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Old Sep 5, 12, 6:45 am   #1
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,444
how to get korean credit card, and which one(s) to get

my spouse is looking to spend about a month per year in korea over the next few years, and it occurs to me that it may be useful to have a korean-issued credit card while there. ideally, it would be a card with no annual fee, since it would only be used for one month or so out of a year, and we might not even use it at all.

our preference is for a korean air affinity card, but we want a card that is based on won, not dollars. KE's website only lists the us bank, diners club, and chase sapphire cards, all of which are dollar-based (the website is probably auto-detecting that i am in the US).

can a foreigner apply for a korean credit card remotely? if not, can a relative who is currently in seoul do it for us?

we've never visited korea for longer than 90 days so neither of us has an alien registration card. but my spouse was born in korea, so i'm curious whether an ARC is actually necessary.
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crabbing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 5, 12, 8:48 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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you cannot get a credit card here without an arc card. as well, credit cards work much differently here than they do in the states.

it is notoriously difficult for foreigners to get credit cards here. you have to pass a lot of different checks to be granted one. i had to jump through hoops to get mine.

you are better off using an american card that gives you a mileage bonus for overseas spending.
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Old Sep 5, 12, 10:15 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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I used Sapphire card in Korea, Hong Kong and thought the conversion rate was pretty good especially with no foreign fee and didn't have any merchant acceptance problem.
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Old Sep 6, 12, 10:08 pm   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crabbing View Post
we've never visited korea for longer than 90 days so neither of us has an alien registration card. but my spouse was born in korea, so i'm curious whether an ARC is actually necessary.
If he/she still holds a ROK passport then it won't be as hard once they get the Korean national ID card, if not, then expect difficulties. Even with an ARC, without a residential address and proof of income within Korea, expect it to be impossible. You wont even be able to set up a regular bank account without an ARC.

Foreigners I know that were actually able to get a credit card (with an ARC, and with an income), had to give a deposit equal to their full amount of credit, which seemingly defeats the purpose of a CC, but there are lots of discounts for credit card purchases throughout Korea.
SirJman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 13, 12, 1:05 am   #5
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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I got my Korean Credit card but the only bank that would issue me one was Korea Exchange Bank, which is not bad since they have the best foreigner service and great online banking. But I had to prove that I had been resident in Korea for more than a year, that I was employed here and I had to give 3 month's bank statements proving income. They did not require a deposit but you cannot pay the balance partially in a month, it has to be paid in full. Which of course is ideal for when you want to use it to accrue miles.

I personally went with the Crossmiles Credit Card. It is indirectly affiliated to either Korean or Asiana (you choose upon signing up) but it earns what is known as "crossmiles." You earn 1.8 crossmiles for each W1500 spent. At 5000 crossmiles you can covert it to a number of programs including Asiana/Korean depending on what you chose at a 1.5:1 ratio or Delta at a 1:1 ratio (and some others which might be less relevant to the people on this forum.)

Additionally it gives lots of benefits like some lounge access at Incheon, monthly free brunch at Starbucks, free coffee at the airport etc.
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