Translated by Sandy Lau
Rakuten Credit Card: Advantages And Tips On How To Apply
Written by Lin
Interested in saving money on your travels and shopping? We recommend getting a Rakuten Card to earn points while spending! The application process is very simple for non-Japanese residents and students, so read on to learn more about its merits and how to apply.
Enjoy Shopping Perks with a Rakuten Card!
Rakuten Card is one of the most popular credit cards among foreign residents in Japan. There are few restrictions when applying, which makes it attainable for non-Japanese residents—including overseas students.
In this article, we'll introduce the advantages of having a Rakuten Card along with tips on the application procedure. Check out how to apply in the latter half of the article and snag your own Rakuten Card!
The Advantages of Using a Rakuten Card
In addition to not having an annual fee, Rakuten Card is a foreigner-friendly credit card and the application procedure is very simple. But what exactly are the merits of this cashless payment method by Rakuten Card?
1. It's Easy to Earn Points
In 2020, Rakuten credit cards won first place in three categories (Japanese): “Most Points Earned in the Past Year,” “Customer Satisfaction with Point Integration,” and “Points Customers are Happy to Receive.”
The card's shopping reward points are the reason for these top awards. You earn 1 point for every 100 yen spent shopping with a Rakuten Card. You can also shop for bargains on Rakuten Marketplace (Rakuten Ichiba), their e-commerce website, as many sellers offer a high rate of return on points.
Points can be used while shopping on Rakuten Marketplace, Rakuten Books (Japanese), and other affiliated stores with every point equivalent to one yen. Moreover, you can earn or use points for daily purchases using the Rakuten Pay app—a mobile payment system.
Rakuten Card members are placed into categories according to the frequency and amount used on their credit cards. Benefits and rates earned during exclusive events change as your status level upgrades. The more you use your card, the more money you save!
2. Earn Points by Paying Your Utility Bills
Monthly utility bills—electricity, water, and gas—can be paid with a credit card in Japan. If you opt to pay with your Rakuten Card, you’ll earn points equivalent to the amount spent. It’s great to get a handle on your monthly expenses while earning points. Not to mention, this incentive will prevent you from forgetting to pay the bills.
3. Convenient for Overseas Travel
Another benefit is the ability to withdraw money abroad in the local currency at an ATM. Our Taiwanese writer usually carries Japanese yen, so she uses her Rakuten Card to withdraw New Taiwan dollars when visiting home.
Reference: Rakuten Card Overseas Cashing (Japanese)
Types of Rakuten Credit Cards
There are currently ten different Rakuten credit cards available. We will introduce a few of the most commonly applied for cards.
The Rakuten Card is the e-commerce giant's namesake credit card. The company holds exclusive campaigns that either reward 2,000 points to newly registered members or 5,000 points for first-time users of the card.
This card also comes with convenient services for overseas travel, including international travel accident insurance, loss and theft protection, Wi-Fi rental discounts, and more. Even if your trips abroad are infrequent, we still recommend this card for those who travel overseas.
Rakuten ANA Mileage Club Card
We recommend this card for those who frequently fly for travel or business. It includes the perks of the ANA Mileage Club on top of the existing features of a Rakuten Card. Every two Rakuten Super Points earned can be converted into one ANA mile.
Campaigns are also held during certain periods. Some include the ANA Raku Pack’s (Japanese) 4,000 yen coupon that is valid on Rakuten Travel (an online hotel booking website), 2,000 bonus points for new members, and 5,000 points for first-time card users.
Rakuten Card Academy
Students between the ages of 18 and 28 are eligible to apply for this credit card. You can earn up to quadruple points when purchasing books or DVDs on Rakuten Books. Additionally, triple points can be earned when reserving an express bus through Rakuten Travel.
Rakuten PINK Card
This credit card allows customers to select an adorable design for their card, such as Mickey Mouse or Rakuten's official mascot the Shopping Panda. This card earns up to double the points on Rakuten Travel. It also gives female cardholders the ability to join accident compensation insurance.
How to Apply for a Rakuten Card
Credit card applications can be completed online. Choose the card type, then fill in the form with basic information such as your full name, gender, date of birth, phone number, and email address.
Choose to Opt-in for Newsletters
Below the email address field, there is a section titled “Rakuten Card and Rakuten Point Card Newsletters.” Select whether to opt-in or opt-out from e-mail newsletters detailing exclusive event and other notifications. If you don’t want to miss out on any deals, then select “opt-in” (受け取る).
In the section titled “Occupation and School,” select “Student” (学生の方) if you’re enrolled in a university and fill out information on your school on the next page. If you’re a part-time employee, a full-time company worker, or have any other occupation, then select “Employed” (お勤めの方).
Bank Account Balance
Bank account balance (預貯金額) refers to the current amount in your bank account. Select the amount of money you can spend on credit payments in a year. You will be asked to provide information on your bank account, so please select appropriately.
Select the Purpose of Use
On the card's "purpose of use" section, the selection titled “for everyday shopping” (普段のお買い物に利用) refers to those who will use the card for daily purchases. “For borrowing funds” (現金のお借入れ等に利用) is ideal for applicants who are applying for a card to borrow cash. If you intend to borrow money, it would be best to select this option.
Applying for an Installment Plan
You can apply for an installment plan by checking apply (申し込む) in the section titled “Apply for Automatic Revolving Service” (自動リボサービス申し込み). This is not recommended for automatic payments as additional fees will be incurred. If you don’t require this service, check “do not apply” (申し込まない).
In the dropdown menu for “Card Cashing Limit” ((カードのキャッシング枠), select your desired cash limit for withdrawal.
ETC Card Application
For those who drive, an ETC (Electronic Toll Collection) card would allow you to pass through expressway tolls without stopping. Another benefit is the ability to earn points from expressway fees. While the annual fee for the card is 550 yen, the cost is waived under certain circumstances.
Rakuten Edy Feature
Rakuten Edy is a prepaid e-money feature that can be added to your credit card. The “Edy Auto-Recharge Setting” will automatically recharge your balance once it dips below a specified amount. The sample above is set so that once the card dips below 3,000 yen, it will be recharged with an additional 3,000 yen.
Additional Benefits of Using Rakuten
When applying for your card, you can save additional money by consolidating your bank with Rakuten Bank. The application to open an account with Rakuten Bank can be completed online. With every card transaction, you can check your balance or make a bank transfer through the app.
As of October 2020, the interest rate for Rakuten Bank is 0.02%. By linking your Rakuten Bank account to your Rakuten Card, this rate will be increased to 0.04%.
In addition to earning points for money spent on Rakuten Mobile, there's an additional 1% point on Rakuten Market. Apply now and start accumulating points from your monthly spending!