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Bank Accounts in USA for International Students


The first step to saving money if you're planning to move abroad to study is opening an international bank account. International bank accounts help manage the money across different currencies and cut down on banking costs. It opens up the horizon of opportunities and enables you to support your global lifestyle and help in wealth management. So, if you are moving to the USA to study, here is everything you should know about bank accounts in the USA for International students.

What is an International Bank Account?

  • An international bank is a financial institution that offers financial services to customers from many nations. These services include payment accounts, buying, lending opportunities, wealth creation, tax saving, etc.
  • These foreign clients include individuals and companies who live and work abroad. An international bank account helps them access their money from other countries.
  • International bank accounts enable expatriates to benefit from all the perks of an onshore account: including overdraft, debit card, and a cheque book.
  • As an international account holder, you can also choose the currency of your account.
  • It means a US expatriate living in Britain can open a Euro account. If you are in India, you can open a Rupee account.
  • Each international bank account has a specific IBAN (international banking account number) that uniquely identifies the customer's banking details. IBANs consist of alphanumeric characters formed using alphabetic characters A to Z and numerical digits from 0 to 9.
  • An international account can help you save money on currency conversion and benefit from foreign exchange services. It can also help you secure your capital and take advantage of efficient tax planning. However, before you decide on the best international account for you, it is best to do your extensive research. 

How do International Bank Accounts Work?

  • International banks are considered financial entities that offer their services to only corporates and wealthy individuals. However, different international banks provide services to a wide range of people.
  • An international bank is a financial institution that offers a variety of financial accounts to international customers. There are different types of International Banks. Some focus on providing banking and investment services to individuals. At the same time, other banks of this type may offer their services to commercial organizations.
  • The policies, procedures, and general operations of an international bank must be compliant with the laws of the country of the bank. However, the other policies beyond compliance are unique to the individual banks.
  • International Bank Accounts are also helpful for business owners who want to establish an international presence. These banks offer accounts as per the requirement of the business and that are ideal for a house operating funds, payroll funding, and even time deposits.
  • International Banks also offer Letters of Credit. A Letter of Credit verifies that the business has the appropriate resources required to operate within the country and other countries with similar economic and financial conditions. It helps to expand businesses across borders and makes it even simpler and more efficient.

How to Open a Bank Account in USA from India?

So if you are going to the USA to study, opening a bank account in the USA from India is necessary to manage your money.

With the latest technology, it takes no time to open an international account while sitting in the comfort of your home with as few as two documents. Here are the steps you need to follow to open a bank account in the USA from India,

1. Collect all the Official Documents for your account:

With the latest technology, you can open a bank account in the USA from India with just two documents:

  • Aledra: Aldera is a US-based fintech startup that only requires an Indian passport and Aadhaar number can use an app to open a bank account in the United States from India
  • Zolve: With Zolve, you can open a US bank account from India using a valid US visa, Indian passport, and an Aadhaar number.
  • Zenus Bank: Zenus Bank is another platform to open a US bank account from India, but it requires more documentation such as proof of address, taxpayer information, and proof of employment.

2. Complete Application Online:

The next step is to process your application online on the official website of your service provider. It will take approximately ten minutes to complete the application and upload all required papers.

3. Confirm Your Identity:

You need to confirm your identity for verification purposes via email or phone. You will get instant access to your US bank account online from India after successful authentication and document verification.

4. Fund Your US Bank Account from India:

The final step is to deposit sufficient funds into your account.

To deposit the funds from India to the USA, you can use Wise or Instagram.

Can International Students Open Bank Accounts Online?

Yes. As an international student, you can apply for a bank account online. To open an international bank account, you will need all the relevant documents, such as a student visa and any identity proof that confirm your right to live and study in the US.

However, before opening a bank account, you must check the requirements of the particular bank. Some banks only allow students with a specific student visa, such as an F1 visa (for academic study), J1 visa (for practical training), or M1 visa, to open accounts (vocational studies). 

Types of Bank Accounts for International Students in USA

  • There are two types of bank accounts for international students in the United States: savings accounts and checking accounts.
  • A savings account is ideal for students looking forward to saving money for the long term. This account type offers a higher interest rate.
  • Whereas a checking account lets you deposit, withdraw, and transfer money online as often as you like.

What is the Minimum Balance in a Foreign Bank Account?

The minimum balance in a foreign bank account differs from bank to bank. For a savings account of a foreign bank, the minimum balance ranges between Rs 25,000 and Rs 2 lakh. However, there is no maximum limit. Students can decide how much money they want to maintain in their bank accounts and manage their finances.

Reasons to Have an International Bank Account

Here are some reasons why you should have an international bank account:

  1. Easy Transfer and low exchange rate: International bank account allows transactions in more than one currency, such as sterling, euros, and US dollars. These accounts offer low exchange rates and enable easy transactions between different countries with nominal fees.
  2. Tax Benefit: An international bank account allows you for effective tax planning. There are several taxes to consider as an international bank account holder, such as capital gains tax for foreigners and local income tax. Also, some jurisdictions charge lower tax rates on interests to expand your benefits. It is best to check with a finance expert before opening an international bank account.
  3. Capital Security: An international account is a transparent, highly regulated jurisdiction. It offers a safe and secure location for your cash. It assures that they are not under the authority of a single country or currency.
  4. Diversification of investment: An international bank account helps wealth creation by providing new financial opportunities. You can, for example, invest in stocks and bonds or participate in a mutual fund in other investment planning that may not be possible with your current currency. 

List of Best Bank Accounts for International Students in USA

Here is the list of some of the best banks for international students in the USA. These banks provide a wide range of services to international students in the United States, including:

  • Bank of America Advantage Safe Balance Banking
  • Wells Fargo Student Checking Account
  • HSBC USA International Student Account
  • US Bank Student Checking Account
  • TD Bank TD Student Checking
  • Capital One 360 Checking Account
  • Chase College Checking Bank Account
  • Keybank student Checking Bank Account

How to Select the Top Bank Accounts for International Students in USA?

To select a bank account in the USA as an international student, you must consider the following factors:

  • Banking services: Check with the bank if they provide services like digital banking, debit cards, and credit cards.
  • Online Transactions: Check the bank charges on online transactions and the minimum balance requirements.
  • Nearest branch and ATM: It is best to opt for a bank whose branch and ATM are near your residence.

Still unclear about anything? Well, not to worry. Contact AECC and get your queries answered today! AECC is one of the world's leading educational consultancies with versatile expert professionals who are ready to help you with any queries you may have. Contact us so we can be of assistance to you in your journey to achieving your dream.

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