Getting US Credit Cards for Canadians [2021]

Our guide to Getting US Credit Cards for Canadians has been refreshed for 2021, including new information on mail forwarding services, Nova Credit, ITIN services, and navigating the process of building US credit history.

In this article, we’ll discuss how savvy Canadian consumers can go about obtaining their very first US-issued credit card.

Once you get your first US card, you’ll start building credit history in the US, and eventually you’ll be eligible for most, if not all, of the credit cards in the US marketplace.

If you’re looking to rack up the sky-high signup bonuses on US credit cards to travel the world, having access to US credit cards as a Canadian can be useful in many circumstances. Here’s how to get your US credit file up and running.

In This Post

Why Get US Credit Cards?

If you’re at an intermediate level in the Canadian credit card game (or wherever you live outside of the US), it’s worth exploring the possibility of getting into US credit cards.

As the world’s most lucrative market for credit card rewards, US-issued credit cards offer bigger welcome bonuses, better cardholder benefits, and a much wider range of points redemption options – dramatically increasing the range of travel rewards that are available to you.

For example, consider that American Express Canada only offers 11 airline and hotel transfer partners in total.

Meanwhile, Amex US has a whopping 21 partners, including several powerful programs that we don’t have access to in Canada – like Emirates Skywards or Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer for booking Emirates First Class or Singapore Suites, respectively!

Getting US credit cards is the best way to experience some of the world’s most luxurious flights for yourself.

US credit cards can also give you a major leg up when it comes to other meaningful benefits along your travels, like hotel elite status or airport lounge access.

For example, a single US-issued card can give you instant top-tier Hilton Diamond status, whereas you’d need to stay 60 nights with Hilton per year to earn this status organically!

Needless to say, if you’re serious about raising your travel game on a global level, you absolutely need to get involved with US credit cards.

Step 1: Get a US Address

First off, you’re going to need to have a residential address that’s domiciled in the United States.

If you have family or good friends down in the US – lucky you!

As long as they agree to let you use their address, you can ask them to forward your mail periodically, pick it up yourself when you visit them, or simply ask them to take pictures of your mail and send it on to you.

For the rest of us, getting a US address is as simple as using a mail forwarding or mailbox service.

Our recommended service is 24/7 Parcel, which has facilities in Washington State (close to Vancouver) and Niagara County in New York (close to Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, etc.)

A mail forwarding service can serve as your US address.

While 24/7 Parcel mainly offers parcel receiving and pickup services, the Niagara Falls location will also forward your letter mail for US$1.50 per envelope plus postage (typically US$2.70 in total for letters to Canada).

They do charge an annual fee of US$90 per year; however, Prince of Travel readers can obtain a US$20 discount by mentioning that we referred you to the service.

There are also other mail forwarding services out there you can choose from, and you are very much encouraged to do some of your own research as well.

No matter what mailbox service you pick, make sure to verify one thing. Go to the USPS address lookup tool and enter the address of your mailbox, and make sure that “Commercial Mail Receiving Agency” isn’t marked as “Y”.

That’s because many credit card companies will deem these addresses ineligible once they see that it’s registered as a mail forwarding service.

As long as the “Commercial Mail Receiving Agency” line is marked with a “N” (as is the case for 24/7 Parcel), issuers will recognize the address as a residential address, and you’ll be good to go.

Step 2: Get a US Bank Account

You’re going to need a US bank account as part of the process, so let’s get one set up.

The reason for getting a US bank account is twofold:

  • Paying off your US credit card bills (although this can also be done via select higher-end Canadian-based bank accounts)
  • Verifying your US address with US credit card issuers

This step is fairly easy. Several Canadian banks have subsidiaries in the US, and if you bank with them on the Canadian side, it tends to be a pretty straightforward process to set up an account in the US as well.

For example, I personally use CIBC for my personal banking in Canada. Their US counterpart, CIBC US, offers a Smart Account account that has a monthly maintenance fee starting at only US$4.95 (covering up to 12 transactions).

That’s a solid proposition in my book, and it’s really easy to get set up if you’re an existing CIBC client with Canada (you can apply online and also transfer US funds in-between your Canadian- and US-domiciled CIBC accounts instantly online). 

The equivalent holds true with TD Canada Trust and TD Bank (their Convenience Checking account is a very affordable option), BMO Bank of Montreal and BMO Harris Bank, as well as RBC Royal Bank and RBC Bank.

All of these banks have very well-established Cross-Border Banking products and guidelines, so simply go online to get more information on their personal checking options and to open an account.

No matter which US bank account you go with, you’ll ideally want to set your US address (from Step 1!) as the primary address on the account, such that the US address shows up on all your monthly banking statements. This will be useful when it’s time to verify your address with credit card issuers later on. 

Step 3: Get Your First American Express US Card

Once you have a bank account and address, you can actually start applying for cards now.

You need to open a few accounts to start building credit history from scratch, and the easiest issuer to begin with is American Express US. Amex is a global company, and they offer their cardholders a number of easy ways to transfer their membership to another country whenever they “relocate”.

Method 1: Nova Credit

In recent years, American Express US has begun working with a service known as Nova Credit to apply for US cards directly using your Canadian TransUnion credit file, without needing to be an existing Amex cardholder on the Canadian side.

To do this, open up the application form of any Amex US personal credit card, and then click the “International Cardholder” checkbox where it asks for your Social Security Number.

(Note where it says “Sign in for a simpler application process.” Even if you happen to be an existing Amex Canada cardholder, it isn’t actually necessary to sign in. Doing so will initiate the “Global Transfer” process described further below, whereas not signing in will result in the arguably smoother Nova Credit process.)

Submitting the application will bring you to the Nova Credit portal, where you’ll be asked to select the foreign credit history on which you’d like to base your application.

Canadians would select Canada, although the same process could be used by residents of Australia, India, Mexico, and the UK to apply for US credit cards as well.

You’ll be asked to fill in some information to locate your Canadian TransUnion file, including your name, date of birth, and recent address. Once a potential match to your credit file is located, you’ll also be asked a set of three identity questions based on your TransUnion credit file as another verification step. 

(The Nova Credit process results in only a soft inquiry, not a hard inquiry, on your TransUnion credit file in Canada.)

Once that’s done, you check a few boxes to authorize Nova Credit to transmit your Canadian credit information over to American Express US. 

Next, you may be asked for some supplemental information about your finances. Providing this information is optional, but may help speed up your application’s processing time.

The final step is to provide details of a foreign ID, such as a passport, that can help prove you are who you say you are. A Canadian passport should work fine. 

There’s a small chance that you’ll be instantly approved at this stage, if everything lines up.

However, it’s more likely that you’ll be asked to verify some information before your application is approved. This can include:

  • Verifying your identity documents, such as uploading a PDF copy of the passport information you provided
  • Verifying your US address, such as uploading a bank statement from Step 2 with your US address on it, or calling American Express and speaking with an agent, who will initiate a three-way call with your bank to verify your address

Once all of your information is verified, you should expect a shiny new piece of plastic (or metal!) to be on its way to your US address. Congratulations, your US credit history has just been “born”!

Some individuals’ experiences indicate the Nova Credit method can be used to apply for multiple Amex US personal credit cards in quick succession when you’re first starting out with US credit cards.

You aren’t guaranteed to get approved for multiple Amex US cards via Nova Credit to start, but the strategy has paid off for many individuals in the past.

It’s recommended to apply in as quick succession as possible if you’re interested in starting off with more than one Amex US card, as it seems like the longer you wait between multiple Nova Credit applications, the less likely you’ll be approved on subsequent applications.

Method 2: American Express Global Transfer

As an alternative to Nova Credit, another option is to initiate an American Express Global Transfer from Canada to the US.

To be eligible for a Global Transfer, you need to have at least one Canadian-issued American Express account that’s been open and in good standing for at least three months.

Then, you can call the Global Transfer office and tell them you’d like to do a Global Transfer as a current Canadian cardholder to a US credit card, and then proceed to complete the US credit card application over the phone.

Which Amex US Credit Card Should You Start With?

One question might be on your mind: which Amex US product should you pick as your first American credit card?

In most cases, it’s best to start out with a basic Amex credit card with no annual fee, such as the American Express US Blue Card or the American Express US Hilton Honors Card.

That’s because this is going to be the oldest account on your US credit history, and you’ll be helping your credit score the most if you keep this account open forever.

Another option would be to choose a card that makes sense to keep around for the long run, such as the Amex US Bonvoy Brilliant Card.

Not only does this card routinely offer very impressive welcome bonuses, but its effective annual fee of US$150 (US$450 annual fee offset by a US$300 Marriott credit) is easily outweighed by the anniversary Free Night Award worth up to 50,000 Bonvoy points that you get every single year. 

Sometimes, there are limited-time elevated offers that seem very attractive on premium cards like the Amex US Gold Card or the Amex US Platinum Card, which could make for a wise choice for your first US credit card too.

However, in these cases, you should either be comfortable paying the card’s annual fee year after year to preserve your US credit health, or recognize that your credit score may take a hit if you were to cancel your original and oldest US credit card in the future.

It’s also worth noting that business credit cards do not report to personal credit bureaus in the United States. Therefore, business credit cards don’t help you build credit history and therefore wouldn’t be a good choice as a starter US card.

If you’re interested in one of the Amex US small business cards, your best bet would be to first set up a US credit history by getting one of the personal cards, and then applying for a business card in 3–6 months’ time (see Step 5 below for more on this).

You’ll generally begin your US credit card journey with American Express US.

Step 4: Get an ITIN

While it’s easy to get your first credit card with Amex US or one of the Big 5 banks’ US arms, you’ll need to have a credit file identifier if you want to eventually move onto the other American issuers, like Chase, Citi, Capital One, or Bank of America.

Just like Canada, personal credit reports in the US are associated with a unique identifier – typically a Social Security Number (SSN), the equivalent of our SIN.

If you already have a SSN as a result of being born, living, or working in the US, then once again, lucky you! Forget about this step, find those mouthwatering signup bonuses, and go forth and conquer!

For the rest of us, we’re gonna need to put in a little bit of work here. In addition to the SSN, credit card companies also accept what’s known as an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) on credit card applications.

ITINs are issued by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), so getting one requires mailing a bunch of documents to the IRS.

Now, listen up here, because this is important. One of the reasons one might be eligible for (and in fact, encouraged to apply for) an ITIN is if they are a foreign resident who earns income in the US, and needs to prove their foreign residency status in order to be exempt from US withholding taxes.

Got it? Good.

If we think about it, anyone who’s earned some money through US-based services – such as casino winnings in Las Vegas, betting with US-based online betting companies, or trading stocks with a US-based brokerage – should be applying for an ITIN and self-reporting their income if they want to fulfill their obligations to the IRS.

After all, if you didn’t have an ITIN, you’d be subject to hefty withholding taxes on all your winnings, royalties, and dividends. We wouldn’t want that, would we? (The fact that these sums may be as low as $5 is not important here.)

There are two approaches to obtaining an ITIN: getting help through a dedicated service, or the do-it-yourself method.

Method 1: Use a Dedicated ITIN Service

These days, the most reliable method to obtain an ITIN is to seek out a paid service to help you with your ITIN application.

Services that Prince of Travel readers have found useful include:

These services will generally provide you with a completed W-7 form, which is the ITIN application form.

They will also help you complete a valid US tax return on your behalf based on any amount of earned income from US sources that you declare (such as US$5 in gambling winnings). This serves to justify why you require an ITIN in your application. 

Method 2: Do It Yourself

If you’d rather not pay for professional services, you can also take the do-it-yourself approach to getting an ITIN.

However, be warned that even small discrepancies in how the forms are filled in can result in a rejected application, and each application can take several weeks or months to complete. 

All of the information you need to apply for an ITIN is listed on the dedicated page on the IRS website. In particular, you’ll need to compile the following documents and send it off to the IRS:

  • Document justifying the need for an ITIN (e.g., a US tax return with a small amount of income declared)

  • Completed W-7 ITIN application form

  • Original foreign passport, or a certified copy

You can find the official IRS instructions for the W-7 form here. Tax advice is beyond the scope of this website, although there are many online resources to guide you through the process of filling in IRS forms.

In addition, you also need to include a copy of your passport with the application as a means to verify your status as a foreign national. It’s up to you whether to send in your original passport or a certified copy.

You won’t get your documents back in the mail for at least a few weeks, so keep that in mind if you might need your passport for upcoming travel. Personally I didn’t want to risk my passport getting lost in the mail, so I went with the certified copies.

Importantly, a certified copy is not the same as a notarized copy of a passport that you can get at any lawyer or public accountant’s office.

Instead, it’s provided directly to you by Passport Canada, so you’ll have to schedule an appointment with your local passport office.

The fee for certified copies is $45, which is good for one, two, or three copies. Most people opt for three copies, sending one to the IRS and keeping the other two around for another occasion when they might prove useful (hint: they probably won’t).

Lastly, whether you’ve sought help from a dedicated service or filled in the forms yourself, compile all of the documents in an envelope addressed to the IRS’s receiving address indicated on the ITIN information website, send it off, and wait.

You should expect to wait quite a while – current turnaround times at the ITIN processing office seem to be in the region of about four months. If you’ve done everything right, you should receive a letter in the mail indicating your newly minted nine-digit ITIN!

Step 5: Build Your Credit History

Once you’ve set up your address, bank account, first credit card, and ITIN, the hard work is over.

Now all that’s left is to wait for your credit history to mature long enough for you to be approved for some of the credit cards with bigger bonuses.

Chase Credit Cards

Once your relationship with Amex US matures to a few months (usually 3–6 months), you’ll be able to start applying for more Amex US cards and getting approved for them.

However, you’ll want to pace yourself a little bit, with a view of getting cards from Chase in the future:

  • Chase credit cards unlock unique new opportunities that aren’t otherwise available with American Express on either side of the border, such as 1:1 points transfers to World of Hyatt program for high-end Hyatt hotel redemptions. 
  • Chase is stricter than American Express when it comes to approving clients with “fresh” credit histories. They’ll generally want to see 12–18 months of responsible credit usage before approving you for your first Chase card.
    • One way to build your relationship quicker and speed up the process with Chase is to open a Chase checking account (which you can easily do as a Canadian) at a branch on one of your trips down to the US.
  • Chase also has the infamous “5/24 rule”, in which you won’t be approved for any credit cards if you’ve opened more than five cards in the past 24 months. That’s a key obstacle to keep in mind as you begin to navigate the US landscape.

Therefore, you want to get a couple of Amex US cards to use responsibly as you wait to be eligible for Chase cards. But at the same time, you don’t want to get too many Amex US cards – or else you’ll lock yourself out of the “5/24 rule” by the time you’re eligible for Chase!

Amex US Business Credit Cards

One way around this conundrum is by going for the American Express business credit cards after you’ve gotten your first Amex US product.

As mentioned earlier, business credit cards don’t report to personal credit files in the United States, so you can rack up the signup bonuses on the business products without affecting your future Chase 5/24 eligibility.

Examples would include the Amex US Marriott Bonvoy Business Card, the Amex US Hilton Business Card, or the Amex US Business Platinum Card.

(Note that Amex US business cards cannot be obtained through Nova Credit; however, an SSN or ITIN is not absolutely necessary to apply either. If you don’t have an SSN or ITIN, you can apply for Amex US business cards over the phone by submitting your foreign passport as a valid form of ID.)

Other US Credit Card Issuers

In addition to Chase, a few other US-based issuers will also accept ITINs for credit card applications, with many products that are worth getting: 

  • Citi credit cards allow you to earn Citi ThankYou points, which can transfer to a variety of useful or unique airline partners. 
  • Capital One credit cards sometime come with elevated welcome bonuses, which can also be transferred to a series of airline partners. 
  • Bank of America’s Alaska Airlines co-branded credit cards offer another way to earn miles with Alaska Mileage Plan. Bank of America only accepts ITIN applications over the phone or in-branch.
Once your US credit file is more mature, you can start to apply for cards from Chase, Citi, and other issuers.

Overall, the for US credit cards is a lot more focused on playing the long game than up here in Canada.

US-issued credit cards tend to have strict rules on welcome bonus eligibility, so the strategy is generally more conservative and more about building your credit history over the long run to be eligible for the much wider range of bonuses and benefits found in the US.

Lastly, if you have a spouse or partner, I’d highly recommend going through this process for both of you at the same time. After all, we know that playing the two-person game is one of the best ways to maximize points here in Canada, so just imagine how much is on the table when it comes to US credit cards.

America, the land of opportunity indeed!


Getting your very first US-issued credit card can be quite a complicated but worthwhile undertaking.

From registering for a US mailbox to dealing with the highly involved process of getting an ITIN, it’s a tricky process to manage and can easily take up a good chunk of your time.

That’s why I’m hopeful that this guide lays out the key elements for you and helps you break down the process into more manageable steps, as you pursue all of the bountiful bonuses and benefits south of the border.

  1. Emma

    Hi Ricky,

    I just applied for Delta Skymiles gold card through Nova Credit and Amex US is saying that a bank statement with my US address is not enough and that they will need a copy of a mortgage or lease agreement stating that I live at that address.

    Have you heard of this being an issue before? I’m wondering what my next steps should be in this case as my “address” in the US is just a 24/7 parcel mailbox.


  2. Jay

    Going the Nova Credit Route, Amex is now asking to upload the Transcript of Tax Return (Form 4506-C) – which I do not have. What I do have is: Amex Canada cards for more than three years, US Address (residential address) and a US Bank Account.

    Was applying for Amex Hilton Honours

  3. John

    FRAUD ALERT-got a new gold card in the mail(24/7 address) somehow they were able to activate and use the card. No one knows about my credit details and US history , I am so lost and anxious about how this could have happened. Has anyone had this happen to them before?

  4. jake

    any recommendations of a mail forwarding service other than 24/7. I am having a negative experience with them with frequent changes to their forwarding addresses. first they changed their forwarding address from Niagara falls to Lynden and then there was a further change to the Lynden address. They have also missed forwarding my mail.

    1. John

      see my comment above, I am very skeptical about them now

  5. Marko

    Hello Everyone. I scrolled through this thread decently well and didn’t see this question but apologies if I missed it. For AMEX, are the welcome bonuses for the canadian and US considered different? For example, if i’ve already had the Canadian Personal Platinum card, should I even bother with the US version or would I still be eligible for that welcome bonus?

  6. Raul

    Finally got my AMEX after a month of waiting, tried to pay property tax using amex us and it wont let me , I’m using plastiq, do I have any other options?

  7. Elton

    Hi Ricky, if my ITIN expires in 3 years, do I have to re-apply for a new one to keep my existing US credit cards (I don’t need to apply for new US credit cards)? Thanks!

  8. Raul

    Hi Everyone, how long do you think I should wait before applying for my second AMEX? I dont have IYIN so I think AMEX is my only option or are there any other options for me?

    Thanks for you help

  9. John Sands

    New to the US card game and just received my first US Amex card. I also now wish to apply for a Canadian Amex card (I do not have any, just Visa and M/C) I’m concerned Amex may cross reference my US address with my Canadian home address and raise red flags. Do I have the all clear to carry both claiming residence in each country?

    1. Tommy

      I currently hold a Canadian AMEX Cobalt and applied for the American AMEX Hilton Honors card and didn’t see any issues. You should be fine.

    2. Raul

      Thats what everyone here seems to be doing.

  10. John

    My experience with 24/7 has been terrible, they almost never give straight answers and respond very slowly, does anyone here have experience using another mail forwarding service for credit cards?

  11. Raul

    Hi Everyone, So I was able to open RBC chequing and credit account , can I now apply for amex or do I have to wait for a month for statements to be generated?

    1. Tommy

      Hello, I ended up applying right away to American AMEX and they did not as me to verify my address with a bank statement, only verbally. Might have just been lucky though.



      1. Raul

        Thanks, any data point on second american amex? how long should I wait and should I follow the same process of using Nova credit/TU?

        1. Tommy

          I’m not quite sure, I believe Ricky mentioned in a video on this topic about waiting 3-6 months before grabbing another american AMEX card. My guess is he meant to apply for a second one with an ITIN? If you end up applying for a second one soon let me know, I’m looking to get another one here soon as well to work towards grabbing a chase credit card.


          1. Raul

            Thank you, I’ll keep everyone posted here.

  12. Arvin

    Hi Ricky,

    I just did a USPS address lookup for 24/7 Parcel’s Blaine and Lynden Washington State locations, both have the “Y” in the Commercial Mail Receiving Agency field.

  13. David

    Ricky – quick question – will gift card purchases made in Canada on my US credit card count towards the US card welcome bonus – since gift card purchases seem to be excluded from US welcome bonus?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Yes, Canadian gift cards are fine.

  14. David

    One question – apologies if answered elsewhere – but once one has an ITIN, do you enter this in the SSN field when applying for the US cards?

    1. David

      I sent in my documentation for my ITIN at end of December. It was issued on Feb 16 and I just received it in the mail (March 2). So looks like about 8 week process from start to finish. I used frugalflyer. Also, yes I think you enter your ITIN in the SSN field for US applications.

  15. Steve

    Hi Ricky

    I’m Canadian PR and I hold a Chinese passport, am I able to apply for ITIN as well? In terms of the certified passport, can I get it in Canada?

    Thanks in advance

  16. David

    Successful journey (see my earlier posts in the message thread below). Lynden Amex address worked with 24/7.

  17. Marc

    CIBC now recognizes 24/7 Lynden address as mail forwarding, and will only update as the mailing address leaving my Canadian as residential. Will this pose an issue later in the process of getting a US credit card?

    1. John

      Hey Marc,

      Just had the same issue today when I attempted to change my permanent address with CIBC.

      How did this end up going for you? Were you able to get a card with only the mailing address as your US address?



      1. Irvin

        Have you guys been able to get an card with CIBC & Lyden location?


        1. John

          Hey Irvin,

          Sure did, no issues at all for me.

          Best of luck!

  18. GeorgeF

    I lived in the U.S. five-years ago and still have my RBCusa checking account and a basic U.S. credit history, as well as an SSN.
    Should I use my old SSN when I start in the USA credit card game from Canada, or better for some reason to NOT to use it? (ie. might the SSN be tied to my old U.S. address and conflict with my new “pretend” U.S. address?)

    1. Fred

      Just tried to apply for my first US Amex credit card but even if I click to get to NovaCredit, it didn’t work and after I click submit I received a number to call but no pop up to Nova credit ? What should I do ? Thanks

  19. raul

    Opening a CIBC US account right now and it populates my Canadian address automatically , I know I can open the account now but in future when I want to change the address to 24/7 US address wont they update my address for all my Canadian products? and that might risk that address being reported to Canadian bureaus ? Anyone know something about this? what am i missing?

    1. Marc GJ

      Same, it appears to not allow me to modify my pre-populated Canadian Address. I am able to add a mailing address also but from what i understand this will not be reported to any US Agencies.

      1. Raul

        Thats not good , does anyone know of any other options besides the top 5?

        1. GeorgeF

          RBCusa allowed me to change to a USA address online the other day, without a hitch (still showing CAN address on RBC-CAN account). I did notice RBCusa had a separate option to add a “Seasonal address, for up to 360 days”. Wonder if something like that may be a workaround for you with CIBC Raul(?).

          1. Raul

            Thanks for the info Geroge, I’ll go ahead with rbc then , CIBC is a different breed all together – very hard to get things done with them, they’ll ask you a 100 questions and never have an answer for you.

            1. Tommy

              Called CIBC Canada, they said that there were two separate divisions for their US bank accounts, the free account with 0.75$ transactions is based in Canada and would share the address with your regular Canadian bank account. The smart account upon opening will share your Canadian address but, afterwards you can change the address to one based in the US without changing your original Canadian bank account address. The agent mentioned that the changes made to the US CIBC account do not reflect on the Canadian CIBC account and vice versa after account opening.

              Also if you scroll down a bit you’ll see another comment mentioning that they were able to change the address on their CIBC US smart account after opening as well.

              Going to try this for myself this week, fingers crossed. Looking forward to my first american, american express card.

              1. John

                Thanks for the detail on this comment.

                Can you give an update on how it went? Currently applying for my CIBC US Smart account and this would be amazing if true.

                Thank you!

                1. Tommy

                  Hey John,

                  Everything worked out fine, you can either call in or change the address online after you’ve opened your CIBC US Smart Account and it will not change the address on your Canadian CIBC account, which means two different bank accounts, two different addresses.

                  I ended up applying for the no annual fee Hilton Honors card with Nova Credit and it worked out fine. Though I did not get asked for address verification by my AMEX rep.

                  I am going to apply for my ITIN when I come back to Canada in a couple months here and hopefully that goes well. If you end up finding any great ITIN services I’d look forward to hearing about it.



                  1. John

                    Thank you for the quick reply Tommy!

                    Sounds great, I already use CIBC for my Canadian banking so this makes things easier and more streamlined for the US side as well. Really appreciate you giving your insight.

                    I’ll let you know if I come across a good ITIN service too.

                    Safe travels back to Canada from wherever you’re at.



  20. Top Dog

    Trying to apply for an Amex HHonors card and it is not working at all.

    I check the box for ‘I don’t have a SSN’ but it never asks me for any additional information for my credit history

    1. Top Dog

      I went through hell on this. I’d apply, it wouldn’t take my info, talk to Amex on phone for half an hour, end up cancelling or get rejected. For some reason, the latest attempt worked. I checked the box and put in my ITIN. For the first time, the Nova Credit screens came up. I needed to subsequently call in and confirm my US address with my US bank. After that, I was approved. I probably talked to 9 or 10 different Amex reps over 6 calls. Frustrating as hell, but in the end, I prevailed.

  21. WT

    Hey Ricky. I used the Global Transfer and have been approved the US Marriott Bonvoy….however….Amex needs proof of US address either via a lease agreement or a utility bill. I simply got the PO Box via 24/7 Parcel as per above!!!

  22. Dane

    Sorry if this question has been asked but how do you associate the credit history you’ve built to your ITIN if you apply for a US credit card prior to obtaining ITIN?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Simply include your ITIN on your next credit card application.

      1. David

        Thanks Ricky – but do you enter your ITIN number where they ask for a SSN? Or is there a separate spot for this?

  23. Elton

    A newbie question – When getting the first Amex by global transfer, does it literally convert my Canadian Amex into a US Amex or does it only referring the Canadian Amex to apply for an extra US one? Thanks!

  24. ash

    Just tried applying to AMEX card using Nova Credit. AMEX is requesting for Transcript of Tax Return (Form 4506-T) to confirm my income and proceed further with the application process..

    1. David

      That’s a good point I don’t really see addressed anywhere – which is once you get an ITIN and are ready to apply for US cards what is the employment and income information that you put on your US credit card applications (these would be the ones done outside the Nova Credit process)? Maybe Ricky or others could comment on this.

      1. Ricky YVR

        Just put your employment and income information, converted to US dollars.

        1. David

          Ok thanks Ricky – this is helpful. Appreciate the response.

  25. Andrew C

    What is available as the first US credit card for Canadian, if not using AmEx? RBC has Visa Signture Black, but when I called to ask if it can be tied to ITIN and can start my credit history, two call center agents gave me two contradicting answers, and I am hesitant yet to go to the branch if it is that unclear.

    1. Elton

      GoT my first Amex and really want the Capital1 venture x. How long do I need to wait(while using my Amex responssively before I have a solid chance to get approval?

    2. ash

      I called RBC to ask about this today. The guy told me that unless I have SSN, I won’t be able to build credit in US. I asked about ITIN and he had no idea what it is.

  26. Russ L

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks to everyone for sharing their personal experience and answering questions. I have a question. My wife has 2 US amex cards she was able to get through Nova Credit back about 18 or so months ago. We had a few denials on getting ITINs after. She finally got hers recently due to an investment we made in the US. We are now trying to add her ITIN number to her amex cards so she can benefit from the Credit History. Is this possible? The agent when we call says we can’t but I feel like I’ve read somewhere that it can be done. Anyone had this personal situation?

  27. David

    So I have taken a bit of a different route with BMO (see my questions earlier in the thread). Essentially, I’m leveraging my BMO Harris in the US to establish my US credit history. Here is what I have done so far. First step open a US dollar account in Canada. Second step call Harris Bank cross border and speak with Agent who will open a US checking account based on my Canadian address and ID. You can also ask them to open a US based Harris Credit card at the same time or wait for later. To qualify you will need to have $1300 CAD on deposit with BMO in Canada (checking or savings) for at least 3 months OR a BMO investment account in Canada with $13000 CAD for at least 3 months. Your BMO Harris account must have a balance of $1000 (no time frame) at the time of credit card application. To get that $1000 to your US account, you take money from your CAD Canadian account, transfer this to your CAD US$ account, and then transfer from your CAD US$ account to your Harris Account. That’s how I will get the funds needed to paying all my US based cards in the future. There are no fees (at least for me on the premium monthly plan) to do these transferes. The agent will process your credit card application on the phone (there is no online option) and use your SIN# for the application. That application is submitted to the underwriters. I don’t have approval yet but expect to hear back in next few weeks. I will let you know how it turns out. Next step will be to wait a couple months after getting my card to remove my Canadian address from my US account and credit card and add my American address that I have through 27/7 (although I see they have just sent a notice letting customers know they are changing addresses in a couple months). I haven’t needed my 24/7 address yet so in hindsight I should have waited to get it until I was ready to change address with US based accounts. BTW I have selected the Harris Cash Back no fee card as my first US credit card (its ok but the welcome bonus not all that great but it will be my one cash back card). I also verified its use is reported to US credit agencies.

    1. David

      I should clarify that the qualification criteria referenced above is for the US harris credit card application. There is nothing needed to qualify for the US harris bank account. Also, I am presuming the underwriters will pull my Canadian credit history when they look at my file as there is no indication the agent did this on the phone with me. Finally, I plan to get and ITIN number during the next couple months so I’m fully able to participate in all US credit card offerings.

      1. David

        Ok a quick update. I have been approved for BMO Harris Credit card with a fairly high starting credit limit. Card on its way in the mail. I also went to the passport office here in Ottawa to get my certified copy of passport which I have included with my frugal flyer ITIN application and sent in to the IRS. So with a couple months time I should be ready to make some additional US credit card moves once I make my address change to my Harris Bank account and credit cards. I should have mentioned here that the Harris Bank account has no fees associated with it – the only banking fees I’m paying are on my Canadian account.

        1. Patrick

          Will you be able to provide an update on the address change? I know that some people have been stuck o this step and was wondering if BMO will be the best option, as people being denied US address verification with their US bank accounts.

          1. David

            Yes I will keep you posted but that’s a couple months away before I attempt this (I plan to do this once 24/7 gets their new address firmed up). I don’t think I will have a problem here as there appears to option to do this online with BMO Harris. Also, when I went to set up my online banking as a test before I had my account BMO Harris was asking for my SSN or ITIN for verification which leads me to believe ITIN registration won’t be an issue with BMO Harris – again this is a couple months out before I can let you all know. Once I have my ITIN I also plan to diversify and accelerate my credit history using some of the techniques noted over at frugal flyer using tradelines (heck maybe i can even make some money after a while doing this), SeedFi, credit builder loans (e.g., through US Alliance Financial), Fintechs (e.g., Extra) and maybe, just maybe 8-10 months out after all this maybe I will open a Chase bank account in the US during one of my US trips to strengthen my chances of getting the coveted Chase Aeroplan card soon rather than later which is my only likely way to achieve Aeroplan elite status.

            1. Patrick

              Thank you for the advice David. I can’t wait for your update. I will be attempting with the TD account first as I already have one. If that fails then I’m going to try your method with BMO. The only thing I foresee having trouble is with the address change. Hopefully all goes well. Good luck and talk soon.

            2. Patrick Li

              Thank you David for your reply. Eager to hear your results. I will be attempting to get the US account with TD and if that fails, I’m going to try the BMO method that you are using. The address change is the only part that I foresee that I will have trouble with. Thanks for your advice, I can’t wait when this all works out. Good luck and talk soon.

              1. David

                Ok quick update. The New 24/7 Washington address came through so logged in to my Harris Bank bank account and changed it online. Took a couple days but statement printed with new address – so all looking good. Also got a US Washington based phone number through OpenPone to support diversification efforts above. The address change did not port to my Harris Credit card but a quick call was all it took. A couple other things – I did confirm that BMO Harris did an inquiry to my Canadian credit file to get my card (see earlier reference). And my cash back card has a FOREX fee so I have to eat that – would have been better to get the Premium Rewards Mastercard (the only one with no FOREX fee) and then downgrade after a year. Now to see if I can get my first AMEX

                1. Patrick

                  Thank you for the update. I am currently testing the us account at TD. If that fails, I’ll switch to your method as it seems to work. Congrats and thank you for your help.

                  1. David

                    Ok I got approved for my AMEX US Hilton Surpass Card. So I did the application. NOVA Credit popup came up first try. Steps were flawless. I was not immediately approved but had to call where they asked me to verify address. I asked if bank statement would work- they said yes. Offered to do a three way call with my bank and I told them I preferred to upload my statement. They gave me a special upload link. Uploaded doc and approval came through 2 business days later. Card is on its way to my 24/7 Washington address.

                    1. Sean

                      Thanks for all the updates David. I’m at the same point you were 4 months ago. Just opened my BMO Harris account and waiting to change the address to my Planet Express California account. Rep on the phone was a stickler for the address having to match my DL, but it’s good to hear I can do that online down the road. Will also be getting a BMO card to help establish credit, so thanks for the tips!

                    2. David

                      Haven’t decided yet but I am going to focus on Hilton and AMEX MR for now as Marriot future uncertain.

                    3. Patrick

                      Awesome! Thanks for the update. I was successful in getting my TD account changed to a US address. I will be trying to use credit nova to get my first card. Will you get more than one card before getting your itin#? Wondering if I can add you somehow as we both go through this credit card journey together. This is fun. Are there other card initially you are interesting in getting as we build the credit history or will you just stick with the Hilton card for now? Thanks again for all the update.

  28. BobbieGT

    Global transfer vs Nova credit ?
    I have set up my CIBC Smart account and CIBC USA Smart account, mailbox with 24/7 in Niagara Falls (and provided the separate address to use for AMEX cards) and I do currently hold Canadian AMEX cards with an account in good standing. No ITIN or SSN.
    If Global transfer, is that application only done over the phone ?

    1. Ben

      Did you have any trouble getting CIBC to change to your USA address for the USA account?

      1. BobbieGT

        Well, they changed it no problem but recognized it as a mail forwarder and would only change my mailing address and not the home address. Did get my first stmt the other day and the address on that is the mailing address but above it in big bold letters it says ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED. Ugh.

  29. Lisa

    HI! I will be moving to Niagara Falls NY!!! I have opened a bank account with TD in Canada and a US TD checking account (Convenience Checking) this week. Made an application for Brilliant Bonvoy through Nova Credit a few days later. It did not work. Amex said they did not see Nova Credit linked to my application. Only possibility they offered was through Global Transfer but I would need utility bill. So I made a new application, again via Nova Credit. I just called the Status info for New Account number (1-888-826-3471) and automatic answer was that I was declined because they cannot access to my TransUnion credit file (although online it shows my application as in progress.
    I have a question: On the first application I made, I ticked the box for “I don’t have a credit history in the us, etc…” AND did not enter my social insurance number. Since it did not work, I thought maybe I had to enter it so that they can access my TransUnion file. So, very reluctantly, I did enter my social security number on the new application. The result has been the same. They say they do not have access to my Canadian credit file. Now I’m stuck. Should I try and call Nova Credit? Or God knows, maybe in the end I’ll be approved for 3 Bonvoy Brilliant!! But, honestly, I’m a bit worried (mainly about having entered my social insurance number).

    1. Nick

      I’ve had the same issue. Tried using both SSN + Nova, but AMEX doesn’t even let me get to the Nova step when I click the box.

      1. John

        same here Nick. I’ve made like 5 applications……no Nova step…
        Maybe the 24/7 Parcel address is flagged and no good. Ricky can you chime in?

        1. Joshua

          I’ve also tried planet express, no luck, no nova credit step

          1. Nick

            I found out that 24/7 has a separate mailing address for AMEX cards as the main location is flagged as a forwarding address. They won’t tell you this unless you specifically ask.

            I renewed my membership for a year. However, I’m wondering if there are better services because it took them a week and a half to email me after my card was delivered, and another 3 days to ship it out. I paid $30 USD to have just the card express shipped since the packaging is too large.

  30. Josh

    I can vouch for FrugalFlyer’s ITIN service as I used them for P2 (I got my ITIN years back via the old amazon method). Reasonably priced with a quick turnaround and exact packaging/mailing instructions were provided.

  31. Guy

    Can a Canadian having been amexiled in December 2020 be accepted for a first US Amex card ?? (through Nova Credit)

    1. Ricky YVR

      Yes, you don’t need to have an active Amex Canada card to use Nova Credit.

      1. Sandy

        They are different entities. I am in the same situation as you (Canadian amexile in December 2020) and just got my first US Amex card in the last couple weeks.

      2. Guy

        So US Amex would not consider or be influenced by the closing of the accounts by Amex Canada ?

  32. David

    I called BMO Harris Bank. They would like a utility bill, drivers licence with the US address listed. What do I do in this case? This won’t work with 24/7 parcel. Further complicated by fact that some credit card companies will have flagged 24/7 parcel address. I really want to get a US based card. Can someone help me? This is the only hurdle I can see.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Ask them what options are available to a US customer with no utility bill or drivers license (because obviously such customers exist). If that doesn’t lead anywhere, you could pick an alternative US bank account – though I know many Canadians successfully use BMO Harris without any issues.

      1. David

        Thanks Ricky. Appreciate the response. Something else that would be helpful is if you could do a blog post on all the ins and outs of using the US cards in Canada to achieve minimum spends ie., explain what type of charges you can make here (pay for Canadian utility bills with US card, how to handle FX fees, and transborder transfers of $$ to pay the US based cards etc.

        1. Patrick

          Hello David, may I ask what ended up happening with the address change when they asked about the utility bill? Or is that put on hold for now (not sure if you are the same David that I messaged before). Thank you in advance.

          1. David

            That was the first time I called to suss things out. At the time I didn’t realize I could set up the US accounts with my Canadian address via cross border but once I figured that out I just proceeded with all my Canadian info. Interestingly when I went through the process the Harris agent asked me if I had a US address I wanted to register and I chose not to do this as I didn’t want to risk complications. It’s also a bit simpler as everything gets mailed to your Canadian address.

        2. Ricky YVR

          You can pay for basically anything with a US credit card, bearing in mind that most of the worthwhile US cards don’t have FX fees of their own, and you’d only incur an FX impact if you needed to convert CAD into USD to pay off the bill. In that regard, we’ll definitely do an article on the best cross-border money services very soon.

          1. David

            Ok thanks Ricky. Looking forward to it!

  33. Awcool

    Thanks Ricky for this great article. I successfully signed up for my first US Amex card nearly a year ago (using Nova Credit) and am looking to sign up for my second one now. I’m not interested in getting an ITIN. What’s the best way to apply for a second Amex card?

    Call Amex?
    Use Nova Credit again?

    FYI: When I try to sign up after logging into my US Amex account, it asks for my SSN or ITIN, which is weird given Amex should know I don’t have one as I am an Amex customer already. When I try to sign up without logging in, there’s an option to use Nova Credit, which is weird considering I am already an Amex customer.

    1. Awcool

      Update: I just tried to apply for the Bonvoy Brilliant card using the Nova Credit service and was given the dreaded popup saying that I wouldn’t qualify for the welcome bonus due to my credit history (ie. not giving them enough business). I know Ricky in a different article said that one must charge at least $100/month to stay in their good books but my question is, is there any way for me to get back into their good books or have been blacklisted forever?

      1. Ron Sigal

        Awcool, you will not be blacklisted forever. Spend a few hundred dollars a month on each US card starting now, and you should be ok to apply in 3 months. By the way you should apply for an ITIN if you want to apply for non-Amex US cards in the future.

        1. Awcool

          Thanks Ron

  34. Ethan

    Do not use US tax Resources. They either make errors or do not include all documents. They do not respond to emails and they do not answer the phone when contacted. I paid for a service I never received. They are scammers

  35. Christa

    Has anyone been able to receive cards to Planet Express without USPS 1583 form notarized? It says that it is required on the website. I am not sure how to do this as a canadian? Any data points would be helpful, my Amex is enroute and I don’t know what will happen. Thanks

    1. Lisa

      Planet express recommends Notary Cam for $30 or so to complete their requisite. Very easy to book and complete.

  36. Christa

    I just applied via Nova credit and got the message to call. When I called, it asked for my SIN, which I didn’t use. I called the golbal transfer #, they are not working today. I then get on email from Amex to review my application, but can’t access due to no SIN. I am hoping this can be sorted by calling Global Transfer tomorrow. I do have along standing history with Amex.

    1. simply

      any updates

      1. Christa

        I called again today and provided a copy of my bank statement. We attempted a 3 way call with the bank, but we were on hold for over 30minsand the Amex rep said the bank statement should do. He would forward to wherever it goes and I need to call back tomorrow to get my answer. It sounded pretty straightforward/ positive.

  37. David

    Harris Bank is asking me for a utility bill to verify address. What to do?

  38. Simply

    Hello, do we need to tell American express we live there? I told them I lived there gave them my planet express mail forwarding address with the (N) on the ups lookup tool and they told me it was a Po box and that I’m not allowed to use that as an address

    1. christa

      Any Data point on this? I just applied with my planet exress address and they couldn’t give me an answer. I wonder if it’s the same reason?

  39. Jamie

    Can you charge canadian utility bills to a US credit card? This is the main way that I reach minimum spends on canadian cards to earn bonuses.

  40. Mike

    Have anybody tried to use Certifying Acceptance Agent, as described on IRS site? They are available in Canada, and there is no need to create certified copies and send mail, apparently.

  41. Cameron W

    Great article! Do you try to get Amex to input your ITIN after you have the card to start building credit? I managed to get the Amex Bonvoy personal card using Global Transfer, I have an ITIN but don’t think I’m building credit history on it because it is not on the Amex record. Amex didn’t seem to know what I was talking about when I tried to get them to add it to my file. Any idea?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Amex can’t “attach” the ITIN to an existing card. Instead, include the ITIN on your next new US credit card application and it should be transmitted to the credit bureaus.

  42. Alex

    Dont use US Tax Resources. Terrible customer service! it took days or even a week for them to reply an email after you made the payment. When you trying to reach out to them about the errors on the tax form, they NEVER reply! 0/5 !

    1. Scott

      Glad I’m not the only one screwed by these scammed. No ITIN, no response, no refund. Frugal flyer is way better and cheaper to boot, worked first try with them, should have used them first.

    2. Ethan

      100% Agree. They did not send me all my documents and they never reply to follow up. Do NOT us US Tax Resources

  43. Awcool

    Hi Ricky,

    So, I managed to setup a US bank account with a US address (24/7 parcel). But, recently, I got an email from 24/7 saying that Amex has flagged their regular mailing address and so I have to use a different address for Amex credit cards than I would use for all other mail. So I applied for an Amex credit card using this new address, but Amex rejected my application because I couldn’t provide proof of that address (They confirmed that a bank statement is sufficient.) since my bank account’s address is different than the one I gave Amex. So does this mean that I can’t apply for any Amex cards now? That would suck because Amex seems to have the best offers and is quoted here as the best way to get started with US credit cards. If so, what other options do we have now?

    1. Lem

      My response may be little too late but 24/7Parcel provide alternate address to be used for bank and credit card issuers. They assign you this address when you sign-up for their mail forwarding service. Likely you missed that email communication. For Parcel delivery you should be using their main St. address but all banking and credit cards you should be using the alternate address they provided to you.

      1. Awcool

        24/7 parcel clearly said the new address was to be used for Amex credit cards only. I ended up temporarily changing my US bank to the new address while i applied for my first Amex card. Then I switched it back. Not sure how this is going to help build my US credit history but I’m only going to apply for Amex US credit cards for now as getting an ITIN looks like too much work.

        1. Lem

          You can use their private address provided to you to use for Amex for all other banking. If you are not sure send an email to support they are very quick with their response. Their service exceptional. I use that address for all my banking and I have all the top Chase cards like sapphire, Freedom Flex world elite MC, United Explorer, discover card, Amex, credit union, Citi AAdvantage world elite card and my Chase checking, saving, investment account. I have over 12 years of excellent U.S credit history. Never declined for any credit cards with 24/7 parcel. Make sure you are following their direction. They would have provided you with two addresses, one for banking and the other for online shopping/ parcel services. Don’t send parcels to banking address. I hope this clarifies any concerns. Some cases if financial institutions ask for Utility bill try sending a copy of Nexus card if you have. Most u.s financial institutions no longer accept Canadian address. Chase and RBFCU credit union allows me to change / use Canadian address. I also have U.S phone with Sprint and the billing I use 24/7 parcel which also helps some cases to validate identity.

          1. Awcool

            That’s good to know. I assume you have an ITIN as well? How did you apply for it (granted it was more than 12 years ago)? Do you have to file any US tax returns?

            1. Lem

              I used to live and worked in U.S. I have SSN and I filed taxes in U.S. Moved back home in 2018.

  44. Paul

    As a Canadian resident/non-us resident, can I claim those insurances benefit from the US credit, such as trip interruption/cancellation, rental car insurance and etc.?I see some insurance has some restrictions on some US states, is that means if the address I get from the 24/7 parcel is not in that states I am not restricted. Anyone already has related experiences; please share at your convenience.

    1. Jamie

      Can you charge canadian utilities to a US card in order to meet the bonus spending requirements? This is my #1 way to reach minimum spending on canadian cards.

      1. Jamie

        Sorry posted in the wrong place!

  45. ace

    Can Americans get Canadians credit cards w similar procedure (or any)? What about Americans getting Argentinian credit cards?

  46. DP

    Unsuccessful experience here.

    So I applied for my first US card (Amex Gold) using Nova Credit (I have a very good score, a valid US address and a cross border account). Didn’t get an instant approval and received an email message saying I should submit some documents or call a number. The first option didn’t work out because it asks for SSN to access the document upload center. So I made a call. After telling my reference number, the first thing agent asked me was my SSN. I said I don’t have one, then he asked of ITIN which I also don’t have. The he asked a few verification questions such as my provided ID number, date of birth, email etc. The conversation was a real pain because of questions like for how long I reside at my US address, did I recently moved there etc. Finally, the agent asked me to wait while he puts me on hold. I waited for about a minute until the call was suddenly interrupted. In a few seconds I received an email message with a link to a secure site with the decision. I wasn’t able to see the result because it takes SSN to enter, but I believe I was’t approved since I didn’t get a welcome message or anything like that.

    1. Nick

      Same issue on my end – they keep asking for proof of US income.

      I’ve had the same issue. Tried using both SSN + Nova, but AMEX doesn’t even let me get to the Nova step when I click the box.

    2. Vince

      Hi Ricky, maybe you can shed some light as to why I am not getting my Amex Bonvoy Business card approval. I have had a personal US Brilliant card for over 6 months now. In that time I have tried 3 times to get approval for the business card but they keep refusing me (over the phone). The last time was just yesterday. Could it be because my US business address is the same as my 24/7 parcel Niagara falls address? Or maybe because I am telling them my business is a corporation rather than a sole prop.? I use my personal brilliant card quite often, and have established a credit report over the last 6 months. Getting frustrated!! Thanks

    3. Francis Gagnon

      Hi! I TD Bank doesnt want to put US adress without proof in my account. I dont know what to do

  47. Plume

    Hi Ricky,

    I have tried TD (Convenience Checking) and BMO (Smart Advantage) for opening US bank accounts, but neither will allow me to use a primary or alternate US address unless given proof of US residence. You stated above that “you’ll ideally want to set your US address (from Step 1!) as the primary address on the account” but I don’t see how I’d do that! (I already have a 247 Parcel mailbox)


    1. leigh

      Things changed due to CORVID-19. Almost all credit card issuer asking to provide utility bill or vehicle registration/U.S driver Lic to confirm physical U.S address before mailing the card even if approved. Mail boxes or forwarding services no longer acceptable. Bank statement or phone bills no longer accepted as a proof of residency. Even if someone use a relative U.S address can’t get around this validation process unless a utility bill like electric, water or gas registered on his/her name.

      1. phil

        whats the solution to this then? finding that too when calling bmo

  48. Jimbo

    I would like to share my experience applying for an American Express card online today. A quick background I already had applied for my RBC Visa (US credit card and checking acct) for about 2 years now. My RBC checking and credit card are both using a US address, so I assume that was recorded in my credit bureau file. Anyway, I read all the comments here and decided to apply online for an Amex card. I put my information and US address but since I don’t have my ITIN or SSN number, I clicked the “International Cardholder” checkbox where it asks for Social Security Number, then submit my application. It didn’t go to Nova credit page but instead, within 30 seconds I got a response that I need to call an Amex number or they will call me in 2-3 days. So, I called Amex and I was asked for my SSN. I told the customer service rep that I don’t have any. Then she asked for my passport. But couldn’t find my passport at that moment then I asked if a Canadian driver’s license is acceptable and she accepted it, entered my driver’s license information. In less than 1 minute I got an email that my application has been approved faster than the response from the customer representative.

    1. theoffspring

      Ok so it’s not just me. I was instantly approved online without going through Nova. Only US product I’ve had us a US chequing account that I’ve used occasionally.

  49. JoceSK YOW

    Does getting an ITIN obligate you to file a tax return every year in the US?

  50. JL

    So the gist of this strategy is to use global transfer when you are not really relocating to the US?
    I thought US cards were only for people who actually reside there with valid residency.
    Isn’t this basically fraud?
    I fear one could get into big trouble by doing this.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Residency is a nebulously defined term with different meanings in different contexts. My view (as a layperson, not a professional) is that credit card issuers’ criterion for being a “US resident” is whether there is residency is whether or not you have a valid residential address in the US. If a credit card offer specified that it’s only valid for “US citizens or permanent resident” then that would be a different matter.

      You bring up a good point, though, that everyone should carefully consider whether they’re comfortable with the process.

      1. JL

        Thanks for the reply Ricky.
        The reason I posted my comment today was actually to share a very scary incident I heard from my group of friends the other day.
        There was this Canadian guy who had been getting US credit cards for a very long time. (He started getting one more than 10 years ago.)
        I don’t know how he obtained his US cards, but he never lived/worked in the US, so I assume he used a similar strategy like yours.
        A few years ago, he moved to the US to start a new job there, and after some time he applied for a green card for US immigration.
        However, his immigration application got DENIED because the officers saw his credit profile with bunch of credit cards that were opened before he moved to the US.
        According to them you are not allowed to have any US credit cards if you never actually lived there.
        They concluded he was playing games and was not trustable, so eventually denied him.
        We could argue endlessly what residency means, but to immigration officers it seems to mean physically living there for a valid reason. (work, school, etc.)
        So what I’m trying to say is that if you ever intend to immigrate to the US, I would never touch US credit cards before actually moving there.
        Also even though you don’t have plans to immigrate to the US, you never know what life is going to be in 10 years and you may find a good opportunity in the future to move down there, only to find out your US credit cards are working against you at that point.
        IMHO points and miles are not worth your future, and it is very important not to get blind-sighted by credit card sign up bonuses.
        Personally I am not going to risk it at all after hearing about what I wrote above.
        I think it’s probably worth mentioning this risk in your main post.
        Lastly, I wanna say I appreciate all your work and your blog is very helpful.
        Thank you-

        1. kelvin

          “Investors can get green cards if they put enough money into U.S. businesses. Entrepreneurs who invest at least $1,000,000 into a new business or $500,000 into a business in a targeted employment area can then apply for a green card. The business must create at least 10 permanent jobs within the United States. The form to fill out would be Form I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur.”

          What if I get a bunch of US cards without having actually lived there and later I apply for a green card but I decide to apply through my business? I feel like money talks at the end of the day.

  51. Phil

    Hi I just open a td account with my Canadian address. Is there a way to change the address to a US address?

    1. Sam

      Were you able to change the address? I can’t seem to do so.

    2. LesMiserables YVR

      Hey Phil,
      I opened my TD US checking account today and have the same question. Were you able to change the address ?

      1. Sam

        Were you able to change the address?

  52. stage odd

    hey Ricky, I left a comment today on the churning canada subreddit as well. I’m a mid-senior software engineer in YVR who’s planning to move to SF to work in the next few years. I’ve had my ITIN and handful of US cards for a while. Just wondering whether having those US cards would impact my chances of getting my visa approval or anything in the future, and whether there’s someone who has a definite answer. thanks.

  53. Mr. Hansea

    Anyone having issues trying to open a US TD Convenience checking account online? I get the error “Sorry, we were unable to verify your identity”. I’ve never had any issues with applications in Canada.

    1. JJ

      Mr.Hansea Just go into your local TD branch and have them help you do the application mine wouldn’t work online either it said something about not being able to verify me and there was something on my TD file that was different than the answers that I was putting in. once I went into the branch they did it within 30 minutes no problem.

    2. Ming En

      I got the same error and could not apply online. Went down to a branch and completed the application using an ipad.

      1. Steven

        Do you need to add a Social security number when you open the account on TD? I see on the video presentation on the website that we need to have it but how we can got it, it’s mandatory? Thanks



    Hello! I have a relative living in the US. Would it be adviseable if they can add me as an authorized user to their CC (Chase Saphire Preferred)? Many websites mention this as being a way to build US credit history. If I can also use their address and get a bank account, all I would need is a ITIN.

    Do you think it a sound strategy?

    1. Ricky YVR

      That could work!

  55. Hossam

    Some tips and tricks
    Thanks to Rick, I started the game March last year and up to now I accumulated 250K MR points. 3 Hilton cards and two stays at All inclusive in Cancun on Hilton points and 450K leftover.
    1- RBC has Cross-Border Banking which they use your Canadians credit score to approve you for U.S bank account and credit card. I was approved for RBC credit card 15K and free bank account. List any address there, no questions asked
    2- I was approved for two AMEX cards through Nova
    3- I made mistakes so don’t repeat them, never apply through AMEX public offers. There are links that gets you 75K AMEX personal PLT with the same spending, much better than the public offer for 60K only, yep I made the public offer mistakes a lot. Also the no fee Hilton card with 100K points, imagine that, I only got the 60K public offer.
    4- AMEX has a new option where it shows you your credit card # after it has been approved, so technically you don’t need to wait for the real card to use it. I didn’t try it yet, but it’s there.
    5- One of my biggest mistakes that I applied for a lot of AMEX and thus can’t apply for Chase products 5/24 silly rule.
    6- Monitor your credit score in U.S. when you start building it. Experian and Transunion were the first Bureaus to pick them up, while Equifax was the last.
    7- You can’t apply for Chase products until the three Bureaus has your credit. Don’t get fooled and no matter what apply for maximum of 3 credit cards in the first year, until Chase catches up your credit and then apply for two Chase products.
    8- I had a friend in U.S. where I sent my cards to
    Let me know if you have any questions

    1. Christa

      Hi Hossam,
      How soon did you apply for your first Amex after opening your US bank account?

      1. Hossam

        One week. I have about 7 cards with AMEX.

  56. American card

    Did I waste my one Nova credit hit? Opened a cross-border account 2 days ago, changed address to a USA domicile address (spouse’s parents). I applied through Nova Credit and asked to call in. Apparently they couldn’t 3-way call my bank because my account has been open less than 30 days and I need to send them proof of address another way. 🙁

  57. Ben L

    Does the 5/24 rule apply for having just *applied* for cards? I’ve applied for two cards (including one Chase card) and was refused based on too new of a credit file; would these figure into the 5/24 rule? Given they show as hard pulls on my file.

  58. Daniel Fradkin

    Ricky, you mentioned that you use CIBC Smart account for US address. I have a CIBC checking account in Canada. In the US checking account application, they ask for your home address and your shipping address. Which one do you say is the 24/7 Parcel address? Both? Also, they ask me where to ship my new US debit card. Shipping or home address? thanks

    1. Peter

      I had no issues listing Canadian address as home address and US address and shipping address when applying for Amex Global Transfer. The US address shows up on my statement and that’s the CIBC agent was able to confirm that address on the 3-way call with Amex

    2. Ricky YVR

      It’s best to use the US address as the home address, so that it shows up on your monthly banking statements and can be used to verify your address with the issuers.

  59. Lidya Ercag

    Hey everyone,

    I just tried to complete the amazon KDP part and I get the response:

    “To be eligible to receive an ITIN letter from Amazon, you’re required to complete your tax information in the online tax interview and receive at least one payment from KDP.”

    Is there a way to bypass the “payment from KDP” part anyone is aware of? Looks like they will not give me a letter otherwise?

    1. Kyrie English

      Just pay for your book

  60. Osvald

    Hi Ricky
    Looks many people are having difficulty with getting an ITIN for US cards, especially now that the Amazon ‘self-publishing’ route no longer seems to work. I wonder if a pretty easy way would be simply having a US interest-bearing bank account.
    Here is my case. I have a US bank account that generates some minor interest. The figure is small, however, every year they send me IRS Form 1042-S ‘Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding.’
    My plan of getting an ITIN is this:
    – Submitting Form W-7 as an alien with boxes “a” and “h” ticked, reference to Exception 1(d)
    – Attaching Form 1042-S from by bank as evidence of my US-derived passive income and need for an ITIN
    – Putting my Canadian address in W-7, both for residential and postal address
    – Adding my passport certified copy
    Looks easy peasy to me. Or do you see any flaws in the plan?
    A few lose ends to work out before submitting everything:
    – Not sure if sending a printout of my Form 1042-S is enough – or would I need to ask my bank to supply me with a letter to IRS about my passive income, and that an ITIN would help me with IRS information reporting and/or federal tax withholding, etc
    – Apparently Passport Canada do not provide certified copies now – but hopefully will once life starts getting to normal
    – Will IRS send a reply to my Canada address? Does it help using a US mailing address instead?
    If this will work for me, it would work for most Canadians. Opening a US interest-bearing account with a deposit sufficient to produce Form 1042-S is far more reliable than getting a Mickey-Mouse letter from Amazon or similar, don’t you think?

    1. Kyrie English

      This seems like a good plan. Let us know that goes.

      1. Osvald

        Looks this innovative approach won’t work

        I asked my US bank for an ITIN support letter to attach to W-7. And they say no need for that, all tax withholding matters regarding my interest can be resolved by completing Form W-8BEN.

        Which is perfectly true, the only trouble this way I wont get an ITIN.

        I told my bank my preferred way still would be to get an ITIN and would be grateful for the letter. But I’m not holding my breath

  61. Jeff H TOR

    You know this is also good for opening american Stock trading accounts (weBull and Robinhood for example). thanks for the info.
    For traders out there .. the american market and its’ brokerages have often got great deals that normally aren’t available for canadians such as free stocks for signing up which could turn into a huge profit

    1. Kyrie English

      And no 1.5% transaction fees!

  62. Anson

    Hi Ricky,

    I just applied for the Marriott Bonvoy personal card through AMEX global transfer. I want to get the Marriott business card ASAP to get the 30 elite nights credit this year. However, I heard from the AMEX rep that they can only do the global transfer once, my next card will have to be based on my US credit score, which will take ~6 months to build up.

    Is this consistent with your understanding? Or do you think I should try and apply for the business card anyway? Thanks!

    1. stevex365 OTT

      Hi Anson! Were you successful in getting both Amex cards? Thanks!

      1. Pat

        Can you do the counterpart article to this for Americans that want to get a Canadian CC?

  63. mechu

    Tried to open a TD US convenience checking account online (currently banking with TD in Canada) but seems like you need to provide a social security number now.

    Anyone knows if CIBC smart checking account also require a social security number when applying online? Hoping to know whether it’s still possible before I go and open a CIBC Canada account for a star.

    1. Steven

      you don’t need an SSN – you just need to go in to branch to apply for the TD Convenience chequing.

      1. mechu

        Finally managed to open the TD convenience checking account at the branch. First branch I visited insisted that they couldn’t open a US account from here but second branch I tried knew that the application had to be submitted using their iPad. I am trying to update my address (to the US address) on TD easyweb now but I see that I can only edit my current address. Does that mean the US address will become both my residential and mailing address until I change it back?

  64. jordan ducheminsky

    I haven’t had luck getting a us credit card with an ITIN. i’ve been denied for all. Some want a SSN or more USA info that I can’t supply. I already have a USA amex. (2 now actually)
    any recommendations which card to apply for next?

  65. Craig

    Warning: If you apply for an additional cardholder, even at the time of your initial application, Amex may send the cards individually. 24/7 was upset but understanding that a card came to my box addressed to my wife, even though this was not anticipated nor expected to happen (I would have thought they’d have shipped the two cards together at the same time). You may want to proactively add your spouse, but it is $45/year.

  66. JMC

    Hi Ricky, it seem the 24/7 Parcel address at Niagara Falls doesn’t work anymore. I’ve done everything up to the step where I uploaded my bank statement. But after that, the Global Relations rep called me out that the address I provided was a mail forwarding service address, not a residential address, so he couldn’t process my application any further.

    1. Craig

      JMC, which address are you using? 24/7 got flagged under their old address so you’ll have to change to their new one: 825 Main Street, Niagara Falls, NY 14301

      1. Fred

        Hi Craig,
        How current is the status of the new address at 24/7? I assume at some point the new address will get flagged also.

      2. JMC

        Hi Craig, thanks for your response. Yes. This was the problem. It should be resolved now.

  67. Alex

    Hi Ricky.

    Two questions:
    1) I and my spouse have different last names, but we reside at the same address here in Canada. Will 24/7 open an account with both our names on it – or will we have to open a separate account for each one of us?
    2) I have two US AMEX cards for over a year now – but no ITIN yet. Do I have a chance to be approved by Chase at all?

    1. Craig

      24/7 will add a spouse for $45/year.

  68. Jeremy Lee

    Ricky thanks for sharing such valuable information with us.
    prior to stumbling on your youtube-video, in my own effort trying to get a US credit card, I went to RBC > opened a saving account then request to > open an RBC US cross-border account > finally applied for the US RBC Visa Signature card..that was my only option.,but this card only gives me 1point per dollar spent…what will you suggest I do? my goal is to get the chases ink card.

    my question to

  69. Kevin K

    Tried to apply for the AMEX BUSINESS Bonvoy Marriott card online (via the referral here or no referral) but the application was insisting on a SSN/ITIN and wouldn’t take all zeros or anything to allow the application to be submitted so I called in and applied over the phone at: 1-800-NOW-OPEN. As a previous comment mentioned I let them know that I live in Canada and already have an American Express in Canada and I’m looking to apply for a new card in the USA.

    I already have another USA Amex card but this did not come up during the conversation. I was approved instantly on the phone however likely because of holding a USA Amex card for almost a year already. If the approval wasn’t instant then they would have transferred me over to the Global Transfer team for approval based on my Canadian credit history. Looking forward to the additional 15 elite nights from this card.

  70. JustSam

    When applying for a personal card using Nova Credit, does it trigger a hard inquiry on your Canadian credit report?

    1. Ricky YVR


  71. John

    When opening the US bank account (at a Canadian bank), doesn’t the bank ask for proof of address when asking to put e.g. the 24/7 parcel address as address?

    1. Ricky YVR

      The bank usually does not.

  72. Vik G

    Does it affect our Canadian credit history at all with the US churning, thanks

    1. Ricky YVR


  73. Deven Prasad

    Tried to do a global transfer this morning, and was advised by Amex that the 24/7 Parcel address is now listed as a mail forwarder in their system, and the application cannot proceed.

    1. mechu

      Oh man. Just logged 3 months history with Amex Canada and was intending to request for the global transfer. Are there any other alternatives that forward mail to Canada?

  74. Villz

    Ok you’re gonna have to dummy this down for me. I was actually born in the States but live here in Canada and I want to go back to the States probably like in two years. So with that being said, I do not presently have a U.S residential address so how can I go about opening up a US bank account and get my first American credit card? also can I actually call the banks in the US and see if they can open up an account for me and allow me to sign up for a credit card ?

  75. Gio68

    Has anyone gotten an itin from an online certified agent? And if so, can someone recommend one? I’m thinking i might just pay to get this done as the amazon route seems like its not working for many people anymore.

  76. John

    OMG i got denied!!!…lol
    After getting all the nesesary things in order(us bank account, 24/7 parcel) i went ahead and applied for the coveted amex hilton aspire card via the global transfer online application and got denied. I dont think i’ve ever been denied a credit card here in canada, my credit score has ranged from about 740 to 780 in the last 6 months.Maybe i’ll try over the phone during business hrs. I don’t know.. ????

    1. HB

      Hey John,

      Did you end up getting an ITIN number and get approved for it? I want to make sure I get approved for everything before applying.

  77. soap

    Is it possible to follow up to Step 3, get the Amex card and start building credit history. Then, if and when one decides to link a SSN/ITIN, the credit history will already have accrued so as to immediately be able to apply to other issuers?

    1. Ricky YVR


  78. Enojay

    Hi Ricky,

    I tried contacting Amazon for their Kindle Direct Publishing support letter and received the following reply. If anyone has any suggestions on other ways of obtaining the ITIN, please do say. Thanks 🙂

    Hi XXXX ,

    Noticing that you have not published content in your KDP account yet, have not yet received any royalty payments, and have not completed our tax interview we are declining to issue an ITIN letter at this time.

    The ITIN letters that we issue are intended for Authors who publish content with Amazon and

    1) Do not have a Tax ID number in their local country to claim tax benefits on a W-8 form submitted to Amazon or
    2) Resided in a country that does not have 0% tax treaty rate with the US and may need to file a US tax return to request a refund of taxes withheld.

    Only when you fall under either of the above mentioned circumstance and once you have received your first royalty payment please feel free to contact us for an ITIN letter again with additional details surrounding your circumstances that would require you to file a US tax return for your royalty payments and we will reconsider issuing an ITIN letter.

    Thank you for contacting Amazon,

    1. Victoria

      Did you manage do get this sorted out? I am having the same issue

  79. Phoenyx

    I went through nova and just got asked for a form 4506-T I dont have an IRS tax file because my primary address is in Canada. Any idea how to sort this out? Should I just start again by getting Canadian Amex card then going through global???

    Helllp… thanks 🙂

  80. Anon

    Received my approved ITIN today on first attempt (Dec 17, 2019)

    I used the Amazon letter, but I photoshopped it to remove the underlines so it didn’t look self-generated. I also printed it on thick paper and I folded some creases to make it look like it came out of an envelope.

    I didn’t attach a cover letter. I only sent the documents they required. YMMV.

    1. Harrinton

      Hi Anon, Please can I see how you edited your Amazon Letter? Thank you.

    2. George

      Did you send it with a normal carrier (Canada Post) or express (FedEx, UPS)? Also did you send your passport or a certified copy of your passport?

      1. Michael Reid

        If I may give an advice.
        Any US Consulate or Embassy can Notarize documents for a fee. The notary will have us standing and be accepted by the IRS.

      2. Anon

        Canada Post & certified copy

        1. Nick Berczi

          Hey Anon,

          Are you able to email me a copy of the photoshopped amazon document?

    3. Krish

      Hey Anon,

      Can you show me your W-7 Form. For sure, you may want to hide your personal info. Did you enter anything in Date of entry into the United States (MM/DD/YYYY):?

      1. Anon

        I don’t have my W-7 form anymore, but no I didn’t enter anything there

  81. w

    Step 3 says it’s recommended to get a credit card with no annual fee first because it’ll be the card with the longest credit history. But, after you use the nice signup bonuses for the first year, can’t you do a product switch down to the no annual fee one? There’s usually a rule about not being able to get the intro sign-up bonus if you already have a credit card in that family

  82. Derek

    I’m a heavy amex user. I have three Canadian amex cards and i use them all for different purposes. I still intend to use these Canadian cards. Does calling amex and ‘switching ‘ to a US user impact the status of my other cards?

    1. Ron Sigal

      No, your Canadian cards will be unaffected.

  83. Sebby

    I’ve applied for a Chase INK Business card as a sole prop using my ITIN for the application. Chase is requesting I send in more documents to verify myself with a utility bill. I can provide everything else outside of that utility bill. Any work around? Does Amex ask for a utility bill as well when getting business cards?

  84. Guian Carlo Guan

    Hi Ricky,

    Currently in the process of trying to get an ITIN. From my recent emails with Amazon, they’re telling me that I wouldn’t need an ITIN anymore since I am a Canadian citizen with a Canadian SIN, and that’s all they need to exempt me from the withholding taxes. Am I SOL?

  85. Nick

    Hi Ricky,

    I used to work as a co-op student in America for 4 months in 2012. I was assigned a SSN number.

    I’m not sure if this SSN number is still valid or not. How do I verify that it still works and should I use it?

    1. Wowzera

      It still works. You can use it to link your credit profile or start building a new one.

  86. vea

    My husband and I followed these instructions to request an ITIN to the letter, but our applications were both rejected. (October 2019) The letter says "we rejected your application for an ITIN because the supporting documents you sent don’t support the exception to filing a U.S. tax return that you claimed". We used the Amazon letter and certified true copies of our passports. Everything was filled out exactly per the instructions above, including phoning the IRS and citing the name of the person we spoke to.

    1. Carmella

      Did you print out the readily available ITIN letter or did you get Amazon to send one in the mail?

      How long did it take to hear back after you sent the documents?

      It looks like the above methods don’t work anymore.

      1. George

        I sent both letters (self-generated and Amazon letter they sent in the mail) and I just got back a rejection letter… Back to the drawing board and try again.

      2. Wowzera

        Please answer those questions.
        There’s some data points about the auto generated Amazon letter doesn’t work.

  87. Rav

    Ricky, I am thinking of getting US Amex through global transfer. I plan to use US credit card on daily basis but my only concern is paying bills in US $. If I convert CAD to USD everytime from my CIBC Canada to CIBC US, I feel I will be wasting a lot of money in conversions. How do you and everyone else do their conversion from CAD to USD to pay their US credit card bills?

  88. XX

    The IRS is no longer accepting scanned or photocopies of ITIN documents. They are also no longer accepting any ready to print templates you find online – including the generic ITIN letter from Amazon. I don’t have a confirmed solution currently. Although, we are working on 3-5 methods actively and are waiting on the IRS.

    1. Harrinton

      Hi, please did you get any other alternative yet? Thank you.

    2. Wowzera

      I recently applied for an ITIN using the Amazon letter (it was sent to my house) and a certified copy of my foreign passport by the US Consulate in Brazil.
      IRS received the documents at October 28th.
      I hope to update you guys soon with good news 🙂

  89. Sean

    Hi Ricky,

    Thanks for your great post! Now I did a global transfer, but am asked to upload a bank statement or utility bill with the American address, which I don’t have. How to deal with this?

    1. Ricky YVR

      You need to get a bank account. It was one of the steps mentioned in the article.

  90. Rob

    Hi Ricky,

    Just wondering how can I apply to the US business bonvoy card with your referral code? It is asking for SSN without the ‘i have a foreign amex account’ option.


    1. Ricky YVR

      It seems possible to input a dummy SSN (like "00000000") and then call in when the application naturally gets declined to clarify that you’d like to do a global transfer. But don’t worry too much about using the referral code if it’s too much trouble – the public offer is also 100k until today! 🙂

  91. XX

    Got approved today for 5 figures on an American Express credit card via Global Transfer.

    1) call 1-877-621-2639 and apply for a new card.

    a. Let them know you live in country XXX, you have American Express already and you’re applying for a new card in the USA.

    b. They won’t ask you for SSN or ITIN during application.

    c. Provide them all the info they want, even if they say it’s optional. Absolutely none of it is invasive.

    d. Then they will say you have to speak to somebody in new accounts because your application is pending. Of course, it’s going to be pending because you have no credit file in the USA.

    e. If you get transferred to somebody who sounds like they are from India then let them know that you need to speak to somebody in Global Relations or Global Transfers. These people from India CANNOT help you with Global Transfer requests. They’re the same reps you’ve probably spoken to in Canada when inquiring about the status of your approval on a card.

    f. When you get through to Global Relations let them know the situation and that you want to finalize the application.

    g. They will ask for lease agreement or banking statement so have that ready to upload. They will also say that once you upload that it will take up to 24 hours for approval, in my experience call back Global Transfers DIRECTLY after 3 hours and it will be good to go.

    NOTE: If you don’t have a lease agreement or banking statement with the 24/7 address on it then it’s up to you to figure this part out and how far you’ll extend your ethics.


    This only pertains to Global Transfers.

    Personally, I set up my mailbox with 24/7 AFTER getting approved. I gave them (American Express) the generic address for one of the 24/7 mailbox locations that I want my card to go to.

    I already have a long-time bank account with one of the big banks, across the border, so that didn’t apply to me.

    I got a very aggressive starting limit because I have been with American Express Canada for many years now and among my plethora of cards with them (all in good standing – however, a couple of the credit cards do carry high balances due to revolving debts – buy/pay buy/pay etc), 3 of them are Platinum charge.

    In point g. I mentioned calling Global Relations directly. The number for them is 1-866-929-5160. DO NOT CALL THEM DIRECTLY UNTIL YOU GET TO THE PART I OUTLINED IN STEP G.

    Looking back on how easy it was, I would recommend setting up the mailbox first because this Global Transfer program is essentially guaranteed as long as you’re not late on your American Express payments.

    I’ll update here after 6 months in regards to how it goes with getting my 2nd American Express card in the USA.

    Good luck!

  92. Jack

    Hi Ricky,
    Just wanna make sure in the W-7 form, in the: applicants mailing address and foreign (non-us address), we simply put our Canadian address in both section. Correct ?

    Thanks, and let me know

    1. Wowzera

      Yes, correct, take a look at the W7 form instructions from the IRS.

      1. Jack


  93. Manuel G


    I think I did something wrong as I was redirected to a W8-form. What did I need to do differently?

    Not as an individual but as a company?
    Need to give Us-address instead of European address?


  94. MC

    Amazon is being difficult with the supporting letter for the ITIN. They are asking me why you cannot provide Canada’s SIN number in the W-8BEN form?

    1. Saul

      Same problem here. Anyone have alternatives to the Amazon method??

  95. Will

    Hi Ricky,

    I lost my US address (due to my friend’s moving back to home country) and I had to change the address back to Canada in my Amex US account. The process was smooth, but I wonder whether the postal-code zip-code transition rule (3 digits from postal code + 00), that usually works for Canadian credit cards, is also applicable to AMEX US card?

    1. Cupofcoffee

      You can add a US address (any address) as an ‘alternate address’ on your amex account using chat. That way your Canadian address will still be the main ‘home’ address and used for billing/mailing, but you’ll be able to use either your Candian address or the alternate US address as the card address when paying either online or physically.

  96. Matheus Bossle dos Santos

    About filling the W-7 form, in the field 6d, do I need to fill the "Date of entry into the United States"? I am currently outside the US.
    Also, about the field 6g, do I need to fill it with amazon info? Other than that, everything seems alright.
    Anyone got success recently using the Amazon method?
    Awesome article, thanks Ricky 🙂

  97. Jack

    Hi Ricky,
    Regarding for the W-7 form, is it best to put your Canadian address similarly to the KDP profile ?
    In order to prevent any issues-refusal and delayed…..

    1. Ricky YVR

      Yes, you put your Canadian address since the idea is to show you’re a foreign resident who should be exempt from US withholding taxes.

      1. Jack

        Perfect, Much thanks for all the insights !

  98. Jimbo

    Chase is asking for address verification and does not accept bank statement am I SOL here?

    1. Fellow Traveller

      Maybe go for a month to month cell phone plan?

  99. Susana

    I think that when I check that I have a credit card in Canada, they ask me to log into my account. When I get to my account they say that the offer of the AMEX GOLD in US is not open anymore and there is a list of the other cards mentioned above. But none is so good as the GOLD. Would they have this offer available to people with ITIN’s?

  100. Susana

    I have a US Address, a newly minted US bank account, and a Canadian AMEX in good standing, but when I tried to apply for the US AMEX Gold via your referral, they do not let me continue the application unless I write the SSN or ITIN, which I do not have, even if I check that I have a credit rating in Canada. There is no place to write "International card holder". How should I proceed?

  101. Frank

    I am on the step to open us bank account with a Canadian bank US branch. Do I declare that my permanent address is in the US to have a US address on statement or the Canadian address is fine?

  102. Kevin

    Hi Ricky,
    Does it make sense to use a US credit card (such as Chase Saphire Reserve) as your everyday card in both Canada and US, if also you using Norbert’s Gambit to avoid exchange rate commissions?

  103. Nikki

    Form 4506-T, has anyone encountered a request to submit this document? And if so, mind sharing how you proceeded?

  104. VS

    Hi Ricky,

    Down to the ITIN step. Should you use your US or Canadian address to receive your ITIN from the IRS? I assume Canadian is fine.

    Second, I have a TD Bank (US) credit card already (TD Visa Signature First Class) that I got through TD in the US and using my SIN number. They told me since I’m using my SIN, I’m not building credit in the US. Will they change my info to the ITIN so I can start or do I need to start all over again with your suggested cards?

    Thanks a lot!

    1. Andrew

      1) Canadian address is fine, probably better that way since then the IRS knows you’re foreign.
      2) From the DPs I’ve heard, I don’t think TD can add your ITIN on. It may potentially be building history though, when you get your first Amex card you can try to check your credit report and see if your TD account is on there.

  105. FlyYYZ

    24/7 seems to have negative Dp, any other suggestions?

  106. Expaty

    You can get a Wells Fargo bank account using your Canadian address and passport. It gets annoying sometimes when some merchants won’t allow a US card and Canadian address for debit card purchases but aside from that everything works fine. You still need an itin to apply for their credit cards though.

  107. Dan

    Hi Ricky and Everyone Else,

    Newbie question here, but I just wanted to make sure the rewards from these US-based cards are fully redeemable for us Canadians once we collect them. Say we successfully obtain any of these US cards, are there limits to how I can use them on US sites as a Canadian resident? Some issues I can think of using the US CCs are:

    1) Say I live in Toronto. If I book a flight on an American site ( for instance), does doing so commit me to start a flight from a US city instead of a Canadian one for any of my vacations (do I need to drive from Toronto to Niagara Falls/Buffalo, the closest US city, before flying)?

    2) Am I able to book a flight directly from any Canadian Airline (like Air Canada) without incurring additional FX-charges?

    1. Andrew

      1) No issues there. It would be billed in US Dollars but you could book any trip normally (if their booking system supports it). A similar case would be redeeming Expedia for TD Points for an inter-Europe flight, we’re allowed to do that it’ll just be billed in CADs.

      2) Depends on the card, cards that have no-fx fees would not incur a fx fee. It’s the same as any purchase.

  108. Guest

    Any way to use my ein instead? I’ve had one for a decade via amazon and lulu… Perhaps I’d have to open a business account along with my personal one at my USA bank to pull this off? I’d rather not though, they have monthly fees whereas my personal account does not.

  109. Jay Wong

    Hey Ricky and everyone else! Just wanted to share some good news…

    After months of doing this on and off, I finally got my first American US Card yesterday in hand 🙂

    I opted for the Amex Hilton Honors Card and went through the Global Express program. Didn’t even need an ITIN to get it! Though I guess that’s a next step as I wait to build up credit and get some of the other cards.

    Thanks for all the info here – it’s been very helpful!

    Question on this – does this mean I should create 2 logins for American Express now? 1 for my Canadian cards and 1 for the my US credit cards?

    Thanks again for all the help the last few months!

    1. Davidd418 -

      I tried to have them both under the same account when I got my first US card but there was no way to have it connected. I use two separate accounts one for US an one for Canada.

    2. Ricky YVR

      Glad to hear it Jay! Yes, having two separate logins for your Amex Canada and US is generally the best practice.

  110. Roger

    Hi Ricky,

    If we get an ITIN in the US, does that mean we need to file a tax return now in the US just by virtue of having it?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Nope, the act of having an ITIN itself does not obligate you to file a tax return.

  111. MK

    I find lots of info online about how easy it is to get american express through global transfer, however I just submitted an application online and got an email saying that I need to call them and verify information. They ended up calling me and told me that my address doesn’t qualify because it has to be residential address, not my mailing one.
    Any advice ?

    1. Nikki

      Did you use an address from 24/7 Parcel?

  112. Vince

    Hi Ricky,

    Any advice on what to do when Amex requests a 4506T form after an application? I did at GT to the personal Bonvoy card in January, got my ITIN in March and applied for the Bonvoy Business card in April, which was approved. I recently applied for the Everyday card and Amex is requesting a 4506T, is there anything I can do?


  113. Ahraaz

    Hi Ricky,

    I provided a relative’s address in USA but now AMEX is asking for Address Proof.

    How do i provide info with my name on a utility bill when I dont live there?