Getting your first credit card

One of the first things that took us by surprise when we moved to Japan was the reliance on credit card here for almost any financial transaction. It is almost impossible to buy something as basic as a phone without a credit card. I will write another piece on how to get a phone in Nagoya. For now I am going to try and explain the easiest way to get a credit card if you are an employee/student in Nagoya University.

As most forums will tell you, getting the first credit card is most difficult (as there is no credit score etc. etc…).  I had no clue in the beginning, but two of my friends helped me a lot to figure it out. I will give a step by step guideline for it.

You need following things to get a credit card (this is purely based on my experience, it may vary for others so please do not take it verbatim).

  • Residence card with address notified on the back of it.
  • A savings bank account in a Japanese bank (easiest is to go to the Japan Post Bank branch in the University and open a 0 yen account. It hardly takes 20 minutes)
  • A phone number of your office or home where they can contact you. This is the most important part because they will need to verify your credentials, so you need to give a phone number which you can access easily when they try to contact you. My verification was done by a person who knew English also, so it was easy.
  • Photograph

Once you have arranged the above things, you need to go to the Nagoya University Co-op shop located near Akasaki Institute. You can pick up “Tuo” credit card forms. The form is completely in Japanese, however you can download an ehandbook from the website of the credit card company ( In spite of the English instructions you might need to take help of someone who knows Japanese, particularly to fill your bank account details etc. Once you have filled out the form and pasted the photograph, you need to take this back to the co-op and submit it at the “Travel” counter (left side of the first entrance).


And its done. Well at least your part is done. Now you have to wait for the verification, they will most probably call after one week and ask about your address, name, date of birth etc. If everything goes fine, you should receive your credit card approximately within one-two weeks after verification.

One last note- Issuing credit card is completely at discretion of the credit card company (in this case- Mitsui Sumitomo) so you might get rejected even after following everything. However, I hope you get it. So best of luck.


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