We get asked, “Should I open multiple secured credit cards?” a lot by people who are looking to establish credit history in the United States.
In fact, this is a common question for anyone seeking a US credit card for foreigners.
But instead of wondering whether you should get multiple secured US credit cards, the first question you should be asking is whether a secured credit card is even necessary.
In many instances, foreign non-residents can obtain certain US credit cards without credit history. More on this below.
Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.
Table of Contents
- US Secured Credit Cards
- Can a Non-Resident Apply for a Credit Card in the US?
- Benefits of Having US Credit History
- How to Apply for a US Credit Card as a Non-Resident
US Secured Credit Cards
In the US, secured credit cards are like debit cards — except you earn US credit history and need to make an upfront cash deposit to guarantee your own credit line. In other words, they give cardholders the ability to make purchases with their card, up to the amount held on deposit with the bank.
The major benefit? You earn US credit history.
In most cases, secured credit cards are used by individuals looking to establish (or improve) their credit history in the United States.
With this in mind, it is usually not necessary to get multiple secured credit cards because the purpose of a single secured card should be to establish credit history and then graduate to an unsecured credit card as soon as possible.
Unsecured credit cards, which do not require you to deposit funds upfront, often have higher limits and allow card holders to build their credit score more effectively. That’s because an individual’s credit score is based on several factors – including amount of credit available (e.g. the card limit), credit utilization (e.g. the balance you carry on the card), payment history, and more.
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Can a Non-Resident Apply for a Credit Card in the US?
Yes, foreign non-residents can apply (and get approved) for a credit card in the US. In fact, in certain instances, you can even get a US credit card without an ITIN or SSN.
Of course, which specific cards you can access and the benefits you can receive will ultimately depend on your specific profile, country of citizenship and residency, the documents you have, and your ties to the US.
For example, an individual conducting business in the US for the past decade may be eligible for certain US credit cards through their company. On the other hand, someone completing a masters degree in the US might be eligible for specific rewards cards for students.
Benefits of Having a US Credit History
By establishing US credit history, foreign non-residents can unlock some of the most lucrative financial products in what is arguably the most advanced banking industry in the world, the United States.
Obviously, having US credit history means that you can be approved for unsecured US credit cards. Additionally, US credit history can give you access to US mortgages, car loans, and other forms of US financing.
That said, with the right information, foreign non-residents without US credit history can still apply for US credit history, mortgages, and car loans. You just need to know which banks (and branches) to approach and which strategies to use. If this is something you’re interested in, we discuss credit cards for non-residents in other US articles and in the Advanced Reports in GlobalBanks Insider and GlobalBanks USA.
How to Apply For a US Credit Card as a Non-Resident
Our team has published a dedicated report to help foreign non-residents access the benefits of US credit cards. It’s called US Credit Cards for Foreigners & Non-Residents.
This report includes detailed strategies for foreign non-residents to establish credit history in the United States, important step-by-step instructions to obtain the most lucrative travel rewards cards, and much more.
To get immediate access to this report, you just need to be a member of GlobalBanks USA.
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Of course, if you have any questions before deciding whether you would like to move forward, don’t hesitate to contact us.