Getting US Credit Cards for Canadians

In this guide, we’ll explore 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 welcome 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, American Express 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

US credit cards can also give you a major leg up when it comes to other meaningful benefits along your travels, such as 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.

Likewise, for Marriott Bonvoy Platinum status, you can either hustle to stay 50 nights in a calendar year, or you can simply hold the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, which offers the status as an ongoing perk.

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 provides services to meet the needs of many Canadians getting into the US credit card market.

A mail forwarding service can serve as your US address

While 24/7 Parcel mainly offers parcel receiving and pickup services, they’ll also forward your letter mail for $1.50 (USD) per envelope plus postage. Typically, the total cost is $2.70 (USD) per letter forwarded to Canada.

24/7 Parcel charges a fee of $90 (USD) per year; however, Prince of Travel readers can obtain a $20 (USD) 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’re very much encouraged to do some of your own research as well.

No matter which 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 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 an “N” (as is the case for 24/7 Parcel’s private address), issuers will recognize the address as a residential address, and you’ll be good to go.

Step 2: Get a US Bank Account

The next step in the process is to set up a US bank account.

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, if you bank with CIBC in Canada, you could explore options with its US counterpart, CIBC US. One option is to open a Smart Account, which has a no monthly fee and includes free incoming wire payments and free bill payments.

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 between your Canadian- and US-domiciled CIBC accounts instantly online.

The equivalent holds true with TD Canada Trust and TD Bank (the 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 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 some easy ways to transfer their membership to another country whenever they “relocate”.

Method 1: American Express Global Transfer

Presently, the easiest option to kickstart your journey into US credit cards 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.

Alternatively, you can complete the process online.

On the Amex US credit card application page, look for the Social Security Number (SSN) box. If you don’t have a US SSN or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (see below), look for the box that says “I have had a credit card or loan in Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Dominican Republic, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, South Korea, Switzerland, or the United Kingdom”.

If you click on the information symbol (the circled “i” next to Social Security Number), a popup will appear on the page. At the end of the blurb, there’s a link to log in to your Amex account from another country. Click on this link.

Another popup will appear, and you’ll need to agree to Amex US accessing your Amex account history from another country. 

You’ll then be prompted to login to your Amex account, and some of your information will auto-fill on the application page.

You’ll be asked to provide government-issued ID information. Again, if you don’t have a US SSN or ITIN, check the box that says “I don’t have a Social Security Number but can enter a government-issued ID number”.

Next, choose an eligible document from the government-issued ID type dropdown menu. The best option is likely your passport. 

At this point, you can complete the application. If you’re lucky, you’ll be instantly approved, and your new US-issued card will be mailed to your US address.

However, there’s a good chance that you’ll be contacted by Amex US to verify the information you provided on the application, which 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’ll initiate a three-way call with your bank to verify your address

If you just need to upload a document or two to the Amex website, the verification process shouldn’t take very long. However, if Amex needs to do a three-way call, it could result in a long time spent on hold, or it could fail completely if they’re unable to reach your bank.

In any event, be sure to have all of your documents ready, as it will reduce the turnaround time to get your US credit card in your hands.

Method 2: 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.

However, Amex US recently made it necessary to have a US SSN or ITIN before you can apply using Nova Credit. Therefore, the below process only works if you have a US SSN or ITIN. If you have neither, then you’ll have to apply via Global Transfer (see above).

If you don’t have an SSN or ITIN, check out our guide on how to obtain an ITIN in Step 4 below.

To apply via Nova Credit, open up the application form for any Amex US personal credit card, and then click the “I have had a credit card or loan in… ” checkbox where it asks for your Social Security Number. You’ll also need to add your ITIN or SSN here.

Note where it says, “Log in to help us access your foreign account information.” Even if you happen to be an existing Amex Canada cardholder, it isn’t necessary to sign in.

In fact, doing so will initiate the “Global Transfer” process described above, whereas not signing in will result in the arguably smoother Nova Credit process, as long as you have an SSN or ITIN.

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. 

Once this is done, 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, as is the case with Global Transfer.

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. 

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 applicants 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.

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 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 could make sense to keep around for the long run, such as the Amex US Hilton Aspire Card.

Not only does this card typically offer a very impressive welcome bonus, but its annual fee of $550 (USD) is offset by a $400 (USD) Hilton Resort credit and a $200 (USD) flight credit, plus you get an annual Hilton Free Night Reward and top-tier Hilton Diamond status for as long as you hold the card. 

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 most business credit cards don’t 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 3–6 months later (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, or applying in person.

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, you’ll need to declare it and pay the corresponding taxes.

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 primary 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’ll 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 $5 in gambling winnings). This serves to justify why you require an ITIN in your application. 

It’s worth noting that there are other dedicated services, known as Certified Acceptance Agents, who also provide full assistance with ITINs. However, the fees are typically quite hefty, so if you look into this option, be prepared to pay a premium.

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, or make an appointment in person and bring the documents with you:

  • Document justifying the need for an ITIN (e.g., a 1040NR 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 from the IRS for a while, 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 or apply by mail for a certified copy. Keep in mind that there could be a backlog of appointments, so apply sooner rather than later if you want to expedite the process.

The fee for certified copies is $45 (CAD), 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.

Or, make an appointment at an IRS office for your next visit to the US, and then make sure you bring everything with you.

You should expect to wait quite a while – as of 2023, the current turnaround times at the ITIN processing office seem to be in the region of about eight weeks.

If you’ve done everything right, you should eventually 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 handful 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 small business credit cards after you’ve gotten your first Amex US product.

As mentioned earlier, Amex 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.

Of these, one reason to consider the Amex US Marriott Bonvoy Business Card is that the 15 elite qualifying nights given each year as a cardholder benefit stack with the Amex US Marriott Bonvoy personal cards.

If you also happen to hold the Amex US Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, you’ll get a total of 40 elite qualifying nights each year (25 from the Bonvoy Brilliant, and 15 from the Bonvoy Business. 

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 in place of the SSN or ITIN.

Capital One Credit Cards

Capital One has a strong presence in the United States. In particular, its Capital One Venture X Card is absolutely worth considering as you explore various US credit card options.

Similar to American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards, Capital One Miles transfer 1:1 to useful airline programs, such as Aeroplan, British Airways Avios, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, and Air France KLM Flying Blue

As with Chase, Capital One generally approves applicants who have an established US credit history. Some data points suggest that you should have around three years of credit history and no more than one application in the past six months across all three credit bureaus.

Keep an eye out for attractive signup offers with the Capital One Venture X Card after you’ve established your US credit history, as it may well be a worthy addition to your US credit card portfolio.

Other US Credit Card Issuers

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

  • Citi’s credit cards allow you to earn Citi ThankYou Rewards, which can be transferred to a variety of useful or unique airline partners. 
  • Bank of America’s Alaska Airlines or Air France KLM co-branded credit cards offer another way to earn miles with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan and Air France KLM Flying Blue.
    • 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 goal 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, it’s recommended to go through this process for both of you at the same time. After all, we know that maximizing points in two-player mode is one of the best ways to scale up your earnings, 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.

This guide aims to lay 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. Michael

    Super amazing information and I’m the beginning of my bath to build my US credit!

    First hurdle: 24/7 Parcel is saying their addresses will not accept a CIBC Account. Besides and TD, does anyone recommend any other bank?

    OR, does anyone recommend someone other than 24/7 Parcel, that will accept a CIBC bank account? I bank with them so it would be preferable.

    Thanks for your help,

  2. Ferozyyz

    I applied for the IMAX us card because I have a Amex Canadian car the option I choose was the credit everything went fine submitted the application it gave a number to call so I called the number and speaking to the agent he wanted to know the address that I am residing in US the Linden address I gave and I was told that we need further verification I was transferred to a global department where they asked me what is your physical home address the items that I have to given is not a valid physical address it’s like a mailbox so they asked the proof to provide the valid physical address which I didn’t have in my hand handy and I said I don’t have it I have to get back so that’s kind of a red flag now

  3. Paul

    Right now I’m getting 15 elite nights credited to my Bonvoy membership. If I get a US card that credits me enough for the Platinum status will it simply overide the 15 credited to me currently through the Canadian card?

    1. christopher

      Hello. If you have the Amex-US Bonvoy Brilliant card, that gives you 25 nights, this will overwrite your 15 nights that you get from the Amex-Canada Bonvoy card.

  4. Paul

    Anyone try opening a Scotia bank US account? Did it work?

  5. Les

    I live in southwestern BC with less than a 30 minute drive from the U.S. border. Since I travel, shop and visit the USA on a weekly basis, I’ve held a checking account and “No Fee” credit card with the Bank of America for over 10+ years. My FICO score is 820. Last week, I got instantly approved for a “Capital 1 Venture X” credit card. It’s a great premium card and offers a ton more flexibility and earning potential than the Canadian version of the Amex Platinum. If you like to travel with added benefits and flexibility with travel points, I would high suggest this premium card.

  6. Ran

    Thanks for these detailed steps Ricky!

    I’m trying to apply for the Bonvoy Brilliant Card using the steps above. I login and allow the application to use my Canadian information for the application. For the Social Security Number, I select “I don’t have a Social Security Number but can enter a government-issued ID number” and enter my Canadian passport information. I complete the rest of the application fields.

    When I click agree and submit it takes me to the top of the exact same page. There’s no indication about fields that contain an error or any missing information. This is a bit frustrating. I tried multiple browsers and cleared my cache, but every time, I get the same result.

    Does anyone experience this? Any solutions? I really don’t want to call to apply.

    1. steven

      Hi Ran, have you been able to resolve this issue? You may have to apply by phone for a Global Transfer if you are still encountering the error.

      1. Ran

        Hey Steven,
        over the chat function, I confirmed with a CSR that I do have to apply by Phone as the online application is no longer available.

        So when I called in, one rep was willing to do the application even with my Canadian phone number but I didn’t have much time so I had to call back. 2nd rep was insistent on a US phone number which I don’t have so that was a dead end. I will attempt again and hopefully get someone willing to use my Canadian phone number.

        Otherwise, any suggestions on a cheap way to get a US phone number quick?

        Also, I’m applying for the Bonvoy brilliant card with the hopes that, if approved, it provides me with Platinum status before my trip to Asia in 2 weeks. And I will try to get the comp upgrades to the suite! That’s the whole point of this application. Do you think this is dooable?

        Does Amex notify Bonvoy about change in Bonvoy status upon approval or is it upon activation of my amex card?

        1. steven

          Hi Ran, you can order Google Fi on, but be aware you need to activate the SIM card on a US cell tower. You could look into virtual numbers with various apps. There is also a service called Tello. As for your Bonvoy Brilliant application, if you are successful, your Platinum status will likely kick in before you receive the physical card. 🙂 Good luck!

          1. Ran

            Thanks for your reply Steven! And thanks to the entire PoT team!

            Update on my journey:
            -I called back, different agent wasn’t fussed about non-US phone #
            -Applied, got an instant decline but agent said to call the New Accounts number when that department was opened the next day. Did that, the agent reviewed the application and moved it onto the pending review of proof of US Address and gave me the option to upload the bank statement.
            -Uploaded bank statement today and got an email saying the upload was received and that I will have a decision or a request for more information in the coming days so I’m hopeful

            1. I see that the Bonvoy Brilliant offer is now at 185K points on $6K spend vs what I applied for at 85K points on $6K spend. My application has not yet been approved. Any chance I can get the increased bonus? Any advice on how to navigate this conversation?
            2. I will be travelling mid-March to a Marriott property on a 5-night award redemption for standard room with a King Bed. The hotel has Suites and an Executive lounge – hoping that if I’m approved, that the platinum status kicks in by then. Question – am I upgrade eligible even on a redemption?

            1. christopher

              For you question #1, global transfer or nova credit method typically wont allow you to get the elevated public offer. So you can only get the 85k as their standard welcome bonus.
              As for your question #2, yes u r eligible for suite upgrade, but dont hold your expectation too high. I’m a titanium myself, 70-80% of the time i dont get upgraded to suites either. So suite upgrade is simply an eligibility, but not a right or guaranteed

  7. Ran

    Thanks for these detailed steps Ricky!

    I’m trying to apply for the Bonvoy Brilliant Card using the steps above. I login and allow the application to use my Canadian information for the application. For the Social Security Number, I select “I don’t have a Social Security Number but can enter a government-issued ID number” and enter my Canadian passport information. I complete the rest of the application fields.

    When I click agree and submit it takes me to the top of the exact same page. There’s no indication about fields that contain an error or any missing information. This is a bit frustrating. I tried multiple browsers and cleared my cache, but every time, I get the same result.

  8. Jeff

    Something that often gets missed in the analysis of the US credit card journey is that you must have your ITIN # attached to your credit card profile for competitor banks to notice your US credit history. If you get a AmEx card without an ITIN (say, through Nova Credit) and then get the ITIN # later, all the time you spend with Amex #1 won’t count towards your credit rating when you go to apply with Chase or Citi. You can’t link an existing AmEx card to an ITIN so effectively, you need to apply for a second AmEx once you have your ITIN #. I’ve just realized this the hard way, 14 months into having a US AmEx card and 12 months after receiving an ITIN. Presumably, I’ll need to wait another year at this point before my new ITIN-linked AmEx (my second US AmEx card) will get noticed by Chase.

    1. christopher

      Also to be safe, it’s better to apply Chase card in branch. Chase likes to ask for document verification, so it’s best and more convenient to just do it in branch

    2. Ilian YOW

      I’m not sure your assumption is correct. From what I’ve read, once you attach your ITIN to your new Amex, your entire US credit history with your first US Amex from day 1 gets “pulled” in. So when you apply for your first Chase and use your ITIN, Chase should be able to see your US credit history from your day 1 US Amex that you applied when you didn’t have your ITIN. Would be nice if someone can confirm this though as I’m not 100% sure.

      1. Jeff

        Thanks for the reply. I’d love to be proven wrong on this but I’ve been reading a lot of conflicting info. I called AmEx yesterday to ask if they could link my ITIN # to my Day 1 card and they said they could not. Maybe it’s worth a call back to get a second opinion.

        Frugal Flyer has a post on this with an interesting note on the AmEx section saying: “You cannot tie an ITIN to an existing credit card.”

        1. Jeff

          Update: Looks like I was just approved for Chase Aeroplan. Apparently I was wrong about the ITIN process so my apologies for the misinformation.

          I tried a few times to get this one over the last year so I am relieved to finally have it. As a data point, this is 12 months from ITIN receipt and 14 months with the (US) AmEx Blue (Delta Skymiles).

  9. David

    Just an update on my advancement on this long and frustrating process. Have opened a US bank account with CIBC without issues. Have a Canadian Amex Card and applied with global transfer for a US card. The application was flagged to their High Risk and Fraud department which I have been trying to reach over the last 2 days with over 150 calls but they do not respond and their mailbox is full. My ITIN process is following due course. I am about to give up with Amex and their global transfer and wait for my ITIN and try with another institution. Anyone else have this problem and were you eventually able to reach their high risk department? Thanks

    1. Ben

      Hi David did you end up getting your card? I’m going through the same issue with the high risk department. Thanks.

      1. David

        Hi Ben,

        I kind of gave up with Amex as wasted much time trying to reach them and they are unreachable. Will wait to get my itin and try to get a basic credit card with another bank. Hoping going into a bank in the US will.improve my chances.

        1. David

          Just a little update on my ITIN journey which is proving to be costly and time consuming. I submitted my application along with my certified passport copy but as of the fall, Passport only provides a printout of the passport that isn’t embossed which is not accepted by the IRS as I could print out a higher quality copy with my home printer than what was provided. They then requested that I send my physical passport which I just received. I was hesitant but sent it priority with tracking and signature. Now my Package(Passport) has gone missing and hasn’t moved from NY in over a week. I have submitted a missing package search request but am not hopeful. I will hold out one week and then will have my passport reported as stolen and apply for a new one at a cost of 200$ including the 45$ charge.

  10. Luke

    “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)”

    Could you provide examples of such higher-end Canadian-based bank accounts? Thanks

  11. SkyyBlue

    Hi! I signed my husband up yesterday for an AMEX card. You don’t need an ITIN. It’s not clear for sure but once you check the box which says you are international, you need to add your SIN# where they ask for your Social Security.
    What I did find wrong with this post was that I was not taken to the Nova Credit site but rather after just a few small questions, he was approved immediately. On top of that I found that you can go to an “Acceptance Agent” to get your ITIN. There are several in Bellingham including one random below that I plan to call on Monday. The benefit of using an agent is that you dont have to go without your passport for several months or pay $45 to get a certified copy.
    Yese Capital Inc.
    d/b/a Liberty Tax Service 3337 Redwood Avenue
    Bellingham, WA 98225
    Yese Capital Inc.
    d/b/a Liberty Tax Service 3337 Redwood Avenue
    Bellingham, WA 98225

  12. Scouserstevie

    Thought this might be helpful for anyone looking to get this in Oct 2023.
    Created a CIBC US Smart Banking Account – Got this no worries at all and managed to change it to my US address.

    Applied for the Hilton Honours. I got picked for further verification. No issues i thought as the 3 way call would easily authenticate as i have the address set up with my bank (CIBC and called to confirm the same) – However here is where it all goes south, The amex rep could not get through to CIBC and they have a max hold time of 5 minutes…apparently he could not get through and now i have to submit bank statements. They can only call to verify once and that is it!! PS i had called CIBC US just moments before i called amex to verify and i got through with them no issues within a minute tbh – so not sure if the amex rep was just being lazy? or what?

    Since i just created the CIBC account i would have to wait at least 2 months to get proper statements so that i can provide to AMEX – not sure if my application will lapse by then?

    Lesson: Open the bank account, let a couple statements generate and then apply so in case you have to submit documents its ready to go!

    Hopefully it all works out. Good Luck.

    THE CIBC US Account is great btw – i would not go down the TD US account as that does not let you make any transactions and its still part of the Canadian branch so the calling verification thing is weird.

    1. TJ

      Hi there, I bank with CIBC here in Canada, so when I tried to open the CIBC US Smart Banking Account, it auto populates my Canadian home address, how can I change that to my US address? That particular account opening form doesnt allow me to change my address there.

      1. christopher

        Consider using the Cdn address for now first, just so you can open the US account. Once it is set up, you can then change your address into the US one

    2. Scouserstevie

      UPDATE : Sent AMEX the first months statement this time and was approved. Loving the Hilton Honours card and the CIBC US chequing account. Thank you Ricky and team for this article.

  13. Alex YYZ

    Hi @Ricky and All,

    Want to do the ITIN myself, since I will be traveling to the US soon and wanted to schedule an appointment with IRS.
    Aside from W7 – do I also need to fill out the 1040-NR form? One of the forums mentioned it, so I am confused.
    Thanks for your help!

  14. cpaq0

    I have been holding the Bonvoy Brilliant for about 1.5 years. I would like to get a second card, I don’t have my ITIN. Do I go through Nova credit again or do I just apply as an existing US customer?

  15. andyin250

    Newbie here. Just enterd the address for 24/7 parcel for Lyden (601 Front St, Lynden, WA 98264) and it’s a Y under Commercial Mail Receiving Agency. I live in BC. Any idea what other options I have out here? Thanks for the help in advance!

    1. James

      Same vote, it would seem “Commercial Mail Receiving Agency” is listed as Y for both Blaine and Lynden locations of 24/7 Parcel and the Niagara location is now closed. Any other mail forwarding companies that can be recommended?

  16. Jeffg

    I tried to get to the 247 Parcel website to create an account, but I can’t seem to access it.

    Just keep getting the “Hmm….. can’t reach that page” message. Tried on my computer and on my phone.

    Not sure what’s going on, is anyone else having this problem?

  17. superkule

    Can this guide be amended/updated to also talk about what happens after you get an ITIN? Such as tax filing requirements after you get ITIN (do you have to file right away? what are the deadlines), how many years do you need to file, what happens if you don’t file (I heard after 3 years your ITIN # is no longer valid?)

    1. Tyler

      You’re required to file a federal tax return in the US at least 1 time in a 3 year period. You can file any US-based income. You can also just file a “0” return. If you don’t file after 3 years your ITIN will likely be suspended but it can be revived simply by completing the tax return.

    2. Bill Wooginowski

      It was easier to immigrate to the US than this process.

    3. Ricky YVR

      The ITIN merely gives you the ability to file US taxes, not the obligation to do so.

      1. Ravi

        Ricky in the article you say “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)”

        Could you provide examples of such higher-end Canadian-based bank accounts? Thanks

  18. 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.


  19. 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

  20. 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?

  21. 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

  22. 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?

    1. Bilzster

      Hey, Did you get an answer to this question, I have been wondering the same thing.

  23. 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?

  24. 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!

  25. 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

  26. 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.

      1. James Wang

        Thanks for the article. I was able to get my Aspire card today. Easy for me because I have an US HSBC account as well as my daughter’s address in US.

        1. jay

          Did Amex ask for anything else? when I tried a few months ago, they asked me to upload a tax form.

          Thanks, Jay
          PS: I have a US bank account and a US address as I have a sister there.

    2. Raul

      Thats what everyone here seems to be doing.

  27. 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?

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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

  33. David

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

  34. 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!

  35. 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

  36. 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.



  37. 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.

  38. 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!!!

  39. 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?

  40. 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!

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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?

  44. 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. Lipatrickli

          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. Lipatrickli

              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. Lipatrickli

              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. Lipatrickli

                  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. Lipatrickli

                      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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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 YYZ

      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 YYZ

            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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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. Patti

        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 ?

  49. 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. Lipatrickli

          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!

  50. 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

  51. 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

  52. cpaq0

    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.

  53. cpaq0

    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. cpaq0

        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.

  54. David

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

  55. 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. cpaq0

      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?

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

  58. 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.

  59. 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

  60. 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.

  61. 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!

  62. ace

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

  63. Andre

    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 YYZ

      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

  64. 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

  65. 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.

  66. JoceSK YOW

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

  67. 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.

  68. 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 YYZ

      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?

  69. 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.

  70. 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!

  72. 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. cpaq0

      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.

  73. 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. 🙁

  74. 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.

  75. 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.

  76. 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

  77. 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

  78. 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!

  79. 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?

  80. 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?

  81. 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?

  82. 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.

  83. 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.

  84. 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.

  85. 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

  86. CarRentalGuy

    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.

  87. JustSam

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

    1. Ricky YVR


  88. 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.

  89. Vik G

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

    1. Ricky YVR


  90. 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?

  91. 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 ?

  92. 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.

  93. 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.

  94. 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


  95. 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

  96. 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 🙂

  97. 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

  98. 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

  99. 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.

  100. 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?

  101. 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?

  102. 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.

  103. 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.

  104. 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?

  105. 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 🙂

  106. 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.

  107. Roxiachi

    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! 🙂

  108. 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!

  109. 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


  110. 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?


  111. 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??

  112. 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.

  113. 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 🙂

  114. 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 !

  115. 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?

  116. 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?

  117. 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?

  118. 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?

  119. 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?

  120. Nikki

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

  121. 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.

  122. FlyYYZ

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

  123. 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.

  124. 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.

  125. 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.

  126. 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.

  127. 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.

  128. 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?

  129. 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?


  130. 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?

    1. Ricky YVR

      See if you can get a lease agreement going with your relative. They should accept those as well.

  131. Jack

    Hey Ricky, what would be the legality of all of this? I’m hesitant on getting US cards since I’m not sure if ‘lying for credit’, especially across the border, would be the right thing to do.

    1. Ricky YVR

      It’s definitely a grey area. But if you apply for US credit cards on the basis of "spending time in both Canada and the US" (as in the case of a snowbird or a trans-border employee), is there any element of misrepresentation as long as you set foot in the US once per year?

      I guess what I’m saying is that there are many reasons why a Canadian might legitimately want US credit cards (besides for chasing the signup bonuses). If you fulfill one of these reasons, I’d imagine you’re in the clear.

  132. Bryce

    Hi Ricky,

    Would you happen to know if a SSN while a student and valid for work only with DHS authorization would still be acceptable to go through this process? Thanks.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Should still work, since the SSN is simply used as a unique identifier by the credit bureaus.

  133. sasha

    Ricky, how did you change your CIBC account to a US address. I opened on yesterday and it seems I cannot change my address online. Do I have to give a reason for the change if I call CIBC to have it changed? Should I call CIBC US or Canada?

    1. Ricky YVR

      I’d give CIBC US a call.

  134. Michelle

    Would Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card be a good choice ?

    1. Michelle

      Actually…. which card would be best if I already have an ITIN for few months ?

      1. Andrew

        If you’ve gotten an ITIN but haven’t used it yet, there’s no specific card that is better or worse. The Blue Delta SkyMIles card is a good choice in the sense it has no annual fees, but it earns Delta Skymiles.

        The Amex Everday card would be better choice for the larger welcome bonus (though an Incognito offer) and ongoing point earn rate since the points are convertible to Delta SkyMiles at 1:1. You’d miss out on the bonus categories and the discount on inflight purchases, but I wouldn’t value them at that much.

        1. Michelle

          Hi Andrew, Thank you for your response. I have been using my ITIN for few month only with my TD US card. I’ve already had this card for one year and I’m about to cancel it, which leaves me with no US card, so I need to apply for one asap. Since I’m a deal seeker, I’m trying to find a free card that will give me some sign up bonus or would be useful for some hotel/airline discounts. I travel to US a lot and I often stay at the hotels. Maybe I’m just to greedy and I should just the most basic Amex that I can keep active for many years like Ricky is recommending.

          1. Andrew

            I’d be hesitant to cancel your TD US card in a rush, without having the card open you’ll have a very short credit history. I’m not too familiar with what TD Bank N.A. offers in terms of fee waivers or product switching, but I’d personally encourage you to work with them to keep the card open. I’ve had my US credit profile open for around a year now as well and my credit report notes my weak spots are the average age of accounts and the variety of lending I have.

            If you’re traveling to the US often and staying in hotels, the Hilton Honors card would make sense. With no annual fee, the 7x points on Hilton spend and up to a 100,000 point welcome bonus, I’d say it meets all your requirements.

      2. Ricky YVR

        Have you gotten your first US credit card yet? If not, the Amex Hilton or EveryDay cards would be great choices to keep around forever and build credit history due to their $0 annual fee. Otherwise, you could take a look at the Amex Bonvoy Brilliant, Amex Gold Card, or some of the Delta cards (if you’re interested in their points).

        1. Michelle

          Hi Ricky! Thank you for response. Like I mentioned in the comment to Andrew, I’ve had the US TD for a year now, which means my ‘no annual fee’ term is over. Time to cancel it. That will leave me with no US card at all, so I need to find one that will have no annual fee and one that I can keep active for a long time.

  135. JustSam

    What’s a good way to monitor my US credit score. I have had a personal card 11 months now and use an ITIN.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Another way might be – it’s the only credit score monitoring site that I’ve gotten to work with my ITIN (the three credit bureaus’ sites don’t seem to work).

    2. Andrew

      Amex actually offers a free credit score to cardmembers, both online or in their app. It’s automatically setup and easy to use if you’re a card member.

  136. Hubard

    Can u provide master card out of USA, CANADA like Asian country? By which i can payment prepayment every where? My nest asking how can i paid the bill ( Credit card)? Thanks.

  137. Aeroplan

    i dont think TD USA has the aeroplan card anymore FYI

  138. Mike

    When sending something to the 24/7 Parcel Address, do you just put your customer ID# in the "apartment/suite" field for them to know its for you?

    1. Andrew

      24/7 has a good run-down of the address format with examples which you can see on their site. But you’re correct, the customer ID should be treated as an apartment / suite.

  139. Jimmy

    Has anyone managed to get a Citi card online with an ITIN?

  140. Kevin

    Ricky, I’m having some difficulty understanding the need for an actual US bank account. I have a US credit card issued by one of the big 6 banks- no points (:, no frills and no monthly fee. I also have a US account in Canada that lets me pay my US bills and US credit card. My debit card also allows me to withdraw directly from that US account. So why would I need another US-based account? If I could get a US-based credit card from say Amex like you suggest, I’d pay it online. I wouldn’t need a mail forwarding service other than needing a US address to get things going.

    Thanks for the walkthrough on getting an ITIN number.


    1. Ricky YVR

      The only reason would be that sometimes the credit card issuer will need to verify your US address using a bank account that has your US address on it.

      If your Big 6 bank’s US bank account has your US address associated with it (and the address shows up on the statements), then you’re all good!

  141. Patti

    Heads-up that the TD Aeroplan Visa Signature no longer seems available through US TD.

  142. J

    What a wonderful thorough coverage! I’m being considered for a job in the US so (fingers crossed) I’ll have a SSN number and won’t need to go through the ITIN process but I’m going to go get an AMEX right now to build 3 months by the time I move! Thank you for sharing this information. Had I known this a year ago, I would’ve been building credit history all along

  143. Jayflyer

    I’m trying this out and will update progress here.
    Got everything I need to send to IRS.
    1. Using a friend’s address in California
    2. I have US bank accounts with RBC, TD, CIBC and I recommend goign with RBC.
    3. Applied for a new AMEX card and got approved within a day.
    – by the time I receive my ITIN (hopefully) I will be reaching 3rd month of Amex history.
    4. Ready to send everything to IRS
    – getting a passport copy took me 4 days. (Toronto)

    1. Jayflyer
      1. Mailed everything to IRS on June 21st
      • 7th week in, no response yet.
      1. Jason

        8th week: got a rejection letter. certified passport got returned 2 days after

        so sad.

    2. Jason

      How did it all go?

    3. Patti

      Jason, did you need a lease agreement or something to get approved for the US Amex? I’m IN the US but don’t have a lease agreement, and cannot get approved for even a no-AF US Amex.

      1. Jayflyer

        Hey, I should’ve specified that I got approved for Amex Canada in #3.
        I’m still waiting for my ITIN.

  144. Eli

    Hey! Would this work similarly for Europeans using the subsidiary bank method?

    1. Andrew

      What do you mean by subsidiary bank method? Are you a European resident who wants to get a US card / build US credit?

      The easiest method is to do an American Express Global Transfer since that will work from most Western European countries. I believe there are a few European banks who have US counterparts but Ricky or myself wouldn’t be too familiar with that.

  145. L C

    Amex has caught on and no longer allows the use of 24/7 parcel for your US address. I just spoke to their global relations department and my application was denied based on the address.

    1. Ricky YVR

      I will say that this data point seems to be false. The manager at 24/7 still sees lots of Amex cards coming through every day.

    2. Nikki

      Which location did you use?

  146. Emily Hsu

    I am very stuck on step 3. Both steps are giving me problems.

    I have a Canadian Amex that’s four months old. I wanted to use the global transfer program with a good welcome bonus – 25k MR with vpn + incognito. When applying online and clicking into the international amex holder link from SSN field, I was directed to a page where I have to either log into my Canadian Amex account or enter card details. Once I log in, I get an error saying the offer is "on longer available", and I am stuck with only 10k MR bonus. Is it connected to my account?

    I then tried step 3b. I don’t see the aeroplan visa signature you mentioned on TD website. In fact, the website is showing that TD only offers four personal cards. That seems like an awfully limited selection. Is that real? Is there something wrong with my internet browser?

    1. Andrew

      Hi Emily,

      Let’s see if we can work through your issues one at a time.

      1) American Express Incognito offers are extremely finicky. I believe Amex is doing this since they know that existing cardholders are very likely to continue being an Amex customer and a less exciting offer isn’t going to cause them to stop being a card member. I assume you’re applying for the American Express EveryDay Credit Card as an example. You can get 15,000 MR points by using a referral link from a friend. While it isn’t as great as the 25k offer, you’re more likely to be able to get the offer. The other option is to apply online with a dummy SSN (899-99-9999 or 001-01-0001) and then call in to complete the GT process. You’re probably get scolded by an Amex agent for using a dummy SSN but they can fix the application and approve you. You wouldn’t be able to apply on the phone for the 25k Incognito offer unfortunately since those offers normally need to be done online when the offer pops up.

      2) TD Bank N.A. has reworked their card portfolio and I recall reading something about the Aeroplan card no longer being available (either temporarily until the acquisition is complete or permanently). TD Bank still has some old links available so you could try submitting an application and seeing what happens. Link:

  147. Znl

    I encountered something interesting during the Amex US CC application process…

    I don’t have an Amex Canada account yet, and when I applied for the US CC using the Nova Credit method (clicking “International Cardholder” instead of entering a US SSN or ITIN) it went straight to an application form page for foreign applicants instead of a login page.

    Because of this, I was able to send AMEX US an application without being a current AMEX Canada account holder. I was even able to obtain my Nova Credit info.

    I did this about 3 times – sent in 1 application and had to re-do it due to an error in the address. The 3rd one I made an application for my S/O.

    It’s been 2 to 3 weeks since I’ve been able to do this, but doing this again at the timing of this post sends me to the "Login" page for existing AMEX Canada members.

    Am I crazy or did anyone else experience this recently?

  148. Jack

    Good Day Ricky,
    Firstly, thanks a lot for these useful tricks. However, i wanted to make sure about a few information: as for the Amazon ITIN trick, I would not have to produce any actual form of publishing work so that I may still be able to receive my ITIN annually ?

    Kind Regards,

    1. Ricky YVR

      Yes, that’s how it’s worked out for most people.

  149. Patti

    a small TD comment — weirdly, TD doesn’t have branches or ATMs on the west coast of USA. so, if you open a TD USA account and are travelling or staying in California for example, you have to pay not insignificant fees to just take out your USD. it doesn’t affect points obviously but, if you are going to the trouble of opening a US account for points, you may want to choose one that is practical if you visit the west coast much.

  150. Steve

    Hi Ricky,

    I note a mention of a credit check when opening a CIBC USA account. Will this affect your credit score north of the border? Thank you as always.

    1. Ricky YVR

      I didn’t notice that, actually. Did they mention that they’ll make an inquiry on your Canadian credit file, or is it merely a soft check? In any case, I would expect the credit impact to be minor even if it’s indeed a hard inquiry, as is the case with most one-time hard inquiries.

      1. Steve

        Not sure about the nature (soft/hard) but exact wording on site is: By continuing with this application, you confirm you meet the conditions and you consent to *** Bank USA conducting a credit check. A credit check is required in order to validate your identity and confirm your eligibility etc…. so yeah I assume hard.

  151. Jeff

    Hey Ricky,

    I’m a bit confused. You said to apply for the Amex Business Platinum but they ask for a Federal Tax ID. As a Canadian Business I dont have a US Federal Tax ID.

    1. Ricky YVR

      That field goes away when you select "Sole Proprietorship" as the company structure. It’s only required for companies and partnerships.

      1. Jeff

        Another thing, I just went through the process and under personal info it still asks for an SSN.

        1. Ricky YVR

          Yes, that’s why you either go through Global Transfer or get an ITIN as an SSN stand-in.

          1. Jeff

            Additionally I asked about using a Passport instead of an ITIN or SSN and they said that might work but – the business needs to be headquartered in the USA for all their business cards. Is this just something people lie about to get the business card?

            1. Ricky YVR

              Yes, when you do a Global Transfer you provide them with a passport rather than SSN/ITIN.

              I wouldn’t say “lie”, more like they’ll set up a US-based subsidiary for their business and apply using that.

              1. Jeff

                for global transfer you need a current Canadian Amex card though, correct?
                I’m legitimately struggling to find a card that makes sense for me w/o an ITIN.
                I even got declined on the BOA Travel Rewards card.

                1. Ricky YVR

                  How about one of the Amex US personal cards? Yes, you’d need a current Canadian Amex with at least three months of history.

      2. Jeff

        I have a Canadian Corporation, would there be any problem applying for a US Business Card as a "Sole Proprietorship"?

        1. Ricky YVR

          I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be operating as a corporation in Canada and as a sole proprietorship in the US.

  152. George

    Hi Ricky,
    I’ve been researching the ITIN method for the past couple of weeks, but it would appear from multiple sources online (see RFD website forums) that the Amazon / Kindle method seems to not be working anymore as of Feb 2019 and IRS is rejecting those applications. Are there any other known methods to get an ITIN?
    Thank you!

    1. Ricky YVR

      I’m not aware of any other methods. There’s been mixed data points on the Amazon method, but that’s where calling ahead to walk through your application might help. The reader who suggested that method had used the Amazon letter to support his application.

  153. Alpha Beez

    I have come across some comments that Chase may flag applications outside the US. Has anyone any experience on this. The alternative method of using a VPN may cause further issues for fraud protection.

    1. Ricky YVR

      I haven’t had any issues applying for Chase cards outside the US. I imagine using VPNs might look even more suspicious than someone who just spends their time on both sides of the border.

      1. Alpha Beez

        Thanks, you mention above that you had to go through some further hoops with Chase. Did they ask for verification and what did you have to provide?

  154. Harry A.

    I’m trying to apply for TD Bank Aeroplan Signature Visa and I found this form to be downloaded and faxed once completed. Is this the one that I should use.

    1. Ricky YVR

      I believe you can apply online if you have a SSN/ITIN. If not, then yes you use the downloaded/faxed form, or you can just call TD Bank to do the application over the phone.

  155. Emmanuel Lee

    tl;dr: MyMallBox does NOT forward credit cards.

    My AmEx Gold card arrived to my MyMallBox today, but when I logged in it was marked "canceled". I emailed customer service and they notified me: "Due to an overwhelming influx of credit cards being sent to MMB, we feel we must address this issue with our customers. Currency is one of the Prohibited Items that we can not ship under any circumstances and credit cards and bank cards fall under this category. Please contact your credit card company to send your credit cards directly to your home. We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you."

    1. Ricky YVR

      Yep. Recent change as of early 2019 I believe. Hence why I recommend 24/7 Parcel going forwards.

  156. Dee

    Thanks Ricky, I have a Canadian Amex card, a US bank account and property in Florida. I was able to get the Hilton Amex US credit card without any difficulty. They are sending it to my US address but if you call after 10 days of the set-up date, they will cancel it and re-submit to your Canadian address. I just set it up as a payee on my US account, online billing and easy to pay! Waiting for my ITIN # ….. fingers crossed!

    1. Ricky YVR

      Good to know!

  157. Rick Cuzzetto

    The TD Convenience Checking account isn’t just affordable, it’s free if you maintain a $100USD balance. And if you already bank with TD, you can access the US site through the Canadian Easyweb portal without having to log in separately.

  158. Steve Jones

    I obtained the Amex SPG, and Amex Hilton Ascend through the Global transfer in December, and applied for the ITIN in parallel. Now I have both, how do I add the ITIN to the existing cards? I assume I am not building a credit history currently?

    1. Ricky YVR

      You’re building credit history with only your name, DOB, and address. To attach your ITIN to the credit file, simply include your ITIN on your next credit card application.

      1. Vince

        Does it matter if that second application is for a business card?

        1. Ricky YVR

          That should be fine, since you’ll still be building credit history with your first personal card.

          1. Kj

            With that business card woupd you be building business credit? Do you have any articles on building business credit as a Canadian?

            1. Andrew

              As far as I know, there’s no such thing as "business credit". Typically either the owner is liable for the card (as is the case with the majority of individuals holding a business card for their "business") or the issuer has dealt with the company enough to extend them credit.

              As an example, American Express looks at your profile, including both personal and business cards when considering applications for additional credit, so you don’t want to be delinquent on your business cards. 🙂

  159. PK

    Is anyone having trouble getting a card through Amex Global Transfer? Despite providing an ITIN number and a US TD bank account with US address, Amex is asking for US documents like a passport or driver’s license to prove I live in the US.

  160. KV

    Given your experience here, I was hoping to get a little more information on what exactly Canadians are required to "claim" when they are applying for US credit cards/ITIN? Are you required to say you are currently/will be a resident of the US?

    1. Ricky YVR

      You’re claiming to the credit card companies that you are a US resident. But in applying for an ITIN, you’re claiming to the IRS that you are a foreign resident that should be exempt from US tax withholding. It’s all a bit complicated.

  161. M0

    For mail forwarders that use the PMB designation like 123 Anywhere St PMB#456, can you change PMB to STE? Or would you just omit the PMB part and keep the # symbol.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Yes I don’t think there’d be a problem with either of those options. #456 sounds very reasonable to use.

  162. BG

    What do you think about the boa Alaska card? I got cold feet when I got to the step where they asked if I was a resident alien. Think only boa does this.

  163. J

    Interesting article – thanks Ricky.

    For those who have experience with this – best way to pay off these US credit cards from a currency conversion standpoint? I know I’ve heard of KnightsBridge in the past but would love to know the process for those involved.

    1. Andrew

      I’ve personally used a few different methods, CIBC Global Money Transfer when they had a promotional offer available, Transferwise for smaller amounts of money or depositing a USD money order through e-deposit. KnightsBridge works well, although you need to call them to setup the transaction. Others use Norbert’s Gambit but that’ll be more complex and more of a DIY transaction.

      1. J

        Appreciate the response. I am aware of Norbert’s Gambit but wouldn’t be transferring money in such a significant amount that it would be worth it.

        Looks like I need to get around to setting up a TD US account in the near future.

  164. Andry

    Hi Rick,

    I am in the process of registering to the Amazon publisher and in the final stage got this question "Are you acting as an intermediary agent, or other person receiving payment on behalf of another person or as a flow-through entity?"

    Well technically for us as publisher is no but you mention in the article "Therefore, I’d recommend giving the IRS a call and speaking with an agent to verify that the ITIN is filled in correctly for the intended purpose (i.e., claiming the tax treaty benefit of third-party withholding on passive income)."

    Would you be able to advise?

    1. Ricky YVR

      You aren’t acting as an intermediary for anyone when signing up for Amazon. The "third-party withholding" is referring to Amazon’s withholding taxes on your earnings as a non-resident alien, which you’re looking to avoid by applying for an ITIN.

  165. Jim

    When I opened a TD bank account, I was asked to complete a W-8BEN form. Any idea what this is for and how to complete it?

    1. Andrew

      The W-8BEN form (from my understanding) is a form that the IRS requires for foreign account holders (at least I’ve only seen it used for financial accounts). By filling out the form you’re telling the bank and the IRS that you’re a foreigner so please do not withhold taxes (or do it in this manner) and income tax will be declared on my home country’s tax return.

  166. Jules

    @Evan: in my latest attempt to obtain the Chase Ink Preferred, I encountered an issue which Ricky doesn’t mention in this article. Specifically, Chase requires you to submit a utility bill and other documentation proving the address and name of your small business. The utility bill requirement is a major roadblock for me.

    1. Ricky YVR

      I’m not exactly condoning this practice, but one way to get around that is by providing an alternative document like a lease agreement as address verification. After all, many people are renting their places and don’t have line of sight to the utility bills…

  167. Evan

    Hey Ricky, did you manage to finally get a Chase Ink Preferred?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Never did get approved for the CIP, but I’ve since switched gears and decided to go for the hotel cards instead, since they’re all under 5/24 now. I got the Chase IHG recently (after reconsideration) and will be going for the Hyatt next.

  168. steve

    Thanks for this. I have had the TD convenience banking account/cross border account with TD Canada Trust for a number of years and have used the TD Bank visa/debit card a number of time when in the US. I will be in NYC in a few weeks and was wondering if you know of any advantage of going to a TD Bank branch and applying for a US TD credit card using my Canadian TD banking info? Will having a US address still be required (that is if they will take an application)?

    1. Ricky YVR

      I believe a US address would be required for the TD US credit card, yes, even if you apply in-branch.

  169. Steve

    Hi Ricky,

    Very informative posts, Ricky. My main bank is CIBC but notice you refer to the other big Canadian three specifically when referring to opening up a US account. Is there any reason for this? Is there a history of people having a more difficult time with CIBC US subsidiary? Thanks!

    1. Ricky YVR

      CIBC US definitely works as well, I recently opened a US bank account with them. Just hadn’t done so (or heard anyone else doing so) back when I wrote this article. Go for it!

  170. Sam

    Thanks for your post.
    I was debating for long time about opening and grabbing U.S credit card. I’m a banker in major bank in Canada and I didn’t have time to get into the game.
    I took some time off and wanted to see how fast I could jump the boat. In one week I was approved for AMEX Hilton, RBC credit card both has no fees, plus I opened a U.S account online.
    All done online, just need to know what are you doing. AMEX Hilton sign up bonus 75K after 1000$U.S spend which is fairly achievable, plus no foreign transaction fees.
    Send me an email to help you put your feet into the generous sign up bonus that U.S credit cards offers.
    BTW, you will be able to sign in online on the same day of approval and before receiving your card on the mail. Tje offers they have are really tempting, like spend $1000 on Hilton and get $200 back on credit statement. Waiting for your emails if you have any questions.

  171. Nikki

    Does anyone have updated instructions on filling Form W-7? Seems that people are getting denied more often using Pointsnerd’s.

  172. Jayflyer

    Great article Ricky.
    Few questions though.
    1. In step 4, can’t you start off from AMEX USA? is the bridge step of creating one in Canada first necessary?
    2. The mailbox service, once you receive your credit card and get it mailed, do you cancel the mail service or keep paying them?

  173. Santhosh Chakkungal

    Hi Ricky

    Since myMallbox is a no go because of change in their policies regarding credit card. How about 24/7 do i have to be present to signup for the mailbox services or can it be done remotely. They have contradicting statements in the website that they do not forward mails but there is a $1 handling + postage fees mentioned in their website. Its also mentioned that they accept only cash as payment . Since you use their service let us know how to open the account and operate the same.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Email them and they’ll be able to set up an account for you. You can pay for it online and don’t need to visit the location.

      1. Harry

        Ricky as per the USPS tool link you have posted in the article, 24/7 has a "Y" under Commercial mail receiving service – not "N".

        1. Ricky YVR

          Which location are you looking at? The Niagara Falls one is still N as far as I can tell.

  174. Louis

    Hello Ricky
    To establish our history, you suggested the blue American Express credit card. Is my RBC Visa US no annual fee is good?

    1. Ricky YVR

      That’s also a good choice!

    2. Chris

      +1 in same boat.

  175. Joanne Feyerer

    I’m just wondering why I had no problems opening up a Kohl’s charge account with none of these steps. Have also had various other cards with no issues. Seems to me the big boys should be able to check in you as well especially if you already have Canadian version. I’ve also made large financed purchases based on my Canadian info.

    1. Maria Poole

      How did you get a Kohl’s charge account without using an SSN?

    2. Ricky YVR

      In general, store cards are much easier to get than the major Amex/Chase/Citi travel rewards cards.

  176. Reed

    Anyone have a good mail forwarder they recommend. Seems mymallbox just changed their policy to that of shipito now..

  177. tinkoo

    Hi Ricky

    I plan on starting my adventure with US credit cards, and I did have a question. It seems like the process will take about 4-5 months and i was wonder if it be best to apply for a CDN Amex no annually fee card ( Blue Sky Card) now and use that card until I am able to apply for US credit card. This would allow me build a reputation with amex and I can then do a global transfer. Another option is I could apply for the amex gold too get the bonus and then transfer to the US. My ultimate goal is to get the US platinum card. Can you also double dip the bonus with Cdn and US version of the card? I want to maximize all the bonus points.

    What Would you recommend.

  178. Dirty Harry

    Disregard my last comment I guess it is possible to get TD to open an account with your US address.

  179. Dirty Harry

    Opened a TD US bank account, but they have my CAD address on file.

    Amex asked for address verification via a statement from a US bank. That statement has my Canadian address.

    It’s not possible to get TD to open an account with a US address.

    Seems I’m at a dead end.

    1. Evan

      I am also stuck in this predicament. Were you able to solve this issue?

    2. karin khera

      Which address did you go with? Also which account did you open? I currently have the Borderlesss Plan from TD, do you think this will work.

  180. Pablinho

    Any idea about applying for Barclays cards? I just saw the new Arrival Plus, and was wondering what would take to get approved. I have 4 Amex and around 8 months of history.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Someone correct me if I’m wrong but I think Barclays is one of the issuers that don’t accept ITINs unfortunately.

  181. BTB

    This is how we got US credit cards. We are Canadian residents with a snowbird American address. We opened a TD $US account in Canada which gives you the ability to do cross border $US transfers to TD America. We then went to a TD America branch in Florida and opened a $US account on the spot and applied for a TD $US Visa which they sent to our US address in 3 days. IF you are over 60 your account has no fees and your cross border currency transfers also have no fees We then applied for an Amex Blue Cash Back Card which we were approved for without a SSN or ITIN {which to me seems like a lot of work} and Amex gave us a $ 500 US credit when we spent $1500 in the first 90 days. I’m not sure they still give that kind of incentive but I am sure they still have something in place Talk to TD its the shortest, easiest and fastest route for Canadians. As an alternative and backup we also have a Rogers Bank World Elite Mastercard. It gives 4% cashback on all out of country purchases no limit and 1.75 on all purchases in Canada. The 4% covers the 2.5% -3% exchange commission that all banks and currency exchanges would charge but that still nets us out 1.5% in cashback after the fact. When you are all set up forget your US address if you set one up and do everything on line for statements, payments and notifications. If you need a temporary US address for 50$Cdn you can use mine and If there is any mail I will forward it on to you. I can be reached at


    1. Nadya E

      Hey there,
      This is an interesting info, thanks for posting it! Seniors definitely rule!

      I have a question – how exactly did you apply for Amex Blue Cash Back Card ? Did you already have an Amex account?

      When I click on the link above, it does ask me for SSN/ITIN.
      I tried to click in the pop-up message "Don’t have a Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number? Apply here if you are an international American Express Card Member applying for a US card.", it redirects me to the online login for existing customers. Looks like I have to have an account with them first?
      I am curious what were the details of your process here.

      Thanks a lot!

      Nadya from

  182. ChocolateFactory

    German citizen here. I successfully used Smashwords+Shipito+Global Transfer about a year ago to get a US Amex Platinum card. What I didn’t know, though, was that you can only do a Global Transfer once. For all other Amex applications, you’ll have to wait until you have built credit history. Unfortunately it seems like a charge card isn’t ideal to start with as no credit limit is reported, etc.
    I have now had the card for about 7 months and the Amex app doesn’t show my FICO score ("unknown error").
    The tools for checking your credit score all either don’t accept an ITIN at all, or I fail the identification questions: Year of birth etc. is all good, but then they start asking which US high school I went to, or who I used to live with earlier (probably other Shipito customers). Selecting "none of the above" doesn’t get me access…
    I was able to get a credit report from Equifax that lists my Amex card, but that doesn’t contain a credit score either.
    I can’t even call them because their hotline requires a valid SSN…
    Any idea how to see my credit score?

    1. Seb

      Hey there, I contacted smashwords and they said they don’t give out ITIN applications anymore? Work around for this?

    2. Ricky YVR

      Recent reports indicate that you can do Global Transfer more than once. You just need to initiate it from a different Canadian credit card. I’ll write something about this shortly.

  183. Mahdi Eslami

    Hi Ricky,
    How did you opened US TD convenience account? Online or in person.
    Which address did you provide,
    When I tried to apply online, it asks are you Canadian citizen or US citizen?


    1. Ricky YVR

      Hi Mahdi,

      It was opened online. There are different forms for Canadian residents, which allow you to enter a US address and a Canadian address. That’s the one I used – I was then able to use my US address as verification for the US credit cards, and also have stuff from TD Bank shipped directly to my Canadian address, which is very useful.

      You can also go through the same process over the phone if you’d like.

      1. John

        Hi Ricky, so when applying for a TD account (TD Convenience Checking) online, should I put my Canadian address as the current legal residence one and the US one as mailing one? Or am I filling the wrong form? Thanks!

      2. Mahdi Eslami

        Thanks Ricky,
        So I’ll proceed with option: Canadian citizen

        See you on Nov 3rd @ Sheraton Wall Center

  184. kooper


    Shipito changed their policy in March or April. Their terms and conditions state specifically that they will not ship credit cards.

  185. Emad

    In the W-7 Form, Should we include our US address for the applicant’s Mailing address or only the Canadian address?

  186. Kelvin

    When you open up your TD bank account, do you put Canada as your mailing address, so that technically the address associated with your US account is the US address that you signed up for an AMEX account with?

  187. Emad

    Question: When we open a USD Account. Should it be a Cross Boarder US account based in Canada or should we put as residents in US using the US Address we have?

  188. Alex Ranieri

    Hi Ricky,
    I am a Canadian Citizen, have a US credit bureau with one credit facility and a score over 700.. I am looking to build credit in the US. I have been denied several times due to lack of credit history. I also do have an ITIN but apparantly its not linked to my credit bureau. The bank said I must call Experian in the US to link the credit bureau to the ITIN, I have made that call and Experian says they don’t do that, the bank needs to do that. I have a US address , US bureau, ITIN and I am still stuck… any suggestions? I have tried with TD, Capital One, Wells Fargo. Thanks,

    1. Ricky YVR

      Hey Alex,

      Try using Amex Global Transfer to set up your first credit card – you can attach the ITIN to your application and start building the credit file that way.

  189. Chang Woo Park

    If you go through with all of this:
    A. Wouldn’t you need a credit built up prior to applying any credit cards since you just created one without any foundation etc?
    B. Would I need to pay taxes to IRS if I don’t get "paid" on these sites such as Smashmouth or the Amazon Kindle?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Hi Chang Woo,

      A. Nope, the idea is that you start a new credit history by applying through a channel that helps newcomers get credit in the US, such as Amex Global Transfer or TD’s Cross-Border Banking.

      B. No – since you don’t have any US-domiciled income, there’s no taxes to pay.

  190. David

    The income with American Express should already be approved through your Canadian credit history.

    Here’s an update I finally got my US CC from American Express, I picked it up in person from Minden, Nevada as they will not send CC’s through the mail unless you have mail forwarding set up is what I was told. This week I received an email that the Minden Nevada Shipito location will be closing. That leaves only Hawthorne, CA as an option as it shows up as ‘N’ and not ‘Y’ their other location in Tualatin, OR is marked with a ‘Y’ on!input.action I think I may just change my address to a friend or family member, perhaps I’ll try to the CA location or maybe find another mail service. Now I’ll have to change my address on my TD Bank US and American Express US accounts.

  191. Ricky

    Reposting this question from below since nobody answered it:

    Sam Hancock 6 months ago
    Has anyone had to verify income with Amex to get their Global Transfer approved?
    If so, how did you do this?


    I’m having the same issue as this guy. Then want IRS tax documents prooving income :S

  192. HRB

    Hi Ricky so i’m about to signup for the amex blue like you recommended to get my foot in the door with Amex (note: I already have RBC US bank visa cc). Do you know of any secondary website like in the US that will give me an additional sign-up bonus?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Unfortunately I’m not familiar with any sites like that, although perhaps someone else can chime in here if they know.

  193. Greg

    If Amex global transfer will I lose my Canadian credit card

    1. Ricky YVR


  194. Zoe

    did you set up your US based bank account using your US address first? or using your Canadian Address and then change it to your US address later on? (as during the application, they are asking how long you’ve lived at your US address.

    1. Ricky YVR

      As part of Cross-Border Banking, the TD Bank application allows you to apply as a Canadian resident and include both US and Canadian addresses when you apply (there should be an option to choose whether you live in the US or Canada when you apply online).

      This way, you can use your bank account to verify your US address with Amex, Chase, etc. while also getting your mail from TD Bank delivered to your Canadian address.

  195. mew

    im having a hard time getting a letter from any company. i guess they have figured this out

  196. Tom L

    I am about to proceed with the Amex Global Transfer,
    1) do you recommend calling in or doing it online?
    2) I also don’t have a US phone number, is it okay to just say my canadian phone number?
    3) What should i say for employment reasons, as I’m still working in Canada and not technically moving there.

    1. Ricky YVR

      1) Both will work. Calling in gives you more assurance that the Global Transfer is completed properly, in my experience.
      2) Yes, use your Canadian phone number.
      3) People maintain US addresses for all sorts of reasons. You could say that you work in Canada but spend some time in the US.

  197. chris

    Hello Ricky

    I see that in shipito’s user agreement, they do not forward government ID or credit cards, etc. Is there any other forward company that can be recommended?

    Thanks you for sharing those experience with us!!

    1. Ricky YVR

      I hear MyMallBox works well at the moment. I personally use 24/7 Parcel, although they charge an annual fee.

      1. Harley

        I am assuming that the terms in the user agreement have been outlined for a while but I was able to receive my amex credit card as recently as April. Are there reports now of people not being able to forward their credit cards?

  198. Jd Gill

    I got a document from Amazon kindle that can be used to get ITIN, all you have to do is enter the current date and your name then attach it. I can share it if someone needs it.

      1. Mahdi Eslami

      1. Ricky YVR

        Please get in touch via the contact form in the top right-hand corner and I’ll be glad to help.

    1. Yves

      Hi Jd Gill, how can I reach your if I want a copye of that document?

  199. Saad YYZ

    Hi Ricky,

    With the or Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing trick so public for Canadians, is it likely that IRS might recognize the ITIN support letter as just an attempt to get the ITIN number for churning credit cards? Would they reject the ITIN application or take any other action against us?

    I really want to step into the US credit cards market but don’t want to make a mistake that it would ruin any future prospects.

    As always your experience sharing is most appreciated!!

    1. Ricky YVR

      Hi Saad,

      I don’t think the IRS is likely to take such an action. Instead, it may be that Smashwords or Amazon start to find the influx of ITIN support letter requests to be too burdensome and stop doing so (in fact, most data points indicate that this has already happened with Smashwords, unless you do in fact publish and sell ebooks).

      I’d advise to get in the game while it’s still good. You won’t make any mistakes that will ruin your prospects; the worse case scenario is that you have to try again.


      1. Saad YYZ

        Thanks for the quick response.

        I acted on you advice and started the process with Amazon KDP. It asked my tax information is filled a "Form W-8BEN, Certificate of Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting (Entities)".

        Is that okay or if I fill this form I will not be able to request ITIN?

  200. BG

    Hi Ricky: Can you get the TD US card to build your US credit? so you won’t need amex global transfer?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Yes. However, Amex cards offer some of the most lucrative bonuses in the US, so Global Transfer is a great way to get a head start on obtaining those bonuses.

  201. david

    Smashwords no longer requires their publishers to have an ITIN to receive payments.

  202. Michael

    This is a great article, thank you so much. Iv run into a snag though. Iv contacted smashwords requesting the ITIN similar to what is shown… they replied with this.

    Thanks for writing in. Since you’re new to Smashwords, there’s a lot to do: setting up your new author or publisher profile, publishing your book, promoting your content, and providing your tax certification and payment information. A letter in support of an ITIN application can be provided once your account is well-established and earning regular royalties.

    For now, to receive payments from Smashwords, you’re not required to have an ITIN. You may certify your tax status by providing the tax identifying number issued in your country of permanent residence on line 6 (foreign TIN) of your Payment Settings.

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can try? Im trying with amazon but it seems more complicated.

    Can anyone help?
    Please email me.

    Thank you in advance!

  203. Mike

    Would I be able to add an AU (authorized user) to the CC if the person was an American? What if they were a Canadian?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Yes if the person is American. Note that unlike in Canada, US credit cards require SSN/ITIN info for authorized users as well, and these cards report to the authorized users’ individual credit files.

  204. Brian

    HI Ricky:

    In the process of going for us cards and have some questions.
    1) I am thinking of using TD for us account but their branches are in eastern US. My relative’s address is in CA. Will that be a problem when I apply for cc?
    2) should I give my Canadian # when bank askes for a phone number? some mentioned that I should use a us one. I could use my relatives, but thought my own would be more convenient.
    3) do you call if you application doesn’t give instant approval or wait?
    4) hopefully you will have time to do a comparison of US points. I live in the west coast and am not sure if chase/amex/citi’s transfer programs are as useful as for the Americans.


    1. Ricky YVR

      Hi Brian,

      1) Based on what I’ve heard, I don’t think this is a problem. I know people have used TD Bank with Shipito, and Shipito has their addresses in Nevada.

      2) Yes, your Canadian phone number is fine.

      3) I usually call and see what’s holding up the process. Usually I get asked some ID verification questions.

      4) Check out the "Maximizing US Credit Cards for Canadians" post, since it covers some of the best ways to use US credit card points.


  205. jamie

    I tried setting up a US convenient chequing account with TD but they don’t offer Arizona as one of the states that you can enter as a home address, any suggestions on what to do? I have my ITIN now and was hoping to send my bills to my parents house in Arizona. I also have a credit card set up with RBC if this helps.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Try giving TD Bank a call and see what they say. I can’t imagine they’d be unable to register a client from out of state.

  206. Michael

    I received the credit card in my mailbox via Shipito, but I am not able to receive it anywhere in the US or Canada because they will not forward the credit card package to me. They declined it after my repeated requests. Local pick up is the only option (and it will cost me $600 for flights and $100 rent-a-car). Anyone to help me?

  207. David

    Here’s an update of my progress during the last 3 months. I seem to have most things ready. I have my TD accounts set up on both sides of the border, meaning they are linked and funded. I have my ITIN now which I got by sending in a certified copy of my passport and the letter that I received from Amazon for my future book sales. The ITIN letter arrived and it says it’s good for about 3 years, by then I’ll have to make sure I’ve filled a tax return or I risk losing the number. As for the credit cards, I am preparing my accounts to apply for the TD card and the American Express credit cards. For the TD card on the form I’ll select YES since I am in my transition phase to living in the US. On my next trip to the USA I’ll bring the credit card application form + the letter from the IRS showing my ITIN so that I can get that on file. I changed my address on my TD account to my US SHIPTO address… when I call in later I’ll explain how it wouldn’t let me add both of my addresses and ask if they can add my Canadian address so that I can have both on file. Upon approval the CC, I’ll ask that for the time being they ship cards and statements to my Canadian address. As for the American Express card, I have made much progress there, I will give it a try later this week. I was considering using my Canadian SPG card which is expiring soon to use for my American Express possibly the US SPG card application. Is it better to call in for this application or do it online?

    Now for the Transferwise… this seems to me to be one of the best options out there, and the service is improving all the time. Is having the same name on the Transferwise, US and Canadian bank accounts important? If I have my first and last name on one account, another account with my first, middle and last name, and the other account first and last names but only the initial for the middle name is that major problem for sending transfers?

    1. Seb

      You got a mailed letter from Amazon or was it a digital copy? How did you fill out the W7, did you follow the instructions they give?

  208. Mark

    Smashwords no longer does this. Please remove mention of Smashwords.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Actually you just need to publish an ebook to receive the ITIN supporting letter. I’ll add this to the article.

  209. Wilson

    Just wondering if anyone who has applied for a US Amex card has ever been asked to fill out a Form 4506-T (Request for Transcript of Tax Return) and what they did for that?

    I used to work in the US many years ago and therefore have a SSN, but haven’t filed a tax return in years. I applied for the US SPG Amex card the other day and got an email requesting a Form 4506-T. I opened my first US Amex credit card 4 months ago. I called them up to explain that I do not work in the USA and therefore do not have any recent tax returns. They told me they could accept a pay stub that it would have to be from a US company.

    So I seem to be stuck because I can’t move on on their process, and it seems like if I don’t submit the form within 30 days they will just close the application. If I were to reapply later this year for another card would i be asked to fill out one of these form again? I guess my worst fear is that I’m be stuck in a limbo state where they won’t approve any cards without the form and I cannot provide the information they’re requesting.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Hi Wilson,

      When this happens, people have generally had success letting the application lapse (after 30 days) and then reapplying later. It’s not necessarily the case that they’ll ask for the form again.

  210. George

    Hi Ricky,

    Do you apply for these cards exclusively online? Phone? In person?

    Spoke to a rep at a nearby Chase branch and they said they don’t accept ITIN for credit card applications… did you have luck and how did you do it? Does having a Chase bank account help?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Hi George,

      Most people in the US have no idea what an ITIN is. It’s not really something a branch representative would know about, so I’d take that with a grain of salt.

      In general I apply for these cards online. Having a Chase bank account helps get approved faster, by some accounts, but you should still get approved eventually if you let your credit file age for 12–18 months.

  211. Kay


    Thanks terrific, succinct article and fully explanatory for Canadians trying to get US cc’s. I really appreciate your clear writing.

    I’m a Canadian who used to work in the U.S. so I have a SSN. I was able to get a Chase Freedom Unlimited in Nov 2016. I applied for a Sapphire Preferred after 6 months and was denied saying I had a thin credit file. I applied again Apr 2018 just now and was denied again for the reason of not enough credit history. It’s been 1 1/2 years already and I’ve used it for practically everything. My credit score in the US is over 750 with each of the 3 credit agencies. No late payments, always in full, no black marks against me whatsoever. Household income is $100,000+.

    I have the opposite of a thin credit file in Canada with a credit score 825 and a hefty mortgage and payments which are always on time and in full. My question is, is it at all possible to offer information from my Canadian credit file or at least refer to it, when arguing with Chase Reconsideration for approval for the Sapphire Preferred card?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Hi Kay,

      As far as I know, you can’t offer Canadian credit file information for Chase. I hear that opening a US checking account with them helps you get approved for cards much easier, so you may want to give that a try if you already have a presence in the US.

  212. Harley

    Thought I’d share my experience as well – I followed all of the excellent instructions laid out here and set up my US account via Shipito. I successfully applied for an Amex card which was sent via UPS to my Shipito address. They forwarded it to me without any issues a few months ago.

    More recently I applied for another Amex card which was also couriered to my address, but this time they said they could not forward it to me without my completing a Form 1583 ( which requires a notarization. A quick Google search seems to show that most people don’t bother completing this form because courier packages are supposed to be except from this.

    Has anyone had any experience with this? I will go ahead and get one done despite the hassle because I plan to continue applying for US cards, but wanted to give people a heads up that if they use Shipito, you may have to get one of these forms done as well

  213. Adam

    Followed everything…on the phone with Amex global transfer….they said that there is no option to provide ITIN. Only SSN are accepted according to them…even with global transfer. Still need a US address though, however they didn’t ask about my bank either. Not sure if this is good or bad, but thought I would post.

  214. Mark Smith

    I was able to get a Visa card with TD bank in the USA because they have a program that communicated with the Canadian arm and used a Canadian credit check to get me credit in the USA even though the account does not show up on my Canadian profile. I have the new RBC Signature US card, that was easy as well applying through Canada. The BMO Harris Card gave me grief as I needed a US address in a specific servicable state. Aparently if you have Private Banking (about $120 per month), your private banker can get you one no problem. The best card offered for rewards I think is the TD Cash card. Check out it’s cash back tiers!!!!

    1. Adam

      I understand the TD Visa is obtainable through TD Bank due to the cross-boarder banking relationship, but while it uses your Canadian credit history, does it then report to American credit bureaus and build American credit?

      Getting your first card is one thing, but establishing American credit is another (which is sort of the point of the article) because otherwise you won’t ever have access to other US Credit Cards (due to no credit history) and would be forever locked into the credit cards which are established by Canadian/US banks (TD or RBC only).

      Curious to know! Thanks for the info 🙂

      1. Ricky YVR

        I think that you’re able to attach a SSN/ITIN to that application, in which case it would start building a credit file with the SSN/ITIN linked to it. Even if you didn’t have a SSN/ITIN, it’d still build a US credit file (since it’s a credit card issued in the US), but it would just be associated with your name, DOB, and address.

  215. Tom

    Do you tick off "yes" to if you are residing in the USA? If yes, what can you say if they ask why you are in Canada for work?

    1. Ricky YVR

      You could say any number of things, including the fact that you are a regular commuter, you are in the process of being transferred to the US, or simply maintain a residence in the US (think snowbirding). However, the question is unlikely to come up in the first place.

  216. Nick

    Ricky –

    First off, great article, was very helpful in helping met set up all the necessary infrastructure to get ready to take the plunge into US credit cards. I just got my ITIN and had previously gotten the US TD Visa Infinite, so now I’m itching to pick up some more US based cards. I was wondering – did you end up writing the "later article" you allude to at the end of this post? Would love to get your view on the pathway / next steps before I go further!

    1. Ricky YVR

      Hi Nick,

      Yes you can check out the subsequent entries in this series at the navigation bar at the top of the article.


  217. Mayank


    Thanks for this useful information and your step by step process. However, RBC US bank gives us dollar credit card to Canadians. No need of US address, no SSN, no US credit history. They will use every information of yours belongs to Canada. Here is the link

    They also offer chequing account.


    1. Lawrence Yu

      So, I can’t use US credit cards in Canada because of the FX fee right?

      So, it would only make sense to get a Amex US credit card if I’m spending a lot online or while traveling in the US?

    2. Ricky YVR

      Hi Mayank,

      While that’s true, a large part of getting a US bank account is that you can use your chequing account statements to verify your US address with credit card issuers. If you just include your Canadian address, you wouldn’t be able to verify your US address this way.


  218. Jake

    Hi Ricky,
    When filling out an application for a credit card, do you check yes when it asks if you are a us resident? I have been having troubles with them requiring you to be a us resident as I have been checking no (although I have the us address set up and everything).

    1. Ricky YVR

      Yes – you have to be a US resident to be eligible for most US credit cards.

  219. JustSam

    Has anyone had to verify income with Amex to get their Global Transfer approved?
    If so, how did you do this?


  220. Trduck11

    Has anyone had difficulties registering for a TD Bank account? If using a ShipItTo address, the TD Bank Account registration does not allow NV has a state location. So not sure how to regsiter for the TD Bank account. Thoughts (thanks in advance)?

    1. Wandering Steve

      Register for the TD Bank account with your Canadian address and then change it in the settings afterwards.

  221. Fred

    The letter that smashwords sent to me shows my canadian address, will this still work? (Since I sent it here)

    1. Ricky YVR

      Yes, since the whole idea is to show that you are a foreign resident and therefore require an ITIN to avoid withholding tax.

      1. Kevin

        So to get a US Credit card you need to tell the IRS that you are none resident.

        And tell the bank that you are resident ?
        (Ricky "Yes – you have to be a US resident to be eligible for most US credit cards.")

        Is that correct ?

        1. Ricky YVR

          Pretty much.

  222. Ethan

    This doesn’t work anymore. TD won’t let you open a US bank account without an ITIN, and to get the ITIN you need the US bank account. This was recently mandated.

    Loophole closed.

    1. Fred

      Just visit a TD Bank branch in the US. I opened an account in Boston with TD a few months ago.

  223. Steve


    Does je matter if your US address is in a different stat than your bank? I’m sure others have run into this issue.

    Td isn’t located in Nevada where shipito bases their addresses out of.


  224. Ethan

    I setup an account with 247 Pickup but they listed the address as a "Commercial Mail Receiving Agency" with a "Y" instead of an "N".

    Any way to fix this? I feel like if I ask them directly to change that it will be suspicious and they won’t oblige.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Which 24/7 Parcel location is it? Perhaps they changed it recently. Your best bet would be to find an alternative mailbox provider, since like you said it’s unlikely such a request would be taken seriously.

      1. Ethan