Best Debit Card For International Students – Disclaimer: This article only provides a basic overview of credit cards in Japan. You are not guaranteed to get a credit card by following these tips. Check with individual credit card providers for application requirements.
If you’re from a Western country or somewhere with a less peculiar financial system than Japan, you’re probably used to card companies knocking down your door to sign you up for a hefty piece of plastic. As a foreigner in Japan, it’s less about choosing a card and more about finding a company that will issue you a card.
Best Debit Card For International Students
While you have a good credit history at home, Japanese card companies don’t subscribe to the credit agencies you use at home (they use one called JICC) – and are more conservative. With credit card companies, it’s a blank slate and a potential flight risk if you decide to leave Japan without paying your bill.
Debit Card Vs. Credit Card: What’s The Difference?
Looking for a debit card and an easy way to send money abroad? Probably the cheapest and easiest way to transfer yen from Japan is Wise (formerly TransferWise). They also offer a multi-currency account and
In most countries, you can spend money on your credit card and then pay it back when you want. As long as you pay the minimum amount, you can defer payment as long as you like (with interest, of course). However, Japanese credit cards require payment in full the following month.
Generally, for consumer credit cards, the period covered by the monthly payment is from the 16th of the month to the 15th of the following month. An account summary with the amount owed will be sent to the owner at the end of the month. The amount is settled by automatic payment on the 10th of the following month.
For example, for the period from August 16 to September 15, a statement of account will be received at the end of September and the amount will be withdrawn automatically on October 10. Since you pay in full, no interest is charged.
Types Of Cards
Although you must pay the invoice amount in full, you can choose to split the purchase price (known as
) when you buy something. This can be requested at the credit card terminal at the point of sale. You can pay all at once (
The more payments you make, the more you pay. The total interest you pay can be between 12% and 16.37% total, depending on the card. So if you decide to pay off a ¥200,000 laptop over 24 months, the total amount you will pay will be around ¥232,000 (assuming an interest rate of 16%).
, allows you to split your bill payments if you don’t want to pay them all at once. To do this, you must request it from your card issuer, and they must approve it. As with bunkatsu barai, there is an interest/administrative fee for sharing your bill payment.
Kids Debit Card
For example, if you owe ¥120,000 on your statement, you can request a ¥60,000 reduction and pay it back within six months.
On a regular card (not Gold, Platinum, or Black), credit limits are low—usually just ¥100,000 (less than $1,000). While you can use them for regular payments, online shopping, or dining out, the low credit limit makes them useless for buying big things like plane tickets—unless you choose to pay in installments.
All banks in Japan are associated with one or more major brands: Visa, Mastercard or JCB. Alternatively, you can apply directly to JCB or American Express. Visa, Mastercard and JCB are the most accepted cards in Japan. Some merchants may decline American Express due to higher merchant fees. Outside of Japan, JCB is usually only accepted at places frequented by Japanese tourists.
Since you have no credit history, you are more likely to be rejected. The tips below are not guaranteed to work, but they will help. Anecdotal evidence (it can be easier or harder) and vague requirements mean it’s hard to know what really works or exactly what scares you. Again, no guarantees.
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Anecdotally, Amazon cards, JCB cards, Rakuten cards and American Express have a reputation for being easy to obtain. The annual fee for Amex cards seems to be quite high on average.
Japanese supermarket giant Aeon has credit cards, which are especially useful when you shop there — you collect Waon points and get discounts on groceries. Other perks include discounts on movie tickets and JAL airline miles. You can apply for a Visa, Mastercard or JCB card, but you have to do it in Japanese. They also have family cards and gold cards, as well as a fuel card linked to Cosmo.
Many regular cards have an annual membership fee starting in the second year. Some of the programs linked to the points of the card do not have an annual fee. Cards with annual fees range from ¥515 to ¥2,160. The exception is American Express, with annual card fees ranging from ¥7,560 to ¥12,960, depending on whether it’s co-branded or direct through American Express.
Gold cards tend to have higher annual fees than regular cards, although fees can vary by provider. Fees generally range from ¥1,950 to ¥10,800. Again, Amex and Diners are the exception with American Express charging between ¥28,080 and ¥33,480. The annual cost for Diners is between ¥27,000 and ¥29,160.
Credit Cards For The Super Rich
Although this only matters if you have a credit card, it’s good to know how it works in Japan.
One of the benefits of a credit card is that if someone doesn’t deliver your purchase, you can request a refund with a fee. Outside of Japan, this is usually an easy backUnfortunately, this is often a difficult process in Japan. For example, with SMBC cards, they will ask you to report it as a fraudulent transaction.
As a result, they will cancel your credit card and issue a new card. The transaction will not be removed from your account or the amount you owe. Then, after you pay, it takes three months to process the refund. Instead of crediting your account, the refund will be transferred to your bank account.
The only explanation for such a complicated system is that Japanese card companies are more on the side of the merchant than you, so discouraging returns must be good for business.
What’s The Difference Between Visa, Mastercard, American Express And Discover Cards?
Okay, you apply to five different places and they all come back with a no, and they won’t tell you why they rejected you. What are you going to do now? If you want to join the world of 20th century finance, you still have a few options.
As the name suggests, you have to pay them cash first or buy a gift card with a loaded amount. Find out more about prepaid cards and gift cards in our guide to getting a prepaid credit card in Japan.
Debit cards function like a credit card, but the amount of your purchase is immediately deducted from your bank account. They usually have the added convenience of earning points and integrating mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay.
If you have a bank account, your current bank is your first logical point of call. All major banks offer debit cards these days, although if you have an account with Shinsei Bank, the only way to do this is through their clunky Gaica card, which requires you to top it up when you want to use it.
Credit Card Tips To Take With You Overseas
An alternative to domestic banks is the international debit card offered by Wise. Another advantage of the Wise account is the ability to manage and transfer funds.
Remember that you can also use a rechargeable IC travel card (Suica or Pasmo) to make purchases in Japan. Just fill it with money and then spend the rest at participating brick-and-mortar stores across Japan. Unfortunately, the maximum balance you can keep on this card is only ¥20,000, so you have to top up the card often (with a credit card, you can set your travel card to be automatic, but we’re talking credit card alternatives here!) Unless you plan on burying all your money under the mattress, banking is essential for students studying abroad. Once a student enrolls in the courses and university of their choice, many banks that offer student accounts start arriving on campus. It is important to instill the concept of saving money in students from the beginning of their academic career.
The ability to easily perform banking activities from remote locations is one of the advantages of having a student account. Students are given
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