Although credit cards are commonly used for working adults, they are important to anyone living overseas. For one thing, it’s convenient for emergency payments. With an international student credit card, you can start building a strong credit rating that is needed if you plan to settle abroad after your studies. Plus, you might get discounts, rewards, and rebates. So as you prepare for your study trip abroad, you may be wondering: can international students get credit cards, and how do I get them?
Well, the good news is that banks have options and packages in major education centres around the world that cater to international students just like you. Make sure to do comprehensive research on each of the prerequisites and benefits; compare interest rates and withdrawal fees, and ask your seniors about their bank experience. Of course, it’s best to get your parents an additional card back home from American Express, MasterCard, or an international bank. If that’s not an option for you in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK, we have compiled tips on getting an international student credit card.
To apply to most American banks for a credit card, you will need a Social Security Number (SSN). Thankfully, anyone with an F-1, M-1, or J-1 student visa can legally work in the United States, which means that even if you work part-time or on campus, you can get an SSN. Alternatively, some banks allow applicants to use an SSN instead of their taxpayer identification number (ITIN).
At the same time with different perks, Bank of America, Discover, Capital One, Deserve, and Citibank all offer international student credit card options. Note that to get started, some banks offer a secured credit card that requires you to deposit the amount of money you are going to use as a credit line. Once you create a strong history on your secured credit card, which typically takes six to 12 months, you may reapply for a credit card.
RBC, BMO, CIBC, TD Canada Trust and Scotiabank, the big five banks in Canada, all have packages for international students that at least include a secured credit card. For instance, while you’re studying, the CIBC card encourages you to build your credit history. You will, therefore, not need to pay a security deposit or prove your history of income. It is even customized with benefits, such as travel and cashback rewards, that would be attractive to average students.
While there are credit cards in the UK for international students, there is a need for some banks to see some credit history. This helps if you can use a card from your home country to prove this or if you apply for a credit card from a bank where you already have a registered account. Otherwise, look for limited credit cards aimed at students at universities.
For those enrolled full-time at TAFE or university, several Australian banks offer international student credit cards. You need to demonstrate your current visa status and banking history, so you need to apply for an Australian bank account. Of course, if you are employed, you have a greater opportunity to succeed in your application. To apply for an international student credit card, some banks even require a minimum income. Your Youth Allowance or Austudy can be regarded as revenue by these banks.
Financial literacy is crucial now that you’re on your way to owning a credit card. Settle payments on time, keep a budget, and use your card only when needed. Owning a credit card, after all, is not just a luxury, it’s a responsibility as well.