Fulbright to India Guide – 2021-2022


All major cities/towns have banks with foreign exchange facilities and other foreign exchange offices.  It is a good idea to exchange a few U.S. dollars to Indian Rupees at the airport, so that you will have some money in hand for incidentals.  Make sure you have 50 and 100 rupee bills for small purchases and tips.

Major credit cards and ATM cards are used everywhere in India, including in small towns.

ATM card without foreign fees

  • Charles Schwab has an ATM card that has no international fees and they reimburse for any fees charged by the bank that you withdraw from.
  • Chase Sapphire Card is another option without any foreign transaction fees, however there are charges for ATM withdrawals.
  •  Capital One credit card does not charge a foreign transaction fee.

Opening a bank account by foreign nationals in India is possible, but the process is cumbersome. While a few Fulbrighters managed to open savings accounts in India in the past, many could not do so due to the requirements for submitting paperwork and the multiple trips to the banks.

For convenience and to save money, some grantees have suggested opening State Bank of India (SBI) account in the U.S. and get their debit/credit card. SBI is the largest bank in India with a wide network of branches and ATM’s all over the country.

You can keep track of the international exchange rates at www.xe.com.

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