The most popular banks of the US are Bank of America, Citibank, Chase Bank and Wells Fargo Bank. There are dozens of smaller banks, but because there are less branches and ATMs, they are considered less attractive for beginners.Check this out this short guide to learn how you can open a US bank account in the US if you are a traveler.
How to open the savings and checking accounts in the US for tourists?
Different banks have different policies for working with clients; moreover, sometimes even in different branches of the same bank, some of the most typical services may be different depending on the qualifications of the staff. That is why using proper credit card service here is highly recommended.
A common condition for all banks is that in order to open an account, a person should ome to one of the bank’s branches in person. You need to have an ID proving your identity. For people who have come to the country only recently, such document is a foreign passport issued by their native country.
Accounts for tourists
If a person has entered the United States, then the US visa is stamped into the passport. It will become the second certifying document (the requirement to provide two documents with a photograph is quite standard for the US). Sometimes, it happens that the employees of the department do not accept the passport as a document, or do not accept the visa as a separate document, this is precisely the notorious human factor.
Thus, having arrived in the US as a tourist, a person can immediately open an account with a bank, having only a passport with a visa.
Some banks still require the provision of two documents confirming the American address of the person. This can be a contract for the rental of apartment and an agreement for Internet connection in the apartments, water and electricity bills, letters and similar documents in which the person’s name is associated with the address.
Types of accounts in US banks
The bank simultaneously opens two accounts: Checking and Savings.
Accounts in America work like this: you get a salary, it arrives to your Checking account. With this money you pay for rent and utilities, buy food and clothes, and so on. But you still have some amount that you want to save. You transfer it to your Savings account. Over time you will accumulate an amount sufficient to make a big purchase. Then you make this purchase by paying it off using the funds the Savings account.
The Savings account is considered safer than the Checking one, because a plastic card is not issued for it.
At the time of opening the accounts, a debit card is issued to the Checking account, which you will basically use in stores. You will be given a temporary card directly at the bank, and in a while (usually about a week) you will receive a permanent one by mail.