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The American Express Card
Because the American Express Card functions uniquely as a world wide charge card, its the only credit card you can transfer immediately from foreign to U.S. dollars once you arrive in the U.S.

A foreigner using his/her international American Express card in the US will be charged a 2% mark up fee in the US market and will pay the exchange rate of the day that American Express receives the charge, not the rate of the day that the charge is made.

If you already have your home countries American Express card: write or call American Express approximately two weeks prior to departure to the U.S. to alert them of your impending move and the need to have your card transferred to a U.S. card. They can have one waiting for you at whatever U.S. address you give then upon arrival. If you want to keep your current card and have an additional U.S. card, for a fee, you can do that too.

If you don't currently have an American Express card but want to have a U. S. American Express card upon arrival: Because you don't yet have any U.S. credit history, the only practical way to do this is to apply first for a domestic card in your country which you can then convert into a U.S. card. Count on it taking 4 weeks to get the card and then another 2 weeks to transfer it.

American Express international transfer departments in England, Japan, Hong Kong and the United States:
United Kingdom
Europe Limited/American Express House
Edward Street
Brighton, BN22LP United Kingdom

American Express Tower
4-30-16 Ogikubo Suginami-ku
Tokyo 167-01, Japan

Hong Kong
18-22F Somerset House
28 Tong Chong Street
Quarry Bay, Hong Kong, China

International Hot line #
The United States
Call direct 1-623-492-8596

Reiseland American Express
Kaiserstrasse 8
Frankfort, Germany

11 Rue Scribe , Paris
France 75009

Visa & MasterCard - bank cards
Your current bank credit card will work perfectly well as valid I.D. in the U.S. The drawback is that you cannot convert the card into a U.S. card, you have to apply for a brand new one upon arrival, approximately a month-long process. Until then, all activity on your current card will be conducted in your countries currency, not U.S. currency.

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