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Thread: Bills and other financial obligations while in Japan....

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    Junior Member Yunishkai's Avatar
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    Default Bills and other financial obligations while in Japan....

    Hello all! I am excited yet extremely petrified by being accepted as a ALT for 2014. I have a bit of questions in regards to my financial obligations while in Japan. I am not too sure about many, but I will still have pending credit cards and other monthly bills (in America) that I will have to pay for while in Japan for the next one-to-two years. If there is any sort of advice as to how I will be able to wire the money to the corresponding recipient, please help me out.


    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Bills and other financial obligations while in Japan....

    I think that most JETs use GoRemit (formerly GoLloyds) to send money back home. They will likely cover it at Tokyo and/or Prefectural Orientation, but if not, their website has pretty decent instructions on how to send money your first time. After the first time it is easy to do.

    Edit: This would be to wire money to your own US bank account. It would be more difficult to wire it directly to whoever you're paying. It'd probably be best to set up direct withdrawals from your account while you're in the US to pay the bills.
    Last edited by Shincantsen; April 9th, 2014 at 06:11.

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    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bills and other financial obligations while in Japan....

    You can also send home money through the post office bank, but I think GoRemit end ups being cheaper.

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    Default Re: Bills and other financial obligations while in Japan....

    Quote Originally Posted by Yunishkai View Post
    Hello all! I am excited yet extremely petrified by being accepted as a ALT for 2014. I have a bit of questions in regards to my financial obligations while in Japan. I am not too sure about many, but I will still have pending credit cards and other monthly bills (in America) that I will have to pay for while in Japan for the next one-to-two years. If there is any sort of advice as to how I will be able to wire the money to the corresponding recipient, please help me out.


    Thank you in advance.

    If you pay electronically from your bank account you will be fine. If you don't, its time to join the 21st Century. Use GoRemit or the JPost wire transfer (GoRemit is better 90% of the time) to send money back to your bank account in the states. Furi komi is super easy, GoRemit even has a blurb in Japanese to explain to a bank teller what you need to do if you need help with the ATM. JPost can set up the same thing for you too with the post office ATMs.

    The biggest thing is that it will take at least a month before you can send money back (you don't get paid until the end of August/applying to GoRemit takes a week or two.) Also, there is a limit on how much you can wire transfer per week/month. Make sure you have your first couple months payments lined up or ask for forbearance for a couple of months (August-October or so.)

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    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bills and other financial obligations while in Japan....

    I finally signed up for Go Remit, and their remittance limit is pretty high for JET's. You can send up to 300,000 yen per month, which is more than our salaries.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Bills and other financial obligations while in Japan....

    GoRemit is easily the most convenient (costs 2000 a transfer but so does the post office), just make sure you take your information with you when you leave (Acct #, Routing #, etc.) so you can set up the account.
    Last edited by Page; April 9th, 2014 at 09:40.
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    Comrade therealwindycity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bills and other financial obligations while in Japan....

    If you can pay by credit/debit card there's also an option of opening a Japanese card and just using that to make payments directly, but you'll have to calculate whether the overseas transaction costs will be any cheaper than remitting money home. Remittances are great when you want to send a lot of money at once, but they're really pricey if you want to send money home every month.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Bills and other financial obligations while in Japan....

    Yeah, you should definitely check with your home bank about their fees, BoA (US) charges $12 in wiring fees but I send enough money home to make it worth it. Some people who don't have a lot to send will send a chunk every 3 months to keep from building up in charges. Even if you get a JP card you may be faced with "conversion costs". It's also worth noting that for some things (student loans, most (all?) credit cards in the US) you can't make payments with a credit card, you have to pay with actual money from a bank account.
    Last edited by Page; April 11th, 2014 at 09:33.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini
    If you are a empty husk of a man with no ambition come on jet, stay forever, drink yourself into a stupor every night, hurl abuse at people on itil like a roided up chimp at the feces olympics and die of thyroid cancer in your early 40s.

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    Junior Member Yunishkai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bills and other financial obligations while in Japan....

    Thank you very much everyone for your input. I will be contacting my banks (BoA and Navy Federal) within the next month or two and figure out my options accordingly.

    Many thanks.

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    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bills and other financial obligations while in Japan....

    Navy Federal should be pretty good; I dunno about BoA, tho. Check out USAA; they don't charge fees of any kind for incoming overseas transfers, are super-flexible with their overseas customers, and are generally a pretty kickass company all around.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

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    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bills and other financial obligations while in Japan....

    Seconding the USAA recommendation. Their foreign ATM fees are also fairly cheap (they might even be free; I wasn't paying much attention last time I used my card). You have to do foreign transfers over the phone, but it was relatively painless (at least the transfer from USAA to Japan was).

  12. #12

    Default Re: Bills and other financial obligations while in Japan....

    Hi Page, was that $12 when you first did it? Just went to my branch and they told me it'd be $18. So with the GoRemit fees, that would be about $40 per transfer, right?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Bills and other financial obligations while in Japan....

    Isn't USAA still closed to non-military and their families?

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    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bills and other financial obligations while in Japan....

    Nah, their banking services are open to the public! Their insurance is still restricted to military + family members, unfortunately.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Bills and other financial obligations while in Japan....

    Does anyone have a certain credit card they'd recommend I check out? What's most commonly accepted there - visa, mastercard, etc? I understand Japan is still heavily cash based, but for online purchases or emergencies I'd like to have something.

  16. #16
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bills and other financial obligations while in Japan....

    Visa and Mastercard should be ok to use anywhere that already accepts cards since they also issue cards in Japan. I've never had issues with shopping online with either of them. I'm not sure about American Express or Discover or any other kind though.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Bills and other financial obligations while in Japan....

    citibank has accounts internationally. i wonder if i can just deposit in japan as well. brb research

  18. #18
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bills and other financial obligations while in Japan....

    Citibank, as far as I know, only has branches in Tokyo. You're highly likely to be placed far from those branches.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Bills and other financial obligations while in Japan....

    Quote Originally Posted by coop52 View Post
    Citibank, as far as I know, only has branches in Tokyo. You're highly likely to be placed far from those branches.
    Citi also has ATMs in Nagoya (at least in the airport in 2011), so there might be a branch there. https://www.citibank.co.jp/en/bankin...tm/pdf/atm.pdf The full list of ATM and bank branches. Looks like outside Tokyo and Osaka/Kyoto you're pretty much SOL.

    EDIT #2: You can apparently make Citi deposits through JPost and 7/11 ATMs for 100 to 200 yen in fees.
    Last edited by webstaa; April 14th, 2014 at 08:41.

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    disobedient avocado Lianwen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bills and other financial obligations while in Japan....

    Quote Originally Posted by letoastingman View Post
    citibank has accounts internationally. i wonder if i can just deposit in japan as well. brb research
    As a longtime credit card and banking citibank customer (for the past 8 years), this was the first thing I called and asked about. I know Webstaa provided a link, but Citibank views those ATMs as out of network and doesn't acknowledge them as NA Citibank ATMs, so unfortunately besides view your balance and pull money, that's all you can do with the ATMs in Tokyo. With the new fees, it's anywhere between 2.50$-4$ to pull money from a Citibank Japan ATM, even if you have free withdrawals from any Citibank ATM.

    Quote Originally Posted by webstaa View Post
    EDIT #2: You can apparently make Citi deposits through JPost and 7/11 ATMs for 100 to 200 yen in fees.
    I had heard this too, from gaijinpot, but when I called the international line the other day, the woman had no idea what I was talking about. Do you happen to have a source?

    Another thing about Citibank, and I'm sure this applies to other credit card and banks, but make sure you tell them you're going abroad. With Citibank, you have to notify them every 90days (or at least that's what I'm told). And, if you get a fraud notification (because you purchased something online but it raises a flag), my experience with Citibank is you should call right away...I didn't because I just ended up paying for my order via COD and Citibank closed my credit card account because they hadn't heard from me until I went to try and pay my monthly statement.

    I have the biggest lovehate relationship with CITI.
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    how many more threads in which BJ declares his love for lianwen do we need?

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