Common Mistakes You’re Making With Your Checking Account

You might be surprised to learn there are common mistakes youโ€™re making with your checking account.

Many of these mistakes are being made by foreigners new to banking in the United States, who opened accounts from abroad. But, plenty of residents are making these mistakes too and there’s a good chance you’re making at least one or two of them.

Feel free to jump ahead to the areas most relevant to you by using the table of contents below.

Table of Contents

  1. Common Mistakes Made With Checking Bank Accounts
  2. Frequently Asked Questions
  3. Ready to Open Accounts With Banks in the USA?

Common Mistakes Made With Checking Bank Accounts

When it comes to common mistakes with checking accounts, there are three that we consistently see both individuals and business owners make, explained below.

Please note: This article is focused on standard checking accounts. So, if you are looking for special interest accounts like a payable-on-death account, you should use our other account opening resources instead.

Additionally, if you are looking for instructions related to specific account-related matters like appointing minors as beneficiaries or opening joint accounts, our other resources will be better placed to serve you.

1. Choosing the Wrong Bank

The most common mistake that people make when it comes to banking is choosing the wrong bank to open accounts with. This is true for both personal, business, and even investment accounts.

Unfortunately, most people choose banks based on branding, personal referrals, geographic location, or how trustworthy they perceive the bank to be. To a certain extent, these aspects are important, but they donโ€™t necessarily help you identify the right bank for your particular client profile.

Instead, we suggest that individuals and companies choose banks based on a few key variables including their client profile, available supporting documents, desired services, desired deposit and minimum balance, transaction activity, and much more.

We share all of the specific variables and how to navigate the specific account opening options in both GlobalBanks IQ, GlobalBanks Insider, and GlobalBanks USA. You can use any of these account-opening solutions to find the best banks for you right now.

2. Opening a Bank Account With High Fees

The second common mistake that we see people make is opening accounts with very high fees. Unfortunately, this is very common. In most cases, this is the result of people signing account opening agreements without reviewing the bank’s fee lists first.

Of course, fees will vary depending on the type of account you want to open, the bank you’re considering, and even the country where you want to bank. But, if you are opening accounts as a non-resident or for a non-resident company, you may be additional fees as well.

With this in mind, we suggest that before applying for an account, review all the fees very carefully. And, if the bank does not provide you with an updated fee list automatically, request it directly before agreeing to proceed with account opening.

3. Treating Your Checking Account Like a Savings Account

Lastly, another mistake that we see people making is treating their checking account as if itโ€™s a savings account. In other words, instead of opening a savings account to hold deposits with infrequent transactions, many people open a checking account in order to access this basic functionality.

The problem with this approach is that checking accounts often have higher fees and higher deposit requirements. This is because the account is meant to support frequent transaction activity and the account holder’s ability to write checks. Of course, if you donโ€™t need this kind of functionality (and the extra fees are a concern), then consider a savings account instead.

If this is your first time visiting GlobalBanks, donโ€™t forget to download your FREE US Banking Starter Guide. Itโ€™s designed to help non-residents with opening bank accounts at top financial institutions in the US.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are three of the most common questions that we receive from people looking to open a checking account in a foreign country. If you have further questions you would like answered, donโ€™t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

How Can I Avoid Making Mistakes With My Checking Account?

To avoid making mistakes when opening a checking account, applicants should carefully choose the country, bank, and even branch that they open with. Additionally, applicants should review the eligibility requirements, confirm the financial requirements (e.g. deposit minimums, minimum balance requirements to avoid fees, etc.), and confirm the applicable fees before signing any account agreements.

How Can I Make Sure I Am Choosing the Right Bank?

To choose the right bank, applicants should review their client profile, expected transaction activity, and desired deposit. They can then match these variables with banks based on bank preferences, financial requirements like deposits, eligibility requirements, and more. Of course, there are many other factors to consider, all of which are covered in detail in GlobalBanks IQ, GlobalBanks Insider, and GlobalBanks USA.

Where Should I Open Checking Accounts?

When deciding where to open a checking account, applicants should consider their specific requirements, ties to different countries, minimum balances and fees required to maintain the account, and their ability to meet account opening requirements. That said, most non-residents can consider opening accounts 100% remotely in sought-after jurisdictions like the United States, Europe, and in top offshore banking hubs.

Ready to Open Accounts With Banks in the USA?

If so, you can get access to GlobalBanks USA (our dedicated US banking service) in just a few clicks.

GlobalBanks USA is a 100% personal account opening solution. It provides direct access to our team of US banking experts.

When you join, you receive…

+ Expert suggestions on where to open US bank accounts.

+ Step-by-step support to navigate opening US bank accounts.

+ Direct introductions to helpful and responsive bankers.

+ Plus, detailed guides to maximizing the value you get from your new US bank account.

And “yes!” GlobalBanks USA helps foreigners and non-resident individuals open bank accounts.

In fact, GlobalBanks USA even helps non-resident US LLCs and foreign & offshore entities.

To learn more about GlobalBanks USA, visit the product page to see how our team can help you successfully open US bank accounts!

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GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

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