As a Canadian consumer, you may be aware of the remarkable benefits offered by US credit cards. Let’s delve into the details of how to get a US credit card in Canada.
Why Should Canadians Consider US Credit Cards?
The US credit card market is incredibly lucrative, offering remarkable advantages to cardholders. These perks range from sizable welcome bonuses and superior cardholder benefits to a plethora of points redemption options. The result is a dramatic expansion in the range of available travel rewards.
For instance, American Express US boasts 21 partners, including exclusive programs not accessible in Canada. Furthermore, US credit cards can provide significant benefits during your travels, such as hotel elite status or airport lounge access.
Step 1: Acquiring a US Address
Firstly, you need a residential address within the United States. If you have relatives or close friends in the US willing to forward your mail or let you use their residential address, you’re in luck.
For others, services like 24/7 Parcel offer mailbox services that serve the needs of Canadians entering the US credit card market. When choosing a mailbox service, ensure that the USPS address lookup tool doesn’t mark it as a “Commercial Mail Receiving Agency,” as credit card companies might deem these addresses ineligible.
Step 2: Opening a US Bank Account
A US bank account is necessary to pay off your US credit card bills and to verify your US address with US credit card issuers. Several Canadian banks, such as CIBC and TD Canada Trust, have subsidiaries in the US that allow you to conveniently set up a US-based account.
Step 3: Applying for Your Initial American Express US Card
Once you have a bank account and address, you can start applying for cards. The most straightforward issuer to start with is American Express US. They offer their cardholders several ways to transfer their membership to another country when they “relocate.”
One method is to use Nova Credit, a service that allows Canadians to apply for US cards directly using their Canadian TransUnion credit file, without needing to be an existing Amex cardholder on the Canadian side.
Step 4: Obtaining an ITIN
To move onto other American issuers, like Chase, Citi, Capital One, or Bank of America, you’ll need a credit file identifier. An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is issued by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You can obtain an ITIN by either using a dedicated ITIN service like Frugal Flyer or US Tax Resources or by completing the process yourself using the dedicated IRS website.
Step 5: Bolstering Your Credit History
Once you’ve established your address, bank account, first credit card, and ITIN, the challenging part is over. Now, all that’s left is to grow your credit history to qualify for more rewarding credit cards.
For instance, once your relationship with Amex US matures to several months, you’ll start being approved for more Amex US cards. However, you should pace yourself if you’re considering getting cards from Chase in the future, as they typically require 12-18 months of responsible credit usage before approving you for your first Chase card.
Enjoying the Benefits of a US Credit Card in Canada
Ultimately, getting your first US-issued credit card can be a complex but rewarding endeavor. From registering for a US mailbox to dealing with the intricate process of obtaining an ITIN, it’s a challenging process that can significantly consume your time. However, the benefits of having a US credit card in Canada are plentiful, from impressive welcome bonuses to a wider range of redemption options.
This guide aims to simplify the process into manageable steps, helping you tap into the abundance of bonuses and benefits across the border. With a US credit card, you can enjoy unparalleled rewards and elevate your financial game to a global level.
Remember, when learninghow to get a US credit card in Canada, it’s essential to manage your credit responsibly. Avoid late payments as they can negatively impact your credit score. With responsible usage, a US credit card can be a powerful financial tool for Canadians.