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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Opening a bank account as a non-US resident in the USA

I am interested in parking some of my savings in a US bank account. My upcoming visit at the end of August is a good opportunity to do that because, a non-resident cannot open an account online. I know there are some options but, I would like to go with names, I am familiar with.

I am looking at Wells Fargo, Citibank and HSBC. HSBC is present in Turkey whereas the other two are not.

I am going to base my decision solely upon the following fees:

1. Account Fees
2. Fees for withdrawal from an ATM outside the US

Normally, if you maintain a certain balance, they should not hit you with fees. I have no intention to use this account in the next few years. No fees for a minimum balance of USD 1500 and 2-5 USD per each ATM transaction outside of US is acceptable to me which seem to be the norm from what I have read.

I haven't decided as to how much I would like to bring to the US. That is an important decision and I do not want to go overboard with that at least in the beginning. I am thinking of gradually shifting money to such an account.

If HSBC makes it easy and cheap to transfer funds between the two countries, I think, I will do business with them. Right now, I am not a customer of theirs in Turkey. I looked it up though and by moving some of my savings to an account with them might prove useful. I have submitted a form inquiring about what I need to know. I will wait patiently till someone gets back to me in 24 hours. Hoping at least...

Some of you may ask why I want to do this so, here is why: I am very suspicious about the future of the economy and political stability in my own country. I think the current government is screwing up big time and at one point they may decide to freeze our accounts, limit withdrawals (happened in Greece; a European Union Country a couple of years ago) or decide that our savings in foreign currencies will be converted to the local currency. Or even worse, a civil war may break out because of the stupidity of the Government.

Many people do not think any of this might happen but, I am a born pessimist. I would like to park at least some of my money outside of Turkey at a trustworthy organization yet still within reach globally. Better be safe than sorry...


  1. Stay away from Wells Fargo. They have been in the news a lot lately for shady business practices. Thousands lost their jobs because these sales people were opening up accounts for people who didn't approve it just so they would keep Meeting their sales quotas.

    1. Thanks for the warning. Unfortunately that is a practice you can come across anywhere in the world due to unrealistic sales quotas. Similar thing has happened here too. I am leaning towards HSBC for the time being.

  2. People in the US worry our own accounts will meet the fate of accounts in Greece. Have you looked into BBVA? Do you have that bank in Turkey?

    1. Hi Linda! No BBVA here. Had never heard of them before, to be honest.

    2. Our Central Bank was bought by BBVA or merged or something. So, I thought it might be international.

    3. I looked further into BBVA and looks like they own 49% of a Turkish Bank but I do not like to do business with that bank since their fees are too high.