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Old Jan 7th 2010, 5:59 pm   #1
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Default Moving to US / Amex / Credit Rating Question

Hello all,

I am relocating from London to Stamford on 1st March transferring to the head office of the company I work for.

Having read through various threads on this forum I realise how difficult it is to get started with a credit rating over there.

I have had a personal Gold Amex charge card in the UK for the past 10 years with an excellent history that I will be transferring to the US via their global transfer scheme - am I right in thinking this will give me a good start with my rating and perhaps enable me to get some credit over there?
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Old Jan 7th 2010, 6:04 pm   #2
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Default Re: Moving to US / Amex / Credit Rating Question

We moved to SF in November and I had a UK Amex card and i phoned the US office and they gave me a card no questions asked with 0% interest for 12 months and $10,000 limit. Hubbie also got a secured card through BOA.
Not sure if you are married or not, but we were told by BOA that even if you have an additional card holder on your account it reports to both of your credit ratings, which is good for us, as I am on a H4 so cant get a SS thus cant get normal credit, but we can use the Amex towards hubbies credit rating.
We tend to put $500 on the Amex card each month then pay it off in full. Not sure if its better to leave a small balance or not, BOA did say you shouldnt use more than half of your credit limit for a long period, and 4 - 5 credit cards is a good number to have, if you only have 1 it doesnt boost your rating much, and if you have more than 5 it can go against you

Good luck
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Old Jan 7th 2010, 8:27 pm   #3
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Default Re: Moving to US / Amex / Credit Rating Question

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Originally Posted by EricK View Post
... am I right in thinking this will give me a good start with my rating and perhaps enable me to get some credit over there?
yup.

also a few other tips in the wiki, such as car loan for 6 months and paying most down in cash if your able etc.
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Old Jan 8th 2010, 3:01 am   #4
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Default Re: Moving to US / Amex / Credit Rating Question

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yup.

also a few other tips in the wiki, such as car loan for 6 months and paying most down in cash if your able etc.
Hubby is an additional card holder on my MasterCard, he was recently sent a visa from Capital One.... so he's credit is going up...In August we were told his credit score was perfect ( by our loan officer for our house )


I wish we had 10k limits

Any loans you take out, hold onto for a minimum of 6 months so they can report to credit agencies pay them off in full if you can
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Old Jan 8th 2010, 3:31 am   #5
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Default Re: Moving to US / Amex / Credit Rating Question

get whatever cards you can because when you land in the US your credit history is as non-existant as a 10 year old's, whatever your UK history. Consider yourself born again! If Amex will give you a card based on your history with them then grab it and thank them profusely.

I remember calling a few of the major credit agencies when I arrived becasue I couldn't believe that even though they operated in the UK and the US they would not consider my UK credit history. Makes sense when you think about it, but frustrating nonetheless.

I went the secured credit card route. Took about a year to finally get on the radar of lenders. Also worth remembering is that you're entitled to a free credit report from any of the major agencies once a year. Take advantage of it to keep track of your progress and spot any problems early on.

Last edited by wordfool; Jan 8th 2010 at 3:33 am.
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Old Jan 8th 2010, 3:46 am   #6
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Default Re: Moving to US / Amex / Credit Rating Question

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Originally Posted by wordfool View Post
Also worth remembering is that you're entitled to a free credit report from any of the major agencies once a year. Take advantage of it to keep track of your progress and spot any problems early on.
Just to clarify: "any" == "all three" of the major agencies. Get them all: you don't need to pick which one.
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Old Jan 8th 2010, 10:38 am   #7
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Default Re: Moving to US / Amex / Credit Rating Question

Thanks for the tips everyone.

I am also going to investigate using AIG-IS having read favourable things about them on this forum, the car insurance alone seems worth it.
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Old Jan 8th 2010, 6:53 pm   #8
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Default Re: Moving to US / Amex / Credit Rating Question

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Originally Posted by EricK View Post
I have had a personal Gold Amex charge card in the UK for the past 10 years with an excellent history that I will be transferring to the US via their global transfer scheme - am I right in thinking this will give me a good start with my rating and perhaps enable me to get some credit over there?
It will help, but they're only allowed to transfer the last 6 months of your credit history to your US-based account.

Worked a treat though with me, I only had my UK Amex for a few months before moving over, I had £2800 credit limit in the UK and they gave me $10k right off the bat in the US.
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Old Jan 8th 2010, 11:14 pm   #9
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Default Re: Moving to US / Amex / Credit Rating Question

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Originally Posted by agentpeppermint View Post
Hubby is an additional card holder on my MasterCard, he was recently sent a visa from Capital One.... so he's credit is going up...In August we were told his credit score was perfect ( by our loan officer for our house )
score alone is pretty meaningless though, it's all about history to get the best rates.
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Old Apr 26th 2010, 9:58 pm   #10
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Default Re: Moving to US / Amex / Credit Rating Question

We are due to move to Houston around July and will obviously not have any credit rating. Someone mentioned Amex cards to me today so I looked this up - my question is will it still be worth getting an Amex card at this short notice? From BritishGuy36 it sounds like it will be...also - should I apply for a chard card or credit card with them? Does it matter?
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Old Apr 26th 2010, 10:18 pm   #11
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Default Re: Moving to US / Amex / Credit Rating Question

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Originally Posted by Hillsider View Post
We are due to move to Houston around July and will obviously not have any credit rating. Someone mentioned Amex cards to me today so I looked this up - my question is will it still be worth getting an Amex card at this short notice? From BritishGuy36 it sounds like it will be...also - should I apply for a chard card or credit card with them? Does it matter?
Be aware that not everyplace will take AmEx. Smaller, independent stores often won't. AmEx charges a LOT more from the companies as a fee. A local retailer told me they get charged about 7% for taking AmEx cards, versus 2 or 3% for the Visa or mastercard (the two major cards here).

If you rely solely on AmEx you may have instances where you have to produce cash or cannot make your purchase.
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Old Apr 26th 2010, 11:16 pm   #12
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Default Re: Moving to US / Amex / Credit Rating Question

The answer for you is unfortunately "no". You need to be an American Express cardholder for a minimum of 12 months to be eligible. From their website:

To be eligible for a Card transfer, your Consumer Card must be issued by American Express. You must be the Basic Cardholder, and have held the Card for at least 12 months.
http://www.americanexpress.com/globa...er_us_en.shtml
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Old Apr 27th 2010, 12:40 pm   #13
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Default Re: Moving to US / Amex / Credit Rating Question

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Originally Posted by EricK View Post
The answer for you is unfortunately "no". You need to be an American Express cardholder for a minimum of 12 months to be eligible. From their website:

To be eligible for a Card transfer, your Consumer Card must be issued by American Express. You must be the Basic Cardholder, and have held the Card for at least 12 months.
http://www.americanexpress.com/globa...er_us_en.shtml
I wonder how strict they are on enforcing this - does anyone else have any experience of doing this conversion ?

Amex also issue USA $ cards;

http://www.americanexpress.com/lacid...avellers.shtml

And they say these are available to Expats with no local credit history. But I guess they won't contribute to the FICO scores ?

But I guess they give access to credit billed in the local currency, so may be useful nonetheless ?
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Old Apr 27th 2010, 2:14 pm   #14
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Default Re: Moving to US / Amex / Credit Rating Question

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I wonder how strict they are on enforcing this - does anyone else have any experience of doing this conversion ?

Amex also issue USA $ cards;

http://www.americanexpress.com/lacid...avellers.shtml

And they say these are available to Expats with no local credit history. But I guess they won't contribute to the FICO scores ?

But I guess they give access to credit billed in the local currency, so may be useful nonetheless ?
AddyLaddy - someone else on here mentioned that they only had a British one for a few months before moving over and he managed to get a US one with a $10,000 limit right away...

From the FAQ on the Amex link in AddyLaddy's post:

Q. I'm an Expat living and working in the US. I don't have a credit history in the US as I've only been in the US for a week, can I still apply for an American Express dollar card?

A. YES – The American Express Cards in US Dollar and Euros are international cards, which means we have different credit requirements to normal card issuers.

This would at least be a help when first arriving and having to buy stuff I guess. I can get a car loan through my work apparently which then starts to build up our credit history...
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Old Apr 28th 2010, 8:25 pm   #15
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Default Re: Moving to US / Amex / Credit Rating Question

We got here 9 months ago and are experiencing the credit rating issues. We transferred our AMEX card and got the $10k limit and also got a secured credit card from BOA. Apparently you need 3 lines of credit to be able to get mortgages etc. ALso, remember that the credit agencies check up on your accounts once a month and if you have gone over half of your credit limit on your cards, you are thought to be over stretching yourself and looks bad on your credit report. It sounds crazy but it's true!

We managed to get a mortgage through a broker suggested by our realtor. He has been able to use our international credit rating to get us a mortgage so explore all avenues, don't give up!
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