Most of the biggest U.S. credit card issuers accept applications from residents of Puerto Rico, although a couple do not. And among those that do, there are some limitations about which cards you can apply for if you live in the territory. Below is a rundown of major issuers and their policies on applications from Puerto Rico.
Nerd tip: Although it's not a state, Puerto Rico is U.S. soil and uses the U.S. dollar as currency. That means cash-back rewards on U.S.-issued credit cards operate in exactly the same way as they do in the United States itself.
Which cards can Puerto Rico residents get?
Puerto Rico residents can apply for any American Express consumer or business credit card.
The terms of some American Express cards specifically say they earn bonus rewards only at "U.S." merchants. For example, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express earns extra cash back at "U.S. supermarkets," certain "U.S. streaming services" and "U.S. gas stations" (see rates and fees) According to an American Express representative, the “U.S.” in these categories includes purchases made in the 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other U.S. territories.
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Bank of America
Puerto Rico residents can apply for any card issued by Bank of America®. However, you need to be at least 21 years old if you’re a permanent resident of Puerto Rico, compared with 18 if you live in a U.S. state.
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The only Capital One credit cards that accept applications from Puerto Rico residents, according to a representative from the issuer, are Capital One's Walmart-branded cards:
The Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®, which can be used wherever Mastercard is accepted.
The Walmart Rewards Card, which can be used only at Walmart stores, on Walmart.com and at Sam’s Club.
Both Walmart and Sam’s Club have store locations in Puerto Rico.
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Puerto Rico residents can apply for Chase's consumer and business credit cards if they're age 21 or older. Residents of most U.S. states can apply at 18 (Alabama and Nebraska residents must be 19).
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Puerto Rico residents can apply for all Citi-issued credit cards except for the issuer's branded American Airlines cards (more on that later).
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All Discover cards accept applications from residents of Puerto Rico.
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Puerto Rico residents can apply for all Wells Fargo credit cards. This includes cards on the Visa payment network, as well as the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card.
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Which cards don’t accept applications from residents of Puerto Rico?
None of Barclays’ credit card offerings are open to applicants in Puerto Rico. That includes the issuer's cards from two airlines with a heavy presence in the island, JetBlue and American Airlines:
However, Banco Popular issues two JetBlue cards for Puerto Rico residents: the JetBlue Mastercard and JetBlue Mastercard Eleva, both of which feature sign-up bonuses and the ability to earn TrueBlue points on every purchase.
See the Citi section below for an option for American Airlines.
Citi’s American Airlines-branded cards are unavailable to applicants in Puerto Rico:
However, Puerto Rico residents loyal to American Airlines can apply for the Popular / AAdvantage® Signature Plus, issued by Banco Popular. Like Citi's AAdvantage cards, it offers a sign-up bonus and ongoing rewards.
Aside from the two Walmart cards mentioned above, Capital One credit cards don't accept applications from residents of Puerto Rico.
Cards with geographic restrictions
Smaller banks and credit unions commonly limit applications to residents of specific states. How to tell: In the section of the online application where you enter your address, the dropdown menu for "state" will list only the eligible states and U.S. territories.
To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, see this page.