US credit cards can offer foreign non-residents lucrative benefits that you can’t access anywhere else in the world.
And though most articles will tell you that you need to have a US Social Security Number (SSN) to apply for a credit card, that’s not the case.
It is entirely possible to apply for US credit cards for non-residents without a social security number.
In fact, many banks will allow foreign non-residents to apply for credit cards with just an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
- It’s 100% possible for non-residents to obtain credit cards with an individual taxpayer identification number in the United States
- Each credit card provider (and credit card) will have its own unique fee structure, the application process, and rewards programs
- Non-residents can unlock reward credit cards, loyalty points, and sign-up bonuses with US credit cards
- Some credit card companies require a social security number to obtain a credit card
- If you don’t have an established US credit history you might need to apply for an entry-level credit card
To successfully obtain a credit card, an individual taxpayer identification number alone is not enough. Non-residents need to meet specific requirements and properly navigate the credit card application process. Read on below to learn more.
Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.
Table of Contents
- Can You Apply for a Credit Card With an ITIN Number?
- Benefits of Obtaining a Credit Card With an ITIN
- Challenges of Obtaining a Credit Card With an ITIN
- How to Build & Apply for a US Credit Card as a Non-Resident
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Are You Ready to Apply for a US Credit Card?
Can You Apply for a Credit Card With an ITIN Number?
It is 100% possible for non-residents to get a US credit card with an ITIN number. However, you will need to meet several requirements and know which credit card providers will accept you. So, before applying, it is important you do your research and take the proper steps. We detail how to do this and more below.
In this article, we’re going to share with you the many credit card rewards non-residents can unlock. And, how to strategically access these rewards.
We’ll also uncover the challenges non-residents likely face when applying for credit cards with an individual taxpayer identification number.
Lastly, we’ll break down the step-by-step process you need to take when applying for a credit card.
But, before diving in, if this is your first time visiting GlobalBanks, don’t forget to download your FREE USA Banking Starter Guide. It’s designed to help non-residents open accounts with top banks in the US.
Benefits of Obtaining a Credit Card With an ITIN
Many US credit card providers offer some of the most attractive reward credit cards in the world. No other country in the world even comes close.
But, many foreign non-residents don’t know these credit card rewards even exist. Not to mention, they don’t think they can access them. Which is far from the truth.
Of course, to access these rewards, you’ll need to jump through some hoops, provide specific documents, and most importantly, follow a strategic plan. Which we’ll get into further below.
But for now, let’s look at the specific benefits and rewards non-residents can unlock when obtaining credit cards with an individual taxpayer identification number.
Benefits of US Rewards Credit Cards:
- Build credit history for yourself in the US
- Build credit history for your business in the US
- Access lucrative travel rewards programs
- Attractive credit card sign-up bonuses
- Access to credit card rewards & loyalty points
- Gateway to further products (mortgage, loans, etc.)
- And more…
Of course, not all credit card providers here offer the same rewards and perks. An American Express for non-US residents might offer a different combination of sign-up bonuses, rewards, and points than another credit card.
So, the first step is to know which rewards are most important to you. This will help you to determine which credit cards are best for you.
But that’s not all.
This also allows you to put together a strategic plan to get the credit card you want. Especially, if you have little to no credit history and you’re not eligible for the specific credit card right away.
Challenges of Applying for a Credit Card With an ITIN
Before we dive into the step-by-step process of how to obtain and unlock the rewards of a credit card with an ITIN number, it is important to understand the challenges you’ll likely face during the process.
So, with that in mind, here’s a look at the challenges you’ll likely need to overcome when applying for a credit card…
Challenges of Applying for a Credit Card in the US:
- The credit card company requires a social security number
- Don’t have an established US credit history
- Not all credit card providers accept foreign non-residents
- Some credit card companies only accept residents from certain countries
- Not eligible for an individual taxpayer identification number
- Not eligible for a social security number
- You submitted invalid documents when applying for an ITIN
- Unable to support the credit card annual fee
- And more…
As you can see, there are many challenges that you may face when applying for a credit card with an individual taxpayer identification number.
That said, nearly all of these challenges can be bypassed by knowing how to choose the right bank and credit card company.
Of course, first things first. Before you can start applying for a credit card anywhere, you first need to have an ITIN number.
To get an ITIN you have to be able to prove that you have a US tax reporting requirement. The most common means of doing this for a foreign non-resident is through an LLC.
While there are some banking and credit card options for foreign non-residents without an ITIN, you’ll have more and better options available to you if you have one.
If you already have an ITIN or are interested in getting one, read on for the step-by-step process you need to follow when applying for credit cards with an ITIN number.
How to Build Credit & Apply for a US Credit Card as a Non-Resident
Applying for a credit card with an ITIN number can be a difficult process. Especially, if you don’t follow the proper steps.
If you fail to complete the steps, the chances of you getting a credit card here as a foreign non-resident are slim. And, as we mentioned above, obtaining US credit cards can offer unique benefits.
So with that said, let’s dive into the steps you need to take when applying for credit cards with an individual taxpayer identification number…
Step 1: Apply for an Individual Taxpayer Individual Number
First things first, you’ll need to apply for an ITIN. And, since you don’t have or perhaps aren’t eligible for a social security number, this step is extremely crucial to successfully getting a credit card as a foreign non-resident.
You’ll need to first fill out an application form. More specifically, form W-7 through the IRS. In addition to completing this form, you’ll need to submit proof of identification and foreign status.
Now, you must fill out the form properly and submit the requested documents as your application can take six weeks to be approved. Meaning that if your application is denied and you want to re-apply, it’ll likely take another six weeks to be reviewed.
Step 2: Determine the Requirements for Applying for Credit Cards
Now, before applying for a credit card as a non-resident, it’s important to understand the requirements you’ll need to meet during the credit card application process.
As we’ll explain further below, banks and credit card providers have different criteria for each client profile. In fact, not only will requirements vary depending on if you’re applying for a business credit card or a personal credit card, but they can also vary depending on your country of citizenship and/or residency.
Not to mention the fact that some banks and credit card providers will only accept foreign non-residents that can meet a specific deposit level.
So, to avoid wasting time and money applying to the wrong credit card provider, you must take the time to understand which requirements you’re able to meet.
It’s also important to understand the credit card provider’s fee structure. Doing so will make sure you’re only applying for cards within your budget.
Step 3: Choose a Credit Card & Apply
Choosing a credit card provider that accepts an individual taxpayer identification number is more difficult than it may seem. Most credit card companies will simply list the requirement for a social security number on their forms. So, without inside knowledge, it’s impossible to know if they would also accept an ITIN.
And unfortunately, with credit card applications, you can’t just try your luck and see if you’re accepted. Because each time you submit a credit card application, you get a hard credit check on your credit report. This can impact your credit score and block you in future credit card applications.
However, rest assured, there are some banks and credit card providers that will accept just an ITIN number. Even if it’s not specifically mentioned on their site or in the application forms.
Another key thing to be aware of is that even with an ITIN, your application could still be denied due to a lack of credit history.
If you don’t have a credit history you should look into applying for an entry-level credit card. This way, you’ll be able to establish a US credit history. And then work your way to upgrading your credit card and unlocking the benefits you’re after.
Now, if you’re eager to build credit history and apply for a US credit card but you’re unsure which cards are suitable for you, we cover all the major US credit card providers that foreign non-residents can apply for with an ITIN number in our premium members-only report “US Credit Card Opportunities & Strategies For Foreigners and Non-Residents”.
This report will help you identify your credit card strategy while uncovering the step-by-step instructions on how to unlock the benefits of US credit cards.
You can access this report immediately when you join GlobalBanks USA.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are two of the most common questions that we receive from people looking to apply for a credit card with an ITIN number. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.
Can You Get a Credit Card With an ITIN Number?
Non-residents can get a credit card with an individual taxpayer identification number. The application process will vary depending on the bank or credit card provider you choose to apply with. But also, on the type of card you choose.
Can I Get a Credit Card Without SSN and ITIN?
Getting a credit card without a social security number or ITIN is possible. In fact, in certain instances, applicants can even access the most lucrative US travel rewards credit cards. That said, cards are typically only available through specific banks and qualifying deposits are usually required to open accounts and receive these credit cards.
Are You Ready to Apply for a US Credit Card?
Whether you’re ready to start unlocking the rewards of a credit card today or you’re just starting to explore your options, we can help.
GlobalBanks USA is our dedicated US bank account opening service.
GlobalBanks USA gives you everything you need to start finding and opening US bank accounts for you and your business.
When you join GlobalBanks USA, you receive a dedicated account manager to help you navigate your US account opening options.
Plus, you receive access to our library of premium (members-only) US banking reports. This includes proven account opening strategies, client-specific lists of banks, and successful tactics to make the most of US banking.
Of course, you’ll receive direct introductions to US bankers who are ready to help you navigate the account opening process at top US banks.