ICICI Travel Card Review and Opening Bank Account in USA

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Refer to the following comments with Darshan about ICICI Travel Card and Opening checking account in USA at How Much US Dollars to Carry to USA.

Even I own a ICICI travel card. i got it activated in 30 min..and the best part i liked it i can Load the card as in Dollars. so the currency conversion charges are pretty low compared to private conversions and can be used as ATM anywhere in USA or swiping..My parents are sponsoring my education and they transfer fund for my expense every month as its cheaper compared to transfering to Bank of America… And travel card has a validity of 2 yrs. + bank even provides a extra card in case of losing you can still take out moneys.


Ok. So, you will withdraw the money from ATM and deposit into you local bank account?


No, Y would i do that? when i am able to get dollars for my expense why will i take out and put to Local bank? As i can withdraw when i need and use it.!
The Main Topic of this Article is to How much $$ to carry?
I would say anything for fees as it will be necessary to carry TC or DD Dont carry cash. While Traveling Carry 100-200$ handy Depending your wist to expenses while travelling. Or for the monthly expense who depend on sponsor go for travel card.

ICIC Travel Card Review

You can get a ICICI travel card from ICICI Bank in India.

Compare the cost of transferring the money through the Travel Card.

According to ICICI Schedule of Fees

  • $1.50 per withdraw
  • ATM will charge another fee ( like $2.00)
  • $0.50 for Balance Inquiry
  • There will be a currency conversion markup of 3.5% levied by the ICICI Bank

Looking at the fees, you are going to pay atleast $3.50 and 3.5% markups.

I wouldn’t be using the card on regularly to withdraw money. I prefer a bulk transfer to your checking account or get a DD and deposit in your bank.

But, for emergency purpose, you can have this ICICI Travel card.

US Checking Account

Please don’t carry lot of cash with you. It’s not safe.

Following  experience was shared by HSB reader at Calling 911 and Don’t Carry Cash

Never carry money in wallet. I lost 1100$ when I came to US on a Business tour.

You can actually survive with $30 for 4 days or 20$ for lunch as well.

Your expenditure depends on the way you prioritize.

Within first 2 to 3 days of entering USA, open a bank account.

Don’t plan on carrying cash in your wallet for your day to day expenses.

In USA you deal with virtual money.

After you withdraw the money, deposit it to your checking account.

You can’t use cash in several places – Online Shopping, Apartment Rent, etc.

Please don’t say you are not going to shop online.

If your roommates have account within same bank, you can transfer money in an instant within seconds to balance monthly expenses.

No worries – Within few days or considering the lifestyle, you will be forced to transfer the money to your local bank account.


  1. Current Students – How did you get money from your parents or bank back home?
  2. How do you plan to get money from your home country?

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  1. Has anyone tried taking their travel card to the branch to make a direct transfer from travel card to checking account? This option works for SBI travel card, but I need to know for ICICI.

  2. Hello
    I use ICICI travel card, they charge 3$ per withdrawl (Bank of America), I would like to know which are all the ATMs where I can withdraw without additional fee?. Pl help guys.

  3. I brought enough money from India to last two months of living expenses – 200$ in cash and rest in Forex Card. As soon as I reached my University, I got loca bank account open within 30min. They gave me a debit card and few temporary cheques. Then I withdrew the entire balance from the Forex Card using ATM and deposited that cash in the local account. I used the cheque to pay my rent and debit card for all other purchases.

    1. Thats the best option. thanks for your comment Vijay.

      Where are you? Which school and when did you come to US?

  4. I agree with the author – I hardly ever carry cash on me, especially seeing that the vending machines at my school accept debit/credit cards. BUT, its always good to have 5 to10 dollars + a little spare change on you. This is because –
    1. Most toll gates still take only cash – Needed if you will be driving around.
    2. If you ever get mugged, or stopped by some big scary person when you’re all alone, its best to have a little (LITTLE being the keyword) cash on you. I might sound a little paranoid but I go to school in downtown Atlanta so, you can’t blame me 😀
    3. Vending machines outside of school take only cash. Lots of restaurants/cafes accept cards only for purchases of $5 or more.

    But its also extremely important to open a bank account ASAP. You wouldn’t believe how useful that is. You might also get special student deals on minimum balance requirements and the like.

    When I came here, I carried a lot of cash in my suitcases but opened a bank account my first day so I deposited all of it right then and there. I also have a vishwa yatra card with State Bank of India. They charge an extra $3 for every withdrawal but I used it only twice so that’s not too bad.

    HINT – For people already here, try to take new students to the bank with you – You could get a referral fee! (Who doesn’t love free money!)

    1. Awesome tips. So, you are attending Georgia State University?

      Find the person who gave you ride from airport or temporary accommodation. Use them for referral.

      Bank of America will give $20 to $50 each if you provide referral.

      I don’t mind getting referral bonus too 🙂

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