bank account

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bank account

Postby Stevyn » Wed May 13, 2015 9:29 pm

As with most foreigners, Shinsei is likely the best answer for you:

(Copy/pasted from my reply in the above linked thread)

They have the best exchange rates available to consumers in Japan. For the US$ it is +/- 0.5yen from the mid market TTM rate.

They don't charge to receive wire transfers from overseas.

All standard Shinsei consumer accounts are multi-currency by default.

If you receive a wire in one of the supported foreign currencies (there are about 10 including all major currencies) it stays in that currency until you wish to change all or part of it to JPY.

All currency exchanges are done from their excellent English website. You don't need any Japanese to use it (unless you wish to send a Japanese domestic wire transfer and even then they make it as painless as possible.)

You can open a Shinsei account by mail once you are in Japan if you don't happen to live near a branch.

They have telephone support in English if you need to get in touch with them.

You can use your Shinsei bank card at any 7-11 convenience store ATM 24/7/365 free of charge (this is really rare in Japan.)

You can you your Shinsei bank card at any post office ATM at any time that ATM is in operation. The ATMs in small post office are typically 9am to 5 or 6pm, mid-sized ones 9am to 8 or 9pm, and larger ones are 24/7. There are post offices everywhere in Japan.

You can also use your Shinsei card at any major bank ATM or any major convenience store chain ATM for free between the hours of 9am and 9pm M-F and 9am to 5pm on weekends. This is also very rare, with most banks you need to pay for access to ATMs that are not specific to that bank.

On the downside:

If you need to send money overseas you have to visit a branch to set this up the first time you do it. Once set up once you can call their English support line to send additional wires to the same overseas account. If you expect to send money out of Japan regularly (or if you do not live near a Shinsei branch) you should set up a Lloyds Bank's GoLloyds account in addition to your Shinsei account. GoLloyds isn't a bank account, it's a convenient way to send money out of Japan without having to deal with the normal nightmare and expense of Japanese banks. (It's also only 2000yen per transaction and the exchange rates are quite good.)

If you find yourself needing money often in the middle of the night and can't find a 7-11 ATM (they are the most common convenience store in Japan) then you might want to open a second account with another bank and keep some emergency funds there. I suggest Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ as you can access that account 24/7 from any convenience store ATM and the charge is generally 105yen per transaction. Most other banks will be 210yen per transaction for the same access.

As far as PayPal goes, you need to change the residence of your PayPal account to Japan. Once that is done you can link it to your Shinsei account no problem (probably to other accounts here too.) PayPal's exchange rates suck ass though, generally about 2.5yen/dollar below the rates from somewhere like Shinsei. They force you to withdraw funds in JPY as well, even if your account here is multicurrency (like a Shinsei account for example.) There is no way to withdraw USD to a Japanese bank account from PayPal.

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