International Student Services Office

The Banking Page

Most banks do not require a large sum of money from students to open an account.  Take time to research a few banks in the area because fees can vary with each bank.  Ask about no fee accounts or other special offers. Some banks will eliminate fees if you setup direct deposit for your account, or the bank may require a minimum balance in the account.  Since you may being transferring funds frequently from overseas, ask about the details of these transactions to find the best option for you.

Advantages to having a U.S. Bank Account:

  • A safe place to keep your money while in the U.S. If you keep large amounts of cash in your home or with you, you may be victim to theft.
  • You are able to take withdrawal cash without paying a transaction fee
  • Bank accounts in the U.S. are usually free for college students
  • If you open a checking account, you will receive checks, which are better for paying your Butler balance (paying by credit card is possible, however you will be charged a transaction fee by Butler).
  • If you open a savings account, you can accumulate interest on your money

How to Open a Bank Account:

During orientation we will have bank representatives on campus to assist you in opening an account. If you choose not to open an account at that time, but at a later date, you will need to visit a bank branch and bring the following:

  • Your Butler I.D.
  • Your Passport
  • Your Certificate of Eligibility (I-20, DS-2019)
  • Proof of U.S. Address (Bursar Bill or a letter from OISS)

Savings Account

A savings account is exactly what it appears. You will use this type of account to save your money. Usually, savings accounts will pay a percentage of interest on the money in the account. The money in the account is not as easily accessible as the money in a checking account. Some savings accounts even require up to three business days wait time before the money is available to you.

Checking Account

When you open a checking account, you will receive a book of checks and a debit card. This gives you the freedom to use and withdrawal the money in the account easily and frequently.

Debit Card

A debit card looks like a credit card, but is different in many aspects. When you use your debit card, it withdrawals money directly from your checking account. You want to be careful when using your debit card; if you spend more money than you have in your checking account, you a subject to overdraft fees that can be as high as $35 for each purchase made after the negative balance of your checking account. A good way to avoid overdraft fees is to request that your debit card be declined for insufficient funds.

You will have a PIN number attached to the card, which will allow you to withdrawal money from an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM). You can always find an ATM on the outside of any of your bank branch buildings. Sometimes you can find an ATM for your bank in a pharmacy or grocery store. You may withdrawal money from another bank's ATM, but there will be a transaction fee (usually $3 to $4).

You can also use the PIN when purchasing items. Some stores will allow you to request cash back with your purchase by selecting 'Debit' (usually no more than $100). Otherwise, you may choose 'Credit' when purchasing an item and you will not be prompted to enter your PIN.


Most people use checks to pay bills (rent, utilities, cable); however, a lot of stores still accept checks as a form of payment. You will receive a free book of checks when you open your account. You will need to purchase more checks from your bank once you have used all your checks in the book.

Make sure that you are allowing enough time before the bill is due for the check to reach the bill pay location. Also, be aware that check purchases may take some time to reflect on your balance. Be sure that you are keeping your checkbook balanced (there should be a balance section in your checkbook where you can track your payments).

How to write a check:

Online Banking

Most banks have online services. When you receive your debit card or credit card, you can sign up for online banking using your account information. With online banking you can check your balance, track your debits and credits, 'go paperless' and receive your monthly bank statements online, pay bills, and more. Online banking is easy and convenient. If you go home for the holidays, you can still maintain your bank account and pay your bills from overseas. Each bank may have different features related to their online banking, so when you are choosing a bank, make sure to ask about their specific features.

Banks & ATMs on Campus

Chase Bank has two ATMs on campus:

  • Atherton Union basement, in the C Club
  • Jordan Hall, first floor near the post office

Also, PNC Bank has an ATM in the basement of Atherton Union.

Banks near Campus:

Chase Bank ~ Bank Information

5635 N Illinois, Indianapolis, IN 46208

(317) 266-6500


PNC Bank ~ Bank Information

21 West 38th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208

(317) 756-5301

Fifth Third Bank ~ Bank Information

1036 Broad Ripple Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46220

(317) 255-5661

M&I Bank ~ Bank Information

714 Broad Ripple Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46220

(317) 254-3135

Money Orders 

A money order is like cash in the form of a check. You can purchase a money order at your bank or any post office by presenting the cash amount of the money order along with a small fee to the bank or post office teller. You are not able to send cash through the mail, so people use money orders to pay bills instead of checks (USCIS only accepts money orders). Money orders are also a better way to carry large sums of money instead of in cash form.

Wire Transfers

You are able to transfer money electronically from bank to bank via wire transfer. Each bank has its own SWIFT-BIC code, which you will need along with your and the recipient's account number, mailing address, and bank routing number to make the wire transfer. The transfer may take a few days and there will be a small transaction fee with the wire transfer.

Banking Terms ~ Bank Information

Balance -- The amount of money remaining in an account after all deposits, withdrawals, credits, and debits(deductions) have been made.

Certificate of Deposit -- An alternative to a traditional savings account; also referred to as a CD. By depositing a fixed amount, if held for a fixed or minimum term, you will receive a fixed or variable rate of return greater than a regular savings. However, if you withdrawal your money before the certificate matures you lose all interest gained.

Check -- A written unconditional order to an institution to pay out a definite sum of money from your account.

Deposit -- The amount of money which is added to an account, in the form of a check, money order, cash, etc. You usually must fill out a deposit slip when you make a deposit.

Direct Deposit -- This is when you give permission for funds to be automatically deposited into your account at a predetermined date. Many banks offer free or lower cost checking for customers with direct deposit because it saves them the cost of processing paper checks.

Withdrawal -- When you take money out of your account, whether you receive cash or transfer funds to another account.

FDIC -- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation - A part of the federal government that insures savings accounts in member commercial banks, bank holding companies, and mutual savings banks.

Minimum Balance -- Some banks require a minimum balance, or a minimum amount of money that must be kept in the account. This amount can vary between banks and accounts within one bank.

Maintenance Fees -- If the amount of money drops below the minimum balance at any time during the month, a service charge is applied.

Overdraft -- A draft or check written (this can also happen when using your debit card) for an amount that exceeds the balance in a customer's account. This creates a negative balance, and banks charge a fee for honoring these checks.

Overdraft Protection -- A service that allows the customer to write checks for an amount over and above the amount in their checking account. The overdraft amount is automatically transferred from an authorized bank account such as a savings or line of credit.

Returned Checks -- If you deposit a 'bad' check, a check that someone has written you with insufficient funds in their account, into your account the bank will charge you for having to return the check to the issuer.

Service Charge -- Any fee charged for banking 'services'

Stop Payment -- If for any reason you should decide to cancel payment on a check that you have already written, you must call the bank and request a stop payment on the check, the service charge assessed is usually $7-$10.