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How to obtain a US credit card, when living in EU? - Latan - 05-11-2019 04:36 PM

Hello,

Does someone know how to obtain a US credit / debit card, while living overseas, and without US citizenship?

I'm currently beginning my online Arbitrage journey, on Amazon.com.
Living in France, I just discovered many US websites require a US credit card, linked to a US billing address, in order to accept selling.


After researching, people tend to open an online US bank account, to get a debit card.
Problem is, I don't have a SSN nor credit history, in the US.
Are there trustworthy online US banks, accepting europeans without these?

I phoned Amazon (France), which couldn't help me at all.
Amazon US forbid me to use a virtual credit card.
I'm also not interested by prepaid credit cards, which often offer very poor return on investment.
They'd also limit my buying potential, which will easily surpass $10K / month.


If you have any lead towards a solution, I'm all ears.
Thanks for your time and have a great day.

PS: in case someone asks, I can't use Paypal either, as my billing adress isn't from the US.
Walmart error message : "We only accept U.S. addresses. Please use another billing address"


RE: How to obtain a US credit card, when living in EU? - Handsome Creepy Eel - 05-11-2019 07:59 PM

If the issue is buying products, you could consider using a mail forwarding/personal shopper service instead of bothering with credit cards. Something like forward2me.com (except for USA - there must be American equivalents around).


RE: How to obtain a US credit card, when living in EU? - Parlay44 - 05-11-2019 09:12 PM

You need a social security number to open any kind of bank account or credit card.
You're not going to get that as a non-citizen.


RE: How to obtain a US credit card, when living in EU? - PapayaTapper - 05-11-2019 09:33 PM

Prepaid debit card should accomplish what youre trying to do.

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/nerdwallets-best-prepaid-debit-cards/

You might need a US mailing address to have card sent to (or not...I dont know)


RE: How to obtain a US credit card, when living in EU? - Hypno - 05-12-2019 08:31 AM

(05-11-2019 09:12 PM)Parlay44 Wrote:  You need a social security number to open any kind of bank account or credit card.
You're not going to get that as a non-citizen.

That is not true. The IRS issues ITIN's, a form of taxpayer identification number, for undocumented aliens. You can open a bank account with an ITIN.

Under antimoney laundering rules, though, you probably need a physical address in the U.S. though.

What you might do is open an account with a U.S. bank in your country, like Citibank or Chase. Not sure if that will accomplish what you need.


RE: How to obtain a US credit card, when living in EU? - Latan - 05-12-2019 11:27 AM

Thanks for taking the time to reply, really helps.

My researchs lead me to Payoneer.com, which seems to be able to deliver a physical US card, without SSN/ITIN.
Sent them a mail, to get more information.
Has somebody already used their services?


(05-11-2019 07:59 PM)Handsome Creepy Eel Wrote:  If the issue is buying products, you could consider using a mail forwarding/personal shopper service instead of bothering with credit cards. Something like forward2me.com (except for USA - there must be American equivalents around).

This is an idea.
After a quick research, the fees could be a bit too much (some compagny bill 10% of the total purchase price, as a fee).
But I need to look into many different compagnies, to see if some could fit.


(05-11-2019 09:33 PM)PapayaTapper Wrote:  Prepaid debit card should accomplish what youre trying to do.

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/nerdwallets-best-prepaid-debit-cards/

You might need a US mailing address to have card sent to (or not...I dont know)

Some seem to require a SSN, others a US address.
Still, I'll look into it, thanks.


(05-12-2019 08:31 AM)Hypno Wrote:  
(05-11-2019 09:12 PM)Parlay44 Wrote:  You need a social security number to open any kind of bank account or credit card.
You're not going to get that as a non-citizen.

That is not true. The IRS issues ITIN's, a form of taxpayer identification number, for undocumented aliens. You can open a bank account with an ITIN.

Under antimoney laundering rules, though, you probably need a physical address in the U.S. though.

What you might do is open an account with a U.S. bank in your country, like Citibank or Chase. Not sure if that will accomplish what you need.

Going to contact these banks, see if they can offer me a solution.
Thanks.


RE: How to obtain a US credit card, when living in EU? - Handsome Creepy Eel - 05-13-2019 05:53 PM

(05-12-2019 11:27 AM)Latan Wrote:  Thanks for taking the time to reply, really helps.

My researchs lead me to Payoneer.com, which seems to be able to deliver a physical US card, without SSN/ITIN.
Sent them a mail, to get more information.
Has somebody already used their services?

I've been using Payoneer for 7 years now and it's great - a real US-based card and even a bank account, without SSN/ITIN.

However, I don't think it will suit your needs - Payoneer cards are funded from either your earnings that freelance companies pay you for your work/service, or by receiving money from other Payoneer users. I don't think you can "load" a Payoneer card like you'd load a PayPal account, for example, and it absolutely doesn't function as a credit card. It would be hard to use it for a mass-purchasing program.


RE: How to obtain a US credit card, when living in EU? - Latan - 05-13-2019 07:13 PM

(05-13-2019 05:53 PM)Handsome Creepy Eel Wrote:  I've been using Payoneer for 7 years now and it's great - a real US-based card and even a bank account, without SSN/ITIN.

However, I don't think it will suit your needs - Payoneer cards are funded from either your earnings that freelance companies pay you for your work/service, or by receiving money from other Payoneer users. I don't think you can "load" a Payoneer card like you'd load a PayPal account, for example, and it absolutely doesn't function as a credit card. It would be hard to use it for a mass-purchasing program.

Thanks for the info.

I read it's possible to load Payoneer's account from Paypal, using the user's bank account as source.
Have you tried this method?
If it's impossible this way, I'd really have a big problem indeed.

What do you mean by it "doesn't function as a credit card"?
That it's just a debit card?
Or that it limits somehow the number of purchases done per month?

Damn, I really thought I had a solution here.
I looked into the other suggestions of this thread but couldn't find something which would fit my business model, coupled with my location : the fees were too big to let me do any benefice, most of the time.
Still waiting for the response of multiple French banks, doing international business, which then would be my last hope.


RE: How to obtain a US credit card, when living in EU? - alephito - 05-14-2019 10:34 AM

Payoneer is a debit card.


RE: How to obtain a US credit card, when living in EU? - Latan - 05-14-2019 12:20 PM

(05-14-2019 10:34 AM)alephito Wrote:  Payoneer is a debit card.

Thanks.
I'm not very on point about this : is it harder to mass-purchase with a debit card?
I don't see the issue, as from what I understand the difference between credit and debit is money security and guarantees, in case something goes wrong.

What am I missing?


RE: How to obtain a US credit card, when living in EU? - alephito - 05-14-2019 12:43 PM

I think you will be OK with a Payoneer's card, but I have no experience in mass-purchases.


RE: How to obtain a US credit card, when living in EU? - Latan - 05-14-2019 01:54 PM

(05-13-2019 07:13 PM)Latan Wrote:  I read it's possible to load Payoneer's account from Paypal, using the user's bank account as source.

Just going to quote and debunk myself.
This method can't be used anymore, at least in EU.
I just tried and Paypal checks the SEPA number of banks accounts, I'm trying to link to my Paypal.
It's directly written I can't link a bank account located in the US.
So I have no way to directly inject money into my Payoneer's account, rendering it useless, even if I could use their credit card.

I think I'm going back to EU, to make business.
Thanks everyone for you time, it was very much appreciated.

Good luck in your current business.


RE: How to obtain a US credit card, when living in EU? - Handsome Creepy Eel - 05-14-2019 07:27 PM

(05-14-2019 01:54 PM)Latan Wrote:  
(05-13-2019 07:13 PM)Latan Wrote:  I read it's possible to load Payoneer's account from Paypal, using the user's bank account as source.

Just going to quote and debunk myself.
This method can't be used anymore, at least in EU.
I just tried and Paypal checks the SEPA number of banks accounts, I'm trying to link to my Paypal.
It's directly written I can't link a bank account located in the US.
So I have no way to directly inject money into my Payoneer's account, rendering it useless, even if I could use their credit card.

I think I'm going back to EU, to make business.
Thanks everyone for you time, it was very much appreciated.

Good luck in your current business.

I think that's not correct, I managed to link a virtual (global payment service) Payoneer bank account with my PayPal and routinely send money from PayPal to Payoneer that way. Look:

[attachment=41813]

Yes, PayPal will refuse your Payoneer bank account "because it's not a real account", but if you contact Payoneer customer support, they can open a dedicated, more solid account for you that PayPal will accept - like the one shown above.

Again, I've been a customer of Payoneer for many years and have channeled a lot of money through them during that time, so maybe that might not be available to a new user. But it's worth asking.


RE: How to obtain a US credit card, when living in EU? - The Beast1 - 05-15-2019 01:40 AM

Couldn't he register an LLC, get an EIN with the IRS, and open a business checking account?

You'd get a debit card that way and a bank account. You will probably have to file taxes though.


RE: How to obtain a US credit card, when living in EU? - fktax - 05-15-2019 01:16 PM

First, you have to get an ITIN. You cannot get an SSN unless you are legally allowed to work (or a student). Side note: check if you can get a working holiday visa aka J1. If you're eligible it's an easy entry into their system.

You can apply for the ITIN and say you have US source income, its relatively straightforward as long as you have a certified copy of your passport.

Once you have an ITIN, you have to get a US bank account and apply for a credit card through the bank. Since you have a new ITIN, generally the bank requires that your first CC is linked to an escrow account in which you deposit money and is collateral to you paying your CC bill. For example, you have to put $5k in an escrow controlled by the bank (credit card issuer), therefore getting a $5k spending limit on your CC. Depending on your spending and ability to pay back, you ultimately build up a credit history over the course of 6 months-2 years, which allows you to apply for other credit cards with no escrow.

This is ultimately how you can do this, but it will take some time to build up a credit history.

FYI, banks in Florida seem to be more used to this as a lot of people who bank there are foreigners. Don't be ashamed of visiting 5+ banks in a day to make it happen.


RE: How to obtain a US credit card, when living in EU? - alephito - 05-15-2019 02:28 PM

Back in 2014, I opened a bank account in Florida as a tourist (Wells Fargo). The only requirement was to fund the account with $2K. They issued only a debit card.