MONEY AND BANKING
US currency is counted in dollars and cents. Paper money (bills) are used for $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100, while coins are also used for $1 and for the different denomination of cents. 100 cents = 1 dollar.
Penny: .01 (one cent) 100 pennies = $1
Nickel: .05 (five cents) 20 nickels = $1
Dime: .10 (ten cents) 10 dimes = $1
Quarter: .25 (twenty-five cents) 4 quarters = $1
Half Dollar: .50 (fifty cents) 2 Half Dollars = $1
Gold(en) dollar: $1 (one dollar. Is named for its color only--it is not made of gold)
Banking in the US is offered many different banking companies, most of which only operate in one state or in a few states near one another. International students should obtain a US bank account, as access to international bank accounts can become difficult, sometimes without warning. Be sure to ask about the bank's hours of operation, location of branches/ offices, services, service fees and other charges (these are different at different banks). Which bank is best for each student will depend on where the student wishes to live and study, and what the student's banking needs are. Students should check with several banks in their area and compare services offered.
If the bank is closed, you can use an automatic teller machine (ATM) to withdraw or deposit money if you have a recognized bank card. If you are using your bank card from home, check with your bank before you leave about withdrawal limits or other special conditions while banking in the US. If you do not have a bank card, a person at the bank can help you get one. Your bank card can be used to make direct-payment purchases through the Interac system.
Most major credit cards (American Express, MasterCard, Visa) are accepted in the United States, but notify your credit card company that you will be using your card outside your home country. Purchases will be automatically converted into the correct currency on your monthly statement.