With over 30 banks to choose from, opening a US bank account for a non-US citizen has never been easy. The safety and convenience features they provide is exceptional. It is a privilege that we should take advantage as non-US citizens.
A few weeks ago, I opened a checking account with Bank of America. I was gonna go with Chase but then require a Social Security number, which I don’t have. We tried to apply, but the staff at the local Social Security office said they don’t give SSN to people with B1/B2 (tourist) visa. What are you going to do when they said “no”? Look for other options. I crossed out Chase on my list then went to the Bank of America.
What are the requirements to open a checking account with Bank of America?
- Bank application form
- A minimum deposit of 25USD
- Email address
- Co-applicant’s personal information (if applicable)
- Two forms of identification like the following:
- Driver’s license
- Student ID
- Alien Registration Card
- Permanent Resident Card with Photo
- credit card or debit card from another bank
- proof of residence such as a utility bill with your address
- for business owners, ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number)
I suggest that you maintain at least 1500USD in your checking account, so you won’t have to pay the maintenance fee of 12USD per month.
Tips to consider when opening a bank account in the US:
- ATM fees– make sure that you know their rate before you access the ATM. Like with Bank of America customers, it’s free if you use your card with their ATM. But if you used other banks’ ATM, there will be a charge of $2.50 and $5 if use outside the US.
- Mobile apps– Download your bank’s mobile app so it would be convenient for you to monitor your account like checking your balance, paying bills online, and tracking your transaction history.
- Large banks– Always go with a larger institution, that means they have more branches near your house or office. You will have more access to your money, and it’s going to make things easier and cheaper for you.
- FDIC-insured– Make sure that your bank is insured by the FDIC or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. They protect you against the loss of your deposits. Usually, protection is available for up to $250,000 per depositor.
- Credit score– Make sure that you have a good credit standing when opening a bank account in the US. But if it’s your first time, then you don’t have to worry about it. You can check your financial standing at credit.com for free.
I was able to open my first checking account in less than 60 minutes with the help of the Bank of America’s Relationship Manager. He must be really good in solving relationships, just kidding! 😉 I deposited $100 through the ATM using my temporary card. I got my primary card in the mail in 7-10 business days just like what they promised. It was super fast and easy.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment on the link below.