Virtual Credit Cards are some very important aspects for everyone today. Probably everyone needs a virtual credit card to buy stuffs online, for subscriptions to free trials, Netflix premium and many more things.
Today, we find many virtual card providers in the US, UK, Nigeria and even in many other countries. Virtual cards have served a way for everyone to get a credit card without a bank account.
However, some people still opt at getting a virtual bank account in the US, Europe in order to get the numerous advantages from these zones. For example, for business men, they need them to get paid by their clients in these areas.
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Virtual bank accounts are not only for business people but also for individual who want to verify their US PayPal account, to be eligible for PayPal Key virtual card or even for services being carried out only within the US.
All of these show that it is an easy task to get a virtual credit card but that shouldn't bluff you off because on the other hand, it is not an easy task to get a US virtual credit card for non residents even the citizens and residents of United States find it difficult to get the card if they don't have a credit history or score within the country.
If you are want to migrate to the US or even go there for some sort of appointment, you will need a US credit card.
This guide is made for everyone wanting to move to the US for education, work or what ever reason or even to get a US card to boost your virtual presence within the US as I will show you the best virtual US card providers for non-residents.
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What is a Virtual Credit Card?
A virtual credit card is a fully digital card that is stored on your smartphone. You can use virtual credit cards easily online, or store them in your digital wallet and then simply select and pay at checkout for in-person purchases.
We even find many instant virtual card providers that issue physical cards to their users for better management of their funds.
We find many companies and individuals switching to virtual cards today. Why do they do so? It primarily due to the advantages they have noticed with virtual cards.
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Advantages/Benefits of US Virtual Credit Cards
The advantages of US virtual cards are almost same as normal virtual cards and they share some features in common with a main being they are all virtual.
However, the main advantage of a US virtual card is they offer the possibility of the card holder to access services made only for US residents. Meaning you can get Netflix premium free trial in the US, Spotify and many other services within the territory. However, the below benefits are experienced when using a virtual credit/debit card.
- Convenience: One of the main draws of virtual cards is that they’re more convenient than physical cards. These solutions allow users to make quick and easy payments through their phones without the hassle of passing around a company card. You’ll also never have to search for your misplaced debit cards
- Fraud Protection: Both physical and virtual cards are linked to your main credit or debit account, but virtual cards protect your personally identifiable information (PII) by limiting the amount shared when you make a purchase. Virtual cards lack magnetic strips and visible card numbers that can be found on physical cards, making it even more difficult for unauthorized persons to infiltrate your account.
- Spending Controls: Virtual cards allow you to set spending limits and choose which merchants you can pay while using them. These controls ensure that your employees spend company funds wisely, and protect your account against hackers.
- Subscription Management: You can manage all your company’s online subscriptions through virtual cards. When you set up virtual cards for each of your subscriptions, you can easily see if a merchant overcharges you and cancel the card without changing your payment information for each vendor.
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How to Get Virtual US Credit Card for Non-Residents
As said earlier, it is not an easy thing to get a US virtual card for non residents or even as a resident of the United States. However, below are some providers that will get you the US virtual cards within some few laps of time.
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1. American Express® Gold Card (for dining and travel)
If you prefer dining out or are frequently on the road, the American Express® Gold Card has rewards that will align with your usual spending. You’ll earn Membership Rewards points with your purchases, which you can redeem in a variety of ways, such as for cash back, gift cards, or to book travel.
The options are usually using your points to book travel through American Express or transferring your points to airline or hotel loyalty programs.
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What the card offers:
The American Express® Gold Card stands out with its rewards rates on purchases:
- 4 points per dollar you spend at US supermarkets on the first $25,000 in purchases each year (then 1x points)
- 4x points on restaurants
- 3x points when you book flights directly with airlines or with American Express Travel
- Up to 12 complimentary months of an Uber Eats Pass subscription when you enroll with your Gold Card by 12/31/21
Additionally, you’ll receive $10 in statement credits each month for purchases at select restaurants. The card also doesn't have a foreign transaction fee.
There is a $250 annual fee if you want to have the American Express® Gold Card. There are other travel-focused rewards credit cards that offer a variety of perks with a much lower fee. However, they may be more difficult to qualify for unless you’ve already established credit in the US.
The statement credits can also be tricky with the American Express® Gold Card. For example, the $10 monthly restaurant credit is only valid at a few chain restaurants and it expires each month (i.e., you can’t save up for one large meal).
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How to Apply with International Credit History (Applicable to all Amex cards)
- On the American Express application page, you will have the option to click "I don't have credit history in the U.S."
- In the Social Security Number (SSN) field of the application page.
- You can then also skip the SSN field.
- Amex will always check for your U.S credit first, but if they can not find a U.S. credit file they may enable you to transfer your international credit history as part of the application.
- This is available for newcomers from Canada, the UK, Australia, India or Mexico.
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2. The Platinum Card® from American Express (for high-end travelers)
The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the company’s most well-known cards and it was one of the first premium cards on the market. It still offers a suite of benefits that appeal to frequent travelers who want a more luxurious experience, but it also has a high $695 annual fee.
What the card offers:
Fitting for a travel-focused card, The Platinum Card® from American Express doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee. You can also earn 10x points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases during the first six months.
You can also earn five Membership Rewards points per dollar you spend when you use the card to book flights with the airline or through American Express Travel.
With this card, you’ll have access to The Centurion® Network, which includes 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. These benefits can make traveling much more pleasant and provide a relaxing place to work or unwind before and after flights.
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The card also offers access to Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually; $200 in airline-fee statement credits per year; and $25 back on select Equinox memberships every month. You can also enjoy up top $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Card at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment is required.
The annual fee is the biggest con to watch out for. Even with the statement credits and perks, you might not get enough value out of the card to justify spending $695 each year.
As with the American Express® Gold Card, the statement credits can sometimes be tricky to use (and if you don’t use them you lose the credit). You’ll also earn Membership Rewards points with the card.
There are many options for redeeming points, but it’s best to use your points to book travel or transfer your points to a partner program and book a rewards flight or hotel stay.
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3. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (for family spending)
American Express has several cash back credit cards, which you can use to earn cash back on a variety of purchases. In particular, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers bonus cash back earnings in categories that could appeal to younger adults and families.
What the card offers:
- Earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
- Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back.
- Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%) and 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
- Earn 3% cash back on transit (including taxis / ride share, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more) as well as at at U.S. gas stations.
- 1% cash back on other purchases.
- All cash back is earned in the form reward dollars and can be redeemed for statement credits.
- $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95.
The card offers one of the highest earnings rates at supermarkets, making it a good pick for individuals or families who frequently purchase lots of groceries. If you’re amongst the many people who prefer streaming services to traditional cable or satellite TV, the streaming service bonus category is also appealing.
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There is a $95 annual fee after the first year, and the annual spending cap that applies to cash back at U.S. supermarkets may be limiting for large families. The card’s 2.7% foreign transaction fee could also be off-putting if you want to use the same card in and outside the U.S.
You need to be aware of the limitations on what counts as a supermarket. Specialty markets, such as a wine shop or butcher, might not qualify, and superstores (such as Target) or warehouse clubs (like Costco) aren’t part of this category.
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4. Jasper / CreditStacks Mastercard (for young professionals without credit history)
CreditStacks was founded in 2015 and offers just one credit card and rebranded to become the Jasper Card. This credit card is created specifically for professionals who are relocating to the U.S.
What the card offers:
The Jasper Card will have a credit limit of up to $5,000, no annual fee, and doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. It also comes with Mastercard cardholder benefits, including travel and mobile phone insurance.
One of the potentially most appealing factors is that you can get approved for the card up to 60 days before you move to the U.S. As a result, you’ll be able to move knowing you have a card available to help you buy whatever you need during and after the transition.
You can apply without an SSN, but you will need to provide your passport, visa information and proof of U.S. employment. After you obtain your SSN, you have to provide it to Jasper within 60 days of card activation.
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Jasper recently launched cash back earnings of up to 6% if you refer friends successfully to Jasper. You start with 1% cash back and get an extra 0.5% for a full year for every friend you bring on board. You'll receive your cash back automatically every month as a statement credit after three on time payments. You can earn cash back as long as your account is in good standing.
If your account is past due, cash back will be locked. Also, note that your cash back maximum varies based on your credit limit. You can learn more about their cash back terms and other fees in their disclosures.
While revolving a balance can still be expensive, the Jasper card has a lower APR than some other cards for people who don’t have credit in the U.S.
You can’t earn other meaningful rewards with the Jasper Mastercard, which may make it less appealing than other premium credit cards mentioned in this article that could be available to some newcomers.
Jasper also only reports your account and payment information to Equifax, and having the card won’t help you build a credit history with TransUnion or Experian.
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5. Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students (for international undergraduate students)
Deserve, originally named SelfScore, was founded to help international students get a credit card while in the US The company now offers three different credit cards, including two cards that don’t require a Social Security number or credit history to qualify for.
What the card offers:
The Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students could be a good fit for international students studying in the US You don’t need to have a Social Security number or US credit history to qualify (although, if you do, it will be considered).
Instead, you can link your bank account during the application process and Deserve will analyze your financial history to determine if you qualify for the card and your credit limit.
Cardholders will be eligible for a variety of perks, such as discounted renters insurance, free cell phone insurance and a lifetime total $59 reimbursement to cover the annual cost of Amazon Prime Student.
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The Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students doesn’t have an annual fee or foreign transaction fees that some cards charge on purchases made outside the U.S. or in non-U.S. Dollars. You’ll also earn 1 percent cash back on all your eligible purchases.
The Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students has a high annual percentage rate (APR). The APR can help you understand the annual cost carrying a balance based on your card’s interest rate.
If you pay your bill in full each month, the interest rate won’t be applied to your balance. However, if you think you may make large purchases and then take several months to pay off the balance, you might wind up paying a lot of interest based on your APR and a different card could be a better fit.
Deserve will also only report your account and payments to two of the major three US credit bureaus, TransUnion and Experian. As a result, you won’t establish or build your credit history with Equifax. If you apply for a loan or different credit card in the future and the company wants to review your Equifax credit report and a credit score based on that report, it might not find anything, and you might not be able to get approved.
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6. Discover® it Secured (for international graduate students)
Discover doesn’t have as much of an international presence as Visa, Mastercard, or American Express, but most major retailers and online stores will accept it in the U.S. The Discover® it Secured is a secured credit card perfect for new immigrants, a type of card that’s created for people who have a poor or no credit history and want to build or rebuild their credit.
Secured cards work just like unsecured cards, but require a refundable security deposit when you open the account.
What the card offers:
The Discover® it Secured Card is one of the few secured cards that’s part of a rewards program. You can earn 2 percent cash back on your first $1,000 worth of combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each quarter, and earn 1 percent cash back on all other purchases. Discover will also double your cash back earnings at the end of the first year.
The card doesn’t have an annual fee or foreign transaction fee. Discover also reports your payments to all three major credit bureaus and can send you a free FICO® Score based on your TransUnion credit report with your monthly statement, allowing you to track your credit score over time.
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As with other secured credit cards, you’ll need to make a refundable security deposit to open your card account. The card’s credit limit will be equal to your security deposit (e.g., a $500 security deposit means your account will have a $500 credit limit). Once you’ve built your credit history in the US, you may qualify for an unsecured credit card for new immigrants. You’ll get your refundable security deposit back when you close this card account (assuming you’ve paid off your credit card bills).
You’ll also need a bank account and Social Security number to apply. You may be able (and required) to get a Social Security number if you’re eligible to work at your university or off-campus with the school’s approval.
As with other rewards and secured credit cards, the Discover® it Secured Card has a high APR, which can make revolving a balance especially expensive.
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How to Get a Credit Card Without Using a Social Security Number?
This can be a quite difficult task to complete but it is however possible. If you don't want to use your own social security number (SSN) then you can use someone social security number instead.
If however you do not want to use a SSN at all, then you got to checkout what follows in the lines below.
Some issuers, such as Deserve and CreditStacks, are very clear about being able to apply without an SSN. As mentioned above, American Express enables it as long as you can apply with international credit history from select countries. Other major card issuers may also let you apply using a non-US passport or another form of government identification to verify your identity.
If you’re not eligible for a SSN, you may be eligible for an Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs). For example, if you received a taxable scholarship you’ll need an ITIN to file your United States tax return. Depending on the card issuer, you may be able to use an Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITIN) rather than a SSN during the application process.
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Even if you don’t have a SSN, you can still build credit in the U.S. if you have a credit card, loan, or another credit account that’s reported to the credit bureaus.
The major credit bureaus can use your name, address, and other identifying information to create a credit profile and tie your accounts to your credit reports. Your credit profile can also be tied to your SSN if you get one in the future.
As an alternative to a credit card, you may be able to get a prepaid card and use it like a credit card. However, prepaid card issuers won’t report your account information to the credit bureaus and having a prepaid card won’t help you build your credit history.
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Virtual US Credit Card With US Billing Address
There are many providers that offer virtual US credit cards but only a few offer these US credit card with billing address. This billing address is important especially for international shoppers to complete purchases on any merchant.
Here are some virtual US credit cards with billing address providers:
- US Unlocked
Virtual US Debit Card for Non Residents
You can consult instant virtual US debit card providers to see if they offer a virtual US debit card for non-residents. However, though it may seem complicated, it wouldn't be that hard to these virtual cards without being a resident of the United States. On the other hand, VPN services can help you get a virtual US debit card as resident. Here are the best VPN services and how they work.
How to Get US debit card Outside US
If you are outside the US, with a your required documents, you can get a US debit card from outside the United Stated from providers such as US Unlocked. However, you will be required to fill an application form online to apply for your US debit card.
The Bottom Line of Virtual US Credit/Debit Cards for Non Residents
The above are 6 us virtual credit cards you can get as a US resident or even as a non resident. The process of application is simple. You will however be charged some amounts to get the virtual cards up and running.
Some of them are also an excellent way to get a US virtual card without a SSN or ITIN. It is very practical for non residents.
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