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Bank of America in Japan - 06-03-2010, 12:46 PM

Just like most other Americans with a job, I use a debit card instead of dealing with cash most of the time. However, it's not hard to obtain cash as I can easily go to an ATM.
Now, my question is, can American(or any foreign for that matter) debit cards work in Japan? I have two but I'm specifically curious about Bank of America. If I bring that card over, will I be able to use it? Or will I have to set up a bank account in Japan?
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06-03-2010, 01:02 PM

You can use your Bank of America debit/ATM card at Japan Post Office ATM machines. It may or may not work in convenience store ATM machines, it depends on which convenience store you use.
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06-03-2010, 03:20 PM

Thanks for the information. Do you know any convienience stores in particular? Or how common post offices are?
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06-03-2010, 10:54 PM

I don't mean to bump but are there any takers on what stores have accessable ATMs for Bank of America?
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06-04-2010, 12:04 AM

I have BofA, Convenience store ATM's don't take them some machines in malls take them and post offices, just make sure the machine has a Visa and MC logos.
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06-04-2010, 12:44 AM

Bring cash. I have literally spent days looking for a machine that takes debit cards. Sometimes a machine will work one day, and then not the next. Japan is a cash culture. That's the safest bet.
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06-04-2010, 02:06 AM

@Decen
Do you deal with cash most of the time?

@MMM
I'm planning on living in Tokyo for at least a year(probably two). I'll be sure to bring enough cash to help me get on my feet as soon as I get here, but bringing enough cash for a year is obviously not feasible. Would you suggest I just get a bank account in Japan then? (Or any other options people do during long term stays).
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06-04-2010, 02:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by WingsToDiscovery View Post
@Decen
Do you deal with cash most of the time?

@MMM
I'm planning on living in Tokyo for at least a year(probably two). I'll be sure to bring enough cash to help me get on my feet as soon as I get here, but bringing enough cash for a year is obviously not feasible. Would you suggest I just get a bank account in Japan then? (Or any other options people do during long term stays).
If you are going to be there for a year, then you might consider opening a bank account in Japan. I would be surprised if your bank doesn't charge you a fee every time you take money out of the bank in yen.

In what capacity are you planning on living in Japan?
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06-04-2010, 02:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMM View Post
If you are going to be there for a year, then you might consider opening a bank account in Japan. I would be surprised if your bank doesn't charge you a fee every time you take money out of the bank in yen.

In what capacity are you planning on living in Japan?
That's the type of information I'm still looking into right now. It would be a great convenience to be able to just stick to BoA, but if I'm going to get a lot of fees then I'll probably try and set up an account in Japan, assuming it's an easy process for a foreigner.

As for living in Japan, I'm just waiting on a college acceptance letter which should be arriving soon. If I don't get in, then this information won't really matter, but if I do get in then at least I'll have a few leads on basic living information before leaving in mid August.
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RickOShay (Offline)
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06-04-2010, 03:03 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by WingsToDiscovery View Post
That's the type of information I'm still looking into right now. It would be a great convenience to be able to just stick to BoA, but if I'm going to get a lot of fees then I'll probably try and set up an account in Japan, assuming it's an easy process for a foreigner.

As for living in Japan, I'm just waiting on a college acceptance letter which should be arriving soon. If I don't get in, then this information won't really matter, but if I do get in then at least I'll have a few leads on basic living information before leaving in mid August.
You need to open a Japanese bank account. Not only will it make your life way easier as far as getting a hold of cash goes, without a bank account there are many things you cannot do, such as get a cell phone contract etc. Japan is a cash society and the idea of a card that just takes money directly out of your bank account just to pay for your groceries is still an idea that does not quite register with people here.

Japan is generally as safe country to carry around a lot of cash on you anyway. I will admit having the equivalent of $300+ on me at times did take some getting used to though.
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