When traveling to Japan, one important thing to consider is the best way to pay for your expenses. Although cash is widely accepted, using a credit card can be more convenient and secure. However, not all credit cards are created equal, especially when it comes to foreign transactions. In this article, we will explore the best credit card to use in Japan, taking into account factors such as fees, rewards, and acceptance.
Japan is a popular tourist destination that offers a unique blend of traditional and modern culture. From bustling cities like Tokyo and Osaka to serene temples and gardens, there is something for everyone in Japan. However, traveling to a foreign country can also be daunting, especially when it comes to money matters. In Japan, cash is still king, but credit cards are widely accepted, especially in big cities and tourist areas. Using a credit card can offer several benefits, such as convenience, security, and rewards. In this article, we will help you choose the best credit card to use in Japan, based on your needs and preferences.
Table of Contents
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Credit Card for Japan
Before we dive into the best credit cards to use in Japan, let’s first discuss the factors that you should consider when choosing a credit card for your trip.
Foreign Transaction Fees
One of the most important things to look for when choosing a credit card for Japan is foreign transaction fees. These fees are charged by some credit cards when you make purchases in a foreign currency, and they can add up quickly. Ideally, you should choose a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, or at least has low fees.
Another factor to consider is the acceptance of your credit card in Japan. While credit cards are generally accepted in big cities and tourist areas, some smaller shops and restaurants may only accept cash. You should also check if your credit card is compatible with chip-and-pin technology, which is widely used in Japan.
Lastly, you should consider the rewards that your credit card offers. Some credit cards offer rewards such as cashback, points, or miles for every purchase you make. These rewards can add up quickly, especially if you use your credit card for big-ticket items like hotel stays and flights. However, make sure to read the fine print and check if there are any restrictions or blackout dates.
Best Credit Cards to Use in Japan
Now that we’ve covered the factors to consider when choosing a credit card for Japan, let’s take a look at some of the best credit cards to use in Japan.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a popular credit card among travelers, and for good reason. It offers a sign-up bonus of 100,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. It also has no foreign transaction fees and offers 2x points on travel and dining. The points can be redeemed for travel, cashback, or transferred to several airline and hotel loyalty programs.
Capital One Venture Rewards
The Capital One Venture Rewards is another great credit card for travelers. It offers a sign-up bonus of 60,000 miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. It also has no foreign transaction fees and offers 2x miles on every purchase. The
miles can be redeemed for travel, statement credits, or transferred to several airline loyalty programs. One unique feature of this credit card is that you can also use it to book travel directly through the Capital One Travel Portal.
Citi Premier Card
The Citi Premier Card is a good option for those who want to earn points on everyday purchases. It offers a sign-up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. It also has no foreign transaction fees and offers 3x points on travel, including gas stations, airfare, hotels, and more. The points can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, merchandise, or statement credits.
American Express Platinum Card
The American Express Platinum Card is a premium credit card that offers several benefits for travelers. It offers a sign-up bonus of 100,000 points after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 6 months from account opening. It also has no foreign transaction fees and offers 5x points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, and 5x points on prepaid hotels booked on AmexTravel.com. Other benefits include airport lounge access, statement credits for travel expenses, and elite status with several hotel loyalty programs.
Discover it Miles
The Discover it Miles is a good option for those who want a simple and straightforward credit card. It offers 1.5x miles on every purchase, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. It also matches all the miles you earn at the end of your first year, effectively doubling your rewards.
Choosing the best credit card to use in Japan can save you money and hassle during your trip. When choosing a credit card, make sure to consider factors such as foreign transaction fees, acceptance, and rewards. Some of the best credit cards to use in Japan include the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Capital One Venture Rewards, Citi Premier Card, American Express Platinum Card, and Discover it Miles. However, make sure to read the fine print and choose a credit card that best fits your needs and spending habits.
- Is it better to use cash or credit cards in Japan?
- While cash is still widely used in Japan, credit cards are also widely accepted, especially in big cities and tourist areas. Using a credit card can offer several benefits, such as convenience, security, and rewards.
- Do I need a credit card with no foreign transaction fees for Japan?
- While it’s not mandatory, having a credit card with no foreign transaction fees can save you money on fees and charges.
- Are there any credit cards that offer rewards for travel to Japan?
- Yes, several credit cards offer rewards for travel, including flights and hotels, to Japan.
- Do I need a chip-and-pin credit card for Japan?
- While not mandatory, having a chip-and-pin credit card can make your transactions smoother and more convenient in Japan.
- What should I do if my credit card is lost or stolen in Japan?
- If your credit card is lost or stolen in Japan, contact your credit card company immediately to report the incident and get a replacement card sent to you as soon as possible.