ATMs, CREDIT CARDS, CURRENCY EXCHANGE AND CHECKS, MONEYGRAM, EMERGENCY FUNDS TRANSFER:
Not all ATM machines are well-connected to international networks popular in the United States. ATMs found at post offices, 7-Eleven convenience stores and Citibank branches in Japan allow you to withdraw cash by credit and debit cards issued outside of Japan. International ATMs can also be found at international airports, major department stores and some Shinsei bank locations.
More information on ATMs in Japan is available at the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) website.
In order to use international ATMs, ensure the following in the United States before leaving for Japan:
- Make sure that your credit or debit card can be used abroad.
- Notify your bank that you are going to use your card overseas, since many banks will block a card which is suddenly used abroad.
- Inquire what fees and daily and/or monthly limits are associated with international withdrawals.
Please see the links below for locations and operating hours:
There are 25,000 Post Office ATMs in Japan. Post offices which provide this service display stickers indicating which cards are accepted. VISA, VISAELECTRON, PLUS, MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus, American Express, Diners Club, JCB, and China Unionpay cards can all be used.
Seven Bank (ATMs in 7-Eleven convenience stores and Ito Yokado)
There are over 12,000 Seven Bank ATMs at 7-Eleven convenience stores throughout Japan. Service is available 24 hours a day in English, Korean, Chinese and Portuguese. Cash cards from the PLUS and Cirrus networks can be used. Seven Bank ATMs accept credit and debits cards issued by VISA, MasterCard, American Express, JCB and China UnionPay.
Major credit cards are generally accepted in urban areas and large commercial establishments, but often cannot be used in rural areas and small shops. Taxis with stickers on their windows of major credit card companies accept credit cards. Credit cards can be used in Japan to purchase commercial air transportation and limousine bus tickets to and from the airport.
Currency Exchange and Checks
Banks can convert most foreign currencies into yen. Most banks require a passport or other photo ID to exchange traveler’s checks. Personal checks are generally not accepted by businesses in Japan. There are no facilities for cashing checks at the Embassy or Consulates.
Western Union offers cash-to-cash transfers across 200 countries and territories to and from Japan. Please see Western Union’s website for more information on sending receiving money. Click here to find locations.
Similar to Western Union, MoneyGram transfers funds electronically through its network of over 50,000 international agents. MoneyGram’s fee is based on the origination and destination cities, amount of money sent, and the desired speed of transaction completion.
Please see MoneyGram’s website for more information on sending and receiving money.
Emergency Funds Transfer – OCS Trust
When a U.S. citizen encounters an emergency financial situation abroad, the Department of State’s Office of Overseas Citizens Services (OCS) can establish a trust account in the citizen’s name to forward funds overseas. Upon receipt of funds, OCS will transfer the money to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo or one of our Consulates in Japan for disbursement to the recipient.
The recipient must contact the Embassy or Consulate directly to arrange receipt. The fee for establishing a trust account is $30. The recipient’s name and overseas location (city, country) must be provided with the fund transfer, or the transfer will be delayed. The Embassy or Consulate normally disburses funds in the foreign country’s currency and not in U.S. dollars.
Trust fund transfers are a one time service, except in specific, pre-approved circumstances. Funds sent during non-business hours may not be processed until the next business day.
Questions can be directed to OCS at 1-888-407-4747. Please follow this link for more information and instructions on the OCS Trust.
What if no one can send me money?
In certain cases, the U.S. Embassy may be able to help a destitute American return home. However, applicants must meet strict criteria in order to qualify for a repatriation loan, and must surrender their U.S. passport until they repay the full amount of their loan. Assistance will not be provided to pay existing debts.
Helping someone else:
Are you trying to help a U.S. citizen in distress overseas who keeps getting into deeper or more urgent trouble? If you’ve never met the person you’re trying to help, it’s possible you’ve been targeted by a scammer. Read more here.