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Options for credit account overseas?
Old 06-17-2009, 10:11 AM   #1
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Options for credit account overseas?

Need some advice.... My college age kid is going to be spending the next year in Taipei at National Taiwan U. and may need some access to a credit card. He will need to set up a bank account in Taiwan in order to receive a monthly stipend from the university via electronic transfer but I imagine that it will be a no frills account.

I called my bank and asked about adding him to my visa account (not crazy about this idea) and while it can be done, there are substantial fees on my account for charges made overseas. He has no credit history (21 years old, no student loans, no debt, paltry checking/savings account). Any ideas?
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:43 PM   #2
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Apply for a Capital One Visa card with a low credit limit.
Add your kid as an additional cardholder.
After activating the card and making few purchases locally, notify them that you'll be traveling internationally.
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Old 06-20-2009, 07:11 AM   #3
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Does he absolutely need a credit card? Would moneygram (moneygram.com) or paypal be sufficient to get money to him, if necessary? Or a joint account with Citibank or HSBC that has branches in both countries where money is deposited in the US and withdrawn in Taiwan? Are the days where credit card companies are falling over themselves to give out credit cards over? I got 3 credit cards in my first semester of college - sign up and get a free t-shirt. Who could resist a deal like that?
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:33 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
Need some advice.... My college age kid is going to be spending the next year in Taipei at National Taiwan U. and may need some access to a credit card. He will need to set up a bank account in Taiwan in order to receive a monthly stipend from the university via electronic transfer but I imagine that it will be a no frills account.

I called my bank and asked about adding him to my visa account (not crazy about this idea) and while it can be done, there are substantial fees on my account for charges made overseas. He has no credit history (21 years old, no student loans, no debt, paltry checking/savings account). Any ideas?
Is this for emergency use only? If so, I wouldn't worry about the fees. If general use, can't he get by on cash, and just hold your card for emergencies?
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:45 AM   #5
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Is this for emergency use only? If so, I wouldn't worry about the fees. If general use, can't he get by on cash, and just hold your card for emergencies?
Honestly - I just don't know what to expect as far as handling $$ goes and am trying to cover bases. The university has made this recommendation however, for foreign students.

The days of receiving credit card offers at every breath do seem to be over for college students. He got a pile of these a few years ago as a freshman and ignored them.
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Old 06-20-2009, 05:00 PM   #6
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I have no doubt that the bank there can supply what he needs for local use, it just may not be the same as what you are accustomed to here. Just ask the university and/or bank, and go with the flow. Or research web sites for expatriates in Taiwan. The rest of the world is often more sophisticated than the USA in such gadgets as smart debit cards, although the fees may be higher than you're used to. We spend a lot of time in Germany, and local debit cards are much more practical than foreign or local credit cards. They are more forthright about charging for the service upfront, and not trying to make money by luring you into finance charges.
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Old 06-20-2009, 08:33 PM   #7
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Two things come to mind.

The university should have some form of new student support which ought to include "how-to" information. If not, that is scary.

Second, I use my United VISA card overseas 100-200 times a year, zero fees. Apply for a credit card associated with your airline of choice and it's almost understood that foreign transactions will occur.

Good luck.

Oh and congrats on a son who at 21 has no credit card debt, rare, very rare.
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Old 06-20-2009, 10:29 PM   #8
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Or a plain debit card rather than a credit card, pay as you go with the convenience to use ATMs, etc.
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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