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
- To avoid overseas transaction fees and currency exchange fees with my US credit card
- To avoid having my credit card rejected (sometimes US credit cards are rejected in Japan)
- Bragging rights
Reasons for Choosing NICOS VIASO
- No yearly fees
- Rumored as easy to acquire
- 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)
- Has VISA available (as well as Mastercard)
- Did not require a call to my workplace as part of the review process (some credit cards do this)
- Associated with a well-known bank, Mitsubishi UFJ.
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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?