How to Open a Bank Account With Restricted Use Options

You should be in charge of your own bank account. Whether you're the one making all the purchases or it's a joint account with a spouse, parent or child, you may want to maintain certain limits on account activity. This is especially true in an era where stolen debit cards are common. With a few restrictions, you may be able to prevent a thief from using your card or, at the very least, know when it's happening.

How to Open a Bank Account With Restricted Use Options
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Determine Your Options

Your first step when you're considering opening an account is to research your options. You may find that one bank offers better restricted-use features than another. If you're dead-set on a particular financial institution, though, ask whether you can restrict use of the account. Even if this feature isn't prominently displayed on its website, there may be a feature available on the bank's app. The bank may also be able to suggest a type of account that can accomplish your goals in other ways, such as adding someone as an authorized signer rather than a joint account holder.

Open Your Account

How you open your account will largely depend on what you're trying to do. If the reason for the restriction is to add a second party to the account, you'll likely need both parties present to complete the application process, whether you're applying online or at a local branch. Many banks will let you at least begin the application process online, but you may find you have difficulty getting the answers you need. The automated system will ask a number of questions and recommend an account type, but to get personalized help, either apply by phone or visit a local branch.

Request Your Restrictions

During the application process, ask for limitations to be placed on your account. You may want to allow only a certain number of ATM withdrawals each month, for instance, or decrease the maximum daily withdrawals permitted. You may also choose to put a transaction limit on any debit or credit card you use to reduce the impact of fraudulent use of that card.

Download the App

If your bank doesn't offer the full range of restrictions you're looking for, a mobile banking app may be just what you need. These apps are becoming more comprehensive and allow you to change the settings on your account without ever having to step into a bank branch. You may also be able to use the app to set up alerts for every charge made on your credit or debit card. This could solve the issue you were trying to address by restricting use of your account.