When you are planning a move, your head is spinning in all directions. There are so many documents to take care of, packing, place to live and sometimes we forget some basics. When we moved to England we knew that it'd be hard to open a bank account. The thing is, they want you to have an address, but to rent somewhere you usually must have a bank account. A catch 22. If you are going to study and live with a host family or in a dorm, it's different, but if you are going to work, you most probably won't have an address until you get there. The cashier of the bank will look at you and simply not care. They want what they want and everything else is rubbish.
We knew that in advance, so what we did was, we checked for banks that were both, in the US and in England, there aren't many, but we decided on HSBC, which, by the way, I can't stand, I don't like that bank at all!!! We went to the branch in DC and opened an account, then explained to the manager that we were moving and needed a bank account in England. The nice lady did it all for us. We got to England and had no problems using our cards, depositing or withdrawing money. All we had to do was change our address.
Planning is vital when you're moving abroad. Thinking about you, I created a guide. It's a totally FREE course to help you plan your move. You receive it on your inbox everyday for 5 days and it gives you doses of information. Go on, sign up, you won't regret it.
Do your research!