When you open a bank account in the USA, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Look at the location of the branch offices and automatic teller machines.
- Compare banks’ monthly fees, fees for writing checks, whether the bank requires a minimum balance. Minimum balance requirement should be waived for active students under 23 by presenting a Student identification or visa.
- Most banking operations are done online; however, to open an account you should go to the nearest bank office and speak to a customer service representative.
- Present two forms of identification to open an account- your passport, visa, or foreign identification are examples of accepted documents, and proof of a local address bill, bank statement.
- Ask for an international operations sheet that includes the American Bankers Association (ABA) Routing, Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) code, and an address to receive foreign wire transfers.
Banks offer checking accounts, savings accounts, debit cards, and credit cards to their customers. Checking accounts can be used to write paper checks to pay bills or to pay bills online. Savings accounts do not usually have check-writing privileges. Debit cards draw immediately on the funds in your checking account and can be used for cash withdrawals at automatic teller machines.
When considering a USA credit card, international students and scholars should check the credit terms carefully. You will most likely need a Social Security number to complete the application process.
On occasion, credit card companies freeze accounts when they notice transactions from locations that are not in the same town as the billing address attached to the credit card. Please notify the credit card company before you travel to avoid a sudden lack of credit.
Recommended commercial banks:
Student Financial Services
Student Financial Services offers a wide range of services, including:
- Student Accounts & Billing
- Financial Aid information
- Student Employment
- Center for Financial Independence
- and more!
Visit their website for more detailed information.