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USA bank account from abroad 
26th-Nov-2011 09:07 pm [bank account]
Torso
I'm pretty sure it's a lost cause but is there any possible way of opening a USA bank account from abroad?  I am fed up with Bank of America, as they have started charging me fees without telling me, and I only use the account as a way-station for student loan payments (Pounds converted via XE, deposited into BoA, payment from BoA to student loan).  My student loan provider will not accept foreign payments.

No idea when I'll be back in the USA to do it in person.
Comments 
26th-Nov-2011 09:11 pm (UTC)
I actually just had to do the online chat thing with BoA over this. I got charged a "monthly maintenance fee" on my checking account and chatted with a rep-- I explained that I didn't agree to any fees, I don't live in the USA anymore and only rarely use the account for getting money from the US to here, and they reversed the fee and said that it wouldn't be charged anymore.
26th-Nov-2011 09:13 pm (UTC)
Gah, I tried to do this and the guy sounded like a total robot and jsut kept saying, "your account changed to a blahblah checking and there is now a $12 monthly fee chargeable blah blah." Maybe I wasn't ballsy enough?
26th-Nov-2011 09:17 pm (UTC)
Ew, man, I don't know! Maybe try it again and see if you get someone more understanding? Aside from that, I have no idea.
26th-Nov-2011 09:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks, the online support seems to have finished for the day but I will try again tomorrow. It's probably too much to hope they'll refund the insane overdraft charge that also came out because of the stupid fee!
26th-Nov-2011 09:23 pm (UTC)
It was pure luck that I had $20 in my account when it got charged so the fee was mostly covered-- it generally stays firmly at $0! I hope they at least reverse those fees for you.
26th-Nov-2011 10:00 pm (UTC)
Huh. And erk. :/ Hearing from both of you makes me want to double check my own. BoA is one of the few banks that I can take money out of with out getting socked with fews by one bank or another. :( (Not in the UK. But similar issue.)
27th-Nov-2011 09:10 am (UTC)
Anything called MyAccess Checking charges a fee. The 'free' one is called eBanking.
26th-Nov-2011 09:28 pm (UTC)
I have an ING Direct savings account, and I opened that completely online. I think I had to either fax or send scans of my ID documents but I definitely never had to set foot in a bank to do it.
26th-Nov-2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
You might have better luck with non-traditional banks. Credit unions tend to be more helpful, and I know State Farm are able to open accounts when you're not yet resident in the US.
26th-Nov-2011 09:59 pm (UTC)
A couple years ago Citibank allowed me to simultaneously open a UK bank account and a US bank account with them, from London. I can't really recommend them because their customer service was idiotic, but at least they can do it.
27th-Nov-2011 02:13 am (UTC)
this. I had a citibank dollar account and a GBP account and could transfer money between the two really easily.
27th-Nov-2011 05:11 am (UTC)
I'm going to second the ING recommendation. I have a savings and an electric orange checking account and both were totally online opening. You'll have to keep your BoA open for another month or two to initially fund the account, etc, but after that, you can do everything electronically. Also, they give you $25-$50 for opening the account (I think actually $100 if you do it this weekend!) when you do it with a referral. PM me if you want one.
27th-Nov-2011 09:14 am (UTC)
Cool, thanks, I'll look into ING then.
27th-Nov-2011 07:27 am (UTC)
If you have a BofA account you can open an ING Direct account, tie it to BofA, and then close your BofA account. You should be aware though that ING doesn't do international transfers.
27th-Nov-2011 09:15 am (UTC)
Thanks, I use XE.com to do the currency conversion, so I only need a basic acct Stateside.
27th-Nov-2011 02:00 pm (UTC)
I'd also challenge the loan provider and point out that as you're no longer resident in the US and shortly won't have a US bank account, what else would they suggest for making your regular payments? I guess it depends on whether the small print when you signed up for the loan made it a condition that you paid them from a US account. I can see that they might not want to have to deal with currency conversion, but there are other ways of providing them with a dollar amount.

Some UK banks will allow you to hold an account in dollars, they might charge a fee (possibly depending on how good a customer you are for your UK account) but might also convert at a better rate than XE and so save the cost of the fee. Alternatively, you might end up getting screwed even more.

D
5th-Dec-2011 07:05 am (UTC)
My impression was that they shouldn't be charging fees. They were going to charge $5 per month for debit card accounts, but we got all American on them and started petitions and they took it back. Do you have anything different than a straight up checking account?
Bank of America was a pain in the ass when I was in the UK. Seriously, EVERY TIME I wanted to use my debit card abroad, they put a hold on it, and even when I called and said "PUT A NOTE ON MY ACCOUNT THAT I WILL NOT BE IN THE US UNTIL X DATE", they would put a hold on my card.
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