Friday, October 4, 2013

How to open a new bank account in USA for foreigners

If you are traveling to the States and you do not have a working credit card in the American markets, then you will have a problem carrying your cash around while you are traveling. Not to mention that America is a cashless society, where you can spend all the money you want without the need of carrying cash all the time.

If you are wondering if opening a new bank account in America 'as a foreigner' is possible or not and how it can be done? Then you have come to the right place.

USD Bills
Documents needed:

  •  Two identification methods, a passport & an international driving license will do just fine.
  •  Your full address in your home country. This will work for any nationality, even with those who doesn't really have good ties with America like in my case Syria.

PNC Bank branch, located in the former headquarters of Riggs Bank on Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C
PNC Bank branch, located in the former headquarters of Riggs Bank on Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C

I am gonna recommend PNC (Pittsburgh National Corporation) Bank because they have an account named (Performance) and it offers:

  • Multiple ways to avoid monthly service charge Effective December 9, 2013
    There is no monthly service charge for Performance Checking if you meet any ONE of the following requirements

    $2,000 in combined, qualifying monthly direct deposits*
    $2,000 average monthly balance in this account$15,000 combined average monthly balance** across linked PNC consumer deposit, loan and/or investment accounts Otherwise, the monthly service charge is $15.
  • Reimbursement of non-PNC ATM fees and other bank's surcharge fees.
Usually to have an online banking you are required to have a Social Security number which in your case is not applicable or you are at least 8 months away from obtaining it. 
Therefore the PNC Bank provide you with a local number that allows you to activate online banking.

Now all you need to do is to locate the nearest PNC branch using this tool and give them a visit.

I am not saying that you have to stick with PNC. For me it was recommend by a friend and I liked the warm welcoming atmosphere every time I visit.
You might want to look for other options that suites you, like Bank of America which also have the same process but I am not sure if they can help you with the online banking thing.

Good luck and enjoy your trip to USA.


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