Top 5 US Banks for Non-Residents

Top 5 US Banks for Non-Residents

Financial inclusion is of significant importance, no matter where you reside. This means that non-residents of the US will have access to a reliable. a secure banking system that can meet their demands. This gets us to the point of our first conversation on the Top 5 US Banks for Non-Residents.

Importance of Opening a Bank Account in the US for Non-Residents

Being a non-resident and opening a bank account in the US is not only practical but also wise. By doing this, you can:

  • Store your money securely.
  • In the US, it is simple to do business or pay debts.
  • Create a financial history in the US that will be useful for future loans, apartment rentals, and perhaps business ventures.
  • Obtain access to cutting-edge financial services like credit cards, online banking, and investment possibilities.
  • However, because of the laws intended to reduce dangers like money laundering or fraud, creating a bank account as a non-resident might be a relatively challenging process. Thankfully, certain US banks have smoothed out the process for non-residents, making it both efficient and understandable.

Overview of the Top 5 US Banks for Non-Residents

When choosing a US bank as a non-resident, there are several important factors to consider, such as the presence of overseas branches, internet banking capabilities, customer service, and specialized bank accounts, such as minimum balance requirements or fees. Based on these considerations, we have compiled and will give a list of the top five US banks for non-residents:

  1.  Mercury  
  2. Wise 
  3.  Payoneer 
  4. Brex 
  5. Relay 

Each of these banks offers a blend of robust financial services and user-friendly account-opening procedures for non-residents. In the following sections, we’ll delve into the specifics of what each one brings to the table. Keep reading to pick your perfect banking partner in the US!

1: Mercury

Mercury is one of the most popular choices among non-residents when it comes to banking in the United States and for good reasons!

Overview of Mercury’s services for non-residents

Mercury’s services are tailored explicitly for startup companies, making it a go-to choice for entrepreneurs and business owners across the globe. Mercury allows you to open a business account completely online from the ease of your home or office without having to travel to the US. Bonus: they also provide financial tools to help manage your business effectively. Some of its unique features include:

  • No monthly fees: Mercury does an excellent job of keeping your banking overhead low. There are no monthly fees, and most transactions come without any cost at all.
  • Multi-user access: Managing your account with multiple stakeholders becomes easy with this feature. You can enable others to access your banking details securely without sharing your credentials.
  • Cashback rewards: Mercury offers cashback on some purchases. This may be an excellent approach to cut costs and save money on business expenses.

Account opening process for non-residents

Opening an account with Mercury is a breeze for non-residents. Their entire account opening process is online and generally takes around 10-15 minutes. However, keep in mind that Mercury primarily serves startups, so you’ll need to have a US-based business to qualify. You must submit information about your company, your EIN (Employer Identification Number), and a few forms of identification. Mercury typically takes a few days to verify your application and open your account.

Benefits and drawbacks of banking with Mercury

Creating an account with Mercury comes with numerous benefits, including:

  • An easy account opening process that’s fully online.
  • Great for startups with features tailored to their needs.
  • No monthly fees, keeping your overheads low.
  • Cashback rewards to reduce business expenses.

But there are also a few drawbacks to be cautious about

  • Mercury is only available to non-residents if they own a US-based business, limiting its accessibility.
  • There’s no physical branch, which may be an issue if you prefer face-to-face conversations about your banking needs.

Mercury presents an attractive proposition for non-residents seeking to do business in the US. It is a particularly good fit if you’re after accessibility, cost-saving financial services, and a bank that understands the needs of startups. Nevertheless, it’s worth weighing up the limitations before making your final choice.

2: Wise

Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, is not a traditional bank but a fast-growing internet-based money transfer service. Its target market is anyone who wants to send money abroad, including non-residents in the US. They have simplified international money transfers and made it more cost-effective and transparent.

Overview of Wise’s services for non-residents

For non-residents, Wise offers a Borderless Account which makes global finances manageable with minimum hassle. You can hold over 50 currencies, receive money from different countries for free, and convert currencies at the real exchange rate. Here are the key features non-residents can enjoy:

  • Hold, receive, and send money in 50+ currencies
  • An account number in the US or in the country where you live, for free
  • A MasterCard Debit Card for day-to-day transactions and ATM withdrawals
  • Competitive, transparent fees for currency conversion

Account opening process for non-residents

Creating an account with Wise is simple and can be completed online. you must enter your name, password, and username (or email). After completing these basic steps, you will need to prove your identification. This involves uploading a photo of your passport or other identification, and possibly a recent utility bill or other document to confirm your residential address. Once your identification is verified – which usually takes a couple of days – you’re all set and ready to go. On a side note, Wise is accessible in most countries but there are a few exceptions. It’s important to ensure they offer services in your country of residence before signing up.

Benefits and drawbacks of banking with Wise

Like any financial institution, banking with Wise comes with its pros and cons:

– Benefits

  • low costs for international transactions.
  • no monthly or yearly fees
  • The ability to hold multiple currencies.
  • The account is easy to set up, and there aren’t any minimum deposit requirements,
  • The website as well as the app are user-friendly.

– Drawbacks 

  • The unavailability of live customer service; queries and issues are resolved online.
  • The bank functions strictly online therefore they don’t have physical locations which might be a discomfort for those who prefer traditional banking.
  • Wise is not an FDIC-insured bank, so funds held in a Wise Account are not insured by the US government.

In a nutshell, Wise is a robust option for non-residents in the US looking for convenience and cost-effectiveness in international banking.

Form a US business as a non-resident

3: Payoneer

If digital banking appeals to you and you favor simplicity over physical branches, then Payoneer may be the perfect fit for you. Payoneer is an important player in the global banking industry and has had a big impact on foreigners and online entrepreneurs who want to conduct business in the US.

Overview of Payoneer’s Services for Non-Residents

First, let’s delve into what Payoneer offers. Technically speaking, Payoneer isn’t a bank but a financial services company. It provides online money transfer and digital payment services and provides customers with prepaid debit cards, cost-effective wire transfers, and other valuable financial solutions. Here are some key features:

  • Payoneer allows you to receive payments in a variety of currencies, including US dollars, Euros, and British pounds, which may then be converted into more than 150 foreign currencies.
  • Payoneer also provides a US-based account number and routing number to their customers. This facilitates easy receipt and withdrawal of funds within the US financial system.
  • Non-residents will appreciate Payoneer’s customer service which is available in many languages and 24/7 customer support.

Account Opening Process for Non-Residents

To open an account with Payoneer is very straightforward. Just like traditional banks, you’ll need to provide personal information and proof of identity. Contrary to conventional banks, you can complete the full process online without a US postal address. Within three business days of your application being accepted, your account will be operational.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Banking with Payoneer

Possibly the biggest advantage of banking with Payoneer is its accessibility. It’s designed to be a global solution, providing services for non-residents not typically available elsewhere. The ease of account setup, broad language support, and the ability to receive and withdraw funds in multiple currencies are all significant advantages.

However, just like any other banking institution, Payoneer does have a few drawbacks. For instance, it doesn’t support direct debits and it can’t be used to make purchases in physical stores. In comparison to other options, the fees for some transactions can also be a little high. It’s also crucial to keep in mind that Payoneer is an online-only platform and does not have any actual locations you can visit.

if you’re a non-resident seeking flexible financial services with an emphasis on easy international transactions, Payoneer is worth considering. As with any financial decision, be sure to do your research and weigh the pros and cons to make the best decision for you.

4: Brex

Brex is a pioneering bank in the US that specifically targets startups and businesses. Let’s dive deep into the kind of services Brex offers for non-residents and understand if this bank could be the perfect choice for you.

Overview of Brex’s services for non-residents

Brex, which is mostly popular among online startups, offers a package of banking services to non-resident business owners wishing to establish or extend their operations in the United States. Brex offers two types of accounts: the Brex Cash Account and the Brex Credit Account. The brevity of its services is as follows:

  • The Brex Cash Account allows for easy money transactions and offers an interest yield on the saved money.
  • The Brex Credit Account, which operates like a charge card, is perfect for businesses that have high spending needs.

You’ll note that these accounts are more suited for businesses rather than individuals. Despite the business focus, Brex’s seamless banking experience and innovative services are worth considering if you are a non-resident with entrepreneurial ambitions.

Account opening process for non-residents

Opening an account with Brex as a non-resident is a straightforward process. Unlike traditional banks, Brex does not require a US social security number or a US mailing address, making things easier for non-residents. The steps include:

  • Using the Brex website to fill out an online application form
  • Providing vital company information such as an EIN (Employer Identification Number)
  • Uploading the necessary documents
  • You will have access to your online banking account once your application is approved. That’s all there is to it!

The benefits and drawbacks of banking with Brex

Banking with Brexit comes with its unique perks and downsides. Let’s gauge these aspects to make an informed decision.

One of the biggest advantages of Brex is its advanced and user-friendly digital platform. This innovative banking approach is a breath of fresh air for businesses that are often bogged down by traditional banking processes. Plus, Brex offers excellent reward systems, especially for tech and start-up businesses, like rebates on Amazon Web Services, Google Ads, and more.

On the flip side, the main drawback of Brex is its limited services for individual non-residents. Also, Brex does not provide ATM or check services, which means it might not be the right pick if you are looking for comprehensive banking solutions. Overall, Brex stands as a brilliant choice for non-resident business owners, and if you fall into that category, Brex is an institution worth considering.

5: Relay

Our fifth pick and a great option for non-residents looking to bank in the US is Relay. This bank has established its roots in the industry with an exceptional reputation for aiding non-residents in smoothly running their finances.

Overview of Relay’s services for non-residents

Welcome to Relay! This impressive banking institution is built for business owners who need a reliable bank they can trust. Known for its differences from the traditional brick-and-mortar banks, Relay operates completely digitally- perfect for non-residents spread across the globe. This bank has a comprehensive suite of services designed to meet the unique needs of non-residents, including

  • A full-featured business operating account
  • Digital cheque deposits
  • Vendor payments with built-in approvals, an easy-to-use mobile app that ensures banking services are just a tap away.

Account Opening Process for Non-residents

One great aspect of Relay, especially for those residing outside the US is the incredibly simple and hassle-free account opening process. All you need are a few simple documents such as identity, address evidence, and, if you have one, your Social Security number. Thereafter, everything is done online. You don’t need any US-specific documentation like utility bills or US address proof. Simply complete the online application and you’re ready to go! It’s a quick, paperless process.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Banking with Relay

Relay is much-loved for its seamless communication, stellar support, and the ease with which non-residents can open accounts and manage their finances. It’s a bank that understands international needs and does an excellent job integrating them. It’s also renowned for its low fees compared to other banks, and the fact that it doesn’t require a minimum balance is another major strike in its favor.

However, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider. First, Relay, being a digital bank, lacks physical branches. While this isn’t a necessary feature for everyone, certain non-residents may prefer having a physical branch they can visit when in the US. Second, Relay doesn’t provide personal banking options, so it wouldn’t suit non-residents in need of personal checking or savings accounts.

Overall, Relay is an excellent choice for non-residents looking for a trustworthy user-friendly commercial banking service in the United States. It’s worth considering in your search for the perfect bank!


In conclusion, for non-residents seeking banking options in the United States, there are several standout choices that cater to a range of needs and preferences. As a non-resident, opening a bank account in the United States provides financial security, access to cutting-edge banking services, and the opportunity to establish a financial history in the country. Among the top 5 US banks for non-residents, Mercury stands out for its seamless online account opening, tailored services for startups, and cashback rewards.

Wise, a versatile online money transfer service, provides a Borderless Account that simplifies global finances. Payoneer offers a wide range of digital payment services and multi-currency support, while Brex caters to business owners and startups with innovative banking solutions. Relay, a digital bank, is known for its comprehensive business operating account and user-friendly mobile app.

When choosing the ideal banking partner in the US, non-residents must take into account their individual financial needs and priorities because each of these banks has specific benefits and drawbacks.

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