Sunday, 15 December 2019

Can You Open a US Credit Card If You Live Overseas | Tips for Expats, Students & Residents Abroad

Can You Open a US Credit Card If You Live Overseas | Tips for Expats, Students & Residents Abroad
31 Jul
5:33

Hey, it's Ernest from Trip Astute In this video, we're covering a common question that we receive which is, "can you get a US credit card if you live in another country?" (light chiming music) I think we take it for granted that we have such lucrative credit card offers here in the US

While it's possible to find offers in other countries, the issuers in the US seem to offer the most competitive and generous bonuses It's probably a reflection of our society and our high usage of credit But for those of us who are able to manage our spending responsibly, it's a very useful and lucrative way to offset the cost of travel A common question that's popped up is whether you can get a US credit card if you live abroad For example, if you happen to be an expat, student studying abroad, or even someone who lives in another country

The answer is complicated While it's possible to get a credit card while living overseas, there are some strict requirements First off, you'll need to have a social security number Some banks will take a US Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN for short Though most will require a social security number

You also need a bank account in the US Issuers require that you pay your bill using US funds Lastly, you'll need a US address US credit card issuers will generally not accept a foreign address in your application and they won't send a new credit card overseas unless it's a replacement As you can see, it's possible to get a US credit card if you're an expat or US resident studying abroad, but it's nearly impossible for anyone else outside of the US

Though if you're already overseas, you're not going to be able to get your card delivered to your location, so you're better off applying for the card when you're in the country The ideal situation would be to do it before you leave the US In addition, here are some things to keep in mind for anyone trying to spend a significant amount of time outside the country Number 1: Maintain your credit history One of the biggest concerns for expats is maintaining a credit history when living overseas

This can be an issue when returning back to the US and trying to get a car or home loan Using and paying off your credit cards is a great way to keep your credit history active in the US, even if you're living abroad On that note, number 2: Set up electronic statements and auto pay Living abroad can present a challenge when it comes to getting your credit card statements I recommend setting up electronic statements and auto pay on your account

That way, you can rest assured knowing that you'll get your statements and pay your bill on time every month Number 3: Be aware of your connection when applying If you're already overseas and attempting to apply for a card, know that you may not see the same card offers since your device's IP address is from outside the US This may also cause your application to get flagged by the issuer To avoid this issue, I recommend using a VPN service which will allow you to connect and tunnel your internet service through a US server

It's actually a best practice when traveling and when using an unsecured internet connection I plan to do a video specifically on VPN services in the near future, but if you're looking for an affordable and easy to use VPN provider, check out Private Internet Access I use them whenever I travel and it gives me peace of mind that my data is securely transmitted Number 4: Avoid foreign transaction fees This one is important if you're looking to use your card abroad

Make sure your card doesn't have any foreign transaction fees Most premium travel cards don't have them, and a few issuers like Capital One don't charge them on any of their cards However, if you're thinking of getting the popular Chase Freedom card with rotating bonus categories, you might want to think twice since the card is subject to foreign transaction fees A better option might be the Discover It card since they don't charge the fees However, it really depends on where you're living and whether your Discover card is even accepted

Discover does have some agreements with other networks like JCB in Japan and UnionPay in China, so it's possible that you might be able to use it But definitely do some research beforehand Number 5: Pay in local currency When using a US credit card abroad, you'll often be asked whether you want to pay in US dollars or the local currency You're generally better off paying in local currency and having the credit card perform the conversion using market rates

If you need more information, check out our video on the topic And finally, number 6: Notify the issuer of your situation Once your card is approved, you'll want to let the issuer know if you'll be spending a significant amount of time outside of the US Doing so will help you avoid fraud alerts when using your card abroad Are you an expat or student living abroad who uses a US credit card? If so, let us know if you have any other tips

We hope you enjoyed this video and found it useful If so, please give us a thumbs up and consider sharing our video with others Also, if you haven't done so already, please enter our 5,000 subscriber milestone giveaway which is open until Friday June 22nd Until next time, travel safe and travel smart

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