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As of Aug. 28, 2023, American Express will require a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number from everyone who submits an application for a U.S. consumer credit card. Previously, AmEx had allowed some eligible newcomers to the U.S. to bypass this requirement.
In 2019, AmEx partnered with Nova Credit, a financial technology company that makes it possible for immigrants in the U.S. to translate qualifying international credit reports into a U.S.-equivalent score when applying for an AmEx consumer credit card. This, combined with the previously established ability to qualify without a Social Security Number or ITIN, eliminated significant roadblocks to credit for immigrants who typically have to start their credit journey from scratch in the U.S.
Eligible newcomers to the U.S. will still be able to have their credit history considered in the application process. AmEx’s partnership with Nova Credit will stay the same with the exception of the new Social Security number or ITIN requirement, according to Jacob Wilson, a spokesperson for AmEx.
With this change, immigrants in the U.S. without a Social Security number or ITIN will likely have to start the clock on their credit history with a credit card that provides lower value, likely backed by a smaller financial technology company or less established issuer.