Applying for A Credit Card in Japan

Posted by – October 25, 2007

Compared with China, Japan is much more foreign-friendly. However,  it sometimes can be very xenophobic. The arduous journey for foreigners applying a credit card in Japan would be a quintessential case. Most of the credit card companies reject your application basically due to the fact that you are a foreigner here, regardless of your job, income, profile or whatsoever.


Mitsui Sumitomo Bank/card is a good example. They turned down my application twice. I have tried to telephone them and ask about the reason. But they have just simply given me brush-off. The reason I apply its card is that its point scan be converted to ANA miles. Unfortunately, it seems to me Mitsui Sumitomo is the only partner of ANA while this company is so domestic and xenophobic.
No wonder someone on the internet thundered,

“All because Mitsui Sumitomo Bank does NOT VALUE THEIR CUSTOMERS. WHY WOULD I WANT TO DO MORE BUSINESS WITH THIS BANK IF THEY’RE NOT GOING TO GIVE ME A CREDIT CARD!!! I AM NOT A CREDIT RISK! LOOK AT MY PROFILE YOU STUPID IDIOTS!

For any foreigners out there living in Japan, one of the choices is Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (三菱東京UFJ銀行). Tthis bank gives me the first credit card in Japan, even though I had been here for about 3 months without any credit records. They even don’t need a hanko (Inkan) while most of the other banks ask you to provide it when apply credit card. I applied its credit card and debt card together in Hiroo branch. The bank clerk there was very nice.

She told me a trick, that, despite I have been working in my company for 3 months, she asked to fill the form that I have been working in my current company for 3 years. That’s a little bit funny that the staff in the bank taught me how to work around the traditional Japanese business routine.

So as a foreigner here in Tokyo, go for a Bank of Tokyo UFJ! You will have a high success chance.

My UFJ-VISA card:
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