Japan - Apparently 7-11 ATM's are now charging fees for withdrawals (Alternatives?)

Hi all,

I've got a trip to Japan coming up in March this year and recently signed up for a Citibank Plus debit card to take advantage of its fee free ATM withdrawals, good exchange rate and no currency exchange fees. This will complement my existing Bankwest Zero credit card (No currency conversion fees and uses Mastercard exchange rates).

I was hoping to use the 7-11 and Japan Post ATMs as most people report that they are easy to find and don't charge fees but I came across a post in the /r/JapanTravel/ subreddit today where a user mentioned that 7-11 ATMs are no longer fee free.

ATM's and fees - Saw this post first
7-eleven atms is starting to charge fees? - Original source

u/chapberry - It used to be free on the japan side when i use an atm in any of the 7-eleven convenience stores. Only charge on the parent bank. Now it says they will charge a fee depending on how much i withdraw. Anyone experiencing the same thing?

u/ShawninOP - Changed over a month ago.

u/EvoEpitaph - 108 yen for < 20000 yen. 216 yen for => 20000 yen I believe.

Can anyone who's recently travelled to Japan confirm if this is the case? if so, are there any ATMs that are still fee free?

Now I realise that a fee of 108 Yen (~ $1.26 AUD) for withdrawing < 20,000 Yen (~ $233.19 AUD) or 216 Yen (~$2.52 AUD) for > 20,000 Yen is hardly going to break the bank, but I'd like to avoid any fees if possible - thats the whole point of the Citibank Plus debit card! (it could end up costing me a kings ransom worth of Onigiri!]

Worse case scenario is to take out larger sums of money per withdrawal in order to minimise fees.

Edit: It appears that there are two versions of the Citibank Plus debit card - a Visa one (older) and a Mastercard one (newer - I have this one). Users are reporting that the Visa cards are seeing the fees at ATMs whilst the Mastercard versions should still be fee free.

Comments

  • +8

    This is what I experienced in Japan over Christmas. 7-11 ATM wanted to charge fees.

    The only ATM I found that did not is SMBC Prestia - and it has to say "Prestia", as the usual SMBC ATMs will charge you as well. From memory SMBC took over Citibank in Japan.

    SMBC Prestia is available in the major cities but it can be scarce depending on where you are.

    • Thanks for the feedback!

      I'll definitely be on the lookout for them.

      • +1

        Like Kacak, I have a Citibank Visa, not a Mastercard. But report back how you go with your Mastercard!

        • Will do!

        • Mastercard and Japan generally do not mix

        • +3

          @mezje:

          Why? I had no issues using Mastercard everywhere that CC was accepted. Whether they accepted CC in the first instance is a different matter :)

        • 7/11 and other companies have a history of banning Mastercard for withdrawls due to MC charging more fees than Visa. If you google it you will see.

        • +1

          JR dont accept Mastercard either. Can confirm from personal experience

    • +3

      Worth noting Japan Post ATM's don't have a fee still

      • +2

        I'm sure I tried a JP Post ATM and was warned of fees. I tried a variety of ATMs, even Aeon which was supposed to be fee-free too. Maybe having a Citibank Visa is the problem, but mine is expiring soon so all good!

        • Thanks for your feedback, it is appreciated!

          The Citibank Visa/Mastercard mystery deepens haha, I'll have to give it a go when I get there.

        • +3

          Last month I used several ATMs at 7-11 and Lawsons with citibank card. They warned of fees but were actually never charged. Confirmed by checking receipt and statement.

        • @Green Man: Awesome! thanks for the feedback :D

      • Thanks for the heads up, I'll definitely give them ago.

      • I was charged with a Citibank Plus Mastercard at a Post Office in Tokyo, not much - about 200 yen, but there seems to be a charge. I only used one as I walked past one when i needed quick cash.

    • +3

      citibank have an app so you can look up all ATMs that should be free in your area

      • Thanks for the tip!

    • Citibank cash withdrawal works at SMBC Prestia with no fees (i have a CB visa debit) - we went to the major tourist spots around Tokyo and it was easy enough to find at least one Prestia in the main districts. Worth checking out the local map but I'm sure they are usually within walking distance of the train stations - will you have Google maps/internet with you? Not sure about further out from Tokyo. We put big purchases on my 28degrees mastercard and used cash for small things at family mart & 7-11. Some boutique and niche places still only take cash. It is quite safe in Tokyo and Japan in general (been 3 times now without issues) but still use your common sense when carrying large sums of cash around. Enjoy!

  • +9

    Sign up to ING Direct and use their Orange Everyday, therefore you can withdraw from any ATM in Japan without fees. Only condition is that you need to make a deposit of $1k each month and from March 5+ purchases every month. https://www.ing.com.au/everyday-banking.html

    • Doh!

      I actually just closed this account late last year when they first announced they were planning to introduce this (before I bought tickets to Japan).

    • +9

      I can confirm ING is very good to use overseas. Just came back from travelling south east Asia and atm fees were rebated and having no international transaction fees means I didn't have to do big atm withdrawals

      • +1

        What are ING local ATM usage charges like? nearly all ATMs are fee-free now right?

        What is their exchange rate like? Do they use the visa rate like Citi?

        ING have managed to get ALL ATMs around the globe fee-free? My understanding was that local banks could still charge for fees? (like this case where Citi charges no fee, but 7eleven will)

        • +2

          ING customers can use any local atm for free, not just the big four bank ATM's. The ATM operator fee is rebated immediately.

          They use the visa exchange rate with no international transaction fees.

          Overseas ATM operator fees are rebated by ING so you don't pay the fee whereas with citibank you are charged the ATM operator fee.

        • +1

          @phew:

          Thanks for the info!

          Oh ATM fees get rebated? I noticed in Thailand/Myanmar that a bunch of ATMs were charging VERY high fees (no option, had to use them) but on my statement the fee just didn't appear. The statement said 0 fee and when i did the exchange rate manually it was the same as the Visa rate (so they didnt sneak it into the final amount)

          I wonder if the 7eleven ATM fee actually appears on the Citi statement.

        • +1

          @incipient:

          Good observation, I just checked my Citi statement and it says 0 transaction fee as well. However, when calculating using the Master exchange rate calculator, they seem to have snuck the ATM fee into that, unfortunately.

          This was true for Canada, Japan, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. I can only check my withdrawals up to Feb 2017. I'm so happy ING rebates fees now, 7/11 ATMs were free for me (108 JPY rebate) when I was in Japan last December

      • My partner (who is Japanese) attempted to use IGN card in Post ATM and it didn't work! She was kinda panicking but found an 7-11 and it worked fine and no fee and Visa exchange rate. So would 100% recommend ING as there are more 7-11's then Post offices around.

        This was Dec/Jan just gone

    • +1

      Damn I'm going to Japan this month, If I knew that I would have deposited money/made some purchases with the ING card last month!

      Great deal , I was thinking of cancelling after the cashbacks ended.

      • +1

        Damn I'm going to Japan this month

        Does it hope to know that I'm envious? :)

    • +1

      What counts towards the 5+ purchases? Do internet payments such as BPAY count if I'm overseas for longer than a month and can't make payments directly with the card?

    • They also have their $100 sign-up bonus at the moment.

      Mod: Edited. Use referral system

  • take cash?

    • Yep, am planning on bringing over a couple of hundred to begin with but then use the debit card to draw on funds as required (as it's a 3 week trip).

      Just a bit uncomfortable with the idea of carrying around large amounts of money at any one time. More due to the fact that I am a klutz rather than fear of getting mugged.

      • +5

        You just lose money randomly?

        • +11

          I think we must follow OP around.
          PAYDAY

        • @tuzii: LOL, unfortunately I have a bad habit of misplacing things

        • +1

          @Chimpus:

          A sound plan until you misplace your debit card…..

          Just a word of warning, Japan require all foreigners to have their passport with them at all time(unless you're living there and have the resident id card), and if a cop ask, you need to show them. I hope you don't misplace your passport in the trip.

        • @CityEnd: Yikes! thanks for the warning :)

        • +3

          @Chimpus:

          Don't worry about this, I came back from Japan <1 week ago and never once did I take my passport out with me. Clubs and other establishments will accept your driver's license as proof of ID. I have been to Japan multiple times for up to 2 months and have never spoken to a Japanese cop in my life.

          You can add money to your Japanese transit card (japanese myki/opal) where you can purchase things from most stores i.e. Bic Camera, uniqlo, all convenience stores. The good thing is that you can get the amount refunded + the initial 500 deposit if you put in too much money.

          Edit: Used Citibank Mastercard and 0 fees were charged, I still have the receipts if you want to see.

        • +2

          @yoyomaster123:

          Just cause it never happened to you doesn't mean it doesn't exist, it's actually the law in Japan and you should respect the laws of the counties you're visiting. It's not about identification, it's more about checking your Visa status.

          http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/tetuduki/zairyuu/ryoken.ht...

          Cops in Japan can also detain you for up to 23 days without reason. So don't get on their bad side.

          http://japan.embassy.gov.au/tkyo/arrests.html

          With all that said though, I'm not trying to scare Chimpus, I actually love Japan, it's a very safe and respectful place. As with anywhere, you give respect, you get it back.

        • +1

          @yoyomaster123: Thanks for feedback!

          Will definitely load some extra money into a transit card for purchases :D

        • +1

          @CityEnd: I'm grateful for any and all advice that's being provided :)

          As it's my first time to this wonderful country, I'm trying to pick the collective brains of other travellers who have already been to make sure I haven't left out anything important and ensure that I make the most of my time over there.

        • +1

          @Chimpus:
          All good there Chimpus, I actually think you won't have a problem there. Judging by this thread alone, where you appreciate and respect everyone's input, replying to as many post as you can, "+"ing all comments. You will experience great things in Japan. Appreciation and showing appreciation a long with respect is a big thing over there, once they sees you appreciating the little things they do for you, they will be willing to go to extra mile for you.

          If you have any question about Japan, feel free to PM me, I lived over there for a bit, but I came back to Aus 8 yrs ago, so my info might be a bit out of date but hopefully helpful.

        • +1

          @CityEnd:

          I think you're definitely fear mongering, just because its the law doesn't mean Japanese cops can't make calls based on their own judgements. From what I've seen from afar, they are very reasonable and tolerant even to a fault. The possibility of an on-spot visa check is the same as winning the lottery in my opinion.

          Rules like this are similar to other posts that say you cannot eat or drink while walking or not to hold your chopsticks the wrong way. Some people take the Japanese polite culture to the next level, even further than Japanese people themselves.

      • It's very highly unlikely you'll get mugged. Chances are the rates from the atm's are better than exchanging in Australia.

    • +2

      Mastercard/Visa exchange rate is usually much better than currency exchange places in Chinatown (which have much better rates than banks).

      I always do ATM withdrawals for pocket money and mostly pay through card when I can.

      • Yeh, that's what I have in mind as well.

        The original plan is to use my Bankwest Zero Credit Card (no currency exchange fees) as much as possible but I ended up getting the Citibank Plus after hearing about how Japan is still a fairly cash based society.

  • +7

    I experienced this with my Citibank Plus ATM card during my trip last month too.
    After cross-checking with others in my travelling group who also had the same account, I noticed that those on the older cards with the Visa debit logo (including mine) had the fee notice show up on the ATM machine as well as receipt, but interestingly, my friends on the newer cards with the Mastercard debit logo didn't show any signs of fees….

    • Thanks for feedback!

      My debit card has the Mastercard logo (only arrived last week) so it'll be interesting to see if this is the case.

      • +2

        It was consistent across 2 Visa & 2 Mastercard ones, so hopefully it's the same for you. The fee notice shows up immediately after you enter your PIN on screen, so that'll be the first sign. Then it's also printed as a separate item on your ATM receipt.

        In any case, the fee is still marginal and worthwhile when withdrawing larger amounts - the rates were really good, much better than any moneychanger in Sydney.

        • Awesome!

          Yeh, that was my thinking as well - Plan B all sorted haha

  • +7

    post office ATM

    • +1

      Post office ATM?

      • +12

        post office ATM

        • Oops haha,

          Thanks for the feedback!

          I'll definitely keep an eye out for them.

        • +2

          @Chimpus: though not every post office has one.

        • @altomic: Ahh fair enough, appreciate the clarification!

  • +2

    Came back <1 week ago, and

    108 yen for < 20000 yen. 216 yen for => 20000 yen I believe.

    Was indeed the case.

    • Awesome, thanks for the confirmation!

    • +1

      still cheap as chips really in the big picture!

    • +1

      Did you check your statement to see if the fee made it all the way through? I had a similar case overseas when the ATM said it charged a very high fee, but it never appeared on my statement.

    • +1

      I came back 2 weeks ago and these exact charges apply for all ATM's in 7/11. I don't think I was able to find any ATM's in Japan that didn't charge some sort of a fee. I wish I'd known about the Japan Post ATM's earlier :(

  • +2

    if I remember I will go to the post office this week and check if their ATMs have fees or not.

    • That would be amazing if you could :)

      • +1

        I've got a pretty bad flu at the moment so I am trying to stay indoors. When I'm feeling better I will do it.

        • Ouch, no worries :)

          Hope you get better soon!

    • +1

      It would be great if you could also confirm whether you have the Citibank Visa or Citibank Mastercard. Thanks!

  • +1

    So no fees from any ATM with Orange everyday? Even if the ATM states there are fees?

    • +1

      Yep seems that way, Barkley confirmed it above

    • +4

      The atm will charge you their atm fee however ING will rebate the fee similar to how they do it with Australian atm's. Also no international transaction fees are charged.

  • +1

    Bring cash & use 28deg card everywhere where accepted

    • +4

      Aussie dollars won't work over there and getting yen in Australia means you get ripped off mega badly by cash exchange people.

      That $2.50AUD fee to withdraw looks pretty darn cheap now!

    • +1

      28 degrees used to be good not any more I cancelled after 8 years of use

  • +1

    They are pretty rare, but citibank atms work as well.

  • +1

    Did you check Macquarie Bank, they are offering free overseas ATM withdrawal? Check this https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/355271

  • +1

    When my citibank visa card was still working I wasn't charged a fee when using Aeon atm but was charged when using 7 11 atm. My card expired so I had to switch to the Macquarie bank card which uses mastercard. So far only tried it on aeon atm and didn't get charged a fee.

  • +2

    You're going to spend $10-20k for your Japan trip and you're worried about a ~$2 transaction fee?

    • +2

      Haha fair point,

      Nothing wrong with saving a few bucks whenever I can :)

      • I'm all for saving money, but you would spend more on your daily coffee

        • It's the siren song of every increase from Governments everywhere, "It's less than the cost of a coffee per day / week / month."

  • +4

    Returned from Japan last week from a 7 week trip and I wasn't charged a fee by a 7 bank ATM once. Was using the new mastercard citibank card. Post offices did charge me a fee if i remember correctly.

    • That's great news, thanks for the feedback!

    • +1

      Great, another sample to add to my theory so far 😳

    • +2

      7 weeks?! Jelly

    • +1

      Likewise didn't get charged any fees on my citibank mastercard debit. Travelled late jan to over 7 different cities. All fee-free at the 7/11 ATMs

  • +2

    Just checked my withdrawals in Japan last December. AEON bank ATMs and Lawson ATMs have been fee-free.

    7/11 ATMs have changed 108 JPY which ING had rebated.

    • Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated :)

  • +2

    I was in Japan from Dec 5 - Dec 19. Withdrew using both Citi and ING, no ATM fees for either at 7-Eleven.

    In saying that, I've now been to Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and am currently in Laos using only my ING card. It's been a life saver. All ATM fees have been rebated ranging from $3 - $7 AUD. Stoked, considering I'm overseas for another 10 months.

    • That's great news!

      Thank you for the feedback :)

      Just curious, is your Citibank card the Visa or Mastercard version?

      • +5

        Mastercard. I had the Visa version a couple of weeks before leaving, but its expiry date was midway through my trip. I asked for a new card with a new expiry, but they refused and told me I'd have to request a new one while I was overseas once it expired. So I reported my card as lost/stolen and voila. New card, new expiry, and updated to Mastercard :)

        • Haha cheeky :)

    • +1

      Just beware of the ING rule change from 1 March:

      International ATM withdrawal fee rebate
      Offer will apply for the next calendar month when you perform the following during the current calendar month:

      *deposit at least $1,000 from an external bank account to any personal ING account in your name (excluding Living Super and Orange One), and

      *from 1 March 2018, also make at least 5 card purchases using your ING debit or credit card (excluding ATM withdrawals, balance enquiries, cash advances and EFTPOS cash out only transactions).

      If you're overseas for the next 10 months, I assume that you can't make that 5 card purchases in Australia to get the rebate offer going from April onwards (unless overseas card purchase is counted as well, but better check with ING to confirm).

  • +2

    Not an answer to your question as such, but in the interest of avoiding fees make sure to only withdraw between 9am and 6pm (some machines allow 830am to 630pm) and never on weekends or public holidays since ATMs here charge “overtime” fees outside of those hours, even if the transaction would’ve normally been free.

    • +1

      Wow this is the first I've heard of this.

      Thanks for the heads up, will definitely keep it in mind :)

      • +1

        Yeah, ATMs I’m Japan are odd. Though it’s less common now, many of them still close at night as well :/

        If you plan on using the train a bit, get yourself a Suica train card and load that up with yen. Most shops that are close to a station will let you use the card to pay for food and electronics too and that way you don’t have to worry about transaction fees or ticket prices

        • Thanks for the tip!

          Didn't know that the Suica card could be used for to pay for other things besides trains. That's really convenient :D

        • +1

          @Chimpus:

          No problem!
          Look for the green penguin mark if you want to pay by suica. Or just say “suica de” and they’ll let you know if it’s possible :)

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