To open a bank account in the U.S. Notes on Credit Card Application

In this article,

For those of you who are new to the U.S. from overseas and want to open a bank account.

We hope you will find it simple and easy to understand.

I have compiled an article on how to open a bank account in the U.S. and what you need to do to apply for a U.S. credit card.


I recommend the following banks such as:

  • Chase Bank
  • Bank of America

The reason is that they are located everywhere and are very convenient. They are a huge bank in the U.S.

After all, it is a problem if there is no bank nearby. These two banks are very close by without having to drive long distances. I have used other banks in the past, but these two are the ones I still use today and they provide very good service. (Very convenient with them near the LA area).

Chase bank is excellent for business. Bank of America is a good bank for students.


The documents required to open a bank account in the U.S. are:

  • An address in the U.S. (easy if you live in the U.S.). (This is easy if you live in the U.S., but may be a bit of a challenge if you are opening a bank account from abroad.)
  • Passport or residence permit (work visa, student visa, etc.).
  • A driver’s license is also acceptable.
  • Some cash to put in the bank at the beginning (it depends on the bank, but $100 or so is fine).

That’s it.

It takes about 30 minutes to an hour.

If you have difficulty in speaking English, they can provide an interpreter over the phone, so please tell them “I don’t speak English very well.” then, they will take care of it.

The most difficult part of opening a bank account is that there are many things you cannot understand in English. However, in most cases, you don’t have to worry about it, because you will not get a strange account or be cheated. Because they are the top two banks in the U.S.

The person in charge can call a special interpreter to translate and recommend an arrangement, so please tell them who helps you what you cannot speak.


In the past, without a bank account, it was difficult to send and receive money from overseas, but now there are services such as PayPal, so opening a bank account may not be that important anymore, but it is still in demand.


There are two types of bank accounts in the U.S.: Checking and Saving.

What is that? The “Saving” account is for savings, so there is no problem if you don’t have a savings account.


The “checking” account is for using EVERYTHING, so you need it.

  • Paying the electricity and gas bills for the house
  • If you are working, you can use it to deposit your salary.
  • Receiving and sending for any international wire transfer if you need.

This is all you need to do.


Once you have opened your account, you can use your debit card (this card can be used to make ATM withdrawals and deposits). This debit card can also be used to make purchases. Unlike a credit card, only the amount spent will be deducted directly from your checking account.

You can use your debit card for purchases at any store (restaurants, Starbucks, shopping malls). (There are even some Americans who use debit cards rather than credit cards to avoid having to make any debt.)


The most difficult part of the banking process is getting a credit card.

You will need; Social Security Number.

If you do not have a social security number, you will not be able to get a credit card. If you want to get a credit card, you must first obtain a social security number. (If you do not have a work permit, it may be difficult to obtain this SSN.)

If you have a social security number, the next thing you need is a “credit history.”


You will need to prove your credit history, which is unique to the United States. If you do not pass this screening, you will not be able to apply for the card. At first, I too was not sure why I would be screened based on my credit history when I did not have a U.S. credit card. I applied for the lowest level credit card and was approved.


There are different levels of credit cards.

For example, you can choose a credit card that does not require much credit history.

When I first applied for a Bank of America credit card, it was an initial card with a $1000 limit and no annual fee.


As of 2022, you can now apply without a social security number that I heard, and I did make sure with customer service too, so you still have a chance to apply.


Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card for Students

If you do not have a social security number, you can apply for this card with your passport number.

You cannot apply online, but you can go to the counter in person or call the Bank of America office.

Bank of America Credit Card Application Office:  +1(877)754-6707

If you call this number and tell them that you want to apply, they will let you do so. (You can apply, but that does not guarantee that you will be approved.)

Once you don’t have a social security number,

You may want to try this credit card application.

It is free to try.

And this card has no annual fee and comes with cash back.


Maybe You need to be careful with the credit card because it is easy to decrease your credit score.

For example, Every time you apply for a new credit card, your score goes down. I don’t know why it does come.

And, be careful how you use the card and if you don’t pay immediately or forget to pay. Forgetting to make a payment can cause your score to drop about 60 points. (yeah, I did it)

If you make the payment right away( or as soon as possible), Then you may get it back, but you need to manage it well from the beginning.

If your score is low, you will not be able to get a credit card, to buy a car and a house, or a student loan, or even to rent an apartment. In the U.S., credit score is EVERYTHING. If it is high, it is very easy to live and if it is low, it is hard to live in the U.S for sure.

If you are going to have a credit card.

You need to make your payments on time all the time so that you can raise your credit score.


To conclusion:

  • The recommended banks are; Chase Bank and Bank of America

Documents required to open an account are:

  • Address in the U.S.
  • Passport, driver’s license, or visa
  • Some amount of cash

How to apply for a credit card and what you need to know about it is:

  • Most cards basically require a social security number
  • Credit score (credit history) is required to apply and be approved.
  • Bank of America offers credit cards(some, not everything) that require only a passport (as of 2022).
  • Failure to make credit payments will lower your score and make it difficult to live in the U.S.

This is all good point which you need to open a bank account and apply a credit card.


I hope you found this article helpful.

Thank you for reading.



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