Note: This information applies to NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai students considering a semester in New York. Students from other colleges and universities who are interested in enrolling as a visiting student at NYU's campus in New York should consider programs hosted by NYU's Office of University Programs.

Currency in the U.S.

The USA currency is the US Dollar, the sign for which is $.

Denominations: Coins are: 1 cent (penny), 5 cents (nickel), 10 cents (dime), and 25 cents (quarter). Coins of 50 cents and $1 also exist but are pretty uncommon.

Bills are printed in denominations of $1, $2 (uncommon), $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100.

Please see for up-to-date information about currency exchange rates.  

Using Debit or Credit Cards in the US

If you have a debit or credit card that was issued outside of the US, they can be used for transactions in the US but you will be charged a foreign transaction fee by your credit/debit card company. These can range from a fixed charge to a percentage based on the purchase amount.

Before using a non-US card here in New York, it’s a good idea to call you bank ahead of time and let them know you will be traveling. Many banks will think the New York charges are fraudulent and can shut off your card without notice if you have not already told them you are abroad.

Cashing Checks

If you need to deposit or cash a check, the Student Link Center offers an emergency personal check cashing service to NYU students enrolled in credit courses.

Personal checks of up to $50.00 per day may be cashed at the Student Link Center located at 383 Lafayette Street. A valid New York University I.D. card must be presented at the cashier’s window.

If a check is returned, the student will be charged a $20.00 returned check fee and will be prevented from cashing future personal checks.

Opening a Bank Account in the U.S.

In order to avoid foreign transaction fees, you may want to consider opening a US bank account in New York. For non-U.S. citizens, opening a bank account will allow you to transfer funds to a local account and easily deposit checks if necessary.

A social security number is not required for an F-I or J-I student to open a bank account, but you will need proof of identification and immigration status in the U.S. (passport, I-94, and I-20 or DS-2019). 

Additional items you should bring include: 

  • Your NYU ID card 
  • Any identification documents issued by your government 
  • A letter of enrollment (obtained at the Registrar’s Office at 383 Lafayette Street) 
  • Money or a check to deposit.

If you have any problems opening an account, contact the Office of Global Services for more information.

The following banks have branches near NYU’s campus that will open accounts for international students:

  • Citibank at 555 LaGuardia Place 
  • Wells Fargo at 66 Ninth Ave. at 15th Street 
  • HSBC at 9th St. and Broadway, 15th St. and Park Ave; Houston and Broadway; or 8th St. near 5th Ave

Lost or Stolen Cards

If your debit/credit card is stolen while you are in New York, you should call your bank or credit card company immediately to report the card as lost/stolen. Please note that replacement cards can take up to 3 weeks to be sent from overseas. It is best to have another form of payment that can be used in case this happens.

Using ATMs

There are ATMs located throughout the Greenwich Village area and Brooklyn. It is best to use an ATM associated with a major bank (i.e. Chase, Bank of America, CitiBank, etc.) There are store-owned ATMs in various convenience stores and on the sidewalk. These ATMs usually charge a fee, about $1-$2, for use. You should use these machines with caution or avoid them all together as these machines are not regulated by a bank.

Please note that if you use a bank ATM that is not your home bank (where the card is issued from) then you also will be charged a service fee by the ATM and your bank might charge you an ATM fee for not using one of their own ATMs. You can check with your home bank to see if they have branches in NY or partnerships with banks where you can use their ATMs without a charge.

If you are using a non-US issued card you will be charged a foreign transaction fee to get cash out of any ATM.