Do you want to get credit cards in the USA? There’s several ways to go about it but the most popular method is by doing an AMEX Global Transfer.
As you know, getting American credit cards is the holy grail of earning tons of points and miles. USA based credit cards tend to have bigger sign up bonuses than their Canadian counterparts. Getting more welcome bonus points will obviously allow you to travel more frequently or luxuriously.
However, getting an American credit card is simply not enough. If done right, you can also start building up your credit score in the US which will allow you to get even more lucrative American credit cards down the line.
To do this right, you’ll need to either get an American SSN or ITIN; otherwise, you won’t build up your credit score. Yes, it’s true that you can get USA credit cards without having SSN or ITIN by getting a TD, RBC, or AMEX credit card. But, you won’t be able to access cards from Chase or Bank of America which offers those huge sign up bonuses if you don’t first build up a credit history in the USA by having either a SSN or ITIN.
Video on my experience successfully doing an AMEX Global Transfer
My experience doing an AMEX Global Transfer
Recently, American Express declared that they are phasing out the Starwood American Express card in the USA. Because of the recent branding change from Marriott Rewards to Marriott Bonvoy, the new AMEX credit card will reflect the new branding.
Wanting to get the welcome bonus points (75,000) from the old SPG card, I immediately applied for it two days before the scheduled change was suppose to occur.
AMEX Global Transfer online
At first, I tried doing it through the online method; unfortunately, every time I submitted the online form, it would say that the website is currently down.
AMEX Global Transfer over the phone
Next, I tried calling in and have all the necessary information ready to provide to the AMEX representative.
I called in at 5:15 PST and asked the representative if I can apply for the Starwood American Express card. I told the representative I was a Canadian interested in doing a AMEX Global Transfer.
We started going through the application process and he asked me to provide him the following information:
- My USA address
- Phone number
- Email address
- Annual income in USD
- Employment information
- A rough range on how much money I have in my US bank account (I think he said between $0-$5000 but I don’t remember exactly)
The representative also asked for my SSN but I told him I don’t have one but I can provide him with an ITIN. For some reason, there was no place for him to enter my SSN number so he instead asked for my Canadian AMEX credit card number. I provided him with my Canada based AMEX card number and the application seemed to have went through.
After sending him the application, he said he can’t give me an answer would have to transfer me over to someone that could let me know if I was approved or not. And if I’m not approved, they can ask me for additional information which can help with the approval process.
Speaking to the next AMEX representative
I was then transferred to another AMEX representative who quickly told me that my application has been cancelled as a result of being unable to pull any US based credit history from me.
I told the representative that I am doing an AMEX Global Transfer and if they can use my Canadian AMEX card to pull a history from instead. The representative told me that indeed they can use my Canadian AMEX card. However, they would have to transfer me to another department which is now closed. I was advised to call back again the next day by 5 PM EST to re-open my application.
Speaking to AMEX one day before the American Starwood card was being phased out
I drove back home from work as fast as possible and with 15 minutes to spare (4:45pm EST, 1:45pm PST) I called AMEX again to do a global transfer.
After getting through the line, they re-opened my application and asked me to provide them the following information:
- My Canadian AMEX number
- USA address
- USA address utility bill or USA bank account information
After providing them with my Canadian AMEX number and USA address, the AMEX rep asked me if we can do a 3-way call with Banner Bank to confirm that I actually bank with them. I said yes and AMEX went ahead and called Banner Bank. The AMEX rep then asked me for my Banner Bank debit card number which I provided. Shortly after, Banner Bank confirmed that it was my debit card number and the AMEX rep went ahead and approved my AMEX Global Transfer.
Before completing the call, I asked the AMEX rep if I can attach my ITIN number to my application so I can start building credit history in the USA. The AMEX rep complied and successfully attached my ITIN. He then told me I should expect my card to arrive in 2-3 business days (wow that was fast!).
As of writing this, I’m still waiting for my US AMEX SPG card to arrive (it hasn’t been 3 business days yet). The AMEX Global Transfer process itself wasn’t too difficult. I think the hardest or most tedious part in this whole process of getting American credit cards is getting your ITIN number and getting an American address.
I personally plan on keeping my first AMEX card. Apparently, for $95 annual fee, you’ll get a free night certificate every year that’s valued at 35,000 Marriott rewards points.
My only concern right now is after checking my USA AMEX account online, my credit card is called AMEX Bonvoy so I’m not sure if I will be getting the perks from the USA SPG card or not. I guess I’ll find out as soon as I activate the card and read up on the information on it.
What’s your experience doing the AMEX Global Transfer?