How do you initiate an American Express Global Transfer?

To apply for a US-issued American Express card via Global Transfer, you need to have a Canadian American Express card that's been open for at least three months and is in good standing. You can then apply for Global Transfer either online or over the phone.

American Express Global Transfer is an easy way to get started with US credit cards, since you don’t need a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to get approved. Instead, the program is intended for global Amex customers who are moving to the United States and thus getting a credit profile set up for the first time.

You can apply for Global Transfer as long as you have a Canadian American Express card that’s been open for three months and is in good standing. Once your US card has been set up, you will begin to build US credit history (a credit file will be created using your name, DOB, and address); if you were to apply for an ITIN at a later date, you could “attach” the ITIN to your credit history at that time.

This page describes the process for initiating an Amex Global Transfer. First, choose a US Amex credit card that you’d like to apply for. Then, you have the option of applying either online or over the phone.

If applying online, look for the link that says “Already a Card Member? Log In.” and log in with your Canadian account credentials. You’ll be presented with a screen asking if you give permission to access your international data; click Yes.


That will result in an application form that doesn’t require a SSN/ITIN to complete. Instead, you’ll be able to fill in your foreign ID details.


After you submit the application, Amex US will likely still give you a call to verify your identity and address.

If you apply over the phone, call the Global Transfer team at +1 877-621-2639 in order to initiate the application. A phone agent will walk through basically the same steps with you. Keep in mind that although the website states the phone number is active 24/7, it’s best to call during business hours since you’ll generally find more competent agents on the line.

Last updated 17 November 2018. Any questions?
Contact me.