US bank recommendation for Canadians recently moved to the Bay Area?
November 13, 2012 9:46 AM   Subscribe

US bank recommendation for Canadians recently moved to the Bay Area?

My wife and I recently moved from Canada to the SF bay area (south bay) and are looking for a US bank or credit union. We would like to open a joint checking account, credit card, perhaps money market account etc.

I have a checking account and VISA with RBC Bank US (affiliated with the Royal Bank of Canada) - however this cannot be converted to a joint account without a trip to Canada, hence the impetus to find a new bank.

Some relevant details:

- I have an SSN, my wife does not (she is not eligible to work in the US currently).

- Ideally we would like to find a bank that will leverage our existing strong Canadian credit history, but we understand this may be difficult to find.

- We live close to a Wells Fargo and a KeyPoint Credit Union, if either of these are particularly good...
posted by Chaotic Bedlam to Work & Money (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've been with Patelco for about 10 years now... Haven't had the need to look for anything else. But I have a branch close to where I work.
posted by Arthur Dent at 10:08 AM on November 13, 2012

I used Patelco as well and loved them.

Well Fargo is ubiquitous and impersonal, but there's one on every corner (even here in Georgia.)

Go into KeyPoint and sit down with an account person. He or she should be able to address your concerns. Also, Credit Unions will have free checking and savings, whereas Wells Fargo will have lots of fees.

If you go with a credit union, you want one that's close to either work or home for convenience.

Keep your RBC account active, you can still use your ATM card. I have a credit union account and a bank account. It's fine.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:13 AM on November 13, 2012

When I moved to Seattle from Ottawa, Canada I used First Tech Credit Union, and they were able to see my Canadian credit rating. I got a Visa card straight off, and got a car loan to pay out my terrible Canadian car loan.

They have branches in California now.

This was a few years ago, but I thought they were fine to deal with at the time.
posted by toddje at 10:38 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

One benefit of getting an account at a credit union is that you can go to practically any other credit union to use their ATMs or for basic account services for free, due to the Co-op network (which also includes ATMs at 7-11s, Walgreens, Costcos, etc.) and CU Service Centers.
posted by zsazsa at 10:59 AM on November 13, 2012

nthing Patelco
posted by supermedusa at 5:56 PM on November 13, 2012

Charles Schwab. They don't really advertise their checking accounts but everyone I know who has them raves. The checking are mostly online only but when my boyfriend had am issue he was able to go into a branch (this was in mountain view). They're also the only bank I know that doesn't charge international ATM fees, which might come in handy for you.

I've used Wells Fargo for years and really like them but they're not really that well represented outside the western and southern US, which can be annoying.
posted by matildatakesovertheworld at 9:09 PM on November 13, 2012

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