Hi guys. In this post, I want to share with you some tips and advice on how to get your first credit card upon moving to the USA. Would you like to know what’s the best credit card for expats with no credit score and history? Keep reading, you will soon find out. I will also tell you why building a credit score is very important in the US, whether you plan to stay there for a while or even settle down.
(Don’t want to read an entire blog post to get the answer? Okay then, spoiler alert: CreditStacks is that super rare thing, an expat-friendly credit card company. They make it possible to get a premium US credit card, even if you just arrived in the US with no local credit history. Keep reading, though…there’s lots of good stuff in this post!)
It’s no secret that the United States is the land of opportunity. The US dollar has gotten stronger over the last few years, so, for professionals looking for well-paid jobs, moving to the US is even more attractive. The US is also a leader in technology and I hardly know anyone who wouldn’t want to work in a company from Silicon Valley, at least for a while. Moreover, the US is also a great country for travelling, especially for nature lovers. Some of its nature parks are high on my ultimate world travel bucket list.
It’s no wonder work in the US is in high demand. Many fresh graduates and professionals look forward to moving to the US and working at some of the best companies in the world.
This post's overview:
The importance of having a good credit score in the USA
Once professionals move to the US and start working, they realize that they need a credit card for pretty much anything. However, in order to get a good credit card, you need to have a good credit score. So what’s a credit score and why is it so important to have a good credit score in the US?
Well, your credit score is some sort of measure of your trustworthiness in the country. If you have an excellent credit score, you are eligible for a bigger mortgage or a loan compared to a person with just a “good” credit score. Moreover, you will have a better interest rate. Finally, you will be eligible for some financial products that you couldn’t have gotten without an excellent credit score.
When you don’t have a credit history at all or your credit score in the US is low, it’s almost impossible to get a loan for a car, for example, or even rent a good apartment. That’s why it’s very important to start building up a credit score right away after moving to the US.
My example: a very similar situation (but in the UK)
Once I moved to the UK, I wasn’t able to open a credit card, as no bank knew anything about me at all. UK has a very similar credit score system as the US and they also measure your trustworthiness based on the system. Luckily, there are ways to build up a good credit score pretty fast and I will tell you how.
How can you build a good credit score in the USA as an expat?
I guess one of the most important questions you will be asking as an expat is: How do you build a good credit score in the US? The answer is deceptively easy: you need to get a credit card and start using it right away. Just buy your groceries, regular purchases, holidays and trip and clothes with a credit card and make sure to pay it on time. The more you spend with a credit card (and pay it back promptly, of course), the better score you will have.
Here’s the catch. It’s hard to get a credit card without a credit history, and many US credit card companies require you to provide an SSN to apply for a card. If you do manage to get a card a couple of months after moving to the US, you will most likely start with a low credit card limit. Only after some time will you be allowed to apply for a higher credit limit.
So, what’s the best credit card for people with no credit history?
Three of our friends recently moved to the US and none of them got a credit card right away. I wish I had known about CreditStacks before, so I could have recommended this card to them!
Basically, CreditStacks is your essential card in the US and it could / should be the first credit card in your wallet if you’re new to the US. You can even apply up to 60 days before you move to save money on unnecessary bank charges from abroad when you need to buy all the essentials for your new home.
Your CreditStacks Mastercard will be available and active from your first day in the US and you don’t need a Social Security Number to apply. (You do need to provide your SSN within 60 days after your card is activated.)
On top of that, there is no annual fee and no expensive foreign transaction fees.
Most importantly, as CreditStacks is a real credit card with a high credit limit. So, you can start building your credit score from day one, with every transaction. As I mentioned above, a good credit score is really important if you’re planning to stay in the US for a while.
All this makes CreditStacks a really amazing credit card for expats in the US or people with little or no credit history that just moved to the country.
You can apply for your CreditStacks credit card using this link.
Please note that this post is written in collaboration with CreditStacks, however, as always, all opinions are my own. I would definitely recommend CreditStacks as your first credit card in the US.