This is own, brutally honest, EIN Express review. Back in 2018, I opened an account at HSBC Bank US, but the process was not straightforward, as I wasn’t a US resident and didn’t have any social security number or identification there. As a frequent flyer, I always wanted to get a US credit card as a foreigner because the sign-up bonuses and benefits are huge, compared to other parts of the world. Read this post to learn more about why you should open an account in the US.
Earlier this year, I got serious and finally took a stab at it. After some research, I found out that I could get an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number), and use that number to open a bank account in the US, apply for credit cards, build my credit score, and even get personal loans or mortgages.
I used the service EIN Express (with Sina Bonabi) to fast-forward my application. In this post, I share my experience, EIN Express Review, and all the steps I followed to get my ITIN. The best part was that you don’t need to send your passport and everything is done online.
In 2022 I used the EIN Express service to get my ITIN number and it went smoothly and great. The whole process took about 9 weeks, and now I can apply online to get credit cards in the US and build my credit score. You can get a $50 discount when you use the code AIRLAPSE on EIN Express.
What is an ITIN and why is it Useful?
An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have and are not eligible to obtain a Social Security number (SSN).
You can use an ITIN to:
- Opening a bank account. Individuals who do not have an SSN but an ITIN may be able to open interest-bearing accounts.
- Securing a driver’s license. Some states have allowed the ITIN to be used instead of an SSN in order to receive a driver’s license, driver’s permit, or state identification card.
- Providing proof of residency. At some point in the future, an immigrant may need to prove how long he or she has been in the United States, and having a tax return filed using an ITIN is one way to show that.
What is EIN Express?
EIN Express is a company that provides services that help you apply for an ITIN or EIN number. The process is fully online and remote, and from the moment your case is started, an agent will follow up with you requesting all the paperwork required and assisting you in filling out the required forms and documents.
The COO of the company is Sina Bonabi, and he’s an official IRS Certifying Acceptance Agent, which means he can certify your documents and IDs on behalf of the IRS to submit applications for an ITIN or EIN.
Is EIN Express legit?
Yes. EIN Express is a registered company with a team of employees and IRS-certifying agents. You can read over 1000+ reviews on Google and Trustpilot. I must admit that when I first logged into their website, it looks slightly scammy, with many “click here” buttons and almost empty landing pages. However, after going through the entire process, I can confirm you can trust it 100% and their team is professional.
How I Got My ITIN with EIN Express
1. Filled In A Form On EIN Express Website
I went to their website and filled in a questionnaire, step-by-step, where they ask why do you want an ITIN. In my case, it was to open a bank account in the US as a non-US resident (European)
Use the code AIRLAPSE when checking out to get a $50 discount on your ITIN application.
2. Email Confirmation and Extra Documents
After filling out the form and checking out, you will get an email confirmation from Sina himself, also soliciting extra documentation.
After sending my additional documentation, I got assigned an application director who would follow up with more information.
A few days later, I got an email from my application director asking me to fill out some IRS forms (W7 IRS ITIN form and 2021 IRS 1040/1040NR Tax Return Form). They of course, assisted me in this process.
3. Submitting Extra Documentation Via Mail
After filling out these forms, I had to print them, sign them, and send them via regular mail to EIN Express offices.
4. Confirming My Identity
Once the paperwork arrived at their offices, I was instructed to book an online video call to verify my signature and ID.
A few days later, I had this call with one of their agents, and she kindly explained the process to me. The purpose of the call was to verify that the paperwork I had sent matched my photo, face, and signature and that I was holding the passport I sent a copy of.
The whole process took about 15 minutes, and we were done. They said they would submit all the paperwork to the IRS, and it would take up to 8 weeks to get an answer.
5. Getting my ITIN
About nine weeks later, I received an email confirming that my ITIN application was processed and that I had been assigned an ITIN! They also forward a physical copy of this letter to your home address.
That was it!
6. Confirming that the ITIN works (Get a US Credit Card)
A few weeks after the IRS notice, I went online to Citibank and applied online for a Gold package, including a checking account, savings account, and a credit card using my ITIN, and it worked! The process went smoothly, and I could do everything online.
The only caveat was that I had to send an email after my application to change the address abroad (instead of a US address). If you don’t want to do this process online, you can directly talk to a bank officer via email, and they will help you make an online application with a foreign address.
Conclusion: EIN Express Review
An ITIN is a key to opening bank accounts, building a credit score, and applying for credit cards or loans in the US. It can have many benefits, bring you opportunities, and help with your financial freedom, more in the current global context (read more here on why to open a bank account in the US).
In this post, I covered all the steps I had to do (no more than 5) to get my ITIN with EIN Express. The service costs about $500 USD, and you can use the code AIRLAPSE when checking out.
Note that there are other ways to open a bank account, like forming your own company, but that is much more expensive and requires more paperwork every year. The ITIN is the easiest alternative to get things done quickly, remotely, and fully online from your home country.
EIN Express Alternatives
If you are looking for good EIN Express Alternatives, I would go for Doola.
Doola is a great option for businesses that want to expand into the US market or for businesses that are owned by non-US residents. It is a quick and easy way to get all the legal and financial services you need to start or grow your business.
Doola’s services include:
- Company formation: Doola can help you form an LLC in any US state. They will handle all the paperwork and filing fees, and they will also provide you with a registered agent.
- EIN (Employer Identification Number): Doola can help you obtain an EIN, which is a tax identification number that all businesses need.
- US bank account: Doola can help you open a US bank account for your business. This will allow you to receive payments from customers and vendors in the US.
- Payment processing: Doola integrates with popular payment processors, such as Stripe and PayPal, so you can easily accept payments from customers.
- Compliance: Doola will help you stay compliant with all US business laws and regulations. They will also provide you with tax consultation services.