Using Indian Credit Cards in the USA -What are the best options?

So, if you’re a student in the USA or a visiting traveler, chances are that you have your Indian credit card and you have to use it for various things. US is a cashless economy, and almost everywhere you go, you can get away with plastic money. (Even at the toll-booth and parking lots!) The problem is, when your Indian credit card won’t work in the US. Now you’re stuck! Here’s what to do.

  • Always inform your bank before leaving that you’re on travel, so they can note it down on your account.
    Typically credit cards have security locks by which they get auto-blocked if they are being used from different places that your usual ones. Say a new country or a suspicious website.
    Not all credit cards have this feature but most do. It’s good for your card’s security because in case of a theft, it protects you from unwanted charges.
  • Do not attempt big purchases
    Do smaller transactions that aren’t suspicious. For example, paying for Uber etc.
  • Know your limits
    Understand that most credit cards have daily transaction limits especially when used abroad. If you are doing smaller transactions, make sure you don’t go over the daily limits.
  • Know your charges
    Unless you have a top class, premium credit card, it is very likely that you have additional foreign transaction fees on your credit card . Know what these charges are and if they are significant, avoid foreign transactions.
  • Load up your digital wallet
    Most places in US accept digital wallet transactions like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, PayTM, Google Wallet etc. Load up your Indian credit card via your smartphones digital wallet so that you can use the wallet instead.
  • Get a secured credit card in USA
    This can be tricky and might need some paperwork but possible. As soon as you visit USA, visit a bank, give your visa documentation, passport etc and ask them to give you a secured debit card by putting in some money. Say $500 – 1000. Banks can provide a secure credit card almost immediately which you can use for all transactions.
    Now whether you can get it or not depends on how you present your case and whether the bank is convinced of your intentions. Chase or Wells Fargo banks are comparatively easier to get through, so approach them.

Bonus: If you are trying to book Uber in USA with your Indian credit card and mobile number, chances are that your transaction will fail (because of the Indian telephone number). In such cases, it is suggested that you get a US phone number (prepaid phone is easy to get) and update your Uber profile with it.

About the author

Mani Karthik

Hi, Mani Karthik here. Having lived in USA, India & Middle East, and worked for big MNC's to startups, I have a lot to share with you. My aim is to help people, by sharing everything I've learned in life. Here's my full story. Connect with me on FacebookInstagram, Twitter or WhatsApp (+001-408-489-4785). This blog is read today, by more than 300K people world over and made me 22 Lakh Rupees! Here's my guide on how you can start a blog like this and make money from blogging. :)

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