Temporary Resident Credit Cards

Compare Temporary Resident Credit Cards 
 
Many of the major banks offer Temporary Resident Credit Cards subject to some specific eligibility requirements that vary by provider, these requirements include proof of a minimum annual income level and a current Working (457), Business, Investor or Student Visa.
 

Credit Card Minimum Income Requirements For Non-Australian Residents

As each of the Credit Card providers will have no “credit history” information to reference on non-Australian residents, they have no facts about how good or poor applicants are at repaying debt on products such as credit cards or loans.

 

This lack of “evidence” of repayment performance leads the credit card providers to adopt a relatively conservative approach to new credit card applications from non-residents. This conservatism is clearly shown by the prevalence in the application eligibility criteria of a minimum annual income of $50,000 (pre tax), though lower levels do exist, with American Express leading the way with the lowest salary requirements on its Qantas Discovery ($35,000 p.a.) Velocity Escape  ($40,000 p.a.) and Essential ($40,000 p.a.) credit cards

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A Guide to Temporary Resident Credit Cards

Minimum Income Requirements For Non-Australian Residents when applying for an Australian Credit Card

 

While Australian citizens can successfully apply for a credit card with a declared annual income of $15,000 pre tax, the eligibility income criteria for non-Australian Residents in general starts at $50,000 p.a. pre tax.

 

Two of the top 4 Australian Banks, Westpac and nab are representative of the majority when they state in their eligibility criteria that  “as a non-permanent Australian resident, you must earn a minimum annual income of $50,000”.

 

The lowest income level for non-residents is offered by American Express who offer a range of cards with a minimum income level starting at $35,000 p.a. for non-Australian Residents, credit cards with low salary requirements currently include:

American Express Qantas Discovery credit card ($35,000 p.a.)

Intro offer: $0 annual fee, No Points cap, 0% p.a. on Balance Transfer for 12 months.

America Express Velocity Escape credit card ($40,000 p.a.)

Intro offer: $0 annual fee, No Points cap, 0% p.a. on Balance Transfer for 12 months.

American Express Essential credit card ($40,000 p.a.)

Intro Offer: $50 credit and 0% p.a. on Balance Transfer for 12 months. Low purchase rate of 14.99%, $0 annual fee and Smartphone screen insurance for up to $500.

 

Australian Credit Cards For 457 Visa Holders

 

457 Temporary Work Visa holders represent the significant majority of credit card applications from non-Australian Residents.

 

Many of the Credit Card providers welcome applications from 457 visa holders though they do tend to add a condition related to the period left on the visa, generally a period of 2 years remaining is preferred, though ANZ will accept applications from visa holders with as little as 9 months remaining on the visa.

 

A number of card providers, including Citi and American Express will only consider applications from non-Australian residents who hold this type of 457 Visa.

 

Can I get a Credit Card if I hold a Holiday, Student or Bridging Visa?

 

The short answer is possibly, with the chances of acceptance depending on your current personnel circumstances.

 

The credit card provider’s primary objective is to issue credit cards to applicants who have a validated means of repaying their credit card bill, to the credit limit set, each month. To establish this ability to repay the monthly credit card bill the card providers will look to establish the following:

 

  • Are you currently working in Australia - if yes how much are you earning?
  • Do you have any savings in Australian dollars - if yes, how much?
  • How long do you plan to remain in Australia?
  • Do you have any regular income or an ongoing allowance - this maybe provided by a third party, if yes what is the amount and frequency of the allowance?

 

The most important question is the first one above, regarding your work status, which is determined by the type of visa you hold, as student, bridging and spouse visas often have very tight work restrictions attached to them, so limiting your ability to claim any regular income. In a similar vein, holiday visa (417 and 462) are typically associated with short stays in Australia, which are not attractive to card providers, as you will potentially not be around long enough to clear any debt you incur on the credit card.

 

The most lenient credit card provider, in terms of your intended tenure in Australia, is nab, who do not insist on any firm periods of time you need to be in Australia, but do state that you must be 18 years of age and have a good credit rating.

 

When the credit card providers talk about “credit rating” they are referring to any history you have of making payments to loan, credit card companies or other selected companies, such as utility or phone companies. If you know of blemishes on your credit file from previous unpaid or late payment of debts it is advisable to make these good prior to any new application for credit, as you run the high risk of a rejected application if you do not have a good credit rating.

 

If you already have opened a bank account in Australia, possibly to have your salary directly paid into, this bank should be on your shortlist of credit card providers as they will have direct access to your current banking transaction history, which may help gain an accepted application.

 

I have a Spousal Visa, can I get a credit card?

 

As you will not be able to work under this visa you will be unable to show any regular income which will significantly hinder your ability to be accepted for a credit card in Australia. Exceptions to this do happen, but are reliant on you having significant dollars lodged in your bank account and evidence that you can easily cover your monthly expenses on an ongoing basis.

 

An option that is worthy of consideration is to ask your partner to sign you up as an additional cardholder on their credit card account. Under this approach it is important to note that your partner becomes liable for the total debt on the card.

 

Temporary Resident Credit Cards - Frequently Asked Questions

To ease the process here’s a checklist of things to help get a fast approval:

  • Have an Australian bank account with at least 3 months history in the form of bank statements.
  • Obtain official (on company letter head) confirmation of your employment contract, to include a statement of your annual salary, pre tax.
  • Photocopy your Visa which will be stuck in your passport
  • Photocopy the Id page of your passport, this is the page with your picture on it, this will act as a point of identification for the credit card provider.
  • Attain copies of paperwork which feature your name and the address at which you are living, this could be a lease agreement, utility bill or a bank statement

Disclaimer: The minimum criteria pointers are intended only to be a guide. Your application may still be rejected by the credit card provider even if you can answer 'Yes' to all the eligibiilty criteria. The final decision regarding your application is upto the Card Provider.

Yes the Credit Card providers do insist on a minimum level of income be proven at point of application.

As each of the Credit Card providers will have no “credit history” information to reference on non-Australian residents, they have no facts about how good or poor applicants are at repaying debt on products such as credit cards or loans.

This lack of “evidence” of repayment performance leads the credit card providers to adopt a relatively conservative approach to new credit card applications from non-residents.

This conservatism is clearly shown by the prevalence in the application eligibility criteria, of many of the card providers, of a minimum annual income. This income level is commonly $50,000  (pre tax).

Exceptions to the $50,000 minimum income level do exist, 2 popular options with lower income requirements are the Qantas American Express Discovery Credit Card ($35,000 min income) and the American Express Velocity Escape Credit Card (Min Income $40,000).

Disclaimer: The minimum criteria pointers are intended only to be a guide. Your application may still be rejected by the credit card provider even if you can answer 'Yes' to all the eligibiilty criteria. The final decision regarding your application is upto the Card Provider.

Yes, American Express do provide a service whereby you can simply transfer your existing AMEX card account from the country you held the account in, to Australia. Contact American Express directly to make this change.

Here's checklist of the infinformation and documents which will help ease the application process and improve your chances of approval:

  • Have an Australian bank account with at least 3 months history in the form of bank statements. (this not absolutely necessary but will be looked on positively if you have one)
  • Obtain official (on company letter head) confirmation of your employment contract, to include a statement of your annual salary, pre tax.
  • Photocopy your Visa, which will be stuck in your passport
  • Photocopy the Id page of your passport, this is the page with your picture on it, this will act as a point of identification for the credit card provider.
  • Attain copies of paperwork which feature your name and the address at which you are living, this could be a lease agreement, utility bill or a bank statement