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Not all banks offer joint accounts, but many do, including a number of major financial institutions in the United States. That list includes Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Capital One.
Most joint accounts function similarly by giving co-owners the ability to withdraw and deposit cash, make transactions or earn interest on savings, depending on what type of account it is.
Here are the ways to open a joint account as well as some of these banks’ distinguishing features.
Chase’s consumer checking and savings accounts are all eligible to either be opened as a joint account or to have a co-owner added after account opening. To add someone to an account, the primary owner and the other person can visit a Chase branch together with two forms of identification. Alternatively, two applicants can both visit a Chase branch to apply in person for the joint account.
Parents or guardians who want to open a joint account with their children also have a few options with Chase, such as the Chase First Banking account for kids ages 6-17 and the Chase High School Checking for students 13-17 years old. These accounts require co-ownership by parents or legal guardians and are designed to help minors learn how to manage money by giving parents control and oversight of their child’s account. For the Chase First Banking account, for example, parents can decide how much their child can spend and where, and kids are able to request money from their parents and set savings goals.
Chase’s services are widespread, with more than 4,700 branches and 16,000 ATMs. Its interest rates on accounts are fairly low, but customers can potentially .
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Bank of America’s checking and savings accounts are all eligible for co-ownership. Each applicant must provide a form of identification and additional customer information such as their name, address, employer information, date of birth, taxpayer identification and more.
Bank of America has some accounts for minors as well — including its Minor Savings Account — which are co-owned with the child’s parent or legal guardian. The benefit of the Minor Savings Account, as opposed to a custodial account that a parent or guardian manages, is that minors are able to access the money in their account, which helps them learn money management firsthand. There also aren’t the same fees or minimum opening or daily balance requirements.
As its name suggests, Bank of America has a large presence throughout the U.S. with around 4,300 branches and 17,000 ATMs. Though it has low interest rates, there’s the potential for customers to .
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All of Wells Fargo’s consumer checking and savings accounts are able to be opened as joint bank accounts, with no special requirements except that both parties need to apply and sign the joint account application.
Wells Fargo also offers special co-owned accounts for minors and their parents or legal guardians, such as its Kids Savings Account and Clear Access Banking account. The Kids Savings Account helps kids grow their savings and allows parents to transfer money for allowances and savings matches. The Clear Access Banking account is best for teens. It allows bill pay and online transfers, and it doesn’t charge overdraft or nonsufficient funds fees.
Wells Fargo has broad ATM and branch access. Some of its checking and savings accounts have monthly fees, but they’re often easy to waive with recurring transfers or a daily minimum balance.
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Capital One customers can add a joint account holder to a 360 Performance Savings account and/or a 360 Checking account. There are some limits for whether a new account holder can be added; an additional owner cannot be added if the account has a restriction, is held in a revocable living trust, is not yet funded or is in an overdraft line of credit.
Capital One's accounts for minors — the Kids Savings Account and MONEY teen checking account — can be opened as joint accounts with the child’s parent or guardian, but an additional account holder can’t be added later. These parent-supervised accounts both come with no monthly fees or minimum balances, and the Kids Savings Account comes with a solid interest rate.
Capital One has somewhat scattered branches but has strong online tools, solid interest rates and customer service options that help its customers do their banking primarily online.
» For more information, check out NerdWallet’s review of
Though most of the banks listed above are brick-and-mortar institutions, online-only banks can also be a place to look for joint accounts. Ally Bank and Alliant Credit Union, for example, offer joint accounts for adults as well as kids. If opening a joint account is important to you, however, be sure to check in advance if your online bank or nonbank offers them since some, like Chime and Varo, don’t.
The benefits of using an online bank often include higher interest rates and user-friendly online features, but you won’t have in-person customer service.
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Joint bank accounts require a lot of trust. For adult co-owners on a joint account, neither owner can control or limit the other’s spending, so there has to be open communication around how finances will be handled with the account. Even in non-malicious circumstances, both account owners could accidentally overspend and overdraft the account, which could lead to which you’d both be on the hook for.
» Want to close your joint account? Read about
Joint accounts can be convenient for both long- and short-term financial planning. For adults with aging parents, a joint account can be a way to easily help a parent with their bills or day-to-day spending as they start to require more assistance. For couples, a joint account can help with savings goals or paying for joint expenses. Accounts for minors can be a great way to set aside savings for a child or teen as well as give them an opportunity to learn about money management with the guardrails of adult oversight.
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