What Is a Minimum Deposit?

Minimum Deposits Explained in Less Than 4 Minutes

Definition
A minimum deposit is the smallest amount of money you need to open an account with a bank, credit union, or other financial institution.
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A minimum deposit is the smallest amount of money you need to open an account with a bank, credit union, or other financial institution. It can also refer to the minimum amount you must keep in your account each month to lock in certain account benefits.

Let’s take a closer look at what a minimum deposit is and how it works, so you’re well-prepared the next time you open a new account.

Definition and Example of a Minimum Deposit

A minimum deposit is the amount of money you’re required to deposit to open an account or take advantage of certain benefits. When you open an account at a bank or credit union, you’ll likely come across a minimum deposit requirement.

Let’s say you decide to open a new savings account at ABC Bank. The bank requests that you deposit $25 into the account. You transfer the $25 into your new account at ABC Bank from another account you have at a different financial institution. ABC Bank might also ask you to keep at least $100 in the account each month if you want to qualify for its best interest rate. As a result, you keep tabs on your account and make sure you always have $100 in it at a minimum.

Note

Minimum deposits may apply to a variety of accounts, including checking accounts, savings accounts, and certificates of deposit (CDs).

How a Minimum Deposit Works

To understand how a minimum deposit works, let’s take a closer look at two common types of minimum deposits.

Minimum Opening Deposit

A minimum opening deposit is the amount of money you’ll need to deposit to open an account such as a checking or savings account. While this figure varies, most financial institutions require minimum opening deposits ranging from $25 to $100.

Note

To make a minimum opening deposit, you can transfer money from a different financial institution or from another account at the same institution. You might also be able to use a check, money order, or debit card.

Most banks and credit unions require you to provide your deposit when you apply for your account. You can deposit more than the minimum. Some financial institutions or accounts don’t have minimum opening deposits.

Minimum Monthly Deposit

Some banks or credit unions require you to make a minimum monthly deposit to enjoy certain account benefits. For example, a bank might state that as long as you meet its minimum monthly deposit threshold, you can avoid fees. By meeting a monthly minimum deposit, you may also get a higher interest rate on a savings account.

Note

The “minimum balance” requirement is another common term you might come across when you open a new account. It requires you keep a certain amount of money in your account. For example, at Wells Fargo, you’re charged a $10 monthly service fee for its Everyday Checking account, but you can get that fee waived by maintaining a $500 minimum balance.

How To Open a New Account

If you’d like to open a new checking, savings, CD, or other account, make sure you shop around, find the right financial institution for your situation, and understand its minimum deposit requirements. Then follow these common steps.

  • Choose the right account: Most financial institutions offer a variety of accounts. Explore your options and figure out which one you’d like to open.
  • Gather documents: In most cases, you’ll need to provide two forms of government ID. This can be a driver’s license and passport. In addition, you might be asked to provide proof of address, such as with a utility bill.
  • Confirm eligibility: Banks and credit unions have their own unique eligibility requirements. For example, with some, you must be at least 18 years old to open a checking account. Make sure you meet your financial institution’s criteria.
  • Fill out the application: Depending on the bank or credit union, you can fill out an application online or in person. Provide accurate information and double-check your work.
  • Deposit a minimum: If there is a minimum opening deposit, place the funds into your new account. In the event there’s a minimum monthly deposit or minimum balance, make sure you meet it at all times.

Key Takeaways

  • A minimum deposit is the amount of money you need to open an account or take advantage of perks such as no fees or higher interest rates.
  • The most common types of minimum deposits are minimum opening deposits and minimum monthly deposits.
  • If you don’t meet or maintain minimum deposit requirements, your financial institution might impose consequences.
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Sources
The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “Checklist for Opening a Bank or Checking Account.”

  2. Wells Fargo. “Everyday Checking Account.”

  3. Bank of America. “Bank of America Advantage Banking - A Flexible Checking Account.”

  4. Chase. “Chase Total Checking - A Guide to Your Account (PDF).”

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