American Express Global Transfer is one of the easiest ways to get a US credit card if you are planning to move to the USA. Previously, you had to call their dedicated phone line to initiate an application, which I found time-consuming. This meant you could only get the limited offers available on the phone. However, there is now a new option that allows you to apply online, called Nova Credit. This is huge, because the best bonuses are often only available online. Since American Express USA has a once per lifetime rule on welcome bonuses, you should always look for the best available offer before applying.
American Express Global Transfer
Recently, I went through the process to get the Hilton Aspire American Express card. It comes with a whopping 150,000 point welcome bonus, and is one of the best hotel credit cards for Canadians who are eligible. Because hotel points other than Marriott are more difficult to access in Canada, I strongly recommend applying for a Hilton American Express credit card rather than a product earning Membership Rewards.
The new application method does not negate other requirements of Global Transfer. You must be a Canadian AMEX cardholder in good standing, and have been a cardholder for at least three months with recent activity on the card. In this situation, I have the American Express Cobalt Card which is eligible for the Global Transfer process. The Cobalt Card is THE best card to earn points on Dining and Groceries, with a 5x bonus multiplier. You can earn up to 30,000 points through the offer, with no cap on the 5x bonus.
Additional Reading: American Express Cobalt Card Review
Using Nova Credit
As well, you must have a US bank account, ID details, and US address. It’s also recommend you have a US phone number as text messages for fraud and verification do not go through to foreign phone numbers.
The difference on the application page is that the Social Security Number box is now optional. There is also the checkbox to verify your Canadian credit history online. This is powered by Nova Credit, which sounds like a pretty nifty startup. To access this application method, you must be physically present in the US or use a VPN. I use ExpressVPN, one of the best VPNs for travel. ExpressVPN also offers a 30-day free trial for new customers. If you are accessing the application overseas, the page will vary slightly and will not show the Nova Credit option.
After filling in the rest of the application, you will be taken to the third-party Nova Credit site to use your foreign credit history. For verification, you will have to enter similar details to a standard credit card application – name, date of birth, and address. Optionally, you can also enter your Social Insurance Number. If this is successful, you will be taken to answer security questions.
I strongly recommend verifying your Canadian credit reports to ensure that the process goes smoothly. You can get your free Equifax credit score and report with Borrowell, which should display pertinent personal information including past addresses and open accounts.
Additional Reading: Free Credit Score Options for Canadians
Unfortunately, the system errored out. It was unable to pull the credit history likely because of a mismatch of information. This means American Express will process your information using standard procedures. You will receive an application number and will have to call American Express to proceed. It isn’t too bad, because successfully using Nova Credit will still require you to call them to verify your cardholder, ID, and bank details.
American Express Global Transfer is one of the best ways to access US credit cards and their valuable rewards. Overall, Nova Credit is a great new application method that simplifies the transfer process for existing Canadian cardholders. For your first card, I highly recommend the Hilton Aspire American Express card, which was what I applied for. Not only is there a 150,000 point signup bonus, but a huge chunk of benefits that make the card worthwhile keeping permanently. These include a $250 airline credit, a $250 hotel resort credit, and complimentary Hilton Diamond status.
Has anyone used Nova Credit to apply for an American Express USA product?