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[Archived version] A complete guide to Japanese debit cards recommended for foreigners!

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For foreigners who find it difficult to obtain a credit card, we recommend using a debit card that does not require a credit check. It is easy to apply and is used by a wide range of people, from short-term residents to long-term residents.

In this article, we will introduce 5 recommended debit cards for foreigners, as well as explain in detail the benefits and precautions of debit cards.

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Debit cards are recommended for foreigners!

For foreigners living in Japan, credit card applications may be subject to strict screening. Obtaining a credit card can be difficult, especially if you are staying for a short period of time or have difficulty proving your income. That's where debit cards come in handy. There are no checks, you can use it instantly, and it's linked to your actual bank account balance, so there's less risk of overspending.

Additionally, the debit card market in Japan has been growing rapidly in recent years, and there are many options to choose from. If you are studying abroad for a short period of time and find it difficult to get a credit card in Japan, it is a good idea to have a debit card.

What is a debit card?

A debit card is a card that instantly deducts the amount you use from your bank account. There is no need to carry cash around as you can pay with just one card, saving you the trouble of withdrawing cash. It is also convenient for everyday shopping and online payments.

Difference from credit card

With a credit card, the amount is debited in a lump sum the following month, whereas with a debit card, payments are made in real time. Also, credit cards are subject to an examination and are used based on creditworthiness, but debit cards do not require an examination.

If you want to get a credit card, we also recommend the following articles.

How to make it easier for foreigners to obtain a credit card in Japan

Differences from prepaid cards

Prepaid cards can only be used within the amount charged in advance. It is not directly linked to a bank account like a debit card.

◆We also recommend the following article regarding prepaid cards.

5 prepaid cards recommended for foreigners! What are the popular international brands?

Advantages of debit card

Debit cards have different benefits than credit cards or prepaid cards. Understand the benefits and use a card that suits you, whether it's a debit card or something else.

There is no inspection and anyone can have it.

Credit cards are paid in arrears, so there are checks on your occupation and income, but basically anyone can get a debit card as long as they have a bank account. It is also easy for foreigners to apply for a short-term stay or for those who have difficulty proving their income, as credit card checks often do not pass.

No need to charge

Prepaid cards also have the same advantage of not having to be screened, but since debit cards are directly connected to your bank account, you don't have to worry about charging separately like you do with prepaid cards.

I don't have to worry about using it too much

You can't use a debit card for more than your bank account balance, so you don't have to worry about making too many purchases and having to pay for them, unlike with a credit card. If you end up shopping too much, it would be better to use a debit card to avoid wasting money.

You can withdraw local currency at overseas ATMs

Precautions for debit cards

Debit cards are convenient, but you need to be careful of the following points:

Installment payments or revolving payments are not possible.

Debit cards are basically one-time payments only. Split or revolving payment options are not available for large purchases.

Japanese bank account required

When foreigners use a Japanese debit card, they must open a Japanese bank account.

Security precautions

You also need to be careful about security. If your card is stolen or you suspect unauthorized use, immediately contact the relevant bank or credit card company.

5 Debit Cards Recommended for Foreigners

So here weGoandup PicksIntroducing 5 recommended debit cards for foreigners, carefully selected by . Choose the debit card that suits you based on the characteristics of each!

1. SMBC Debit

"SMBC Debit"is a debit card that offers great points rewards and cash back. You can conveniently use the contactless IC payment function "Visa Touch Payment".

  • Publisher: Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
  • Features
    • 0.5% of the usage amount will be returned to V points, and 0.25% will be automatically cashed back.
    • Contactless IC payment functions such as Visa touch payment and iD payment are available.
  • Benefits for foreigners
    • Since Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation has many branches both domestically and internationally, it is easy to receive support.

Click here for details▼

Official site:Debit card (SMBC debit): Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

2. Sony Bank WALLET

"Sony Bank WALLET"is a Visa debit card that can be used at VISA member stores around the world and supports 10 foreign currencies, including the US dollar, euro, and Australian dollar, in addition to the yen.

  • Publisher:Sony Bank
  • Features
    • Overseas processing fees are free.
    • It uses the Visa brand, and you can also use Visa touch payments.
  • Benefits for foreigners
    • Low exchange fees when using overseas.

Click here for details▼

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 Debit”is a cash card with debit card that gives cash back up to 1.2% of the amount spent. Cash returns with a high return rate have the same economic effect as discounts, so the more you spend on your card, the more you can save.

  • Publisher:GMO Aozora Net Bank
  • Features
    • You can also get cash back when paying with PayPay/d Payment.
    • Mastercard touch payment is available.
  • Benefits for foreigners
    • Accounts can be opened on the same day at the earliest, and cards will be shipped within 3 business days in principle.

Click here for details▼

Official site:GMO Aozora Net Bank's [Mastercard Platinum Debit Card].

4. Rakuten Bank Debit Card

Rakuten Bank Debit Card is a debit card that features a high point return rate. You will earn 1 Rakuten point for every 100 yen spent, and the points you accumulate can be used for debit payments.

  • Publisher:Rakuten Bank
  • Features
    • You can choose from Mastercard, Visa, and JCB brands and can be widely used both domestically and internationally.
    • RakutenEarn double Rakuten points when you use the service.
  • Benefits for foreigners
    • The Rakuten Bank account opening procedure is completed online.

Click here for details▼

Official site:Rakuten bank debit card

5. Seven Bank debit card

"Seven Bank Cash Card with Debit Card"can be used at Seven Bank ATMs nationwide, and you can also earn electronic money "nanaco points" according to the amount used.

  • Publisher:Seven Bank
  • Features
    • It uses the JCB brand and can be used at JCB member stores in Japan and overseas.
    • Earn nanaco points.
  • Benefits for foreigners
    • Multilingual support system for inquiries.

Click here for details▼

Official site:Cash card with debit card|Seven Bank

Goandup Picks No. 1 recommendation!

★GMO Aozora Net Bank Cash Card with Visa Debit★

Among the five recommended debit cards that we introduced, weGoandup PicksI especially recommend online banking.GMO Aozora Net Bankis published byCash card with Visa debitis.

The biggest attraction is the high return rate, which is hard to find in other return. Cash will be automatically refunded the following month of use. In addition, depending on the usage situation, you can receive preferential treatment such as increased cash back rate of debit card, and various preferential treatment can be applied. Up to 40,000 yen reductionis also possible.

The Mastercard brand can be used in a wide range of situations, including shopping, restaurants, and hotels both in Japan and overseas, so it's the perfect debit card to make your life in Japan even more fulfilling.

The procedure is easy and can be completed online.

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


Unlike credit cards, debit cards do not require any screening and can be easily obtained if you have a Japanese bank account, so they are extremely convenient, especially for foreigners. Many banks and financial institutions issue debit cards with unique features and benefits, and you can choose one depending on the usage scenario and needs.

Debit cards are very convenient as a means of payment in daily life and as a security tool when traveling abroad. Find the card that suits your lifestyle and needs!

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