One of the essential things when beginning a new life as a student overseas is to live independently and manage your funds. To safeguard your funds and be financially secure, opening a bank account is one of the most critical stages if you have enrolled in a long-term education. In the US, there are numerous banks for students, and we will help you to open a bank account in USA. We have selected some of the top banks for you. Therefore, when you begin your financial path, do not stress.
Why should I open a bank account in USA?
Even if you can access your local bank in your home country from abroad, opening a bank account in the US is still advised. Opening a bank account in the US has many benefits, including using it to pay for daily expenses like rent, tuition, and other bills without incurring any additional fees.
Carrying large amounts of cash might be risky, so opening a bank account in America can keep your money secure and accessible. The Paychecks from paid internships and off-campus jobs will be sent straight into your US bank account if you additionally apply for those positions. Let's say you use a debit or credit card from your nation. As most supermarkets, convenience stores, and other commercial establishments accept cards, making them the dominant method of utilising money in that situation, you will lose a significant amount of money in the form of currency conversion fees.
Can a non-resident open a bank account in USA?
To open a bank account in USA, many banks ask for evidence of address and a Social Security number. Because you will not have these as a non-resident, you must look for alternatives.
Typically, the bank will want your Social Security number. Fortunately, there is a solution known as the ITIN. You can open a bank account with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Fill out the IRS Form W-7, IRS Application for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, to acquire one.
Creating a traditional bank account can be difficult for non-residents, various choices, such as a multi-currency account, an overseas account, and a correspondent account, are available. These options may help you in opening an account in your home country.
Types of personal bank accounts in the US
Checking and savings accounts are the two main categories of bank accounts in the US.
A checking account is a form of student bank account that functions like a dream, making it easy to manage your everyday expenses and pay your payments on time each month. It gives you a debit card to take out cash whenever you want. Always enquire about the required monthly payments and maintenance costs because they vary from account to account. Since it is simpler to control spending with this account, most students choose it.
A savings account is mainly utilised for long-term, high-interest deposits. This kind of account is advantageous for students who have significant financial assets. Most students first move their money to a savings account before moving it to a checking account. Don't forget to inquire about service charges and minimum balances.
Documents required to open a bank account in USA
What you'll need to open a bank account in USA is
- Include full name, residential address, residential phone, and campus phone.
- A letterhead bearing a college or university address
- The second form of identification and your passport.
- A letter from your university certifying your enrollment.
Documents like the I-94 card, I-20, DS-2019, and I-797 approval notification are required by some banks.
It is recommended that international students establish student bank accounts the old-fashioned way by scheduling a face-to-face appointment. Although many banks will advertise that you can open a student bank account online, it is always preferable to do so in person. Connecting with a bank employee will help you better understand your financial status.
Step-by-step guide on how to open a bank account in USA
Once you've determined which bank is best for you, it's time to open a bank account in USA. Opening an account can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, so prepare accordingly.
1. Gather all the paperwork you'll need to bring.
2. Check the bank's website for any additional goods they may require.
3. You may also be required to bring cash, ranging from $25 to $100, to deposit into the new account.
4. You must bring two forms of identification:
- The first form of identification must be a driver's licence or passport issued in the United States. Foreign passports and Consular IDs, such as the Matricula Consular card, are accepted by some banks and credit unions.
- A Social Security card, a birth certificate, or a bill containing your name and address can be used as the second form of identification.
5. At a traditional bank, a bank representative will sit with you and assist you in filling out any paperwork and answering any questions you may have. Online banks, however, still require the same information as traditional banks.
6. When you obtain your card in the mail, carefully read the instructions.
7. You will be asked to dial a number to activate the card or set up your pin.
8. Keep an eye on your account to see your available money and avoid being charged any unexpected fees.
Best banks to open a bank account in USA
It is advisable to double-check your demands before selecting a bank, including your reason for opening an account, the maintenance fee the bank will charge, which bank is closest to your university or student accommodation, whether the bank has a mobile app, and whether it is simple to transfer money internationally.
With several locations in practically every city, Chase Bank is one of the biggest banks in the country and offers students between the ages of 17 and 24 a valid checking account with a sign-up bonus. Savings accounts with Chase have a mobile application and have no service costs.
Wells Fargo Bank
Wells Fargo Bank offers a sign-up bonus and a fair interest rate. This is the best bank to open a bank account in USA as it has numerous locations, and its network of ATMs is the largest nationwide, enabling 24/7 accessibility.
Bank of America
Over 4200 branches and 16000 ATMs are located nationally for Bank of America. If you are a student under 25, this account has no monthly costs. If you request a debit card and complete ten eligible debit card transactions within the first 60 days after opening an account, you will also receive a $50 bonus.
360 Capital One
Among national banks, this can be a good choice to open a bank account in USA as its mobile application has the most excellent customer satisfaction ratings. Through Capital One 360 performance savings, you can create different accounts. Benefits from this bank include paying attractive rates without requiring an opening deposit, a minimum account balance, or monthly fees.
What are the benefits of opening a bank account in the US?
Educational necessities and other expenditures can quickly add up if you're an international student with a bank account from your home country. If you access your account from your home country while in the US, you can be charged fees, including currency conversion and foreign transaction fees. Opening a U.S. account will stop those additional costs and come with various other benefits. You could, for example:
- Rent, electricity, and phone bills can all be paid with ease. Setting up automatic transfers for regular payments makes it easy to maintain the comfort of bill payments.
- Quickly receive money from another American account. Transaction will quicken the delivery of your paycheck, financial aid, or scholarship funds compared to a transaction into a foreign account.
- Be careful with your money. Instead of stashing any sizable sums of cash you brought from home in your dorm room dresser, open a bank checking or savings account.
- Start building your American credit history by responsibly establishing a solid domestic credit score using a secured U.S. credit card. Secure card providers frequently demand that applicants have a bank account.
Your bank account is the best track of your monthly spending and savings. It genuinely aids with money management. Additionally, you can use these 7 hacks to cut costs while a student is studying abroad.
Things to consider before opening a US bank account
- What is the minimum balance required on the account?
- What are the monthly service fees?
- What is the transaction limit?
- Does the bank offer mobile and online banking?
- Where are the branches located?
- What are the restrictions for international money transfers?
We hope that this blog gave you an idea about opening a student bank account in US as its is very crucial to take care of your funds while you are studying abroad, Good luck managing!