HOW TO GET A US CREDIT CARD AND FREE US BANK ACCOUNT
Previously, I have posted about getting a postal box in Washington to save on shipping charges. Today, the post is about getting a debit/credit card and a bank account in the US for more savings (YAAY!).
If you shop online, you’ll sometimes wish you had a US bank account or a US credit card. So if you’ve been wondering, how do I get a US Credit Card, you’re not alone. Did you know there’s a bank that will set up free bank accounts with your Canadian address?
It’s true, you can get a USD credit card in almost any bank in Canada, but 1) you have to be approved for a credit card first (not everybody can get it), and 2) it will have annual fees ($25-65 per annum).
If you use PayPal, it’s much better to pay in US funds, to avoid ridiculous PayPal currency conversion rates from CAD to USD (I shiver each time I think how much I overpaid this way).
One local bank in Washington called Peoples will not only set up a checking account for you with your Canadian address, they will also provide all of these additional benefits, that are pretty awesome for Canadians that are shopping across the border.
Benefits of Peoples US Bank Accounts
- No fees. You need to start with $100 in your account, but there are no minimum balances and no monthly fees. Nothing like a free bank account!
- Debit card that can be used at any store and lots of ATM’s in WA with no surcharges.
- A Visa, yep your debit card is also a Visa. That means you get a US credit card and US debit card all in one and you can shop at stores or online with the Visa. When you use it, it will take cash out of your checking account just like writing a cheque.
- Online banking account so you can see your balance anytime. If you set up an account with www.xetrade.com you can also transfer funds to your US bank account at lower exchange fees than the banks.
So how do I get a US credit card and bank account?
- Make sure you have your ID, i.e. Driver’s License. You will not need a US address or social security number to open an account at Peoples.
- Visit one of the Peoples branches. The closest branch to the Peace Arch and Truck Crossing borders is in Ferndale. See address and hours below.
- Let the teller know you’re there to set up a “Free Basic Checking”account.
Peoples Bank (Ferndale Branch)
1895 E. Main Street
Ferndale, WA 98248
t: (360) 380-1014
f: (360) 380-1401
Monday-Friday / 9:00 to 7:00
Saturday / 10:00 to 4:00