In the U.S. it is considered dangerous to carry large amounts of cash. We recommend that you keep a small amount of cash with you and deposit any large amounts of money in a bank. There are two primary account options available to you: checking accounts or savings accounts.
We recommend banking with BB&T, as Warren Wilson has a partnership with that bank. There is a location nearby in Swannanoa there is a BB&T ATM machine on campus in Gladfelter.
To open a bank account you must take your passport, visa, I-20 and I-94. Some banks may also require an initial deposit and/or a social security number.
With a bank account, funds can be wired from outside the U.S., through a corporate bank, directly into your account. Funds may also be sent to you by check or International Bank Draft written in U.S. dollars and deposited into your account.
You deposit your money and receive an ATM card. You then are able to use your ATM card to withdraw funds from your bank account or to make purchases. Spending more than the amount you have in your account results in expensive fines and other penalties.
These accounts are designed for saving money over a long period of time. Interest is paid on the balance of these accounts.
Credit cards allow you to make purchases and to pay for them at a later date. There is typically an annual fee attached and you pay interest on any unpaid balance.