All you need to know about applying for a Credit Card as an international student in the US
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All you need to know about applying for a Credit Card as an international student in the US

Moumita Basu

Table of Contents

When you are studying outside of your home country, having a Credit Card as an international student can be resourceful in ways you might not have even thought of. It allows you to start building your credit score (yes, that’s a big deal, especially in the US) and it comes in handy during emergencies.

While a Credit Card can serve as a blessing, owning one as an international student comes with its own challenges. First and foremost, get up to date with the expenses in the foreign system you’ve landed into. Then learn how to navigate it without the perks of being a resident or a US citizen. But between studying, exploring, and taking weekend road trips, it’s crucial to consider and plan your finances.

There are plenty of myths and misconceptions regarding Credit Cards for international students. In this blog, we take you step-by-step on how to apply for a Credit Card as an international student in the US.

Can international students get a Credit Card in the US?

The shorter answer is - yes. But the process is trickier for an international student. When an issuer considers applications, they will want to know about your credit and borrowing history. If you don’t have a credit report and credit score, it’s more difficult for them to see if you’re qualified.

With Zolve, you can apply for a US Bank Account and a US Credit Card, even before you set foot in America. Your Zolve account has zero annual fees, no monthly bank account fee, and zero application fee. Since we also know that you are new to the U.S., you don’t need to have a Social Security Number (SSN). All you need to submit is a copy of your visa, passport, and basic personal information to get started with your Zolve account and your Zolve Credit Card application.

Can international students get an SSN?

Usually, residents who have become US citizens or foreign nationals who are allowed to work can get an SSN. If none apply in your case, you can still get an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). International students can get this number, which follows the same nine-digit format as SSN.

How to get an SSN?

You can get an SSN as long as you are studying on an F-1, M-1, or J-1 student visa and are authorized to work in the US. Additionally, if you have obtained a letter of authorization from your school or future employer, it will also allow you to apply for an SSN that permits you to work. If you are not employed, you can get an ITIN, but your card will be marked as not eligible for work.

What are some of the best Credit Cards for international students?

Zolve

Zolve has launched a Credit Card for Indian students and working professionals moving to the US. To apply for a Zolve Credit Card, you need to provide some of your basic information. Based on those parameters, your credit score will be calculated. If you qualify for a Zolve Credit Card, the same will be communicated to you shortly. And you will have the U.S. Credit Card even before you step foot in the U.S. The best part? The Zolve Credit Card comes with zero joining fees, zero percent APR on the first 15 months, and zero annual charges.

Deserve Edu

Deserve Edu identified how difficult it is for students to get a Credit Card without facing many hassles. Keeping that in mind, Deserve Edu has come up with an international card that doesn’t require SSN and is independent of credit history when you apply for it

Bank of America Cash and Travel Rewards Card

There are two types of Credit Card you can apply for without an SSN; Cash and Travel Rewards cards. These cards allow you to apply even if you don’t have a credit history. Of the two, Cash Rewards is the most popular one for those who are getting a Credit Card for the first time

Citibank

Recently, Citibank has become popular among international students. Citibank offers a Credit Card for international students and doesn’t charge you any extra fees. Their excellent Global Transfer service makes it easier for international students to move money back and forth between international accounts, which is always a plus

Capital One Platinum Credit Card

This is an excellent choice for those just starting. This card comes with no annual fees. The best part? This card is offered to people with zero or minimal credit history. You can apply for this Credit Card without an SSN, but you will need to have an ITIN

Capital One Quicksilver Card

This is yet another good option for international students who don’t have an SSN. It’s a good option to apply if your credit history is not strong enough yet, but this card comes with an annual fee of $39. It is a good option for someone with a substantial income

Barclaycard

In some instances, Barclaycard accepts cases where students have no SSN. This Credit Card is tough to obtain since the application process is challenging and rarely approved. Usually, this is not anyone’s first, go-to option

American Express

If you don’t have an SSN or an ITIN, you can apply for an Amex card by getting a friend to co-sign. This way, the creditors know that you are trustworthy and vouch for you if anything goes wrong. But my recommendation here is that before you get a friend or a family member to co-sign a Credit Card, try getting one on your own or resort to the secure card

Wrapping up, we want to say that international students might have to put in a little more effort to qualify for a Credit Card, compared to working professionals. Therefore, it’s best for international students to apply for Credit Card is to get one from a bank in their home country.

Zolve provides students with the high-limit US Credit Card with zero joining fees, zero percent APR for the first 15 months, and zero annual charges. All you need to do is upload your basic information on our website and wait for a short time to contact you. Once your application is approved, you get a valid US. Credit Card even before you set foot in the US.