Sunday, November 14, 2004

Credit cards

Are going to be a problem. We've kept our Nationwide cards open, as they don't charge any loading in foreign transactions; this makes them the cheapest way to spend money here, at least until we get local accounts set up. And this has worked well; they go through fine in shops and restaurants, even the ones with fancy automated tills, although they don't work for pay-at-pump at gas stations. Amazon take them without blinking for normal and Marketplace purchases.

But: most other online retailers (or e-tailers as they'd have it here; yick) won't take 'em. Usually, buried deep in the small print is something along the lines of "we cannot process cards issued or billed outside the United States".

Annoying, because the printer I want is $200 at and most other places, but only $150 at I want to use 'em, but they're one of the small-printers. I've tried ordering anyway to see what happens, but I think they're onto me; I shall plead ignorance and see what happens.

I'm not sure how easy it's going to be to establish credit in the US; my gut feeling is "not very". The hard-slog route is to start at the bottom with a secured credit card (i.e., you deposit $1000 or so into it so that you're spending your own money, not the lenders') and then work up through store credit, auto loans and so on. It all sounds like a lot of bother...