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If you are in Japan or have lived there for a while, you will find that you need a credit card. So why not take advantage of a limited opportunity when you can get Japan’s best credit card at no extra cost? While most mobile payments allow you to receive money with just a bank account, credit cards are still important to many merchants and make their lives a lot easier.
Best Credit Card To Use In Japan
After living in Japan for almost six years, I’m going to share with you a personal and practical guide to the credit cards that I consider the best and the ones I like the most.
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But be warned, while I occasionally write about financial topics like investing in Japan, I am not a financial advisor. I am not responsible for any decisions you may make as a result of reading this and I advise you to do your own research before making a decision.
First, I’d like to share how I use my credit cards and what to consider when choosing a credit card. But a little about me.
Unlike most credit cards, you can view lists of credit cards without the author actually using them, trying to get as much user experience as possible. I, on the other hand, share with you a list of cards I use every day. These cards have been carefully selected after considering several cards based on the selection above.
This may be obvious information, but there are many mechanisms behind how a credit card works and why the payment method is the way it is.
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When a merchant decides to accept credit card (or cashless) payments, they will pay a fee to the credit card company. This is usually between 3-5%, with some types of merchants paying as little as 1% or even 7%.
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In the above 3-5%, the company, which is usually a bank, that issues a credit card, and a credit provider such as VISA or Mastercard will share. With the creditor taking around 1.5%, the credit card issuer will have around 1.5-3.5% of each transaction to give as a profit to the user.
That’s why you see my backend programs giving around 0.5-1% points back. As you can see, the credit card company’s income is low, but that’s because that’s not the only way to make money.
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) That’s why every time you use your credit card, the store clerk asks “
?” (御一括でよろしいでする) which means “is it better to pay once?”. user experience but credit cards want your money and merchants are usually on their books and follow through.
A revolving payment basically means you split your credit card payment into monthly payments plus interest. The fees depend on the credit card you use, but the interest rate is usually around 15% per year. I recommend spending as much money as you can, especially with such high interest rates.
Another way credit card companies in Japan make money is through a borrowing method called cashing. That means you can get out of debt, even the money you don’t have. The interest rate depends on the card which is around 18% in Japan.
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However, this guide does not focus on debt recovery or financial recovery. My advice is to be careful with your finances and try to spend as much as you can. The only thing I would do for a loan would be if the interest rate was lower than what you can get on sale, which is about 3%, which applies when you buy a house or a car.
My main reasons for these cards are related to what I wanted above. They provide a very large stitch in the back which can be easily used without skipping hoops as redemption. Although not all have the limited number of cards I expected, the ones I use the most.
This is my newest addition and it is without a doubt the best credit card in Japan right now, especially because of the incredible 3% that is still available until 04/30/2021. Even after the campaign ends, the top refunds are 1%.
I found a 100-year-old company that would make me heirloom milk. It’s handcrafted and will keep your tea leaves, coffee beans or whatever you need for years to come.
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Also, you can use it with your LINE Pay account, so you are automatically charged every time you use LINE Pay. That means you don’t have to add your money manually. If you use LINE Pay for the majority of your monthly expenses, you can reach Platinum in your points program which will give you 3% back even after the campaign ends.
Kyash started out as a digital wallet that allows you to send and receive money to your friends. They have also launched a VISA credit card that allows you to pay with your Kyash money in stores and online stores.
What is unique about Kyash is that it allows you to pay your bills by credit card and use the money to make a profit. However, even if you can top up your Kyash account with a LINE Pay VISA card, you will not earn points for doing so.
At the time of writing, the points return for Kyash is 1% on top of Kyash points, which allows you to redeem your Kyash at 1 yen per point. It can be considered as a refund.
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Without a doubt, this is the “lowest” card in Japan and one of the easiest to apply for for tourists or students. While there is no benefit to the credit card itself, its advantage is due to cooperation with the Japanese group Rakuten.
I found this mainly due to the ability to use a bank account linked to a Rakuten card to trade Rakuten Securities stock.
I got this for the same reasons as the Rakuten card. There is no inherent benefit to the card itself. You only need a Yahoo card if you use PayPay regularly.
PayPay is one of the most used mobile payment services in Japan. It is widely accepted in Japan, mainly because it does not impose a fee on merchants until September 30, 2021. This shows the consumers side, while the return cost is less than 0.5%.
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However, as there are many merchants that only accept PayPay because it doesn’t pay, you will find merchants that offer PayPay or cash only. So while 0.5% return point is one of the lowest rates you can get, it’s better than nothing.
However, with PayPay or similar payment services, you will find that you need to add this amount. With Yahoo Card, you can directly top up your credit card to use PayPay even without cash.
You’ll notice I have a total of four cards, which seems like a lot for an aspiring minimalist. But, it’s not as difficult as it seems. There are specific conditions or locations where the card is used.
So, as you can see, I only used one card, the LINE Pay VISA card. As far as I know, no other card offers as many points back without going through as many hoops or with an annual fee.
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The best Japan credit card is flexible because it depends on your lifestyle and needs. I’m just saying what I think is good and why.
The best Japanese credit card you can get right now is the LINE Pay VISA card, which offers 3% points and is available until 04/30/2021. It also allows you to pay with LINE Pay and has a beautiful card design.
If you know one or just think another card is good, let me know in the comments below. I want this to be a community informed guide.
As new credit cards arrive and players are more competitive I would like to update this article so stay tuned. Do you always go with a full wallet?