Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - Credit Cards

Credit Cards

Post questions and answers about living or visiting Japan or the culture

Credit Cards

Postby erikN » Mon 01.22.2007 5:44 pm

Hi

I'm gonna visit Japan for three weeks in April and right now I'm doing some financial planning. One thing struck me though and that is what credit card is most the accepted in Japan? Here where I live in Europe it's mostly VISA and in the stat it's American Express(?) but how about in Japan?
- Erik

[skype=chat]ernor_86[/skype]
erikN
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon 07.31.2006 5:35 am

RE: Credit Cards

Postby neo2407 » Mon 01.22.2007 6:31 pm

I've not been to Japan (yet), but while researching I found several websites saying that only big department stores accept credit cards (I don't know what kinds of credit cards they accept). But as I said I've not been to Japan.
Wii Friend Code: 0386 9779 0910 4312
Animal Crossing: Wild World Friend Code: 4381-7315-3908
User avatar
neo2407
 
Posts: 197
Joined: Sun 08.20.2006 6:12 pm

RE: Credit Cards

Postby Kagemaru » Mon 01.22.2007 6:36 pm

User avatar
Kagemaru
 
Posts: 522
Joined: Sun 09.17.2006 8:56 am
Location: 奈良
Native language: Greek
Gender: Male

RE: Credit Cards

Postby Matsumoto_hideto » Mon 01.22.2007 6:36 pm

Good luck with pulling money out of an ATM. For foreign cards you need to find special ATMs.
自由た〜!!!
All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.
User avatar
Matsumoto_hideto
 
Posts: 262
Joined: Tue 03.15.2005 9:13 pm

RE: Credit Cards

Postby angstycoder » Mon 01.22.2007 6:54 pm

i've heard (this is merely conjecture, mind you) many restaurants do not. In the US, just about every McDonald's in urban areas takes them for comparison. Someone who's actually been there could help.

Also, read your agreement; some of the credit cards ding you for foreign transactions!
angstycoder: "指の臨死体験"
kagemaru: ? ? ?
angstycoder: "I meant finger has near death experience"
kagemaru "doesn't work. You said 'Finger of near death experience'"
angstycoder: "Did I mention I don't know grammar?"
User avatar
angstycoder
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Tue 02.14.2006 8:12 am

RE: Credit Cards

Postby clay » Mon 01.22.2007 7:15 pm

More and more places are accepting credit cards, but it is still pretty rare compared to the States. I'd expect it at large department stores but not at restaurants.
User avatar
clay
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2809
Joined: Fri 01.21.2005 9:39 am
Location: Florida

RE: Credit Cards

Postby Dehitay » Mon 01.22.2007 7:26 pm

the hell? This catches me completely by surprise since I consider Japan to be one of the world's higher tech nations. Do they even have anything like checks? Come to think of it, I've never heard of Japanese checks
www.bananamonkeyninja.com
The only webcomic endorsed by Banana Monkey Ninja
User avatar
Dehitay
 
Posts: 1010
Joined: Fri 09.08.2006 8:36 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: Credit Cards

Postby Harisenbon » Mon 01.22.2007 8:11 pm

Japan is a fairly cash-based society. People generally carry anywhere from 5万 -10万 on them at all times.

Things are slowly changing however, and credit cards are steadily gaining popularity. However, they have the combat the ill will towards credit and debt that a lot of Japanese seem to have. (Much more so than in America, where apparently the average family is some 10,000+ dollars in debt)

Credit cards are accepted in most chain stores, but most smaller stores will not accept them. As always, Visa and Mastercard are the most prefered, while American Express has a deal with JCB, where you can use it everywhere that you can use JCB (I believe that's how it works, anyhow).

However, taking money out of ATMs with CreditCards is REALLY DIFFICULT. When my parents came to visit, I think they had to authorize charges through their hotel, because they couldn't find an ATM that would accept their credit cards for a cash withdrawl. I live in Inaka, though, so your mileage may varry.
Want to learn Japanese the right way? How about for free?
Ippatsu // Japanesetesting.com
User avatar
Harisenbon
 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Tue 06.14.2005 3:24 am
Location: Gifu, Japan
Native language: (poor) English

RE: Credit Cards

Postby adam » Mon 01.22.2007 8:20 pm

Best way to take cash out of an atm with a foreign credit card is at a post office. That usually works pretty easily, but then again post office hours kind of suck. Also I've noticed that while credit cards are becoming slightly more popular, the use of cellphones/suica cards as alternates to cash are becoming more popular.
adam
 
Posts: 213
Joined: Thu 01.26.2006 12:50 pm

RE: Credit Cards

Postby chikara » Mon 01.22.2007 9:16 pm

Matsumoto_hideto wrote:
Good luck with pulling money out of an ATM. For foreign cards you need to find special ATMs.

I have used Visa on my trips to Japan and you can withdraw cash from the ATM at any post office. As post offices are fairly common I never had any problem finding a suitable ATM.
Don't complain to me that people kick you when you're down. It's your own fault for lying there
User avatar
chikara
 
Posts: 3577
Joined: Tue 07.11.2006 10:48 pm
Location: Australia (SA)
Native language: English (Australian)
Gender: Male

RE: Credit Cards

Postby Apache Dawn » Mon 01.22.2007 10:41 pm

I have never thought about this... I know I would rather use cash than a credit card any day. I don't really think that credit cards are necessary. I guess it changes in Japan though, when you have to pull some money out for day to day living.

Just remember: "Visa takes Life" :o
Last edited by Apache Dawn on Mon 01.22.2007 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Apache Dawn
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed 12.20.2006 10:15 am

RE: Credit Cards

Postby Dehitay » Mon 01.22.2007 11:44 pm

I use my debit card to pay for everything. Cash would be a scary change. I like my magical piece of plastic that pays exact price while direct deposit makes that spending limit go up. The money I do actually have in my wallet has been there for months.
www.bananamonkeyninja.com
The only webcomic endorsed by Banana Monkey Ninja
User avatar
Dehitay
 
Posts: 1010
Joined: Fri 09.08.2006 8:36 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: Credit Cards

Postby keatonatron » Mon 01.22.2007 11:49 pm

My suggestion when people come to visit is to bring lots of traveller's checks and exchange them as needed (any big bank will exchange them to cash for you). Quite a few places take credit cards, but it's really not something you can depend on like in America.
User avatar
keatonatron
 
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sat 02.04.2006 3:31 am
Location: Tokyo (Via Seattle)
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: Credit Cards

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 01.23.2007 2:38 am

I second what Keatonatron says,

also, the exchange rate on T/C is slightly better than cash (about a 2 yen difference per dollar).

That 2 yen might not seem like alot, until you change over 1000 dollars and get 20 bucks extra.
Want to learn Japanese the right way? How about for free?
Ippatsu // Japanesetesting.com
User avatar
Harisenbon
 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Tue 06.14.2005 3:24 am
Location: Gifu, Japan
Native language: (poor) English

RE: Credit Cards

Postby Mike Cash » Tue 01.23.2007 4:27 am

Credit card use and acceptance has become far more common than the general tone of this thread so far would have you believe. Some convenience stores even sponsor their own cards (usually backed by Visa or the like).

One thing that you have to be careful of is that they often make a distinction between the issuing body, rather than the backer of the card. For example, Family Mart has a sign up at their registers indicating they accept Visa...but they don't accept Visa issued by OMC, like mine is. Same thing with a chain of gas stations around here. And my card is Japanese-issued, just to clarify that. Many places that accept Visa/MC do not accept foreign-issued cards.

Regarding checks: They exist, but they are typically only used between businesses.
Never underestimate my capacity for pettiness.
User avatar
Mike Cash
 
Posts: 2737
Joined: Sun 08.20.2006 3:38 am
Native language: English

Next

Return to Culture and Info about living in Japan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests