The 5 Best Credit Cards for New Immigrants in the US

5 Best Credit Cards for New Immigrants in the US: A large number of people from around the world apply for a US visa and immigrate to the United States. Upon arriving in the USA, non-residents are not going to have a credit history built up in the U.S. system instantly. Credit does not normally transfer from country to country. Getting a credit card is a good way to earn credit and get a good credit history in addition to the benefits. This will allow them to be eligible for better loan options, lower interest rates and several other advantages. 

The 5 Best Credit Cards for New Immigrants in the US
The 5 Best Credit Cards for New Immigrants in the US

Non-residents can be eligible for a normal U.S credit card on the basis of their jobs and income. If one is unable to obtain a normal credit card, one can still apply for a secured credit card. This type of card requires a minimum deposit and permits almost anyone to start building credit. 

In this article we discuss some good examples of normal credit cards and secured credit cards for new immigrants in the U.S. We will also address the requirements for new immigrants to get a U.S credit card. Most importantly, we discuss what to look for in a credit card.  

5 best credit cards for new immigrants in the US (secured)

1. Discover it Secured 

Key Features:

  • Regular APR: 22.99%
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Deposits : $200
  • Credit Limit: Up to $2500
  • Foreign transaction fees: $0
  • Upgrade to an unsecured card: Yes 

Discover is accepted at 99% of the places that take credit cards in the U.S. 

2. Secured Mastercard from Capital One 

Key Features: 

  • Regular APR: 26.99%
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Deposit: $49
  • Initial Credit Limit : $1000
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: $0
  • Pay deposit in Installments: Yes 
  • Upgrade to an unsecured card: Yes 

Mastercard is accepted worldwide. 

3. Petal 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa Credit Card 

Key Features: 

  • Regular APR: 12.99% – 26.99% (variable)
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Deposits: Not required 
  • Credit Limit: $500-10,000
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: $0
  • Rewards Earning Rate: Earn 1% cashback on eligible purchases right away. Earn up to 1.5% cashback after 12 on-time payments. Get 2%-10% cashback from select merchants. 

This card does not use credit score to determine eligibility, but income, expenses, savings and debts.

4. Jasper Mastercard 

Key Features: 

  • Regular APR: 15.49% – 24.99% (variable)
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Deposits: Not Required
  • Credit limit: 5000
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: $0
  • Rewards Earning Rate: Earn 1% cash back on eligible purchases (Terms Apply) 

Minimum deposit not required with this card. 

5. OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card 

Key Features:

  • Regular APR: 17.39 (variable)
  • Annual Fee: $35
  • Security Deposits: $200-$3,000
  • Credit Limit: $3,000
  • No Credit Check 
  • No Account Needed 

This card does not require a credit check or a bank account. 

Some Reputed Examples of Normal Credit Cards:

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card 

Key Features:

  • Rewards Rate: Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase
  • Intro purchase APR: 0% intro on purchases for 15 months, then 14.99% – 24.99% (Variable)
  • Cash Back Details: No minimums for redeeming and cash back won’t expire for the life of the account

Citi Diamond Preferred Card

Key Features:

  • Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers
  • Regular Purchase & BT APR: 13.74% – 23.74%

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

Key Features:

  • Sign Up Bonus: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months 
  • Rewards Rate: Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
  • Purchase and BT APR: 0% INTO APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then a 14.99% to 24.99% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min:$5
  • Annual Fee: $0

Citi Custom Cash Card 

Key Features:

  • Sign-up Bonus: Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 Thank you Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
  • Rewards Rate: Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. 
  • Intro APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then 13.99%-23.99% (Variable)  

Discover it Cash Back 

Key Features:

  • 0% intro APR: 0% for 14 months in purchases and balance transfers, then 11.99% – 22.99% Variable APR 
  • Rewards: 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases automatically
  • Cash back Match: Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year. There is no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300. 

How to get a Social Security Number / Individual Taxpayer Identification Number  

In order to get a credit card in the U.S, one should have a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) 

How to get a Social Security Number?

 Usually, only non-citizens authorized to work in the U.S by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can get a social security number. 

What is required for the ITIN?

How to get an ITIN: Applicants must fill a W7 application form and submit it to the IRS with a completed tax return. The IRS (Internal Revenue Service), has made a list of 13 documents required. Documents submitted must be original and verify identity and “foreign status”. These documents will be returned along with the processed form within 60 days. ITINs will be sent through the mail once the application is approved. 

What to look for in a credit card for immigrants in the US

  • Low APR: Low annual percentage rate 
  • What is the minimum repayment 
  • Low Annual Fee
  • Any hidden fees and charges 
  • No/low introductory interest rates 
  • Rewards 
  • Cash Back 
  • Credit Card Limit 
  • Insurance 

Before finalizing a credit card, you must compare the features and benefits of various credit cards and select the one that suits your needs best.

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