Personalised Study Abroad Counselling For Indian Students

6+ Countries

600+ Universities

3M+ Users

30K+ Students Counselled

FAQs On How To Set Up An American Bank Account

The US Education System

If you are an international student planning to study in the USA, you might have made plans of working part-time in the USA especially if you don’t have an American scholarship to count on. Following which you will have to set up an American bank account. There is ample information scattered online suggesting ways of opening a bank account in the USA. To help you find all answers in one place, we have combined the most frequently asked questions of international students who want to set up an American bank account and are planning to save money as a student and make transactions from the USA.

Here are the most frequently asked questions about setting up a bank account as a non-resident of America.

Can I Set Up An American Bank Account From Overseas?

You can easily open an American bank account from overseas if you are a citizen of the USA. However, if you are not an American citizen, you might have to book an appointment with your bank’s local branch. Almost all American banks require at least one visit to the local branch. This means you will have to make a trip to the USA and be physically present with the relevant authority while opening your account (yes, even if you plan to travel during the Corona crises). This is a common procedure to follow in the USA especially if you are a non-citizen and wish to open a bank account in the country. Being physically present does not sound so bad if you already have plans to visit the USA for work to commence your studies. 

What Documents Do I Need To Open A Bank Account In The USA?

Most banks such as Chase, Bank of America, Citi etc. commonly ask for the following documents that are subject to verification: 

  • Your full address in the USA.
  • Contact information and personal details.
  • Passport or driver’s license.
  • Valid visa or green card and other immigration documents. 
  • An opening deposit payment varying for all banks. 

Do I Need A Social Security Number To Open A Bank Account In The USA?

The simple answer is yes. However, it is an obstacle for non-residents or non-citizens. Some banks accept applications from foreign citizens if they have other documents in place. This especially includes a valid passport and their current immigration status. 

Here is a list of the banks that accept applications from candidates who don’t have an SSN and are not eligible for one either:

  1. Bank of America
  2. Alliant Credit Union
  3. Chase
  4. Citi 
  5. Charles Schwab 
  6. BMO Harris
  7. PNC
  8. HSBC
  9. Wells Fargo
  10. TD Bank

Instead of an SSN, these banks may accept an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). This is specially designed for foreigners to help them comply with the US Tax Laws. 

Set Up An American Bank Account

How Much Does It Cost To Set Up An American Bank Account?

If you’re looking to open a bank account in the USA, there are some crucial charges. The most common cost is the monthly service charge which can range from $24 to $30. This amount can be avoided by maintaining a monthly balance or depositing a certain amount into your account every month. 

If you are a student in the USA, It is often suggested that you must open an account with a bank that has more branches or ATMs in your area. This is because, every time you withdraw from another bank’s ATM, you will be charged with withdrawal fees. The bank you are withdrawing from (that is not your bank) will charge you approximately $1 – $3 per transaction. In such cases, the amount you are withdrawing is also limited.

While you set up an American bank account, you must keep in mind that every bank has a fee for the early closure of your account. You must check the minimum number of months or years you need to keep your account open with a minimum balance before closing it. 

As a student in the USA who might be using the same account to make all transactions, you should be aware of any overcharge fees such as non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees that your bank may charge you with. This happens in cases when you exceed the amount currently available in your account. Some banks offer an overdraft protection facility that will allow you to make excess payments without charging any fee. 

Which Are The Best American Bank Accounts For International Students?

Ask yourself the following questions before you set up an American bank account: 

What services would you require? You might want to check with your bank if they offer digital banking facilities and debit cards and if so, will you be able to cover its monthly maintenance charges.

Which bank’s ATM is most convenient for you? As mentioned above, you will be charged every time you withdraw from an ATM that is not your bank’s. So before you set up a bank account in America, consider your bank’s ATM density in your locality. Prepare to set up an American bank account with the bank whose ATMs are more in number and closest to your place of residence. 

How much money will you be transferring every month? Bank charges defer based on the number of times you make transfers to international or local accounts.

Once you are finally clear on your requirements and expectations from your bank account, consider the following banks to be the best for students: 

Bank of America 

Bank of America’s advantage banking offers students who are below the age of 24 online and mobile banking with money transfer. In addition to that, the bank does not deduct any monthly service fee from your account. 

The minimum initial deposit is $25. 


The College Checking Account offered by Chase and is especially targeting university and college students. You can send and receive money with Zelle Chase if you use a Chase account for students. Those who will keep the bank account open for a maximum of 5 years in college are not charged with any monthly service charge. However, when exceeded, a monthly charge of $6 is deducted. 

The minimum initial deposit for the College Checking Account is $25.

Wells Fargo 

Wells Fargo offers a Student Checking Account with a monthly service fee of $0 for students between the ages of 17 and 24. For those above 24 years of age, a monthly service charge of $10 is dedicated. All students get access to over 13,000 ATMs with 24×7 Fraud Monitoring Chip Technology. 

The minimum initial deposit for the Student Checking Account is $25.

Thanks for reading this blog on FAQs On How To Set Up An American Bank Account. 

If you want to know more about student life abroad, the following blogs may be of interest to you:

  1. The Cost Of Living In Munich As A Student In 2021
  2. Scholarships To Study In France For a Fun Student Life!
  3. Uncommon Scholarships For Indian Students To Study In The UK

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top

Share this blog

The US Education System

FAQs On How To Set Up An American Bank Account

🚀 Over 30K students have realized their study abroad dreams with our expert counselling!