Money / Banking



Using an ATM card is a common way to withdraw money in the U.S. ATMs are very common. ATM stands for Automatic Teller Machine. It is a machine that allows you to withdraw cash from your bank account, without having to be at your bank. Be aware that most banks will charge a fee if you use ATMs from another bank with their machine. This can add up quickly - so be careful!

Credit Card:

It is also common for people to pay for items by credit card. Visa, MasterCard and American Express cards are usually accepted in most grocery stores, retail shops and restaurants.

Exchanging Currency:

Most money can be exchanged at major banks and at most Currency Exchange Stores. In addition to exchanging currency, this store provides other services, such as sending money through Western Union, and providing CTA passes for purchase.

The following information may be helpful to those unfamiliar with United States currency: One dollar ($1.00) equals "100" cents. Paper money or "bills," come in denominations of $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. Coins are in denominations as follows:

U.S. Currency
Coin NameValueValue as $
Penny1 cent$.01
Nickel5 cents$.05
Dime10 cents$.10
Quarter25 cents$.25
Half Dollar50 cents$.50
Dollar100 cents$1.00

To avoid delays and cash-flow problems, you may want to open a bank account with a U.S. bank before you arrive.


The Office of International Services does not recommend any particular bank. However, in the past, we have worked with Citibank to provide information to international students about banking in the United States:

Citibank, N.A.
17401 Oak Park Avenue
Tinley Park, IL 60477
T: 708-532-5097
F: 708-532-9370