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An online bank with free incoming wire transfers and no monthly fees.
finder.com’s rating: 4.5 / 5.0
This digital startup offers an array of account perks for international students, including the ability to apply before you leave your home country and a debit card on arrival. But some of North Loop’s benefits require a Premium membership.
Shannon Terrell is a writer for finder.com who studied communications and English literature at the University of Toronto. On any given day, you can find her researching everything from equine financing and business loans to student debt refinancing and how to start a trust. She loves hot coffee, the smell of fresh books and discovering new ways to save her pennies.
What are the benefits of a checking account with North Loop?
Minimal fees. The North Loop checking account has no monthly maintenance or account minimums. And you can use your debit card overseas with no foreign transaction fee.
Wide ATM network. Use your Visa debit card for free at over 32,000 MoneyPass ATMs nationwide.
Debit card lock. If you misplace your Visa debit card, lock it from your North Loop mobile app.
CampusCashback. Nominate and vote for your favorite restaurants and shops near campus to earn 1% to 5% cash back.
What should I look out for?
North Loop is a digital bank, which means you don’t have the option of working with a representative at your local branch, among other potential drawbacks:
Wire transfers fee. While incoming wire transfers are free, outgoing transfers are subject to a $4 to $7 fee.
Startup risks. North Loop is a 2019 startup, which means it lacks the resources and reliability of traditional brick-and-mortar banks.
Premium membership. To take advantage of the account’s advertised free Amazon Prime Student membership, you must be a student and pay $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year for its Premium membership.
Our experience with North Loop
Before signing up for this account, carefully read the terms and conditions you’re provided. And ask questions about anything you don’t understand.
North Loop’s ATM network and fees
North Loop mails your free debit card to your US address after account approval. Use it to access more than 32,000 ATMs across the US in the MoneyPass network for free. You may pay third-party surcharges for using your card at ATMs outside North Loop’s network.
Compare with other student bank accounts
How do I open a North Loop checking account?
To open a North Loop checking account, you must first download the free North Loop mobile app for Android or iOS.
Open the app and enter your full name and phone number. Add your Social Security number and citizenship status, if you’d like, and then tap Next.
If you’re applying as an international student, upload copies of your passport, I-20 form, F-1 Visa and proof of address. If you’re applying as a student within the US, enter your Social Security number and your driver’s license or state ID. Tap Next.
Provide your passport number, date of birth, the name of the university you plan to attend and your arrival date. Tap Next.
Yes. The FDIC insures North Loop checking accounts for up to $250,000.
Yes. Use your North Loop Visa Debit Card when traveling without paying international account fees.
Email North Loop at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 831-740-8126. You can also contact North Loop through its social media accounts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Checking account ratings
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★★★★★ — Average
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We analyze top checking accounts and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: monthly fees, the ease at which monthly fees can be waived, the breadth of ATM access, ATM and overdraft fees, and customer service.
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