Probably the question we get asked most often is – How to open an American bank account?
This is because, in the world of international banking, US bank accounts for non-residents can be a powerful tool.
If you’re a non-resident, expat, digital nomad, or foreign business owner who deals with US dollars or US customers, a US bank account can be very beneficial to have. It can enable you to tap into many unique benefits that you can’t access anywhere else in the world.
Of course, not just anyone can tap into the American banking system. It can be a tricky process to navigate on your own.
But, with the right guidance, it is entirely possible to access American banking as a non-resident.
So if this is what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place!
- It is 100% possible for a non-resident to open an American bank account
- Opening bank accounts in the US can be challenging if you don’t have the proper information or know which bank to approach
- Banking requirements will vary between banks, branches, and even bankers
- Banking in the United States can offer unique benefits, including attractive credit card reward programs
Opening an American Bank Account
To open a bank account in America, you will need to find a bank, branch, and banker that accepts non-residents. From there you need to provide the necessary documents and meet bank-specific requirements.
While it can be a challenging process, with the right direction you can open a bank account in America as a non-resident.
In this article, we’re going to cover exactly how non-resident individuals can open bank accounts here. We’ll also share key factors you need to be aware of in the process.
But first, if this is your first time visiting GlobalBanks, don’t forget to download your FREE USA Banking Starter Guide. It’s designed to help non-resident individuals open accounts with top banks in the US.
Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.
Table of Contents:
- What are the Benefits of Opening an American Bank Account?
- How to Determine if You Qualify for an American Bank Account
- How to Choose Which American Bank to Open With
- How to Overcome the Most Common Account Opening Challenges
- How to Prepare Your Application for an American Bank Account
- Ready to Open an American Bank Account?
What are the Benefits of Opening an American Bank Account?
Before we go into the details of how a non-resident can open a bank account in the US, let’s first quickly go over why you might want to open a bank account in the US, to begin with.
So you know why it’s worth all the hassle.
Non-resident individuals can tap into a tremendous number of benefits by banking in America, here are a few of the top ones…
Benefits of Banking in the USA:
- Credible & safe banking system
- Access to US crypto exchanges
- Ability to invest in US stocks, ETFs, & other products
- Deposit insurance of $250,000
- Ability to build a US credit score & history
- Access to US credit cards & travel rewards
- Access to mortgages & financing
- Low (or fee-free) international withdrawals at ATMs
- Strong online banking platforms
- Privacy, since the US is a non-CRS country
- Access to US investment & brokerage products
- And more…
As you can see, there are many benefits non-resident individuals can tap into when they open a bank account in the US.
But, these benefits aren’t the same with every bank and every bank account. What you have access to highly depends on the bank you choose, your deposit level, and of course, your client profile. More specifically, your banking needs.
That said, you can access most (if not all) of these benefits if you open with the right bank. Including the top benefit many non-resident individuals and business owners are interested in: US credit cards.
US credit cards offer non-resident individuals and businesses attractive and profitable rewards that you can’t access anywhere else in the world.
In fact, no other country even comes close.
Of course, to unlock the benefits US credit cards can offer, you need to have the right information.
If you’re interested in learning more about US credit cards and how you can apply for one today, we share the step-by-step instructions on how to unlock the benefits in our premium members-only report “US Credit Card Strategies For Foreigners and Non-Residents”.
Now, if that all sounds good to you and you’d like to know how you can open a bank account in the US, here’s how to get started…
Step 1: How to Determine if You Qualify for an American Bank Account
The very first step you need to take when determining how to open a bank account in America is to figure out if you qualify to open a bank account.
Below you will find a list of the different client groups that are eligible to open a bank account in the US.
Who Can Open an Account with an American Bank:
- Non-resident individuals
- Digital Nomads
- Foreign business owners
- Foreign individuals with or without an ITIN or SSN
- US citizens living outside of the US
- Foreign companies with no ties to the US
- Non-resident individuals & companies that serve customers in the US
- Foreign businesses that have suppliers in the US
- Non-resident individuals requiring remote opening
As you can see, many different client groups can open American bank accounts.
But, like banking anywhere, the banks available to you will depend on your particular client profile and deposit level.
Not to mention, whether or not you can meet the bank-specific requirements.
With that said, if you fall into one of these categories and you want to open a US bank account, you’re in luck.
We detail the next steps below, including the bank-specific requirements you’ll need to meet.
Step 2: How to Choose Which American Bank to Open An Account With
The most important step of opening a personal bank account (or business bank account) in the US is knowing where to open an account.
Each bank, branch, and even banker has different requirements for the clients they are willing to accept.
This is why choosing the right bank for you is highly dependent on your client profile, desired banking needs, and the requirements you can meet.
If you choose the wrong bank, you will likely be rejected at the door. Wasting your time and money. Or if you’re accepted, you could end up paying unnecessary fees and not have access to the benefits you’re after.
So, it’s crucial that you choose the right bank before you start applying to open a bank account
Of course, this process can be difficult to navigate. This is especially true if you don’t know which banks will open accounts for you.
Fortunately, GlobalBanks can help… more specifically, GlobalBanks USA.
GlobalBanks USA is the number one US bank account opening service available anywhere. It helps non-resident individuals (and their businesses) open bank accounts in the United States.
This includes the direct one-on-one support you need to find and open accounts with real brick-and-mortar banks that match your client profile and banking needs.
With GlobalBanks USA you’ll have support through all of the challenges that a non-resident may face in the process of opening a bank account in the US. More on this below.
Step 3: How to Overcome the Most Common Account Opening Challenges
A guide on opening a US bank account as a non-resident would not be complete without covering the many bank account opening challenges you’re likely to face in the process. And of course, how to successfully overcome them.
Trying to open a bank account in America without preparing yourself for these challenges can be a huge waste of time and money. A little bit of time spent researching and preparing yourself can go a long way.
So, with this in mind, let’s look at the most common challenges non-resident individuals face when opening bank accounts here…
Challenges of Opening an Account With an American Bank:
- Unable to navigate the strict onboarding process
- Not able to meet deposit requirements
- Unable to demonstrate sufficient ties to America
- Providing an accepted proof of address
- Providing an accepted phone number
- Frequent denials due to inaccurate documentation
- Unable to find banks that don’t require an ITIN or SSN
- And more…
The trickiest part of this whole process is knowing what “sufficient” or “accepted” actually means.
Because this can vary from bank to bank and even banker to banker.
So, one of the best shortcuts to success when it comes to opening a bank account in America is to know exactly which bank to go to and which banker to speak to.
If you can get that right, everything will be smooth from there.
Once you’ve nailed down the right bank, branch, and banker to approach for your particular client profile, the next step is to prepare your application.
Step 4: How to Prepare Your Application for an American Bank Account
So far, you’ve confirmed that you can open a bank account in America, you have chosen a bank you to apply with, and you’ve familiarized yourself with the potential bank account opening challenges you may face.
From there, the next step is to prepare your application and submit the proper documents to apply for a bank account.
And, as a non-resident, you will be required to submit additional documentation to open a bank account in America that is not required of residents and citizens.
Here are some of the requirements non-resident individuals need to meet when opening a bank account in America…
Requirements to International Bank Accounts in America:
- Completed bank account application
- Two forms of government identification
- Proof of US tax identification (SSN or ITIN)
- Proof of residence in your country of residence
- An acceptable American address (varies from bank to bank)
- American phone number (varies from bank to bank)
- Proof of income & source of wealth
- Account opening deposit between $50,000 and $250,000 (varies from bank to bank)
- And more…
Of course, these requirements can vary depending on the state you wish to open a bank account in. And also, on the specific bank, branch, and even banker you deal with.
But, generally speaking, you will likely be required to meet all, if not more, of these requirements.
If there are any specific requirements that you can’t meet or if you’re unsure whether the documentation you have will be acceptable, don’t worry. We can help you through every step of the process.
Ready to Open an American Bank Account?
Whether you’re ready to open a bank account in the US today or you’re just starting to explore your options, we can help.
GlobalBanks USA is our dedicated US bank account opening service.
GlobalBanks USA gives you everything you need to start finding and opening US bank accounts for you and your business.
When you join GlobalBanks USA, you receive a dedicated account manager to help you navigate your US account opening options.
Plus, you receive access to our library of premium (members-only) US banking reports. This includes proven account opening strategies, client-specific lists of banks, and successful tactics to make the most of US banking.
Of course, you’ll receive direct introductions to US bankers who are ready to help you navigate the bank account opening process at top US banks.