How do you apply for a US credit card?

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erinmNew Member
Topic author
Posts: 1
Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Location: florida

How do you apply for a US credit card?

Post Tue Aug 15, 2006 5:51 pm

Hi, I moved to the US about 8 months ago and am working under a TN visa. Although i have full-time employment, making a good salary and have good credit history in Canada, i can't get approval for a Visa card or Mastercard because i am not an American citizen or landed immigrant.

There are so many foreign workers working in the US; i find it hard to believe these people don't have a credit card. Does anyone have any suggestion on how i can get a credit card?

oohmercymeModeratorUser avatar
Posts: 315
Joined: 21 Mar 2004
Location: London, England

Post Wed Aug 16, 2006 1:34 am

Try getting a credit card with a department store, they seem to be much less choosy about giving them out. After I had obtained a JCPenney and Target card with credit limits of a whopping $200, I was able to easily obtain a Mastercard and Visa. Before I knew it, I was beating the credit card companies of with a stick! (I was on a TN Visa as well). Your credit history in Canada has no impact on your your ability to get credit in the US.

Good luck!
jhJunior Member
Posts: 11
Joined: 4 Aug 2004
Location: Florida

How I established US Credit

Post Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:32 pm

When I moved to the US I canceled all of my of my Canadian cards. I tried to get a credit card as soon as I opened a bank account. I was shocked to find that I was denied.

What I did was convince the credit officer at the bank to run my CDN SIN # through equifax since equifax is in both the US and Canada. It worked I got the credit card. However the limit was really low.

I then bought some furniture on credit and paid it off in 6 months etc and then I had established credit.

Good Luck

Post Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:27 pm

If you still have Canadian credit cards and if those credit cards have US counterparts (like Amex or MBNA) call them and ask about getting a US$ account.

After I moved to the US, I kept my MBNA Canada card until I got a job and a SSN. I got one of those "you're automatically approved" junk mail things from MBNA America, so I filled in the application form, and sent them that along with a photocopy of my MBNA Canada credit statement, and a letter that said pretty much "Hey, Mbna Canada gave me a card, how 'bout you guys give me one too?"

They confirmed my account in good standing in Canada, then called me and said they were sending me a new card :D

Remember tho, that for every credit card application that you fill out, it goes as a negative point on your credit report, which will make it harder to get a credit card.
dls2006New Member
Posts: 1
Joined: 8 Nov 2006
Location: moving to US

getting a credit card in the US

Post Wed Nov 08, 2006 1:36 pm

If you have ever had an account at RBC in Canada, open an account in the US with RBC Centura (based in NC). They can pull your Canadian credit records and quite easily issue to a credit card on that basis. It worked for me.
cmedailyNew Member
Posts: 1
Joined: 3 Jul 2007

How to Find the Best Low APR Credit Cards

Post Tue Jul 03, 2007 3:58 pm

APR credit cards are much more prevalent than in years past. Competition is stiff and credit card
financial institutions offer many nice perks, rewards, points, low annual percentage rates (APR)
and other inducements. They want to capture new customers who've never had a credit card but also
those who already have a credit card and might like to save money by transferring that card's
balance on to their new low APR credit cards.
eddycurrentsCanuckAbroad Regular
Posts: 48
Topics: 1
Joined: 18 Jun 2007

Post Fri Jul 06, 2007 11:01 pm

I had the same problem. After over a year in the US paying utilities on time, I bought a house. I thought a credit card would be easy at that point, but no dice. Utilities doesn't get you a credit rating, only loans do. So what I should have done is taken out a small loan at my local bank and paid it back immediately.

Anyway, six months into my house and I still couldn't get a credit card. I got loads of junk mail with "pre-approved" credit card offers. I tried them, and they turned me down anyway. The only one that didn't was a Mastercard, which thrilled me, until I found they wanted around $400 in fees the first year. I told them forget it, and it's because of those scammers that I will never get a Mastercard.

I talked to a friend who worked for Capital One and he said I was a "thin file", which means I had no credit history. In fact, it's better to have bad credit than no credit.

I called Equifax and TransUnion and asked them to show my Canadian credit on my US file. They said they can't do that, but for an extra $10 a credit card company can always check my Canadian file. So I tried that with a few credit card sales twits and they couldn't be bothered. They follow a script, and checking Canadian credit isn't on the script.

However, banks are willing to do this for a mortgage or a loan.

Then I found that AMEX has a "special credit" area that will grant you a US Amex if you have a Canadian one, which I did. I called them, and got my new card -- no problem. I wish I knew that 2 years earlier. The reason Amex does this, and Visa and Mastercard won't, is because Amex does their own credit card sales. The rest farm them out to sales channels, who are lazy and (in the case of Mastercard) can rip you off.

So until you have at least a year's credit on the books, that's probably your best option. Get a Canadian Amex and then an American one. In the meantime, get a small loan from your local bank and pay it back a month later. In a year, you'll have a dozen credit card offers per week, like the rest of us.
RVCCanuckAbroad Regular
Posts: 36
Joined: 14 May 2007
Location: Vancouver

Post Fri Jul 06, 2007 11:07 pm

After about 3 months on a TN I got a credit card with Bank of America. I did nothing special, just applied. It also had nothing to do with my Canadian credit.
dalekNew Member
Posts: 3
Joined: 3 Jul 2007
Location: Atlanta

Post Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:34 am

You can also get a secured credit card with a low limit from your bank (we got one at Bank of America the first couple weeks we lived in the US), there will be a fee, and you will have to pay a deposit to secure it (I know.), BUT, after a few months of paying that off every month you will be in a MUCH better position. This may be simpler than going the Equifax route, although they may have updated their processes in the past year or so since I attempted.

The RBC idea is quality too.
rdonofrioNew Member
Posts: 2
Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Location: Montreal

US Vis card

Post Tue Jul 10, 2007 9:09 am

Contact RBC Centura. They use Canadian credit history

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