After opening your checking account, a typical and basic bank account, you will receive a debit card. A debit card is similar to a credit card except that the money is automatically and immediately taken from your bank account.
Other than a debit card, you might want to have a credit card. Sometimes it can be difficult to obtain a new credit card since international students and scholars don’t have a credit history in the US, which credit card companies rely on to assess your financial stability. However, there are a couple of ways to develop one.
- Some banks will offer you a credit card when you open an account with them. Be careful to research interest and penalty rates. Find out the dates that payments are due, so you can be sure to pay on time!
- If you already have a credit card with an international network (such as American Express, MasterCard, etc) in your country, ask them if any transfer service is available.
- Find a student card or pre-paid card, which you can use to develop your credit.
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