18 Apr New to America? How To Get a US Credit Card
When moving to America, one of the first problems faced by expats is how to get a US credit card when they do not yet have any local credit history. There are now more options than ever to start building your credit history as soon as you land.
Every professional moving to the US. faces the same credit barriers. Despite their income or how stellar of a financial track record they might have had in their home countries, it remains extremely difficult to secure a credit card without local credit history. But to keep up with the changing global economy, US financial institutions are starting to offer innovative solutions to recently-relocated professionals, immigrants, and students, giving people on visas more options than ever to establish US credit. Here are some of our top picks for kick-starting your US credit history.
CreditStacks was founded specifically to cater to prime, new-to-credit customers who are relocating to the US. In partnership with MasterCard and First Century Bank, they created a card that allows successful individuals to obtain a credit card and build credit without a social security number or local US address. Using a behavioral risk model, CreditStacks is able to identify these prime consumers and issue them a card with a high monthly credit limit, no annual fee, and low interest rates. Smart autopayments can be set up on the easy-to-use app to pay off balances and help quickly build good credit. The card has additional purchase features like ID theft protection, extended warranties, and cell phone insurance to empower professionals relocating to America. Applications can be approved up to 60 days before your move at www.creditstacks.com/apply.
Current American Express Members Can Move Their Accounts Stateside
Existing American Express customers are in luck if they have been a primary cardholder for at least three months. The AmEx Global Card Transfer program uses existing account histories to approve expats for a US personal credit card. American Express views their customers credit-worthiness as global, so customers can keep their foreign banking account if they desire. Card holders can easily apply online with their US address and government issued ID: www.americanexpress.com/global-card-transfers.
Build Credit With a Low-Limit Secured Card
The most traditional option for people without credit in the US has been to apply for a secured credit card. These consumers are considered high-risk to US financial institutions, so secured cards usually require a cash deposit as collateral, which is returned to the user when they upgrade to a regular credit card. Secured cards typically have low or no annual fee, making it more attainable to those establishing themselves in the US. NerdWallet highly ranks Capital One and Discover’s secured cards for people with no credit:
- Capital One’s Secured Mastercard has no fee, and you may be able to put down as little as $49 for a $200 credit line. Higher limits can be attained within five months. Apply here: www.capitalone.com/credit-cards/secured-mastercard
- The Discover it Secured credit card has a $200 minimum deposit requirement, but responsible users will be able to easily earn rewards and eventually upgrade to a regular credit card. Apply here: www.discover.com/credit-cards/secured
Relocating to the United States can be a complicated process, particularly for professionals who need to establish credit quickly to rent, purchase a home, or apply for a loan. Thankfully, there are new solutions catering to global professionals, helping to make their transition as smooth as possible.