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cash vs. credit cards in Japan with a twist


15 Apr 2002
cash vs. credit cards in Japan as per requested by Diana.

Let's start off with a different angle.

Checks. You know the kind you write for grocceries and pizzas. Well, I've never seen one in Japan. Of course, I'm sure they have the type that companies use but even then ... they don't seem to be used.

Well, that leaves it to cash and credit cards.

But, before that you need to realize that ATM machines basically close at 7pm at the latest. So, many folks end up using their lunch times to with draw a few hundred dollars.

I do see some folks use Credit cards but even then these types of transactions are not the norm.

Cash, you buy everything in cash. Hmm, houses ??? don't know yet. Hopefully in a few years. You walk into a store and drop $2000 grand in 10,000 yen notes. No biggie.

There is another type of cash in Japan though. Money lenders. It's a major business in this country. $5,000 for 30%+ for 90 days or less. Daily payments are no problem. so if you work the soaplands, you can carry you pay straight to the money lenders and get another debt evetually payed off. Of course, these types of interest rates are illegal but the police let the populace deal with the Yakuza themselves.

Cash, cash, is what moves in Japan.
That is too funny...We seem to be moving more and more towards plastic.

No one over here wants to carry cash for the simple reason that when someone steals it...it is gone. You can always have a card replaced and your damages recovered. We are moving away from checks and with 24 hour ATM's everywhere...your "cash" is always available.

Something that has come out in the past few years, the ATM card that has a Visa or Mastercard logo on it...very nice since almost no one carries that kind of cash around on them here.

You are just a fountain of knowledge...thanks for your input
I also vote for plastic. The introduction of the Euro has blessed Euroland with incredible heaps of coins. We use our card nearly everywhere. Cheques, well, they still exist, but are not very common anymore.

@ cards in japan

I always relied on my credit card. As moyashi pointed out, it was impossible to withdraw money after 7 pm, plus I could only withdraw from Citybank.

Cash, cash, is what moves in Japan.
Money makes the world go round, ne?!
@cheques (or checks, for Americans)
They have nearly disappeared in Europe. I have seen signed in hotels or shops in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Benelux and Germany saying that they no longer accepted cheques. If they need to mention it, it means some people still use them. As there is too much fraud with them, they have grown unpopular. Most European people prefer cards to cash. The fondest of the plastic are Dutch and Belgians.

Cash, you buy everything in cash. Hmm, houses ??? don't know yet. Hopefully in a few years. You walk into a store and drop $2000 grand in 10,000 yen notes. No biggie.

My mother-in-law paid her house in cash. It seems not to be uncommon in Japan. It's even more startling when you see house prices in Tokyo. I had heard of places that didn't take cash when the sum was too important, but in Japan it's the opposite, once you bring cash you can even get a discount.
hehe, I would love to see that amount of cash ... hmmm, play and roll around in it.
I am noticing checks are going by the weigh side here too. Some places are begining to stop accepting them and only taking credit cards, money, or (the ever increasing) Money Orders.
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