Although most guides to Japan tell you that credit cards are not widely accepted in Japan, that is becoming less and less of a problem every year as people start using credit cards more often. This recent survey from MyVoice into credit card usage, the second time this has been conducted, shows how monthly spending averages are increasing.
Over the first five days of March 2008 14,886 members of the MyVoice internet community completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 54% of the sample were female, 2% in their teens, 15% in their twenties, 38% in their thirties, 29% in their forties, and 16% in their fifties.
This year I’ve just got a new card from Conan (the DIY store, not the barbarian or the detective) and I’ve quit using but not got round to cancelling my Asahi Bank Visa which used to be Miffy-branded, but then they changed the design to a boring floppy-eared rabbit photo without telling me. I also want to apply for an Daiei credit card as they do Hello Kitty branding, so getting a revoltingly pink one for use overseas would be rather entertaining.
I also have a gold card from my employer, but it’s pretty useless with the only bonus being free entry into rather naff gold card lounges at airports, and as I have to use it for business trip expenses which they don’t refund until after the statement comes, the company gets a percentage of the money spent in fees and doesn’t need to pay the employees for about two months after the expense.
If you want to look more at Japanese credit card designs, I’ve found two galleries, Credit Card Navi and Credit Card Design.
Q1: How many credit cards do you have? (Sample size=14,886)
|Three or more||48.7%|
The number carrying three or more has increased 10 percentage points since the last survey two years ago, but on the other hand the number carrying none has also slightly increased, up half a percentage point.
Q2: Do you have a gold card? (Sample size=credit card holders)
Q3: From which issuers are your credit cards from? (Sample size=credit card holders, multiple answer)
|Mitsui Sumitomo Visa||26.5%|
Q4: Which issuer’s credit card do you use the most? (Sample size=credit card holders)
|Mitsui Sumitomo Visa||14.4%|
Q5: For the credit card you use the most in Q4, which of the following uses do you put it to? (Sample size=credit card holders, multiple answer)
|Home electricals, furniture||52.1%|
|Daily necessities, home accessories||45.0%|
|Travel, leisure fees||41.1%|
|Food and drink||39.7%|
|Hobby, pleasure-related purchases, payments||38.7%|
|Books, CDs, DVDs, etc||35.0%|
|Heat and light||27.2%|
The usage rate is up around 5 percentage points for all categories since the last survey two years ago.
Q6: About how much do you charge to all your credit cards in total each month? (Sample size=credit card holders)
|Up to 3,000 yen||8.5%|
|3,000 to 4,999 yen||6.1%|
|5,000 to 9,999 yen||11.3%|
|10,000 to 19,999 yen||14.9%|
|20,000 to 29,999 yen||12.7%|
|30,000 to 39,999 yen||9.9%|
|40,000 to 49,999 yen||8.5%|
|50,000 to 69,999 yen||9.7%|
|70,000 to 99,999 yen||6.8%|
|100,000 yen or more||11.0%|
Q7: Within the last year, have you signed up for or cancelled a credit card agreement? (Sample size=credit card holders)
Read more on: credit card
|Signed up only||23.7%|
|Both signed up and cancelled||8.0%|
|Neither signed up nor cancelled||62.9%|