Credit Cards

Why do some American credit card companies demand a SSN/ITIN and some don't?

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  • Aug 12th, 2021 12:41 pm
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Jan 26, 2020
640 posts
155 upvotes
Canada

Why do some American credit card companies demand a SSN/ITIN and some don't?

I need an American credit card on American soil so I can use it with an American address because it works better for online US sellers that would otherwise be hesitant to ship to Canada. I have an American bank account I will be paying it with. Most credit cards in the US require a SSN or ITIN but some don't. I'm wondering, are the ones that don't require it just being more aggressive and taking more chances in not requiring it?
7 replies
Member
Jun 9, 2020
206 posts
148 upvotes
As a US Citizen, AFAIK all of US credit cards require SSN or ITIN when you apply for credit, or open any kind of an account at a financial institution. Which cards that you know of did not ask for it?
Deal Fanatic
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Jan 16, 2011
7173 posts
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The NORTH
I use to have a TD US Visa and used it for a 2 month sabbatical in the US. Setup my address as where I was staying in the US for the time and never had a problem with it. I bought a few things online while I was there and it shipped no problem. This was 11 years ago, before TD had as big a presence as they do now. Maybe worth talking with TD?
Deal Fanatic
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Jan 4, 2011
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Montreal
CardGameStrong wrote: As a US Citizen, AFAIK all of US credit cards require SSN or ITIN when you apply for credit, or open any kind of an account at a financial institution. Which cards that you know of did not ask for it?
There are several U.S. credit card issuers that don't require a SSN or ITIN. Here are some (list not all-inclusive):
  • Amex
  • Bank of America
  • TD Bank
  • RBC Bank
  • Comenity
Last edited by efrant on Aug 12th, 2021 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jan 26, 2020
640 posts
155 upvotes
Canada
> Which cards that you know of did not ask for it?

Nordstrom and RBC Georgia (though they may piggyback on their Canadian bank for credit info). I see Nordstrom also has a presence in Canada. Maybe that's how they do it. Capital One has a presence in both countries yet they don't accept Canadians with the SSN or ITIN on the US side.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jan 26, 2020
640 posts
155 upvotes
Canada
A couple of years ago I tried to get a card through AMEX in the US but they refused because of the lack of SSN. Maybe they are more accommodating now.
Deal Fanatic
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Jan 4, 2011
5823 posts
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Montreal
MichaelZZZ wrote: > Which cards that you know of did not ask for it?

Nordstrom and RBC Georgia (though they may piggyback on their Canadian bank for credit info). I see Nordstrom also has a presence in Canada. Maybe that's how they do it. Capital One has a presence in both countries yet they don't accept Canadians with the SSN or ITIN on the US side.
MichaelZZZ wrote: A couple of years ago I tried to get a card through AMEX in the US but they refused because of the lack of SSN. Maybe they are more accommodating now.
There's a difference between being approved for a card without having a SSN/ITIN and being approved for a card without having U.S. credit history. If you don't have any U.S. credit history, I doubt any U.S. bank (other than maybe some non-desirable ones like Credit One or something) will approve you for an unsecured credit card if you apply normally (i.e., like an American). That said, some issuers will approve you for a credit card if they can base it on your Canadian credit history. For example, RBC, TD, Amex and (I think) Comenity can all pull your Canadian credit history. RBC Bank will do it automatically. For TD Bank, you have to apply as a foreign national. For Amex, you have to apply via a Global Transfer or via Nova Credit. For Comenity I'm not sure. Bank of America used to be able to pull your Canadian history, but I haven't seen any recent data points. Nevertheless, none of the issuers I mentioned require a SSN or ITIN.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jan 26, 2020
640 posts
155 upvotes
Canada
That's great news and great info. Thank you very much.

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