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Getting a credit card in the UK to use in the US

Getting a credit card in the UK to use in the US

Old Jun 4th 2012, 11:46 am
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Default Getting a credit card in the UK to use in the US

Hello,

I am looking to get a credit card in the UK with 0% on purchases that I will then be able to use in the US when I move there in August. As I will have no credit history when I arrive I figured this would be the best approach.

Does anyone have any advice on where I could apply ?

Thanks
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Old Jun 4th 2012, 3:25 pm
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Default Re: Getting a credit card in the UK to use in the US

Originally Posted by sawdustanddiamonds View Post
Hello,

I am looking to get a credit card in the UK with 0% on purchases that I will then be able to use in the US when I move there in August. As I will have no credit history when I arrive I figured this would be the best approach.

Does anyone have any advice on where I could apply ?

Thanks
Get an American Express card. You should then be able to do a 'Global Transfer' and have a US credit card. You'll need to check the AmEx web site for current rates and offers.
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Old Jun 4th 2012, 3:44 pm
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Default Re: Getting a credit card in the UK to use in the US

Originally Posted by sawdustanddiamonds View Post
Hello,

I am looking to get a credit card in the UK with 0% on purchases that I will then be able to use in the US when I move there in August. As I will have no credit history when I arrive I figured this would be the best approach.

Does anyone have any advice on where I could apply ?

Thanks
You could get a secured credit card - put down, say, $500 and then you have a $500 limit. Others have reported you can get it turned into a "proper" credit card within a year.

Don't forget if you use a UK credit card you're likely to be charged foreign transaction fees every time you purchase something.

Originally Posted by markwm View Post
Get an American Express card. You should then be able to do a 'Global Transfer' and have a US credit card. You'll need to check the AmEx web site for current rates and offers.
In less than two months? I've heard of less than a year (the minimum is supposed to be a year) but under 2 months is pushing it!
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Old Jun 4th 2012, 3:45 pm
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Default Re: Getting a credit card in the UK to use in the US

Originally Posted by markwm View Post
Get an American Express card. You should then be able to do a 'Global Transfer' and have a US credit card. You'll need to check the AmEx web site for current rates and offers.
+1

I had an AMEX card in the UK. When I moved to the US, I used the UK card for a while until I got a US card. I called AMEX customer service in the US and they arranged to have a US AMEX card sent to me.

I did the same with MBNA but they have since been acquired by Bank of America.
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Old Jun 4th 2012, 3:48 pm
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Default Re: Getting a credit card in the UK to use in the US

We opened an Amex in Feb 2008 and moved here at the end of May 2008. We only used the card once in the UK. We called Amex once we were in the US and asked for a Global Transfer. They did this immediately and gave us a credit limit of $5000 straight away.

On the other hand when we opened our bank account with Chase and deposited a large chunk of cash (from the sale of our house in UK) they would only give us a credit card with a $500 limit.

Four years later I get about 6 offers of credit cards in the mail every week!!!
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Old Jun 4th 2012, 3:52 pm
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Default Re: Getting a credit card in the UK to use in the US

Thank you for the replies, it is much appreciated.

I meant to mention in my post that I am a student here in the UK and will be at university in the US (so I have no where near minimum £20 000 annual household income). In the US I will be living off a full-scholarship. Naturally I would need a credit card to make purchases online etc and also I want to start to build my credit history as soon as possible, but getting a credit card for someone in my position seems virtually impossible. Am I wrong ?
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Old Jun 4th 2012, 4:03 pm
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Default Re: Getting a credit card in the UK to use in the US

Originally Posted by sawdustanddiamonds View Post
Thank you for the replies, it is much appreciated.

I meant to mention in my post that I am a student here in the UK and will be at university in the US (so I have no where near minimum £20 000 annual household income). In the US I will be living off a full-scholarship. Naturally I would need a credit card to make purchases online etc and also I want to start to build my credit history as soon as possible, but getting a credit card for someone in my position seems virtually impossible. Am I wrong ?
About the only way is to get the secured credit card once inside the USA, by putting your own money up for it for a year...then turn it into a regular credit card after one year of good standing.

Rene
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Old Jun 4th 2012, 4:14 pm
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Default Re: Getting a credit card in the UK to use in the US

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
You could get a secured credit card - put down, say, $500 and then you have a $500 limit. Others have reported you can get it turned into a "proper" credit card within a year.

Don't forget if you use a UK credit card you're likely to be charged foreign transaction fees every time you purchase something.



In less than two months? I've heard of less than a year (the minimum is supposed to be a year) but under 2 months is pushing it!

You don't ask, you don't get.
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Old Jun 4th 2012, 4:20 pm
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Default Re: Getting a credit card in the UK to use in the US

Originally Posted by markwm View Post
You don't ask, you don't get.
True, never hurts to ask - and Choccie managed it in 3 it seems! Seems $5k is a standard figure as both my wife and I got the same figure, and it's been quoted here. Almost a disappointment really as I had a 16k limit in the UK compared to about half that for the wife!

To the OP: you can buy things online with a debit card too. Don't get yourself in debt before you've even started working...
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Old Jun 4th 2012, 5:27 pm
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Default Re: Getting a credit card in the UK to use in the US

Originally Posted by sawdustanddiamonds View Post
Thank you for the replies, it is much appreciated.

I meant to mention in my post that I am a student here in the UK and will be at university in the US (so I have no where near minimum £20 000 annual household income). In the US I will be living off a full-scholarship. Naturally I would need a credit card to make purchases online etc and also I want to start to build my credit history as soon as possible, but getting a credit card for someone in my position seems virtually impossible. Am I wrong ?
As Rene mentioned, a secured credit card is one option.

Make sure you open a student checking/savings account as fees and minimum balances are often waived for students. Also, as a student, you should be able to get a credit card from your US bank with a smaller credit limit - maybe up to $1000. Once you build a credit history, you should be able to have the credit limit raised. Check to see if there are any bank branches on campus e.g. in the students' union.

Remember also that you can often make purchases online using a PayPal account linked to your checking account.

Where in the US will you be attending school?

Last edited by MarylandNed; Jun 4th 2012 at 5:31 pm.
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Old Jun 4th 2012, 5:36 pm
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Default Re: Getting a credit card in the UK to use in the US

Originally Posted by MarylandNed View Post
As Rene mentioned, a secured credit card is one option.

Make sure you open a student checking/savings account as fees and minimum balances are often waived for students. Also, as a student, you should be able to get a credit card from your US bank with a smaller credit limit - maybe up to $1000. Once you build a credit history, you should be able to have the credit limit raised. Check to see if there are any bank branches on campus e.g. in the student's union.

Remember also that you can often make purchases online using a PayPal account linked to your checking account.

Where in the US will you be attending school?

That's an idea, I didn't think that would be possible. I will be going to school in Columbus OH. There is a bank called PNC that I plan to open an account with (it seems to be a good bank for international students).

One of the reasons why I was hoping to get a credit card prior to moving was that I need to order some furniture and things to be delivered to my apartment before I arrive but I suppose I will be able to pay for items like this via paypal so thanks for the tip !
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Old Jun 4th 2012, 6:23 pm
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Default Re: Getting a credit card in the UK to use in the US

Another question to add to the mix on the subject of students and bank accounts...

I will be getting money into my UK account the whole time i'm in the US and will need to transfer it over to use. When i've tried to transfer money to foreign bank accounts before i've needed to go into the branch, fill out forms and it costs money etc. I have Barclays so was planning to go there this week and ask if they had any suggestions but if anyone has had a similar experience and can suggest how to get around it that would be very much appreciated!
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Old Jun 4th 2012, 6:45 pm
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Default Re: Getting a credit card in the UK to use in the US

xe.com seems to be the way most people do it. Their rates are usually competitive, and it's reasonably quick. Not sure if they have a minimum that you have to send. We have used them whenever we have had money to send in either direction.
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Old Jun 4th 2012, 8:56 pm
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Default Re: Getting a credit card in the UK to use in the US

I still use my UK CC to make purchases as the US banks haven't given me more than $2,500 and even if you pay it off in full (which I always do), they don't take that into consideration, they just look at your account once a month and if the amount is high, they reduce your credit score.

I would recommend getting an AMEX too, I regret not doing it and my next CC in the States will be an AMEX so that I could establish credit somewhere else were I to relocate again in the future.

I have a LloydsTSB airmiles duo and use the Amex car most of the time. I don't pay any fees other than the xrate conversion which isn't all that bad to be honest. The only downside is the hassle of transferring money to the UK to pay it off.

You can use a debit card but you don't get nearly the same protection that you do if something goes wrong and you've used a CC.
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Old Jun 5th 2012, 10:12 am
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Default Re: Getting a credit card in the UK to use in the US

Originally Posted by Bink View Post
I still use my UK CC to make purchases as the US banks haven't given me more than $2,500 and even if you pay it off in full (which I always do), they don't take that into consideration, they just look at your account once a month and if the amount is high, they reduce your credit score.
Most issuers report your balance at the time your statement is created. They are looking at your utilization here - the ratio between your balance and available credit.

You can get round this by watching your credit card account online, and initiating an online bill-pay from your bank a few days before your statement is due to be produced. In this way your statement is produced with a nil (or low) balance, and this is what gets reported to the credit reference agency.

I do this regularly if I know I'm going to be applying for a new card within the next few months.
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