Menu Icon
Menu Close icon

Five debit cards for foreigners! Advantages and cautions are also explained.

This site introduces products through an affiliate program.

For foreigners who find it difficult to have a credit card, we recommend substituting a debit card, which does not require screening. They are easy to apply for and widely used by both short-term visitors and long-term residents.

This article introduces five debit cards recommended for foreign residents and details the advantages and cautions of debit cards.

Goandup Picks Click here for recommended articles!

Debit cards without screening are recommended for foreigners!

When a foreigner lives in Japan, applying for a credit card can be a difficult process. In particular, if you are staying in Japan for a short period of time or have difficulty proving your income, you may find it difficult to obtain a credit card. This is where a debit card can help. They can be used instantly, without screening, and since they are linked to your actual bank account balance, there is little risk of overspending.

In addition, the debit card market in Japan has been growing rapidly in recent years, and there are many options available for you to choose from. If it is difficult to get a credit card in Japan, such as for short-term study abroad, it is a good idea to have a debit card.

What is a debit card?

A debit card is a card that instantly debits your bank account as you use it. This eliminates the need to withdraw cash and carry cash with you, as you can make payments with just one card. It is also convenient for everyday shopping and online payments.

Difference between debit and credit cards

Credit cards are debited in a lump sum the following month, whereas debit cards are paid in real time. In addition, credit cards are subject to screening and are used on the basis of credit, while debit cards do not require screening.

If you want to make a Japanese credit card, the following article is also recommended.
Five Japanese credit cards for foreigners! And tips to help you get through the screening process.
Is it difficult for foreigners to get a credit card? What you need and tips for screening.

Difference between debit and prepaid cards

Prepaid cards can only be used within the amount of money that has been charged in advance. They are not directly linked to a bank account like debit cards.

For more information on prepaid cards in Japan, the following articles are also recommended.
Foreigners can also make them! 5 Recommended Prepaid Cards in Japan
5 Prepaid Cards for Foreigners! What are the popular international brands?

Four advantages of debit cards

Debit cards have different advantages than credit cards and prepaid cards. Make sure you understand the advantages and use the card that is right for you, debit card or otherwise.

1. anyone can have it without any screening

While credit cards are postpaid and subject to screening for occupation and income, debit cards can be obtained by basically anyone with a bank account. Foreigners often cannot be screened for credit cards, so it is easy for those who are staying in Japan for a short period of time or have difficulty proving income.

2. no need to charge

The advantage of no screening is the same for prepaid cards, but since debit cards are directly linked to a bank account, there is no separate recharging process as there is with prepaid cards.

3. no need to overspend

Since debit cards cannot be used beyond the balance in your bank account, you do not have to worry about overspending as you do with credit cards. If you are prone to overspending, a debit card is a better option to reduce wasteful spending.

4. withdraw local currency from ATMs overseas

Cashing out with a credit card incurs interest and fees, but with a debit card, you can withdraw directly from your own account overseas, thus reducing fees compared to cashing out. It is also safer and more convenient to withdraw only what you need from a local ATM than to exchange money and carry cash with you in Japan.

3 Disadvantages and Cautions of Debit Cards

Debit cards are convenient, but the following points should be noted

1. no installment or revolving payments

Debit cards are generally for single payments only. No installment or revolving payment options are available for large purchases.

2. a Japanese bank account is required

When a foreigner uses a Japanese debit card, he/she must open a Japanese bank account.

3. Security precautions

You should also pay attention to security issues. If your card is stolen or you suspect unauthorized use, contact the relevant bank or credit card company immediately!

5 Popular Japanese Debit Cards for Foreigners

So here are five debit cards that we at Goandup Picks have carefully selected and recommend to foreigners. Based on the features of each, choose the debit card that is right for you!

1. SMBC Debit

SMBC Debitis a debit card with very competitive point redemption and cash back. You can use it conveniently with "Visa touch payment", a contactless IC payment function.

  • publisherSumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
  • feature:
    • 0.5% of the amount spent is returned to V-Points and 0.25% is automatically cashed back.
    • Contactless IC payment functions such as Visa touch payment and iD payment are available.
  • Benefits for foreigners:
    • SMBC has a large number of branches in Japan and abroad, making it easy to get support.

Click here for more information▼.
Official site:Debit Card (SMBC Debit) : Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Sony Bank WALLET

Sony Bank WALLETis a cash card with Visa debit that can be used at Visa member stores worldwide and supports 10 foreign currencies including US dollar, Euro, and Australian dollar in addition to Japanese yen.

  • publisherSony Bank
  • feature:
    • No overseas administration fee.
    • Visa branding and Visa touch payment are available.
  • Benefits for foreigners:
    • Low exchange fees for overseas use.

Click here for more information▼.
Official site:Sony Bank WALLET (cash card with VISA debit)

3. GMO Aozora Net Bank Cash Card with Visa Debit

GMO Aozora Net Bank Cash Card with Visa Debitis a cash card with debit that gives back up to 1.2% of the amount spent in cash. The higher the rate of return, the more you spend on the card, the more you save, because the cash return at a higher rate has the same economic effect as a discount.

  • publisherGMO Aozora Net Bank, Ltd.
  • feature:
    • Cash back for PayPay and d-payments.
    • Mastercard touch payment is available.
  • Benefits for foreigners:
    • Accounts can be opened in as little as one day, and cards are generally shipped within three business days.

Click here for more information▼.
Official site:GMO Aozora Net Bank's [Mastercard Platinum Debit Card].

4. Rakuten Bank Debit Card

The Rakuten Bank Debit Card is a debit card with a high point reward rate: you earn one Rakuten point for every 100 yen you spend, and you can use your accumulated points for debit payments.

  • publisherRakuten Bank, Ltd.
  • feature:
    • Available from Mastercard, Visa, and JCB brands, and widely used in Japan and abroad.
    • Rakuten MarketEarn double Rakuten points when spending at
  • Benefits for foreigners:
    • The procedure for opening an account at Rakuten Bank is completed online.

Click here for more information▼.
Official site:Rakuten Bank Debit Card

5. Seven Bank cash card with debit

Seven Bank Cash Card with Debitcan be used at Seven Bank ATMs nationwide, and nanaco points, an electronic money account, are also earned depending on the amount spent.

  • publisherSeven Bank, Ltd.
  • feature:
    • The JCB brand is used, and the card can be used at JCB member stores in Japan and overseas.
    • Earn nanaco points.
  • Benefits for foreigners:
    • Multilingual inquiry support system.

Click here for more information▼.
Official site:Cash Card with Debit|Seven Bank

Goandup Picks No. 1 recommendation!

Of the five debit card recommendations we introduced, we at Goandup Picks especially recommend the "Cash Card with Visa Debit" issued by GMO Aozora Net Bank, an online bank.

The GMO Aozora Net Bank "Cash Card with Visa Debit" is the most recommended!

The most attractive feature of the "Cash Card with Visa Debit" is the high cash redemption rate, which is not easily found among other companies. Cash is automatically reimbursed in the month following the month of use. In addition, depending on usage conditions and other factors, preferential treatment such as an increase in the debit card's cash-back rate can be received, with a reduction of up to 40,000 yen possible when various preferential treatment is applied.

The Mastercard brand can be used in a wide range of situations, including domestic and international shopping, restaurants, and hotels, making it the perfect debit card to make your life in Japan even more rewarding and affordable.

The procedure is simple and can be completed online.

▶︎GMO Aozora Net Bank's [Mastercard Platinum Debit Card].

Useful information and support for living in Japan

Living in Japan is fascinating, but it is not uncommon to face many challenges due to language barriers and cultural differences. For example, you may encounter difficulties in all aspects of life, from using keigo (honorific expressions) in everyday and business situations, to difficulties in finding housing, using public services, preparing for the JLPT exam, and even meeting new friends and loved ones.

At such times, Goandup Salon will be your reliable partner!

Our community provides support and information to help foreign residents in Japan to make their life in Japan richer and more comfortable.

  • Japanese Language Studywill meet the needs of all levels, from daily conversation to the use of keigo in business situations, to efficient Japanese language learning methods and preparation for the JLPT exam.
  • livingaspect of the program provides concrete advice and information on how to establish a foundation for living in Japan, including explanations of Japanese culture and rules, finding housing, and how to contract public services and living infrastructure.
  • Jobs & CareersRegarding the "what if" section, we can help you find a job, change jobs, and understand Japanese business etiquette and workplace culture, which are key to a successful career in the workplace.
  • Travel & Dining Guidewill introduce you to hidden gems in Japan, must-try gourmet information, and other unique local attractions to help you experience Japan more deeply.

If you have any questions or concerns about life in Japan, Goandup Salon is here to help you! We will wholeheartedly support you to make your life in Japan smoother and more enjoyable.

For more information, click here ▼


Unlike credit cards, debit cards are extremely convenient, especially for non-Japanese, because they do not require an examination and can be easily obtained if you have a Japanese bank account. Many banks and financial institutions issue debit cards with unique features and privileges, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your needs and usage scenario.

Debit cards are very convenient as a means of payment in daily life and as a security tool when traveling abroad. We encourage you to find a card that suits your lifestyle and needs!

While debit cards are a convenient option for foreign residents, credit cards may also be utilized in some situations, so please refer to the following articles.

▶︎ Popular among foreigners! Explanation of types of Rakuten Credit Cards, how to make one, and tips for screening.

It is important to understand the features of both debit and credit cards, and then choose the one that suits you best. Use these articles as a reference to make your life in Japan more comfortable!

  • We, "Goandup", will continue to promote the charm of Japan to the world.

  • If you found this article useful or enjoyable in any way, we would appreciate your support to fund our operations.

  • We would appreciate donations of any amount via the PayPal link below.

  • Related Articles

    Goandup Picks for Expats > Lifestyle Support > Financial Services and Mobile Communications > Five debit cards for foreigners! Advantages and cautions are also explained.