Open an account in the usa

For people who travel frequently to the U.S. for business or pleasure, it may make sense to open a local account. A U.S. bank account makes banking transactions much easier and saves on fees incurred when changing from one currency to another.

Opening a dollar account in the usa

For many people, a dollar account may also be interesting. Opening a dollar account in the USA is easy thanks to the Internet. With a multi-currency account you can nowadays easily open your dollar account in the USA from Germany. For example at Revolut or Wise. Wise is a particularly good tip here. You can quickly and easily transfer your money to this account and exchange it into dollars at a low cost. You will also receive your personal banking information to receive dollars from your clients or people in the U.S. Or to make payments.

Selection of the US bank

In the United States, there are banks that operate branches throughout the country and numerous regional banks. Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Citigroup are among the heavyweights in the American banking sector.

If you are frequently in the same region, for example because your trading partner has its main office in a particular city or because you regularly visit relatives, a regional bank is a good choice as the account-holding financial institution. They often offer a free checking account, called a checking account.

If you travel to different regions of the USA, nationwide banks are more attractive. Cash withdrawal is usually free of charge at the ATMs of the respective banks. You do not need an appointment for the account opening procedure. In the service-oriented United States, the employees in the branch banks immediately take the time and take care of your request.

Requirements for opening an account

If US citizens want to open an account at an American bank, it is usually sufficient to present their driver's license.

As a foreigner you need a valid identity document such as a passport. In addition, you must be able to provide a permanent address within the U.S. Checks and debit cards will be sent to this address in the future. Shipping of the bank card takes between 5 and 10 business days.

It is not necessary to rent an apartment in the United States. To send mail, all you need to do is provide an address of friends or relatives. Since a valid phone number is automatically requested when opening an account, it is recommended that you purchase a prepaid phone card.

Welcome folder with documents

After you have successfully opened an account in the USA, you will receive a welcome folder from the bank employee. It includes the following documents and documentation:

  • Account number
  • Access data for online banking (if you wish, the bank employee will help you to set up the account)
  • Price list
  • Deposit insurance documentation
  • Business card of your contact person at the bank
  • ATM card

With the ATM card you can immediately withdraw cash from the branch's ATM. You set the PIN individually at the terminal. The bank card with integrated chip is sent by mail.

Some banks insist on an immediate deposit to the new account, usually not exceeding an amount of 50 US dollars. The deposit is made in cash or with a traveler's check. It is recommended to use American Express Traveler Cheques, which do not incur any fees when used.

No credit card from US banks

In the United States, even small amounts at the supermarket checkout or fast food restaurant are paid with the credit card. However, you must use your German credit card. US banks only issue the plastic money to customers who have a verifiable credit history. As a foreigner you can of course not prove this.

To withdraw money from ATMs, use the ATM card, also known as the US debit card. Often there is a credit card logo on the ATM card, but you cannot use the plastic cards as a credit card. When paying with a debit card at the checkout, you will be asked to enter your PIN, while when paying with a credit card, your signature will suffice as proof of legitimacy.

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