Indeed, America is the land of opportunity, and each year, thousands of immigrants come here to live out their own personal version of the American dream. Many of these people are either students or left successful careers in their home countries. However, they all discover that it is challenging, if not impossible, to apply for a new credit card without a social security number (SSN). Continue reading to find out which credit cards are best for immigrants and how to apply.
How to Actually Get a Credit Card without SSN ( Being the most important factor for getting one)
In the twenty-first century, credit decisions are made almost instantly, and lending is entirely automated. Lenders use your credit score to determine whether you are eligible for a credit card when you apply for one, whether in person at your bank or online. If you are a recent immigrant to the US, your credit history is insufficient to generate a credit score that is respectable to lenders. Unfortunately, because credit reporting is not global, your stellar credit history does not transfer to the US credit reporting companies.
How to Apply for a Credit Card without SSN when you Are Not a US Citizen or an Unauthorized Alien
In spite of not having a social security number or credit score, non-citizens and recent immigrants to the US can apply for and be granted a credit card. Carefully consider your options if you want to learn how new immigrants can obtain a credit card in the USA. Without a social security number, immigrants can apply for a number of cards, some of which you may have even seen advertised online. Access to these cards is very advantageous, especially for students without a credit history or social security number.
You should know this. It is illegal for card issuers to demand that you include your social security number on your application. Businesses use customers’ social security numbers because the US lacks a federal ID system.
You will need to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), which is used similarly to the Social Security number. You must enter this nine-digit number on all paperwork requesting an SSN, including job applications, school applications, and other forms. The ITIN opens the door to credit cards and other loans but does not alter your immigration status or make you eligible for social security benefits. (We also include in this manual all the prerequisites and procedures for applying for
Additional Conditions for a Credit Card without SSN:
Of course, obtaining a credit card requires more than just an ITIN. Card issuers want proof that you can manage your credit limit responsibly and can pay your monthly bill. Other factors, such as how long you’ve had your job and whether you make on-time rent payments, are taken into account by the card companies when calculating creditworthiness.
The best American Credit Cards for Immigrants
Some credit cards are created specifically for recent immigrants to the US and don’t even require a social security number. Some of them might require an ITIN, and they all have their own procedures for approving applications. The best credit cards for immigrants to the US are those listed here.
- American Express’s Blue Cash Everyday® Card
- Platinum Merit Card
- Student Deserve® EDU Mastercard®
- Credit Card Tomo
- Petal® 1 Visa® Credit Card with “No Annual Fee”
- Visa credit card Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees”
- Platinum Secured Credit Card from Capital One
American Express’s Blue Cash Everyday® Card
American Express and Nova Credit collaborated to convert some foreign credit reports to US equivalent credit scores in 2019. You can apply for an AmEx without providing your SSN if you have a credit history in your home country. The following nations take part in this AmEx programme:
- Kenya Dominican Republic
- British Empire
The Blue Cash Everyday Card is one of many AmEx credit cards that don’t have an annual fee. However, there are other benefits as well, including a $200 statement credit if you spend $2,000 on your new card in the first six months and pay no annual fee (See Rates & Fees). Additionally,
Platinum Merit Card
For those without credit, the Merit Platinum credit card is ideal. There are no employment requirements or credit bureau checks. The application process is simple and quick, and if accepted, you’ll have immediate access to a $750 credit line in addition to other advantages. All they require is that you are at least 18 years old and have a valid credit card on which they can charge your Merit Platinum Account fees.
Student Deserve® EDU Mastercard®
This card is intended for American students who are studying abroad. You can apply with a passport, visa, or other school-issued identification. They base their decision on your academic location, your major, your potential for future employment, and the size of your bank account.
Credit Card Tomo
You can apply for a Tomo credit card even if you don’t have an ITIN. While a passport is required, you can link your bank account to Tomo through a third-party servicer to prevent access to your banking data by Tomo staff. A fintech company called Tomo has created an underwriting algorithm to examine your financial information and assess your creditworthiness. Instead of looking at your credit score, they consider things like your income and account balances. With this card, you can begin establishing your credit history because Tomo does report to the credit bureaus.
There is no APR with Tomo because you must pay off your balance each month.
Petal® 1 Visa® Credit Card with “No Annual Fee”
Visa® Petal® cards make excellent first cards. You can use your ITIN to apply online. Both report to all three credit bureaus and have no annual fee. Petal 1 is a good option if you have a good income but no credit history because that is the main qualification. The three credit bureaus receive reports from both Petal Visas.
Visa credit card Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees”
A Petal® 2 Visa® application is also available online. You must apply using your ITIN in order to do so. Additionally, you must be a legal US resident and at least 18 years old. Here are this card’s benefits and drawbacks.
Platinum Secured Credit Card from Capital One
The amount you must deposit into a savings account owned by the card issuer in order to obtain a secured card and your credit limit is typically determined by the amount of the deposit or security. The best-secured programme is offered by Capital One, where a $49 deposit can result in a $200 credit limit. Although Capital One accepts credit scores as low as 300, you do need a very short credit history to be approved.
The benefits of having a credit card as a non-US citizen
Finding the best credit cards for non-US citizens is crucial because using credit is a way of life in the US. From purchasing a new smartphone to purchasing a home, almost everything you do requires a lender to agree to loan you either money or equipment. If owning a home is your ultimate goal, start by applying for a credit card and establishing a solid payment record. Avoid opening new credit cards purely out of convenience, and pay off your balance each month. You require a credit card, preferably one of the best immigrant credit cards, for a number of reasons, some of which are listed below:
- Cards have built-in fraud protection and are safer than cash.
- A monetary emergency, such as a car repair or medical bill, can be managed.
- You can hire a vehicle.
- Your credit report is viewed by prospective employers.
- Loans are available for homes and cars.
- Create a credit history.
Obtaining your ITIN is something you should do right away if you have just arrived in the US. It goes beyond a simple workaround for going without a social security number. Additionally, you’ll need it to apply for jobs and file your taxes. There are some excellent credit cards you can obtain without having to wait for the IRS to issue your ITIN card by simply connecting your bank account (checking, savings, or investment accounts are all acceptable) to the card issuer.