Bank recommendations?

On campus, you can try the Stanford Federal Credit Union which is located on the upper floor of the Tressider Union Building.

Banks in California include Bank of America, Citi Bank, Wells Fargo, and Washington Mutual (now Chase). You can find service details on their websites. There is a Wells Fargo branch located on campus on the upper floor of Tressider, and there is a Bank of America near the Stanford Shopping Mall. Getting a bank account is generally hassle-free and doesn't require an appointment at the bank. Banks (at the employee discretion) will generally open a bank account for you without an Social Security Number given two pieces of photo ID.

The bank may send you a debit card in the mail immediately after opening an account: check that this is the case, and, if not, request a debit card. A debit card may be different from an ATM card depending on the bank -- debit cards are run by Visa/Mastercard and you can use a debit card to access your account at ATMs as well as make purchases by debit or credit. ATM cards, on the other hand, are bank specific. Also get direct deposit information from the bank if you need it to get paid while you're here...

As for specific banks, this author has had good experience with Bank of America, where you can get a cash referral bonus if someone refers you! Email the mailing list for a referral.

Last updated 9/18/2009 by ssoneff