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?
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).
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.
Also published on Medium.