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Foreigners can also make them! 5 Recommended Prepaid Cards in Japan

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If you are a foreigner living in Japan and cannot have a cash card, we recommend that you have a prepaid card instead. This article introduces five recommended Japanese prepaid cards for foreigners.

◆If you are interested in obtaining a credit card, please refer to the following article.
Five Japanese credit cards for foreigners! And tips on how to pass the screening process.

Goandup Picks Click here for recommended articles!

Prepaid cards are recommended for foreigners!

A credit card is very convenient for living in Japan, but foreigners may have difficulty passing the screening process or may not understand the procedures in Japanese. For such people, we recommend having a prepaid card instead. Compared to credit cards, prepaid cards have various advantages for foreigners.

What is a prepaid card?

Prepaid cards are a cashless payment method that allows users to charge funds to the card in advance and make payments only within that amount. At stores that accept prepaid cards, users can make payments without having to carry cash. This system is a great advantage, especially for those who want to manage their budgets well and for foreigners who have difficulty applying for credit cards in Japan.

Differences from Credit Cards

Credit cards, like prepaid cards, are convenient cashless payment methods, but credit cards are postpaid and the amount spent is deducted from your bank account the following month.

In addition, when a foreigner applies for a credit card in Japan, he/she may not be approved. This is because they are affected by various factors such as length of residence, income, and even whether or not they have a credit history in Japan.

Please also refer to the following articles▼
Five Japanese credit cards for foreigners! And tips on how to pass the screening process.

Difference from debit card

Debit cards, like prepaid cards, require funds in your bank account when you use them. However, debit cards are debited directly from the bank account on the spot and cannot be paid later like credit cards. The main difference from prepaid cards is that debit cards are directly linked to a bank account.

It is also relatively easy for foreigners to create a debit card if they can open a bank account. However, it is important to understand that unlike prepaid cards, which are charged in advance for use, debit cards are debited directly from your account each time they are used.

If you are interested in getting a debit card, the following articles are recommended ▼
The Complete Guide to Japanese Debit Cards for Foreigners!

Advantages of Prepaid Cards

Prepaid cards offer many advantages over cash cards, credit cards, and debit cards. As a general rule, they do not require screening and have relatively loose age restrictions, making them an accessible option for many people.

1. international branding, so it can be used at most stores that accept credit cards

Many prepaid cards come with an international brand such as VISA or Mastercard. This allows prepaid cards to be used at most stores and online services that accept international brand credit cards. For foreigners, they are very convenient as a means of payment not only in Japan but also when traveling abroad.

2. no screening required

Since prepaid cards are a prepayment system, there is no risk of late payment for the card company. Therefore, prepaid cards have the advantage that, unlike cash cards, they do not require screening.

3. no strict age limit

Unlike cash cards, there are many prepaid cards that can be owned by minors. Teenagers who are coming to Japan to study abroad will have no problem making prepaid cards. Some prepaid cards can even be made by elementary school students.

Prepaid card precautions

While prepaid cards have advantages that cash cards do not, they are somewhat less convenient to use than cash cards. In particular, it is important to note that they cannot be used for installment payments or monthly contract payments.

Revolving, installment, and bonus payments are not accepted.

Prepaid cards are basically one-time payments only and do not support revolving, installment, or bonus payments. Unlike cash cards, they are not useful when you don't have money at the moment but want to make a purchase.

Cannot be used to pay utility bills or monthly subscriptions.

Prepaid cards can only be used for one-time payments, so they cannot be used to pay monthly utility bills or to pay for fixed monthly services.

5 Prepaid Cards for Foreigners

Here are five recommended prepaid cards for foreigners. We have chosen mainly prepaid cards with international brands, which are easy to use for everyone.

1. Sumitomo Mitsui Visa Prepaid

Sumitomo Mitsui VISA Prepaid is the most orthodox of Sumitomo Mitsui Card's prepaid cards. It can be used at VISA member stores worldwide, and anyone over the age of 18 can apply for it. Sumitomo Mitsui Card also offers other cards such as Kazoku no Osafu, which can be shared with family members, and dCard Prepaid, which can be used at Mastercard member stores.

▶️ Sumitomo Mitsui VISA Prepaid

ANA JCB Prepaid Card

The ANA JCB Prepaid Card is an international brand prepaid card that can be used at JCB member stores worldwide. Anyone who resides in Japan and is 15 years old or older can apply for the card, and since there are two courses, one for earning ANA miles and the other for cash back, you can choose the one you prefer depending on whether you fly frequently or not.

▶️ ANA JCB Prepaid Card

3.Mastercard prepaid card

Mastercard prepaid cards are international brand prepaid cards that can be used at Mastercard merchants worldwide. We recommend the WebMoney Prepaid Card, which also allows children to join, as another Mastercard international brand prepaid card.

▶️ Prepaid card Mastercard

4. epre

Epre is an application that allows you to issue a virtual card, and upon registration, a Visa prepaid card exclusively for online shopping can be issued immediately. Once a real card is issued, it can also be used for shopping in town.

▶️ Epre.

5. VISA LINE Pay prepaid card

The VISA LINE Pay prepaid card is a mobile payment prepaid card that can be applied for and used from LINE. It can be used at participating stores of Apple Pay and Google Pay, as well as stores that accept VISA touch payment.

▶️ VISA LINE Pay Prepaid 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 ▼


Prepaid cards are a very reassuring ally for foreign residents living in Japan. In particular, prepaid cards with international brands are very convenient not only for daily life, but also as travel companions, thanks to their wide network of merchants and convenience. Moreover, there is a wide variety of prepaid cards with different features, so you can find one that perfectly suits your lifestyle and needs.

To make your daily life in Japan more convenient and enjoyable, please try to find the right prepaid card for you.

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