Curious how the United States Monetary System works? Here's some help.
Currency in the United States is based on the decimal system. One dollar equals one hundred cents. It is written $1 or $1.00. A cent is written 1¢. One dollar and one cent would be written $1.01.
How it Looks
Coins and paper currency feature a famous American figure on the front; most of them former US presidents.
B Anthony or Sacajawea
Other Facts about Coins
The dollar and half-dollar coins are not common.
The dollar coin and a quarter look similar and are often confused, so look carefully.
The front of a coin is called "heads;" the back is called "tails." Sometimes Americans flip a coin to make a random decision. They will pick heads or tails before the coin is tossed. The side landing up is the winner.
About Paper Currency
- One dollar
Seal of US
- two dollars
- five dollars
- ten dollars
- twenty dollars
- fifty dollars
- hundred dollars
Other Facts about Paper Currency
- All paper currency is green. Unlike other currencies, all US bills are the same size and shape.
- United States residents do not usually carry around a lot of cash, as it isn't safe. They prefer to pay by check, debit cards and credit cards. In fact, some stores will not accept bills larger than a $20.
- Another name for dollars is "bucks." One dollar is a buck. Twenty dollars is 20 bucks.
- The $2 dollar bill is not very common.
- To learn more about the US currency system, you can visit the
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Currency Exchange Rates
Useful Web site: http://www3.dynamind-llc.com/currency/input.cfm
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Types of Banking Institutions
When you study in the United States, you will want to open a bank account. There are many different types of banking institutions in the United States. These include:
Banks in this country are local, statewide, regional and national. They are for-profit businesses that provide a wide range of services for which they usually charge a fee.
In recent years, online banking has become an option. These institutions allow you to deposit funds, transfer funds, receive timely account information and pay bills all from your computer. As these are also for-profit businesses, they also charge fees for their services.
Credit unions are nonprofit cooperatives owned and controlled by their members. They provide similar services to a bank, but usually have lower fees. Not everyone can join a credit union. You must be part of an organization (e.g., company, school or community group) that has one. Several different nationality groups living in the US have their own credits unions, so you may try exploring what's available.
Unfortunately, credit unions often have limited locations and conveniences. For instance, they may not offer such services as online banking or debit cards.
Savings & Loans
Savings and loans are designed to help customers save money and invest. They don't offer as many services as a bank. They do, however, often have better interest rates on loans.
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Selecting A Bank
Before you select a banking institution, compare the services between different companies. Consider:
- Does the bank offer the services you need? Can you easily transfer money from your native country to this branch? How long will it take for the transferred money to clear?
- Does the bank have a partnership relationship with a bank in your native country? If it does, it might be easier for you to receive certain services.
- What are the fees for its banking services? How do these compare with other banks in your area? What is the minimum amount you will need to keep in your account to avoid a monthly charge?
- How convenient is the bank? Is it nearby your school? What are its normal office hours? Does it offer an ATM card? Can you make banking decisions over the telephone or online?
- Is the bank federally insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)? If the bank goes bankrupt, only federally insured banks will give you up to $250 thousand dollars of your money back.