Getting a credit card in China isn’t the same as back home. China based banks will not readily give out credit cards to foreigners. That can be annoying since credit cards are a vital tool for a traveling professional and without one, it makes life abroad that much more difficult. If you’re in the market for a credit card in China, check out our tips of how to apply.
As a foreigner, you are a “flight risk”
The reason why banks are reluctant to offer cards is because they are worried that as a foreigner you can run up a debt then jump on a plane and never return. It’s called “flight risk”. Keeping this in mind, when applying for a card you’ll need to give the bank different options for them to collect on the potential debt, even if you disappear. That way you’ll have a stronger chance at being approved for a card.
What documents do you need?
– Valid work visa
– Income certification
– Proof of address (such as a bank statement)
You need one of these to prove you are good for the money:
– Proof of employment by a large fortune 500 company or large client of the bank. A large company after all can be chased for your debts.
– Proof of assets such as a property deed.
– Sponsorship by a Chinese spouse.
– A security deposit. Typically a RMB10,000 surety will get you the same credit limit.
Consider card providers for international travel
For those who do travel overseas and not just in China, it would make sense to get a card that is part of the Visa or Mastercard global network. If you do it correctly, then the only “flight risk” you should have to worry about is making your connecting flight in Hong Kong.