Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hi,

    I am going to start at Oxford very soon (like next week) and I was wondering what is the best bank account for me. I realize there are fees for international bank accounts but was wondering if anyone knows of a good bank that gives bank accounts for intl students without charging and without expecting me to store 10s of thousands of pounds?

    Also, in Britain, is a credit card really required or does a debit suffice? Because, there appears to be extra charges for getting a credit card.]

    Thanks!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    There are some documents online on the Oxford website which help you make a choice, there's one at the international student introduction page and there's something in the Freshers Guide.
    I chose the Barclays International Student account. There are a lot of international accounts and a lot of student accounts (which we internationals don't qualify for), both types have advantages and this is the only one that combines them. Added advantage is that you can start the registration while still at home which saves time once there. A disadvantage is that it requires you to have 1000 pounds on your account at all times.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    There shouldn't be fees on any normal international student account (other than when you transfer money from $ to £, but obviously everyone gets charged those) and on most there is no minimum balance. You won't be eligible for the perks that UK students get, but they're rarely worth a vast amount anyway. And a debit card is sufficient for almost everything, but do make sure that it's a proper Visa Debit not a Visa electron. Electrons don't work in quite a few places (particularly annoyingly train stations).
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MancStudent098)
    There shouldn't be fees on any normal international student account (other than when you transfer money from $ to £, but obviously everyone gets charged those) and on most there is no minimum balance. You won't be eligible for the perks that UK students get, but they're rarely worth a vast amount anyway. And a debit card is sufficient for almost everything, but do make sure that it's a proper Visa Debit not a Visa electron. Electrons don't work in quite a few places (particularly annoyingly train stations).
    When I was in Paris on vacation, we ran into troubles with our US Visa (tried both credit and debit cards) not working nearly everywhere. Will I run into that issue with a UK Visa Debit?
    Sorry, thought I would ask because your reply was quite informative
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Stella476)
    When I was in Paris on vacation, we ran into troubles with our US Visa (tried both credit and debit cards) not working nearly everywhere. Will I run into that issue with a UK Visa Debit?
    Sorry, thought I would ask because your reply was quite informative
    Was it only credit?
    I find that my wells fargo account is always being blocked if I don't email or call my bank in advance and tell them I'll be traveling, then they tell me it's ok, and it happens again, whether I use it was debit or credit. Same thing happened with my visa credit card, but not with my mastercard.

    Sounds to me unless the bank has some sort of "protection" against unusual use you should be fine, even if they have that, it should be fine.

    By the way, I'm going to go with Santander for my international account, they charge a monthly fee, but that's the same back I use back home so, loyalty I guess, plus they offer some incentives on those international accounts.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MancStudent098)
    There shouldn't be fees on any normal international student account (other than when you transfer money from $ to £, but obviously everyone gets charged those) and on most there is no minimum balance. You won't be eligible for the perks that UK students get, but they're rarely worth a vast amount anyway. And a debit card is sufficient for almost everything, but do make sure that it's a proper Visa Debit not a Visa electron. Electrons don't work in quite a few places (particularly annoyingly train stations).
    Mmm... I think there are monthly fees attached to most international student accounts, ranging from about £5 to £8. If that's not the kind of fees you meant when you said that there weren't any additional fees attached, then I apologise for the misunderstanding.

    Also, thanks for the tip about Visa debit vs. Visa electron--I wasn't even sure if they were different products! Can't wait to get a chip card at last; I'm so sick of having to use my swipe debit card from home since it causes a minor fuss every time (first have to make sure they can still take swipe cards, then they have to print a receipt for me to sign, then they have to wait for my copy to print--it doesn't sound that bad, but when there are five people behind me in the queue at Sainsbury's, it's quite irritating!).
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I'd suggest opening an account at HSBC - it's not that hard, you just get a letter from your college proving that yes, you have an address in the UK, and because HSBC is an international bank there's probably one close by in the US. Then you can transfer money easily and quickly between the US and the UK. You just open an account with HSBC in each country.

    They give you a debit card with which you access the money in your UK HSBC account - then you don't have to pay obscene overseas charges for using your American card!

    I did this (I'm from the US too) and it has worked really well so far. The HSBC in Oxford is on Cornmarket Street and they're pretty nice/helpful in my experience.

    Hope this helps!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Seasons)

    Also, thanks for the tip about Visa debit vs. Visa electron--I wasn't even sure if they were different products! Can't wait to get a chip card at last; I'm so sick of having to use my swipe debit card from home since it causes a minor fuss every time (first have to make sure they can still take swipe cards, then they have to print a receipt for me to sign, then they have to wait for my copy to print--it doesn't sound that bad, but when there are five people behind me in the queue at Sainsbury's, it's quite irritating!).
    Yeah, they only take some sort of card that you insert into a little machine here, I'm also causing delays on lines or queues as it is here, but only for a couple more days since I'm getting a visa debit card.

    Visa electron is the same thing, it just doesn't have your name on the actual card I think, so for internet purchases it could be a problem.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Riddiyyah)
    I'd suggest opening an account at HSBC - it's not that hard, you just get a letter from your college proving that yes, you have an address in the UK, and because HSBC is an international bank there's probably one close by in the US. Then you can transfer money easily and quickly between the US and the UK. You just open an account with HSBC in each country.

    They give you a debit card with which you access the money in your UK HSBC account - then you don't have to pay obscene overseas charges for using your American card!

    I did this (I'm from the US too) and it has worked really well so far. The HSBC in Oxford is on Cornmarket Street and they're pretty nice/helpful in my experience.

    Hope this helps!
    Is there a subscription fee for HSBC? And how long does that letter from college take?
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Stella476)
    When I was in Paris on vacation, we ran into troubles with our US Visa (tried both credit and debit cards) not working nearly everywhere. Will I run into that issue with a UK Visa Debit?
    Sorry, thought I would ask because your reply was quite informative
    No, my UK visa works in all European countries and in Morocco. The transatlantic thing is more complicated though so I'm not sure that a UK visa would work in the US and vice versa.


    (Original post by Seasons)
    Mmm... I think there are monthly fees attached to most international student accounts, ranging from about £5 to £8. If that's not the kind of fees you meant when you said that there weren't any additional fees attached, then I apologise for the misunderstanding.

    Also, thanks for the tip about Visa debit vs. Visa electron--I wasn't even sure if they were different products! Can't wait to get a chip card at last; I'm so sick of having to use my swipe debit card from home since it causes a minor fuss every time (first have to make sure they can still take swipe cards, then they have to print a receipt for me to sign, then they have to wait for my copy to print--it doesn't sound that bad, but when there are five people behind me in the queue at Sainsbury's, it's quite irritating!).
    I think there may be a misunderstanding here about the type of account. If you come here as a non UK resident and open a student account at any high street bank (HSBC, Lloyds, Barclays etc) you will be given a basic account which doesn't have fees attached. It works the same way as a UK student's account would but they won't offer you perks like a free overdraft and railcards etc. I know this is certainly the case for Europeans, pretty sure the same rules apply to Americans.

    Some banks do offer premium type international accounts though, these charge a set fee but offer preferential rates on changing money, automatic travel insurance etc. Is this what you mean? I would think these are unsuitable for most students including international ones.

    And yep, it will suck if you have a non-chip card.

    ----------------

    Edit: I checked the HSBC site and see that they offer this which I imagine is what you're referring to, it basically looks like a clever way to charge lazy foreign nationals £100 a year for a couple of mini guidebooks and some moving advice.

    http://www.hsbc.co.uk/1/2/personal/c...ZqtU:14et5mg1o

    Just to demonstrate that you can get a standard account if you're not from the UK see the Lloyds site:

    http://www.lloydstsb.com/current_acc..._to_the_uk.asp
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by plasmodel)
    Is there a subscription fee for HSBC? And how long does that letter from college take?

    Subscription fee... well, it costs 8 pounds a month to have a savings account, which is a little hefty in comparison to charges in the US, but not if you consider the savings you would make when transferring money overseas/converting between pounds and dollars.

    The college letter didn't take long at all. I asked for it in advance and then they had it for me to pick up when I was in Oxford to open the account. I bet if you asked for it now by email they might be able to get it to you by next week when you'd be opening the account (I assume...)

    Good luck!
 
 
 
The home of Results and Clearing

2,745

people online now

1,567,000

students helped last year

University open days

  1. University of Oxford
    All undergraduate colleges and departments Undergraduate
    Fri, 14 Sep '18
Poll
A-level students - how do you feel about your results?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.