Do you want to know How to Get a Free US Credit Card for Non-Residents? You've come to the right place. You may be looking for how to open a new credit card if you are temporarily relocating to the United States for school or work, or if you are making a long-term move.
The good news is that you can now apply for an American Express card based on your international credit history from certain countries. However, this is one reason why American Express cards may be a good choice. Another advantage is that Amex reports to all three credit bureaus, so once you've been approved for a card, you should begin building a credit history in the United States.
If you prefer to eat out or travel frequently, the American Express Gold Card offers rewards that correspond to your usual spending. With each purchase, you will earn Membership Rewards points, which you can redeem for cash back, gift cards, or to book travel. Typically, you can use your points to book travel through American Express or transfer them to airline or hotel loyalty programs.
That said in today's article, our focus will be on How to Get or Create a Free US Credit Card for Non-Residents. So read on.
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How to apply with international credit history (applies to all Amex cards)
On the American Express application page, you will have the option to click "I don't have credit history in the U.S." In the Social Security Number (SSN) field of the application page. You can then also skip the SSN field. Amex will always check for your U.S credit first, but if they can not find a U.S. credit file they may enable you to transfer your international credit history as part of the application. This is available for newcomers from Canada, the UK, Australia, India or Mexico and many others.
What the card offers?
- 4 points per dollar spent in US supermarkets on your first $25,000 in purchases per year (then 1x points)
- 4x points for dining out
- When you book flights directly with airlines or with American Express, you will earn 3x points. Travel
- When you enroll with your Gold Card, you will receive up to 12 months of free Uber Eats Pass subscription.
You'll also receive $10 in monthly statement credits for purchases at select restaurants. There is also no foreign transaction fee with this card.
Take note of the following:
- If you want to have the American Express® Gold Card, you must pay a $250 annual fee. Other travel-focused rewards credit cards with a lower annual fee offer a variety of perks. They may, however, be more difficult to qualify for unless you have already established credit in the United States.
- The statement credits on the American Express® Gold Card can also be tricky. The $10 monthly restaurant credit, for example, is only valid at a few chain restaurants and expires each month (i.e., you can't save up for one large meal).
Platinum Card from American Express
The American Express Platinum Card is one of the company's most well-known and popular cards, and it was one of the first premium cards on the market. It still provides a suite of benefits that appeal to frequent travelers looking for a more luxurious experience, but it also has a steep annual fee of $695.
Check Out What this card offers
- The Platinum Card® from American Express has no foreign transaction fee, which is appropriate for a travel-focused card. You can also earn 10x points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and on up to $25,000 in combined purchases in the United States during the first six months when you Shop Small. When you use the card to book flights with the airline or through American Express Travel, you can also earn five Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent.
- This card grants you access to The Centurion Network, which includes 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations around the world. These advantages can make traveling more enjoyable, amazing, and provide a relaxing environment to work or unwind before and after flights.
- The card also grants access to Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the United States each year, as well as $200 in airline-fee statement credits per year and $25 back on select Equinox memberships every month.
Take note of the following:
- The most serious disadvantage is the annual fee. Even with the statement credits and perks, the card may not provide enough value to justify the $695 annual fee.
- Statement credits, like the American Express Gold Card, can be tricky to use (and if you don't use them, you lose the credit). The card also earns Membership Rewards points. There are numerous ways to redeem points, but it is best to use them to book travel or transfer them to a partner program and book a rewards flight or hotel stay.
Blue Cash Preferred Card
American Express offers a number of cash back credit cards that can be used to earn cash back on a variety of purchases. The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card, in particular, offers bonus cash back earnings in categories that may appeal to younger adults and families.
What does this card offers?
- Earn a $300 statement credit after spending $3,000 on your new Card in the first 6 months.
- Buy Now, Pay Later: When you use Plan It® to divide large purchases into monthly installments, you will pay no plan fees. Plan fees are waived for plans created within the first 12 months of account opening. Plans created after that will be subject to a plan fee of up to 1.33% of the purchase amount moved into the plan, based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.
- Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases made after account opening, then a variable rate ranging from 13.99% to 23.99%.
- Earn 6% cash back at US supermarkets on purchases of up to $6,000 per year (then 1%), and 6% cash back on select US streaming subscriptions.
- Earn 3% cash back on transit (including taxis and ride-sharing, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more) as well as at US gas stations, and 1% cash back on other purchases. All cash back earned is in the form of reward dollars, which can be redeemed for statement credits.
The card has one of the highest earnings rates at supermarkets, making it a good option for individuals or families who buy a lot of groceries on a regular basis. If you prefer streaming services to traditional cable or satellite TV, the streaming service bonus category is also appealing.
Take note of the following:
- There is a $95 annual fee after the first year, and the annual spending cap that applies to cash back at U.S. supermarkets may be limiting for large families. The card’s 2.7% foreign transaction fee could also be off-putting if you want to use the same card in and outside the U.S.
- Also, be aware of the limitations on what counts as a supermarket. Specialty markets, such as a wine shop or butcher, might not qualify, and superstores (such as Target) or warehouse clubs (like Costco) aren’t part of this category.
CreditStacks was founded in 2015 and offers only one credit card, which has since been rebranded as the Jasper Card. This credit card is designed specifically for professionals relocating to the United States.
The Jasper card offers a 1% cash back rate as a starting point, which for its intended low-credit or no-credit-history applicants will be a welcome change from the no-reward cards that are frequently the only available options. While the 1% reward makes the card worthwhile, consumers should be cautious of the reality of the chef tool "party"-like offer of "up to 6%" cash back rewards.
The Jasper card, with no annual fee and a tiered credit limit system that maxes out at $5,000, may be a worthy alternative to secured cards for many people with little or no credit history. The card, which advertises clear and simple educational resources as well as an easy-to-use account management mobile app, is a response to the problems with secured cards or cards with loan-shark rates that prey on those without the luxury of good credit.
The card's multi-level cash back reward system adds an additional 1% cash back reward to the card's base 1% cash back reward for each friend you refer, for a total cash back of 6%. What's the catch? The cash back bonus only lasts a year, so getting the full 6% requires adding 5 new cardholders each year. This will only be possible for the wealthiest social influencers. Does this sound like a rose-colored beauty product sales pitch you might have heard at a party? It certainly affects us.
You can learn more about their cash back terms and other fees in their disclosures.
The Jasper Mastercard does not offer any other meaningful rewards, which may make it less appealing than other premium credit cards mentioned in this article that may be available to some newcomers. Jasper also only reports account and payment information to Equifax, and having the card will not assist you in building a credit history with TransUnion or Experian.
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Deserve Edu Mastercard
Deserve, formerly known as SelfScore, was founded to assist international students in obtaining a credit card while studying in the United States. The company now offers three credit cards, two of which do not require a Social Security number or a credit history to qualify for.
The Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students may be suitable for international students studying in the United States. You do not need a Social Security number or a credit history in the United States to qualify (although, if you do, it will be considered). Instead, during the application process, you can link your bank account, and Deserve will analyze your financial history to determine if you qualify for the card and your credit limit.
Cardholders will be eligible for discounts on renters insurance, free cell phone insurance, and a lifetime total $59 reimbursement to cover the annual cost of Amazon Prime Student.
The Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students has no annual fee or foreign transaction fees, which some cards charge on purchases made outside the United States or in currencies other than US dollars. You'll also get 1% cash back on all eligible purchases.
- The annual percentage rate for the Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students is high (APR). The APR can help you understand the annual cost of carrying a balance based on the interest rate on your card.
- The interest rate will not be applied to your balance if you pay your bill in full each month. However, if you anticipate making large purchases and then paying off the balance over time, you may end up paying a lot of interest based on your APR, and a different card may be a better fit.
- Deserve will also only report your account and payments to two of the three major credit bureaus in the United States, TransUnion and Experian. As a result, you will not be able to establish or build your credit history with Equifax. If you apply for a loan or a new credit card in the future and the company wants to review your Equifax credit report and a credit score based on that report, it may not find anything and you may be denied.
Discover it Secured Card
Discover does not have the same international reach as Visa, Mastercard, or American Express, but it is accepted at the majority of major retailers and online stores in the United States. The Discover® it Secured is a secured credit card designed for new immigrants. It is a type of card designed for people with little or no credit history who want to build or rebuild their credit. Secured cards function similarly to unsecured cards, but they require a refundable security deposit when the account is opened.
The Discover it Secured Card is one of the few secured cards that also functions as a rewards card. Each quarter, you can earn 2% cash back on your first $1,000 in combined gas station and restaurant purchases, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. At the end of the first year, Discover will also double your cash back earnings.
There are no annual or foreign transaction fees with this card. Discover also reports payments to all three major credit bureaus and can provide you with a free FICO® Score based on your TransUnion credit report with your monthly statement, allowing you to monitor your credit score over time.
Read Also: How To Open Bank Account Online As A US Non-Resident
- To open your card account, you'll need to make a refundable security deposit, just like with other secured credit cards. The credit limit on the card will be equal to your security deposit (for example, a $500 security deposit means a $500 credit limit on your account). Once you've established a credit history in the United States, you may be eligible for an unsecured credit card for new immigrants. When you close this card account (assuming you've paid off your credit card bills), you'll receive your refundable security deposit back.
- To apply, you'll also need a bank account and a Social Security number. If you're eligible to work at your university or off-campus with the school's approval, you may be able (and required) to obtain a Social Security number.
- The Discover it Secured Card, like other rewards and secured credit cards, has a high APR, which can make revolving a balance especially expensive.
Another Alternative: ask your current card issuer or employer
You may have years of credit experience in your home country or be relocating to the United States with a high-paying job. Your current financial relationships and employer may be able to assist you in obtaining a new card in the United States.
Several card issuers and banks, including American Express, BNP Paribas, Citi, and HSBC have transfer programs for their relocating customers. Additionally, some employers in the U.S. have relationships with local credit unions or banks. You could ask your company’s human resources department, or whoever is helping you with the relocation, about options.
If you don’t currently have a credit card and there aren’t any employer-based options, consider one of the non-student-specific cards listed above.
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How to get a credit card without a Social Security number
Many credit card applications will require you to provide your Social Security Number (SSN). However, an SSN is not required to complete an application or qualify for a credit card.
Do you not yet have an SSN? Several credit card companies allow you to apply for a credit card without providing your Social Security number. This is a comprehensive guide to obtaining credit cards without an SSN.
As you may have discovered, it is difficult to participate in the United States' financial system without a Social Security number. Many financial institutions require an SSN on an application for a new account, but obtaining an SSN isn't always simple. Without an SSN, it can be difficult to obtain a credit card and build credit in the United States, open a checking or savings account, or obtain a loan, but there are other options.
However, some credit card companies accept applications from residents who do not have a Social Security number. The trick is to know where to look and how to apply. Here are some things you can do.
1.Apply for American Express credit cards with international credit history
If you are a newcomer to the United States, an international student, or another noncitizen, American Express may be able to help: If you have credit history in one of the following countries, you can apply for any American Express personal credit card online without an SSN: Australia, Canada, India, Mexico, or the United Kingdom. Even if you do not reside in one of these countries, Amex will still accept ITINs as part of your application.
You do not need a Social Security Number to begin your credit history in the United States.
Experian and TransUnion will monitor your credit history and attempt to match your name, birth date, and address. However, specific personal information such as an SSN and ITIN make it easier for credit bureaus to accurately report information.
American Express also reports to all three major credit bureaus (Transunion, Experian, and Equifax), so if you are approved for a card and use it responsibly, you should begin building a credit history in the United States.
Consider how you intend to use the card, your usual purchasing habits, and your lifestyle when selecting a card. As evidenced by the featured picks in the article above.
2. Find other card issuers that don’t require an SSN
Some issuers will let you use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead of an SSN on your application. An ITIN allows people who don’t qualify for an SSN to file a tax return in the US. You may qualify for one if you’ve worked in the US (including as a contractor) or receive a taxable scholarship. You can apply for an ITIN when you file a tax return or in-person at IRS-authorized locations.
Once you have an ITIN, you may be able to use it in place of an SSN when applying for credit cards. A few issuers will accept a passport if you apply by phone or in person.
Some credit card companies, such as Deserve and Jasper (formerly CreditStacks), also provide credit cards designed specifically for international students or professionals relocating to the United States for work. They will accept other forms of identification, such as your passport and visa information.
3. Submit the application
Once you've decided on a card, you must fill out the official application. Often, this can be done online in a matter of minutes, but many credit card applications will require an SSN. If you have an ITIN, you may be able to substitute it for the SSN when submitting your application.
If you have an ITIN, you may be able to substitute it for the SSN when submitting your application. If you do not have an ITIN or SSN, you may be able to apply with other forms of identification, such as your passport.
If you're unsure how to apply online, contact the card issuer and ask to speak with a representative, or go to a nearby bank branch.
4. Meet the credit card issuer’s requirements
It's important to be able to apply, but you'll also need to qualify for the card. Credit card companies evaluate your creditworthiness based on a number of factors, and the best credit cards may require a good credit history and a low debt-to-income ratio.
Even if you don't have a credit history in the US and aren't scoreable by FICO or VantageScore, you may be able to get approved for a student card (assuming you're a student) or a secured credit card. Card issuers may still consider your income because they want to know that you can pay your credit card bill.
Some international banks and card issuers may be able to review your credit history in your home country when considering your application if you have a good credit history in your home country.
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Getting a credit card without an SSN can help you build credit in the U.S
Because the major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — do not require an SSN to create and build a U.S. credit history, you can have a credit history and credit scores in the US regardless of whether you have an SSN or are a U.S. citizen.
Your payments can be reported to credit bureaus once you open credit cards and loans in the United States. The credit bureaus can then generate credit reports by matching you with your accounts using identifying information like your name and address. These credit reports can also be used to generate credit scores.
If you are still in the early stages of establishing credit in the United States, you may benefit from using your credit history from your home country. Nova Credit assists you in bringing your credit history with you by generating a Credit Passport, which lenders, card issuers, and property managers can use to review your application based on your foreign credit history.
That was a quick overview of how to apply for a credit card without a Social Security number. So, let's get started.
Some issuers, such as Deserve and CreditStacks, make it very clear that you can apply without an SSN. As previously stated, American Express allows it as long as you have international credit history from certain countries. Other major credit card companies may also allow you to apply with a non-US passport or another form of government identification to verify your identity.
If you do not qualify for a Social Security Number, you may be eligible for an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITINs). If you received a taxable scholarship, for example, you'll need an ITIN to file your US tax return. Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITIN) may be accepted instead of Social Security Numbers (SSN) during the application process, depending on the card issuer.
Even if you don't have a Social Security number, you can build credit in the United States if you have a credit card, loan, or other credit account that is reported to the credit bureaus.
The major credit bureaus can create a credit profile based on your name, address, and other identifying information and link your accounts to your credit reports. If you obtain an SSN in the future, your credit profile can be linked to it.
You might be able to get a prepaid card and use it like a credit card instead of a credit card. Prepaid card issuers, on the other hand, will not report your account information to credit bureaus, and having a prepaid card will not help you build your credit history.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which credit card I can get easily in USA?
Easiest Credit Cards To Get Approved for in March 2023 Overall. Discover it® Secured Credit Card. No credit check. OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card. Low APR. DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card. First credit card. ... Fair credit. ... Students with rolling categories. ... Students spending on restaurants and groceries. ... Target shoppers.
Can I get approved for a credit card with no credit?
Can I get approved for a credit card with no credit? If you don't have a credit history, your card may come with higher interest rates, for instance. So you may get approved for a card but have to pay more over time for the credit you use. You might also have a lower credit limit, restricting the amount you can spend each month.
How can I open credit card without SSN?
The best way to secure a credit card without an SSN is to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). An ITIN is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service to non-U.S. citizens who cannot obtain a Social Security number.
Final Thoughts On How to Get/create a Free US Credit Card For Non-Residents
After carefully reading the post article above, you will realize that getting a free US credit card for non-residents is not actually that difficult. As previously stated, they come with a plethora of advantages, but you should be aware of a few key points. For instance, getting a Deserve Edu Mastercard for students studying in the United States is advantageous, but keep in mind that if you pay your bill in full each month, the interest rate will not be applied to your balance.
However, if you anticipate making large purchases and then paying off the balance over time, you may end up paying a lot of interest based on your APR, and a different card may be a better fit. As mentioned in the article above, there are numerous other factors to consider.
But if not, I assure you that they are the best and that if you apply for any of them, you will have a great time filled with enjoyment.
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