How to Manage Money in US: Check Details of Banks, ATMs, Cards & Currency Exchange

How to Manage Money in US
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How to Manage Money in US: The USA is a dream destination for Indian students because of the presence of world-class universities. While staying in the USA during your study abroad journey, you must be informed about money management in the country. International Bank accounts, Forex Cards, ATM withdrawals, currency exchange etc are some of the primary things you will come across after reaching the United States. Let’s discuss all the factors that will help you to deal with all such things and manage your money properly without any hindrances. 

Currency of USA

The currency of the United States of America (USA) is US Dollars. You can get your INR converted into US Dollars easily at any authorised currency exchange company in the USA. In some parts of the country, especially in areas situated near the Canad-US border, some merchants may accept Canadian Dollars (CAD). However, it is suggested that only US dollars should be used so that you can get favourable exchange rates while exchanging INR to USD. 

Also Read: Looking for a money transfer with a foreign bank? Check this blog on Standard Chartered Bank International Money Transfer

Currency Exchange in the USA

There are many currency exchange companies in the USA. You can also exchange your currency at the airport or hotels which provide currency exchange facilities. However, it is better to avail currency exchange services with certified companies as you will have to pay high exchange rates and commissions at airports or hotels. 

One of the best modes to get USD in exchange for INR is ATM cash withdrawal. You can use your Forex card or international debit card which will attract low or zero Forex markup. Always look for the cheapest Forex card for students while staying in the USA.

  • If you are withdrawing cash from an ATM, it will use the ‘interbank exchange rate’ which is the rate between the buying rate and the selling rate in the global currency markets.
  • Using ATMs for currency exchange is a quick, easy and convenient method of getting cash for your expenses in local currency.
  • You can also visit the exchange centres like A&S Foreign Exchange, Travelex and CXI which are some of the best authorised foreign exchange centres in New York, USA.
  • If you want to explore more ways to exchange your currency, you can try finding an American bank which has a tie-up with a bank where you hold an account. In such cases, the partner banks may waive foreign transaction fees or commissions.

Traveller’s Cheque in the USA

A Traveller’s Cheque was considered the safest and one of the most preferred modes used to carry your money abroad. However, after the increasing use of Forex Card, a lot of students stopped carrying traveller’s cheques for carrying money as it has some demerits like unfavourable exchange rates, long waiting times, complex verification process etc.

  • The best alternative to a traveller’s cheque is prepaid international cards, Forex cards or credit cards. 
  • Traveller’s cheques are not widely accepted. Most of the merchants do not accept travel cards.
  • You might have to roam around different locations to encash your traveller’s cheque which will take considerable time.

Also Read: Government Banks charges usually a smaller amount of transaction fees for money transfers. Check out this blog on SBI International Money Transfer

Use of Prepaid Forex Card in the USA

A prepaid card or Forex Card is one of the most convenient and safest modes for managing expenses in a foreign country. Most merchants and ATMs accept almost all the Forex Cards, especially the Visa. Also, the bank doesn’t matter and you can use a card from any bank. Some of the most commonly used cards by Indian students in the USA are Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Students are sometimes confused between Forex Card Vs International Debit Card and which one is better. 

  • Some of the best banks in India offering multicurrency Forex Cards are SBI, HDFC, Bank of Baroda, ICICI etc. 
  • Banks like Bank of India, HDFC etc also offer a single currency Forex Card valid only for USD. You can take an HDFC Regalia Forex Card even if you don’t hold an account with HDFC.
  • For the lowest markup and exchange rates, always select ‘withdraw in dollars’ while using your card at any ATM in the United States. 

Banks in the USA for International Students

The USA is home to some of the world’s largest private-sector banks. This makes it very easy, especially for international students to open a bank account abroad to make the transactions easy and hassle-free. Check the list of some of the major retail banks and international banks operating in the USA:

Retail Banks International Banks
Citi BankHSBC Bank
JP Morgan Chase BankRBC Bank
Bank of AmericaSantander Bank
Wells FargoBNP Paribas
Capital One BankMitsubishi Bank
PNC BankDeutsche Bank


Can I open an international bank account in the USA?

You can open an international bank account in the USA with any retail local or international banks operating in the country. A local bank account will help you in managing your expenses efficiently. If you face any issue, you can easily visit any branch of the bank there. 

Which bank is best for international students in the USA?

Citibank, PNC Bank, Capital One Bank etc are some of the best banks for international students. You can open a savings account or any other category of account with the bank subject to terms and conditions. 

Can I encash a traveller’s cheque in the USA?

You can encash a traveller’s cheque in the USA at any bank or merchant who accepts the same. However, you need to roam around such places several times and it will take some time to encash the cheque. You can use a Forex Card instead. 

Where should I go for currency exchange in New York?

There are a lot of currency exchange service providers in New York. Some of them are A&S Foreign Exchange, Currency Exchange International and Travelex. 

Is the Visa Prepaid Forex Card valid everywhere?

You can use your Visa prepaid card or Forex card at all the ATMs and POS merchants that accept Visa cards. Most merchants accept Visa cards for payments and if any merchant refuses to accept, you can use the card at any ATM and withdraw the cash for payments.

This was all about How to Manage Money in US. Money management is a very important part of your study abroad journey. Always do proper research on whatever facilities you are availing to manage your expenses. Generally, a Forex card is one of the best modes of payment abroad and that’s why it is called the best travel partner in your abroad journey. 

To know more about the payment modes abroad, the loan application process, the best bank accounts for students, forex and banking experience for global students or international money transfers, reach out to our experts at 1800572126 to help ease your study abroad experience. 

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About Shekhar Suman

Shekhar is a versatile writer with a passion for sharing knowledge and creativity. With expertise in crafting informative blogs on study abroad and finance, Shekhar helps readers navigate the complexities of education and financial planning. Most of his writings blend the practicality of finance and the beauty of language, making a meaningful impact in both spheres. Beyond his professional pursuits, he finds solace in the writing Shayari.

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