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How to get a UK credit card living in the USA

How to get a UK credit card living in the USA

Old Oct 27, 19, 11:36 am
  #1  
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Lightbulb How to get a UK credit card living in the USA

I have searched for this thread, I know it was here at one time in the past. There are credit cards such as HSBC that you could apply for in branch with certain documents from the USA and a passport and get instant approval on a Mastercard. Does anyone have any current experience with this today?
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Old Oct 27, 19, 3:05 pm
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It would help to know your use case on why you would want a UK (GBP based card). In almost every case, the US cards with no FTF are better options to use for GBP transactions.
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Old Oct 27, 19, 4:14 pm
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If you open an HSBC Premier account in the USA, fund it with $100,000, and apply for the free Premier MasterCard, they will assist you in opening an HSBC Premier account in other countries, and you will be able to obtain the local version of the same MasterCard. The process is not instant. HSBC still needs to satisfy UK banking regulations.
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Old Oct 27, 19, 5:59 pm
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What do you want a UK credit card for?
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Old Oct 28, 19, 10:37 am
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AMEX has a global transfer procedure through which you can apply for a UK AMEX card using your US credit. You need to have an existing US or other country AMEX card and have a UK address.

Also, you could open up an account with one of the multi-country "banks" like TransferWise and get a debit card that will support several currencies.

Echoing what others have already said--it really depends on why you want the UK card.
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Old Oct 29, 19, 3:21 pm
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How are you going to pay it off?
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Old Oct 29, 19, 3:56 pm
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Originally Posted by zack14 View Post
What do you want a UK credit card for?
I'm not OP but I can see them wanting a non-US card simply to get certain features that are difficult to find on American cards (e.g. offline PIN preference or a 3D Secure implementation that is actually acceptable on most foreign websites). However, I'm not sure those in themselves are worth getting a non-US card for since there are reasonable workarounds:

Offline PIN (especially for EU travel): use contactless instead, even if it's through Apple or Google Pay. All terminals are required to support it now, not to mention that people generally don't insert for smaller purchases anymore. (And tapping with a phone for larger ones will prevent having to sign for stuff.) For unattended terminals without contactless (hopefully rare now), there are cards that support offline PIN while still being chip and signature (such as Barclays').

3D Secure: Citi I've heard has a reasonable implementation of it (I could be mistaken though). I'm sure there are others too that people know about.

Anyway, more information would definitely be good from OP here.
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Old Oct 31, 19, 8:25 am
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OP, I am really curious about your use case for wanting a UK based card. The PIN preference and 3DSecure don't seem like a driver to me.

Do you want to travel to country like Cuba and not lug around a wad of cash because American based credit cards don't work down there.

Or do you have a child who is a student in the UK and want to give him/her a card for in-country use? I am sure there are existing options for this use case.
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Old Oct 31, 19, 9:03 am
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If your employer has banking relationships in the UK, it may be able to assist or, if you have private banking relationships in the US, the same may apply.

But, as others note, the first question to ask is why you want this and what you are trying to accomplish.
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Old Oct 31, 19, 9:45 am
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No the first question is not, "Why". You either no of a way, have information on how to accomplish it, or you do not. It does not matter why a person wants to establish a credit card in another country. I have an Irish credit card and if anyone asks, I can tell them how to go about doing the same. Either you know or you don't!
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Old Oct 31, 19, 10:50 am
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Originally Posted by EasternTraveler View Post
No the first question is not, "Why". You either no of a way, have information on how to accomplish it, or you do not. It does not matter why a person wants to establish a credit card in another country. I have an Irish credit card and if anyone asks, I can tell them how to go about doing the same. Either you know or you don't!
Others differ.

If I had a business need for business travel and my employer had a significant business operation in Ireland, I would simply have the relevant finance for Irish operations make the arrangements, get me the forms, and be done with it.
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Old Oct 31, 19, 12:08 pm
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Originally Posted by EasternTraveler View Post
.... know of a way,...
I do, and I answered. Any questions?
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Old Oct 31, 19, 7:07 pm
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
I do, and I answered. Any questions?
Yes MIA, you always answer with helpful comments and responses. I have respected your post for many many years. Thanks.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 11:18 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
If you open an HSBC Premier account in the USA, fund it with $100,000,...
Tsk, this is obsolete. Premier requirement is now only $75,000, and there are two other ways to qualify:
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Old Nov 9, 19, 9:46 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
Tsk, this is obsolete. Premier requirement is now only $75,000, and there are two other ways to qualify:
I have been US Premier member for last >10 years. Now I have Premier membership in US and Singapore.

While MIA is correct that based on HSBC US Premier membership one can open account in another country where HSBC operates, I'd say that it is not universal, but rather depends on local jurisdiction. In case of Singapore, it requires that one can have long term visa - either to have work visa (EP, SP) or academic or long term visit (only for spouses) visa. If you don't have such visa, no matter how much money you have in US or any other country account, you can't open bank account in Singapore, period. The same situation is with most other SEA countries.

Specifically for Singapore, to get a local credit card, there is additional requirement for income - for non-locals there is a requirement set by local Monetary Authority of Singapore that a person must have at least SGD $30000 local yearly income to be eligible for (any) credit card. Higher is the card benefit levels, higher is income requirements. Currently in Singapore there are following income bracket requirements for different level credit cards:

- $30K - that's the absolute minimum
- $80K - some cards with slightly better benefits
- $120K - this is generic level for VISA Signature and MasterCard World Elite cards
- $500K - the top layer. These are cards which are coming with annual fees of $2000-$7000, they are not waivable and highest possible benefits for the local market.

So... back to the question - one should check regulation first.
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Last edited by invisible; Nov 9, 19 at 7:42 pm
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