American Express Makes Credit History Possible for Newcomers

International credit scores are now accessible for U.S. newcomers.

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American Express has teamed up with Nova Credit to do great things for people abroad. They are making it easier for U.S.-bound individuals to be more quickly approved for credit.

In the past, individuals who move to the States have to start all over when it comes to their credit score. Even if they had amazing finances in their homeland, credit history stops at the border. It can take up to five years for a newcomer to build up their credit again.

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American Express and Nova Credit will change that by translating international credit reports into a U.S.-equivalent credit report and score.

How Does AMEX’s Partnership With Nova Credit Work?

Nova Credit is a cross-border credit reporting startup that can access credit reports from Australia, Canada, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom. More countries will be made available over time.

American Express’ partnership with Nova Credit means that immigrants and expats to the U.S.can apply for an Amex U.S. Personal Card and authorize Nova Credit to translate their international credit bureau data into understandable U.S. credit data. If approved and eligible for the American Express card, individuals will have instant access to their account. If they are not approved instantly, it can take seven to 14 business days to manually review the application.

There are a few things to know: You don’t need a social security number or ITIN number, but you do need a residential U.S. address to apply. Depending on the country you choose to leverage your credit history from, your foreign credit bureau report score may be impacted. Applying with the Credit Passport, powered by Nova Credit, will result in a hard inquiry (Mexico) or soft inquiry (Australia, Canada, India and United Kingdom).

Why This Service Is So Important

Think about all the things you use your credit score for. Would you be able to live where you live or drive the car you have if it were not for an established credit history? Newcomers to the States shouldn’t have to start over just because credit history is not as fluid and accessible as currency exchange. If you were a financially savvy person in London, then you should still be considered financially savvy when you change postal codes.

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American Express is the first payments company to offer this service, making it possible for immigrants and expats to buy a home, rent an apartment or own a car. The immediate benefits are amazing, but this partnership will most likely be the road for other great advances too.

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Credit: Twenty20

Our Favorite American Express Credit Cards

Blue Cash Preferred® Card

If you’re looking for a cash-back credit card that leaves many of its competitors in the dust, consider American Express’ Blue Cash Preferred Card. It offers deep cash-back rewards at grocery stores, gas stations, online streaming subscriptions and transit services, like tolls, taxis and ride-shares.

  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Value: 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 annually
  • Sign-Up Bonus: $250 bonus after spending $1,000 during the first three billing cycles
  • Pro: 6% cash back on select online streaming subscriptions.
  • Con: Only 1% cash back per eligible dollar spent on other purchases

Apply Today

American Express® Gold Card

Most people tend to use the same credit card all of the time, but that strategy won’t earn you the most points. Instead, use cards that offer you the most point within a specific category. The American Express Gold Card provides maximum value for families and consumers who spend a lot at both grocery stores and on dining.

  • Annual Fee: $250
  • Value: 4X (Membership Rewards) points for dining and groceries
  • Sign-Up Bonus: 35,000 points after spending $4,000 during the first three billing cycles
  • Pro: $100 Airline Fee Credit per calendar year to cover airfare incidentals, like baggage fees and Wi-Fi
  • Con: Expensive annual fee

Apply Today

American Express Platinum Card®

The American Express Platinum Card makes traveling with the family a little less frazzled with annual Uber, airline and hotel credits, and access to over 1,200 airport lounges. New cardmembers will earn 60,000 points when they spend $5,000 in their first three months. The Platinum Card comes with a hefty $550 annual fee, but it’s a favorite among many cardholders because of its generous 5x points for flights and hotels booked through American Express Travel, as well as an annual $200 airline credit to cover baggage fees and other qualified reimbursements.

  • Annual Fee: $550
  • Value: 5x points for flights and hotels booked through American Express Travel
  • Sign-Up Bonus: 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first three billing cycles
  • Pro: $200 annual airline credit
  • Con: Only 1 point per eligible dollar spent on other purchases

Apply Today

How To Compare Rewards Credit Cards

Still not sure about which rewards cards are right for you? We get it. Choosing a credit card that meets your needs is important, which is why Slickdeals’ Credit Card Hub helps you compare the benefits of different cards, search credit cards by rewards categories and explore cards by their issuers — all to find the best fit for your wallet.

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NEXT: How I Earned Over 300,000 Amex and Chase Ultimate Rewards Points in 6 Months

We want to make sure you get the best deal! Our editors strive to ensure that the information in this article is accurate as of the date published, but please keep in mind that offers can change. We encourage you to verify all terms and conditions of any financial product before you apply. Also, please remember this content wasn’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any company mentioned in this article.

Ashley Eneriz

Ashley Eneriz is a personal finance writer based in Southern California. She loves a good deal and is not afraid to dig through a thrift store to score amazing finds. When not writing about money, she is taking care of her three girls, homeschooling, or stuck with her nose in a book.

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