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Best Credit Cards for Immigrants of 2022

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated December 9, 2021 . Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is our top overall pick for immigrants, since it offers a $0 annual fee, cash back on every purchase and the opportunity to help build your credit.
Best Credit Cards for Immigrants of 2022
Overall best credit card for immigrants Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Best credit card for immigrants with a low security deposit Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
Best cashback credit card for immigrants U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Secured Card
Best credit card for immigrants with no credit check OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
Best student credit card for immigrants Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students
Best credit card for immigrants with a high credit limit Secured Sable ONE Credit Card

If you recently immigrated to the U.S., it may be difficult to be approved for a credit card due to a lack of a U.S. credit history. We compiled a list of the best credit cards for immigrants, based on our research of cards available through LendingTree.com, as well as top cards offered credit card issuers.

These cards require little or no previous credit history while also reporting payment activity to the credit bureaus, which will then go into creating your credit score. Once approved for one of these cards, you can begin your U.S. credit journey toward building a reputable credit score.

Best For Overall credit card for immigrants

Discover it<sup>®</sup> Secured Credit Card

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Apply Now
on Discover's secure site
Intro Purchase APR N/A
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 22.99% Variable APR

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card provides the opportunity to build your credit while offering cash back on every purchase.

Cardholders earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. Plus, get the following sign-up bonus: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

Because the card is secured, it requires a deposit ranging from $200 to $2,500, which serves as your line of credit, but the card comes with a $0 annual fee.

If you carry a balance on your card from month to month, you will be subject to interest charges of 22.99% Variable APR. As for foreign transaction fees, there are none.

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is designed for those with limited/bad/poor credit. After you’ve had the card for 7 months, Discover will begin conducting monthly account reviews to see if you’re eligible to graduate to an unsecured card and get your deposit refunded.

If this happens, your card will transition to a Discover it® chrome. Note, Discover will evaluate your behavior across your credit cards and loans from Discover as well as other issuers or lenders. You can also get your deposit back if you choose to close your account and pay any remaining balance.

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card doesn’t charge a fee the first time you pay late; after that, the late fee will be up to $40. But, keep in mind, on-time payments are the No. 1 factor influencing your credit score.

  • Free FICO Score access
  • Discover Identity Alerts
  • Ability to freeze and unfreeze your card
  • U.S.-based 24/7 customer support

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card provides the opportunity to build your credit while offering cash back on every purchase.

Cardholders earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. Plus, get the following sign-up bonus: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

Because the card is secured, it requires a deposit ranging from $200 to $2,500, which serves as your line of credit, but the card comes with a $0 annual fee.

If you carry a balance on your card from month to month, you will be subject to interest charges of 22.99% Variable APR. As for foreign transaction fees, there are none.

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is designed for those with limited/bad/poor credit. After you’ve had the card for 7 months, Discover will begin conducting monthly account reviews to see if you’re eligible to graduate to an unsecured card and get your deposit refunded.

If this happens, your card will transition to a Discover it® chrome. Note, Discover will evaluate your behavior across your credit cards and loans from Discover as well as other issuers or lenders. You can also get your deposit back if you choose to close your account and pay any remaining balance.

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card doesn’t charge a fee the first time you pay late; after that, the late fee will be up to $40. But, keep in mind, on-time payments are the No. 1 factor influencing your credit score.

  • Free FICO Score access
  • Discover Identity Alerts
  • Ability to freeze and unfreeze your card
  • U.S.-based 24/7 customer support

Best For Low security deposit

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

Apply Now
on Capital One's secure site
Intro Purchase APR N/A
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 26.99% (Variable)

While most secured cards offer a credit line equal to the amount of your security deposit, the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card provides the opportunity to qualify for a higher credit line than your initial security deposit.

The card requires a minimum refundable deposit of $49, $99 or $200 — which will get you an initial credit line of $200. Plus, you can get a higher credit line if you deposit more money before your account opens, up to a maximum limit of $1,000.

This $0 card comes with an APR of 26.99% (variable).

If you want to use a secured card to help boost your credit, but aren’t able to put down a large deposit, the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card could be a good fit.

Just know, you’ll have to apply and be approved before your minimum deposit is determined, and you’re not guaranteed to get one of the lower deposit amounts.

The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card doesn’t offer a rewards program; however, after six months of demonstrating responsible card usage, Capital One will review your eligibility for an increased credit limit.

  • Automatic credit line reviews
  • Account alerts and virtual card numbers from Eno
  • Card lock technology
  • CreditWise from Capital One
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Emergency card replacement
  • Ability to add an authorized user

While most secured cards offer a credit line equal to the amount of your security deposit, the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card provides the opportunity to qualify for a higher credit line than your initial security deposit.

The card requires a minimum refundable deposit of $49, $99 or $200 — which will get you an initial credit line of $200. Plus, you can get a higher credit line if you deposit more money before your account opens, up to a maximum limit of $1,000.

This $0 card comes with an APR of 26.99% (variable).

If you want to use a secured card to help boost your credit, but aren’t able to put down a large deposit, the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card could be a good fit.

Just know, you’ll have to apply and be approved before your minimum deposit is determined, and you’re not guaranteed to get one of the lower deposit amounts.

The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card doesn’t offer a rewards program; however, after six months of demonstrating responsible card usage, Capital One will review your eligibility for an increased credit limit.

  • Automatic credit line reviews
  • Account alerts and virtual card numbers from Eno
  • Card lock technology
  • CreditWise from Capital One
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Emergency card replacement
  • Ability to add an authorized user

Best For Cashback rewards

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Secured Card

Highlights
  • 5% cash back on the first $2,000 of purchases each quarter in two categories of your choosing.
  • 2% cash back on purchases in the category of your choice.
  • 1% back on other purchases.
  • No annual fee.

The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Secured Card offers 5% cash back on up to $2,000 in purchases per quarter in the two categories of your choosing, 2% cash back on purchases in one everyday category of your choice, 1% back on other purchases.

Cashback rewards can be redeemed for statement credits to your account, direct deposit to your U.S. Bank checking, savings or money market account or for a U.S. Bank rewards card.

The card requires a refundable deposit of $300 up to $5,000, which will serve are your line of credit, and charges a $0 annual fee.

If you want to earn a generous cashback rate for purchases in categories of your choosing, such as gas and groceries, while also building your credit, the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Secured Card is a good option.

The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Secured Card reports account and payment activity to the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) once you submit a Social Security number. Plus, cardholders may be able to automatically graduate to the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card after demonstrating responsible card usage and get their deposit back.

Just know, if you carry a balance on your U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Secured Card from month to month, you will be subject to high interest charges at an APR of 25.99% variable.

  • Ability to choose your payment due date
  • Fraud protection
  • 24/7 account access
  • Zero fraud liability

The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Secured Card offers 5% cash back on up to $2,000 in purchases per quarter in the two categories of your choosing, 2% cash back on purchases in one everyday category of your choice, 1% back on other purchases.

Cashback rewards can be redeemed for statement credits to your account, direct deposit to your U.S. Bank checking, savings or money market account or for a U.S. Bank rewards card.

The card requires a refundable deposit of $300 up to $5,000, which will serve are your line of credit, and charges a $0 annual fee.

If you want to earn a generous cashback rate for purchases in categories of your choosing, such as gas and groceries, while also building your credit, the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Secured Card is a good option.

The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Secured Card reports account and payment activity to the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) once you submit a Social Security number. Plus, cardholders may be able to automatically graduate to the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card after demonstrating responsible card usage and get their deposit back.

Just know, if you carry a balance on your U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Secured Card from month to month, you will be subject to high interest charges at an APR of 25.99% variable.

  • Ability to choose your payment due date
  • Fraud protection
  • 24/7 account access
  • Zero fraud liability
The information related to the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Secured Card has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.

Best For No credit check

OpenSky<sup>®</sup> Secured Visa<sup>®</sup> Credit Card

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

Apply Now
on OpenSky's secure site
Intro Purchase APR N/A
Annual Fee $35
Regular Purchase APR 17.39% (variable)

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card does not require a credit check to be approved. The card is designed for individuals with limited/bad/poor credit, and requires a refundable security deposit ranging from $200 up to $3,000, which will serve as your line of credit.

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card  charges a $35 annual fee and has an ongoing APR of 17.39% (variable).

Also know, if you use the card to make purchases outside of the U.S., you will be subject to foreign transaction fees of 3% of each Transaction in U.S. dollars.

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card may be your best option if your credit is too bad to receive approval for a traditional card or other secured cards, since it doesn’t require a credit check.

The card also doesn’t require you to have a bank account for approval; however, you will have to provide some financial information, such as your annual income, monthly housing payment and housing payment type.

Additionally, the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card doesn’t offer the option to transition to an unsecured card after demonstrating responsible card usage. Therefore, the only way to get your deposit back is to pay your balance in full and close the account once your credit improves to the point where you can qualify for an unsecured card.

  • Access to Visa benefits
  • Monthly reports to the three major credit bureaus
  • Mail alerts
  • Four-step application process
  • Convenient mobile app

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card does not require a credit check to be approved. The card is designed for individuals with limited/bad/poor credit, and requires a refundable security deposit ranging from $200 up to $3,000, which will serve as your line of credit.

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card  charges a $35 annual fee and has an ongoing APR of 17.39% (variable).

Also know, if you use the card to make purchases outside of the U.S., you will be subject to foreign transaction fees of 3% of each Transaction in U.S. dollars.

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card may be your best option if your credit is too bad to receive approval for a traditional card or other secured cards, since it doesn’t require a credit check.

The card also doesn’t require you to have a bank account for approval; however, you will have to provide some financial information, such as your annual income, monthly housing payment and housing payment type.

Additionally, the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card doesn’t offer the option to transition to an unsecured card after demonstrating responsible card usage. Therefore, the only way to get your deposit back is to pay your balance in full and close the account once your credit improves to the point where you can qualify for an unsecured card.

  • Access to Visa benefits
  • Monthly reports to the three major credit bureaus
  • Mail alerts
  • Four-step application process
  • Convenient mobile app

Best For Student credit card for immigrants

Deserve<sup>®</sup> EDU Mastercard for Students

Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students

Apply Now
on Deserve's secure site
Intro Purchase APR N/A
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 18.74% Variable

The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students charges a $0 annual fee and offers 1% unlimited cash back on all purchases.

Cardholders also receive reimbursement for one year of Amazon Student Prime membership (specifically, $59 for the annual plan or $6.49 per month for the monthly plan, up to a lifetime total of $59).

The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students has an ongoing APR of 18.74% variable on purchases. As for foreign transaction fees — there are none.

If you’re an international student studying at a U.S. college, the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is a great option, since it comes with a $0 annual fee and offers cash back on every purchase.

Additionally, while most credit cards require a Social Security number (SSN) to apply, international students can be approved for the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students without one. That said, if you’re an international student studying in the U.S., you will need to add your SSN in order for the account and payment history show up on your credit reports.

  • Cellphone protection
  • Collision damage waiver
  • Mastercard Platinum benefits

The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students charges a $0 annual fee and offers 1% unlimited cash back on all purchases.

Cardholders also receive reimbursement for one year of Amazon Student Prime membership (specifically, $59 for the annual plan or $6.49 per month for the monthly plan, up to a lifetime total of $59).

The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students has an ongoing APR of 18.74% variable on purchases. As for foreign transaction fees — there are none.

If you’re an international student studying at a U.S. college, the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is a great option, since it comes with a $0 annual fee and offers cash back on every purchase.

Additionally, while most credit cards require a Social Security number (SSN) to apply, international students can be approved for the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students without one. That said, if you’re an international student studying in the U.S., you will need to add your SSN in order for the account and payment history show up on your credit reports.

  • Cellphone protection
  • Collision damage waiver
  • Mastercard Platinum benefits

Best For High credit limit

Secured Sable ONE Credit Card

Secured Sable ONE Credit Card

Apply Now
on Sable's secure site
Intro Purchase APR N/A
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR Prime + 6.99%

The Secured Sable ONE Credit Card allows cardholders to submit security deposits of up to $10,000 — which is one of the highest credit lines currently available for a secured credit card.

Plus, unlike typical secured credit cards that often require minimum security deposits of $200, the Secured Sable ONE Credit Card does not have a minimum deposit requirement.

Cardholders earn 2% cash back on everyday purchases at Amazon, Uber, Uber Eats, Whole Foods, Netflix, Spotify, and more! Plus, earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Additionally, the $0 annual fee card has a reasonable APR of Prime + 6.99%.

If you want access to a high line of credit — which typically won’t be available to you if you haven’t yet established a good credit history —  the Secured Sable ONE Credit Card could be a great option, since it allows a line of credit of up to $10,000. Just know, you should be prepared to put down a security deposit that’s equivalent to the credit limit you want.

Additionally, the Secured Sable ONE Credit Card does not require a credit check for approval. And cardholders have the opportunity to graduate to an unsecured card and get their deposit refunded in as little as four months after meeting the following criteria:

  • Making on-time payments each month.
  • Spending at least $250 on your card each month.
  • Making 15 or more transactions on your card each month.
  • Maintaining a credit limit of at least $500 for the last four months.
  • Receiving monthly payroll direct deposits to your Sable bank account of at least $500 per month for the last four months.

Note, you do not need a Social Security number to apply for the Secured Sable ONE Credit Card; however, if you have one, you are required to provide it. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must provide a copy of your passport or U.S. Visa, as well as your U.S. residential address. Finally, cardholders are required to open a Sable bank account in which they’ll be asked to submit their security deposit for the card.

  • Phone insurance protection
  • Mastercard car rental insurance
  • Price protection
  • Purchase assurance
  • Extended warranty
  • Travel assistance services

The Secured Sable ONE Credit Card allows cardholders to submit security deposits of up to $10,000 — which is one of the highest credit lines currently available for a secured credit card.

Plus, unlike typical secured credit cards that often require minimum security deposits of $200, the Secured Sable ONE Credit Card does not have a minimum deposit requirement.

Cardholders earn 2% cash back on everyday purchases at Amazon, Uber, Uber Eats, Whole Foods, Netflix, Spotify, and more! Plus, earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Additionally, the $0 annual fee card has a reasonable APR of Prime + 6.99%.

If you want access to a high line of credit — which typically won’t be available to you if you haven’t yet established a good credit history —  the Secured Sable ONE Credit Card could be a great option, since it allows a line of credit of up to $10,000. Just know, you should be prepared to put down a security deposit that’s equivalent to the credit limit you want.

Additionally, the Secured Sable ONE Credit Card does not require a credit check for approval. And cardholders have the opportunity to graduate to an unsecured card and get their deposit refunded in as little as four months after meeting the following criteria:

  • Making on-time payments each month.
  • Spending at least $250 on your card each month.
  • Making 15 or more transactions on your card each month.
  • Maintaining a credit limit of at least $500 for the last four months.
  • Receiving monthly payroll direct deposits to your Sable bank account of at least $500 per month for the last four months.

Note, you do not need a Social Security number to apply for the Secured Sable ONE Credit Card; however, if you have one, you are required to provide it. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must provide a copy of your passport or U.S. Visa, as well as your U.S. residential address. Finally, cardholders are required to open a Sable bank account in which they’ll be asked to submit their security deposit for the card.

  • Phone insurance protection
  • Mastercard car rental insurance
  • Price protection
  • Purchase assurance
  • Extended warranty
  • Travel assistance services

Side-by-side comparison of the best credit cards for immigrants

Credit cardBest forAnnual fee
Discover it® Secured Credit CardOverall credit card for beginners2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically$0
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit CardLow security depositNon-rewards Card$0
U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Secured CardCash back rewards5% cash back on up to $2,000 in purchases per quarter in the two categories of your choosing, 2% cash back on purchases in one everyday category of your choice, 1% back on other purchases$0
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit CardNo credit checkNone$35
Deserve® EDU Mastercard for StudentsStudents1% unlimited cash back on all purchases$0
Secured Sable ONE Credit CardHigh credit limit2% cash back on everyday purchases at Amazon, Uber, Uber Eats, Whole Foods, Netflix, Spotify, and more! Plus, earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.$0

Methodology

To select the best credit card for immigrants for each of these categories, our credit card experts compared cards designed for individuals with poor, limited and average credit on LendingTree.com and issuer sites.

We chose our top picks based on a variety of factors, including the each card’s annual fee, interest rate, rewards program and more. Other factors that came into play when making our selections were the benefits offered by the card and the ability to establish or build your credit with responsible card usage.

Which credit card is best for immigrants?

If you’re new to the U.S., signing up for a credit card is a great way to begin establishing a credit profile. But whether applying for a secured card or a traditional card, you’ll want to select one that charges limited fees and reports to the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) — as each of the cards in this post do.

Just know that in order for the account and payment activity to be reflected on a credit report, you will need to eventually include a Social Security number (SSN) once you get one. However, know that the credit bureau Experian may still generate a credit report for consumers without a SSN.

Plus, if you apply for and receive an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), which is issued by the Internal Revenue Service. Some credit card companies allow the use of an ITIN in place of a SSN on applications.

If you feel limited by your credit card options, you can also become an authorized user on a family member or friend’s existing credit card account. Just keep in mind that if the primary cardholder fails to make payments on time or continually maxes out their card’s credit limit, your credit history may be negatively impacted.

Best credit cards for immigrants FAQs

A secured credit card requires a security deposit, which serves as your line of credit. Security deposits are generally refundable once you pay off your card balance in full and close the account, or if the issuer transitions you to an unsecured card after you demonstrate responsible card usage.

If you want to use a credit card to help build your credit, it’s crucial to practice responsible card usage. This includes:

Paying your balance on time and in full each month.

Maintaining a credit utilization ratio below 30%.

Applying for a credit sparingly and only when it’s truly needed.

While the ranges vary depending on the credit-scoring model, generally scores ranging from 300 to 579 are considered poor, 580 to 669 are fair, 670 to 739 are good, 740 to 799 are very good, and 800 and above are considered excellent.

Tracy Brackman

Tracy joined LendingTree in June 2019 as a senior writer. She began working in the credit card space in 2009 as the editorial department manager for FlexOffers, an affiliate marketing company. She went on to work as product information manager for Bankrate, where she managed the financial and credit card product details for two affiliate networks, as well as Bankrate owned and operated sites. Prior to joining LendingTree, Tracy worked as products editor for CreditCards.com, where she developed the credit card products section and created content focused on breaking credit card news.

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The above offers and/or promotions may have since changed, expired, or is no longer available. Check the Issuers’ website for more details.