AA credit card, no SSN

Old Apr 12, 20, 1:42 am
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AA credit card, no SSN

Hi guys, il be moving to the states for my MBA in a few months and am planning to switch from cathay MP to AA. Was just wondering if it was possible to get any of the AA credit cards without a SSN / as an international? And how difficult this would be? I know you can apply for an IITN in some cases but are there any drawbacks to doing this?

Apologies if this has been asked somewhere before
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Old Apr 12, 20, 2:13 am
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Originally Posted by Oneworldflyer64 View Post
Was just wondering if it was possible to get any of the AA credit cards without a SSN / as an international?
Yes.

Originally Posted by Oneworldflyer64 View Post
And how difficult this would be?
Extreme. You may have a chance if you are a Citigold or Private Bank Client.

Originally Posted by Oneworldflyer64 View Post
I know you can apply for an IITN in some cases but are there any drawbacks to doing this?
ITIN is used by IRS only. So a bank will take the ITIN for tax purposes, but not others.
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Old Apr 12, 20, 8:26 am
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Next to impossible.
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Old Apr 12, 20, 12:05 pm
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https://www.thebalancecareers.com/ho...tizens-2064264
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Old Apr 12, 20, 12:21 pm
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Very easy - I have an Aviator (Barclaycard) card using my ITIN number. I am a Canadian citizen/resident.

Takes about a year to build decent history using an ITIN number. Easiest way is to do an AMEX Global Transfer or use Nova Credit if eligible to get a US credit card and build credit history. After about a year you should qualify for Barclaycard.

Citi also has a non-resident alien credit card application process. However it's fairly rigorous and requires good history with the bank.
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Old Apr 12, 20, 12:45 pm
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If your MBA program or the university with which it is affiliated have a relationship with a bank, they may provide a reference. Check with them first.
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Old Apr 12, 20, 1:52 pm
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About 20 years ago I did a sabbatical in Berkley coming from the UK. I applied at the Social Security office for a Non working Status SSN which I was given. I could us that to get a California ID Card and was able to open bank account as I has a SSN. I eventually got a green card and am now a citizen.
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Old Apr 12, 20, 4:20 pm
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If you're coming as a student I assume you're on a J visa which you can get an SSN with.

Starting your credit score from scratch in the US is rough and in my experience took about 18 months before I could get approved for cards that come with decent signup bonuses and/or perks.
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Old Apr 12, 20, 5:10 pm
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Originally Posted by flyingfriar View Post
About 20 years ago I did a sabbatical in Berkley coming from the UK. I applied at the Social Security office for a Non working Status SSN which I was given. I could us that to get a California ID Card and was able to open bank account as I has a SSN. I eventually got a green card and am now a citizen.
In the past, it was very easy to get one. Now, it is extremely difficult unless you are a resident.

Originally Posted by mosfet View Post
If you're coming as a student I assume you're on a J visa which you can get an SSN with.
OP's visa is F-1.

F/M are student visa categories. J is exchange visa.
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Old Apr 12, 20, 6:37 pm
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Back in the days students usually start with secured credit cards (very low CL), or entry level such as Discover/Chase Freedom, same for Citi (Citi Dividend/Forward and an even older version rewarded for maintaining certain GPA...). It would have been possible to start with some easier ones, such as Citi Preferred, then wait for a few months for AAdvantage. If you are applying for internships domestically you will eventually obtain SSN.

However now it's indeed next to impossible due to current situations.
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Old Apr 12, 20, 9:57 pm
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As some mentioned, start with Amex Global Transfer if you have one from your home country now (real Amex from the actual company, not co-branded Amex from another bank). Otherwise open a secured card with as much as you can afford to put on it for a while, use it regularly, pay it off and you'll have a decent credit score in 6 months or so. Citi used to be pretty liberal a few years ago, but I expect they'll have loads of defaults right now, so has likely tightened approval standards.

Good website to get familiar with is MyFico.com. You can get a feel for what score various lenders are looking for and recent trends in approvals so you can gauge your odds.
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Old Apr 12, 20, 11:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Oneworldflyer64 View Post
Hi guys, il be moving to the states for my MBA in a few months and am planning to switch from cathay MP to AA. Was just wondering if it was possible to get any of the AA credit cards without a SSN / as an international? And how difficult this would be? I know you can apply for an IITN in some cases but are there any drawbacks to doing this?

Apologies if this has been asked somewhere before
As you are coming for your MBA (as a student I suppose), one of the first things you will do when arriving in the US is get a social security number (which will have in big letters NOT AUTHORIZED TO WORK, btw).
To the get the SS card you will need to go the social security office in person (they are everywhere so there will probably be one near your school)
After a couple of weeks, you will get the social security card in the mail.
Once you get the SS card, go to the bank and open a bank account.
The above are the basic steps before getting any credit card in the US.

Once you are on campus, get in touch with your MBA international students group and they will be VERY helpful in all aspects of being a new international student.
They may even recommend a credit card for students which they know most get approved for.

Once you have your social security card and proof a permanent address (it could be student housing) you will be good to go to apply for any credit card.

Credit cards that have a FEE are usually easy to get.
Albeit, you will be approved for a ridiculous credit line ($500 or even $350) and you will have the most dis-favorable interest rates.
But that's ok.

I went through all of the above as foreign graduate student in the US.
My first credit card in the US was actually an American Airlines credit card with citibank. I got it just a couple of months after arriving in the country.
My credit limit was $350, LOL.
Many years later, I still have it (citibank allowed me to convert it to a cash back card a few years ago, AA miles are pointless but that's another story).

I had the best time of my life as a graduate student in the US. I am sure you will too. Enjoy the ride!
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Old Apr 12, 20, 11:45 pm
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Originally Posted by carlosdca View Post
As you are coming for your MBA (as a student I suppose), one of the first things you will do when arriving in the US is get a social security number (which will have in big letters NOT AUTHORIZED TO WORK, btw).
SSA no longer issues SSNs to non-resident aliens unless there is a legitimate need. Need of credit is not one of those:

https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10096.pdf
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Old Apr 13, 20, 12:52 am
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You will need a letter from your college to request an SSN. For that, you will need a letter of offer of employment, which should be usually an on campus job offer. That will be library, food court or so on. Once you have a job offer, you could go to your international admissions office and they will issue a letter of SSN request which you will submit along with your passport, I-94 record, I-20, etc. After you get the SSN (usually around 2 weeks after you apply), you could apply for a prepaid credit card - which is the easiest way to start to build credit. Or, if you have a family member who has a credit card in US, you could ask them to add you as an authorized user as it will help you build credit faster. After a few months (5-6), you will be getting offers to apply for credit cards. That would be the time you could try to apply for 1 of the cards.
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Old Apr 13, 20, 2:18 am
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Originally Posted by mrahul View Post
You will need a letter from your college to request an SSN. For that, you will need a letter of offer of employment, which should be usually an on campus job offer. That will be library, food court or so on. Once you have a job offer, you could go to your international admissions office and they will issue a letter of SSN request which you will submit along with your passport, I-94 record, I-20, etc. After you get the SSN (usually around 2 weeks after you apply), you could apply for a prepaid credit card - which is the easiest way to start to build credit. Or, if you have a family member who has a credit card in US, you could ask them to add you as an authorized user as it will help you build credit faster. After a few months (5-6), you will be getting offers to apply for credit cards. That would be the time you could try to apply for 1 of the cards.
Does a student visa currently normally come with a right to work? I thought most student visas did not.
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