The American Express Global Transfer program allows you to use the relationship history that you’ve built with AMEX in a foreign country as a basis to apply for a card in a new country, where you presumably have little to no prior credit history. I recently went through this process, applying for an AMEX card in the United States using my Canadian AMEX history as a basis for the application.
In order to use the Global Transfer program in the United States, you have to have the following:
– An AMEX card that you’ve held in good standing for at least 3 months in a foreign country
– A US Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), the latter of which is very easy for a Canadian to get.
– A US address, and if requested, a verification document thereof.
– A US bank account (it’s easy to open a TD Bank USA account online).
I applied for the AMEX Gold card with a 50K sign-up bonus, an extremely generous offer, one that is far better than what is available in Canada. The typical recommendation is to note your Canadian AMEX number on the application to get the ball rolling, however, that field was not available when I completed the application. When I applied, my ITIN was issued that same day, and not too surprisingly, the application was denied.
I called the Global Transfer department and explained that I had this application and wanted them to reevaluate the application under the Global Transfer program. They said ‘no problem’, took my Canadian AMEX number, and 5 minutes later, said my application was approved pending the submission of the verification of address letter (which you can submit online). The next day, I got an email saying I was fully approved, and the AMEX was rush delivered to me.
The Global Transfer program is amazing, not only for the fantastic sign-up bonus, but because this helps me build my US credit history. A number of US banks, like Chase, Citi, and AMEX, allow applications using an ITIN and not an SSN. AMEX has helped me enormously on the track of being able to get some great US credit card options, and is a program I’d recommend to anybody who knows how to get the requisite documents (trust me, it’s easy).