Moving to Seattle, made easy.

Moving to Seattle from overseas?

We’ll show you how to get your finances in order with our ultimate guide.

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There are dozens of banks in Seattle and for day-to-day personal banking they’re all pretty similar so you should pick one convenient to you. It’s important to consider that if you use an ATM (aka Cash Machine for you Brits) from a competing bank you will likely be charged a service fee of $2 to $4 dollars, so don’t pick a bank that is far away or every time to you need to take out cash you’ll get charged.

Alternatively, there are some banks in the U.S. that are online only. Because they don’t have any physical locations they allow you to use any bank’s ATM and then reimburse you for any service fees.

Note that each bank will have its own policies, such as minimum balance requirements. Make sure you understand any requirements and fees before you open an account.

All bank deposits in the U.S. are backed by the government up to USD $250,000.


National and International Banks:

Local and Regional Banks:

Online-only Banks:


Opening a bank account is a straightforward process. Once you’ve picked the bank you like you can visit a local branch and meet with a bank rep. You’ll need the following documentation:

  1. Your valid passport
  2. A second form of valid photo ID (this can be your foreign driver’s license, employment ID, US employment authorization card, or any other ID that shows your name, photo, and signature)
  3. Proof of address such as a lease or bill that shows your name for the address you’re providing the bank

A social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) are not required to open a bank account though it will make opening an account with an online-only bank difficult. You can get an ITIN from the United States Internal Revenue Service.

Helpful Money Resources

Building Credit in the United States as an Expat

Tips for expats on foreign currency exchange.

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