How to open an online bank account in the United States 2023. How do I open an online bank account in the United States even if I am not living in the US? You may be asking yourself this question. The truth is it is pretty easy to create a US account even for a non-US resident and we will be telling you this in this post.
If you are planning to move to the United States, you may want to open a bank account before you arrive. Whether you are a university student, working there, or moving there semi-permanently, we will show you how to get a bank account, even if you are not yet a resident.
It can be difficult to open a bank account in the United States if you are not a resident, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible. We have provided you with a few options for getting a US bank account.
What is online banking?
Online banking means managing your bank accounts with a computer or mobile device. This includes transferring funds, depositing checks and paying bills electronically.
Traditional banks and credit unions with branches typically let customers access their accounts via the internet, too. But online banks and providers offer primarily mobile access. You won’t meet a banker face to face, but with a mobile device or computer, you can reach your account anytime. Here’s a closer look at online banks.
Advantages of online banking
- Online account opening. You can open a new account within minutes and from anywhere online.
- Enhanced security. Access to banking information is protected by multiple protection layers to keep your personal data private and prevent unauthorized access.
- Instant access 24/7. Enjoy a full range of services from your computer, tablet, or mobile phone anytime, anywhere.
- Save money. By automating your finances using the bill pay service available in online banking, you can ensure your payments are on-time.
- Convenience. Skip the long lines. Easily check balances on all accounts and view records of transactions from the palm of your hand.
- Pay bills. Save time and money with this free service.
- Automate your savings. Online banking allows you to have some of your paycheck directly deposited into your savings account or funds can be scheduled to automatically transfer from your checking to your savings.
- Make loan payments. Avoid late fees by scheduling all of your loan payments before the due date.
- Mobile deposits. Deposit personal and business checks safely, securely, and without having to visit a branch or ATM.
- Transfer money between accounts. Move your cash quickly between accounts or by sending it to an external account. You can set up automatic transfers to move money into a savings account or other accounts to make loan payments.
- Integrate with other apps. Take control of your finances with budgeting, expense and other apps that automatically track your spending and saving habits.
- View statements. Get immediate access to your bank statements for your tax or personal records.
- Monitor fraud. Set up alerts to be notified by text, email, or phone if your financial institution suspects fraudulent activity on your account.
- Alerts and notifications. By setting up notifications on your account, you’ll be in the know with the latest transaction and balance activity on your account.
How to open an online bank account in the United States as a non-citizen
Most US banks require that you be a US citizen or permanent resident before they will let you open an account. This means that you will usually need a US Social Security number or an individual taxpayer identification number and a US proof of address. You will also need a document such as an unexpired passport, valid driver’s license, or government ID from your country and some banks will ask you for immigration documents as well.
If you are able to meet these requirements, you can open an account.
Your options for opening an account in the United States
Here are the different options available to you to open an account with a bank in the United States:
- Use a “correspondent” bank: This is the bank in your home country that has a relationship with a US bank and helps you open an account there. Not all banks have this type of relationship, and a US bank may not allow you to open an account.
- Open an international account: This is where you open an overseas account with a bank. You will need to deposit a large amount of money into it and maintain a high balance in the account.
- Go to the United States to Open an Account: Not ideal, but you can visit the United States, go to a bank, and open an account with them. You will need certain documents, so always call ahead to find out the requirements before making the trip.
- Open a TransferWise Borderless account: Often the easiest option, TransferWise lets you set up a “virtual” account in the United States that you can use like a regular bank account.
Types of U.S. bank accounts
Most US bank accounts are checking or savings accounts. Checking accounts work like checking accounts in other countries and offer services like:
- Access to online banking services
- Invoices and other payments
- Account transfers
- Bank transfers and direct debits
- Recurring payments
- Debit cards
- ATM withdrawals
Savings accounts allow you to save over time and earn interest on your savings. There are often restrictions on how often to withdraw from a savings account. Both checks and savings accounts are provided:
- A routing number that identifies your bank
- An account number that identifies your account
Corresponding bank accounts in the United States
One of the ways to get a bank account in the United States could be through a “correspondent banking relationship”. This is a partnership between a bank in your home country and a bank in the United States. In these circumstances, your “home” bank can help you open an account with its partner bank. Contact your home bank to find out if they have any relationships or partnerships with U.S. banks, and what you need to do to open an account in the United States.
International bank accounts
Some banks have an international presence and may allow you to open an international account. These could be the major US banks, listed below, and other banks like HSBC. These international options are speciality accounts, and you can sometimes open them even if you don’t have an address in the United States. However, they have certain drawbacks:
- You will likely need to make a large initial deposit, sometimes over $ 100,000
- You will need to maintain a high minimum balance on the account
There is likely to be an ongoing monthly fee for maintaining the account. This puts international accounts out of the reach of most people.
Go to the United States to open an account
In many cases, your best option for opening an account is to go to the United States and open your bank account in person. It is very difficult to open an online bank account without proof of residency, which is why you should contact the bank first to check what their account opening requirements are for people who intend to become temporary or permanent residents.
Below you will find the most famous banks and the conditions for opening an account.
A checking account can be opened individually or jointly, and you will need your basic information, social security number, driver’s license, and a minimum opening deposit amount. The account can usually be linked to a debit card – which gives you quick access to cash – and can be managed online, as well as at ATMs.
To apply, you must be a U.S. citizen or resident and be at least 18 years of age. You will need to provide a physical US address, your date of birth, and your Social Security number for all applicants. Federal law requires us to obtain, verify and record information that identifies each person who opens an account.
You can contact Citi internationally at 210-677-3789 .
Chase requires that you have a Social Security / ITIN number and a US mailing address before you can open a checking account with them.
You can contact Chase internationally at 1-713-262-3300.
Bank of America
To speed up the application process, please have the following information ready when you begin your application:
- Your social security number
- Your current residence address
- Your email address
- Your account or debit card number to make your initial deposit to your new Bank of America account
- Personal information of the co-applicant (if applicable)
If you are missing any of these pieces of information, you can also make an appointment with an associate at your local financial center on a day and time that works best for you.
You can contact Bank of America internationally at 1-315-724-4022 .
“You must be 18 years of age or older and be a legal resident of the United States to open a checking account with US Bank. You will also need a Social Security number and a driver’s license or military or state ID card. Once your request is approved, you will be asked to submit your opening deposit to activate your account ”.
You can contact US Bank internationally 1-503-401-9991
How to obtain the required identity documents
Each bank will require that you have a social security / ITIN number and proof of address. To obtain the Social Security / ITIN number, you can apply to the Internal Revenue Service. For proof of address, it is useful to ask your bank if it accepts a letter from your university, your employer or your future owner indicating your address. You will also need to provide proof of identity, such as a passport or driver’s license. Most banks will also require you to make an initial deposit.
The Wise multi-currency account formerly TransferWise
For most people, the fastest and easiest way to open a US non-resident bank account will be the TransferWise Borderless Account.
Wise formerly Transferwise is a very popular online currency exchange provider that offers inexpensive ways to send money internationally. It also offers a “borderless” virtual account. This account offers some of the benefits of a US bank account without the residency requirements. You get a US account number and routing number and can easily exchange money between different currencies. You can also get local bank details with a “Borderless” account for UK, Eurozone, Australia and New Zealand.
It’s important to note that the multi-currency account doesn’t work exactly like a checking account, and you won’t have all of the choices that you would in a regular bank, but it can be a good option as long as you do. not open a full checking account.
Opening an account online – Citizenship or permanent residence required
There are several banks and financial services companies that will allow you to open an account online. Note that each of these will require that you be a U.S. citizen or have permanent resident status. You can apply for these accounts if you’ve previously lived in the United States and want to open an account before returning, but you will need a mailing address in addition to your citizenship or residence.
Chime is an online banking account that you can access through a mobile app. Registration is free and applying for an account is quick and easy. You must be a U.S. citizen and be at least 18 years old. Chime cards work all over the world. Chime asks you to provide your name, address, email address, social security number, and other verification data when you register.
Discover is a very popular financial services provider and allows you to open a fully online US account. To open an account with Discover, you will need a Social Security number or ITIN code and a U.S. mailing address.
Ally Bank offers a full checking account which you can easily access online or through its mobile app. It only offers accounts to permanent residents or US citizens.
Capital One provides a checking account in addition to credit cards. They require you to be a permanent resident or citizen and provide a social security number to register for their services.