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Five Japanese credit cards for foreigners! And tips to help you get through the screening process.

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Japanese Credit Cards

I want to get a credit card in Japan, but can a foreigner without Japanese citizenship get one?"
I'd love to know what credit cards you recommend for foreigners."
Do you have any tips on how to get through the vetting process?"

Many foreigners may think this way. Indeed, it is natural to feel uneasy about getting a credit card in Japan because of the financial system and language barriers that are different from those in their home countries.

But don't worry. Foreign residents in Japan can also get a credit card if certain conditions are met. Rather, we recommend that you make good use of credit cards to make your life in Japan more convenient and comfortable.

Therefore, this article will detail the following information for foreigners.

  • Can foreigners get a credit card in Japan? What are the conditions?
  • 5 Japanese Credit Cards for Foreigners
  • Points to make it easier for foreigners to get approved for Japanese credit cards
  • What do foreigners need to create a Japanese credit card?

Whether you are concerned about how to pay your bills and manage your money in Japan or you are already considering getting a credit card, please take a look at this article. We are sure you will find the right credit card for you.

Let's take a closer look at the details!

Goandup Picks Click here for recommended articles!

Conditions for foreigners to get a credit card in Japan

Non-Japanese who do not have permanent resident status can also get a credit card in Japan. However, they must present a valid Japanese ID.

Special Permanent Residents are required to present their Special Permanent Resident Certificate. On the other hand, mid- to long-term residents are required to present their resident card. In both cases, having a valid ID is a prerequisite for creating a credit card.

  • Special Permanent Residents: Present your Special Permanent Resident Certificate
  • Mid- to long-term residents: Present your resident card

Unfortunately, foreigners who do not have a Special Permanent Resident Certificate or Residence Card and do not have permanent resident status cannot create a credit card. If you plan to stay in Japan for a longer period of time, we recommend that you consider obtaining these forms of identification.

The conditions for obtaining permanent residence and the application process are explained in detail in the related articles below. If you are a foreigner who is considering living in Japan for a long time, please check it out.
▶️ What is permanent residence? Complete coverage of permanent residency in Japan!

Creation of a bundle card is recommended for short-term stays.

If you are staying in Japan for a short period of time (less than 3 months), you will not be issued a residence card (visa) and will not be able to create a standard credit card. However, for those who wish to manage their money and make payments more conveniently in such cases, we recommend creating a "bundle card".

Bundle Card is a type of prepaid card offered by Visa, and you can easily start using it by applying through the application. After applying on the app, a virtual card dedicated for online shopping is issued immediately, and by charging (depositing) the amount you want to use, you can make purchases online just like a credit card.

In addition, if you issue a real card, you can use it to make purchases at brick-and-mortar stores. The Bundle Card can be used at any Visa merchant.

A major advantage of the bundle card is that there are no screening or age restrictions, and anyone can create one for free. Another advantage is that it prevents overspending. Foreigners who are in Japan for a short period of time and cannot create a credit card should consider using a bundle card.

▶️ bundle card

5 Japanese Credit Cards for Foreigners

Here are five carefully selected Japanese credit cards recommended for foreigners. All of these cards are easy for foreigners to apply for and pass the screening process. We hope you will find them useful.

1. epos card

This credit card is offered by Epos Card Co., Ltd. and can be made with no joining fee and no annual fee forever. It is characterized by the ease of earning points for purchases made at Marui Group stores (Marui stores, Modi stores, and the Marui Web Channel shopping site), and accumulated points can be used as 1 point = 1 yen when making purchases at Marui Group stores.

Since it is classified as a "distribution" card due to its many business partners and is said to have a relatively low level of difficulty in screening, it is especially recommended for those who are making a credit card in Japan for the first time or who are worried about whether they will pass the screening. Since overseas travel insurance is also included, this card is also suitable for those who often have the opportunity to return to their home country temporarily.

Click here for more information about Epos Card ▼

2. Saison Card International

Saison Card International is the best credit card for everyday use, offered by Credit Saison Co. There is no joining fee and no annual fee, and it comes with convenient features such as perpetual non-lapsing points that never expire and instant digital issuance.

The card features Japan's first numberless plastic card, making it safe to use in terms of security. In addition, the dedicated app allows for smart card management and easy registration to Apple Pay.

With a wide variety of partners, the card is suitable for a wide range of purposes, from daily use to overseas travel. This card is also recommended for foreigners who are making their first credit card in Japan or for those who value security.

Click here for more information▼.

Saison Card International

3. Rakuten Card

Rakuten Card is a credit card offered by Rakuten Group, Inc. The card has a reputation for being relatively easy to make for Japanese nationals, and even foreign nationals are considered to have an easier time passing the screening process. The process is smooth, as identification is completed by simply presenting a residence card or special permanent resident certificate upon receipt of the card. Of course, there is no annual fee and you can earn points for shopping at Rakuten Ichiba.

Click here for more information▼.

There are several types of Rakuten Credit Cards, each with different features, and the application process and required documents differ slightly depending on the type. The related article below provides a detailed explanation of Rakuten Credit Card types, features, and application procedures for foreign residents.
▶️ Popular among foreigners! Explanation of types of Rakuten Credit Cards, how to make one, and tips for screening.

4. Sumitomo Mitsui Card VISA (NL)

Sumitomo Mitsui Card VISA (NL) is a credit card offered by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation with no annual fee. The FAQ on SMBC's official website clearly states that even if your nationality is foreign, you can open an account, so this card is safe for non-Japanese to apply for. You can also easily apply for the card via the Internet.

For more information about Sumitomo Mitsui Card VISA (NL),click hereThe information can be confirmed from the following

American Express® Card

This credit card is issued by American Express and is widely used around the world. The annual fee is a high 132,000 yen (including tax), but the full range of benefits and services are attractive. The FAQ page on the official website carefully describes precautions for foreign nationals applying for the card, so it is clear that the card can be applied for by foreign nationals. We recommend this card for globally active businesspersons.

For more information on the American Express® Card,click hereThe information can be confirmed from the following

5 tips for foreigners to get approved for Japanese credit cards

Here are six tips to help you pass the Japanese credit card screening process. Please refer to them as they are all important points that foreign residents should know in order to pass the screening process.

This article is also recommended!
▶︎ How to make it easier for foreigners to get credit cards in Japan

Prepare identification documents other than a residence card or special permanent resident certificate

In addition to a residence card or special permanent resident certificate, the following identification documents issued in Japan, such as a driver's license, personal number card, or passport, will make it easier to pass the screening process.

  • Driver's license and driving history certificate
  • passport
  • Personal number card, Basic Resident Registration Card with photograph
  • Identification card issued by a government or municipal office with a photograph
  • Certificate of eligibility issued by a public institution with a photograph (e.g., disability certificate)

However, please note that in most cases, these IDs must be "issued in Japan". By submitting an ID card issued in Japan, the applicant can show that he/she is a trustworthy and reliable member of Japanese society.

If you have any of these forms of identification in addition to your residence card or special permanent resident certificate, try to submit as many as possible. Your chances of passing the credit card screening will increase dramatically!

2. working at the same place for a long time

An applicant's length of employment is also an important factor in the credit card screening process. In Japan, working at the same job for a long time is considered to indicate a stable income, and therefore, there is less concern about falling behind on payments. To make it easier to pass the screening, try to work at the same job as long as possible.

In addition, during the screening process, the applicant may receive a phone call at his/her place of employment to confirm that he/she is enrolled in the company. Enrollment verification is an important procedure to confirm that the applicant is indeed employed by the company. It is advisable to inform your co-workers and supervisors who may answer the phone in advance of the possibility of an enrollment check.

3. apply while your remaining period of stay is still long enough

If you apply when your remaining period of stay is short, it will be difficult to pass the screening because of concerns that you will return to your home country before completing the payment. In order to pass the screening, it is important to apply when you have a certain amount of time left in your period of stay.

Generally speaking, it is desirable to have at least one year of residency remaining. Avoid applying just before your period of stay expires, and apply as early in your period of stay as possible.

However, permanent residents and special permanent residents can apply for a credit card regardless of their period of stay.

Do not apply for more than one credit card at a time

If you apply for multiple credit cards at the same time, you may be suspected of being in debt, which may make it more difficult to be approved. Avoid applying for multiple credit cards at the same time, as your credit card application history will be recorded for six months by the credit bureaus.

If you are not approved for a credit card, we recommend that you do not immediately apply for another card, but rather wait at least 6 months before trying again.

If you already have a credit card, it is also important to check the status of your existing card before applying for a new card. There may be things you can do with your existing card, such as raising the credit limit or issuing additional cards.

5. set the cash advance limit to "0 yen

Some credit cards have a cash advance function, but if you do not plan to use this function, you may want to set the cash advance limit to 0 yen. If you set a cash advance limit, you will be screened separately, which may make the screening process more difficult.

A cash advance feature allows you to borrow money using your credit card. Although it may seem convenient at first glance, the interest rate is high and there is a risk of ballooning debt. If you plan to use your credit card only for shopping purposes, setting the cash advance limit to 0 yen will make it easier to pass the screening process.

However, setting the cash advance limit to 0 yen does not mean that the screening for the shopping limit will be less stringent. It only eliminates the need for a cash advance screening. The screening for the shopping limit is based on a comprehensive evaluation of your income, length of employment, credit information, and other factors.

Credit card screening criteria vary from credit card company to credit card company. Before applying for a credit card, it is important to carefully check the credit criteria of each company and choose the card that best suits your needs.

3 items required for foreigners to create a credit card

Finally, here are three things that foreign nationals will need to create a credit card.

1. address in Japan

To be issued a credit card, you must reside in Japan. The address on your residence card or resident card must match the address on the credit card application form, so if you change your address due to moving or other reasons, you should promptly complete the change procedure.

2. bank account in Japan

A bank account in Japan is required as a debit account for credit cards. If you have not yet opened an account, please bring your residence card and resident card to a local bank office.

Please check the related articles below for more information on how to open a bank account in Japan, required documents, and recommended banks for foreigners.
▶️ Explanation of conditions for foreigners to open a bank account, recommended banks, etc.

3. contact information (cell phone or landline)

You must register a phone number that is available in Japan as a contact number. Either a cell phone or a landline phone will work, but be sure to register a number that can be reached during screening and administrative procedures.

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.

If you have any questions or concerns about life in Japan,Goandup Salon.Let's solve your problem in the following way! We will wholeheartedly support you to make your life in Japan smoother and more enjoyable.

For more information, click here ▼

summary

In this article, we have explained in detail the conditions for foreigners to apply for a credit card in Japan, recommended cards, and points to pass the screening process.

Foreign nationals can also get a Japanese credit card if they are special permanent residents or mid- to long-term residents. We have introduced five recommended credit cards: Epos Card, Saison International, Rakuten Card, and American Express® Card.

In order to make it easier to pass the screening process, it is effective to prepare an ID other than a residence card, to apply for a long-term job, to apply for a long period of stay, to avoid applying for multiple cards at the same time, and to set the cash advance limit to 0 yen.

You can make good use of credit cards to make your life in Japan more convenient and comfortable. However, remember that credit cards are only a tool for getting out of debt. It is important to use them systematically and be careful not to fall behind in your payments.

In addition, credit card screening criteria vary from credit card company to credit card company. Before applying, it is important to compare the features of each company carefully and choose the card that best suits your needs.

For foreigners who have difficulty passing the credit card screening process, we recommend the use of debit cards. Debit cards can be used within the limits of the money in the account, are easy to examine, and are easy for foreigners to make.

Please check the related article below for more information on Japanese debit cards recommended for foreigners.

▶️ The Complete Guide to Japanese Debit Cards for Foreigners!

Debit cards are not as convenient as credit cards, but they are safe and secure. If you have difficulty passing the credit card screening process, you may want to consider using a debit card. It will help you live comfortably in Japan.


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