Opening US bank account from o

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Jerry, Oct 3, 2000.

  1. Jerry

    Jerry Guest


    I live overseas (in Australia) and would like to open up a bank account with a US financial institution. I don't need credit. I don't even need a checkbook. All I need to do is to be able to receive funds (from PayPal and/or BillPoint) and be able to wire money overseas (preferably using the net though doing it over the phone is acceptable).

    I've had a look at some of the banks (like but they require you to be a US resident. Others require a social security number and either a driver license number or a state ID number. I have none of these things (since I don't live in the US).

    Is there any bank out there that might suit my needs? Do some of the international banks (eg Citibank) provide such a service? I don't need anonymity or any of those other issues which seem to predominate this board. All I want to be able to do is receive US funds to a US bank account and then wire this money home.

    Any suggestions?
  2. mrBelvedr

    mrBelvedr Guest

    how to beat the transfer fee u

    I don't have advice on opening the account, but I do have another trick for you. All banks will charge you $40 per money transfer to wire money overseas. Even if you have a citibank account they will charge you $40 to transfer the money to your account in Australia. Here is how I beat the system using my sometimes brilliant mind. My wife and I opened an account at Citibank, then got an atm card for our account. We snail-mailed the atm card to my wife's family in Jakarta Indonesia. Whenever we want to send money to her family in Jakarta we simply put the money in the citibank account, then they go to the atm in jakarta and withdrawl it. We have saved hundreds of dollars this way!

  3. J. Marten

    J. Marten Guest

    RE: how to beat the transfer f

    Thats not a bad idea. Currently its not that pertinent to my situation as I'm looking at a one-off (in terms of wiring money out).

    It does bring up another question I had though. I spoke to my local bank and asked them if they could cash checks denominated in US dollars and issued by US financial institutions.

    The answer was that they could but there were two types of checks:

    The first type was marked with something like "Cleared Foreign Currency" and could be cleared immediately (with a small fee).

    The second was the ordinary type of check that took 20-30 working days to clear (as it had to be send to and processed in the US) and came with a larger fee.

    The question is: what is the first type of check? Is that the cashier's or bank checks you can get issued by banks? Or is it something else?
  4. sha

    sha Guest

    RE: Opening US bank account fr

    Ur bank should offer an international check . which you could use anywhere in the US . It will be drawn on A US bank .. But it will be through ur bank over seas they draw it from the banks account with the US bank .
    For example ur bank will have an account with chase manhatten . and when u use the check in the us it will be drawn from ur banks account from the chase manhatten bank from the funds of ur bank . it will probably cost an extra charge though which i can;t really remember the exact amount , hope this helps .
  5. Michael

    Michael Guest

    RE: Opening US bank account fr


    The Cheque that sha is speaking about is a "Draft" drawn on a U.S. bank. Some banks also charge exsesive fees for these. I find U.S. Dollar Travelers Cheques work great also and are usualy cheaper.

    Now on to your Bank account needs. I sujest you first start at home and find out if the bank your dealing with has a U.S. office with regular retail banking in the U.S., if they do you should be able to get something done that way.

    Second, if not try approaching either Bank of Hawaii, Citibank, or HSBC (all have oz offices/branches), and seeing if they can help you from Oz.

    Third, Contact the U.S. Banks direct and speak with their International Dept. at the head office. I would recomend Bank of Hawaii , or Bank of America in San Fran. You will of course need to send them copies of I.D. such as passport and a good idea would be to offer them to get it notarized.

    Forget the Internet Banks. Unfortunatly the States has never been an outwardly looking country and the U.S. Internet banks are an epitomy of this. Even now after NAFTA not one U.S. Bank has opened anything in Canada except MBNA, and Capital One for Credit Cards only!

    Also if the bank requires a Social Sec. # you can get an ITIN (Individual Tax I.D. Number)
    by going to the site go to forms and select the application for ITIN form, it will take about 10 weeks to get it.

    Hope all this helps,

    By the way what did you aussies do to the Canadian team down there, it was one of our worst olympics in history!
  6. William Wa

    William Wa Guest

    RE: Opening US bank account fr


    I regularly consult with overseas businesses that need to establish a US financial presence. The only way to do it is to create a US Based corporation, wholly owned by yourself or your business, and have a resident agent service in the state of incorporation. Typically the resident agent will provide mail forwarding and voicemail or telephone answering services as a part of the service contract. Once you have a US Based corporation, you can get a US federal tax ID number and get a business bank account for your company with one of the online banks like Compubank (whom I deal with and tend to funnel my clients to).

    There are currently 3 states here in the US that are favorable states for this type of incorporation setup. One of them has absolutely no state taxes for corporations, so the only tax considerations would be for federal taxes on the net income of the US corporation. There are legal and creative ways of minimizing this liability.

    Contact me via email if you want more information.

    William Walsh
  7. Michael

    Michael Guest



    The gentleman wants a Personal Account, not a corporate account!

    Your talking about a very expensive set up ONLY TO RECEIVE MONEY!
  8. William Wa

    William Wa Guest


    Not as expensive as you would think. One client from Australia did it because the fees he was having to pay for his advertisers and other business partners, etc, in the US to wire the funds to him was vastly more than the cost of maintaining the corporation. It was costing him as much as $900/mo in fees.

    And I didn't see any specification as to looking for a personal or business account. It sounded to me like he was a business owner.
  9. J. Marten

    J. Marten Guest

    RE: Opening US bank account fr

    Just to clarify a few things.

    No this isn't for business. It is for personal use (and low volume use at that). I should've clarified that to begin with as I'm well aware of the process of incorporating in the US (usually in Delaware) and maintaining a US financial presence that way.

    I spoke to someone from Citibank today and apparently they can do it though it takes time (and may or may not be expensive). Unfortunately the people I need to speak to had left for the day but I'll call them next week and see what they have to say.

    If anyones interested I can post back the results of my investigation with Citibank. I may also try and contact HSBC next week.

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