How International Students Can Get a Credit Card

International students studying in the US can use credit cards as an effective tool to build their credit history, making accessing other financial products such as loans or mortgages much simpler in the future.

Most credit cards require an SSN for approval; however, some card issuers accept an ITIN as an acceptable alternative.

Eligibility requirements

Many credit card companies require applicants for loans and credit cards to have both a valid social security number (SSN) and established US credit history before being approved, in order to identify fraudulent activity and ensure timely repayment of debts. Unfortunately, international students often cannot meet this criteria, but there are ways that they can establish credit in America during their studies here.

One way of doing so is by opening a bank account in the US. Doing this can reduce currency exchange fees, protect assets more securely, make bills easier to pay online and manage finances online, as well as show potential lenders that you reside there and have a steady source of income.

Another option for international students is applying for a secured credit card, similar to traditional cards but requiring a refundable deposit that serves as the credit limit. Secured cards also report back to credit bureaus so as to help establish your history here in America, with some offering special features tailored specifically towards student life such as discounts or rewards programs.

Though credit cards may seem like a luxury for students, they can actually help build your US credit history, which will become important when applying for other products and services such as loans or mortgages. But it’s important to remember that not all credit card issuers will approve your application so it is wise to do your research on various cards to find one that suits your needs best.

If you are an international student searching for credit, consider applying for a Secured Credit Card. These cards require an initial cash deposit that acts as your credit limit, making them typically easier than traditional cards to obtain and an excellent way to build credit history. Alternatively, considering debit cards which are widely accepted may also help protect against adverse impacts to your history.

Requirements for a credit card

As an international student in the US seeking a credit card, there are certain key requirements you should keep in mind before applying. These include having a valid U.S. address, bank account and proof of income as well as researching fees and interest rates from different cards before making your choice. Some credit card companies even have programs specifically for international students with more flexible eligibility criteria and accepting alternative forms of identification than typical forms.

Credit card issuers usually require applicants for credit cards to have either a Social Security number (SSN), while others accept Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN). If you do not already possess one, applying for one through the IRS website and filling out Form W-8 could take several weeks – be sure to submit it early!

One way of building credit in the US is through tools that report regular and timely utility payments to credit bureaus. This can help improve your score and your chances of getting approved for a credit card; furthermore, this strategy can also be used to qualify for loans or mortgages in the future.

Dependent upon your visa type, you may be eligible to work and earn a U.S. salary in order to improve your chances of qualifying for a credit card; having such an income source demonstrates stability and responsible spending habits as well as possibly helping prevent late fees or penalties being assessed against you.

Note that many credit card issuers perform credit history checks before offering approval, which can decrease your chance of approval. This may present issues for international students without access to U.S. credit histories – however there are ways around this by finding issuers that specialize in catering specifically to these groups or applying for secured cards.

International students often find the credit card application process time-consuming and complex. Banks require your information and identity verification before processing an application, so be patient during this process and try not to submit multiple applications at once; too many applications could damage your score so it would be wiser to focus on one or two major card companies only.


As an international student in the US, acquiring a credit card can be an excellent way to establish their credit history and open doors when applying for loans or lines of credit such as a mortgage mortgage. However, it’s essential that credit cards be used responsibly and paid back on time or they could prove costly investments that don’t pay dividends later on.

Credit cards designed specifically to help international students manage their money are an ideal solution, including rewards, no annual fee and competitive interest rates. When making the final choice it is wise to compare terms and conditions between cards as some may require cosigners or proof of income in order to be approved.

International students need a reliable source of income; a credit card is an ideal way to establish credit history here, even if they intend on returning home after graduation. Credit cards allow international students to pay everyday expenses while building positive payment histories on credit reports that will aid when it comes time to apply for loans or other forms of credit in the future.

As an international student in the United States without an SSN, it can be challenging to obtain a credit card. Some issuers will accept your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Secured cards typically require an upfront refundable security deposit before being approved for usage.

International students using credit cards in the US can use them to build their credit history by being responsible with their spending, paying off balances in full each month and looking into cards without foreign transaction fees to reduce additional charges; this can save them significant sums over time when traveling or shopping online.

Fees for a credit card

If you are an international student looking to establish their credit history, a credit card may help. To do this effectively and with minimal costs in mind, choose one with no foreign transaction fees and low interest rates as this will minimize costs over time.

For most credit cards in the US, having a bank account in the U.S. makes managing finances and paying bills easier, as will being either a citizen or permanent resident of this country. You should also possess an established employment and income history; card issuers will examine all this data when considering your application for approval of their card(s).

Establishing your credit history and building it with credit cards can be instrumental for future financial endeavors such as loans and mortgages, travel plans and earning rewards such as cash back or travel miles – great benefits for international students!

Credit card companies often offer cards tailored specifically to international students. Some even allow you to apply without needing a Social Security number and are secured, often requiring a refundable deposit which acts as the credit limit. Though an option with no foreign transaction fees might seem like the ideal solution, remember that misusing it could end up costing more than its value!

Capital One Freedom Student card provides a flat 1% cash back on purchases with no foreign transaction fees or annual fee, making it perfect for international students establishing credit histories in the United States and newcomers alike. Furthermore, this card offers up to an unlimited 5% cash back when booking travel via Capital One Travel (hotels or rental cars).