The number of international students coming to the U.S. to study has been steadily increasing for over a decade.
But while universities in the U.S. offer tons of opportunities for non-residents to learn and grow, adjusting to life in a new country is always a challenge.
One big problem that many international students face is not having credit. While many new college students lack a credit history, international students face another problem; their credit history in their home country might not be recognized in the U.S.
If you aren’t eligible for traditional, unsecured credit cards, secured credit cards are a great alternative. In fact, when it comes to choosing the right credit card for non-residents, secured credit cards top the list. Much like personal loans no credit check, these cards can help you build your credit score over time with the potential to upgrade to a better card in the future.
If you’re a non-resident looking for a credit card to use during your time in the United States, check out these top secured card to help you find the best credit card for international students.
Discover It Secured Mastercard
Discover It Secured and unsecured credit cards are a popular choice for students around the world.
For international students with no credit history, or no history that is recognized in the U.S. the Discover It Secured Mastercard is a great choice.
To obtain this card, you’ll need to make a deposit, though this deposit is refundable. The amount of your deposit will determine your line of credit.
If you deposit $500, your credit line will be $500. If you deposit $100, your credit line will be $100. If you don’t have the money to put down the initial deposit, you can look into no credit check loans for the first infusion of cash to the card.
Pay your monthly bills on time, and you’ll be eligible for a credit line increase.
What sets this secured credit card apart is the many benefits it has to offer. For instance, you’ll earn cash-back rewards on every purchase. You’ll earn 2 percent cash back at restaurants and gas stations, and 1 percent back everywhere else.
Plus, Discover will match your cash back rewards dollar for dollar after your first year as a cardholder.
The Discover It Secured Mastercard has no annual fee. You’ll also get free social security number alerts to help you stay ahead of identity theft threats. Discover also allows you to check your FICO credit score for free, so you can keep your credit building on track.
US Bank Secured Credit Card
The US Bank Secured Credit Card is designed for building or rebuilding credit.
Like with the Discover It Secured Mastercard, your deposit will determine your credit line; the amount you deposit will be the amount of credit you have available.
You’ll then choose your own payment date. You can pick any day of the month, which allows you to line your payment up with other bills like your installment loan payments, or choose a day closer to payday.
With the US Bank Mobile App or Online Banking, you can check on your account 24/7. Track your spending and how much credit you have left, pay your bill, and more, right from your smartphone.
US Bank even provides free Transunion credit score checks. That way you can watch your credit score rise!
With Zero Fraud Liability, you won’t be held responsible for illegal charges made on your account if your card or information is stolen. Fraud Protection will let you know the moment something suspicious occurs on your account.
OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card
While less known than other major credit card providers, OpenSky is still a top choice for international students or anyone looking to build or rebuild their credit.
You won’t need a credit check to obtain the OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card. If you can make a one-time, refundable deposit, you can open an account. You can deposit up to $3,000.
Each month, your credit on your OpenSky account is reported to the three major credit reporting agencies, helping you to build credit you’ll be able to use for other credit cards in the future.
While this card does have an annual fee, it’s just $35. Plus, OpenSky provides a number of tools and resources to help you learn how to build credit and manage your finances better.
Capital One Secured Mastercard
Capital One offers a number of credit cards popular with frequent travelers. So it should come as no surprise that they also offer a credit card that’s great for international visitors.
The Capital One Secured Mastercard requires a cash deposit that determines the borrower’s line of credit. You can deposit $49, $99, or $200 initially, in a refundable deposit.
If you make the minimum deposit of $49, you’ll get a credit line of $200. If you deposit more before your account is opened, you’ll receive a higher line of credit, which is great for customers who have needed to resort to payday loans online in the past to meet their monthly bills.
If your first 5 monthly payments are made on time, you’ll be able to request a credit line increase.
The Capital One Secured Mastercard makes it easier for busy students who are new to credit cards to borrow responsibly.
You can choose a payment date that works for you and is easy to remember. You can also choose to pay online, with a check, or by visiting a local branch. There’s also no annual fee, so you won’t waste any money you could put towards paying off any debt you might have.
Even though this is a secured credit card, you’ll still get access to the many benefits that come with a Capital One credit card. This includes instant purchase notifications to let you keep track of where your card is being used, account alerts, autopay, and more.
Choosing the Best Credit Card for International Students
Choosing the best credit card for international students means finding a card that doesn’t require a strong credit history or sometimes even any credit history at all. In fact, most customers get approved for these cards as readily as if they were applying for a bad credit loan or payday loan no credit check.
Any time a student is applying for a credit card, it’s also important to look for cards that help you build credit and learn to manage your finances responsibly.
Fraud protection and account alerts are also great for students with busy schedules, and particularly those who will be using their cards while they travel to and from their home country.
If none of the credit cards on this list sound just right for you, check out the top secured credit card on the market today to see if it might be the right choice for you! Here are some other articles you might find interesting: