Best Credit Cards for Foreign Workers in the USA

Updated: March 26, 2020 | Contains affiliate links

Credit CardPeople from other countries come to the United States every single year to seek work opportunities; opportunities that they may not be able to find in their home countries. Typically, when you are granted an H1-B visa, you will be able to come to the USA to work in specialty occupations.

Can You Obtain a Credit Card on an H1B Visa?

Your H1-B visa in the United States will be good for three years, and you can of course extend it for another three years afterwards if things are working out for you. During your time in the United States, you are going to need to be able to purchase things, and find a place to live. Sometimes, you may not have the money on hand, and this is where a line of credit, usually in the form of a credit card, can come into play.   What if you weren’t able to bring your credit history from your home country with you? This could pose a problem for foreign folks looking to establish a credit line in the United States. Luckily, you still have options.

Credit Card Options for Foreign People Working in the United States

When you are new in the USA, just like anyone else living here, you will need access to a line of credit if you want to do something like get a vehicle, rent a home, or just have an emergency credit card when you don’t have cash on hand for essentials like food or gasoline. If you don’t have credit already established, this could be a bit of a hindrance, but it doesn’t have to stop you completely.

Many financial information companies, such as Nova Credit, have done the heavy lifting for you to find some of the best credit card options for people with no credit. If you were not able to bring your credit history with you from your home country before coming to the United States to work or go to school on your HB-1 visa, this could impact you. You’re not out of luck, however, as there are several great options available to you from trusted financial institutions.

If you don’t currently have a credit history in the United States, you may be able to work with some financial institutions to establish a line of credit. Some credit card issuers will examine your bank account history to make a decision about issuing a credit card if you have no credit history, so all you will need to do is make sure you have a bank account in the United States, then check out these options:

  • Petal’s Visa Cash Back Credit Card: If you don’t have a credit history in the United States, Petal can work with you to establish a line of credit based on your history with a bank account you can link with them. The card comes with several great features, such as zero foreign transaction fees and no annual or late fees. You can also build your credit using the Petal credit card, as they report to all of the major credit bureaus. You are also afforded cash back rewards when you make your payments on time.
  • Deserve’s Classic Credit Card: This is a credit card that is specifically for newcomers to the United States or newcomers to credit in general. If you have no credit history, then your credit decision will be made based on your employment or bank account history. The Classic card from Deserve doesn’t offer any specific rewards, but there are some perks. These include zero annual fees, no foreign transaction fees, and you may even get a waiver on your very first late fee if you aren’t able to make a payment in time, for any reason.

For folks new to the United States who may not have a credit history in the country or weren’t able to bring their credit history with them from their homeland, some of these cards might be a great way to start establishing credit in the US while working or studying on an H1-B visa.

If you don’t have credit in the United States, then these options might be some of the best to look into, so check them out and get your first American credit line established today! You never know when it might come in handy.

Once you establish a good credit score in the USA you can apply for a great travel credit card that will help you save money on your international trips.

About the Author: Benedict Lucas is a marketing and financial services writer who wants to see women succeed in their careers and businesses.

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