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Kliment Dukovski is a writer for finder.com, working on credit cards, money transfers, home loans and more. He aims to deliver honest and accurate information to help you make the right financial decisions. Before joining Finder, he ghostwrote guides and articles on foreign exchange, stock market trading and cryptocurrencies. When he's not writing about finance-related subjects, he writes sci-fi.
The CreditStacks Credit Card Mastercard® is aimed at professionals relocating to the US. If that describes you, then you might know how frustrating it is to get a card without a US credit history. Even if you have steady, well-paying work, few banks are willing to take a chance on you for an unsecured credit card.
CreditStacks is different because it looks at more than just your credit history. It considers factors like your education, your career and your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio to decide whether to extend credit to you.
Beyond not requiring a credit score, the card also doesn’t require a Social Security number right away. And because CreditStacks reports your credit utilization to Equifax, you can start building your credit score in the US with responsible use and on-time payments.
No credit score needed.
CreditStacks looks at factors beyond your credit history — such as your education and career — to evaluate your eligibility for a card.
No Social Security number needed.
It can be tough to get a credit card if you don’t have a Social Security number. Luckily, with this card you won’t need it. In lieu of that information, provide your passport, visa information and proof of US income. Give your Social Security number to CreditStacks after you obtain it in the US.
Build your credit.
CreditStacks reports your credit utilization to Equifax, which can help you build your US credit score. It also provides cardmembers with resources on best practices for building credit.
You’ll also like …
No annual fee.
A $0 annual fee makes it easy to keep the card long term.
Apply before you move to the United States.
As long as your expected relocation date is within 60 days, you can apply for card approval before you move to the US. If you’re approved, CreditStacks tries to get your card to you soon after you arrive to the country.
No foreign transaction fee.
Use this card when visiting your home country and you won’t pay foreign transaction fees.
High credit limit.
You may be approved for a credit limit up to $5,000, which is higher than the typical credit limit of up to $3,000 for a secured credit card. Because it’s an unsecured card, you won’t need to put down a security deposit.
I recently moved from Australia to New York and knew how important it was to build your credit score in the US. I was worried about having to get a secured card or that I would have to wait to get my Social Security number to start building my credit history.
I got my CreditStacks card and started using it before I even had a Social Security number. I applied for the card after finding it on the Finder site — all while waiting in line at the Social Security office.
I opted to apply on my mobile since I didn’t have my computer with me. The application was quick, especially since I had all the documents I needed for my Social Security application.
My account got approved within a few hours with the full $5,000 limit using just a photo of my visa, job offer and passport. I was told it would take up to two weeks for my card to arrive — but I had it in my hand within three days.
The CreditStacks Credit Card Mastercard® is a great one for expats like me to build credit. I wish I would have known about this card sooner, since you can apply up to 60 days before you arrive in the US. It would have saved me a bunch of foreign exchange fees on my Australian debit card.
What to watch out for
No balance transfers.
CreditStacks Credit Card Mastercard® doesn’t offer this feature. But assuming you’re just moving to the US, you may not need it.
Compare cards for limited credit histories
What should I know before I apply?
CreditStacks is currently accepting signups for its waitlist. To apply for the CreditStacks Credit Card Mastercard®, you must be at least 18 years old.
To apply for an invitation, you’ll need to provide:
Your name, email and employer
Whether you live in the US or when you’ll be moving to the US
Your residency status
What credit score do I need?
Unlike many other cards, you don’t need a credit score to apply for the card. In fact, it’s specifically targeted to customers without one.
Do I need a Social Security number?
You don’t need a Social Security number to apply. Instead, you’ll provide your visa information, passport and proof of US income. Give your Social Security number to CreditStacks once you’re in the US.
How to apply for the CreditStacks Credit Card Mastercard®
Upon approval, expect your card to be shipped in one to two business days if you’re already in the US. Once shipped, you’ll receive an email containing the card’s UPS tracking number.
If your expected move date is 10 days or more from the approval date, you’ll be notified 10 days prior to your move date to confirm your shipping address.
I got the card. Now what?
Pay your balance on time. And avoid paying interest and fees. With timely payments and responsible use, you’ll build your credit score, which can land you better cards in the future.
Customer support. You can reach CreditStacks customer support with a message via their website.
The CreditStacks Credit Card Mastercard® taps into an underserved market: Relocating professionals who don’t have US credit histories. Because it doesn’t require a US credit score or Social Security number, it may be a natural choice — especially when other banks may deny you.
Yes. You can use the card anywhere Mastercard is accepted, and it comes with no foreign transaction fees.
No. Due to security concerns, CreditStacks won’t ship cards to addresses outside the US.
Currently, no. As of January 2019, CreditStacks lists on its website that it’s working toward launching a card that would allow customers to add an authorized user to their accounts.
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