Card approval without US credit score


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  • Amex has extended its partnership with Nova Credit to help translate foreign credit scores for newcomers to the United States.
  • Immigrants from nine countries can use the service to request personal cards from Amex.
  • Car loan companies and apartment rental companies also use the company’s Credit Passport service.
  • Read the insider’s guide to the best starter credit cards.

If you’ve recently moved to the United States, you’ve probably already faced a major challenge regarding living in your new home: accessing the traditional financial system can be very difficult. While there are resources for opening bank accounts to protect your money and other digital-centric tools for those not born in the US to manage their money, opening a credit card is another story.

It’s a chicken and egg question: without a credit history in the country, it can be difficult to build a credit history in the country.

Read more: My credit history disappeared when I moved to the US, so I took 4 steps to start rebuilding my credit again

However, American Express is working with Nova Credit – a company that acts as a cross-border credit bureau – to resolve this issue. Today, Amex announced that newcomers from Brazil, Dominican Republic, Kenya and Nigeria will be able to use their home country credit history to apply for credit cards here. The option is available on a dedicated site for newcomers to the United States and is powered by Nova Credit’s credit passport.

Think of it as a translation service, but for dollars and payments instead of words.

Nova Credit Can Help Newcomers Get Amex Card Approved

Regular APR

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Featured Reward

60,000 points after spending at least $ 4,000 during your first 6 months of opening an account

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  • Advantages and disadvantages

  • Details


  • Advantages
    • Great rewards for meals and purchases in American supermarkets
    • Monthly statement credit for qualifying meal purchases recovers a portion of the annual fee
    The inconvenients
    • Disappointing welcome bonus
    • Rose gold is here to stay. Cardholders can choose between a Gold or Rose Gold card.
    • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $ 4,000 on qualifying purchases with your new card in the first 6 months.
    • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at US supermarkets (up to $ 25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
    • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
    • $ 120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and automatically receive $ 10 in Uber Cash each month for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides within the United States, for a total of $ 120 per year.
    • $ 120 Dining Credit: Earn up to $ 10 in monthly statement credits when you pay with the Gold Card at participating Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and Shake Shack stores. This can represent an annual savings of up to $ 120. Registration required.
    • No foreign transaction fees.
    • The annual fee is $ 250.
    • Conditions apply.

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    This isn’t the first time Amex has helped immigrants navigate new financial terrain. The company began working with Nova in 2019 to help newcomers from five countries – Australia, Canada, India, Mexico and the UK – apply for credit cards ranging from the Blue Cash Everyday® card with no annual fees to American Express (see Rates) à la carte Platinum at $ 695 per year from American Express

    (See Prices).

    Read more: Guide to the best American Express cards

    “I can tell you that since we launched this integration with Nova Credit in 2019, it has helped thousands of newcomers get approved for an American Express and start building credit histories in the United States.” , Sara Milsten, Senior Vice President of New Member Acquisition and US Consumption. services at American Express, Insider said.

    Credit score conversion

    In the United States, three major bureaus report credit histories, and credit scores are typically between 300 and 850. In other countries, however, what constitutes a good credit score – and the bureaus that determine it – will be different.

    In Brazil, for example, there are four credit bureaus and consumers can have a score between 0 and 1000. The Credit Passport tool converts the information into a US friendly version. Put simply, if you were responsible for the money and payments in another part of the world, it can help you reap the rewards of this good behavior in your new home.

    Read more: 7 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

    “People who apply for a US personal card allow Nova Credit to translate their raw international credit bureau data into an equivalent US credit report,” Milsten said. “Similar to an American credit report, Nova Credit’s credit passport generates a credit score, business lines, and application history. This information is then shared with American Express. An applicant’s credit report is used. as an additional data point in the American Express underwriting model to make an instant decision about their creditworthiness.

    If you are an immigrant who chooses the service of Nova Credit, the international credit score does not automatically become your US credit score. Instead, it’s just one piece of the puzzle that can help you get a card approved here and then start building credit in the country. It serves as a fast track to financial freedom.

    Read More: How To Build Credit With Credit Cards And Improve Your Credit Score Whether You’re Starting From Zero Or Already An Expert

    According to Nova, immigrants without access to this type of conversion service may take up to five years to build up a credit history similar to the number attached to their reports in their home country.

    Additional options for arriving immigrants looking to establish a financial base

    While Amex has the most extensive credit card partnership with Nova, it’s not the only option for immigrants. Citi also accepts Nova Credit in its underwriting process, but there is one big distinction to be made: Citi still requires an SSN or ITIN, while Amex will work with immigrants without these official U.S. government identification numbers. Nova Credit also works with Petal, the company specializing in serving clients without an established credit history.

    In addition to being able to accumulate reward points and miles, Nova helps immigrants have even more basic needs to settle in the United States, including securing a loan for a car and getting an apartment lease approved. .

    Read more: 27 banks and credit unions that make it easy for immigrants and non-U.S. Citizens to open accounts

    And if your home country isn’t included in Nova’s initial lineup – you can check your eligibility here – don’t worry: the company plans to announce other locations around the world with Amex in 2022.

    Featured credit cards from our partners
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    Credit needed

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