Credit Card without SSN: Smart Move?

Not taking a credit card is actually a huge mistake

Credit Card


A large chunk of Bangladeshis never take a credit card, and miss the opportunity of receiving hundreds of dollars for free.

Yes, literally.

In between the fiasco of all the minimum payments, fear of interest and credit limits, many Bangladeshis put away the thought of credit cards as far away as possible. In this article, we’ll get to know why you should have a credit card, how to get a credit card without SSN, and how you’ll never have to pay a penny for your card.

Oh, and, get $30 for free. Lessgoooo.

“Credit Cards are haram, so bye bye”

-Every Clueless Muslim ever

The Why of Credit Cards

Credit Cards provide us with bonuses. Period. 

Some credit cards have more bonuses than others. Famous ones by American Express, only offered to a few select celebrities, provide you with 24/7 concierge service….

But let’s get back to our ‘level.’ In our level, Chase Bank’s credit cards are one of the best. However, you need a Social Security Number (SSN) to apply for one. And you need some form of job to apply for an SSN. And…….processing the SSN takes some time. So, Chase Bank’s cards shouldn’t be your first ever credit card. 

The most common benefits credit cards provide is cashback. Suppose the cashback offer is 1%, and you pay $100 using your card. In that case, you’ll get $1 for free. It doesn’t sound too much, but it does add up over the months. Deserve provides 1% cashback, Bank of America’s Cash Rewards credit card provides 3% in select categories.

Apart from these, there are other fringe benefits. Starting from special offers for certain network providers to one year of amazon prime free to lounge benefits…there are a lot. It differs from card to card.

However, most importantly, the biggest reason you should get a credit card is because it’ll raise your credit score. Credit scores, in the future, will help you get loans, will help you get better credit cards, etc. etc…. Topic for another article.

Credit Cards and Fees

Ok wait, before we get to how to apply for a credit card, let’s ask: how much will a credit card cost you?

The answer is: it depends. The more renowned, and better ones, cost an annual fee. As a student, that is unlikely to be profitable for you. Entry level ones, however, generally have zero dollars worth of annual fee. And we’ll only focus on them today.

Ok fine, how about interest rates?

As long as you pay your dues in time (once per month), you’re good. They will charge zero dollars from you extra. This….might be confusing. Keep reading on, I’ll explain at the end.

How to get a Credit Card without SSN

Sadly, not all banks will offer you a credit card without a Social Security Number.

The most popular option is Deserve . This card is shaped to be used by international students, and is marketed heavily towards them. The approval process is super easy- you’ll fill up an online application which asks for your Name, Date of Birth, Address in the US, email address……that’s it.  Everything is done online.

Oh and, two other requirements- While applying, you must be over 18 years old, and need to have a bank account.

With Deserve, arrives 1 year of free Amazon Prime, 1% cashback in all transactions, no annual fee, and no foreign transaction fees (use it in your home country freely). Oh and, obviously, no SSN needed.

If you use this link:

You’ll get $30 along with your Deserve Credit Card. Disclaimer: I’ll get $30 too. Pls don’t shy away, I’ll treat myself burgirs with this. Take this card even if to treat me burgir hehe.

Are there any cons with this? Not really. Deserve/Mastercard may not be used by every merchant in the universe (Costco, famously, only accepts Visa), so just use your debit card at that moment. 

Also, Deserve, generally, provides with only $300 worth of credit, but it depends on your I-20. Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card, which we’ll talk about right now, provided me with $500 credit.

Second Option is Bank of America.

Although not really truly advertised or marketed properly, because I think they like to keep this under the curtain for some reason, Bank of America does provide their credit card without a SSN. As a live example, I received one.

However, the approvals are only accepted once you have a large amount of cash deposited in the bank. I am not sure if there is a cutoff range, but $1500-$2000 is probably the bare minimum they want to see. Such a ‘requirement’ is not needed by Deserve.

Unlike Deserve, you cannot apply for this credit card online.

Bank of America, however, has bigger perks. They have cashback offers of 3% in a category of your choice: it can be gas, travel, online shopping etc. You can change your choice once per month.

Thus, you’ll have almost three times more cashback compared to Deserve in many cases.

There are no referral links of BofA credit card, sadly. So no free money for you or me 🙁

How do Credit Cards work?

The first thing they’ll do is to assign you a credit limit. For example, Deserve generally assigns a credit limit of $300

This means that you can spend a maximum of $300 dollars without paying it back. Before the start of every month, they’ll post a credit statement of yours. If you paid all dues already, you’re good. If not, you have two options:

Pay the full amount that is due on your credit card.

Pay only the minimum amount. Paying this minimum amount will not dissolve your full dues, but will eliminate any risk of paying interest. 

To allow your credit score to not drop though, try not keeping any dues on your credit card.

Is this a big deal for some people? Kinda. You may forget to pay in time. Just set multiple reminders on your phone, and simply pay with a couple of taps from your bank’s mobile app. Easy Peasy.

End Note

All of these may sound…complicated. Good. It kinda is. Especially the last section.

Either way, I’d highly suggest you to apply for a credit card. At the very least, you’ll get free cashback. At the very least, you’ll get $30 if you take Deserve (and you’ll treat me $30 too, hehe. Link again:

Either way, relax and have fun because now, you’re a pro about Credit Cards. Go flex your knowledge.

Samin Rahman

Samin Rahman

Content Creator, UTD’24

I wrote this thing and I mean…if you don’t know me, check the url. You’re literally on my website.
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