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New Member
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-02-2012
0

Secured credit card with no SSN?

Hello,

 

I was just wondering if anyone knows whether or not it may be possible for a non US citizen to get any of the secured credit cards from US banks such as BoA, Wells Fargo, Capital One, etc.? I am particularly interested in the ability to graduate to a no fee card after while.

 

The reason I ask is because I am a Canadian citizen with no US address or SSN, but I live in a border town and frequently travel to (and shop in) the U.S. Thus, I would like to eventually obtain a USD credit card to avoid currency conversion fees and exchange rate fluctuations. As I work in a Canadian bank myself, I get decent conversion rates on US cash, but not having a USD card prevents me from taking full advantage of that. I already have a VISA debit card from a major US bank, but having an actual credit line, however small, would be advantageous over always having to top up my US account when I want to use plastic. I also wonder if having a lengthy, pre-existing relationship with a given bank may help? For example, might a bank that I have been with for a few years be willing to pull my Canadian credit file?

 

In the past, when Target had its own VISA card, Canadians were able to obtain one as Target would pull the applicant's Canadian file. Unfortunately, this all ended before my time. If anyone has any knowledge of, or experience with, obtaining a secured card as a non US citizen, please share your information. Thanks!

 

Len

 

P.S. A few Canadian banks actually offer US dollar denominated credit cards for people in similar circumstances, but the annual fees are prohibitive and Canadian banks can be fairly disagreeable when it comes to waving them.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 250
Registered: ‎01-18-2009
0

Re: Secured credit card with no SSN?

No way.

What's in your wallet?
-Not Capital One.
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 250
Registered: ‎01-18-2009
0

Re: Secured credit card with no SSN?

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 332
Registered: ‎04-08-2011
0

Re: Secured credit card with no SSN?

You could apply for cap1 secured card if you have US tax id. Data point, one of my coworkers get it without SSN and she can't get in with BOA or Citi. 

Super Contributor
Posts: 9,674
Registered: ‎01-28-2010
0

Re: Secured credit card with no SSN?

You will need either SSN tax ID. Banks are required to verify your identity, and they have to do this with a GOV issued #.
March2010 FICO® ~ 695 TU, 653 EQ, 697 EX
Valued Member
Posts: 87
Registered: ‎12-17-2011
0

Re: Secured credit card with no SSN?


LB0220 wrote:

Hello,

 

I was just wondering if anyone knows whether or not it may be possible for a non US citizen to get any of the secured credit cards from US banks such as BoA, Wells Fargo, Capital One, etc.? I am particularly interested in the ability to graduate to a no fee card after while.

 

The reason I ask is because I am a Canadian citizen with no US address or SSN, but I live in a border town and frequently travel to (and shop in) the U.S. Thus, I would like to eventually obtain a USD credit card to avoid currency conversion fees and exchange rate fluctuations. As I work in a Canadian bank myself, I get decent conversion rates on US cash, but not having a USD card prevents me from taking full advantage of that. I already have a VISA debit card from a major US bank, but having an actual credit line, however small, would be advantageous over always having to top up my US account when I want to use plastic. I also wonder if having a lengthy, pre-existing relationship with a given bank may help? For example, might a bank that I have been with for a few years be willing to pull my Canadian credit file?

 

In the past, when Target had its own VISA card, Canadians were able to obtain one as Target would pull the applicant's Canadian file. Unfortunately, this all ended before my time. If anyone has any knowledge of, or experience with, obtaining a secured card as a non US citizen, please share your information. Thanks!

 

Len

 

P.S. A few Canadian banks actually offer US dollar denominated credit cards for people in similar circumstances, but the annual fees are prohibitive and Canadian banks can be fairly disagreeable when it comes to waving them.


I don't know about the graduation part, but my friend came to US two months ago with a tourist visa and just got a secured card from BoA for $300 without SSN or Tax ID!!

 

He is trying to immigrate here and hopes after getting SSN they can update his records.

My Wallet: Wells Fargo Visa, Chase Freedom 5%, Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP), Chase Sapphire, Amex Blue Cash Preferred (BCP), US Bank Cash+, Citi Premier
New Member
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-02-2012
0

Re: Secured credit card with no SSN?

It sounds like there is some hope then. I haven't tried prepaid cards yet--mostly due to high fees. I don't know if the US ones are as bad as in Canada, but here the fees are pretty bad.

 

Anyway, I do know of one couple that has had success in this area. They are newly established members of my extended family (through marriage), and I haven't liked to be nosey and ask them how they got their card. However, they do not have any SSNs or TINs or anything like that, and their card comes from a smaller, regional bank--not sure if that makes any difference or not. I am also about 99% sure that it is not, nor has ever been, a secured card. The one advantage they do have is that they inherited a small cabin in the US some time ago, so they at least have a US address. I'm sure that helps!

 

As for myself, I have a fairly long standing relationship with BoA, so maybe I should just ask them and see what they say. It never hurts to ask.

 

LB

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 277
Registered: ‎05-27-2009
0

Re: Secured credit card with no SSN?

Capital One has a 'newcomers' card targeted toward those new to the US, but I'm not sure if you can get one without a SSN. Probably not.

Current Cards: Banana Republic Visa ($5,300), Chase Freedom ($2,000), Discover It ($11,500), Amex Costco True Earnings ($5,000), Chase Slate ($2,500)
New Member
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-02-2012
0

Re: Secured credit card with no SSN?

Hmm, I already have a Capital One card in Canada...I wonder if there might be some wiggle room there for either conversion or taking on a second, USD card... I know AMEX does something similar for people that are moving to another country.

 

LB

Established Contributor
Posts: 913
Registered: ‎06-09-2011
0

Re: Secured credit card with no SSN?

The problem you're going to run into is that the Patriot act requires them to verify your identity. The first thing I got in the US (before I had a TIN or SSN) was a checking account with US bank, using my passport as an ID. I got my TIN soon after and updated on the account - but US Bank said there was no way they can open any cards (including a secured card) without a valid SSN.

Cap One gave me a secured and unsecured card using my ITIN, but I had to have at least that. And of course, a US mailing address. BofA denied me even with a TIN since I had no credit history. Their secured card requires you having credit history - kind of ironic. Have not tried Citi - I know they're supposed to be able to let you open a secured card using a TIN, but I doubt they'll do it without it.

With no  taxpayer ID number or SSN, and no US address, I think you're going to have a hard time being able to obtain a card. I don't think you can even get a PO box across the border without having a US mailing address in the first place.

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