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’s a privilege that we should take advantage of 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. I tried to get one, but the staff at the local Social Security office said they don’t give SSN to people with a B1/B2 tourist visa, they only give it to people with a work visa and others.
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
Co-applicant’s personal information (if applicable)
Two forms of identification like the following:
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:
1.) ATM fees
Make sure that you know their standard rates 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 you use it outside the US.
2.) Mobile apps
Download your bank’s mobile app so it will be convenient for you to monitor your bank account. Things like checking your balance, paying bills online, tracking your transaction history, and more.
3.) Large banks
Always go with a larger institution. That means they have more branches close to your house or office. You’ll have more access to your money, it’s going to make things easier and cheaper for you.
Make sure that your bank is insured by the FDIC or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. They will protect you against the loss of your deposits. Usually, protection is available for up to $250,000 per depositor.
5.) 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 at solving relationships, just kidding! 😉
I deposited $100 through the ATM using my temporary card then I got my primary card in the mail within 7-10 business days just like what they promised. It was super fast and easy!
KT is a digital nomad who quit her job, bought a ticket somewhere, got a tan, fell in love with mother nature and she would never return to the normal life that society dictates. You can also connect with her on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @pinaynomad