Weird credit card question
So my credit is looking good and I want to apply for a credit card with reward/frequent flier miles. However, I have lookied at several companies and they say that I am outside the service area.
Do any credit card companies allow VI residents to apply for their cards? I have one card that I brought with me, but it does not offer any kind of rewards or bonuses.
I have a Citi Aadvantage card I've had for eons & upgraded it & they switched me to the Puerto Rico division. The PR division made lots of mistakes I couldn't get straightened out so I squawked to Citi & they switched me back to the Stateside card. The Puerto Rico division maybe has improved since then so it's worth a try.
Creditcards are one of the unreported hassles you encounter when you move down here, and it doesn't always have to do with the card issuer or what type of card it is. Sometimes it has to do with the BILLING address you provide for the CC on the online form.
I do a fair amount of online shopping, and sometimes have to call their 800 number to finish the purchasing process. You sometimes have to call because their shipping options request that you do, --or the site doesn't offer "VI" or the like in the "states" field on the form, so their form kills your attempt to order. Having a "stateside" card doesn't always help.... here's why:
I have a CC from USBANK, where I still maintain a spare checking acct stateside. But the statements for that card are mailed to me here in the VI. And some websites will REJECT the use of that CC due to the fact that my BILLING address for the CC is a USVI address. Some companies simply don't want to accept cards with a non-continental billing address. (I process cards through my own business, and I understand why they are shy).
So, I'm going to CHANGE my official billing address for that CC back to my stateside company address, and just having them forward the bill to me every month. Eventually maybe all companies will realize that the USVI is not a foreign country.
Why some cc processors are shy about some cards:
1. A large of amount of fraudulent cc purchases made in the US come from non-US issued cards.
2. CC issued by non-US banks often don't subscribe to the verification system which most stateside companies use to "approve" your card online.
3. Even if your CC is "approved" you can always claim you never received the merchandise, then the company is stuck and unlikely to send somebody overseas to look you up. So for example, my company will ship to the UK, but never to Africa or Eastern Europe.
4. Many online forms are "off the shelf" products which retailers have purchased (or contracted to use), and they don't bother to customize the forms to accept VI as a "state" or be able to calculate USPS shipping beyond the continental US. Of course, they don't KNOW their forms have limitations, until it's too late and they don't want to pay thousands of dollars to customzie them for just a few overseas customers.
5. Some credit card processors have higher security requirements than others. My company, for example, will approve a purchase even if the zipcode doesn't match the card's security feature because of the type of product and customers we particular deal with.
Of course, if you're a company which regularly sells to overseas locations, you have safeguards and shipping protocols in place to avoid fraud. But most retail companies simply don't want to be bothered.
As has been mentioned on this board, one way around the "VI not listed on state list" is to just select VT or VA. It works "sometimes" ...depending on the amount of internal checks the online form is set up to make.
Creditcard processing does not look at street alphabetic info, only numeric info. So for example, you can mispell your street but better get the number right. And the card's official billing zipcode must match the billing address zip you provide or it will be automatically rejected.
Some online forms will accept 00850 (VI), but then the company will contact you later and say "sorry, we don't ship there." So word to the wise: always call customer service within 48 hours to be sure. In some cases, companies will just cancel your order and not tell you.
It's all a house of cards. Follow up, and diligently read your statements.
We are the redheaded step-child of the US
Hey Beth, Is that politically correct?:D I read recently that, in the not too distant future, there won't be any natural redheads. They are getting fazed out by more predominant, darker hair.
Oh well, just a tidbit. Back to the original topic!
I think I am allowed to make slurs against redheads since I am one... sort of how blondes can tell blonde jokes. 🙂
But I love these little digressions, I decided to try to find something about it on the web, but I must not be phrasing my search correctly, as I came up with a page about cutting your hair to the phases of the moon.
I was a redhead once, when I was about 15 years old. Took plain old hydrogen peroxide to my medium brown hair. Didn't know one peroxide from another, but it actually turned out an OK color. My mother went ballistic!
So, Beth...how you doing on finding a credit card? Every once in a while someone won't take my amex because it has a VI address (although it is through Bank of America), but it happens so seldom I haven't considered it a problem. And Donna mentioned PayPal, which is great. You register your cards and bank account with PayPal and then you just pay through them and it doesn't matter what your address is (if the merchant takes PayPal - more and more are taking it).
So the question on the state pull down screen...I have found that when I can not find the USVI on the state drop down screen. If you look on some of them they have a second drop down for country. The USVI is listed as US Virgin Islands as a different country.
In regards to some rewards on a credit card since Spirit flys out of here they offer a credit card through their site that gives you miles on the card. All I have done so far is sign up for their $9 dollar fare club and it let me choose the USVI as a different country. I would imagine the credit card situation is the same.
Guess we are kinda part of the US...but online we are a whole different country.
Stateside merchants are just to provincial. Yesterday I had to order some parts that I could only get from a small German company. Not only did they have their web site available in several languages they had the US Virgin Islands on their pull down for shipping. When I selected the USVI and said to ship it to St Croix the shipping by mail was only ten Euros. PayPal automatically converted my dollars to Euros to pay for the parts and shipping.