< Back What is the local currency? What denominations does it come in? What is the best way to exchange currency? What are commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases (such as groceries)? Will I be able to use my credit card around town? If not, list when I’ll need cash. By what method are bills (such as rent and utilities) paid? What are the requirements for opening a bank account? At what stage of the settling-in process should I open it? Will foreign residents be able to find banking services in their native languages? Are there any restrictions on services for those who are new to your country? What are typical banking hours? Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock? Is there any other money information that might help me? What is the local currency? The local currency is the U.S. dollar ($), which can be divided into 100 cents. ↑ Top What denominations does it come in? Coins (cents) come in denominations of one (penny), five (nickel), 10 (dime), 25 (quarter) 50 (half dollar) and 100 (silver dollar); the last two are rarely used. Bills (dollars) come in $1, $2 (rare), $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. ↑ Top What is the best way to exchange currency? Typically, banks offer the best exchange rates, but you will also find that most airports and hotels offer currency exchange services. Additionally, there are many licensed money changers and foreign exchange offices available throughout the city. ↑ Top What are commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases (such as groceries)? The most commonly-used forms of payment are: Credit cards, debit cards, cash and personal checks. Will I be able to use my credit card around town? If not, list when I’ll need cash. Yes, credit and debit cards are widely accepted around the city. In some cases, you may find that smaller businesses only accept cash so it is recommended that you carry a small amount of cash on you. ↑ Top By what method are bills (such as rent and utilities) paid? Bills are usually paid by mailing a check. Increasingly, though, people in Houston are paying bills on line using a credit or debit card. Some companies will also allow you to set up an automatic payment schedule which can go on your credit card or through your bank account. ↑ Top What are the requirements for opening a bank account? At what stage of the settling-in process should I open it? To open an account, you will need to show your passport and work visa. Some banks will also require that you show your Social Security card right away, while others will let you open the account and return with the Social Security card once received. It would be wise to open an account early so that you can receive checks to begin paying bills. ↑ Top Will foreign residents be able to find banking services in their native languages? Yes, there are banks that can assist with Spanish and also some Asian languages (in Houston's Chinatown.) Restrictions for foreign residents might include proof of residency and proof of work permit. ↑ Top Are there any restrictions on services for those who are new to your country? Some loans may not be available to foreign transferees. ↑ Top What are typical banking hours? It varies, though most banks are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday and until 6 p.m. on Friday. Some branches of major banks are open for part of the day on Saturday too. Many Houston banks also have drive-through banking areas, which usually open earlier and stay open later than the bank lobby. ↑ Top Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock? Using an ATM at a bank that you do not have an account with typically will cost you a fee. This fee - which ranges between $1.25 and $2 per transaction -- will go to both the bank hosting the ATM and your own bank. Before you begin your transaction, you will be advised of this and required to answer 'I accept' to such charges. Most major banks in Houston also offer internet banking for their customers. ↑ Top Is there any other money information that might help me? Please contact Crown Houston with any questions. ↑ Top IMPORTANT NOTE: Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.