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Author Topic: Credit Cards for Foreigners FAQ  (Read 102110 times)

Offline GraceNYC116

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Credit Cards for Foreigners FAQ
« on: April 18, 2011, 03:15:22 PM »
How to get one?

It is a lot easier to get a credit card (CC hereafter) if you work at a public school as hagwons often go bankrupt.

It is also a lot easier to get a card if you have an F-X visa (F-4, F-5, etc.).

Based on various member responses, getting a CC is very hit and miss. One branch (or salesperson or teller) may say they don't issue CCs to expats period, whereas others will say they do. So, if you get rejected, try another person or another branch. One of the probable reasons is the teller/salesperson simply  doesn't want to do the application process in English. Hence, try to go to a bigger (or global) branch where there's a higher chance of a person speaking English. One thing is certain: banks, Lotte, and Hyundai DO issue CCs to expats. However, apparently Samsung stopped issuing credit cards to E-2 visa holders.

By law, a security deposit is not required for credit cards .

Lotte seems to be the most expat-friendly card (easy to get, no deposit, high limit, etc.)



What docs are lneeded?

-ARC
-passport
-certificate of employment
-proof of medical insurance
-official pay stubs and/or document/bank statement from your bank showing a regular stream of salary (2 months should do, but the more the better)
-contract (not required, but bring just in case)

This is Korea so the requirements are very inconsistent--it's best to play it safe by bringing everything above.

Your credit limit depends on visa type; type of employment (e.g., hagwon vs public); length in Korea; and salary.


Contacts:


Lotte English line:

02-2050-3410 for English Speaking service

Hyundai English line:

02-3015-9411

Samsung English line:

 02-2000-8438

[MOD EDIT: redacted at contact's request]

Seung at  seunghyech@hanmail.net

Carl at 010-4073-7253 (carlrhee@naver.com)

Waygook Members' Experiences:

KEB

Member CellarDoor:

I got a KEB card.

I have only 4-5 months left on my visa/contract.  It's my second year at my school, E2 visa.

Member Boquoi,

"I have had a KEB account since I have been here, so I was able to get a CC after 6 months (no deposit). But my credit limit is only 70% of my monthly salary."

Hyundai

Member chrisinkorea2011,

"I called Hyundai service and was approved within 10 mins. my limit was set at 2 mil and after 3 months my limit jumped because i made multiple purchases. As someone before stated, using Korean CC has a variety of benefits.

My Hyundai M3 card (annual fee is 70,000 ! opposed to M2 or M1, which is 10,000 KRW per year or free, respectively)

1.5x or more points on purchases
various discounts ranging from 10% to 50%
various payment plans
list goes on and on..."

Lotte

Member wurminkorea

 I signed for my Lotte credit card. with a 2.6million won credit limit, i checked it on Paypal, and on skype just now, and it worked 100%.

I hav ebeen at my public school for 2 months, and i got a very nice Lotte Card, with bus service, and 50% discount at amusments parks, etc, and 20% discount at movie theatres,


Why get a Korean CC?

-deep discounts at restaurants (especially franchises, typically 15-35%), theatres/theaters (15-50%, or buy one get one free/"1+1"), performances, attractions, and other benefits

-works as a T-money card for transit (Seoul, Daejeon, Busan; Daegu only works with certain CCs, I believe KB and Shinan only)

-build a credit rating if you plan to stay here long-term

Will it work abroad?

Generally, yes. To be safe, ask your CC company as my Samsung card didn't, whereas my Hyundai and Lotte did.

Why not just use my home CC?

 I would avoid using your home CC often as you will get hit with various transaction costs (lose out on the exchange rate, foreign conversion fee charged by the CC [if applicable], and the wire cost). For instance:

One member got

1071 to 1 USD (last cc charge)
1081 to 1 USD (when sent money home)

Thus, if you bought something for 1,000,000 KRW, it  essentially cost you $933.

When you send 1,000,000 KRW home, that buys approximately $925 USD, so you have to end up sending more KRW to pay it off (1,008,573 KRW = $933 at the 1081 tKRW to 1 USD exchange rate). In addition, you'll have to pay a remittance fee (unless you're doing Citi to Citi).

There can be times when the exchange rate works in your favor,  but that's when it's really volatile. In general, don't use your home CC.

If you're sending money home anyway to pay off loans, then the wire fee is less of an issue (or none at all if the wiring fee is independent of the amount you send), but if you use your home CC frequently (especially for large purchases), the transaction fees (from the exchange rate spread) can rack up quickly.

Use your home CC once every 18 months to keep it active as a closed CC will adversely affect your credit score. If you really, really want to build your home credit score, use your card intermittently for small purchases. Just bear in mind that the most important things in getting a loan/mortgage back home are 1) secure and stable salary; 2) level of debt; and 3) in the case of mortgages, size of down payment. Credit score is still very important, but if have lots of debt, creditors will still be wary giving you additional credit even if your score is good. If you have student loans and/or CC debt, focus on clearing that first and then be concerned about using your CC to build credit.

How do Korean CCs work?

Korean CCs are generally non-revolving, meaning the balance of the card is paid in full each month. It's not like cards back home where you simply have to pay a certain amount each month to keep your account in good standing. If you have insufficient funds in your bank account when the CC company attempts to pay off the balance, your bank will charge you a 40,000 KRW fee and interest will be charged on your credit card balance.

Big-box stores (Costco, Home Plus, department stores, and some restaurants) allow you to amortize the purchase over several months (generally in multiples of three, so 3, 6, 9, etc. months) if the purchase is at least 50,000 KRW. Many times there will be promotions where it'll be interest free. If not, the longer you amortize, the more you'll pay in interest.

CC rates here are comparable to Western cards back home; ~20% annual percentage rate (APR).
« Last Edit: April 20, 2015, 04:25:07 PM by Sara »

Offline hollifina

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Credit Cards for Waygooks
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2011, 04:42:04 PM »
If you need a credit card and you are a foreigner in Korea feel free to message me on Waygook. My husband is a manager with KB's Credit Card division and he might be able to help you.

Please tell me the following information in your email:

1) How long you plan on staying in Korea
2) What field of employment you are in
3) If you can provide 2-3 Korean references here in the ROK
4) Visa Status

Then, I can direct you to my husband who can better assist you.

Your American friend,
Holly

Offline EvilToast

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Re: Credit Cards for Foreigners
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2013, 08:14:36 AM »
Only thing I'm interested in is whether I can use PayPal with a Korean CC or not. Anyone have experience with this?

Offline D.Stumpp

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Re: Credit Cards for Foreigners
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2013, 12:03:27 PM »
Hyundai isnt too hard to get a card. I called their service and wa approved within 10 mins. my limit was set at 2 mil and after 3 months my limit jumped because i made multiple purchases. As someone before stated, using Korean CC has a variety of benefits.

My hyundai M3 card (annual fee is 70,000 ! opposed to M2 or M1)

1.5x or more points on purchases
various discounts ranging from 10% to 50%
various payment plans
list goes on and on...

I would recommend against samsung because ive heard very bad things about them and an ex worked for them and they definitely had a mouthful lol


Can you use the points for flight discounts? That is the biggest of all discounts I am looking to get. Also what was the number that you called? Being here for only 8 months I am hoping to get one or two cards so I can get the benefits of them. Also as a means to use money when abroad on vacation.

Offline Davey

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Re: Credit Cards for Foreigners
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2013, 10:28:05 PM »
Only thing I'm interested in is whether I can use PayPal with a Korean CC or not. Anyone have experience with this?

Yes, it works.
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Search this site using Google by typing, "site:waygook.org [search term]," especially during peak hours. Alternatively, use the site's search function.

EPIK: VISA, RENEWING, PENSION, ETC:

http://waygook.org/index.php/topic,2614.0.html

Offline Ley_Druid

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Re: Credit Cards for Foreigners
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2013, 06:59:31 AM »
Only thing I'm interested in is whether I can use PayPal with a Korean CC or not. Anyone have experience with this?

Yes, it works.

I got my paypal to work with my KEB 2X card just fine. I am very happy that it does. However, I had to make a new account for Korea because of it. I am not sure about others though. But the account is all in English, so it is no big deal.

Offline sweetkat

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Re: Credit Cards for Foreigners FAQ
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2013, 07:41:07 AM »
THe requirements for the security deposit that I posted before are null now. In January of this year, laws were changed so you couldn't require a security for a credit card.  Not sure what laws these are, I read it somewhere.  And I just closed my KEB and had to reapply for a new one as I closed out my security account.  Still waiting to see if i get my card, but shinhan bank has a new card out, check out shinhan expat banking facebook page for more info. THey were very friendly and according to their response, eager to get more expats into their bank. THey are sending me multiple card applications that I can pass out.

Offline jinteh

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Re: Credit Cards for Foreigners FAQ
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2013, 06:18:46 PM »
My regular bank is KEB, but out of convenience I decided to try and apply for a credit card at the NH across from my school where my paychecks get deposited. They wouldn't even let me apply for a credit card due to my foreigner status.

Later I visited the KEB in Tongyeong. When I asked the lady I wanted to apply for a 2X credit card, all she asked for was my ARC and bankbook. She didn't need my work contract, just a completed application. I'm guessing they call to verify everything. My new card arrived in the mail within a week. I was also able to add it to my Paypal account.

It seems getting a credit card can be hit and miss depending on what bank/branch/teller you go to.

Offline D.Stumpp

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Re: Credit Cards for Foreigners FAQ
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2013, 01:48:57 PM »
Hey guys still trying to see about getting a card and not having any luck at it. Any advice? I am a public school teacher and I have been here for 8 months. I plan to stay a few more years if that helps. I live in a rural part of Korea outside Daegu. I bank with NH but also have a Citi account.

Thanks for the help!

Offline jupinkorea

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Re: Credit Cards for Foreigners FAQ
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2013, 02:06:28 PM »
Hey guys still trying to see about getting a card and not having any luck at it. Any advice? I am a public school teacher and I have been here for 8 months. I plan to stay a few more years if that helps. I live in a rural part of Korea outside Daegu. I bank with NH but also have a Citi account.

Thanks for the help!

I'd recommend if you've been here less than a year is to move to KEB open an account, and either put down a security deposit or keep 1 million (or more) in your account for three months and then you have a better chance for getting one.
"North Korea everything sunny all the time, always good time, beach party" Johnny Mountain

Offline D.Stumpp

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Re: Credit Cards for Foreigners FAQ
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2013, 02:13:44 PM »
Hey guys still trying to see about getting a card and not having any luck at it. Any advice? I am a public school teacher and I have been here for 8 months. I plan to stay a few more years if that helps. I live in a rural part of Korea outside Daegu. I bank with NH but also have a Citi account.

Thanks for the help!

I'd recommend if you've been here less than a year is to move to KEB open an account, and either put down a security deposit or keep 1 million (or more) in your account for three months and then you have a better chance for getting one.

Hey thanks for the tips! I am going to see about Hyundai since I have heard good things there. Otherwise I am just going to wait till after my second contract starts

Offline Ley_Druid

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Re: Credit Cards for Foreigners FAQ
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2013, 02:16:10 PM »
Interesting fact. As for getting the 2X card from KEB, you need to have been working for one year in Korea, as far as I have been told. You don't need a paystub. They will contact your employer. You just need your ID, Passport, and it doesn't hurt to be banking at KEB.

Offline stwood8

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Mileage cards with no annual fees
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2013, 11:05:06 AM »
Hello,

TL;DR:
Does anyone know of any quality credit cards that allow you to accrue mileage WITHOUT annual fees?   (I see most are waived for the first year, but $95+ following that).

Seeing as I spend at least $1,000+ in flights a year during vacations, it would be nice to get some rewards toward flights from those.  I do not always fly the same airline (I fly the cheapest flight I can get), so I'm hesitant to get an airline-specific card that may not work (i.e., acquire a Delta card, but not be able to use it if I want to fly Air Asia, United, etc).

Additionally, annual fees suck.   I won't be flying around every year for the rest of my life, and cancelling a credit card won't be too great for a credit score if I understand that correctly, so anything WITHOUT a fee would be wonderful.

Thanks for any input!

Offline mr

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Re: Mileage cards with no annual fees
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2013, 11:18:56 AM »
I have the Asiana card from Hana Bank. I earn 1 mile for every 1000 won I spend. Everytime I buy groceries, use the subway, buy clothes etc, I earn miles. These miles can be used on the whole Star alliance network, so it's not limited to Asiana only.
When you buy a flight ticket you earn milers for the price of the ticket (1 mile per W1000), and actual miles when flying star alliance. It ads up nicely. I'll get a reward ticket to Europe by the end of the year after using it for about 2 years.
I don't know how much the annual fees are though...

Offline D.Stumpp

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Re: Credit Cards for Foreigners FAQ
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2013, 05:24:04 PM »
I applied for a Lotte Card in Daegu and was rejected. Hyundai also rejected me saying it was because I am a "temporary teacher" with an E2 visa. I really want to try and get a card to start getting the points and bonuses it brings. Is there anything I can do to get approved? I have heard that it is all hit or miss and that I should just reapply. Is this true? Any tips or suggestions on where to apply?

Offline Nivea

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Re: Credit Cards for Foreigners FAQ
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2013, 06:50:04 PM »
I've heard that KEB is a good bet if you've been here for over a year and you keep a decent amount in your bank account.

However, I found it was easier for me to apply for a credit card with my own bank at home on-line. They quickly approved me and I got it posted over.

Offline moc-moc-a-moc!

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Re: Credit Cards for Foreigners FAQ
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2013, 09:36:27 AM »
I should have read this thread before going to my local branch of KEB yesterday.

They gave me a Rainbow cash card when I joined. I asked for a card I could use online, citing GMarket and Amazon as examples. I was sent up to the 11th floor where they made me up a Global Check Card. Visa logo, security number, the whole bit.

It won't work with the Google Play store, which is the only thing I really wanted it for. Want that iOS7 parallax wallpaper for my phone :undecided:

It seems somehow wrong that, having had the internet around for the best part of 20 years, it's still such god awful pain in the arse to spend money on.

We can debate the merits of having a credit card all day, but the fact is if I have money in my bank account I should be able to use that money online without entering into some long, complicated contract with a third party.

Offline stwood8

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Re: Mileage cards with no annual fees
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2013, 08:11:08 AM »
I'm thinking, futurewise in particular, to be getting a card that can slowly accrue points/miles for future trips.  I'm not sure how long I plan to stay in Korea, so unfortunately a bank card from here isn't ideal.  One that is connected with the Star Alliance does sound appealing though.


Offline gtrain83

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Re: Mileage cards with no annual fees
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2013, 08:30:47 AM »
I have the Asiana card from Hana Bank. I earn 1 mile for every 1000 won I spend. Everytime I buy groceries, use the subway, buy clothes etc, I earn miles. These miles can be used on the whole Star alliance network, so it's not limited to Asiana only.
When you buy a flight ticket you earn milers for the price of the ticket (1 mile per W1000), and actual miles when flying star alliance. It ads up nicely. I'll get a reward ticket to Europe by the end of the year after using it for about 2 years.
I don't know how much the annual fees are though...

Does this card allow you to access Asiana lounges or anything?

Offline johnpwessel

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Re: Mileage cards with no annual fees
« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2013, 11:40:12 AM »
Citi has some good millage deals, usually 30,000+ american advantage miles if you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months. The downside is a $95 membership fee which is waved for the 1st year. Upside is that you can cancel the card after 1 year without penalty.

Some people stagger applications, and are able to earn about 100,000 miles within a year. 30,000 miles is usually enough for an off-peak economy ticket from Korea to the states.