Credit cards

Hello. Its HSBC. Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. One of the largest banks in the world. Hello. No wonder they don’t want to give foreigners credit cards.

Lovely. Let’s plaster with incorrect information.

Holger, Standard is not the only bank not requiring a guarantor. I have a credit card from HSBC without a guarantor, and as other posters have pointed out, several other banks issue cards without guarantors.

As somebody rightly stated, there probably are rules and regulations for everything including whether or not a foreigner can get a credit card. As the same poster stated, it all depends on which branch you go to, who you talk to (and probably a thousand more things like the time of the day, that time of the month, if the person has eaten …).

So, the fact that one foreigner has got a credit card without guarantor doesn’t mean the next foreigner automatically gets one as well and vice versa. And we all know that those who are lucky are the minority. I wouldn’t exactly consider that “plastering segue with incorrect information”. Anyway, how come I feel like the very first foreigner ever to enter a Huanan Bank (and some other ones as well) whenever I go there? Just because I don’t make enough money to be one of Citibanks or HSBCs “Golden customers”?

In my opinion, banking is a real pain in Taiwan.



Exactly, you wouldn’t have any problem obtaining a co-card for you and your wife (or significant other Taiwanese), and neither would I or anyone else. You’d provide the money and the “local relative” would accept the responsibility – Citibank and any of their like would be more than happy with that.

By the way, what do you mean by “primary” card? That’s a term I’ve not heard before. You don’t by any chance mean debit card, do you? Debit cards, of course, are no problem at all – the banks are more than happy to dish those out to all and sundry. It’s the credit ones that they won’t trust us with – holding to the presumption that a foreigner cannot be creditworthy by virtue of his being a foreigner who is likely to flee the country at any time and leave large unsettled debts behind. (I thought that’s what Taiwanese businesses and businessmen did across the Taiwan Strait, but obviously, as a foreigner, I am not able to understand these things properly.)

Iris, I agree with you completely: Banking here is a real pain. Ouch, ouch and ouch again!

And to reply to Rascal:

Yes, you got a credit card from Citibank, but you had to jump through hoops to get it. Here in Taiwan, we all know that, though we are routinely denied things initially, we can usually get them in the end if we push and demand with sufficient persistence and aggression – that’s the Taiwanese way. I’m sure I would eventually be given a credit card if I really pressed them to give me one. But it shouldn’t be necessary for me to go to such lengths. We should be treated better than that. At least we should not be discriminated against so transparently because we are foreigners. I don’t desperately need a credit card from Citibank, and it’s not worth going to a lot of trouble to get one. I just happened to fill in an application form while I was in the bank attending to other business, and was surprised when no card was forthcoming. They didn’t tell me I’d been rejected. But when I called them a couple of months later, again on other business, and inquired about it, and was told the situation, it made me extremely angry.

I am actually applying for a HSBC credit card now. They told me clearly that they needed a guarantor (Like the sad excuse of a bank, my paychecks have the misfortune of being deposited in). Apart from that, they pushed me rather hard in order to make me sign up for a gold card. They were friendly enough, but it would appear that there are some general rules among local(ized) banks to demand a guarantor if the customer is a foreigner. :imp:

There used to be an old thread on the subject.

I guess I’m one of the lucky ones. I have an American Express Gold Card locally, and a Standard Chartered VISA Gold Card, and neither one of them required a local guarantor. I believe that American Express is the easiest to get. Another English teacher I know got her card at the same time as me, and her “official” income probably didn’t exceed an average of 60k/month. I used my (less than 1 year) credit history at American Express, and my ancient VISA credit history in Canada to leapfrog to a Standard Chartered VISA Gold Card. They were also more demanding in looking at my employment record, income tax statement for the last several years, etc. Recently they offered me a Platinum card, but I declined because of higher annual fees. There are two past links dealing with this subject. Click here and here.

Good Luck! :slight_smile:

Hello. Its HSBC. Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. One of the largest banks in the world. Hello. No wonder they don’t want to give foreigners credit cards.[/quote]

Hello yourself. Your patronising remarks may have been more credible if you had learned how to spell “Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation”. Goodbye.

I don’t see it that way. It was just that they gave me wrong information, obviously to get me as a customer.
I went to HSBC and Citibank to enquire - HSBC clearly told me the rules and said I need an ARC (beside a guarantor, proof of income and a minimum of NT$150,000 in the account).
Citibank said I won’t need an ARC and as I didn’t have one at the time but wanted a CC urgently I went for it.
There was no reason to push or demand - just to clarify. Sure, they are at fault and tricked me in a way, but it was too late to cancel the whole procedure and start all over at another bank.

Yet I think this is a good reason not to recommend Citibank.

I’m with Maoman on this one. I also have a local Amex, and Citibank Visa cards, but i also have two issued by Chinatrust. All have been obtained without guarantors. The first two were very simple, fill in the forms and wait a couple of weeks. Chinatrust needed a lot more coaxing but we got there in the end.

Things can be done, we just have to persevere, but i agree with the sentiments that it is made to difficult just because we are foreignors and may run away from the outstanding debts.

From my experience neither Standard Chartered or Citibank wanted a guarantor.

Citibank application was done at one of those stands they put up round town + I faxed the extra docs in. The Citibank guy pushed me to get a Gold card when I only wanted the standard card. I think that is partially why the Citibank application was rejected. Standared Chartered gave me the spike cause my new job paid less than half of my old one.

HSBC as of a few years ago wants a guarantor.

HSBC is not a British bank as such, they are a Hong Kong bank run by expat Brits. Pre-1997, HSBC bought Midland Bank in the UK and in doing so placed most of the HSBC assets outside of Hong Kong. I believe they also moved their corporate headquarters out of HK too - but this point I am not so sure on.
Midland Bank has since been renamed as HSBC on all UK branches.

In HK HSBC is hated by many locals cause of the long lines and lousy service offerings compared to the other local banks.

Hello. Its HSBC. Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. One of the largest banks in the world. Hello. No wonder they don’t want to give foreigners credit cards.[/quote]

Ummmm I don’t think this is why they don’t give credit cards to foreigners… Hello! :unamused:

Also to my knowledge Shang Hai Savings and Commericial Bank is a Taiwanese owned bank and has nothing to do with HSBC (sorry earlier I called it HSCB, my mistake). Now, addmittedly there may be some ownership by HSCB, but I don’t know…

ok… why don’t we all say what banks we are with, get a list of numbers of customers for each bank and then threaten to pull our accounts if they don’t give us cards. either that or we all go to the same bank and say we’ll bring all our accounts there so long as they give all of us with good enough credit a credit card. :wink:

Personally I’m with Land Bank (Tu Di) and it sucks. :cry: I also have an account with chang Hwa Bank. :imp: sucks too.

I have just sent several e-mails away to one of the banks that some people have quoted as giving cards to foreigners and asked them to explain why they told me that it was impossible.

I have quoted everyone from this forum and the archives who has said that they have a credit card with a Taiwan Bank and included this in the e-mail.

I e-mailed Chang Hwa bank, suggest you do the same if you want to put on some pressure to get a card for yourself. Personally I don’t need a CC but I don’t like being told that I can’t have one, that just makes me want one a whole lot more.

Let’s get our cards ladies and Gents.

Bassman, I am impressed! :shock: Good work! I am not sure that this will change anything, but if you can get a large portion of the foreign community behind you my guess is you will scare the banks, and that could be good or bad…

The last time I e-mailed Citibank with a complaint about an especially egregious instance of incompetence by their staff, it was totally ignored. They don’t seem to have the slightest understanding of the concept of customer relations.

Though I have particular cause for dissatisfaction with Citibank, I have a very low opinion and minimal expectations of the banking sector as a whole. I also bank with Standard Chartered offshore, and while I’ve had no particular cause for major complaint about their service, I’ve also not found any cause to commend it. Basically, banks suck. They’re in a dirty line of business, and the whole purpose of their existence is to squeeze as much money out of as many sources as possible. Usury can never be disguised as anything attractive or laudable. Institutions that pay 1% on deposits and charge twenty times as much for credit card debt cannot be anything but contemptible. But we need to use them, we can’t stash our money under our beds, so we just have to put up with their vile practices while demanding that our governments set up effective regulatory mechanisms to curb their worst excesses.

I sympathise. :frowning:

Chang Hwa Bank once billed me for a replacement credit card that had never been lost. I had never reported it stolen, they hadn’t even called me to find out, and they refused to divulge who reported it stolen. Apologies were not forthcoming.

But come on, like the customer service is better anywhere else in this country. You get piss poor service everywhere here in my experience.

While collecting my regular medication from the hospital yesterday, my regular doctor was away and I had to see a fill in. He blithely told me I could not have my usual two bottles of insulin as it wouldn’t keep beyond 6 months. I guess I’m supposed to go back monthly to help prop up the health insurance deficit. I checked when I got home and, lo and behold, insulin will keep for over a year. Then there’s the other story about …

Is it really fair to condemn Taiwan banks for being reluctant to issue visa cards to foreigners? You may be honest, but how does the bank know you’re not a deadbeat foreign LOSER (sorry Spack, I forgot the preferred acronym) who will run up big bills and skip the country with no intention of returning? If you were a local lender wouldn’t you be a little wary about lending to foreigners? And isn’t the disparate treatment by some banks due largely to different job longevity and salary of the applicants? That and the luck of the draw with regard to what employee processes your application (although that’s no excuse for the crappy service described above).

Why? Because it’s Taiwan that’s always demanding reciprocal agreements and mutual respect. Most other democratic countries I’ve set foot in have welcomed me (even as a non-resident) to open bank accounts and offered a full range of services, so why do we always have to fight for this kind of fly-shit nonsensical stuff?
Since the Taiwanese themselves have the world record for cheque bouncing, you think the banks here would welcome us laowai with open arms.

I tried with HSBC in Kaohsiung. They said that if I could prove NT$100,000 plus a month take home income, have been here a few years, have ARC etc they would give me one. They didn’t. I then tried Chinatrust said they would issue them to foreigners too. Again. Not me. Eventually by using some guanxi with my previous boss who also had an account at ISBC I was able to get one. With a catch (that I found acceptable). They demanded that I put a certain ammounnt of money in a fixed term deposit account and the card would last for a little less time than that deposit term. The credit limit was determined by my deposit and they did not care about my income etc.