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Best Credit Cards without SSN of June 2024

Generally, applying for a credit card in the U.S. is simple if you have a Social Security Number (SSN). Getting a card without SSN can be difficult but it’s not impossible. There are credit card companies that don’t require SSN to apply. However, that doesn't mean you'll get approved. With no credit history in the U.S., your options will be limited. Still, there are some credit cards that offer various benefits, and are available to people that don't have a credit record and SSN. We've put up a list of the best credit cards on the market that do not require SSN. Below you can also find more information about the credit card issuers, the process, and even how to compare these cards and pick the one that's best for you.

By Hanna Volkava
Updated June 19, 2024

Best Credit Cards for Without SSN in June 2024

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Capital One Platinum Credit Card best for Without SSN

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Platinum Mastercard Capital One
Annual fee:
$0
Regular APR:
29.99% Variable
Our Rating:
2.86
scorer
Credit score
Fair (580-669)
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    29.99% Variable
  • Issuer name:
    Capital One
  • Details:

    Get the credit you need with Platinum Mastercard® from Capital One.

    Enjoy unlimited access to your credit score and tools to help you monitor your credit profile with CreditWise from Capital One.

    You're also covered by $0 Fraud Liability if your card is ever lost or stolen.

  • Pros:
    • Chance to get a higher credit limit
    • No annual fee
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Platinum Mastercard benefits
    • No Penalty APR for late payments
    • Get approval with a fair credit score
  • Cons:
    • High Regular APR
    • No rewards
    • No sign-up bonus
    • You don’t get to enjoy a reduced introductory rate
  • Benefits:
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees;
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • ATM Location Services;
    • Emergency Card Replacement;
    • Autopay;
    • 24/7 Customer Service.
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Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card best for Fair credit

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QuicksilverOne Capital One
Annual fee:
$39 annually
Regular APR:
29.99% Variable
Our Rating:
3.6
scorer
Credit score
Fair to Good (580-739)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
    • 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    29.99% Variable
  • Issuer name:
    Capital One
  • Details:

    The QuicksilverOne Credit Card from Capital One earns 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars (booked through Capital One Travel), and 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase. The Card has an annual fee of $39.

    The QuicksilverOne Card has an APR of 29.99% Variable. Balance Transfer Fee: 4% of the amount of each transferred balance that posts to your account. None for balances transferred at the Transfer APR.

  • Pros:
    • Unlimited high rewards rate
    • Average credit score required
    • Automatically considered for a higher credit line after 6 months
    • No foreign transaction fees
  • Cons:
    • Annual fee
    • High APR
    • No bonus rewards categories
  • Benefits:
    • 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel;
    • 1.5% Cash Back;
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees;
    • Autopay;
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • Card Lock;
    • ATM Location Services.
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Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card best for Single mom, Without SSN

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Secured Mastercard® Capital One
Annual fee:
$0
Regular APR:
29.99% Variable
Our Rating:
2.39
scorer
Credit score
No Credit History to Poor (0-579)
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    29.99% Variable
  • Issuer name:
    Capital One
  • Details:

    The Secured Mastercard® from Capital One is for people who want to improve their credit scores. The Card has no annual fee. It requires a security deposit when you’re approved.

    The card's APR is 29.99% (Variable). Balance transfer fee: 4% of the amount of each transferred balance that posts to your account at a promotional APR. None for balances transferred at the Transfer APR.

    You’ll get access to CreditWise® from Capital One, which will automatically alert you to changes on your TransUnion or Experian credit reports.

    The Secured Mastercard from Capital One comes with a surprising number of travel perks, including no foreign transaction fees, travel accident insurance, 24-hour travel assistance services and secondary auto rental coverage.

    Cardholders will also receive extended warranty coverage for items purchased that already come with a manufacturer’s warranty.

  • Pros:
    • Low initial deposit amount of $49, $99, or $200
    • You can increase the credit line up to $1000
    • No annual fee
    • Automatic credit line reviews
    • Credit building
  • Cons:
    • High APR
    • Low credit limit
    • No rewards program
  • Benefits:
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • Refundable Deposit;
    • Capital One CreditWise;
    • Eno®, your Capital One assistant;
    • Virtual Card Numbers from Eno;
    • Emergency Card Replacement;
    • ATM Location Services;
    • MasterRental Coverage;
    • 24/7 Customer Service.
View all Platinum Secured Mastercard® details
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Celtic Bank Deserve EDU best for Cash Back, Without SSN, Student

Deserve EDU Celtic Bank
Annual fee:
$0
Regular APR:
22.99% Variable
Our Rating:
3.5
scorer
Credit score
No Credit History to Excellent (0-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 1% Cash Back on all purchases with your Deserve EDU Mastercard. Once approved, you'll automatically start earning Cash Back on all purchases.
  • Issuer name:
    Celtic Bank
  • Details:

    The Deserve EDU Card makes it easy for students to start building credit.

    The Card's APR is 22.99% (Variable APR). The late payment is up to $25, while the returned payment is up to $37. Balance transfers and cash advances are not available.

    Students who make purchases totaling $500 within the first three statement cycles of card membership qualify to have their Amazon Prime Student subscription reimbursed (a $59 value).

    Students spend a significant amount on school supplies, textbooks and gear each year, and the Deserve EDU Mastercard can earn Cash Back on all of these purchases.

    Read full review

  • Pros:
    • No prior credit history required
    • No SSN Required
    • No Annual Fee
    • No
    • Transactions Fees
    • No Co-Signer/ Deposit Required
  • Cons:
    • Relatively High APR
    • Fairly Low Rewards
    • Only for Students
  • Benefits:
    • Cellphone Protection;
    • Collision Damage Waiver;
    • Concierge Service;
    • No International Transaction Fees;
    • Priority Pass™ Membership;
    • Mastercard Benefits;
    • No Social Security Number required for international students to apply.
Card detail

Emigrant Bank Brex for Startups best for Without SSN

Brex Card for Startups Emigrant Bank
Annual fee:
$0
Regular APR:
None
Our Rating:
2.06
scorer
Credit score
No Credit History to Excellent (0-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 8x Points on rideshare, including Uber, Lyft, taxi, and scooter.
    • 5x Points on flights and hotels booked through Brex Travel.
    • 4x Points on restaurants.
    • 3x Points on recurring software like Salesforce, Zendesk, Twilio, and more.
    • 1x Points on everything else.
  • Issuer name:
    Emigrant Bank
  • Details:

    If you’re a new startup or small business owner, the Brex Corporate Card was made for you.

    Get discounts on top services to run your company. Compared to an average of $500 in typical business credit card bonuses, Brex partner offers total $150,000 in value. Redeem anytime.

    With the Brex Corporate Card, you’ll earn 8x points on rideshares, 5x on travel booked through Brex, 4x on restaurants, 3x on recurring software and 1x on everything else. Points can be redeemed for statement credit or travel via Brex’s travel portal.

    Credit limits 10-20x higher than traditional small business corporate cards.

    This is a charge card, so you’ll have to pay your balance in full each month. To qualify, you’ll need a $100,000 bank balance.

    You won’t be charged an annual fee, but there isn’t a welcome bonus or introductory APR offer.

  • Pros:
    • No personal guarantee required
    • Irrelevant and unaffected personal credit
    • Startups tailored rewards program
    • Dynamic credit limits
    • No annual Fee
    • No foreign transaction fees
  • Cons:
    • Charge card
    • Tech industry oriented
    • High amount of funds required to qualify
  • Benefits:
    • Partner perks;
    • Build business credit;
    • Brex Travel portal;
    • Instant onboarding and virtual cards;
    • Manage your business anywhere;
    • Receipts match automatically;
    • Pairs with Brex Cash;
    • Built-in expense tools and integrations;
    • Live support in 2 minutes.
Card detail

Chase Freedom Unlimited® best for Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Daily use

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Annual fee:
$0
Regular APR:
20.49% - 29.24% Variable
Our Rating:
5
scorer
Credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 5% Cash Back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
    • 3% Cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
    • 3% Cash Back on drugstore purchases.
    • 1.5% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • $200 Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Intro APR for the first 15 months that your Account is open
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    20.49% - 29.24% Variable
  • Issuer name:
    Chase
  • Details:

    The Chase Freedom Unlimited® Credit Card offers 0% introductory APR period (20.49% to 29.24% Variable after that) and a sign-up bonus that’s worth far more than most Cash-Back cards offer — all for an annual fee of $0.

    The card offers 5% back on travel booked through Chase, 3% Cash Back on restaurants and drugstore purchases and 1.5% back on other purchases.

    Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

  • Pros:
    • No Annual Fee
    • Generous rewards
    • 0% intro APR
    • Sign-up bonus
  • Cons:
    • Foreign Transaction Fee
  • Benefits:
    • Zero Liability Protection;
    • $200 intro bonus;
    • 5 percent Cash Back on all travel purchased via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal;
    • 3 percent back on dining;
    • 3 percent back at drugstores;
    • 1.5 percent Cash Back on general purchases;
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver;
    • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance;
    • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services;
    • 24/7 Fraud Protection;
    • Redeem for Cash Back;
    • Gift cards.
Card detail

Chase Ink Business Cash® best for No Annual Fee, Small business

Ink Business Cash® Chase
Annual fee:
$0
Regular APR:
18.49% - 24.49% Variable
Our Rating:
5
scorer
Credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 5% Cash Back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year.
    • 2% Cash Back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • $750 Earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months and earn an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 6 months after account opening.
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Fixed Intro APR for the first 12 months that your Account is open
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    18.49% - 24.49% Variable
  • Issuer name:
    Chase
  • Details:

    The Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card, issued by Chase, offers small-business owners easy Cash Back on their purchases with no annual fee.

    The 0% introductory APR for purchases lasts for 12 months, then APR reverts to the regular rate of 18.49% to 24.49% (Variable). The card's Penalty APR: up to 29.99%.

    The Card offers $750 bonus Сash Back: earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months and earn an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 6 months after account opening.

    You’ll earn 5% Cash Back on the first $25,000 worth of office supplies, cable, internet, and phone service purchases each year as well as 2% Cash Back on the first $25,000 in purchases at restaurants and gas stations each year. All other purchases earn 1% Cash Back.

    If you have the Ink Business Cash card plus a Chase Business Checking account on your first card anniversary, you'll earn a one-time 10% bonus of all eligible cash back earned in your first year. That means if you earn $2,500 in cash back, you'll get a $250 bonus. Offer is only available for Ink Business Cash cards opened between March and November 2024.

    Other useful benefits include purchase protection for up to 120 days and a 12-month extended warranty when you make an eligible purchase with your card. The extended warranty only applies to qualifying warranties of up to three years.

  • Pros:
    • No Annual Fee
    • Intro APR on new purchases
    • High rewards rates in certain categories
    • Sign-up bonus
  • Cons:
    • Foreign Transaction Fee
    • Spending caps in bonus categories
    • Low rewards rate outside bonus categories
  • Benefits:
    • $750 bonus Cash Back;
    • 5% Cash Back at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services;
    • 2% Cash Back at gas stations and restaurants;
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases;
    • Free employee cards;
    • Protection and insurance;
    • Gift Cards;
    • Apple® Ultimate Rewards Store;
    • Build your business credit;
    • Get insights into your business;
    • Manage your cash flow.

Card detail

Chase Ink Business Preferred® best for Without SSN, Daily use

Ink Business Preferred® Chase
Annual fee:
$95 annually
Regular APR:
21.24% - 26.24% Variable
Our Rating:
4.29
scorer
Credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 3x Points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year.
    • 1x Point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • 100,000x Bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. That's $1,000 Cash Back or $1,250 toward travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    21.24% - 26.24% Variable
  • Issuer name:
    Chase
  • Details:

    The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card from Chase is a good fit for business owners who spend a lot of money on travel, shipping, internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases.

    Earn 100.000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 Cash Back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

    Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases. Redeem points for Cash Back, gift cards, travel and more – your points don’t expire as long as your account is open.

    The card's APR: 21.24% to 26.24% (Variable).

    The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card's Penalty APR: up to 29.99%.

    While the biggest fee is the $95 annual fee, there are also other fees to be aware of such as the late or returned payment fee of $39. Balance transfers are charged at $5 or 5 percent for each transfer, whichever is greater. Cash advances cost $15 or 5 percent, whichever is greater.

    The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card pays up to $600 per claim for damage or theft of cell phones for you and your employees when the bill is paid using your card. There’s a maximum of three claims in a 12-month period, and there is a $100 deductible for each claim.

    Trip cancellation and interruption insurance reimburses you up to $5,000 per trip (including passenger fares, tours and hotels) when your trip is canceled due to sickness, severe weather conditions and other qualifying scenarios.

    As part of the Visa network, the card is broadly accepted by merchants worldwide. It also doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, which will save you money on your overseas purchases.

  • Pros:
    • 3x Bonus
    • Relatively Low Annual Fee
    • Cards for Employees at No Additional Cost
    • High Sign-Up Bonus
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Cons:
    • High Spending Minimum for Sign up Bonus
    • High APR
  • Benefits:
    • 100,000 bonus points;
    • 3x points on travel and select business categories;
    • 1x point on all other purchases;
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • Extended warranties;
    • Employee cards at no additional cost;
    • Build your business credit;
    • 25% more in travel redemption;
    • 1:1 Points Transfer;
    • Gift Cards;
    • Apple® Ultimate Rewards Store;
    • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance;
    • Roadside Dispatch;
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver;
    • Cell Phone Protection.
Card detail
Evolve℠ Sallie Mae Bank
Annual fee:
$0
Regular APR:
17.99% - 29.99% Variable
Our Rating:
4.8
scorer
Credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 2% Cash Back on your two highest-spending eligible categories per month.
    • 1.5% Cash Back on everything else.
  • Intro Offer:
    • $200 Earn a $200 cash back reward after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Introductory APR for 15 months from date of account opening
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    17.99% - 29.99% Variable
  • Issuer name:
    Sallie Mae Bank
  • Details:

    The Sallie Mae Evolve℠ card offers 2% Cash Back on your two highest-spending eligible categories per month and 1.5% Cash Back on all purchases. Plus, earn a $200 Cash Back reward after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.

    The card offers 0% purchase and balance transfer APR for 15 months, then 17.99% - 29.99% (Variable APR).

    The Sallie Mae Evolve℠ card has no annual fee.

  • Pros:
    • 0% Introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers
    • $0 Annual fee
    • Increased cash back in 2 categories
  • Cons:
    • Foreign Transaction Fees
    • High credit score requirements
  • Benefits:
    • $200 Cash Back reward;
    • 2% Cash Back;
    • 1.5% Cash Back on all purchases;
    • 25% on Сash Back rewards;
    • $0 liability;
    • Digital Wallets;
    • Cell Phone Protection.
Card detail
Celtic Bank NJIT PRO
Annual fee:
$0
Regular APR:
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Our Rating:
3.46
scorer
Credit score
Fair to Good (580-739)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 3% Cash Back on travel.
    • 2% Cash Back on restaurants.
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Issuer name:
    Celtic Bank
  • Details:

    The NJIT PRO Credit Card is a co-branded card from Deserve and Celtic Bank.

    The Card earns 3% Cash Back on travel, 2% Cash Back on restaurants and 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.

    The NJIT PRO Card doesn't charge an annual fee.

    The APR for purchases is 18.24% - 25.24% Variable.

  • Pros:
    • No Annual Fee
    • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • Cons:
    • Balance transfers and cash advances are not available
  • Benefits:
    • 3% Cash Back on travel;
    • 2% Cash Back on restaurants;
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases;
    • Cellphone Protection up to $600;
    • Mastercard ID Theft Protection™;
    • Mastercard Airport Concierge™;
    • Mastercard Global Service.
Card detail

Short Review of Best Credit Cards Without SSN

NameBest forRewards RateAPRApply
Capital One Platinum Credit Card
2.86
Without SSN
  • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
  • 29.99% VariableLearn more
    on our partner’s site
    Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
    3.6
    Fair credit
  • 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
  • 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase.
  • 29.99% VariableLearn more
    on our partner’s site
    Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
    2.39
    Single mom, Without SSN
  • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
  • 29.99% VariableLearn more
    on our partner’s site
    Celtic Bank Deserve EDU
    3.5
    Cash Back, Without SSN, Student
  • 1% Cash Back on all purchases with your Deserve EDU Mastercard. Once approved, you'll automatically start earning Cash Back on all purchases.
  • 22.99% VariableLearn more
    Emigrant Bank Brex for Startups
    2.06
    Without SSN
  • 8x Points on rideshare, including Uber, Lyft, taxi, and scooter.
  • 5x Points on flights and hotels booked through Brex Travel.
  • 4x Points on restaurants.
  • 3x Points on recurring software like Salesforce, Zendesk, Twilio, and more.
  • 1x Points on everything else.
  • NoneLearn more
    Chase Freedom Unlimited®
    5
    Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Daily use
  • 5% Cash Back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 3% Cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
  • 3% Cash Back on drugstore purchases.
  • 1.5% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • 20.49% - 29.24% VariableLearn more
    Chase Ink Business Cash®
    5
    No Annual Fee, Small business
  • 5% Cash Back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year.
  • 2% Cash Back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.
  • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • 18.49% - 24.49% VariableLearn more
    Chase Ink Business Preferred®
    4.29
    Without SSN, Daily use
  • 3x Points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year.
  • 1x Point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • 21.24% - 26.24% VariableLearn more

    Capital One Platinum Credit Card

    This is a good no-annual-fee option, available even for those with poor or average credit. By making five monthly payments on time, you could be eligible for a higher credit limit. There are no foreign transaction fees and penalty APRs, but note that the regular interest rate is high.

    Read more about Capital One Platinum Credit Card

    Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

    A great choice for those who want to earn rewards – the Capital One QuicksilverOne will earn them an unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase. However, it does come with a $39 annual fee.

    Read more about Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

    Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

    The Platinum Secured Mastercard® from Capital One is a basic secured credit card that lacks many benefits, but it lacks fees and charges too. What sets it apart from other secured cards is the fact that the security deposit could be as low as $49, while your credit limit is $200 (max $1000). After five billing cycles, Capital One might raise your limit, assuming you’ve made all your payments on time.

    Read more about Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

    Celtic Bank Deserve EDU

    The Deserve EDU for Students is a great credit-building card for international students or U.S. students with little or no credit history. Instead of an SSN, Deserve will require other identification information about your income or education. You'll need to provide an identification document too, like a passport, visa, or university documents. Students will also benefit from the 1% cash back on all purchases and cell phone protection. And if you spend $500 in the first three months, you'll get a year of Amazon Prime Student for free. There is also no security deposit or an annual fee with this card.

    Read more about Celtic Bank Deserve EDU

    Emigrant Bank Brex for Startups

    You’ll need an EIN (Employer Identification Number) to apply for the Brex for Startups, a business card that earns rewards. Although this card doesn't take personal credit score into account, it will instead use the business' financials to determine creditworthiness. There is also no personal guarantee nor an annual fee.

    Read more about Emigrant Bank Brex for Startups

    Chase Freedom Unlimited®

    The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is one of the best rewards credit cards you can get without an SSN. However, a good credit score is needed to get approved. It will help if you've already had a credit card in the U.S. without SSN or if you've been an authorized user of a credit card. In case your credit score is good to excellent, you can apply for this great card with your ITIN.

    Read more about Chase Freedom Unlimited®

    Chase Ink Business Cash®

    A great business card that offers a sign-up bonus, great rewards in common business expense categories, and an intro 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months (18.49% - 24.49% variable after). It will earn you a 5% cash back rate on the first $25,000 spent on office supplies and telecommunication purchases. However, you will need good credit to get approved for it.

    Read more about Chase Ink Business Cash®

    Chase Ink Business Preferred®

    Like the Ink Business Cash® credit card, this is also a Chase card, and you can apply for both with your ITIN. The rewards program of this one is more travel-oriented, and unlike the Ink Business Cash® card, it has a $95 annual fee. Good to excellent credit is required too.

    Read more about Chase Ink Business Preferred®

    What is a social security number, and why do most card issuers require it?

    A social security number is a nine-digit identification number issued by the U.S. government to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and temporary residents with a work permit. The government uses it to track earnings and the number of years worked.

    The reason why most credit card issuers require SSN is for identity verification, according to the USA Patriot Act. The act aims to prevent terrorists from opening a bank account or lend money and helps track money laundering.

    You’ve also probably noticed that for each credit card there is a certain credit score required for approval. Your credit history in the U.S. will determine your credit score, but you cannot transfer it from another country. The major credit bureaus use personal information to track your credit, among which is the SSN. That is another reason why SSN is required when filling out a credit card application.

    However, some banks will also accept other identification numbers. One popular alternative is the ITIN, which we’ll explain in the next section.

    How to get a credit card without SSN?

    The easiest alternative to SSN is to use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) when applying for a credit card. The ITIN is issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and it's used to assist individuals in complying with U.S. tax laws. Those who are required to have a tax identification number, but are not eligible for SSN, will get an ITIN. All information regarding the ITIN, including in which cases you can qualify, is available on the IRS website.

    If you apply with an ITIN, you'll most likely have to provide additional documents, like your passport and visa. For some, you'll need a checking account at the bank that issues the card. Also, if you're a foreign student, student credit cards without SSN will most likely require your academic information.

    The credit cards that offer the best benefits for cardholders usually require good to excellent credit. As we said, a credit score from another country cannot be transferred to the U.S., and you'll have to find a way to build your credit score to have a chance of getting the most lucrative credit card deals. We'd advise you to start with a secured credit card and use it to build your credit. Don't expect many benefits from it but with timely payments, you can use it to pave your way towards a better credit card.

    icon-search

    If this sounds like something that suits you, check out the Platinum Secured Mastercard® from Capital One.

    Another way to have a credit card, and build credit is using the option of adding authorized users to credit cards without SSN, which most credit cards have. That practically means that you can use and make purchases with the credit card as if it were your own, but you are not the primary account user, and you're not responsible for paying the credit card bills. That can help your credit in the U.S., if the primary cardholder of the credit card makes all payments on time.

    Business credit cards might accept an Employee Identification Number (EIN) instead of an SSN on an application.

    Which banks don't require a Social Security Number?

    There are banks that accept ITIN numbers for their credit card applications. Read carefully the fine print of the credit card to better understand what is needed for approval. If it's designed for people with good credit scores, and your credit history in the U.S. is limited, you'll have to build your credit to improve your approval odds. Your application might get processed, but that doesn't mean you’ll be approved for the card. Below you’ll find information regarding this for some major U.S. banks:

    • Capital One – allows you to apply online for a credit card with either SSN or ITIN. They offer several credit cards accessible for people with limited credit, like the Capital One Platinum Mastercard, or the Platinum Secured Mastercard®. If you’re willing to pay an annual fee, you can also go for the Capital One QuicksilverOne.
    • Chase – according to Chase, U.S. residents, i.e., people with a mailing address in the U.S. who are over 18 years old and have either an SSN or an ITIN, can apply online for a credit card. We have two of their business credit cards on our list, the Ink Business Cash® and the Ink Business Preferred®, which both require good/excellent credit scores, as it's the case with most Chase credit cards.
    • American Express – if you’re from one of the following countries: United Kingdom, India, Mexico, Canada, and Australia, you can use the Credit Passport® powered by Nova Credit to get your credit score transferred from your country to the U.S. That way you can apply for an Amex credit card. However, even if you're not from one of the above-listed countries, you can still apply for an Amex card with your ITIN. They report to all three major credit bureaus. So, if you get approved for one of their cards, it can help build credit.
    • Bank of America – all U.S. citizens will have to provide an SSN for a credit card application. They have only two cards that do not require an SSN – Cash Rewards and Travel Rewards (both require good/excellent credit!). If you wish to apply for one of them without SSN, you cannot do it online, and you'll have to submit an application at a bank branch or by phone.
    • Citi – credit card applications require an SSN.
    • Wells Fargo – credit card applications require an SSN.

    Who can benefit from getting a credit card without SSN?

    People who live in the U.S. but aren’t eligible for an SSN can benefit from a credit card that doesn’t require one. Those could be immigrants or international students. Their options will be limited until they build a credit history.

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    Some cards we'd recommend for international students in the USA are the Deserve EDU for Students and the Journey Student Credit Card from Capital One.

    Immigrants can opt for the other cards on our list, and it's best they contact the card issuer to get the most correct and up-to-date information on the application process and requirements.

    How to compare credit cards which don’t require a Social Security Number?

    In order to compare credit cards that don't require an SSN, you'll need to find your available options first. That will vary depending on whether you've just moved to the U.S. or you've been living here for some time and already have a credit score.

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    Great cards for those new to the U.S. are the Platinum Secured Mastercard® from Capital One and Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa®.

    If you’ve already built some credit history here, you can even apply for cards with generous rewards programs, like the Capital One QuicksilverOne or Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

    Are there any other alternatives to credit cards without SSN?

    In case you failed to qualify for any credit card, you still have some other alternatives. A popular alternative are prepaid cards, which you can use everywhere where credit cards are accepted. However, a prepaid card will lack many benefits that credit cards have. You cannot lend against them; you can only spend the money you’ve put in the account. Their major drawback is that they don’t help with credit building.

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    American Express offers some prepaid cards that don’t require a social security number, and those are the Bluebird® American Express® Prepaid Debit Account and the Serve® American Express® Prepaid Debit Account.

    FAQ

    Can a Non-U.S. Citizen Apply for a Credit Card?

    If you have an SSN, you can apply for most credit cards even as a non-U.S. citizen. However, without an SSN it will be more complicated, but you can still find credit cards that don't require one. Usually, you will have to provide an ITIN, or another identification number, like your passport number. Each credit card issuers have different requirements, and you should inform yourself directly from their representative.

    Can an ITIN Number be Used as SSN?

    Although an ITIN Number has the same nine-digit format as an SSN, and some credit card companies might accept it, those two are not the same. SSN is used to track earnings and numbers of years worked, so only U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and temporary residents with a work permit can apply for it.

    Is it possible for immigrants to build credit in the U.S.?

    Yes, if they get a credit card that reports to one or more of the three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. If you want to build a good credit score, make sure to meet all payments on time. A good credit score will get you the best deals on credit cards and loans.
    Hanna VolkavaHanna Volkava

    Financial and product expert

    hv@myfin.us