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Old Jun 1, 11, 9:28 pm   #16
 
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Hi Flyertalk. This is my first post (I've lurked for a while) so I hope I'm not exhibiting bad etiquette by resurrecting this old thread.

I'm also a foreigner who has just been rejected for the Chase Mileage Plus Club Card. The difference is that I've lived in the US for five and a bit years, though it wasn't until six months ago that I decided to actually get my first credit card (a random Bank of America cashback card) since I'd never really felt any need to borrow money.

Anyway, I decided to get the Club card because I'm going to be doing a lot more flying in the near future (hoping to get Star Gold by the end of the year) and I finally decided to start collecting all my frequent flyer points with one airline. But they just sent me a message saying they'd rejected me because "Few revolving accounts opened long enough to establish credit history" and "Not enough accounts opened long enough to establish a credit history".

FFS, Chase Bank, I've got... kinda a lot of money, I think I can afford to pay off your credit card. Now I'm stuck with no red carpet club membership (and I have no desire to pay full price when I could have had it for much less) and no bonus points for joining.

Is there any way I can appeal this decision? Perhaps persuade 'em to talk to my bank back in my home country and convince 'em that I'm a worthwhile credit risk? Show 'em what my assets are? It's kinda insulting to be treated as a poor credit risk -- doesn't the fact that I *don't* borrow money on a regular basis make me a good credit risk?

Alternatively should I just apply for the regular Chase Mileage Plus card with no RCC membership? That way at least I'd get 50,000 instead of 30,000 miles for joining. But then, would I have to tick the box that says that I've been rejected by Chase for credit in the last year?

Sigh. Just when I was starting to get excited about collecting United miles.
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Old Jun 1, 11, 10:45 pm   #17
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Alternatively should I just apply for the regular Chase Mileage Plus card with no RCC membership? That way at least I'd get 50,000 instead of 30,000 miles for joining. But then, would I have to tick the box that says that I've been rejected by Chase for credit in the last year?
You will be rejected for the same reasons.

Dont take it personally. The need to establish a good credit history is important even though you dont have the need to borrow money. You have learned it first hand how inconvenient it can be - without an establish credit history that is.

You can write Chase a reconsideration letter to explain your situation and ask them to reconsider.

http://www.frugaltravelguy.com/2009/...uccessful.html

BTW, having credit cards do NOT equal to "the need to borrow money". You may need to unlearn this notion as it is very wrong.

Having credit cards in this country often is a necessity.

For example, without a credit card, car rental companies may not even rent you a car. Sometimes the location may accept debit card but often requires pre-arrangement and put up a large sum of debit upfront. Dont expect you can walk in a car rental office after deplaning and pick up a rental with your debit card just like what you can with a credit card...
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Old Jun 2, 11, 12:47 am   #18
 
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As a US citizen living in China I'm actually a little puzzled by the posters here; I have zero interest in acquiring a local charge or credit account as I know it will only be temporary until I return to the states in 5 to 10 years.

Nothing you do credit wise in the local country will count for "credit" in your home country, so you're just setting yourself up to have to re-prove yourself when you move home if you don't stick with your home credit cards.

Accordingly, I do have a cash / debit account but only use it when absolutely necessary.

Also, if the above doesn't sway you and you're convinced you need a US credit card, there's an easy solution:

Grab $50,000 or so from your home investment accounts, deposit it with a US branch of UBS in a RMA account (or find an equivalent at another bank), and get a set of no fee, non-securitized (in theory they're securitized by your investment balance, but if you default they can't go after your UBS deposits) cards with a limit equal to your deposit with UBS.

Bingo, "real" cards with high limits issued by US banks, with a reward point feature, and if you pay the fee (~$500) you basically get AMEX platinum benefits too.
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Old Jun 2, 11, 4:08 am   #19
 
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Originally Posted by Jorgen View Post
I'm also a foreigner who has just been rejected for the Chase Mileage Plus Club Card. The difference is that I've lived in the US for five and a bit years, though it wasn't until six months ago that I decided to actually get my first credit card (a random Bank of America cashback card) since I'd never really felt any need to borrow money.
Welcome to the insanity of the American credit rating system.

The only way to build a credit rating (basically, what the entire country runs off) is to have just enough - but not too much - potential debt.

Note that your capacity to cover that debt is a relatively insignificant factor in your "credit rating". Or, in other words, how much cash you have is basically irrelevant.

You need multiple lines, and types, of credit, to build a decent credit rating. It will take 12-18 months minimum, after which you will be able to apply for, and receive, decent credit cards. The card you have is a good start. I suggest also getting something like a car loan to supplement that - it well help your credit rating build up quickly.

Counter-intuitively, being in an excellent position to pay back credit (ie: cash- and/or asset-rich) will not help your credit rating in the slightest.
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Old Jun 2, 11, 10:25 am   #20
 
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Originally Posted by 2tall4economy View Post
As a US citizen living in China I'm actually a little puzzled by the posters here; I have zero interest in acquiring a local charge or credit account as I know it will only be temporary until I return to the states in 5 to 10 years.

Nothing you do credit wise in the local country will count for "credit" in your home country, so you're just setting yourself up to have to re-prove yourself when you move home if you don't stick with your home credit cards.
This is Flyertalk! Why else would I want a credit card, but for the miles?


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Originally Posted by 2tall4economy View Post
Also, if the above doesn't sway you and you're convinced you need a US credit card, there's an easy solution:

Grab $50,000 or so from your home investment accounts, deposit it with a US branch of UBS in a RMA account (or find an equivalent at another bank), and get a set of no fee, non-securitized (in theory they're securitized by your investment balance, but if you default they can't go after your UBS deposits) cards with a limit equal to your deposit with UBS.

Bingo, "real" cards with high limits issued by US banks, with a reward point feature, and if you pay the fee (~$500) you basically get AMEX platinum benefits too.
Well, I already have a Bank of America credit card paying me 1% cashback, so that's not too bad. I really wanted the Chase Club card since a $375 annual fee for Red Carpet Club membership plus 30,000 bonus miles seemed like a good deal. I'll research the AMEX platinum thing, but for $500 a year plus the opportunity cost of keeping $50K in a US dollar bank account where it would presumably earn something on the order of 0.1% makes this look like a rather expensive scheme.
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Old Jun 2, 11, 10:42 am   #21
 
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Originally Posted by Happy View Post
You will be rejected for the same reasons.

Dont take it personally. The need to establish a good credit history is important even though you dont have the need to borrow money. You have learned it first hand how inconvenient it can be - without an establish credit history that is.

You can write Chase a reconsideration letter to explain your situation and ask them to reconsider.

http://www.frugaltravelguy.com/2009/...uccessful.html

BTW, having credit cards do NOT equal to "the need to borrow money". You may need to unlearn this notion as it is very wrong.

Having credit cards in this country often is a necessity.

For example, without a credit card, car rental companies may not even rent you a car. Sometimes the location may accept debit card but often requires pre-arrangement and put up a large sum of debit upfront. Dont expect you can walk in a car rental office after deplaning and pick up a rental with your debit card just like what you can with a credit card...
Thanks for the idea for the recommendation letter. I might try sending one of those myself -- if there's a rational human being looking over my case rather than a computer then I think I should be able to get it. Worst-case scenario I lose fifty cents and fifteen minutes of my time.

For what it's worth I don't think that having credit card equals "the need to borrow money", though the converse is true... I've had a credit card in my home country for many years. Just FYI though it is perfectly possible to travel and rent cars and book into hotels in the US using only a debit card, I did it myself for the first five years I was here. They will occasionally look askance at it, though, and insist on putting a "hold" of $500 or so on your card, but it's not too big a deal.
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Old Jun 2, 11, 11:00 am   #22
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Just FYI though it is perfectly possible to travel and rent cars and book into hotels in the US using only a debit card, I did it myself for the first five years I was here. They will occasionally look askance at it, though, and insist on putting a "hold" of $500 or so on your card, but it's not too big a deal.
Hotel expenses are fine with debit card as long as you dont mind your REAL MONEY in the bank is temporary out of reach for X days when the hotels put a hold on it. $500 is peanut when comparing to some up market hotels "hold" upon check-in.

Rental car companies often put a larger hold when debit card is the form of payment. On top of that you do not enjoy the insurance coverage provided by the many credit cards having such feature.

Personally I wish everything and anything can be paid by a credit card - far less hassle and record keeping on my side versus using cash. I really like the CC statement with all the spending records in place so we know exactly where we have spent our money and on what. If it is cash I often lose track on them. In our household we can go months with just a couple hundreds in the drawer as anything and everything that takes credit card, would be paid by CC.
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Old Jun 2, 11, 11:04 am   #23
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Counter-intuitively, being in an excellent position to pay back credit (ie: cash- and/or asset-rich) will not help your credit rating in the slightest.
Right. That is why there should be review / reconsideration procedure in place. Chase is very good at this. Citi is OK but often requires you to go a bit further to get it. Capital One is the worst because it does not have any mechanism in place for the applicants who have high net asset value but dont fit the cookie cutter profiles the software evaluates. The only avenue seems to get someone in the Executive Office to take up your case...
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Old Jun 9, 11, 2:25 am   #24
 
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Originally Posted by Jorgen View Post
Well, I already have a Bank of America credit card paying me 1% cashback, so that's not too bad. I really wanted the Chase Club card since a $375 annual fee for Red Carpet Club membership plus 30,000 bonus miles seemed like a good deal. I'll research the AMEX platinum thing, but for $500 a year plus the opportunity cost of keeping $50K in a US dollar bank account where it would presumably earn something on the order of 0.1% makes this look like a rather expensive scheme.
Not to push UBS too much here but their card (Visa) is 1% back too, plus concierge and travel insurance etc... plus it works like an ATM card for your UBS account (ie it takes cash out of our account that day vs considering it a cash advance and charging a fee), it refunds unlimited ATM fees (up to $3 per txn).

If you pay $500 annually you get an upgraded card with Priority Pass, the 3,2,1 (air, grocery/gas, other) rewards points feature, and no FX txn fees (plus some other stuff that I forget because it didn't apply to me).

And, most importantly, you don't put your $50k in a bank account as such (well, you could if you wanted I suppose), you put it into an investment account where you can buy stocks/bonds/MMFs etc... so you won't lose anything vs what it was doing at home.

Normally I don't pitch anything to anyone, but it's a really good deal for me, and wanted to share w/ others.

If you're uncomfortable with UBS, I think Merril Lynch's program + Accolade card is *very* similar but you need a higher minimum deposit with them.

Full disclosure - I don't have any incentive to recommend; they're not paying me or anything.
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Old Jun 9, 11, 4:13 am   #25
 
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You can get a credit card without any credit history if your US based company has a good relationship with a bank. Try talking to your HR.
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Old Jun 10, 11, 5:34 pm   #26
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To supplement the other excellent advice here, if you find you do need to locate a secured/no-credit-history card, HSBC has a poor-credit division (Orchard Bank) with a pre-qualification website that claims to not pull a credit report... http://www.orchardbank.com/

Most of their products have an annual or monthly fee... but some have cashback as high as 2%.
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Old Jun 11, 11, 9:47 am   #27
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You can get a credit card without any credit history if your US based company has a good relationship with a bank. Try talking to your HR.
+1.

The "utter insanity" comments are most amusing. In this age of identity theft, if you're a random walking in off the street, what do you expect? Welcome to Chase sir! Here's your platinum card!

I've been on the other end (moved to Canada for a 3 years assignment) and it works the same there. No file, no credit. But in my case, my company facilitated the relationship, and I got a Canadian visa card very quickly.

Relationship banking exists in the US, you just have to find it. That means getting up from the computer, and actually going into a retail bank or Credit Union branch. Your company can facilitate the relationship (vouch for you), or you can open an account, and use those funds to get a secured card. Typically 6 months of solid secured card use will be enough to establish your credit file.

Local Credit Unions are a really good place to start. http://www.creditunion.coop/
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Old Jun 11, 11, 9:52 am   #28
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Originally Posted by Jorgen View Post
Hi Flyertalk. This is my first post (I've lurked for a while) so I hope I'm not exhibiting bad etiquette by resurrecting this old thread.

I'm also a foreigner who has just been rejected for the Chase Mileage Plus Club Card. The difference is that I've lived in the US for five and a bit years, though it wasn't until six months ago that I decided to actually get my first credit card (a random Bank of America cashback card) since I'd never really felt any need to borrow money.

Anyway, I decided to get the Club card because I'm going to be doing a lot more flying in the near future (hoping to get Star Gold by the end of the year) and I finally decided to start collecting all my frequent flyer points with one airline. But they just sent me a message saying they'd rejected me because "Few revolving accounts opened long enough to establish credit history" and "Not enough accounts opened long enough to establish a credit history".

FFS, Chase Bank, I've got... kinda a lot of money, I think I can afford to pay off your credit card. Now I'm stuck with no red carpet club membership (and I have no desire to pay full price when I could have had it for much less) and no bonus points for joining.

Is there any way I can appeal this decision? Perhaps persuade 'em to talk to my bank back in my home country and convince 'em that I'm a worthwhile credit risk? Show 'em what my assets are? It's kinda insulting to be treated as a poor credit risk -- doesn't the fact that I *don't* borrow money on a regular basis make me a good credit risk?

Alternatively should I just apply for the regular Chase Mileage Plus card with no RCC membership? That way at least I'd get 50,000 instead of 30,000 miles for joining. But then, would I have to tick the box that says that I've been rejected by Chase for credit in the last year?

Sigh. Just when I was starting to get excited about collecting United miles.

Go to a local Chase branch, introduce yourself to the manager and explain your situation. He/She may be able to help. Making a sizable deposit at the same time won't hurt...
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Old Jun 12, 11, 2:48 am   #29
 
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+1.

The "utter insanity" comments are most amusing. In this age of identity theft, if you're a random walking in off the street, what do you expect? Welcome to Chase sir! Here's your platinum card!
If I walk in off the street with a 6-figure income, tens of thousands of dollars of cash on hand, a letter from my employer saying I've been working there for five years and all the necessary forms ID then yes, I do expect to be able to get a decent credit card - or at the very least one that doesn't require a cash deposit backing it - pretty much on the spot.

Having to wait in the ballpark of 18 months to do either of these things is - depending on your temperament - anywhere from comical to insulting.

Quote:
I've been on the other end (moved to Canada for a 3 years assignment) and it works the same there. No file, no credit. But in my case, my company facilitated the relationship, and I got a Canadian visa card very quickly.
Well, the broken US system has probably infected Canada as well. When I moved to Switzerland, I had a card with a $20k limit the day after my visa permit arrived.

Quote:
Relationship banking exists in the US, you just have to find it. That means getting up from the computer, and actually going into a retail bank or Credit Union branch. Your company can facilitate the relationship (vouch for you), or you can open an account, and use those funds to get a secured card. Typically 6 months of solid secured card use will be enough to establish your credit file.
I tried four different banks before giving up. Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and AZ's Desert Schools credit union. None of them could do squat to help me.

(The other ridiculous situation we had upon arrival in the US was not being able to get a ~$8k car loan for a car worth about $15k, even though it would have been paid of in a matter of months. There's not a lot of risk in that equation.)

Last edited by drsmithy; Jun 12, 11 at 7:24 am..
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Old Jun 12, 11, 1:34 pm   #30
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Its 2011, not 2007. Most of the banks you've referenced aren't doing that well. risk that was tolerated 5 years ago won't be tolerated now.

If you can't get the company to vouch for you, a secured card is the best avenue to establish a credit profile. And if you go with the right institution, it will "unsecure" a lot sooner than 18 months.

https://www.bankofamerica.com/credit...tegory_id=2029

If you got the 6 figure income and the cash sitting around, what's the big deal?
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