Can foreigners get a credit card in Taiwan?


Hmm, so did you get a membership from Costco first then applied for the credit card? Or you got the Costco card direct from Cathay bank?


I already had a Costco membership from the States. Unfortunately, they can’t combine the overseas membership with the credit card, so I still need the two separate cards.

I applied at Costco. Cathay always has employees at the door offfering applications. I was waiting for my friend when one of them approached me and asked if I wanted to apply. I told her they probably wouldn’t give one to me since I don’t have a TW ID. She said as long as I had a job for two years (IIRC) it wouldn’t be a problem.

I mainly got it so I would be able to us the Costco gas station in Zhongli. They do not accept cash there.


Citi is OKish as the service is really bad and the interests sky high, but if you get the card, it will have a very high limit, so watch out how you use it.

Mega used to be quite flexible. You can get a secured card easily with them. You set up the amount of the deposit behind the card as you wish. Think of it as safe forced savings.

I like Cathay, they give me good service, they send a message every time I use my card, they send me info of useful offers.


I walked into the bank and said I wanted to open an account and have a credit card. I was depositing a large sum which may have helped. That branch has since closed and the service has sucked ever since. Generally, it’s completely useless, but I need a card to survive here so …

And as Icon said, the interest rate is unbelievable.


Thanks guys. Is it necessary to be able to read Chinese or can they help out on this?


The Cathay employee helped me fill out the form. She just asked the questions and I gave her the info, though it was all in Chinese. She couldn’t speak English.


I got my card through First Bank and I helped a few of my teachers get one too.
If you need help, let me know and I’ll see if I can assist you.


Yes, 100% possible, probably depends on who you speak with and which bank. Although I am married to a taiwanese, was able to get a CC with a 450k limit, also able to get a 11 mill loan to buy our house, but pretty sure it’s mostly cause Im married.

My friend however from the states, single, got a 90k limit card a couple months back, first attempt, hes a teacher with full time job here in KSH.

We both use First Bank down here.


Possible, Have one. Just show where your income is coming from.


This is great for those who say they got one, but…

I hate being contradictory, but I think this is a matter of who says what and who you talk to.

I have given up. I have been told by 4 banks (Cathay, E Sun, Mega, and Shin Kong) that it is illegal for foreigners to be issued credit cards all the way to my wife needs to sponsor, and even then the limit will only be 10k. They do not even wait for paperwork, or employment or tax papers. This is what they say when I ask. The most surprising thing was that at Costco, I managed to get an app handed to me, only to be chased down and have it pulled from my hands with a stern “No. Not for foreigners!” told to me. Eventually, after whining to Costco, Cathay said if I submitted years worth of tax, employment, and credit info from both the US and Taiwan, they would then consider it. Shin Kong is where her family does a ton of business with. Even they flat-out said No. Remember, this is BEFORE an application is even filled out. At this point, all I have done is ask.

I tried getting a phone in my name, but I was told that as a foreigner, I would be charged double. This was from Chunghwa. FarEastTone told me something similar. I couldn’t even get my scooter in my name. With or without an APRC makes no difference.

Its all about independence. While I am married, I try to do things on my own as much as possible so I do not have to drag her around everywhere and for her to be there for anything I want to do.


I’ve been playing with Costco for a few months. They refuse to even hand me an application though I know a pair of overseas Chinese (no family in Taiwan) who were approved with no questions/problems. I pointed this out and the Cathay reps said it was Costco’s policy.

I sent a letter to Costco saying they should update their equal opportunity section on their webpage. This resulted in a customer service rep emailing me and saying that foreigners are able to be approved if they supply tax statements from Taiwan and their home country as well as deposit records from their banks and employment contracts from your company for something like five years.

She said Costco would easily give me a card but it was…Cathay’s policy.

I follow-up each month and receive an email saying they are investigating it and want to confirm that I am fine if somebody calls me to help me through the process.


Which Costco? I am occasionally approached by people at Guandu Costco who seem to be offering me a credit card.




I’ve got many many cards from various banks here. Ive had the Costco card for about 3 years. Cathay is weird as they will sometimes approve foreigners with no issue and other times reject, i cant figure out their pattern. Citi and chinatrust i found similar, hit and miss.
I have a shinkong card too but I had to complain bitterly to a manager to get it. Since then they are fine. Just don’t take no for an answer and call them daily to complain, they will eventually give up and issue it, generally speaking. Get managers on the line, write letters to the banks to complain, the front liners will try to fob you off but don’t let them hang up, just keep insisting for a manager


I got a credit card at Costco. Just show them pay statements and they arranged it on first day for me. Face value is important stuff for Taiwanese


This is very strange. I bought my scooter about 6 months after being here. The Kymco shop put it in my name, no problem. They took my ARC (which only had 6 more months left on it) and my NHI card and handled all the paperwork. They even had a cheap wooden chop made for me so they could use it.


When I bought my scooter, I tried giving them my DL and ARC. They said it would not work. They needed an ROC Nation ID. Went to the HC DMV or whatever it is actually called, and they said the same thing. My wife believes it has to do with where the foreigner is from since spouses from East Asian locales such as KR, JP, VN, PH, and the mainland do not have to jump through the hurdles as others.


Like I said, very strange. I never even showed them a DL and I’m from the States.


I do agree it depends where you are from, like they argue “reciprocity”, and yes, not all foreigners are the same. But I am from Latin America, non allied nation, and I can have stuff under my name.

Chunghwa I paid the deposit but you can get it back after you complete your contract. When you complete your contract, you get better offers and even gifts.

If i were you, I’d buy a car instead of a scooter, or at least a proper big motorcycle, for safety sake. But that is another issue.


I got my Credit Card from Citibank back when I was on my APRC some 5 years ago…no guarantor needed but I had to deposit 200K in a fixed deposit for exactly one month. I used to have a savings account with the Bank of Overseas Chinese (華僑銀行) before it was taken over by Citibank…so I actually went in that day to update my records and get a new Citibank ATM card. The lady handling my account said since I had been with them for so long, why don’t I try to apply for a CC? I said there was no way I could get one (I had been rejected numerous times by other banks already). That was when she advised me to put 200K in a fixed deposit account with them and apply for the CC the same day. Exactly after a mth when my fixed deposit matured (I even got a little interest on it!) and the funds transferred to my savings account, I got a call from their credit card section that my card was approved and I had it in my hand 3 days later with a 150K limit! Easy!!!

After I got my Taiwan ID, I applied for another Citibank CC online and I got another 150K limit CC a week later without showing any proof of income or bank passbooks etc…and the other day I was shopping at PX Mart (全聯) and these Taishin bank reps asked me to apply for a CC (I never had an account with Taishin bank)…I filled in some forms and 3 days later, I received an SMS asking me to show them my bank passbook for the last 6 mths. My boss had been paying me cash for the past 5 mths and only last mth had started using bank transfer to transfer my salary…The Taishin lady called me and asked my if I’m going to get my salary transferred from now on…I said yes and she said OK, Credit card approved!!! :grin:…3 days later, I got my 160K limit card which even doubles up as a YoYo card! Nice!!!

For 15 years as a foreigner , I haven’t been able to get a CC on my own without a guarantor or a deposit etc…and now with an ID, I get cards so easily…this just goes to show how banks are not so foreigner friendly even if we have lived here for sooo long.