Canada has a worldwide reputation for having one of the highest credit card penetration. There’s over 72 million credit cards in circulation in Canada, as many Canadians keep more than one credit card in their wallets. However, Canadian credit cards do not fare well when stacked up against the US credit cards when it comes to benefits.
If you’re a Canadian who frequently travels to the US or buys goods and services from across the border, you might want a credit card issued by an American credit card company. While it’s not to say that your Canadian credit card will do you no good, you’d definitely be better off with an additional credit card, albeit one that is issued by a US creditor.
The two major problems incurred by Canadian credit cards usage in the US include additional foreign transaction fees (2.5-3%) and risk of getting rejected by some US based merchants. These problems apart, you’d miss out on lucrative cash-backs, miles and other credit card rewards that you could get by using a US credit card. On the contrary, Canadian credit cards do not offer comparable rewards.
On top of that, you get a chance of building your US credit history which can help out in a lot of ways like renting an apartment, buying a car, mortgage and business loans in the US. But, can a Canadian even get an American credit card? The Answer is yes, Canadians can most certainly obtain credit cards issued by US creditors. I’ll be explaining the whole process at the end.
Advantages of Having a US Credit Card Over a Canadian Credit Card
There are several advantages a US credit card can give to a Canadian citizen.
1- Saves More Money
Most Canadian credit cards levy annual charges on their users’ credit bills. By contrast, most US credit cards levy no such annual charges.
2- Access to More US Goods and Services
As discussed before, some US goods and services might be off-limits for credit cards that are not American. So, if you’re a frequent customer for US based goods and services, getting a US credit is a smart bet.
3- Credit Card Rewards
The credit card rewards offered by Canadian creditors pale in comparison to what US creditors have to offer. Most Canadian creditors offer rewards that make up 0.50 to 1% of your credit spending. On the other hand, US credit card rewards go up to 5%. These rewards are in the form of cash backs, points that can be earned and cashed in like air-travel miles and discounts on various goods and services depending on the creditors’ partner programs.
So how do you get a US credit card in Canada? It is simpler than you think. You can get the whole process done online.
How to Get American Credit Card in Canada: 5 Steps
1- Get a US Home Address
A US residential address is mandatory if you want to get your hands on a US credit card. Getting a US address without physically having one is legal and easier than it sounds. You can get a virtual US address in your name for free or for a small fee through various virtual address providers.
You can also look it up online and go with a provider and plan of your choosing. What you must make sure is that your virtual address is residential and the provider allows bank correspondence.
The address doesn’t necessarily have to be in your name though, so if you have relatives living in the US, you can do away with virtual addresses altogether and sign up with their address and ask them to reroute your mail to your Canadian address.
2- Get a US Bank Account
You’d also require a US Bank account to pay off your credit bill and to show verification proof of your address. Getting a US bank account is even easier than getting a virtual US address. Most US banks have branches in Canada and offer US accounts along with local Canadian accounts. For instance, you can get a TD Cross Border Banking account by going to any TD branch in Canada and signing up for an account.
3- Apply For American Express Credit Card
If you satisfy the first two conditions, you can still get a US American Express credit card. You’d simply have to go to their website and select the card you’re applying for.
You’d then be asked for your Social Security Number (SSN) which are issued only to Americans and your Canadian SIN wouldn’t cut it so you’d have to opt for credit history outside of the US, which will take you to Credit Nova Portal where you’d be asked about your country and credit report. Additionally, you’d be asked for your US address as well as bank statement verifying your account as well as address. This is the process by which you can get an American Express card.
However, if you want to go beyond American Express and get a card from CITI, Chase or Bank of America, you’d need an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN). ITIN numbers are issued by US Internal Revenue Services (IRS) and non-US residents are eligible. In fact, non-US residents who earn their income in the US are encouraged to apply. Your Canadian passport and address should be enough for eligibility.
- We're here with great experience in WordPress & SEO about 3 years. If you need any professional WordPress or SEO Optimizations etc, Our high-quality work is 1000% guaranteed.