To open a bank account, select an institution and a type of account to open, says About.com. Once an account has been chosen, provide information such as name, birth date and social security number. Agree to the terms that the bank provides and the account can be created.
There are three ways to open an account: in person, online or through the mail. The fastest way to create an account is to do it in person, which allows everything to be processed within a few minutes in some cases, explains About.com. After an account is opened, all the items needed for the account, such as a debit card and checkbook, are mailed to the address connected to the account.
There are four main account types to choose from, according to About.com. A checking account is used for money that is spent quickly or regularly. A savings account is used for money that is not spent regularly or for extended periods of time. A CD is similar to a savings account, but it accrues more interest. Money placed in a CD cannot be spent for at least six months, says About.com. The last account type is a money market account, which is designed to hold large amounts of money, but limits access.