How to use the Wise card in Japan 2024
Japan is a dream destination for many people. Whether you’re looking forward to a trip exploring the cultural highlights, heading over to experience the buzz of the cities, or getting away from it all on a ski trip, you’ll need ways to spend conveniently and cheaply in Japanese yen. Wise can help.
In this article, we'll look at how you can use the Wise card when traveling to Japan, the fees involved, your card withdrawal limits, and some useful tips to save money when spending in Japanese yen.
Is it possible to use my Wise card in Japan?
Yes. You can use your Wise card for convenient spending and withdrawals in Japan, which will mean you get the mid-market exchange rate and dodge DCC (Dynamic Currency Conversion) fees. No matter what currency you hold as a balance in your Wise account, the card’s smart technology will pick the right one to pay with to get the lowest available fee. That means there’s no risk of getting caught out by hidden DCC costs.
With Wise it’s easy to make sure you always pay in the local currency wherever you are, to avoid DCC, and keep your final costs down. We’ll talk more about DCC costs and how they might add-up later on.
About Wise card
The Wise card is an international debit card linked to the Wise multi currency account. You can hold 40+ currencies in your Wise account, and it’s free to spend from any enough currency balance you hold.
If you don’t have the right currency balance for your transaction, the card can automatically convert for you, with the mid-market exchange rate and low fees from 0.43%.
There’s no foreign transaction fee to worry about, no monthly maintenance fee, and no minimum balance. Just add the amount you need for spending, and you’re ready to go.
How does a Wise card work?
As we’ve already discovered, the Wise card is an international debit card. To use your Wise card in Japan you’ll need to add a balance in ringgit or any of the 20 or so supported currencies for topping up. You can add money with a card, bank transfer or wire, and then either convert to Japanese yen instantly in the Wise app, or just leave your balance in ringgit and let the card handle the conversion for you when you pay.
You’ll also be able to make ATM withdrawals with your Wise card - important as cash is still a popular payment method in Japan.
Read also: Wise card review
Fees for using the Wise card in Japan
There’s a one time fee when you order your Wise card, but no monthly or annual charges after that. You’ll be able to spend any currency you hold in your account for free, and if you don’t have money in the right currency for wherever you are, Wise uses smart conversion technology to convert your funds from the best currency possible. There’s a small conversion fee when you spend a currency you don’t hold in your account, and the exchange is processed using the mid-market exchange rate.
Here’s an overview of the key Wise card fees you’ll want to know about. We’ll look in more detail about how to use the Wise card at an ATM a little later, too.
|Wise card fee
|Order a Wise card
|Spend a currency you hold
|Spend in a currency you don’t hold
|Currency conversion fees from 0.43%
2 withdrawals, to the value of 1,000 MYR a month fee free
After that a fee of 5 MYR + 1.75% of the withdrawal value applies
|Order a replacement card
No fee to replace an expiring card
13.70 MYR for a replacement at any other time
Fees correct at time of writing - 15th January 2024.
How to withdraw money in Japan with Wise card
Once you have your Wise card, it’s easy to withdraw money from an ATM in Japan. Bear in mind that not all Japanese ATMs are able to support international card withdrawals.
You’ll need to look out for one which is marked as international - often found in post offices and 7Eleven stores.
Once you’ve found a convenient international ATM which supports Visa or MasterCard, you can make a ATM withdrawal with your Wise card by following these steps:
Insert your card and select the option to make a withdrawal
Enter the amount you want to withdraw
Enter your PIN for security
Your money will be dispensed and your card will be returned
Wise ATM withdrawal limits
Wise cards have spending limits for security, which can vary by payment type. If you have a Wise Malaysian issued card, you’ll be able to view your limits in the Wise app. Wise card ATM limits are set to a default limit automatically, but you can also adjust the limits up to a maximum level within the app if you’d like to.
Here are the Wise ATM withdrawal limits you’ll need to know about:
Single payment: default limit 5,700 MYR, maximum limit 5,700 MYR
Daily: default limit 8,600 MYR, maximum limit 8,600 MYR
Monthly: default limit 17,000 MYR, maximum limit 23,000 MYR
Wise card ATM withdrawal fees
With a Wise card you can make up to 2 withdrawals every month, to the value of 1000 MYR, fee free. However, you’ll need to bear in mind that the ATM operator may charge a fee - and you may lose out if you choose to pay for your withdrawal in ringgit instead of the local currency where you are. That’s because of DCC - and the potential extra costs involved with it - that we looked at earlier. Learn more about DCC and how to avoid it at the Wise help center.
You may not have heard of DCC, but it’s an expensive headache for many travelers. DCC is when you’re asked at an ATM or by a merchant, if you’d prefer to pay in ringgit or the local currency wherever you are. Paying in Malaysian ringgit sounds easier because you’ll be able to instantly see how much your purchase is costing you. However, the bad news is that paying in ringgit will usually mean you run into extra fees, including a marked up exchange rate.
When you choose to pay in ringgit, the merchant picks the exchange rate used to calculate the conversion, rather than your card network. The rate is very likely to be worse than the rate your card network would offer, and can include extra fees and a high markup, too.
Here’s a reminder of the Wise card ATM withdrawal fees:
|Wise card fee
2 withdrawals, to the value of 1000 MYR a month
|No Wise card fee
|3 or more withdrawals
|5 MYR + 1.75% of the withdrawal value applies
Fees correct at time of writing - 15th January 2024_._
Read also: How to withdraw money abroad from Wise card
How to get a Wise card: step by step
You can open a Wise account and order a Wise debit card easily and without even needing to leave home. You’ll just need to have a valid email, proof of your address, a working smartphone, and a valid ID document, like your MyKad.
Register a Wise account online or in the Wise app, by entering some personal and contact information, and uploading images of your ID and your proof of address. Once your account is verified - which can happen instantly - you’ll be able to order your Wise card, ready for use in Japan. Here’s how to go about it.
How to order a card on the Wise app
Here’s how to request a Wise card through the Wise app:
Log into your Wise account on the Wise app
Tap the Cards tab
Tap the Order card option and add your chosen currency balance
You may be prompted to upload your ID and proof of address if your account has not been fully verified
Pay the one time 13.70 MYR card order fee
Your card will arrive by post within 14 working days and you’ll receive an email when your card is on the way, and you’ll need to activate your card before you can use it.
On the website
You can also order your Wise debit card online through the Wise desktop site. Here’s how:
Visit the Wise desktop site and log into your Wise account
Click the Cards tab
Click the Order card option
You may be prompted to upload your ID, like your passport or MyKad and proof of address if your account has not been fully verified
Pay the one time 13.70 MYR card order fee
When your card has been dispatched you’ll receive an email to let you know it's on the way.
How do I activate my Wise card?
Once your card arrives you’ll need to activate it before you can use it for the first time. It’s important to know you can only do this step in Malaysia, so you must complete the activation process before you head off to Japan.
Here’s how to activate your Wise card:
Log into your Wise account on the Wise app or desktop site
On the website, go to Debit card. On the app, go to Account, then click the card icon at the top of the screen
Enter the 6-digit code that’s on the card below your name
How do I add money on the Wise card?
You’ll need to top up your Wise account to be able to spend with your Wise card. You can add money to Wise digitally, and choose from a variety of ways to pay, depending on your preference.
There are low cost payment methods available, and you can usually also top up using a bank card. Fees vary for the different top up methods available, but you’ll be shown all your options and the associated costs before you confirm how you’d like to pay, which means you can compare and choose.
Log into your Wise account in the Wise app or on the desktop site
Go to Home and select the currency you want to top up
Enter the amount you want to top up and select your preferred payment method
Follow the prompts to complete the top up
Your balance will be available for use once the payment has cleared
Is it safe to use the Wise card in Japan?
Wise is safe to use, as a travel card in Japan and elsewhere in the world. As with any debit card, you’ll need to take basic safety precautions such as avoiding sharing your PIN and not letting your card out of your sight when making a payment. But it’s good to know that Wise is fully regulated and licensed for the services it offers, in Malaysia and also by overseas regulatory authorities.
As a digital first provider, Wise also has safety features built into the app. You can get instant transaction notifications to your phone, you’ll be able to review your balance at a glance across 40+ currencies and you can easily cancel the card and order a new one if you’re ever concerned your Wise card has been compromised, lost or stolen.
Use Google Pay or Apple Pay and spend with your phone
If you prefer to make mobile payments with virtual cards, you can use your physical Wise card with a wallet like Google Pay or Apple Pay, to tap and pay with just a phone or smart device. You’ll be able to add your Wise card to your preferred wallet in just a few steps, by tapping on the wallet app and following the onscreen prompts.
The exact process to add your Wise card to a wallet depends on which one you pick, and on your specific device, but you can often simply scan the card with your phone’s camera to fill in all the required information to link your card.
Advantages of using the Wise card in Japan
Using a Wise card in Japan is secure, convenient and can bring down your costs. You’ll get the mid-market exchange rate every time you need to convert from ringgit to yen, and can either exchange your balance upfront in the app, or just let the card do the conversion when you spend or make a withdrawal.
Here are a few ways the Wise card can be handy when you’re in Japan:
Get mid-market exchange rates when converting from ringgit to yen
Spend and make cash withdrawals conveniently with low or no fees
No foreign transaction fee - currency conversion can cost as little as 0.43%
Secure option as you’ll have no need to carry too much cash at any one time
No need to waste time at a money changer, just convert in Wise and make cash withdrawals when you need to
Conclusion: Is it worth using your Wise card in Japan?
Yes. Using a Wise card in Japan can be convenient and can also mean you spend less on fees overall.
Wise card is one of the best international debit cards in Malaysia. Wise cards let you hold a balance in yen if you’d like to set your spending budget in advance - plus you’ll get the mid-market exchange rate and low fees from 0.43%. If you’d prefer, you can also leave your balance in ringgit and just allow the card to do the currency conversion when you make a payment or withdrawal. You’ll still get the mid-market rate, and the card’s smart technology will make sure your funds are converted in the cheapest possible way based on your account balance.
How to use a Wise card in Japan FAQs
How can I use my Wise card in Japan?
You’ll be able to use your Wise card in Japan just as easily as you can at home. Tap to make contactless payments, make cash withdrawals in yen conveniently, and you can even add your card to a digital wallet for mobile payments if you’d like to.
Where can I use my Wise card in Japan?
You can use your Wise card in Japan for spending at merchants, and for making cash withdrawals. Choose to either hold a balance in yen for simple spending, or to leave your money in ringgit and let the card do the conversion when you transact - in either case you get the mid-market exchange rate and the lowest available fees.
How can I withdraw money with my Wise card in Japan?
Make cash withdrawals with Wise in Japan, at international ATMs which support the Visa or Mastercard networks. Bear in mind that not all Japanese ATMs have international functionality. You’ll usually be able to find an international ATM at a post office or 7Eleven if you need one.