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Tips on best bank

Tips on best bank

Old May 9th 2019, 7:49 am
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Default Tips on best bank

Hi all we are going through process of moving to gulf coast Florida I130’s all submitted for husband and 2 children we are hoping to be moving Feb if all goes to plan we are looking at best bank accounts to switch with we both have Amex but looking at opening a HSBC or a Barclays Bank now while we are in UK as read can switch to US account anyone have any tips or recommendations to get us ready for the move ?
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Old May 9th 2019, 2:58 pm
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Default Re: Tips on best bank

First--You will probably want to keep one account open in the UK. It's an absolute bear and a half to do from overseas and even if you just keep £50 in your account it will be worth it.

Second--what banks exist in the city you are going to live in? While there are banks that exist nationwide, there are also some banks which are stronger in certain regions rather than others. HSBC is in some places in Florida and in others it can be 100 miles away.
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Old May 9th 2019, 5:10 pm
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Default Re: Tips on best bank

What services are important to you? Do you want to have access to an actual branch? HSBC has very few branches, anywhere, and doesn't have a great reputation. If you want coast-to-coast services then your choice is going to between Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo. If you just want basic local services then maybe a credit union would meet your needs.

Remember there aren't multi-bank ATM networks in the US, so you may, depending on the bank you bank with you may, or may not pay fees for ATM withdrawalso for withdraws from other banks' ATMs. Banking with a big bank gives you more in-house ATMs.

I wasn't aware that Barclay's operates a retail bank in the US.
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Old May 9th 2019, 6:03 pm
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Default Re: Tips on best bank

HSBC never managed to set-up the USA account for me, despite giving them more notice than requested before we moved. They USA & UK groups don;t seem to play well together, and Pulaski mentions, I have not seen one near me.

The ATM thing drove us to Wells Fargo, plus they were a bit of a soft target in terms of getting things set-up quickly on arriving. I hate paying to get my money,and we do find we use more cash here than we did in the UK - feels better when tipping. WF have been fine for us, but our banking needs are basic - simple Checking and Savings. Used Amex and Chase for any credit card needs, but you may also consider one of the banks for a secured credit card as well, to help build your credit file, if that is important to you. We used Amex for that, as I had that in the UK as well.
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Old May 9th 2019, 6:44 pm
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Default Re: Tips on best bank

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post

Remember there aren't multi-bank ATM networks in the US,
MoneyPass and CO-OP are multi credit union/bank ATM systems. A great many credit unions across the US are part of one or both allowing for free cash withdrawals at around 32,000 ATM across the States. I believe most if not all the ATMs in 7-11 stores are part of the system.
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Old May 9th 2019, 7:30 pm
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Smile Re: Tips on best bank

Originally Posted by robtuck View Post
The ATM thing drove us to Wells Fargo
That annoyed me at first as well but honestly, how often do you go to an ATM that it actually matters?

The principle of paying to get my own money out will always grate on me, but I probably take $60 in actual cash out each month and that's normally enough for anything that I can't pay for with a card.

After all, you don't get credit card reward points for cash
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Old May 10th 2019, 8:18 pm
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Default Re: Tips on best bank

Originally Posted by TexanScot View Post
That annoyed me at first as well but honestly, how often do you go to an ATM that it actually matters?
A surprising number of people use them to make deposits though, when they're unable to make banking hours.

As to the mention of Barclays, they're just online in the US I think. I did see a branch years ago, but it closed, years ago.

HSBC, I think is hit or miss. It seems to be pretty good if you're a premiere customer, but that's what, $100K balance? If you're not, then they're pretty meh.
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Old May 13th 2019, 8:16 pm
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Default Re: Tips on best bank

I usually link to the JD Power survey results for threads like this. This link is the latest one. Scroll down for the rankings by region - Florida is the second set.
https://www.jdpower.com/business/pre...sfaction-study
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Old May 14th 2019, 3:48 pm
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Default Re: Tips on best bank

The international one we got was pointless (Lloyds).

Banks charge for cash withdrawals from other banks. My advice: Drive around you home area and work. Which ever one has the most locations pick that one.

Go in and ask what they need ID wise to start an account immediately and then work towards that.

The best thing for us was having a UK AMEX. I called US AMEX and they had a US credit card waiting for me on arrival.

As you have 0 credit, AMEX use your UK AMEX history.
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Old May 15th 2019, 7:13 pm
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Default Re: Tips on best bank

well i am in process of my L1 visa and while on a business trip to the US for a project I managed to set up a Wells Fargro chequing account pretty easily and they were pretty good . I want to start sending money over before I go , so I can use the card and start getting some credit going for a credit card
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Old May 16th 2019, 2:51 pm
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Default Re: Tips on best bank

A credit union .
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Old May 17th 2019, 10:44 pm
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Default Re: Tips on best bank

As someone said a Credit Union. That's what I did. There are some very friendly expat ones who will help you build up your credit and lend to you based on UK credit History. That's essential. It can take at least three years to get to a decent credit rating which you may have been familiar with in the UK. This was the credit union I went with, never had a problem, support online banking, you get a personal banker and they will fund cars without too much bother as well as give you credit cards. And the Credit Cards have a decent interest rate but also a great points system for paybacks. They also team up with lease car companies.

https://www.advancial.org/more/expatriate-banking/
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Old May 18th 2019, 3:49 pm
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Default Re: Tips on best bank

HSBC were the only bank that would give me a credit card with a sensible credit limit ($10,000 to start, it's since been increased) based on my income rather than my (non-existent) US credit history.
Living in NYC they have been pretty great, with branches everywhere and one that's a 10 minute walk from our apartment in Queens.

Having said that, as posters above have noticed, they're not everywhere. My experience with the US banking sector is that it's still stuck in the 1990s; as a result I've had to visit the branch more in a year and a half than the last 10 years back home with Santander (oh! Definitely keep your UK account open even if it's just got a quid in it like mine).

My (American) girlfriend uses Chase and honestly seems to have a better overall experience with them than I do with HSBC for working with anything outside of HSBC - HSBC doesn't work with a lot of services, banks, and payment apps that require a connection to your bank.
A friend from San Francisco also highly recommends a credit union as others have suggested.

I think it depends on your immediate needs. I knew I was moving here with nothing and would need to ramp up quickly in terms of furnishing the apartment and potential costs I hadn't considered, so a solid credit limit was important. So it turned out six months later when my girlfriend got fired and I ended up shouldering 100% of our costs!! However if you have good savings for any rainy-day issues, you can be more choosy and consider a credit union or bank that serves your area better.
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Old May 18th 2019, 4:20 pm
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Default Re: Tips on best bank

Thanks all just trying to prepare for the move. I have a large chunk of savings that I want to use as a deposit of a house build I already own 2 plots of land in Florida ready for the build but I need a mortgage to finance other half of the money.
I am thinking we may have to rent for about a year while we organise work to get a mortgage and build credit score then another year for the build but would really like to make a start on build ASAP so need to start building credit score fast
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