You might have heard that many ATMs in Japan do not accept foreign issued credit, debit and ATM cards. And while this may still be true for most ATMs you find in local banks, there are still many other places that allow you to withdraw cash by credit and debit cards issued outside of Japan.
Over 22,000 ATMs can be found in 7-Eleven's convenience stores spread all across Japan. They can also be found at Ito Yokado supermarkets and larger airports. These ATMs all have a English language option and supports non-Japanese credit and debit cards. The following cards are supported: VISA (including plus), MasterCard (including Maestro/Cirrus), China UnionPay, American Express, JCB, Discover and Diners Club.
Since most 7-Eleven ATMs are located in a convenience store, they are available for cash withdrawal 24/7 every day of the year.
Following several instances of withdrawals made with stolen cards and counterfeit cards, Japan Post Bank has established a new withdrawal limit for single transactions. Starting Jun 20, 2016, single transaction withdrawal limit will be 50,000 Yen.
In Japanese post offices all around Japan you will also find ATMs that accept foreign issued cards. With a current total of over 27,000 ATMs, the Japan Post Office's are the most commonly found traveller friendly ATMs in Japan. With the downside that most post offices, exempt the largest central offices of major cities, are not available 24/7. Larger offices are usually open from 7:00 to 23:00, with smaller offices open from 9:00 and 16:00 and closed on weekends. Thanks to a partnership with Family Mart, Japan Post Office ATMs are now also found at a small number of Family Mart convenience stores. The following cards are supported: VISA (including electron/plus), MasterCard (including Maestro/Cirrus), China UnionPay, American Express, JCB, Discover and Diners Club.
Besides the ATMs at 7-Eleven convenience stores and post offices, international ATMs can be found at larger airports, major department stores and increasingly at selected Family Mart convenience stores. Also Aeon Bank ATMs, found at Aeon shopping malls, accepts foreign credit and debit cards. And with the governments goal of increasing foreign tourists leading up to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, the number of ATMs supporting foreign cards are expected to keep increasing.
Below are some good tips to make sure your card withdrawals will go smoothly and safely.
● Contact your bank to confirm that your card can be used in Japan.
● Find out what withdrawal fees and limits will apply during your stay.
● Make sure your bank knows that you are planing to use your card in Japan, or an unexpected withdrawal attempt may be flagged as fraud, effectively blocking you card.
● Keep separate note of your card's service phone number (often written on the back of the card), in case it goes missing or gets stolen.
● Don't forget your card's 4 digit pin-code, as getting a code reset or a new card issued to you may not be possible while abroad.