I finally made it to what I consider a major milestone in my financial life as an expat:
I got a credit card!
We never bothered to get German credit cards, because so many of our transactions were in cash or with our EC cards there. Instead, we continued to use US credit cards when we needed them — and we watched our US checking accounts get more and more depleted as a result. With all of our income being deposited into our local bank account, that just didn’t make sense long term.
It was a bit of an ordeal to get credit cards here in the UK. We arrived with 0 credit history here, and we found that UK institutions were very stingy about accepting proof of good credit from other countries. But after quite a few conversations with our bank, our cards were approved and arrived in the mail. I just used mine for the first time for an excellent purpose: a train ticket to go to Cardiff at the end of the month. 🙂