Money Exchange in Japan - best places?

Sep 2nd, 2007, 08:57 AM
  #1  
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Money Exchange in Japan - best places?

I'm arriving in Tokyo on Saturday afternoon, Sept 8. Should I simply go to the ATM at Narita Airport? Are the rates inferior at all ATMs? How much worse, if at all, at the airport? After that, where is the best place to get yen for the best rates? ATMs? Banks to exchange dollars? Credit cards these days charge 1-3% just for using them, aside from the exchange rate. Any advice appreciated. Thanks!
juliamjayne is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2007, 09:26 AM
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Usually you get the best exchange rate at an ATM unless your bank has a high service charge...

After that you can get yen at post office ATMs.

Also now the 711 stores take foreign ATM cards but there may be a small service charge for that.

Mara is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 06:49 AM
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At Narita, there are Citibank ATM that should work with non-Japanese cards with Cirrus or Plus network logos. Just make sure you use bank cards and not credit cards.
I haven't used the exchange desk at the airport (there is one before exiting the customs), but ATMs should use the same rate regardless of the location.
I found ATMs at many banks didn't work with non-Japanese cards, and mainly used 7-11 convenience stores (most have an ATM terminal inside the store).

Since I didn't want to incur per-transfer charges, I carried much higher amount of cash (say, JPY100k) than I would normally do at home.
W9London is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 07:57 AM
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Thank you for that info. So just to be clear, the exchange rate for cash is the same as in the ATM? And the only downside to the ATM is the transfer charge from my US Bank, right? thanks
juliamjayne is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 07:34 PM
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The downside is your bank fee(s). The upside is the better rate.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 08:19 PM
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I guess it depends on your bank. Mine doesn't charge anything. I have checked their exchange rate, and it was within 1% of the foreign exchange bank rate that day.
Mara is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 08:35 PM
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Does your card have a Visa logo, Mara?
mrwunrfl is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 06:04 AM
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mrwunrfl, no, I have the old fashioned ATM card, not a debit card. I am afraid of them ;-)

I used the interbank rate on oanda.com to check the exchange rate my bank gave me.
Mara is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 09:59 AM
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Check cards with a Visa logo charge 1% currency conversion fee. Even with that, though, it is better than exchanging cash.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 11:42 AM
  #10  
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Yes, my bank's debit/MasterCard will charge 1% on every transaction (plus $2 every time ATM is used). So, are you saying that the exchange rate at the ATM is still better than exchanging US Dollars somewhere? Thanks! Leaving tomorrow!
juliamjayne is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 05:39 PM
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Yes, that is what I said, what I believe.

I do what W9London suggested and get a bunch of cash (at the Citibank ATM).
mrwunrfl is offline  

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