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Office of International Programs

Banking

It is a good idea to start up a separate bank account in the United States because most debit machines in the U.S. do not take international cards. ATM’s however, will read your card and distribute money. Also, it is more convenient to have an account here in Minot in order to do your regular shopping activities. Below is a list of Banks you might wish to choose from.

Choosing a Financial Institution
To find a bank that offers the services you desire, check the yellow pages of the phone book under “banks”. Some things to look for when deciding on a bank are:

* Minot State University does not recommend one financial institution over the other *

Checking Accounts
Most Americans use checking accounts for paying bills and to avoid carrying large sums of money. A checking account can be used to pay most of your monthly bills.

When you open a checking account, you will be given numbered checks, printed with your name, address, phone number, date of birth, account number, etc. so that you may write checks out of your account to pay bills or make purchases.

Many banks will also offer a Debit or ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) card for personal banking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will receive a special banking card and a personal identification number (PIN). These cards are used to draw cash from your account. There are many ATM machines located in banks, malls, and grocery stores around Minot. There is also an ATM machine located in the atrium of the Student Union Building, on the first floor. You may be able to use your own bank card in these ATMs but we recommend that you check with your home bank, including the possibility of additional charges. When using this service, be sure to safeguard your PIN at all times.

Keep accurate records of your bank transactions. Keep your canceled checks as they serve as receipts. Make sure all checks written are fully covered by your deposits. If your write an “insufficient funds” check, the bank will charge a penalty for overdrawing your account (usually about $30), and the store to which you write the overdrawn check will also charge an additional fee (from $30 to $45). In addition, you may lose your checking privilege at your bank and at the place where you wrote the check. Writing a bad check is against the law: it is considered theft. Theft over $100 is a felony crime for which the penalty is a jail sentence of three to five years.

Savings Accounts
A savings account is designed to hold money in a bank for long periods of time so that it can earn interest. If you have a large amount of money that you do not need to draw upon regularly, you may want to establish a savings account. It is a good idea because the bank will pay you interest on your deposit, based upon the size of the deposit and the time it is left in the savings account. You may make withdrawals from your saving account and you may also transfer funds to your checking account.