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  1. Default Saving money by opening a bank account


    I posted here because I thought this would be one way of saving money e.g. on transaction fees.

    I was thinking about opening a bank account to save money on overseas transactions fees and to kerb any negative effects if the AUD goes down (if I transfer the money over when the exchange rate is good). So I found out that HSBC has a service that allows a non resident to open a bank account in the US but apparently it cost $200 to do so!

    So my question is, are there any other banks that do this and cheaper? Have there been any other Australians who have done this in the past? I will be staying a minimum of 3 months, though I desire to go for longer (if I can get the tourist visa), so I figured that for 3 months or more it would be worthwhile opening a bank account? I think there might be some tax implications as well, any idea where abouts on the IRS website I could find out information on this?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    A variety of laws are going to make it more difficult that I think you'd like.

    First, anti-terror laws will likely make it more difficult to open an account, as extra identification is now needed to open bank accounts and i don't know how that would affect a non-resident.

    Second, recent "consumer protection" laws designed to save Americans from things like overdraft and other fees, have caused banks to change their own practices. While free checking accounts have been commonplace for years, many of them are now going away. Many banks are now charging fees just for having an account, although $200 does seem a bit high.

    There really shouldn't be any tax issues, assuming you're opening a standard checking or savings account where you won't be earning any significant amount of interest.

    Your best bet would likely be to contact some of the other major banks like Wells Fargo or Bank of America and see what they tell you. Of course, these are huge banks and getting someone who actually has a clue can be a problem which is why I'd normally suggest avoiding these "too big to fail" companies, but in your situation, its probably where you'll have the most luck.

  3. Default

    Thanks. Will check out the bigger banks and see what they have to offer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default It can be done.

    In 2009 I found out, only a few days before the end of my trip, that Bank of America will allow you to open a bank account, as a non-resident. There is certain documentation they need, such as your passport and visa, etc. And as I understand it, it can only be done when you are over in the US, and not remotely over the internet, or by phone.

    I fully plan to avail myself of this service. There is an obligation to have a certain balance at all times, to avoid having to pay a monthly fee. I think it was in the vicinity of $750. Meanwhile I have moved the money for my next holiday into a friend's account.... to preserve the standing of the AU$ against the US$. And if it gets any stronger, I might just move a bit more. lol

    Lifey in Melbourne
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 05-10-2011 at 07:20 AM.

  5. Default

    I've just recently found out the same thing. Hopefully, the information I got from them is accurate and that I don't get any nasty surprises when I get there!

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