Banks you can open an account in the US as a tourist

united-states
banking
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(Sergio Fernandes) #1

I’m a Brazilian resident, although from time to time I make business trips to the US. I managed to open a Wells Fargo account while on a trip there, but I really don’t like their fees or international support (no way to receive an access code from outside the US, for example), so I was trying to open an account on Charles Schwab or Capital One. I have a US address that I can use from a coworker and close friend of mine, but both of these banks require a SSN, which I don’t have. Do you know any other option that doesn’t require it?
A friend of mine suggested TDBank, but they focus more on the East Coast, while I mostly go to the West Coast.
Does anyone know any other option?
Thanks in advance!


(Fernando Silveira) #2

Sergio,

I’m Brazilian as well, and first would like to ask:
Do you mostly need to PAY in USD or GET PAID in USD?

If you just want to hold or spend USD, options like Revolut card are the best ones.

If you want to pay into US accounts, open a Transferwise virtual account. BTW, people can even transfer money from US accounts to you. Revolut and Transferwise allow you to switch to USD anytime, to benefit from currency fluctuation.

If you really need a standard US bank, check this post:


The guy provided me many details, I almost tried to do it last time I’ve been to the US.
TIP: seems you have to explain to the employee of a bank that no law requires a SSN. Sometimes other branches of the same bank might do it for you. He explains which one worked.

To get a proper address (not PO Box) if needed:
https://www.theupsstore.com/mailboxes/personal-mailboxes

Official US Gov info that SSN are not required for bank accounts:


I quote:
“Although many companies, such as banks and
credit companies, may ask for your Social Security
number, you generally aren’t required to provide one
if you don’t have one.”

I have accounts in many countries (not US) and I’ve learned to simply go somewhere else whenever I face a bank/branch unwilling to do it. Just do the same.
Let me know if you need more help or how it turned out.


(wischi) #3

Hey Sergio,
Your friend is right, TD Bank is pretty awesome, just open an account while you are on the East Coast you can use it in all of the US.

I also had success with opening a citi Account.

Best,
Angelo


(Sergio Fernandes) #4

Thank you very much for the reply, guys! Sorry for taking so long to talk back, a lot of stuff happening here.
Thank you very much for the link from the US Government, is good to show this to them, I think it might help.
Well, so that you can understand my situation, what happens is that from time to time I get a wire transfer from an investment bank to an account. It could be a Brazilian one, but the fees are crazy high and the currency exchange is always unfavorable.
So what I did is that I managed to open a Wells Fargo account when I was there, and I make those wire transfers and keep the money there.
It’s good for me because I mainly travel to the US, so I can use the debit card there normally and have better rates.
What I was looking for is another bank that’s usually good for foreigners to open accounts, that has real support for foreigners, like sending a new card to another country and so on, and that has low fees for debit card usage outside of the US
I was thinking about TDBank, but the problem is that I mostly travel to the west coast, and there is no TD Bank there. I was also thinking about CapitalOne, I didn’t try the last time because I didn’t have time to go to the branch, but people say that they are good for tourists and have good fees for account usage from outside the US, and it’s the one that the guys on this is ost suggests.
Do you guys know any other option?
Thank you very much for your help so far! You’re awesome!


(Thomas K. Running) #5

Regarding Capital One, from what I understand it’s quite doable to open an account as a non-resident, but not with Capital One 360 which is the product that has good exchange rates with use abroad etc. For 360 you need a SSN and US address.


(Iso) #6

I have a contact at Santander who is very helpful with foreigners opening accounts, feel free to get in touch - he helped me set up my account earlier this year although as soon as I mentioned that I had SSN he said it would be a piece of cake - girl he dealt with before me was also from Brazil and opened an account without SSN.


(web-dev1) #7

TD Bank is the best.
They open your account just with a valid passport.


(Stan Brown) #8

Hi All,
Wischi already mentioned Citi-bank. WellsFargo is not yet into digital banking and you will need at least usd 1500 on your checking account so you will have no fees. Citi bank just requires usd 1500 on any account with them.
Or if you can wait for Revolut or N26 which both planning to start early 2019.