Offshore Bank Account With Credit Card [How to Guide]

Opening an offshore bank account with a credit card as a non-resident individual can offer unique opportunities. That is if you choose the right country, bank, and credit card.

An offshore bank account with a credit card is a very powerful tool. Just having a relationship with foreign financial institutions can be wildly lucrative.

For others, the offshore bank account and credit card combo is about raw utility. Allowing them to run their businesses, make money, earn higher returns, protect privacy, or as a backup banking option.

Whatever the case, demand is surging… and for good reason.

Unfortunately, the process of establishing financial accounts digitally as a foreigner is often opaque, costly, and masked in misinformation. And the process of obtaining credit cards offshore is no better.


  • Non-residents, expats, and foreign business owners can unlock credit cards with offshore banking
  • The US has some of the most lucrative reward cards in the world
  • Not all offshore accounts come with credit cards, especially for non-residents
  • Fee structures will vary between banks offshore and credit card providers

So it’s not surprising that many people don’t know how to get started, or have never heard of this opportunity before.

So, we decided to help…

In this article, we’re going to reveal why the ‘offshore bank account with credit card’ strategy is so powerful, where the most lucrative payment cards exist, and how you can start taking advantage of it today

Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.

Table of Contents

  1. The “Offshore Bank Account With Credit Card” Crowd
  2. What Are Offshore Credit Cards?
  3. Why Having an Offshore Account With a Credit Card is Lucrative
  4. Benefits of Opening Offshore Accounts With Credit Cards
  5. Types of Offshore Bank Accounts With Credit Cards
  6. Challenges & Pitfalls of Obtaining International Credit Cards
  7. Ready to Get Started?

The “Offshore Bank Account With Credit Card” Crowd

Have you ever searched Google for anything about “credit cards” in English?

It’s obnoxious.

You’re instantly bombarded with US credit card promotions for… Americans, US residents, or those with “traditional” living and business situations.

If you’re like the typical GlobalBanks Insider, this “mainstream” information is totally useless to you.

Most Insiders are more international. And you probably are too, right?

They do business in multiple countries, bank on 2 or 3 different continents, understand the importance of establishing tax residency and have zero desire to expose themselves to unnecessary liabilities.

So the one-dimensional “how to” articles written for mainstream credit card customers who’ve never left their home countries aren’t going to help.

So we’ll discuss a few offshore solutions with non-residents, unlucky passport holders, and their businesses in mind below…

What Are Offshore Credit Cards?

offshore bank account with credit card what is it?

Having an offshore credit card simply means you have a card that has been issued by a bank located outside of your home country.

For example, let’s say you’re a Canadian citizen with residency in the Bahamas and you have a US bank account and a US credit card. Guess what? You have a bank account with a credit card from the US.

Or, maybe you’re a Brit with a bank account and credit card in Switzerland? Congrats, you have an offshore credit card.

Of course, when most people think of “offshore credit cards” they think of tiny Caribbean islands, tax havens off the coast of Africa, or traditional private banking hubs.

Well, those exist, and if that’s the kind of credit card you’re after… you can get one.

But for most people, specifically non-US citizens, US credit cards are the most lucrative and sought-after option. In fact, most non-residents can even open an offshore bank account remotely in the US to access US credit cards. We’ll show you why US credit cards are so lucrative and how to get them below.

In the meantime, here’s how an offshore credit card actually works…

An offshore bank or card issuer signs an agreement with a credit card network (e.g. Visa, Mastercard, etc), and agrees to the network’s rules. Then, they start issuing credit cards to individuals, businesses, and various entities.

Visa and Mastercard provide the payment system for clearing and settlement. And, they dictate and enforce the rules.

But sometimes, banks and issuers misbehave…

What if an offshore bank gives credit cards to criminals and risky businesses that Visa/Mastercard doesn’t like?

Simple, the issuer is booted from the card network, and can’t process payments, or issue cards anymore. Its card program collapses. And, all the credit cards issued to their customers no longer work.

This happened to a bank in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

So, choose your bank wisely. And, if you’re highly dependent on your credit or debit card– avoid banks offshore with shady card programs, brand new card programs, or those that are known for making dumb compliance mistakes.

Offshore cards used to only be offered by traditional banks. But, things have changed. Now fintechs, EMIs, and payment systems can issue offshore cards too.

Now, there are thousands of banks and credit cards to choose from offshore.

Note: if your priority is to find the best offshore bank account interest rates that also offer credit cards, the options available to you may vary.

Why Having an Offshore Account With a Credit Card Is Lucrative

offshore bank account with credit card why you should have one

We mentioned above that having an offshore account simply means having an account outside of your home country.

And, there are countless reasons why you might want an offshore account with a credit card attached to it.

But, let’s get real…

What makes credit cards so ridiculously desirable?

In a word? America.

US credit cards are the pinnacle of credit card greatness and huge rewards.

And, foreigners, non-residents, businesses (and even people in the unlucky passport club!) can acquire US credit cards– if they have the right information, banks, and credit card strategies going in.

But, here’s why that matters…

The US credit system offers the most attractive and generous credit cards in the world. Literally, no other country in the world even comes close.

Sign-up bonuses and perks offered on US credit cards are 3x to 10x higher than those offered in Canada, the UK, Australia, and other countries.

For example, in the US, it’s not uncommon for new customers to be rewarded with $500 to $2,000 in sign-up bonuses after signing up for a single credit card.

To illustrate the value, someone on an entry-level salary and a decent credit score in the US can easily earn over 300,000 points per year through a few well-timed sign-up bonuses and strategic spending habits.

To be clear, 300,000 is equivalent to about six international roundtrip flights per year.

If you follow the strategies in our US credit card report, you can earn thousands in free travel rewards and bonuses to reap those benefits every single year.

But here’s the big secret…

Foreigners, non-residents, and expats can reap all the benefits of the US credit card system– free flights, travel rewards, cash bonuses– without an SSN and without incurring any of the US tax liabilities.

We share exactly how you can do this for yourself in our new report “US Credit Cards for Foreigners, Non-Residents, & Businesses”.

It’s all about US credit cards, building US credit history, and the best ways to benefit from sign-up bonuses and travel rewards programs for foreigners, non-residents, and their businesses.

We outline specific credit card details and strategies for every major client type, including

  • Developed Countries
  • Underdeveloped Countries
  • Businesses
  • Canadians

You can access our “US Credit Cards for Foreigners & Non-Residents” report when you become a GlobalBanks member.

Benefits of Opening Offshore Accounts With Credit Cards

Why do people want to open accounts with credit cards offshore? There are countless reasons.

But, here are the most common benefits of opening accounts with credit cards offshore:

  • Earn benefits, perks, travel rewards, free flights, and money
  • Avoid high FX fees and foreign transaction fees
  • Withdraw funds via ATM & shop online via credit card
  • Eliminate expensive international money and wire transfers
  • Easily pay for business expenses
  • Use it as a backup bank account
  • Ability to issue cards in different names (e.g. company, employees, etc)
  • No credit history or tax ID required (varies by country & card type)
  • Build credit history in a new country
  • Position yourself to acquire better cards in the future
  • Send and receive money to different accounts
  • Separate business from personal expenses
  • Unlock additional perks and banking services

Types of Offshore Bank Accounts With Credit Cards

In this article, we’re discussing two types of credit cards that can be obtained offshore. Secured and unsecured. We’ll discuss prepaid cards, virtual cards, and their cousins in another article.

In the meantime, here’s what you need to know:

Secured Credit Cards

This is basically a debit card. And you’ll first put money down. In other words, you’ll need to put down a security deposit ranging anywhere from 100% to 200% of your desired spending limit. The amount required depends on the issuer and what country you’re opening the account in.

Unsecured Credit Cards

This is what most people think of when they hear “credit card.” Offshore banks issue unsecured credit cards based on credit history. In other words, you don’t put any money down. Instead, you can just start spending and the bank trusts that you’ll pay it back, based on your past payment history and credit profile.

Challenges & Pitfalls of Obtaining International Credit Cards

offshore bank account with credit card challenges

Too Many Credit Card Options

There are thousands of credit card issuers out there, and tens of thousands of cards to choose from.

Sorting through the sea of card options and available services and determining which ones are best for you can be time-consuming and frustrating.

And if you can’t find the right information or the right strategy from the get-go, you can accidentally shoot yourself in the foot and ruin your credit history in a certain country.

Bottomline, which cards you choose, the order you apply for them in, and your application method matters. And, having a credit card strategy that mirrors your goals is key.

The stakes are high if you go in blind and get it wrong:

  • High recurring monthly & annual fees
  • Unable to build credit and accrue payment history
  • Won’t help you get the card you really want
  • Doesn’t increase your creditworthiness
  • You might be forced into unnecessary card closures which kill your credit
  • Denied because you didn’t have the right documents before applying
  • Your payment history isn’t recorded because you didn’t set things up properly
  • Applied at the wrong bank because you didn’t have a strategy going in

Barriers to Getting a Bank Accounts With a Credit Card

Visa and Mastercard forbid certain types of individuals and businesses from using their networks. So, banks and card issuers automatically reject these groups in the application stage.

But after satisfying the network rules, banks and card issuers get to make up their own rules, applications, and eligibility criteria.

So, make sure you actually qualify and meet the issuer’s criteria before applying.

Application killers include things like:

  • Your citizenship
  • Residency
  • Personal address location
  • Country of your phone number
  • Whether or not you have a local tax ID
  • If you have a local credit history or not
  • Your expressed income level
  • If you’re on any industry blacklists or compliance databases
  • Whether you can afford the fees
  • And much more…

Shady Banks With Credit Cards & Card Issuers

If the bank itself is risky and might go bust, then whatever credit or debit card you have with them won’t have much longevity. If the bank is shut down or Visa/Mastercard pulls the plug, you’re left financially stranded and cardless.

Make sure you’re dealing with a creditable card issuer– not a reseller, EMI with an IBAN in Mozambique, or fintech that started yesterday.

Can You Afford It?

If you’re getting a card that requires a security deposit or a bank that expects you to deposit 150% of your credit limit, make sure you can afford it.

Likewise, estimate the yearly fees in advance. They can add up and you might determine that the card isn’t worth acquiring.

In fact, some countries have horrible card options that you’re better off avoiding.

For example, the UAE has unattractive cards with ridiculous fees, terrible FX rates if you spend abroad, and zero perks. Plus, it’s extremely difficult to qualify if you’re a non-resident or a foreign company.

Fees & Hidden Fees

Every bank and fintech has its own credit card program these days. But all of their fee structures are different. Before applying, look very carefully at each bank’s details. It’s not uncommon to see the following:

  • Money down is required for the setup
  • Annual fees
  • Monthly fees
  • Foreign purchase charges (if you use the card outside the issuing country)
  • Currency conversion fees
  • Replacement card fee
  • Fraud protection fees
  • Fee for withdrawing funds at ATM (some banks and card providers)

When it comes to offshore banking, knowing which fees you’re signing up for can make the difference between an incredibly useful tool and an incredibly expensive piece of plastic. So make sure you check!

Ready to Get Started?

If so, you can access GlobalBanks Insider and start the process of applying for an offshore account in a few clicks.

GlobalBanks Insider is a dedicated account opening solution that involves direct support from our team and direct introductions to the banks of your choosing. It gives you instant access to the…

+ Direct support from a team of banking experts

+ Direct introductions to your desired banks

+ Answers to your most pressing questions and challenges

+ Expert insights on which banks to choose & why

+ Plus, FULL access to our entire suite of account opening tools and intelligence!

And “yes!” GlobalBanks Insider is designed to help foreign and non-resident individuals and companies open bank accounts.

Use this link to see how GlobalBanks Insider can help you successfully open accounts.

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GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

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