Is it possible for non Japanese to make a credit card in Japan?

The answer is YES. Here is a quote about making a credit card from SMBCBank

Non Japanese people’s applying method and process is not really different from Japanese. It is not that your credit card screening is much harder than Japanese one because you are non-Japanese.

If you have enough solvency and enough period of time from appling to going back to your country, it is no problem to make a credit card even if you are non-Japanese.

What is different between Japanese and non-Japanese about making a credit card?

There is a bit of difference on conditions to make a credit card depending on
the credit card company you apply for but how non-Japanese with no Japanese nationality apply for a credit card is to prepare a copy of “resident card” issued to a middle-to-long term resident or “special permanent resident certificate” issued to a person who were granted permission to stay in Japan permanently.

If you are exchange student or language student, you might need to submit a copy of student card or certificate with the above documents.

How you can apply for a credit card?

There are usually two ways to apply for a credit card, which you apply through online or you apply through online plus mailing procedure.

Applying through online

All the procedures can be done by online. Making sure contractual coverage, inputting the information about your work place and setting up direct debit from your bank account, a screening result mail will be sent to you later. If you pass through the screening, a credit card will be mailed to you at a later date

Applying though online and mailing procedure

If your bank account doesn’t correspond to direct debit, you have only this application method.

Firstly, you input your information about yourself and make sure contractual coverage. Later, a document which prints information about application details in a week. You fill in blunks of a document and sign up, then you return it back to wait until the screening is done.

If you pass through the screening, a credit card will be mailed to you at a later date

Screening point: Relation between duration of stay and credit limit

For example, you request to issue a credit card by ¥500,000 shopping quota with the following condition

  • The rest of your stay in Japan is 2 years (24 months)
  • A card with revolving payment of ¥20,000 per month
  • You have to go back to your country before you pay off because the number of your payments is 27.

With this condition, a card company suspects the risk that all payments cannot be collectd perfectly from you so a card company may draw a red line under your solvency and re-consider screening is really all right to give the okay.

Of course, it is possible to keep paying off even after going back to your country but just in case you fall in this situation, a card company is concerned about the risk of taking trouble to call your place and making sure how you pay off and whether the payment method is established or not.

There are a lot of cases in the past that the rest of payments of non-Japanese credit card holders became irrecoverable debts that was impossible to collect back from their countries. So in regards to screening, a credit card company is really sensitive about relation between duration of stay and credit limit.

What types of credit companies easily issue a card for non-Japanese?

Japanese original credit companies tend to be relactant to issue credit cards to non-Japanese residents in Japan, which are like JCB, MItsubishi, Saison, ACmaster card

You might not believe it, but the credit card brand that you can pass the screening easily are the one from the US, which is American Express

This is only the credit card company that has issue a credit card for Japanese in Japan. You can can see questions and conditions considering non-Japanese are prepared when you go through application screen on the website.

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