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Using US debit cards, US dollars, traveler's checks for yen

San Diego
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Using US debit cards, US dollars, traveler's checks for yen

I've gotten varying input as to which of the above is best to use. I've been told not all ATM's will take American debit cards. I've also been told cashing traveler's checks is a long process.

Others have told me credit cards are not widely accepted outside of Tokyo and Kyoto and it's necessary to pay for most everything, including hotels, in cash.

Would love some input on the best way to get money for a 3 1/2 week trip.

Illinois
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for Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: Using US debit cards, US dollars, traveler's checks for yen

A freequently asked question. Please type Currency Exchange in the search box above. Numerous posts on the subject.

http://japan-guide.com/e/e2208.html

Credit cards are widely accepted at hotels, restaurants and shops across Japan.

San Francisco...
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2. Re: Using US debit cards, US dollars, traveler's checks for yen

My advice:

Use credit cards to pay for what you can. (Chain hotels, department stores, chain stores, mall stores, and most modern hotels will take credit cards.) Bring at least two credit cards in case one gets rejected for some odd reason. Last year, one of my credit cards was rejected for no good reason at my first hotel--I think there was a temporary data transmission problem.

To get cash, use ATM cards at Citibank ATMs, ATMs at 7-11 stores ("Seven Bank"), and ATMs at Post Offices. You can also find these types of ATMs at major airports.

Also bring an ATM card on an account at a second bank in case the first one doesn't work. There can be problems in trans-Paciific data transmission.

Also bring travelers checks (keep it well under $10,000 to avoid triggering reporting requirements) as a reserve in case the above fail. Keep these for the emergency you hope won't occur.

Notify all your ATM and credit card issuers that you will be using the card outside the USA.

Check with your credit card issuers and banks to see what surcharge fees they add to foreign transactions. Capital One credit cards don't add a surcharge; many others charge 2% or 3%.

SF
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for Fukuoka, Kyushu-Okinawa
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3. Re: Using US debit cards, US dollars, traveler's checks for yen

Don't bring any yen as it is falling fast against USD. It is almost 100yen to a USD now. Exchange USD to JPY as needed. Buy JRPass as late as possible, if you are planning to buy.

Many small shops,i.e. train station kiosk, etc. restaurants, i.e. ramen shops, cheap fast food(including food ticket vending machines) , i.e. Udon, Soba, etc on the train platforms, temple entrance fees, etc. local train/bus tickets, etc. takes cash only. So try to exchange a few 10,000yen at a time & minimize the foreign transaction fees, if any.

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Osaka
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4. Re: Using US debit cards, US dollars, traveler's checks for yen

You will need a combination of cash (or ATM access) and credit card. I wouldn't bother with TC's unless you will be spending a boatload of money. The exchange rate can be the best but what you save wouldn't be significant, and you will have to invest time to buy those at home and then exchange them once you land.

5. Re: Using US debit cards, US dollars, traveler's checks for yen

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