I have been in the U.S. for the past 1 year and since then I just have a Wells Fargo Debit card.

Recently I tried to apply for an American Express credit card (applied online) but I got rejected.

Which type of credit cards could I to apply to?

I know applying for Discover's credit card is the safest option.

Would the fact that I hold Wells Fargo's debit card for the past 1-year increase my chance to get accepted for Wells Fargo's credit card?

My annual salary is 20k and I am an International Student/Teacher.

  • 1
    I disagree with the VTC because an answer without specific recommendations can be given.
    – RonJohn
    Oct 4, 2019 at 13:21
  • 1
    American Express cards are more difficult to get, and not as widely accepted. (IMHO they're basically marketed to the prosperous, as something of a status symbol.) Try Visa/MasterCard. You also might consider asking your school's international student office for advice.
    – jamesqf
    Oct 5, 2019 at 15:09

3 Answers 3


Which credit card would you recommend to apply to?

If you don't want to try a Discover card, then get a secured (Visa or MasterCard) credit card. That's where you open a savings account with the card-issuing bank in an amount equal to the credit limit on the account.

Typically it's between $300 and $1000.

Typically after one year, you can apply for a regular unsecured card.

You probably have a higher likelihood of getting a secured card. Don't let the balance be more than 20% of the limit on the statement date, though, since that lowers your credit score. This can be fixed by paying a portion of your balance from the card's web site before the statement date.


Did you try applying for a credit card in the bank where your checking account is? That's what I did when I arrived in the US about 20 years ago. I think it was Citi bank.

  • I did not, but from what I heard Wells Fargo does not provide a credit card that easily
    – GAGA
    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:28

Credit cards for an international student in US without SSN:

Deserve Credit Card

  • Chances of approval: High
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Perks: Excellent (Offer free credit score after 3-4 months of usage, Amazon prime student, Cellphone protection, 1-2% cashback etc.)

American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card

  • Chances of approval: Medium to Low
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Perks: Good (20% cashback on Amazon, $150 additional cashback upon certain usage, 1-3% cashback, 0% annual APR etc.

Nova Credit This website uses your credit score from home country (Australia, Brazil, Canada, UK, India, Mexico or Nigeria only) to assist you get a CC in US.

Sable Credit Card

  • They offer secured credit card, can be converted to unsecured credit card after few months of responsible usage.
  • Chances of approval: High (given its a secured CC)
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Perks: Good (1-2% cashback)

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