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10 Best Banks for International Students in the USA 2023

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Studying abroad in the United States is a dream for many international students. However, this exciting adventure comes with the responsibility of managing your finances effectively.

As an international student, opening a student bank account in the USA is essential to ensure your financial stability while you pursue your educational goals. But with numerous options available, finding the right bank can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the process.

In this guide, we’ll help you choose the best bank for your needs by highlighting the top 10 banks for international students in the USA. We’ll also discuss the crucial factors to consider when making your decision.

Types of Bank Accounts for International Students in the USA

1. Savings Account: As the name suggests, this account is designed for long-term savings. It’s ideal for international students looking to save money for emergencies, travel, and other future expenses. Deposits in this account earn interest on your savings.

2. Checking Account: This is the go-to account for international students who need frequent access to their funds. With a checking account, you receive a debit card and a checkbook, enabling you to make withdrawals and handle living expenses conveniently.

Choosing the Right Bank

 Key factors to consider when selecting the ideal bank for your international student journey:

1. Bank Charges: Investigate the fees associated with opening and maintaining a student account. These charges may include account opening fees, monthly maintenance fees, transactional fees, and ATM charges. Look for banks that offer low-cost or fee-free accounts.

2. Bonuses: Some banks understand the financial challenges faced by international students and offer attractive bonuses such as cash backs, discounts, or welcome deposits. These bonuses can significantly benefit your academic journey.

3. Online Banking: Convenience is vital when you’re adapting to life in a new country. Choose a bank that provides robust online banking services, allowing you to manage your finances from anywhere, anytime. Online banking can also guide you on how to open a bank account in the USA.

Now that you’re equipped with these essential considerations, let’s explore the top 10 banks for international students in the USA:

1. Bank of America Advantage Banking

  • Eligibility: Available for high school students under the age of 24.
  • Features: Online banking services, debit cards, overdraft protection, financial tools.
  • Minimum Deposit: $25

2. Chase College Checking Account

  • Eligibility: Available for college students aged 17-24.
  • Features: No monthly service fee for up to 5 years, $100 sign-up bonus, extensive branch and ATM network.
  • Minimum Deposit: $25

3. Wells Fargo Student Checking Account

  • Eligibility: College students aged 17-24.
  • Features: Online and mobile banking, no monthly service fee for account holders aged 17-24, fraud monitoring.
  • Minimum Deposit: $25

4. HSBC USA International Student Account

  • Eligibility: International students studying in the US over 18 years old.
  • Features: No monthly service fee for up to 6 years, $100 welcome deposit.
  • Minimum Deposit: $25

5. US Bank Student Checking Account

  • Eligibility: Available for international students.
  • Features: Online banking, access to credit scores, no monthly service fee, no minimum balance requirements, no ATM transaction fees.
  • Minimum Deposit: $25

6. TD Convenience Checking

  • Eligibility: Available for students aged 18-23 years.
  • Features: No monthly service fee for students aged 17-23 years, free transactions at TD ATMs, no minimum balance requirements.
  • Minimum Deposit: $100

7. Key Student Checking

  • Eligibility: High school juniors, seniors, or those pursuing post-high school education aged 16-24 years.
  • Features: Online banking, no fee for overdraft protection, financial wellness tools.
  • Minimum Deposit: $50

8. Capital One MONEY Account

  • Eligibility: Available for students under the age of 18 years, including those as young as 8 years old.
  • Features: 0.10% interest per year on all balances, no minimum deposit required, vast ATM network.
  • Minimum Deposit: None

9. Truist Student Checking Account

  • Eligibility: Students aged below 23 years.
  • Features: No minimum deposit required, no monthly service fees, ATM fee waivers.
  • Minimum Deposit: None

10. PNC Virtual Wallet Student Account

  • Eligibility: Students aged below 23 years.
  • Features: Virtual student wallet, no monthly service fee for up to 6 years, automatic refund of the first overdraft fee, interest on account balances.
  • Minimum Deposit: $25

FAQs

Can I open a US bank account as an international student?

Yes, most US banks welcome international students and offer specialized accounts tailored to their needs. You typically need to provide the required documentation, such as your passport, visa, and proof of enrollment.

Do I need a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) to open a student bank account in the USA?

In most cases, you do not need an SSN to open a student bank account. However, some banks may require an SSN for certain types of accounts or services. It’s essential to check with your chosen bank for their specific requirements.

Can I open a student bank account before arriving in the USA?

Yes, many banks, such as Lorien Finance and Swadesh, allow you to open a student account from your home country, so you’re prepared upon your arrival in the USA. Be sure to verify the bank’s policies and requirements for international account opening.

What are the main types of bank accounts for international students in the USA?

The two main types of bank accounts for international students in the USA are:

  • Savings Account: Ideal for long-term savings with interest on deposits.
  • Checking Account: Suitable for frequent deposits, withdrawals, and money transfers, often accompanied by a debit card and checkbook.

What is the minimum balance required for an international student bank account in the USA?

The minimum balance requirements vary from bank to bank. While some banks have no minimum balance requirements, others may request a minimum deposit ranging from $25 to $50. Be sure to check with your chosen bank for specific details.

How can I access my US bank account while studying as an international student?

Most US banks provide online banking services, allowing you to access your account, make transactions, and monitor your finances from your computer or mobile device. Additionally, many banks offer a network of ATMs and branches for in-person banking needs.

Are there any fees associated with US bank accounts for international students?

Bank fees can vary widely, so it’s essential to review the fee structure of your chosen bank. Some common fees to watch for include ATM withdrawal fees from other banks’ ATMs, monthly service fees, and overdraft fees. Look for banks that offer fee waivers or lower fees to minimize your expenses.

Can I use my US bank account to receive funds from my home country?

Yes, you can use your US bank account to receive funds from your home country through international wire transfers or other remittance services. Be aware of any fees associated with incoming international transfers and provide your bank with the necessary details for smooth transactions.

How do I transfer money between my US bank account and my home country?

You can transfer money between your US bank account and your home country through various methods, including wire transfers, online banking, and international money transfer services. Each method may have associated fees and processing times, so it’s essential to choose the most suitable option for your needs.

What should I do if I lose my debit card or checkbook?

If you lose your debit card or checkbook, contact your bank immediately to report the loss and request a replacement. Many banks offer 24/7 customer service hotlines for such emergencies, so you can quickly secure your account and access a new card or checkbook.

What are the typical documents required to open a student bank account in the USA?

Commonly required documents include a valid passport, visa copy, university acceptance letter, and proof of address (such as a utility bill or bank statement). Specific requirements may vary by bank and account type.

Are there any fees associated with student bank accounts in the USA?

Student bank accounts often have reduced or waived fees for maintenance, but additional charges may apply, such as ATM fees, overdraft fees, and wire transfer fees. It’s crucial to review the fee structure of your chosen bank and account.

Are there any age restrictions for opening a student bank account in the USA?

Age requirements vary by bank and account type. Some student accounts are available to individuals as young as 17, while others may have a higher minimum age requirement. Be sure to check the specific age criteria of the bank you choose.

Can I access my student bank account from my home country?

Yes, you can access your student bank account online from your home country, making it easy to manage your finances even when you’re not in the USA. Most banks provide secure online banking services for international account holders.

Do student bank accounts in the USA come with additional benefits or discounts for students?

Yes, some banks offer perks like discounts on textbooks, electronics, transportation, and access to special events for


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