Yen currency exchange

Old Sep 8th, 2009, 03:21 AM
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Yen currency exchange

Hi,
I'm sorry if this topic has been previously asked, I haven't found it...

It's a question about if Japan is a better place than my home country (in my case, Spain) to buy Yen. I have read that it's possible to find better exchange rates and less charges in Japan, even in the airport on arrival.
I want to exchange Euros to Yen. In my previous trips to Japan, my bank in Spain has charged me a flat commission of 6 Euros (=8,5 USD at 1EUR=1,42$) when I bought JPY (I bought around 100000 JPY).
Today's exchange rate is 131,6 JPY per 1 EUR

Do you usually bring Yen from your home country or do you prefer to exchange when in Japan? Or do you withdraw cash from ATM on arrival?

Thanks!
sioFont is offline  
Old Sep 8th, 2009, 05:29 AM
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In my experience it is ALWAYS better (a much, much better rate) to get currency in the country rather than at home. You may well pay 20% more for yen in Spain. The exchange rate in the airport or at ATMs or banks... they will all be much better than what you can get in Spain.
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Old Sep 8th, 2009, 09:08 AM
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I echo Kathie's suggestions. You will get more yen in Japan for your Euro. Just outside of customs in NRT you will see bank windows selling yen. That would be the place to exchange what you want. Incidentally, I did a search regarding yen exchange and came up with this older but still pertinent thread on the subject. Pay particular attention to the entries by KimJapan on this thread as her assessments are spot on and priceless imho

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...l-in-tokyo.cfm

Aloha!
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Old Sep 8th, 2009, 10:14 AM
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Current exchange rate is 1EUR = 133.84JPY. If your bank is giving you 131.6JPY, then they're charging under 2% for the exchange, and the 6 euro fee. That's actually very very good - most likely better than at a foreign exchange counter at the Tokyo airport.

When I used my ATM card at Japan Post, they charges a 1% fee. And my bank charges its own ATM fees.

BTW, besides Japan Post (i.e. post office) and Citibank, I found that HSBC's ATM will also accept foreign ATM cards.
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Old Sep 8th, 2009, 12:17 PM
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I've sometimes found great rates for buying foreign currency before I leave home. My bank said sometimes its cheaper for them to unload cheap to a customer rather than holding on to it to do a "formal" foreign exchange.
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Old Sep 8th, 2009, 04:48 PM
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Exchange rate at Narita airport: http://www.narita-airport.or.jp/exchange_e/index.html
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Old Sep 8th, 2009, 10:38 PM
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The only charge for cash when using an ATM in Japan that I've paid, using my credit union Visa check card, was the 1% fee that goes to Visa. The CU and the Japanese banks didn't have any charges. The exchange rates (before the 1% Visa fee) were virtually the same as the interbank rate.
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Old Sep 12th, 2009, 04:09 AM
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Thanks for your comments and links.

I think there is more comments in favour of changing on arrival than in Spain, so I think this is what I will do.

Doing some calculations with KimJapan' link, I think there is little difference in exchanging before travel or during my trip. I think I will wait and I will buy Yen at Narita airport.

Two years ago, I used an Japan Post ATM and my bank added a fee to the 1% Visa charge. I don't remember if JP also added a fee. But, beyond fees, maybe the daily exchange rate applied by Visa to cash withdraws is better then bank exchanges.

Is there some kind of competition among Narita banks or they all offer the same rates?
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Old Sep 12th, 2009, 08:33 AM
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When I take ¥20,000 from a JP ATM, I get three lines on my card statements:

The equivalent of ¥20,000 in USD at that day's exchange rate, from JP.

The equivalent of ¥200 in USD at that day's exchange rate, from JP.

My bank's own charge (Bank of America, US$5).
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Old Sep 12th, 2009, 09:37 AM
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No, all banks (in Japan) offer the same rates.
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Old Sep 15th, 2009, 06:01 AM
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JP does not add a fee. The only fees are the standard 1% from the ATM network, plus what your bank charges, if anything. My bank doesn't charge anything. You can also use ATMs at 7-11 stores in Japan--we had no additional fees at their store ATMs.
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Old Sep 15th, 2009, 06:35 AM
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Seven Bank ATMs in 7-Eleven stores do add 210 yen per withdrawal, clearly itemised, on any Mastercard/Cirrus/Maestro card use. No fees for any other cards they take, including Visa/Plus, JCB, Diners and AE. No fees are added by Citibank, or Yucho (Japan Post) ATMs, the other major chains of ATMs taking foreign cards.
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