Moving to another country can be an extremely exciting but often daunting time. Not only do you leave friends and family behind but you also have to make adjustments to the way in which you go about achieving everyday tasks such as shopping and paying bills, which were previously carried out trouble free.
The first thing you may notice after investigating all the beautiful Aussie beaches of course, is that Australia does not seem to have caught onto buying online or over the phone the simple way. As a new resident, don’t be surprised if you are somewhat confused and frustrated to discover that you can no longer use your debit card to make purchases, bookings and bill payments. Instead you will need a credit card to do just about all of these things.
When it comes to finding a new credit card, only to be turned away because you’re a temporary/non-resident category, the temperature certainly starts to rise and not just the one displayed on the mercury.
Taking a few steps back, it’s important to look at the history of Australian finance and why things are the way they are. Australia’s banking environment was deregulated in 1980’s which resulted in a much more competitive environment and a better deal for the borrower. This is great news for residents and non-residents alike as it means more variety of products and lenders to choose from. Good news so far, we hear you say.
So how does a temporary or non-resident go about applying for a credit card? If you shop around, there are actually a number of lenders who are willing to issue credit cards to non residents and temporary citizens, obviously subject to certain approval criteria.
The ANZ Credit Card is just one of these credit cards that is available to both residents and non residents of Australia who are over 18yrs of age and have a good credit rating. Generally speaking, a permanent Australian resident requires a minimum annual salary of $15,000 and non-Australians/temporary residents need a typical minimum salary of $50,000+. That is the unfortunate catch. You will be often best served to submit your online application, and expect a referral note to be passed on if you don’t often meet the salary requirement criteria. The bank/vendor will then get in touch to discuss your circumstances and advise you if you can still apply.
Other lenders who consider offering credit cards to non residents include:
– ANZ – min earn $50,000
– Amex – 457 visa (current temp business long stay visa)
– Aussie – min earn $50,000
– CBA – Current Australian visitor’s visa
American Express currently accepts residents who are on a 457 visa. This is a temporary business long stay visa, as usually sponsored by an employer to grant you the right to work and reside in Australia on a temporary basis.
If you are on a 457 visa, then perhaps an American Express credit card may be suitable for your needs and circumstances. As the Amex fine print displays that you can apply for any card out of their range if you meet the 457 visa requirements for non-residents and further meet the general income earnings criteria.
Aussie Mastercard is another credit card that permits temporary/non-permanent residents to apply for their credit card if you earn $50,000 and above their specified income threshold. Aussie currently offers a fantastic deal with the Aussie MasterCard, introducing a low rate and annual fee.
Commonwealth Bank currently accepts according to their terms and conditions fine print Australian visitor visas. If you have a current Australian visitors visa and meet all of the other identified accept criteria, then you can apply for a credit card with Commonwealth Bank.