U.S credit card for non-residents: Adjusting to life in the U.S. whether permanently or for a short while is difficult. It is already very stressful to survive, yet immigrants must bear that stress on top of figuring out the ins and outs of a new culture.
Most U.S immigrants arrive with no U.S. credit history, and credit is necessary for starting a life in the U.S; without credit, potential borrowers will not be considered for any loan. Credit cards are a great opportunity to build your credit and establish yourself in the U.S.
Having a US credit card might make it easier to pay for goods and services without the need to withdraw and convert the funds to the local currency. Additionally, keeping your credit profile active in the U.S. is important if you plan to come back in the future.
Securing a credit card after your international move can be difficult but possible. For those who are planning to, or currently live abroad, here are a few things to keep in mind.
6 Reasons US Immigrants Should Get a Credit Card
A credit card can help you spend more than you have handy and pay back the rest later. By buying with a credit card and successfully paying off the debt later, you begin to build a credit reputation.
Here are six reasons for getting a credit card:
1. Rewards and Points
When you buy with your card, most credit card companies offer points depending on how much you spend. As you make purchases on your credit card and those points keep accumulating, you can trade in those points for gift cards or some special cataloged items.
Paying with a debit card or cash does not offer this side benefit, but a credit card does.
2. Cash Back
Some credit card companies offer cash back. Whatever you save while building up your credit score is a bonus — money that can go towards other things, or reduce your refundable debt.
There are some bonus incentives for using a credit card, like cash back and points. They add up, and every bit of value one can get when starting life in a new place is helpful.
3. Air Miles
In the 1980s, American Airlines brought an idea of giving away air miles with their associated credit cards. Depending on your needs, air miles and the potential for free flights might be more beneficial than rewards or cash back.
The possibility for discounted (or free!) travel is indeed very enticing. Taking flights across the country means more economic opportunities.
4. Fraud Protection
If someone makes a purchase with your debit card, the money comes directly out of your account. Every direct payment is harder to protect from theft and fraud. Investigating cases of fraud can take some time, during which your credit score will be affected.
With credit cards, you can alert your credit card company that a theft has taken place, and if they consider it valid, they remove that payment from your account.
5. Universally Accepted
You can’t book hotel rooms or rent a car with a debit card. Rental car companies and hotels want the added guarantee of being able to charge someone in the rare that you incur damages.
If you are planning on traveling, a credit card is necessary. Your mobility in the United States is greatly hampered if you are not able to rent a car or a hotel.
Almost every online vendor takes credit cards, and some do not take debit. It is frustrating to want to purchase something online, only to find that your debit card is not accepted. With a credit card, that worry never comes, because all online vendors accept major credit cards.
6. Buy Now, Pay Later
If you want to make a purchase and pay layer, then with a credit card that becomes a reality. If you know how much debt you can handle, then you can safely use this benefit of getting things you need before having to pay for them.
Best Credit Cards for New Immigrants in the U.S.
Here are some credit cards for new immigrants in the U.S
1. Capital One Secured Mastercard
With the CapitalOne Secured Mastercard, you can get a $200 line of credit for as little as $49, $99, or $200. While using your card responsibly, you tend to qualify for a credit limit upgrade in less than 6 months.
2. Discover It Secured Mastercard
To build credit while earning rewards without paying an annual fee in the meantime, consider the Discover it Secured Card. You can earn up to 2% cash back while pumping gas and eating at restaurants.
3. US Bank Secured Credit Card
The US Bank Secured Credit Card is the best card if you subsequently want to move to an unsecured credit card. If you show a year of responsible use, you can request to upgrade to an unsecured credit card. This card has a yearly charge of $29.
4. First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard Secured Credit Card
If you expect to carry your balance over sometimes, then you should go for this special APR deal. This card has an APR that is under 10%, which will make paying back the balance on your card easier if you find yourself strapped for cash.
5. OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card
The OpenSky credit card might be the best choice for international students.Besides not requiring credit checks, it also submits your credit report to the 3 major credit bureaus which is great for building your credit!
How to Get a U.S. Credit Card From Overseas
The first step in getting any new credit card is fining out types of offers available based on your credit history, your need for rewards, and the total cost of using the credit card. You will also want to be sure the credit card has no foreign transaction fess.
Once you decide which credit card may suit your needs best, find out what the bank or card issuer requires as far as application documents or details.
If you are already overseas, consider using a family member’s address for billing and other necessary communications. Most times, a credit card issuer based in the U.S. will not accept only a foreign address.
Also, you may be required to provide proof of income while abroad, so ensure to have this information handy before submitting a new application.
After gathering the information you need to apply, submit your application online or over the phone. Most credit card companies provides approval within a matter of moments, although sometimes, a “yes” can take a few days.
Be patient with the process, and try to promptly respond to any requests from the credit card company for follow up details or documentation. As long as you have a strong credit, steady income, and potentially, a U.S.-based address to utilize, your credit card application should be approved quickly.
Summary- U.s Credit Card for Non-Residents: Is It Possible?
If you are non-residents, establishing credit with a U.S based credit card can be just as complicated as a citizen traveling outside the U.S. This is because most U.S. credit card issuers need a physical address to be listed on an application, and if you have yet to move to the U.S., this demand can’t be met.
However, in some cases, a non-U.S. citizen may qualify for a credit card in the States. If a non-citizen has an existing relationship with a credit card issuer, He might be offered some assistance in establishing a U.S. credit card before moving to the country.
Besides existing customer relationship benefits, some credit card issuers will allow an individual to submit an application for a U.S.-based credit card if they are applying together with a U.S. citizen or resident.
Other times, an application may be approved if the applicant had a previous credit card with the company but it is no longer an active card.