Temporary Resident Credit Card

Temporary Resident Credit Cards are offered by a number of Austrlian Banks though are subject to some specific eligibility requirements that vary by provider, these requirements include proof of a minimum annual income level and a current Working (457), Business, Investor or Student Visa.

 

Credit Card Minimum Income Requirements For Temporary Residents

As each of the Credit Card providers will have no “credit history” information to reference on non-Australian residents, they have no facts about how good or poor applicants are at repaying debt on products such as credit cards or loans.

This lack of “evidence” of repayment performance leads the credit card providers to adopt a relatively conservative approach to new credit card applications from non-residents. This conservatism is clearly shown by the prevalence in the application eligibility criteria of a minimum annual income of $50,000 (pre tax), though lower levels do exist, with American Express leading the way with the lowest salary requirements on its American Express Qantas Discovery Card ($35,000 p.a.) American Express Velocity Escape Credit Card ($40,000 p.a.) and Essential Credit Card ($40,000 p.a.)

Thumb american express qantas discovery credit card

  • $0 p.a. Annual Card fee
  • 4 Supplementary cards - Pay no annual card fee for up to 4 Supplementary Cards, all of which earn points to your account.
  • Low salary eligibility - at $35,000 p.a.
  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months - Maximum transfer is $10,000 or 70% of your approved credit limit, whichever is less.
  • No points cap - on the amount of Qantas Points you can earn
  • Automatic Points Transfer - to your linked Qantas Frequent Flyer Account
  • Earn 1 Qantas Point per dollar spent on Card purchases.
  • Earn 1 additional Qantas Point per dollar spent on selected Qantas products and services in Australia

  • $0 p.a. Annual Card fee
  • 4 Supplementary cards - Pay no annual card fee for up to 4 Supplementary Cards, all of which earn points to your account.
  • Low salary eligibility - at $35,000 p.a.
  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months - Maximum transfer is $10,000 or 70% of your approved credit limit, whichever is less.
  • No points cap - on the amount of Qantas Points you can earn
  • Automatic Points Transfer - to your linked Qantas Frequent Flyer Account
  • Earn 1 Qantas Point per dollar spent on Card purchases.
  • Earn 1 additional Qantas Point per dollar spent on selected Qantas products and services in Australia

Read the Full Card Review >>

Applying for a Temporary Resident Credit Card

 

The credit card application for each of the providers follow pretty much the same approach, with some facilitating on line applications, and all accepting applications at their branches.

To help get a fast approval of your preferred temporary resident credit card follow this pre application checklist

  • Open and deposit your salary into an Australian bank account for at least 3 months prior to making your application
  • Obtain official (on company letter head) confirmation of your employment contract that includes a statement of your annual pre tax salary.
  • Photocopy your Visa which you will find stuck in your passport
  • Photocopy the ID page of your passport, this is the page with your picture on it, this will act as a point of identification for the credit card provider.
  • Pull together copies of paperwork which feature your name and the address at which you are living, this could be a lease agreement, utility bill or a bank statement

 

Credit Card Providers that offer Temporary Resident Credit Cards

American Express Credit Card

American Express welcomes applications from non-residents who have a current Business Long Stay Visa (sub class 457), notably they offer the 3 temporary resident credit cards with the lowest minimum income requirements, the American Express Discovery Credit Card requires a minimum income of $35,000 p.a., whilst the American Express Discovery Credit Card and the American Express Essential Credit Card both require a minimum income of $40,000 p.a.

American Express are the only card provider who states the same eligibility criteria for applications from both residents and non-residents. Their standard eligibility criteria include:

  • Aged over 18
  • Have a good credit history and no payment defaults
  • Earn a personal gross (pre tax) annual income of at least $35,000 p.a.

Some American Express credit cards may have additional eligibility criteria, and you maybe asked to provide evidence to substantiate your application, this may include income, employment and bank account information.

American Express leverages its global footprint by offering to switch any existing American Express Cards you might hold, irrespective of which country they where originally acquired, to an Australian American Express account. By using this switching service you will totally avoid the need to make a new credit card application.

 

 ANZ Credit Card

As one of the big 4 banks in Australia, with a footprint across Asia, ANZ welcomes applications from non-permanent Australian residents who hold a current 457 visa.

To apply for a credit card from ANZ non-residents must have a minimum pre tax income of $50,000 p.a. In conjunction with this ANZ applies their standard eligibility requirements that include:

Applicants must be:

  • 18 years of age
  • Have a good credit rating
  • Have at least 9 months remaining on your 457 Visa

 

Westpac Credit Card

Westpac counts itself as one of the big 4 banks in Australia and offer a range of credit cards that can be applied for by Temporary Residents who hold a current 457 work visa. With at least 2 years left to run. In conjunction with this Visa status Westpac ask that applicants meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Written confirmation of your employment contract
  • Income of $50,000 p.a. pre tax
  • An Australian Address - This can be a trusted friend or family's address or that of your Australian employer, as this address is where all correspondence regarding your application will be sent.

Alongside the Credit Card offers from Westpac, Temporary Residents are also invited to apply for a Westpac Debit MasterCard. The Westpac Debit MasterCard enables you to access cash in more places and also provides you with extra security on your purchases online, over the phone and in store through PayPass. To apply for any Westpac Credit Card you will need to apply via Westpac’s Migrant Banking Services that also features the full portfolio of banking products which Westpac offer new Migrants

Westpac also offer a comprehensive moving to Australia service which guides you through what is available and how you can apply, notably they allow you apply and have your main banking services set up ahead of your arrival in Australia.

 

NAB

As a member of the Big four banks in Australia NAB is committed to servicing the financial requirements on new migrants. Temporary Residents may apply for any NAB credit card so long as they hold a current Temporary 457 Work Visa.

In conjunction with this Visa status NAB request that applicants are:

  •  18 years old
  •  Salary of at least $50,000 p.a. pre tax.

 

HSBC

As one of the first global banks HSBC welcome credit card applications from Temporary Residents who hold a current 457 Work Visa.

Alongside this Visa status HSBC request that applicants:

  • Earnings in excess of $50,000 p.a. (pre tax)
  • A letter from your Australian employer confirming that your contract of employment is for a minimum of 2 years

 

Commonwealth Bank

Australia’s largest Bank Commonwealth Bank, known locally as Comm Bank, welcomes Credit Card applications from Temporary Residents for any of its credit cards that include, Gold, Platinum, Awards, Low Rate and Low Fee credit cards. Applicants must have a Temporary 457 Work Visa and proof of a minimum income of $50,000 p.a. (pre tax)

 

Which visa holders are eligible to apply for a credit card?

 

Australian Credit Cards for 457 Visa Holders

The 457 temporary work visa is the most common temporary resident via in Australia and one which most of the card providers will happily consider applications from. Most providers do require that your 457 visa has at least 2 years left to run, at the time of application, exceptions do exist, with ANZ happy to consider applications from visa holders with at leas 9 months left on their visa.

Citi and American Express will only consider applications from non-Australian residents who hold a 457 Visa.

 

Credit Card Cards for Holiday, Student or Bridging Visa

Temporary Residents who hold Holiday, Student or Bridging Visa’s may apply for Australian Credit Cards, though the choice of providers is not as great as that of 457 Visa holders.

The application process for a credit card is designed to access an applicants ability to repay any debts they incur on the card, and what level of debt they can afford to repay, given their current financial circumstances. When accessing applications from non-residents the card providers are somewhat working in the dark as they have little to no history on the applicant’s ability to manage their finances.  To build a picture of the applicant’s financial circumstances they will generally seeks answers to the following questions:

 

  • Are you currently working in Australia, if yes how much are you earning?
  • Do you have any savings in Australian dollars, if yes, how much?
  • How long do you plan to remain in Australia?
  • Do you have any regular income or an ongoing allowance provided by a third party, if yes what is the amount and frequency of the allowance?

From these questions the card provider is ultimately seeking to understand your sources and levels of income and then compare these to your expenses.

This assessment of financial circumstances is considered very closely with the type of visa held, as this may have a significant impact on you ability to earn income, with student, bridging and spouse visa’s generally featuring very tight restrictions on paid work in Australia.

Holiday Visa holders (417 & 462) will find it hard to acquire a credit card as these visas typically only allow a short stay in Australia, if you have opened an Australian Bank account it maybe easier to apply for a debit card and use that for your cashless payments.

 

I have a Spousal Visa, can I get a credit card?

The Spousal Visa includes very tight restrictions on working in Australia, which generally means that you will be unable to earn any regular income which is a primary requirement in all credit card applications. Exceptions to this do happen, but are dependent on you be able to show the presence of funds in your Australian bank account and evidence that you can easily cover your monthly expenses on an ongoing basis.

An alternative approach worthy of consideration is to ask your partner to sign you up as an additional cardholder on their credit card account. Under this approach it is important to note that your partner becomes liable for the total debt on the card.

 

Personal Loans for Temporary Residents

Some purchases maybe be better suited to a personal loan as the interest rates on personal loans will generally be less than those on credit cards, many of the major banks offer Personal Loans for Temporary Residents though you'll need to have at least 2 years to run on your Visa, and be able to show a minimum before tax salary of $50,000 p.a.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make a balance transfer from my credit cards back home to a new one issued to me in Australia?

No. Balance transfer offers are only valid on balances held by another Australian financial institution.

What documents will I need to supply to support my Temporary Resident Credit Card application?

Here's checklist of the infinformation and documents which will help ease the application process and improve your chances of approval:

  • Have an Australian bank account with at least 3 months history in the form of bank statements. (this not absolutely necessary but will be looked on positively if you have one)
  • Obtain official (on company letter head) confirmation of your employment contract, to include a statement of your annual salary, pre tax.
  • Photocopy your Visa, which should be stuck in your passport
  • Photocopy the Id page of your passport, this is the page with your picture on it, this will act as a point of identification for the credit card provider.
  • Copies of paperwork which feature your name and the address where you are living, this could be a lease agreement, utility bill or bank statement.
Do I need to be earning a certain level of income to be eligible for a Temporary Resident Credit Card?

Yes the Credit Card providers do insist on a minimum level of income, which they will require you to provide evidence of at point of application.

As each of the Credit Card providers will have no “credit history” information to reference on non-Australian residents, they have no facts about how good or poor applicants are at repaying debt on products such as credit cards or personal loans.

This lack of “evidence” of repayment performance leads the credit card providers to adopt a relatively conservative approach to new credit card applications from non-residents.

This conservatism is clearly shown by the prevalence in the application eligibility criteria, of many of the card providers, of a minimum annual income. This income level is generally $50,000 (pre tax).

Exceptions to the $50,000 p.a. minimum income level do exist, 3 popular options with lower income requirements are the Qantas American Express Discovery Credit Card (Min income $35,000 p.a.) the American Express Velocity Escape Credit Card (Min Income $40,000 p.a.) and the American Express Essential Credit Card (Min Income $40,000 p.a.)

Disclaimer: The minimum criteria pointers are intended only to be a guide. Your application may still be rejected by the credit card provider even if you can answer 'Yes' to all the eligibiilty criteria. The final decision regarding your application is upto the Card Provider.