marcus and more.

Can You Open a Joint Bank Account Without Being Married?

Yes, it is entirely possible to open a joint account without being married, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the right choice for you. Remember that both account holders have equal access to the funds and without the common law and marital law protections, you may end up losing out.

For example, if you put your salary into the account, it is then joint property. This means that if your account partner spends every cent, you would have no legal recourse.

Likewise, if your account partner runs up fees and charges on the account, you’ll both be liable. This means that even if you use the account properly, you could still end up owing money and having your credit impacted.

So, you need to be completely comfortable with the person that you intend to share an account with and know that you can trust them to responsibly use the account.

FAQs

Yes, providing you and your sister both provide the relevant ID and information. Just be sure that both of you are ready to share the account responsibly.

 

Yes, you can even have a joint account if you don’t yet live together. But be aware that without the protection of common or marital laws, if you split up, dividing the account funds could become tricky.

It may be possible depending on the specific bank and the country where your friend or partner lives. All financial institutions need to verify applicant IDs, so some are reluctant to open accounts for foreigners.

Additionally, some countries have U.S restrictions which could prevent you from opening a joint account with them. So, if you and someone from another country do want an account together, it is best to check the policies of the specific bank to see how you can proceed.

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Picture of Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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