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Which banks are favorable for international students in the USA?

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Hi all,

Looking for a answer that many international students probably look for as well, but I couldn't find a thread back. (feel free to share one).

I am looking for advice/suggestions/lessons learned about US banks that offer favorable conditions for international students in the USA. Given that many students need to access their funds while on the move (outside the US), what banks are financially useful when it comes to ATM withdrawals, sending and receiving money internationally, internet banking, and making online/credit card transactions outside the US? There are often hidden fees that add up, rip-off conversion and exchange rates.

Opening an account at a large bank like Citi, HSBC or BoA seems to be nice if you want to have easy access in the world but they are more expensive, it seems to me.

What are your experiences?

Many thanks in advance!!

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  • 2 months later...

Usually if you dont have a Social security number yet, your options are limited - because its often required. Your uni will have some agreements with *some* banks but not all to open an account.

I have BoA - since the other option was a lot worse and hard to reach. I've had no problems with them - they're everywhere in terms of ATMs and the like. Their credit card is allright - not the highest cashbacks and the like, but it does what it needs to do. BoA has an international credit card for which you get better exchange rates and pay no extra fees. 


I pay no fees at BoA as long as I deposit at least 500 each month (= my stipened) or carry a balance over 1500 and pay things on time.

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  • 10 months later...

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