Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > USA
Reload this Page >

Setting up a US bank account

Setting up a US bank account

Old Jul 10th 2018, 2:04 pm
  #1  
Ongoing K1 Visa
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jun 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 97
Trilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond repute
Default Setting up a US bank account

Hi folks,

I was wondering how others went about setting up a US bank account once they moved, the whole process sounds like it may be a little convoluted and stressful, plus I have read on other threads that some people were saying to leave some money in their UK account and keep it active. Any advice from those that have gone through this process would be much appreciated
Trilo is offline  
Old Jul 10th 2018, 2:26 pm
  #2  
Ongoing K1 Visa
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jun 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 97
Trilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Setting up a US bank account

Originally Posted by Trilo View Post
Hi folks,

I was wondering how others went about setting up a US bank account once they moved, the whole process sounds like it may be a little convoluted and stressful, plus I have read on other threads that some people were saying to leave some money in their UK account and keep it active. Any advice from those that have gone through this process would be much appreciated
And I may have posted this question in the wrong thread, very sorry.
Trilo is offline  
Old Jul 10th 2018, 4:24 pm
  #3  
 
lansbury's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: Milwaukie, Oregon
Posts: 9,631
lansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Setting up a US bank account

It is always useful to keep your UK bank account open, as it is just about impossible for a non UK resident to open one. You never know when a UK bank account might come in handy. I use mine to pay for things I buy in the UK (presents for family), or for spending money on trips to the UK.

If you try to open an interest bearing account in the US, you will be asked for a SS number, then or later. Non interest accounts some form of ID. I wouldn't say it was convoluted just pick a bank and ask them.

Last edited by lansbury; Jul 10th 2018 at 4:26 pm.
lansbury is offline  
Old Jul 10th 2018, 5:38 pm
  #4  
Just Joined
 
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 23
Arathe is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Setting up a US bank account

Having tried to do this three times recently, here’s my suggested batting order.

1) if you are with an international bank in the UK (like HSBC), see if they have a team who can do it for you (HSBC do and we’re great)

2) you can just go into a branch of a bank in the US with some Id (a passport generally). My recent experience from this is that Bank of America are great (my wife walked about after 30 mins with a working account and s temporwry debut card) and Chase are useless (wanted us to have all sorts of weird pieces of ID).

Overall it’s no different to being in the UK.
Arathe is offline  
Old Jul 10th 2018, 6:58 pm
  #5  
i hate cabbage
 
Jack8602's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2015
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 438
Jack8602 has a reputation beyond reputeJack8602 has a reputation beyond reputeJack8602 has a reputation beyond reputeJack8602 has a reputation beyond reputeJack8602 has a reputation beyond reputeJack8602 has a reputation beyond reputeJack8602 has a reputation beyond reputeJack8602 has a reputation beyond reputeJack8602 has a reputation beyond reputeJack8602 has a reputation beyond reputeJack8602 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Setting up a US bank account

I started with Bank of America when i moved, all that was required was my visa and passport.

As above, BoA gave me a temporary card that i could use immediately.

I've since moved banks to Chase once i got established, they were a bit more stringent on requirements when opening an account.
Jack8602 is offline  
Old Jul 12th 2018, 7:10 pm
  #6  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 116
Aquapanther is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Setting up a US bank account

Are you going to be working when you are in the US?
I had the finance manager at my US company introduce me to someone at their bank and those guys sorted it all out for me.
Aquapanther is offline  
Old Jul 12th 2018, 10:37 pm
  #7  
Ongoing K1 Visa
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jun 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 97
Trilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Setting up a US bank account

Originally Posted by Aquapanther View Post
Are you going to be working when you are in the US?
I had the finance manager at my US company introduce me to someone at their bank and those guys sorted it all out for me.
Once I have a SS number and GC then yes
Trilo is offline  
Old Jul 14th 2018, 2:47 pm
  #8  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 670
LouisB has a reputation beyond reputeLouisB has a reputation beyond reputeLouisB has a reputation beyond reputeLouisB has a reputation beyond reputeLouisB has a reputation beyond reputeLouisB has a reputation beyond reputeLouisB has a reputation beyond reputeLouisB has a reputation beyond reputeLouisB has a reputation beyond reputeLouisB has a reputation beyond reputeLouisB has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Setting up a US bank account

Key thing is you need a US residential address and ID, with that you’re set. Just pop in to a branch.

SSN needed for savings (interest paying) not for chequing (checking).

I managed to open a checking account while on a visit staying in temporary accommodation and not having a US residential address.

for that you need to try and find a friendly bank and bank manager to allow temporarily, until you have an address. For me it was just until a few weeks later when I’d moved for real.

Last edited by LouisB; Jul 14th 2018 at 2:49 pm.
LouisB is offline  
Old Jul 16th 2018, 10:51 pm
  #9  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 81
circusplaza is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Setting up a US bank account

I went today with my newly signed contract and my L1A visa to Chase; no SSN and no proof of address yet.
They declined to open a simple checking account, even though I insisted that my current employer (a pretty large American firm) is putting in all my papers the office address and 1111111 as SSN until I get one.

Later I went to Bank of Americas, next door and they opened Bank Account, Saving Account, and given the salary, they gave me a cashback credit card with a higher limit as I work for a "trusted employer".

Chase, I won't visit you ever again (until you offer me something better )
circusplaza is offline  
Old Jul 18th 2018, 1:25 am
  #10  
Austin. TX.
 
petitefrancaise's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 5,757
petitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Setting up a US bank account

Originally Posted by circusplaza View Post
I went today with my newly signed contract and my L1A visa to Chase; no SSN and no proof of address yet.
They declined to open a simple checking account, even though I insisted that my current employer (a pretty large American firm) is putting in all my papers the office address and 1111111 as SSN until I get one.

Later I went to Bank of Americas, next door and they opened Bank Account, Saving Account, and given the salary, they gave me a cashback credit card with a higher limit as I work for a "trusted employer".

Chase, I won't visit you ever again (until you offer me something better )
I've been writing ad nauseum about really your only choices for a bank account as a new arrival are Wells Fargo and Bank of America. Some seem to have been "lucky" with Chase and got an account but mostly, it's a waste of time until you have more documentation.
Bank of America customer service is crap, WF have a crap reputation. BUT it it really easy to change banks after about 6 months.
petitefrancaise is offline  
Old Jul 18th 2018, 2:19 am
  #11  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 81
circusplaza is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Setting up a US bank account

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
I've been writing ad nauseum about really your only choices for a bank account as a new arrival are Wells Fargo and Bank of America. Some seem to have been "lucky" with Chase and got an account but mostly, it's a waste of time until you have more documentation.
Bank of America customer service is crap, WF have a crap reputation. BUT it it really easy to change banks after about 6 months.
just popped at Chase cause I was passing by when leaving my employer’s office.
After reading all here I wasn’t really confident but tried anyways.
circusplaza is offline  
Old Jul 18th 2018, 4:02 am
  #12  
Forum Regular
 
PootleK's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 75
PootleK is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Setting up a US bank account

When I first moved to the US I set up a Wells Fargo account with my green card and social security number. I didn't need any proof of address. They were very nice so I've stuck with them since.
PootleK is offline  
Old Jul 18th 2018, 5:48 am
  #13  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Apr 2017
Location: Folkestone hopefully to change to Keller, TX!
Posts: 90
Keoman is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Setting up a US bank account

I arrived in the country last Wednesday, went to the local Bank of America Thursday morning. Set up a joint account with my wife and an account for myself. Monday morning my cards arrived in the mail, which I thought was pretty quick! However was unable to activate my cards online, my wife thinks due to no ssn yet, but a quick trip to the local branch and they were activated for me. They also gave me a credit card designed to help build my credit score up.
Keoman is offline  
Old Jul 18th 2018, 12:58 pm
  #14  
Ongoing K1 Visa
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jun 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 97
Trilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond reputeTrilo has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Setting up a US bank account

Thanks for all the info and experiences posted so far I take it transfering funds from the UK bank to a newly opened US bank is pretty straight forward?
Trilo is offline  
Old Jul 18th 2018, 1:05 pm
  #15  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Dec 2017
Location: Los Angeles CA
Posts: 195
BigT103 has a reputation beyond reputeBigT103 has a reputation beyond reputeBigT103 has a reputation beyond reputeBigT103 has a reputation beyond reputeBigT103 has a reputation beyond reputeBigT103 has a reputation beyond reputeBigT103 has a reputation beyond reputeBigT103 has a reputation beyond reputeBigT103 has a reputation beyond reputeBigT103 has a reputation beyond reputeBigT103 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Setting up a US bank account

Originally Posted by Trilo View Post
Thanks for all the info and experiences posted so far I take it transfering funds from the UK bank to a newly opened US bank is pretty straight forward?
Yes, but your UK bank will charge you and not give you the best exchange rate... If you're transferring a large amount then it maybe worth using a company like Transferwise.
BigT103 is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.