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Home > Student Services >
International Students
Banking Information

International students may wish to open checking accounts at banks in the vicinity of Mills. While Mills does not recommend any particular banking institution, below you will find a list of the banks closest to the Mills campus and some of the services available to students.

United States banks generally have two different types of accounts: checking accounts, for payment of bills and for spending needs, and savings accounts where you can put money you do not need to access to pay for your expenses. Financial institutions also offer a variety of other accounts and services. It is good to visit different banks to compare services.

You should know that you will need to have funds available in order to open a checking account. If you will be making a deposit with an overseas check or a bank draft, there may be a delay of days or weeks until the money is available to you. Be certain to discuss this as you consider opening an account at any bank.

After opening a checking account you will be given temporary checks and you should order checks with your name and address printed on them. DO NOT have your Social Security Number printed on your checks.

Be certain that you have adequate funds in your account when you write checks. Fill in the blank spaces on the check, and draw a line through any unused blank spaces. NEVER sign a check before you are ready to use it, and never give anyone a check with only your signature on it. You should also be certain to record all checks and ATM withdrawals or charges immediately.  Watch your monthly statement carefully to see that only charges you have made and checks you have written are being subtracted from your account.  If you have any questions, take your statement to the bank, or check your account online immediately.

If you wish to deposit money into your account, you can take cash to the bank, mail a check to the bank, or use an authorized ATM. NEVER mail cash to your bank. To deposit a check made to you you must first "endorse"  or sign the check on the back. You should always print "For Deposit Only" and your account number with your signature so that the money will be placed into your account. A signed check without that notation and your account number is as good as cash, and can be used by anyone.

An ATM (Automated Teller Machine)/Debit card can be used for two purposes: to access your bank account, or as a debit card. Most businesses now accept ATM cards for purchases (point of sale transaction). Using your ATM card will immediately deduct the charge from your account. Your ATM card will be mailed to you after you open your account. You will need to select a PIN (Personal Identification  Number) number when you open your account. Be certain to choose a number that you can remember, but that would not be easily guessed by anyone else - not your Mills ID#, your birthdate, etc. When using your ATM card be certain that no one can see the number you are entering, and be certain to report a lost or stolen ATM card immediately. There is an ATM machine in the Rothwell Center on campus for use by Mills community members.  A fee will be charged for accessing your money using this ATM.

After you have balanced your account each month when you receive your statement, you can throw away receipts, but you should keep your bank statements.

Spending more money than you have available ("bouncing" a check) can be very expensive and will jeopardize your ability to keep a checking account with your bank. There are fees charged by both the bank and the vendor and you can easily spend a great amount of money just paying to cover the "bad" check.

In the Laurel shopping area you will find both a Citibank and a Bank of America:

Citibank
http://www.citibank.com 
4017 MacArthur Blvd. 
510.530.4789 

College Student Account: $50.00 required to open account; $50.00 minimum balance required 
           
ATM (Automatic Bank Machine card) no charge when used at Citibank machines and at 7–11 stores
$ 2.00 charge for ATM use at non-Citibank machines
No charge for Point of Sale use of ATM card—when you use the card to make a purchase at a store

You will need to provide two types of identification to open an account: your Mills ID and your passport should suffice. You do not have to have a Social Security Card to open an account.

You may wish to come to the International Student Services Office in Cowell to get a letter noting that you are currently enrolled and living on campus to take with you when you go to the bank to open an account. 

Bank of America
http://www.bankamerica.com
4054 MacArthur Blvd.
510.649.6600

College Student Account: $25.00 minimum required to open account 

Campus Edge Account: free with a minimum balance

ATM (Automatic Teller Machine card) no charge when used at Bank of America machines

$2.00 fee for use of non Bank of America ATM machines 
No charge for Point of Sale use of ATM card
$35 charge for international transfer to foreign country 
$10.00 charge for money to transferred from foreign country to Bank of America

You will need to provide two types of identification to open an account: your passport and your student ID. You do not have to have a Social Security Card to open an account.

You  are not required to have a letter from the International Student Services Office, but you might  want to have one anyway.

Wells Fargo Bank

http://www.wellsfargo.com 
3450 Fruitvale Ave (at the intersection of MacArthur Blvd. and Fruitvale Ave.) 
510.464.2378

College Student Account: $100.00 minimum required to open account; No required minimum balance

For a free Account: Need $500.00 per month minimum in checking: Direct Deposit of a paycheck of at least $25.00

ATM (Automatic Teller Machine card) no charge when used at Wells Fargo machines 
$2.00 fee for use of non-Wells Fargo ATM machines
No charge for Point of Sale use of ATM card
$ 30.00 charge for international transfer to foreign country if it is in dollars; $20.00 charge if it is in foreign currency.

You will need to provide two types of identification to open an account: your Mills ID and your passport should suffice. You do not have to have a Social Security Card to open an account.

Bank of the West
http://www.bankofthewest.com

2127 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612
510.444.5636

College Student Account: $100.00 minimum required to open account; minimum balance may or may not be needed depending on account chosen; $40.00 transfer fee to a foreign account

 

NEVER give your PIN number to anyone, or write it on your card or carry it with your card. The bank will never ask you to give them that number, so if anyone should ask you for it, you should NOT give it out. The security of your banking account is very important. If you give your PIN number to another person to use your ATM card, you will have no recourse to recover your funds.

Also, do NOT print your Social Security Number on your checks or carry your Social Security Card with you unless you will be needing it for a specific reason.  Place your original Social Security Card in a safe place where it is not accessible to anyone but you.

 

 

Overview

International Student Advisor

Banking Information

Contact Information

International Student Advisor

Division of Student Life
Cowell Building

P: 510.430.2132
F: 510.430.3235
E: intl_stu@mills.edu

Last Updated: 2/11/13