How To Get US Credit Cards – Part 3 – Mail Forwarding

How To Get US Credit Cards – Part 3 – Mail Forwarding
This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series How To Get US Credit Cards

One of the requirements you will have when you apply for a US credit card is a US mailing address.  If you have close friends you trust then you can use their address as your own but if you don’t or don’t want to put your friends out, your next best option is using a mail forwarder.

What Is A Mail Forwarder?

A Mail Forwarder is a service where you have items shipped to a PO box in the US and for a fee, they re-deliver the item to you in Canada.  These services were initially borne out of need as there were many US retailers that would not ship to Canada and so if you wanted a product that was only sold in the US, you either had to pick it up when you were there or use a Mail Forwarder.  Nowadays, most US retailers will ship to Canada but if are looking for a US credit card, you’ll need a Mail Forwarder.

Why Do I Need A Mail Forwarder?

The primary reason that you need a Mail Forwarder is so that you can establish a place of residence for your credit history.  In every credit application I’ve ever made, creditors will always ask for your address and a previous address if you haven’t been there for more than 2 years.  By using a Mail Forwarder, you are able to move around all you want in Canada and still have a long term place of “residence” in the USA.  The second reason is that once you get approved for your first US credit card, most credit issuers will only send your card to your residence in the US.

Who Does PointsNerd Use?

So far I have the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card and the American Express Platinum Business Card and both times, I have used ShipIto to forward my credit cards to me.

Now not all Mail Forwarders are created equal because the US Postal Service keeps a database of companies that are registered as mail forwarders.  That in itself is not a big deal but some, if not most credit issuers cross reference that list and use it as their “do not mail to” blacklist.  As you can imagine, there are unscrupulous people that use these services for their own personal gain.

One of the primary reasons that I use ShipIto is that they have somehow denoted that their address in Nevada is not a mail forwarding service.

There may be other Mail Forwarders out there but from my experience, ShipIto has been excellent.

What Makes ShipIto So Great?

Well, one of the things that I really like about ShipIto is that you can refuse packages or junk mail that is sent to you.  As part of their service, they take a picture of anything that is sent to you so you can identify the sender and what the item may be before you decide to ship it to Canada.  The best part?  That service is FREE!

For an additional $1.00, they will open up the package and send you pictures as well!

Sure, the picture is a little out of focus but at least I am now fully aware of what I am getting!

What About The Cost?

Another nice thing about ShipIto is that you get to choose the service you use to ship.  They give lots of options from regular mail without a tracking number all the way to next day delivery with one of the major couriers like UPS or FedEx.

I’m always a little anxious to get my new cards so I tend to use a courier service and DHL seems to be the most cost effective way of ensuring 2-day delivery.

For my first shipment, the cost was $31.56 USD and the second one was $34.75 USD.  I assume the discrepancy was due to the second package being heavier.

Now that amount may freak some people out but honestly, how many credit cards are you going to have delivered to you?  I view this expense as a 3-5x per year expense and in the grand scheme of things, it’s pretty affordable.

Okay, I’m Sold.  How Do I Get An Account With ShipIto?

Well, all you have to do is sign up for their service.  It’s free until you decide you want to ship something.  I would love for you to use my affiliate link and while it provides no benefit to you, it certainly helps out the blog.  Signing up through their site and through the affiliate link provides the same thing … so why not help the blog?

https://www.shipito.com/?id_affiliate=7658

If you are planning on only shipping credit cards, I would suggest signing up for the Standard Account, which provides you everything you need for FREE (except the shipment itself).

Up Next

We’re slowly making our way through this maze and the next part will take some legwork and a bit of money, but it’s easy enough.  Next, we tackle setting up a US Bank Account.

 

Series Navigation<< How To Get US Credit Cards – Part 2 – ITINHow To Get US Credit Cards – Part 4 – US Banking >>

Also published on Medium.

24 Comments
  1. Hi Jayce,

    Great blog! I’m new to all this but you break things down where it’s easy to understand. Much appreciated!

    I’m curious, are you done with this series? At the beginning you mention part 3 or 3 but at the end you mention the next part will be setting up a US bank account.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Danny,

      Welcome to the blog!

      There will be a continuation of the series as noted in the post. The reason it says 3 of 3 is because I have only written Part 3 so far. Once I write the next one, this will become 3 of 4 and so on and so on. Cheers

      Jayce

  2. Hi Jayce,

    What did you do about USPS form 1583? Clearly not all of the post you are going to receive is going to be packages. Or does shipito regard letter sized mailings from banks “packages” or are they all put in registered mail envelopes?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Justin,

      I did not need to fill in the form so I imagine that they either gloss over the need for the form or they consider credit card envelopes to be packages. I think if it is an actual letter (like from a penpal), then it’s considered a package.

      Cheers
      Jayce

  3. Hi,

    Great posts and very informative.

    I just started the process you are describing and already sent the request to smashwords for the letter needed.

    In the mean time, I had a couple of questions if you dont mind.

    Regarding the mail forwarding, would it be better if I put someone else real address in the states? My brother and sister live in Florida, so i thought i could get everything sent to them. Plus if i go with RBC, they do have branches in there.

    Another question is if you have a list of cards that we as Canadians can apply for. I know there are certain banks that wont approve anything, while other do. So i was hoping to see a list of which cards are available to us.

    As a side note, my SO runs a business in Canada but a couple of years ago in order to sell in the states, they went through a similar process ( with a lawyer ) and she probably has an ITIN already, and also an AMEX card. I would think then that you could already apply for the global transfer ?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Pablo,

      For mail forwarding, yes, use your friend’s address. It’s easy and much cheaper assuming your friend is okay with it.

      In regards to a list of cards, you can refer to a list put together but the Churning subreddit (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1UEWoLQ3JqVIwHPRuXYuGw13pI5bzQ1C6f37q6RU1idE/htmlview?sle=true).

      If you SO has a US AMEX all you need to do is associate your ITIN with the card. You should then have all the historical payment associated to your ITIN, which would be great!

      Hope that helps.

      Cheers
      Jayce

      1. Thx for the quick reply.

        Yes, i’ll definitely use my friend’s ( brother actually ) address in Florida.

        For the list of cards, I know there are some which are very hard for us to get, while others are easier. I vaguely remember reading that somewhere…

        One more thing, regarding the ITIN, is that something that IRS will expect us to file taxes with them once a year ? Do you have to do that ?

        Thanks again!

  4. Hi Jayce,

    I’m in the fortunate position of having dual citizenship, but am living in Canada. I’ve applied for cards using a US mailing address with some success, but recently got a letter asking for proof of residence at my address (a utilities bill or something like that). Also some applications specifically specify you must be a US resident to apply. If you try to pass a mailing address off as a physical residence, isn’t that fraud? Are there some cards that require residence versus just a mailing address? How do you go about this?

    Thanks,
    Sean

    1. Sean,

      I am by no means advocating that you try to represent that you are a US resident if you do not have a US address. There are plenty of cards out there that do not specifically ask that you are a resident, AMEX included. I would personally draw the line at fraud so if you are being asked for proof of residency (phone bill, cable bill, etc), then just stop the application and find another card to work with. Hope that helps. Cheers

      Jayce

  5. Hi Jayce,

    Do you any company like Shipito which gives address for either Michigan state or NY State … I will be travelling to these two states twice a year. I think, then I can open accounts with chase/citi in these states if need to..

    1. Hi Tom,

      If you are looking for a place to store your mail, you can use another service called Kinek (https://www.kinek.com). I have used them multiple times to deliver packages for pick up and the prices are incredibly reasonable. Take a look but I think this is exactly what you are looking for. Hope that helps. Cheers

      Jayce

  6. THanks Jayce for reply !

    I’m actually looking for something like shipito but in Michigan or Newyork state

    1. Hi Tom,

      Sorry, outside of ShipIto and the Kinek network, I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to recommend. Apologies.

      Jayce

  7. How do your check if the address you want to use is registered with the USPS as a mail forwarding address?

    1. Hi K,

      My apologies … I cannot remember how I was able to pull the information outside of it was on the USPS website. I’ll try to remember but from what I recall, it was a bit convoluted to find on the website. Sorry.

      Cheers
      Jayce

      1. Search for the business by entering the address details in the “Look Up A Zip Code” page:
        https://tools.usps.com/go/ZipLookupAction_input

        In the response window, expand the drop-down arrow next to “Show Mailing Industry Details”.

        Check the line “Commercial Mail Receiving Agency” for a “Y” or “N”.

        Greg

  8. Hi Jayce,

    Great guide. I have my sister who lives in NY – will this effect the credit of the house if I use their address?
    Also I have a place in florida – but noone there to mail me the cards. Im assuming shipping to my sisters is better to avoid the shipping costs to Canada?

    1. Hi Josh,

      Using your sister’s address will not have any adverse effect on her credit. It’s probably in your best interest to ship it somewhere that someone can forward it to you. Cheers

      Jayce

  9. Found out from Redflag yesterday “myMallBox” is similar like shipito but cheaper than Shipito .. Based out of Delaware and also not listed as mail forwarder on Usps..

  10. Thanks for this very informative article. I have moved from NY to Sweden 3 years ago, but still banking with Chase. I changed my address with Chase to the Swedish one, but now I keep running into issues with iTunes (that requires a US address) and also paypal. I contacted Shipito today, but they said they would not forward credit cards and I cannot find another service. Do you happen to know another one?

    1. Hey Rike,

      Not sure about Sweden but Shipito 100% will send over a credit card to a Canadian address. In fact, if you don’t ask them to open up the letter, they would never know what they are forwarding so I find it hard to believe that they wouldn’t send you a credit card.

      1. Hi Brian, are you sure, and if so how? I just went through the whole process in early July and they said they can’t ship credit cards to Canada (never told them it was a credit card). Any tips?

  11. Now you have to go Premium($10/month or $50 per year) in order to use Shipito Nevada warehouse,free member can only use their California warehouse.

  12. UPDATE 2019

    BEWARE!!!

    SHIPTO does NOT ship credit cards to forwarding addresses anymore AND won’t take pictures of Credit cards either!

    To top this they make you fill a notarised form ( form 1583) to have things forwarded to you. You need to fill it out and send it by snail mail along with copies of pieces of ID ( two).

    I am going to take the chance that they will send it to me since I wrote “Documents” on the Customs forms and not Credit Card. Otherwide flying out to California to pick up a credit card will be my alternative!

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