NICOS VIASO: My Japanese Credit Card


As mentioned in other posts, such as this post about credit cards that are rumored as easy to get and this post with translations of Japanese credit card reviews, I really wanted a Japanese credit card, and I finally got one: the NICOS VIASO card. Once I finally got a credit card, I’d promised that I’d write about it. Well, it’s taken a good few months, but I’m finally writing about it. In this post, first I’ll go over why I wanted a Japanese credit card, second I’ll go over why I settled on NICOS VIASO, and third I’ll go over the process really quickly for getting the NICOS VIASO card.

(Also, I thought I should put this in here, as posts about credit cards are pretty suspicious, but I wasn’t paid for writing this or asked to write about this by the credit card company.)

Reasons for Wanting a Japanese Credit Card

  1. To avoid overseas transaction fees and currency exchange fees with my US credit card
  2. To avoid having my credit card rejected (sometimes US credit cards are rejected in Japan)
  3. Bragging rights

Reasons for Choosing NICOS VIASO

  1. No yearly fees
  2. Rumored as easy to acquire
  3. Accrues cashback points (Every 2000 yen = 1 point, 1 point = 1 yen, if you get 1000 points, you get 1000 yen. However, these points reset every year)
  4. Has VISA available (as well as Mastercard)
  5. Did not require a call to my workplace as part of the review process (some credit cards do this)
  6. Associated with a well-known bank, Mitsubishi UFJ.

Process for Acquiring NICOS VIASO

First, I applied via the NICOS VIASO website. The website asked for information such as job situation, etc. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an English version of the application website.

About two days later, I received the result of the review through email (passed!) and then about a week later my card came in the mail. Yay!

All in all, it was a pretty quick and painless process. At the time, I made about the same amount per month as a typical ALT, had been in Japan about 3 years and had been at the same job about 1 year. So it seems like the selection process is fairly lenient.

Have you gotten a credit card in Japan? Which one did you get?

7 thoughts on “NICOS VIASO: My Japanese Credit Card

  1. Alex says:

    Hello, I don’t know if you’ll see this but.
    I am going as an exchange student to japan soon, and I was wondering if this card you applied for would work for me, as i wouldn’t have full residency in japan, and it’s going to be almost, but not a year-long programme.

    1. L. says:

      It’s hard to say for sure. This card has a reputation for being very easy to get, even for university students without steady income, and is issued very quickly upon approval.

      But it can be hard to get a credit card as a foreigner and student.
      Also, the application is all in Japanese, so you will need to know Japanese or have someone help. You will also need a Japanese phone number.

      (I assume you will have a resident card since you will be in Japan for almost a year. I’m not sure if credit card companies will issue credit cards to foreign individuals without a resident card.)

      That being said, please don’t let me scare you out of applying. If you decide to apply, let us know how it goes!

  2. Sie says:

    hi there i applied Nicos card after i read this post and got accpeted and got my card for just almost a week or 2. but the thing is i can only use it for like 10 months coz as what written in the card expiry date is 10/16. lol im just curious if its like this to you also? 😉

    1. L. says:


      That’s a bummer about the expiry. I have a longer time period from when I applied before it expires, but hopefully renewal is as simple as getting a new one in the mail. I guess we’ll see!

      1. Sie says:

        yeah im still curious about renewal and all coz my first rakuten card expires on so yeah i still dont know.
        but we will see how does the renewal flow when 10/16
        they approved a big amount but just a short time to use. so yeah a little bit curious and thinking maybe it happened to you too thats why I commented.:)
        thanks for the reply. 🙂

  3. Miyagi Mermaid says:

    Thanks for sharing this! When my husband and I wanted to purchase a computer last year, I applied for a credit card through K’s Denki and was promptly rejected with a phone call. My husband ended up applying without any problems, but ever since then I have been eager to get a card in my own name so I could start building credibility.

    I will be looking into this!

    1. L. says:

      Hi there! I’m glad that this article was interesting. The first card I tried applying for, the Life card, I got rejected by letter (not even a phonecall!). Credit card approval is an elusive thing and rejection hurts, so for the next try, I went with NICOS VIASO, which was rumored online as easy to get.

      Good luck with your hunt for a credit card!


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