Getting a US Address for Credit Cards

Getting American credit cards means you must have a US address as issuers will not ship to foreign addresses. Short of buying a house in (unless you live in Vancouver, in which one Vancouver house buys many US houses) you will have to receive mail another way.

Getting a US Address

The method with the least hassle is getting a mail forwarding service. They receive mail for you, and send it to your door. No lifting of fingers required.

Shipito

Shipito

The best service for a US Address is Shipito, and is free to signup for. I’ve heard great things from my friends about this company, and I highly recommend them. They have two options, a free subscription or a paid one. You can also choose from addresses in California, Oregon, and Nevada. The free option should be fine unless you need an Oregon address with no sales tax.

The rates are REALLY reasonable. To forward a package Shipito charges only $2 per package in addition to shipping costs. I guess they have huge volumes that makes it possible. From their calculator, a package should cost around $35 to ship from Nevada to Vancouver. This is roughly similar to the rates that FedEx and other shipping companies display on their site. At the end of the day, this cost is negligible compared to the rewards you’ll earn.

US Address - Shipito Shipping

US Address – Shipito Shipping

The other option is to get a US address mailbox. This works if you live close to the US border, although it means driving down to pick up your mail. Vancouver gets it really good, as most of us live 30-90 minutes from Blaine. One service has been around for a long time is Kinek.

They have many locations near the border – Blaine WA, Buffalo NY, Burlington VT, and more. Like Shipito, they have no monthly or membership fees, and notify you with images when they receive your mail. The cost to receive your items is just a pickup fee starting at $5 per package. If you get one letter or package per month, you could save hundreds of dollars by picking it up yourself.

Select the Right Company!

There are plenty of other options that you can find online. One thing, however, is extremely important. Ensure that the company that you use is not designated as a mail forwarding or PO Box service. This can be an issue with some banks who again will not ship to those addresses.

To verify if this is the case, check the address with the USPS Zip Lookup Tool. The line to pay attention to is the Commercial Mail Receiving Agency. For example, another service I found online displays Y instead of N. That will be a problem. Both Shipito and Kinek do not have this designation.

The last option is using a friend or family member’s address. This is what I’ve been doing ever since getting credit cards, although the logistics are tricky, which is why I’m hesitant to recommend this. Despite how well you know them, most people won’t be too fond of forwarding mail every month. Using their address works for me since I travel frequently enough to visit them several times a year. The drawback is that sometimes I receive my mail late (of course I get them to take pictures of the important items).

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Comments

  1. Unless you are a US citizen or permanent resident living in Canada, I think that this crosses the line to fraud. It’s one thing for this community to engage in manufactured spend and hack banking prodcuts, but it’s another to openly advocate for non-US based individuals to use a service to apply for Us based credit cards. Remember this is a contract and a bank has the right to enforce their end of the bargain through a court system. It’s a lot harder if the person not only doesn’t live at their claimed address but is in fact in another country and not a citizen of the country which the credit card contract belongs to.

    I know the Us market is lucrative for points, but that doesn’t excuse fraud.

    • I’m not a lawyer, but I’m not quite sure what citizenship or permanent residency has to do with a credit card application as well. If you take a look at the credit card agreements (other than Wells Fargo), nothing in the terms and conditions makes that a requirement. I also don’t see how a mail-forwarding service has anything to do with this. There are plenty of people who use mail-forwarding systems for other reasons. I’m not advocating for people to misrepresent themselves. Rather, I’m just saying mail-forwarding is an option if you don’t live at that address. If issuers do ask you for proof of address and financial status (like any other American), and you can’t prove that, then you won’t get that credit card.

      • First, a majority of banks do require US citizenship or permanent residency. They will inquire on the application about this.

        Second, applying for a credit card using a mail forwarding address is in fact fraud. Not only is it likely a violation of the US Patriot Act, but also a a fraudulent contract. A bank is relying on the truth of the data you provide on the application. If you do not live at that address and do in fact live in another country, the contract may be voidable. If you don’t repay the amount the bank has little to no way of getting personal service on you since you don’t live at that address and therefore, may have limited resources to enforce the bargain.

        Third, if you already have the credit card – that is one thing, but still there are fraud issues involved here.

        Maybe you should research this information before advocating for likely illegal behavior.

  2. I tried using such service before but was still rejected by the bank I’m applying to because according to them the address I’m using IS a commercial mail receiving agency (I didn’t even get to the final “submit application” button yet). Just now, I checked using the USPS Zip lookup tool that the address is -not- listed as a commercial mail receiving agency. Have you actually tried applying for a US credit card using shipito or any other such services (and succeeded)?

  3. I have a bank account, several credit cards and an SSN in the US. I recently applied while in Canada for the US chase sapphire card and Chase directed me to their fraud team who requested that I provide proof of address in the states, (rental agreement, driver’s license, or phone/water/electricity bill. Bank statements is not sufficient) otherwise they can not approve my application. I was not able to provide proof of address thus I was not able to get the card (any guidance to still get it would be appreciated). I have other cards with Chase in the US and cannot see any reason for this issue other than that I applied from a computer (IP) from Canada.

    Take away: 1. card issuers may decide to ask for proof of address, which we can’t provide.
    2. If possible to apply while in the states or to have someone in the states you trust
    apply for you that can possibly avoid problems getting approved.

    All the best to all , and definitely try to grab some of the US cards if possible.

  4. How do you get around the fact that you don’t have a US Credit Report?
    (Unless you have one from previous cards) Will they look at your Canadian
    Credit File? And just a note for YOSE
    could he have not used a VPN service
    when making the application?
    Just asking?
    BTW I just love your site and have learned plenty from you, and have
    shared it with many of my trusted friends and associates.
    Thanks again.

    • You don’t get around it. This is just a method to receive mail if you can’t fly to California or Nevada. If you don’t have US history I suggest doing a Global Transfer if you’re eligible. See my other post about that.

  5. As a dual citizen who has dealt with this issue and has cards in both countries, I suggest you stay away from the use of mail forwarding organizations for this purpose unless you have a history with the card issuer already. They do know the addresses for these companies and it will flag your application (and potentially future applications). Its usually fine to change address to mail forwarding after some history is built, but you will get calls from some issuers. Sometimes trying a border town bank can get you further if you’re trying to start building credit, but you’ll still likely need a residential address. It’s the same going in either direction.

    • Fair enough. As I say in my site’s terms of use, none of this is professional guidance nor am I a financial or legal professional. This is my knowledge and my experience – other folks may have had different outcomes. Thanks for your comment.

  6. I am a dual citizen who has always lived in Canada. I started credit card churning a few years ago, and now want to get US cards. Based on advice I read online, I went to Amex first. I needed a US bank account to pay the US card, and I think Amex wanted to see that I had a US bank account with the same address I was giving them. I used a mail forwarding service: reship. This all basically worked, but I do not recommend reship, as they state that they will not reship credit cards and they did refuse to re-ship a second Amex US card that I got (Amex ended up sending it to me where I was in Canada because I didn’t get it at my US address).

    So the tip about shipito is really helpful. I have now changed my address to shipitto.

    Now I would like more cards, but early indications are that I still don’t have enough credit history in the US to get more. But later this week I will follow up on applications I recently made to see if I can get anywhere.

    Thanks CK for the very helpful post on the address issue, this looks like it will really help for one piece of the puzzle!

    • p.s. for the US bank account, I just went to one of the Canadian banks that has a US operation (Royal). This was pretty easy. Listed the US address as one of my addresses with Royal, then was able to show that I had a US bank account with a US address associated with it.

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