7 Best American Banks for foreigners

Moving to a different country can be a daunting experience. This is especially true when you don’t know where to begin. First, ensuring your finances are in order is among the most crucial aspects of moving to a new place. If you’re planning to move to the United States or have already made a move, you must know that the top banks in the USA will allow you to complete your everyday transactions hassle-free. In addition, possessing a USA bank account can allow you to make direct deposits and social security payments.

However, not all banks with accounts for ex-pats will be suitable for all. Some might not be able to meet your requirements or might even charge you excessive ATM transaction charges. Therefore, this list of top banking institutions across the USA can help you choose.

What do you need to know before opening an account at a USA bank account

In the words of Forbes, here are the most important things to consider before opening bank accounts for non-residents and citizens.

The USA In most cases, non-residents and citizens cannot establish their US accounts online. Instead, you’ll have to go to a bank branch or credit union’s physical component to open it.

The requirements for banks to open an account could comprise:

  • Your contact details. (E.g., Legal address, name, and telephone number.)
  • Two types of ID issued by the government, like an official driver’s license or passport.
  • A Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) (If you’re not a citizen and don’t have a Social Security number, you’ll probably require an ITIN.)
  • Utility bills that include current addresses.
  • A cash deposit (usually $25-$100)

The requirements can differ according to the State of a financial institution or the State in which it is located.

While most banks will accept other identification methods for residents outside the US, Certain banks will only accept Social Security numbers or ITINs. ITINs are given by the Social Security Administration, while the IRS issues ITINs. However, certain financial institutions won’t take an ITIN instead of the Social Security number.

Specific individuals may be able to take an alien registration card. The seven-to-nine-digit unknown registration number is seen on various documents – an example is a USA green card issued by US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

How do you Apply for an ITIN

These are the steps to purchasing ITIN: ITIN:

  • Fill out an Application form for a W-7 and then submit your completed form to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) along with your tax return that you have achieved.
  • Send original documents to prove your identity as a foreign citizen.

Credit unions and banks which accept alternate IDs

Many financial institutions within the US take IDs with alternative numbers that non-US citizen residents issue. They include Bank of America, Chase, TD Bank, US Bank, and Wells Fargo.

Certain credit unions will accept other types of ID. For example, credit unions and banks that are part of Bank On, the bank on the platform which aims to help people with low to moderate-income people open bank accounts, could also accept other IDs.

If you are an ex-pat and want to open a bank account in the US, do note that you’ll need to apply to banks and credit unions that accept non-residents/citizens as members. Also, you’ll have to complete the regular verification and compliance processes.

The best banks in the USA for ex-pats

1. Citibank

It is available in more than 40 countries and offers the convenience of online transactions; Citibank slides effortlessly into the list. Moreover, with numerous ATM branches across the globe, there is no issue obtaining cash in the United States using a Citibank card or bank account.

Citibank provides services through its locations around the globe in addition to online. Citi International Personal Account Package Citi International Personal Account Package, Citigold Interest Checking Account, and Citigold Credit Checking Account give customers financial planning, wealth management, and banking services.

There are specific requirements to be the aforementioned connected investment, banking, and retirement accounts at Citibank. For instance, clients must maintain an average annual balance of $200,000. Citibank will not incur any monthly fees to keep the bill if you meet this requirement.

The account offers free waivers on many Citibank services and reimbursement of charges imposed by other banks to use ATMs not owned by Citi. The fees for wire transfers depend on the kind that Citigold account you have. They may be reduced or waived.

Citibank provides an annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.51 percent. When you open the Citi checking account, you will receive an electronic debit card with chip technology by mail from the bank. However, be aware that this bank will not permit foreigners to make more than six transactions per period of their statement.


HSBC has become known for its global banking services for citizens worldwide. The savings account at HSBC provides 0.01 or 0.15 percent APY, while you receive 0.20 or 0.30 percent APY for Certificates of Deposit (CDs).

The minimum balance required can be as low as $0 up to $250,000, and the monthly maintenance costs range from $1 to $50.

HSBC lets its customers establish savings, checks, and student accounts.

When you open a savings account with HSBC, you’ll get low savings rates, particularly when you have more savings. This is because interest rates are contingent on the minimum balance of the performance and the type of savings account you want to open.

For example, your minimum account balance of $24,999 on the HSBC Premier Savings account can earn you as much as 0.15 percent of APY. The minimum balance of $15,000 up to $99,000 in the HSBC Advance Savings account will give you 0.05 percent APR.

HSBC provides four kinds of check accounts:

  • Premier Checking account
  • Account for Advance Checking
  • Basic Bank account
  • Choice Checking account

The savings accounts can be linked to any checking account you’d like. It is possible to connect accounts and schedule automatic transfers between them. Whatever number of account savings you have opened, HSBC offers you free personal banking on the internet.

The most appealing aspect? There is no requirement to keep an amount of money in the Basic Banking account. If you typically write a tiny amount of checks each month, then the Basic Banking account is the right one that is right for you.

If you frequently travel as a citizen of the world, you may be able to find the International Money Account helpful as it lets you move and convert your money to eight different currencies.

3. Bank of America

Students from all over the world studying in the USA frequently have difficulty finding the perfect account for their requirements. As a result, Bank of America is a popular choice for international students.

It is the Advantage Plus bank account is an option that is popular with non-citizens because of its vast ATM network that spans across the country. There is a monthly cost, but this is reduced by making at least one direct deposit in a qualifying amount of a minimum of $250, registering into the Rewards Preferred program, or keeping the minimum balance per day of $1500. Accounts with balances less than 24 years old may also apply to have the fee removed.

Bank of America earns you APY ranging from 0.01 up to 0.05 percent. But, you must maintain an account with a minimum balance of $500 to $1,500 per day. Bank of America also requires an annual maintenance fee of $4.95 or $25.

To create a savings account at Bank of America, you must deposit $100 before being granted access to a mobile check deposit. After that, all you have to do is take a picture of the two sides of an endorsed check and then deposit the check in your savings account.

The bank also offers the option of being alerted via emails or texts every when you conduct a transaction in your account at the bank.

In addition, the Bank of America’s mobile banking application has an online financial advisor named Erica, who can help you track your financial affairs. If you should ever lose your debit card, the app for mobile banking allows you to secure the card and then request an alternative digital card.

The fees for overdrafts on checking accounts can reach $35 per deposit, and the minimum balance required to open the budget ranges from 25 to 100 dollars.

4. Capital One

Capital One makes an additional valuable addition to the top banks for international citizens from the USA. The banking service offered by Capital One Financial Corp does not need any maintenance costs, foreign transaction fees, or ATM fees for its clients. Setting up direct deposits for your employment and Social Security payments is possible. If you use your debit card in another country, the bank will not be charged additional withdrawal fees.

The 360 Performance Savings Account provides an annual APR of APY without minimum fees or balance, making it an ideal account for ex-pats living within the USA.

Capital One also allows you to deposit anywhere within the USA and the territories it covers through the app for mobile deposits. However, certain types of checks are not eligible for this service. This includes statements that aren’t due in US currency or taken from a bank in the United States.

5. Alliant Credit Union

What’s special? What is unique about Alliant Credit Union? You can get a high-interest checking account, earning an annual yield of 0.25 percent. The most significant part is there’s no minimum amount to be deposited. There is no need to pay a monthly service charge.

In contrast to other banks that offer the financial service, Alliant Credit Union usually transmits processing fees for transactions directly to customers without marking-ups. Ultimately, ex-pats are charged fees for foreign ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases, which amount to one percent of the total transaction.

Furthermore, Alliant Credit Union offers an ATM fee reduction of up to $20 monthly.

Residents of other countries can join the club by presenting an ID number from their social security or a valid ITIN.

6. Chase

Chase is among the most prominent banks in the USA, with 16,000 ATMs and more than 4,900 branches nationwide. The reward? New customers can receive a welcome bonus if they meet specific criteria.

The Chase Total Checking Account is ideal for those who aren’t citizens. However, you may have gone into a branch physically to establish an account. There is a monthly fund fee with a minimum balance of $1,500. However, this is waived when the account holder holds a $1,500 daily minimum balance and $500 in direct deposit each month or a $5k daily average at the beginning of each day. Associated Chase accounts.

Chase offers a zero-cost service at Chase ATMs that are part of the network and up to $5 at ATMs that are not Chase.

7. Charles Schwab

This Schwab Bank High Yield Checking account for investors is perfect for those who love to travel. Why? Users will not be charged ATM transaction charges, even in locations outside the States. The company will even reimburse ATM fees that are outside of the network.

The drawback is that you aren’t able to deposit cash because Charles Schwab is primarily an investment brokerage. Therefore, it is possible to make electronic transfers of money, direct deposits, and checks by mail. Simply put, the account functions better as a second account.

When you first open an account at a bank in the US (or any other country in the world, for that matter), doing thorough research is crucial. Determining what is most important to you in managing your money is essential. For example, are you looking for a savings account with an excellent yield? Do you prefer an online only as well as a physical one? These are just a few concerns you may want to be aware of.

Security checks are essential when opening an account at a bank within the State. So, doing the necessary paperwork in advance will always be an advantage before going to banks and credit unions.