Leaving the US - How to handle CCs

Discussion in 'Other Credit Card Programs' started by dts, May 10, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. dts
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    dts Silver Member

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    Hi all,

    I've been in the USA for 5 years now and I've played the CC game the last couple of years, but I will most probably move back to Europe in around two months from now. There are a lot of things to take care of before I leave, but I can't help but wonder how to handle my CCs. Are there any residency requirements to keep them open? I just opened the BA CC and if I close it I'll probably lose the 100k signup bonus, so I'm definitely interested in keeping this one open for a while. I was also thinking that maybe it would be beneficial to have an American CC for promos that require them (think Discover America) and in general to keep my credit history in case I come back to the US in the future (which is not unlikely at all).

    What about bank accounts? I talked to my bank today and they told me I can leave the account open even if I leave the country. That would be very useful to pay off the cards.

    I'm really clueless about this situation and I would appreciate any tips. TIA.

    (not sure if it plays any role, but I'm not a US citizen or PR).
     
  2. Toula
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    Toula Gold Member

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    I'm speaking as a foreigner living in the US and having gone thru what you are talking about.

    There are no problems keeping your credit cards and bank accounts open. I would think long and hard about closing either. Reason I say that is unless you are 100% sure you are never coming back to live in the US it is far easier to come back to established accounts rather than starting again. We left the US twice, both times never intending to come back yet here we are back in the US. All I am saying is never say you won't be back because it might happen.

    Each time we left we did maintain our bank account with Wells Fargo and did not close down any of our credit cards. It did make our transition on our return easier each time.
     
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  3. dts
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    dts Silver Member

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    Thanks for sharing your experience Toula. Btw, what did you do with the billing address? Did you update it to your foreign address and if so, does this create any complications? I have some good friends around here who I trust a lot, so maybe I could use their address if needed.
     
  4. GenevaFlyer
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    Hi dts,

    In my experience, a foreign address is no problem at all. Like Toula, I kept my credit card and bank account when I left the US, and they happily mailed me in Europe. It did make a tremendous difference coming back this year, as I had 15 years of history on my credit card :)

    As for paying your credit card and transferring money to the US, one decent route I found was Paypal. I funded my Paypal account from my Swiss bank account, and withdrew those funds into my US bank account. No transfer fees on that.

    Cheers,

    GenevaFlyer
     
  5. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    I'm an American but a number of my colleagues are from overseas. Those that leave often leave a checking account open and at least one credit card. Most have their statements mailed overseas, which doesn't seem to be an issue.

    The one area where I could foresee a problem is with certain points credit cards. I recall the Chase BA card had some residency requirement (but I do not recall for sure). I know in the uk, BA is very tight with residency requirements for their cards...not so much maintaining them, but using them, and as people try to euro-cheat on BA to get status more easily, they then can't use their BA Amex or Tesco cards whilst they have their continental addresses in ba's system.

    If you have any points credit cards, you might call the issuer(s) to say you are considering moving overseas but would like to keep the account open and ask what they suggest. It wouldnt surprise me if some US cards required a US address, though i know many that don't have that requirement.
     
  6. GenevaFlyer
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    The card I had was one of the Chase UA's, and they never had a problem with a foreign address, but yes, it's always worth checking to be on the safe side.

    Cheers,

    GenevaFlyer
     
  7. FLYERIL
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    FLYERIL Silver Member

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    You should call the toll-free numbers and tell the CSR that you may be moving back to whatever country and would like to know if there are any issues with maintaining your card while in the foreign country. If there is, then when you move you could use a friend's U.S. address and sign up for paperless billing. (I generally prefer paperless billing anyway.)
     
  8. Toula
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    Toula Gold Member

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    BA card should be no problem as that was one we have always left open when we are out of country.

    Due to our past experience I would recommend you use your overseas address rather than a friend's US address to receive your correspondence. Reason I say that was last time we were away we used a friend's address. Unbeknown to us, an account was sent to collections and the only way we found out about it was because I ran a credit report. The charge was for medical expenses for someone with a similar name to my husband who shared a common birthday and lived in San Diego the same as we used to. It was a nightmare getting the issue resolved even though we could prove we were living out of country and that my husband had never had gastric bypass surgery.

    It's best for everything to come direct to you so no-one is tossing your mail to the side.
     
  9. dts
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    dts Silver Member

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    Thank you everyone for your tips. Today I called and asked about the BA CC and they told me there would be no problem if I move overseas. I heard the same thing from my bank about my checking account. I guess I started the whole thread under the false impression that there would be residency requirements for CCs / accounts.
     
  10. GenevaFlyer
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    Only to open them ... once you are a customer, they are happy to keep making money off you.

    Cheers,

    GenevaFlyer
     
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  11. Toula
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    Toula Gold Member

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    You know one of my greatest concerns about leaving the US would be losing access to all the great credit card promotions in the US. I mean points rain down in the US, whereas elsewhere it seems like the pickings are slim.
     
  12. dts
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    dts Silver Member

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    I was thinking the same thing and I realized that I could do a bunch of CC apps just before I leave. I still have more than a month here, so it's enough time to receive the cards. Whatever hit I get on my credit score will correct itself while I'm away. The problem is I just opened the BA CC and most of the big bonuses are with Chase, so it will be difficult to pick up more CCs. I might try the Amex Gold which looks good, but other than that there are few exciting promos right now. Anyway, I'll update this thread if I go app crazy.
     
  13. PointHoarder
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    PointHoarder Silver Member

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    Keep in mind the spending requirements for any card you want to open. Between applying for, receiving the card(s), your departure time frame, and whatever spend requirement you might have to fulfill, that might be cutting it close.
     
  14. stan
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    stan Silver Member

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    I live outside of the states and use my american issued card's all the time in europe with no problems --I just call the c.c co. and tell them I am in " xxxx" and will be using my card overseas -- now with so many no exchange fee cards it is great, as i save the 2-3% and keeps my credit up to date -- i get paperless statements and pay via my u.s. bank account -- when come time to renew cards they send them to me fedx ( no charge )

    my wife is not a u.s. citizen and can not get a u.s. based credit card as no social security nbr. --- has tax id nbr .but still can not get her own c.card --- anyone know of a way she can get her own card --kills us to give up all those great deals!! --tks
     
  15. Kagehitokiri
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    Kagehitokiri Silver Member

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    since no one else mentioned it, amex has a global transfers dept
     
  16. Redhead

    Redhead Silver Member

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    I would also recommend that while you change your address to your overseas residence that you move to paperless for as many communications as possible. They will not mail your statement farther in advance just because you have a foreign address, so if you do ever use it you could get hit with late fees. On a related topic, I would recommend that you use the US CC at least once every 6 months. US issuers have gotten more aggressive about closing inactive accounts since the financial crisis. You don't want an involuntary close on your credit report
     
  17. below sea level
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    below sea level Silver Member

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    The problem is that it's just that. Transfers. They close the account in your home country after you activate the new card in your new country.
     

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