The Ultimate Guide to How to Apply for a US Credit Card
Credit Education credit card US Credit Card

The Ultimate Guide to How to Apply for a US Credit Card

Moumita Basu

Table of Contents

I'm using a wordy intro here. The reason is simple: credit cards are fantastic! The first time I used them, it was magical. I remember purchasing

The moment you sign up for your first credit card — you'll realize how easy it is to use and how convenient it is to get just about anything you want with just one click on your computer or phone.

Securing a credit card for your international move even before you board the flight might seem farfetched a thought, but it is now possible.

Zolve lets you apply for a US Credit Card without an SSN or a US credit history. All you need to do is provide your basic information, valid passport, and visa, and you are all set!

Importance of Credit Cards in the US

Now that you have landed in the US, the first step towards responsible adulting is taking care of your finances; let’s learn all we can about them.

Building a credit history in the US is essential for many reasons, primarily to secure your housing and utilities. Once you use your credit card, your credit behavior and payment activity will be reported to credit bureaus, helping you build a credit footprint in the US.


Since a Credit Card is convenient, it is easy to overspend and not pay your balances on time. It is a good idea not to spend more than 30% of your credit limit.

Say, for example, if your card has a limit of $300, you should charge your card for not more than $90 per month. Also, remember to pay your balance on time.

Types of Credit Card in the US

While there are different options made available to the consumer, only you know which one suits you the best. If you are planning to take a card that gives the best cash back offers, there's one for you; if you want to travel miles, there is one card for the same.

Primarily, there are two types of credit cards; secured and unsecured.

Secured credit cards: It is perfect for people with no credit history. To get a secured Credit Card, you need to deposit to secure your line of credit. Usually, your credit limit is the same as your deposit amount.

Unsecured credit card: The most common type of credit card available in the market, most of the cards advertised in the market are unsecured. For this, you don't need to deposit collateral, and your credit limit is usually decided based on your credit score.

Points you should keep in mind before applying for a US Credit Card

Once you are sure which US Credit Card you are applying for, keep in mind:

  • There is no perfect credit card. But considering your spending habits, many banks and lenders might give you a good match
  • Choose a card with a low-interest rate, 0% APR, and rewards
  • Try going for credit cards that give you cash back and flexible rewards points

While a Credit Card does sound like a valuable piece of plastic, qualifying for one does come with a set of requirements. According to the 2009 CARD Act (Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure), applicants must be at least 21 years with proof of independent income.

Additionally, keep in mind that lenders might require you to be a US citizen or an authorized US employee to be considered a valid applicant. You have to send a valid mailing address which is a part of the identity verification process.

What should be your next step?

While traditional banks require an SSN to apply for a Credit Card, it is not always true. Zolve lets people apply for a US Credit Card without an SSN or a US credit history. All you need to do is provide your basic information, visa, and passport for identification. Your credit limit will be determined based on your behavior and spending history in your home country.

While applying for an SSN, you must complete the Form SS-5 and show valid documents proving your work-authorized immigration status, identity, and age. Your application will be sent to the local Social Security office in the following steps.

What can you achieve from getting a good credit score?

One of the most important aspects of getting a credit card is to have a good credit score. You can check your credit score through any of the three leading credit agencies: TransUnion, Equifax, or Experian. The three-digit number, ranging between 300-900, is calculated, considering the quality of a consumer's spending history.


One's credit score is usually calculated based on payment history, outstanding balance, and credit line history. Each bureau uses a slightly different model; therefore, your credit score will vary slightly based on the agency to agency. If you see one of your scores is very different from the other, look for a mistake that might have occurred.

Why apply for a Zolve Credit Card?

If you are a student or a professional working moving to the US for the first time and worried that it might take a long time to apply for a US Credit Card or build your credit footprint in a new country, look no further.

Zolve Credit Card comes with no annual fee, a high credit limit, and 0% APR for the first six months and can be used across continents with no foreign transaction fees.