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Old 28-04-2019, 12:15 PM   #1
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Virtual Credit card with US billing address

Where can I get one in Singapore? It's annoying because some US sites require a US credit card, if not they don't allow you to buy from them.
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Old 28-04-2019, 12:45 PM   #2
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Where can I get one in Singapore? It's annoying because some US sites require a US credit card, if not they don't allow you to buy from them.
You cannot, but there are a couple solutions:

1. Use a buying service, a.k.a. “concierge” service. Most of the companies that do shipment forwarding can handle this.

2. Get a U.S. issued card. If you were ever issued a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) then it’s yours for life, and this is quite a bit easier to pull off. For example, the American Express/Walmart Bluebird card is available to basically everyone will a U.S. mailing address (even a temporary one) and a U.S. SSN. You can get a card at Bluebird.com free of charge, and it’s basically free to operate. (However, you should access Bluebird.com from within the United States.) Bluebird is a simple, zero interest consumer bank account with an attached American Express debit card. The AMEX card can be used anywhere in the world AMEX is accepted and with zero transaction fee (except for the standard AMEX network markup). Getting funds into your Bluebird account is a bit “interesting” perhaps, but there are a couple reasonable ways to do it.

Another possible approach is a secured U.S. credit card, although again you’ll need a U.S. SSN or at least ITIN plus U.S. mailing address, even a temporary one. Good examples (zero foreign transaction fee, zero annual fee) include the Discover It Secured Credit Card and the Capital One Secured Mastercard. Secured means you’ll need to place a small deposit with the credit card company, and your credit limit will be low (as low as US$200 initially).

Yet another possible approach if you have a trusted U.S.-based friend or family member who has a U.S. issued credit card is for that person to obtain a supplementary credit card in your name, and (presumably) with a lower sublimit. The friend/family member has to trust you, of course. You don’t need a SSN or ITIN, although if you have one it’s helpful to include it because then your credit history will be updated in the U.S., and you might be able to qualify on your own merits for your own card. The credit card should be attractive in the circumstances, i.e. no foreign transaction fee and no annual fee, so that your friend/family member can keep it open indefinitely. There are several such cards available, including cards with good rebates. One example (not even necessarily the best): Citizens Bank’s Cashback Plus Mastercard, which is zero annual fee, zero foreign transaction fee (except the standard Mastercard network rate), and a flat/unlimited 1.8% cash rebate.
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Old 28-04-2019, 01:17 PM   #3
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You cannot, but there are a couple solutions:

1. Use a buying service, a.k.a. “concierge” service. Most of the companies that do shipment forwarding can handle this.

2. Get a U.S. issued card. If you were ever issued a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) then it’s yours for life, and this is quite a bit easier to pull off. For example, the American Express/Walmart Bluebird card is available to basically everyone will a U.S. mailing address (even a temporary one) and a U.S. SSN. You can get a card at Bluebird.com free of charge, and it’s basically free to operate. (However, you should access Bluebird.com from within the United States.) Bluebird is a simple, zero interest consumer bank account with an attached American Express debit card. The AMEX card can be used anywhere in the world AMEX is accepted and with zero transaction fee (except for the standard AMEX network markup). Getting funds into your Bluebird account is a bit “interesting” perhaps, but there are a couple reasonable ways to do it.

Another possible approach is a secured U.S. credit card, although again you’ll need a U.S. SSN or at least ITIN plus U.S. mailing address, even a temporary one. Good examples (zero foreign transaction fee, zero annual fee) include the Discover It Secured Credit Card and the Capital One Secured Mastercard. Secured means you’ll need to place a small deposit with the credit card company, and your credit limit will be low (as low as US$200 initially).

Yet another possible approach if you have a trusted U.S.-based friend or family member who has a U.S. issued credit card is for that person to obtain a supplementary credit card in your name, and (presumably) with a lower sublimit. The friend/family member has to trust you, of course. You don’t need a SSN or ITIN, although if you have one it’s helpful to include it because then your credit history will be updated in the U.S., and you might be able to qualify on your own merits for your own card. The credit card should be attractive in the circumstances, i.e. no foreign transaction fee and no annual fee, so that your friend/family member can keep it open indefinitely. There are several such cards available, including cards with good rebates. One example (not even necessarily the best): Citizens Bank’s Cashback Plus Mastercard, which is zero annual fee, zero foreign transaction fee (except the standard Mastercard network rate), and a flat/unlimited 1.8% cash rebate.
1 is not do-able because of limited sales periods.

What are the ways that we can get a SSN? Any chances that I can simply "register" when I'm on vacation in US?

Don't have any friends residing there now, so a supp card is also out of the question..

Assuming we can get the SSN, can we just put a random US mailing address? This is on the basis that we can switch all communications to email.
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Old 28-04-2019, 01:29 PM   #4
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Where can I get one in Singapore? It's annoying because some US sites require a US credit card, if not they don't allow you to buy from them.
How are you looking to ship them back? Some of these sites even blacklist the freight forwarders addresses, so even with US cards, also get cancelled.


1 is not do-able because of limited sales periods.

What are the ways that we can get a SSN? Any chances that I can simply "register" when I'm on vacation in US?
What do you mean by limited sales periods? Few hours? Few days?

0 chance if you're on vacation. You can easily get a mailing address in the US by renting a mailbox, but getting SSN or ITIN is quite strict. Also, other than SSN / ITIN and mailing address, you will also need some sort of credit history, only the most basic card is available to those without credit history.

Last edited by fone; 28-04-2019 at 01:32 PM..
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Old 28-04-2019, 03:29 PM   #5
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How are you looking to ship them back? Some of these sites even blacklist the freight forwarders addresses, so even with US cards, also get cancelled.




What do you mean by limited sales periods? Few hours? Few days?

0 chance if you're on vacation. You can easily get a mailing address in the US by renting a mailbox, but getting SSN or ITIN is quite strict. Also, other than SSN / ITIN and mailing address, you will also need some sort of credit history, only the most basic card is available to those without credit history.
Most of the sites only check that the card is US-issued, like Microsoft.com, so I can still use a normal FF service to ship them.

the sales period (especially the crazy good ones) can be as short as 30 minutes. I've asked around all the various buy-for-me concierges and none will guarantee to buy it within this period.

Alternatively, is there any way to get a SG-issued card with a U.S billing address?
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Old 28-04-2019, 11:21 PM   #6
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Most of the sites only check that the card is US-issued, like Microsoft.com, so I can still use a normal FF service to ship them.

the sales period (especially the crazy good ones) can be as short as 30 minutes. I've asked around all the various buy-for-me concierges and none will guarantee to buy it within this period.

Alternatively, is there any way to get a SG-issued card with a U.S billing address?
Haha, 30 mins way too short for anything, unless you yourself have a card.

Previously, like coach website, will cancel your order if your shipping address is a known freight forwarder, experienced that, even with VPN and US credit card number, that's why I'm cautioning you.
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Old 29-04-2019, 08:01 AM   #7
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Most of the sites only check that the card is US-issued, like Microsoft.com, so I can still use a normal FF service to ship them.
Previously, like coach website, will cancel your order if your shipping address is a known freight forwarder, experienced that, even with VPN and US credit card number, that's why I'm cautioning you.
Microsoft has cancelled orders with a U.S. credit card, a U.S. billing address, shipment to the U.S. billing address, and definitely not a freight forwarder’s address. I still have no idea why; they never explained it. Maybe the item was out of stock?

the sales period (especially the crazy good ones) can be as short as 30 minutes. I've asked around all the various buy-for-me concierges and none will guarantee to buy it within this period.

Alternatively, is there any way to get a SG-issued card with a U.S billing address?
A particular card issuer in Singapore might allow you to attach a U.S. billing address if you actually live at that address, for example if you’re taking an international assignment in the U.S. on behalf of your employer. But then you wouldn’t have this problem because you’d just get a U.S. issued card, and the Singaporean card issuer might want to close the account anyway.

Paypal might work for those merchants that accept Paypal.

There are a couple prepaid debit cards that might be available and that are reasonably attractive: MOVO and Akimbo. (Akimbo has an inactivity fee if you don’t use the card for 12 months, but that’s not too bad.) It still might be a challenge to obtain one since they have at least some account opening hurdles. I think with both of them you need a U.S. mobile number, for example. Even if you can obtain one of those cards, how would you get funds loaded onto them?
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Old 29-04-2019, 08:17 AM   #8
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Microsoft has cancelled orders with a U.S. credit card, a U.S. billing address, shipment to the U.S. billing address, and definitely not a freight forwarder’s address. I still have no idea why; they never explained it. Maybe the item was out of stock?


A particular card issuer in Singapore might allow you to attach a U.S. billing address if you actually live at that address, for example if you’re taking an international assignment in the U.S. on behalf of your employer. But then you wouldn’t have this problem because you’d just get a U.S. issued card, and the Singaporean card issuer might want to close the account anyway.

Paypal might work for those merchants that accept Paypal.

There are a couple prepaid debit cards that might be available and that are reasonably attractive: MOVO and Akimbo. (Akimbo has an inactivity fee if you don’t use the card for 12 months, but that’s not too bad.) It still might be a challenge to obtain one since they have at least some account opening hurdles. I think with both of them you need a U.S. mobile number, for example. Even if you can obtain one of those cards, how would you get funds loaded onto them?
Paypal doesn't work, as it also exposes your billing address (aka SG address) to the merchant.

I did some research on MOVO and Akimbo. Akimbo doesn't work as you need a US bank account to do the transfer. MOVO is possible via crypto, but there's a 3% transaction fee.
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Old 29-04-2019, 08:17 AM   #9
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Haha, 30 mins way too short for anything, unless you yourself have a card.
yup.. precisely the reason for starting this thread
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Old 29-04-2019, 08:50 AM   #10
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Akimbo doesn't work as you need a US bank account to do the transfer.
Or Paypal, but that won’t be free from Singapore dollars.

Akimbo, like most other prepaid debit cards, provides standard domestic U.S. ACH details: a routing number and an account number. ACH is analogous to GIRO in Singapore. The name on the account sending the funds must match the name on your Akimbo account, meaning fund transfers must be “first person.” It’s not clear whether Akimbo will allow international transfers, such as DBS U.S.A. Remit, but let’s assume not. Amazon sellers should be able to transfer their net sales proceeds to an Akimbo account since that’s U.S. domestic to U.S. domestic, as long as the account names match. Interactive Brokers and Schwab account holders would be able to transfer funds to an Akimbo account since that’s U.S. domestic to U.S. domestic, assuming again the account names are the same.

Schwab Singapore might be the most convenient if you can manage a US$25,000 minimum account opening — that’s a lot of online shopping. You can send funds from your Singapore bank account in Singapore dollars to your Schwab Singapore account using domestic FAST or GIRO, and that’ll probably cost an average of about 0.3% for the currency conversion. The funds pop up automatically in your Schwab account as U.S. dollars. Then you can make a ACH withdrawal on the U.S. side, free of charge. Account names must match across all three accounts. The maximum single transfer to Akimbo is US$9,999, and that’s also the maximum the card can hold at any one time. The monthly maximum for ACH/Paypal transfers to Akimbo is US$20,000. Schwab has no minimum monthly balance or maintenance fees — just the account opening minimum.

This is all quite speculative, really. What you’re trying to do is not something that’s designed to be convenient. Quite the opposite. And you should be prepared for a lot of misfires even if this does work, meaning that your orders might not go through anyway, or a particular account might get frozen. A frozen account means that you should get your money back, but the account will be permanently closed since you probably won’t be able to clear whatever concerns the account provider has. Basically, you’re trying to access another country’s market that isn’t willing/able to be available to you, for a variety of reasons.

Last edited by BBCWatcher; 29-04-2019 at 08:56 AM..
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:49 PM   #11
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It's pretty hard to do any of these without SSN or a real address. So lucky I have SSN and I've opened 20+ US credit cards.

You cannot, but there are a couple solutions:

1. Use a buying service, a.k.a. “concierge” service. Most of the companies that do shipment forwarding can handle this.

2. Get a U.S. issued card. If you were ever issued a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) then it’s yours for life, and this is quite a bit easier to pull off. For example, the American Express/Walmart Bluebird card is available to basically everyone will a U.S. mailing address (even a temporary one) and a U.S. SSN. You can get a card at Bluebird.com free of charge, and it’s basically free to operate. (However, you should access Bluebird.com from within the United States.) Bluebird is a simple, zero interest consumer bank account with an attached American Express debit card. The AMEX card can be used anywhere in the world AMEX is accepted and with zero transaction fee (except for the standard AMEX network markup). Getting funds into your Bluebird account is a bit “interesting” perhaps, but there are a couple reasonable ways to do it.

Another possible approach is a secured U.S. credit card, although again you’ll need a U.S. SSN or at least ITIN plus U.S. mailing address, even a temporary one. Good examples (zero foreign transaction fee, zero annual fee) include the Discover It Secured Credit Card and the Capital One Secured Mastercard. Secured means you’ll need to place a small deposit with the credit card company, and your credit limit will be low (as low as US$200 initially).

Yet another possible approach if you have a trusted U.S.-based friend or family member who has a U.S. issued credit card is for that person to obtain a supplementary credit card in your name, and (presumably) with a lower sublimit. The friend/family member has to trust you, of course. You don’t need a SSN or ITIN, although if you have one it’s helpful to include it because then your credit history will be updated in the U.S., and you might be able to qualify on your own merits for your own card. The credit card should be attractive in the circumstances, i.e. no foreign transaction fee and no annual fee, so that your friend/family member can keep it open indefinitely. There are several such cards available, including cards with good rebates. One example (not even necessarily the best): Citizens Bank’s Cashback Plus Mastercard, which is zero annual fee, zero foreign transaction fee (except the standard Mastercard network rate), and a flat/unlimited 1.8% cash rebate.
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Old 12-05-2020, 05:11 AM   #12
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Most of the sites only check that the card is US-issued, like Microsoft.com, so I can still use a normal FF service to ship them.

the sales period (especially the crazy good ones) can be as short as 30 minutes. I've asked around all the various buy-for-me concierges and none will guarantee to buy it within this period.

Alternatively, is there any way to get a SG-issued card with a U.S billing address?
what is FF service?
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Old 12-05-2020, 09:22 AM   #13
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At one point UOB had a card called the Amex Virtual Pay card which basically acted like a US card. Unfortunately no longer issued.
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Old 25-06-2020, 03:52 PM   #14
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bumping my old thread up. not sure whether there's any new workaround in 2020 ��
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Old 24-07-2020, 09:35 AM   #15
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Also interested
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