4 Easy Tips That Every Non-US Citizen Must Know For Getting A Credit Card

The US credit card market is home to some of the most rewarding financial products for consumers. This segment of the credit card industry is also one that’s highly competitive, with cards from numerous banks and issuers vying for customers’ loyalty. Consequently, it can be challenging for non-US citizens who are not permanent residents of the US to get their hands on a credit card – especially if you don’t have a social security number; which is a document that all non-US citizens must have in order to get an account with any financial institution in the country. Non-US citizens can still get their hands on an excellent American credit card, however, if you take note of our top 5 tips:


Check Your Credit Report Before Applying For A Card

A credit report is a document that details your entire credit history. Every bank that processes credit applications will request a credit report on you before approving or rejecting your application. By checking your credit report ahead of time, you’ll be able to identify potential errors in your report. You can then contact the relevant credit reporting agency and request that they make the necessary corrections. This will help increase your chances of being approved for a credit card. Additionally, you’ll also gain a better sense of your overall creditworthiness. As such, you’ll also have an idea of which type of cards you’ll be approved for.


US Credit Cards Require SSN

Credit cards issued by US banks require a social security number. This is a 9-digit number issued by the US government to US residents; it’s also the primary method of tracking people for tax and government benefits. If you are a permanent resident of the US, you do not require a social security number. This is because your permanent resident card takes the place of a social security number. If you are not a permanent resident of the US, however, you will require a social security number. This is because you do not have an alternative form of identification.

Tips for Getting A Credit Card for Non-US Citizen

Establish US residency Or Get A Co-Signer

Credit cards are designed to be revolving lines of credit. As such, they should be paid off on a monthly basis; otherwise, they can be very damaging to one’s finances. For non-US citizens who don’t have a social security number, the only way to get a credit card is to have someone who has a social security number co-sign for the card. Alternatively, you can establish US residency. Either way, you’ll need to put up a substantial amount of money as collateral. This will act as a guarantee that you’ll pay off the debt in the event that you don’t. For students, this means that you’ll need to find a person who is willing to co-sign on a credit card. This will allow you to establish a credit history. Alternatively, you can also get a parent or guardian to co-sign on your card.


Apply for a Pre-Approved Card Instead

If you’re unable to establish US residency or get a co-signer, the other option is to apply for a pre-approved credit card. These are cards that do not require a person on your application to have a social security number in order to co-sign for the credit. Pre-approved credit cards are offered by many banks; however, you’ll need to apply for them. This means that you’ll need to find a credit card issuer that will accept foreigners. If you’re successful in getting your application approved, you’ll receive a credit card that doesn’t require a social security number. However, it will likely have a hefty annual fee. This is because credit card companies assess risk by evaluating your credit report.


Get A Credit Card From An Overseas Bank

If you can’t get a credit card through one of the methods above, your last option is to find an overseas bank that issues credit cards to non-US citizens. You’ll need to visit a branch of the bank in person and provide them with your financial history. This will allow you to get a credit card. You’ll also need to visit the branch every few months and show that you’re making payments on the card.



Credit cards are a wonderful and convenient way to finance large purchases and make recurring payments. They also have the added benefit of allowing you to build your credit score. However, for non-US citizens, getting approved for a credit card can be difficult. You’ll need to be prepared to jump through a few hoops in order to get one. All you need to do is follow our top 5 tips, and you’ll be able to get your hands on a great US credit card. 

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