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Credit Cards

There are many benefits to having a Japanese credit card. Please see below for pros and cons and how you can go about getting one.

Pros

  • Can make you eligible for additional discounts when getting a phone plan, internet, etc.
  • Easy to make purchases online
  • Earn points as you shop (point redemption systems depend on the chosen credit card)
  • If you have any work expenses, such as travel expenses, for which you are reimbursed, you may need to pay up front and be reimbursed later. If you pay with a credit card, the money will not be taken out of your bank for a month, so you will have plenty of time to wait for the reimbursement!

Cons

  • Application is in Japanese
  • Possibility of credit card application being rejected
  • Another account to cancel when you leave Japan
  • While more and more stores are accepting credit cards, and sometimes even requiring credit cards, Japan is still a cash based society. You may find yourself using your credit card a little less in Japan than you might in some other countries.

How?

Research features and prices of credit cards. http://kakaku.com/card/ ranks credit cards based on popularity and categorizes them into different groups based on features such as annual fees, air miles, etc. If everything goes smoothly, your new credit card may be delivered in about 2 business weeks.

As the application process is in Japanese, it is highly recommended that you find a native Japanese speaker who you trust to help you.