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Strategy to obtain US Amex

ithongy

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Mar 3, 2009
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120
This will take time & patience, so either “Patience hurry up” or “Hurry up & wait”. This has not been tested & is a strategy that might work to obtain a US Amex Plat Business Charge Card with a USD$450 annual fee. The Australian version is quite a hefty annual fee in excess of AUD$1500.

Building credit:

Open a BofA checking account & obtain a secured credit card. It can be done in 15 mins and all you need is a passport and driver licence. Deposit USD$2200 into checking account, by keeping a balance of above USD$1500 so you will incur no monthly banking fees. Obtaining a secured credit card with a USD$300 limit, will need to upfront a USD$300 security deposit upfront & pay a USD$49 annual fee. This will be deducted from your checking account, leaving a balance of USD$1851. Every month using your secured credit card make 2 small separate purchase ie coffees, wait for statement to arrive & pay it off in full. Around 10-12 months BofA will refund you the security deposit & issue you a non secured credit card. Best to call & speak to banking associate about annual fee free credit cards they can issue you so you avoid paying another USD$49 annual fee for the secured credit card. Continue to make 2 small purchases a month & paying it off for around 18-24 months till you see a FICO score.


Now that you have a FICO score banks & lenders can see your credit score they will be likely to give you credit. Next to obtain an LLC with an EIN (Employer Identification Number) prior to opening a business checking account.


An LLC is essentially a hybrid between a corporation and a partnership. It provides the limited liability of a corporation, so your personal assets are protected in case of a lawsuit or bankruptcy and the operational flexibility of a partnership structure. An accountant can set that up for you with Operation Agreement & Articles of Organisations for a fee. With LLC formed & EIN number obtain you can then open a business checking account & apply for business credit cards. Bear in mind you will need a US address when applying for an LLC, EIN, Business checking account & business credit cards.
 
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RooFlyer

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Surprised not to see any requirement for a Social Security Number at the initial stage.
 

mrtupperware

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Jun 11, 2014
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Have you tried this method and did it work for you?

I thought that you don't need credit history if migrating your card from Aus?

Did you find a way to set up a bank account remotely?
 

ithongy

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Joined
Mar 3, 2009
Messages
120
SSN can be avoided if applying for Business credit cards, due to obtaining an EIN. Many US personal credit cards require SSNs. BofA is one of the easiest Banks to open and checking account & obtaining non secured credit card with patience & time.

Surprised not to see any requirement for a Social Security Number at the initial stage.
 

ithongy

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Joined
Mar 3, 2009
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As stated at top it’s a strategy & have not been tested. Currently based in LA & have been building credit with BofA, you need to be in branch to open an account & obtain secured credit card.

Have used Aussie Amex history to obtain US issued personal Amex card with a US SSN.

Have LLC, EIN, business checking account & Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card.

My experience is it’s easier to open a business checking account than a personal account. As many US banks require SSN to open personal checking accounts. By having my own business forming an LLC got me thinking it might be possible for other foreigners to open a business account & apply for US business credit cards.

Have you tried this method and did it work for you?

I thought that you don't need credit history if migrating your card from Aus?

Did you find a way to set up a bank account remotely?
 

hossein_au

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May 2, 2013
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A not-so-directly related, but still-related, question: has anyone had success in transferring their AmEx (or any credit card) overseas while still keeping their local card? I am thinking of "moving" one of my AmEx cards to Singapore while maintaining the rest of my cards here.
 

blueythecat

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Sep 7, 2011
Messages
876
You don’t have to close an Aust card to open an OS card under their Global Transfer Program. You just ask the Global Transfer team to assess your application. Phone numbers etc are on the Amex site
 

cove

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Feb 15, 2008
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Yes blueythecat I did that with Amex and I started my journey with a Premier Rewards card in the US. We never gave up an Australian Amex when we did the global transfer.
My youngest son has started his journey with Bank Of America a few months ago as he has no SSN.
We have SSNs so we have all the credit cards we ever needed for the US.
 

Finale

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I did a Global Transfer a few years ago without actually moving there. I don't know if it's still working.

The requirement is you have to be in the US (to open bank account). No SSN/ITIN needed. I heard if you have a relationship with bank like HSBC (premier?), they will open an account without you being there.

1. Open a bank account with any bank, in my case, Citi using a US address. I used a friend's address.

2. I did a Global Transfer without closing my Australian accounts. Amex did not need anything except doing an address verification by doing 3-way call with Citibank.

Done. Card arrived at my friend's within a week. They started showing my credit score after around 6 or 7 months.

I use Google voice to get US number and can use hangouts app to call US for free.

I started with PRG then applied for Platinum after a year. Now I also have SPG ($10k limit) and Hilton Aspire ($20k). I also have US Citi Prestige with 20k limit (upgraded from their standard card). These US banks are very generous considering I'm a self employed. Amex USA is similar to AU. They never ask for a proof of income. There is also no minimum income requirement. I applied to the plat telling them I earn only about 50k.

First card when doing Global Transfer can be done online. The rest will need to be by phone due to the lack of SSN/ITIN. Sometimes I needed to do a followup call (They asked me about SSN but I just gave my passport number). If you call during their business hours, they cantransfer you to a department that can give you an approval straight away. They never ask me to send a copy of my passport.

For Citi, it can only be done in branch. They only need my passport and bank statement which I just used theirs as I have some USD going through that account.

For Amex, I never told them I don't live in the US. For Citi, they know I live in Australia as the account was open with AU residential address and US mailing address.

Now looking for some easy way to obtain ITIN so I can apply for cards easier. Heard Chase won't ITIN now but SSN only. Some of their cards look great but I guess I should be happy with what I'm having now.
 
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cove

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Chase is my favourite credit card and they still require a SSN.
 

blacksultan

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May 1, 2017
Messages
457
I did a Global Transfer a few years ago without actually moving there. I don't know if it's still working.

The requirement is you have to be in the US (to open bank account). No SSN/ITIN needed. I heard if you have a relationship with bank like HSBC (premier?), they will open an account without you being there.

1. Open a bank account with any bank, in my case, Citi using a US address. I used a friend's address.

2. I did a Global Transfer without closing my Australian accounts. Amex did not need anything except doing an address verification by doing 3-way call with Citibank.

Done. Card arrived at my friend's within a week. They started showing my credit score after around 6 or 7 months.

I use Google voice to get US number and can use hangouts app to call US for free.

I started with PRG then applied for Platinum after a year. Now I also have SPG ($10k limit) and Hilton Aspire ($20k). I also have US Citi Prestige with 20k limit (upgraded from their standard card). These US banks are very generous considering I'm a self employed. Amex USA is similar to AU. They never ask for a proof of income. There is also no minimum income requirement. I applied to the plat telling them I earn only about 50k.

First card when doing Global Transfer can be done online. The rest will need to be by phone due to the lack of SSN/ITIN. Sometimes I needed to do a followup call (They asked me about SSN but I just gave my passport number). If you call during their business hours, they cantransfer you to a department that can give you an approval straight away. They never ask me to send a copy of my passport.

For Citi, it can only be done in branch. They only need my passport and bank statement which I just used theirs as I have some USD going through that account.

For Amex, I never told them I don't live in the US. For Citi, they know I live in Australia as the account was open with AU residential address and US mailing address.

Now looking for some easy way to obtain ITIN so I can apply for cards easier. Heard Chase won't ITIN now but SSN only. Some of their cards look great but I guess I should be happy with what I'm having now.
So is necessary to have a US checking account to apply for a credit card or do a global transfer? Will a US mail forwarding address work? thanks for the info.
 

Finale

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So is necessary to have a US checking account to apply for a credit card or do a global transfer? Will a US mail forwarding address work? thanks for the info.
I think it's necessary to have a US bank account as it is listed on Global Transfer page. It was also the only way for me to verify my address. You will need it anyway to pay the bills.

Mail forwarding addresses are normally flagged in USPS database which most banks check against and and will decline. New application should be done using a real residential address. I heard it is okay to change after that. Banks are quite concerned about shipping your first card of every application.

As far as I know there is only one mail forwarding address that is not flagged in USPS database and that is one of the Shipito addresses but that company was just terrible and I think they mightn't forward CC anymore.
 

blacksultan

Member
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
457
I think it's necessary to have a US bank account as it is listed on Global Transfer page. It was also the only way for me to verify my address. You will need it anyway to pay the bills.

Mail forwarding addresses are normally flagged in USPS database which most banks check against and and will decline. New application should be done using a real residential address. I heard it is okay to change after that. Banks are quite concerned about shipping your first card of every application.

As far as I know there is only one mail forwarding address that is not flagged in USPS database and that is one of the Shipito addresses but that company was just terrible and I think they mightn't forward CC anymore.
I read on the transferwise website that one can use current ( aus) bank statement after having the address updated to a US one.
Shipito does not fwd cc . but just curious how they would know its a cc. Can`t one prohibit them from opening mail before forwarding?
 

rock86

Established Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2017
Messages
1,102
Chase is my favourite credit card and they still require a SSN.
The WOH credit card from chase looks great to name one. Oh how I envy US consumers in regards to the array of reward cards they have access to.
 

ithongy

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2009
Messages
120
The reason for this post due to having Aussie friends visiting me in LA (living in USA) & wondering how to obtain US credit cards. As mentioned from other members you can do a global transfer, however in USA many personal credit cards require a SSN (Social Security No). BofA is still easy to open a personal checking account without a SSN & able to obtain a secure credit card, then graduate to a non secured credit card. So a great way for building credit in USA for any foreigners.

Have known other foreigners with Chase business checking accounts & credit cards without SSNs. That lead me to research that opening a business account with Chase is easier than a personal account. As a member mentioned earlier that Chase requires a SSN now to open a personal checking account. Working as a contractor in USA, LLC & EIN no obtained in 1 week through an accountant with very little information; address, name, email maybe DOB. Opened a business checking account with paper work & was approved for a Chase Ink Cash Business Credit Card. Through this experience got me thinking there might be a loophole for foreigners to obtain US issued Business Credit Cards. With such a significant savings in annual fees for Plat Charge card, combined with other Amex business cards (best with no FX fees) you can pay govt taxes & earn valuable airline/hotel points. Might be of interest for a new game plan since Amex is revamping their earning rates in Australia.

For those wondering how to open an LLC when you don't live in USA here is a link that may be of benefit:

How to open a US LLC when you don’t live in the US - Online Taxman

Those wondering tax implications this link maybe of benefit:

US LLC Taxes - A tax haven for foreigners, and still a good option for US taxpayers - Online Taxman

Each state has difference tax & privacy laws. In CA you have to pay a USD$800 annual LLC Franchise Fee tax, Wyoming has no taxes, Nevada has strict privacy laws, many large organisations open a LLC in Delaware due legal reasons when taken to court.
 
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liuyz

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
Messages
120
Just wondering, if anyone has converted AU AMEX points to US AMEX points? Any conversion rate applied? How long will it take? Thanks.
 

blueythecat

Active Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2011
Messages
876
I haven’t done it, but I did ask them about it and apparently they are converted using the currency exchange rate (ie AUD to USD in your case).

No idea how long a transfer takes.
 

liuyz

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
Messages
120
I haven’t done it, but I did ask them about it and apparently they are converted using the currency exchange rate (ie AUD to USD in your case).

No idea how long a transfer takes.
Thanks for the info. Seems we need to wait for the next mining boom. :)
 

potm

Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2010
Messages
497
It’s a very good option for US Amex holders and even better for UK Amex holders to convert their MR points to AU Amex MR. They’ll get a nice big boost and then can transfer them to Krisflyer at 1:1, at least until April. For us to benefit, we’ll have to find a country with a crapper currency but still 1:1 transfer rates.

I managed to get a USA SPG Amex, calling the global transfer line to get it approved after applying online.

On my next trip to the USA, I will try and get a credit card with BOA or Citibank or both.
 

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