Varun is attending the Community College in LA. He shared his experience about opening bank accounts and credit cards.
Student Bank Accounts
I would like to share about my BANK EXPERIENCE in California. I opened some bank accounts in
- Bank of America,
- Wells Fargo
Bank of America Campus Edge Account
The best bank for students that I have found is Bank of America. They have really good service. They provide checking account for students called “Campus Edge account”.
The “Campus Edge account” is perfect when a depositor is an international student. The account doesn’t require to keep a maintaining balance. You can open even at a zero balance.
They will give an Over Draft protection too if the person is found eligible. They can also issue student credit cards if we apply for some.
Credit card application requires a Tax ID. It can be obtained by filling a W7 form. This is for non residents and non US citizens. Having a tax ID is helpful in banking transactions.
Other Bank Accounts
- Chase Bank is new in California. But the bank needs a minimum of 25$ for account opening.
- CitiBank is okay but it requires minimum balances to be maintained when a student opens an account.
- Wells Fargo is a little complicated and it doesn’t have many branches either.
One thing a student should remember when opening bank accounts is the need to always keep a check on your accounts. Normally, the transactions in USA are all internet / online based.
Monthly bills like telephone are charged over the internet. If we get less balance and the account is over drawn, then OVERDRAFT fees can be imposed as penalty.
So be aware of your bills so that your bank account doesn’t go into negative. I hope I had provided some useful information based upon my real life experiences in Los Angeles.
Don’t Open Multiple Accounts
I’m not sure why you had to open 4 bank accounts. All you really need is just one checking account that has ATM/branch in your campus or close to your home. Opening 4 bank accounts is definitely not required and is just too much.
I’m wondering what was the incentive for opening 4 accounts. Did those banks offer you referral fees of $25 or $50?
Just keep tabs on your credit card spending. Credit card debt is bad and it will come back to hurt you later on.
Know how much money you have in your checking account and swipe your credit card only within that level or don’t use your credit card for major purchases.
You have to use the card to build a good credit history, so be careful on what you use your card for.
- Student Credit Card – Getting into Debt
- How to Apply for Student Cards
Don’t spend money on your credit card when you don’t have money to pay for the credit card at end of a month.