The 6 Best Travel Money Cards for Japan

Claire Millard
Ileana Ionescu
Last updated
29 May 2023

When visiting Japan, using a travel money card specifically designed for yen transactions can make spending and withdrawing yen cheaper and more convenient. There are various options available, such as travel debit cards, prepaid travel cards, and travel credit cards, each tailored to different customer requirements. The right one for you will depend on your personal preference and how you like to manage your money.

Keep reading to explore the different types of travel money cards, look at some great options to consider, and the sorts of fees you need to think about when you choose.

Wise - travel debit card for Japan

Before we get into details about different travel money card options, let’s start with the Wise card as a good all round option for a travel money debit card you can use to hold and spend JPY and a good selection of other currencies too.

Wise accounts can hold and exchange 50+ currencies, and you can get a linked Wise card for a one time delivery fee. Top up your account in pounds and switch to JPY before you travel, so you know your travel money budget in advance. All currency conversion uses the mid-market exchange rate, with low fees from 0.41%.

Go to Wise

Here are some of the pros and cons of the Wise travel money debit card, to help you decide if it’s right for you:


  • Hold and exchange 50+ currencies alongside JPY

  • No fee to spend any currency you hold, low conversion fees from 0.41%

  • Mid market rate on all currency conversion

  • Some fee free ATM withdrawals every month

  • No ongoing fees and no interest to pay


  • 7 GBP delivery fee

  • No option to earn points or rewards

Click here to read a full Wise review

What is a travel money card?

Similar to a regular bank card, a travel money card can be used for online and in-store payments, as well as cash withdrawals. However, with a travel money card you’ll find the features and fees have been optimised for international use. That might mean you get a better exchange rate compared to using your normal card overseas, or that you run into fewer fees. Some travel cards also have options to earn cashback and rewards when you use your card internationally.

6 travel money cards for Japan compared

We’ll look at each of these card options in a little more detail in just a moment, but let’s start with an overview of how 6 top travel money cards for Japan line up side by side:

ProviderTypeDelivery feeJapan ATM feeInterest ratePOS feesExchange rate
WiseDebit 7 GBP card order fee, optional express delivery from 12 GBPSome free withdrawals every month, low fees after thatNot applicableFree to spend any currency you hold, currency conversion from 0.41%Mid-market rate
RevolutDebit Variable fee based on location and account tierSome free withdrawals every month based on account tier, low fees after thatNot applicableFree to spend any currency you hold, currency conversion free to plan limit, 0.5% fee after thatMid-market rate to plan limit, 0.5% fee after that
Post OfficeDebit Variable fee based on location200 JPYNot applicableFree to spend JPY, 3% fee if you spend an unsupported currencyMastercard rate
MoneseDebit Variable fee based account tierSome free withdrawals every month based on account tier, low fees after thatNot applicable2% for Simple account holders, fee may be waived for higher account tiersMastercard rate + 2% (fee may be waived for higher account tiers)
BarclaysCreditNo feeCash withdrawal interest rate will be charged25.9% variableNo feeVisa rate
HalifaxCreditNo feeCash withdrawal interest rate will be chargedVariable rates, confirmed after eligibility checkNo feeMastercard rate

As you can see, the features of different travel money cards can vary pretty widely. Travel debit cards are typically a convenient and affordable option, whereas travel credit cards may offer attractive rewards such as cashback. However, using a travel credit card could potentially lead to interest charges and late payment fees, depending on how you choose to clear your bills.

One important consideration when heading to Japan is how much it’ll cost you to make cash withdrawals while you’re there. Japan is still a very cash dominated country, so while carrying a large sum of cash isn’t a smart idea for security reasons, having a card which has low or no ATM fees is.

Ultimately which card is best for you will come down to how you like to manage your money - we’ll dive into a few more details about each card type, next.

What are different types of travel cards?

Broadly speaking, UK customers are able to select a travel money card from either a regular bank or a specialist provider, which may be a travel debit card, travel prepaid card or a travel credit card. We’ll walk through what each travel money card type is, and pick out a couple of good card options, so you can compare and choose.

1. Travel debit cards

2. Travel prepaid cards

3. Travel credit cards

1. Travel Debit Cards

Specialist providers often offer travel debit cards that come with linked digital accounts to manage your currency balance. Although different cards may have their own features, they are typically easy to top up online or through a mobile app, with the added convenience of receiving transaction notifications and tracking your balance via your phone. That makes it easier to keep on top of your money, no matter where in the world you are.

Travel debit card Option 1: Wise

Wise is our best value travel money debit card for Japan. There’s no fee to open a Wise account, and just a small delivery fee for your Wise card, with no minimum balance and no monthly charge. You just pay low Wise fees from 0.41% when you convert currencies, and transparent transaction fees when you exhaust the monthly free transactions available with your account.

  • No fee to open a Wise account, no minimum balance requirement

  • 7 GBP one time fee to get your Wise card

  • 2 withdrawals, to 200 GBP value per month for free, then 0.5 GBP + 1.75%

  • Hold JPY and 50+ other currencies, convert between them with the mid-market rate

  • Get local account details to receive 10 currencies including GBP for free

Click here to read a full Wise review

Go to Wise

Travel debit card option 2: Revolut

Revolut has a selection of different account tiers, so you can simply pick the account you prefer - from free Standard plans to the 12.99 GBP/month Metal plan. All Revolut accounts have linked cards, although exactly what type of card you get depends on your account tier. You can hold around 25 currencies including JPY, and convert currencies with the mid-market rate to your plan’s allowance.

  • No fee to open a Standard Revolut account, or upgrade for up to 12.99 GBP/month

  • Card delivery fees may apply depending on your account tier

  • All accounts have some fee free currency conversion with 0.5% fair usage fees after that

  • Standard plan holders can withdraw 200 GBP (up to 5 withdrawals in total) per month for free

  • Hold JPY and around 25 other currencies

Pros and cons of using debit travel cards in Japan


  • No interest costs or late payment fees

  • Hold and convert currencies in advance or at the time of spending

  • Accounts can be topped up, viewed and managed digitally

  • Safe to use, as accounts aren’t linked to your main UK bank account

  • Travel debit cards are issued on popular global payment networks


  • Transaction and currency conversion fees may apply

  • Cash back and rewards may not be available

Click here to read a full Revolut review

Go to Revolut

How to choose the best travel debit card for Japan?

The best travel debit card for Japan really depends on your personal preferences and how you like to manage your money. If you’ll be travelling widely it makes sense to look for an account with mid-market currency exchange and a large selection of supported currencies as well as JPY, like Wise. Other providers like Revolut can also be a good pick, particularly if you’ll use your account very frequently and would prefer to pay a monthly fee to unlock lots of fee free transactions and extra perks.

Is there a spending limit with a travel debit card in Japan?  

Different providers set their own limits for card use. Limits may apply daily, weekly or monthly, and can apply to different types of transaction. Daily limits may apply to the number of ATM withdrawals or the amount of contactless payments you can make, among other things. These limits are set for security and can sometimes be managed and changed in the provider’s app.

2. Prepaid Travel Cards

With a prepaid travel card you’ll need to order a card and add funds in the supported currency of your choice. Once you have a balance you may then be able to switch to the currency you need, to pay merchants and make cash withdrawals. While prepaid travel cards are usually issued on large global networks - and can therefore be used pretty widely - not all cards support all currencies, so you may find you pay a foreign transaction fee if you pick a card which doesn’t support all the currencies you use.

Prepaid travel card option 1: Post Office

You can pick up a Post Office prepaid travel money card in a Post Office branch or order one online. You’ll then be able to top up in pounds or one of the 22 supported currencies, which includes JPY. If you hold JPY in your account there’s no fee to spend when you’re in Japan, but if you don’t have a JPY balance - or if your JPY balance isn’t high enough for the transaction, you’ll pay a 3% foreign transaction fee.

  • Hold and exchange 22 currencies including JPY

  • No fee to spend a balance in a supported currency

  • 3% foreign transaction fee when spending a currency you don’t hold on the card

  • Variable ATM withdrawal fees - 200 JPY for use in Japan

  • No interest to pay

Click here to read a full Post Office review

Go to Post Office

Prepaid travel card option 2: Monese

Monese accounts can be opened by UK residents to hold GBP, EUR and RON. There are several different types of accounts, from the Simple account which has no monthly fees, to fee paying account tiers which have more features. It’s free to spend a balance you hold - but as JPY isn’t a supported currency, you may find you pay a foreign transaction fee of 2% when you’re spending in Japan. Foreign transaction fees may be waived for higher tier account holders.

  • Hold a balance in GBP, EUR or RON

  • Choose a free Simple account, or upgrade to an account with monthly fees

  • Foreign transaction fees of 2% may apply depending on your account tier

  • ATM withdrawal fees may apply, depending on the value of withdrawals and the account tier you hold

  • Track and spend Avios reward points within your account

Go to Monese

Pros and cons of using prepaid travel cards in Japan


  • Manage your account online or with an app, to add more money or convert funds

  • No monthly fees for some account options

  • Multiple supported currencies, with no fees for spending a currency you hold

  • Global ATM withdrawals offered

  • Some accounts have extras like options to earn reward points


  • Typically not a huge range of currencies supported

  • Transaction fees apply to most accounts

How to choose the best travel prepaid card for Japan?

There’s no single best travel prepaid card for Japan - it’ll come down to your personal preference. If you hold a Monese Classic or Premium account already it’s good to know that the 2% foreign transaction fee is waived, which means you get the card network rate when you spend in Japan. This may be cheaper than using your regular bank card. The Post Office card can also be a strong pick as you can hold a JPY balance, which you can spend for free, plus you can get a card instantly by walking into a Post Office branch.

Is there a spending limit with a prepaid card in Japan?

Different prepaid travel cards set their own limits for spending and withdrawals, which can  vary between currencies. You’ll need to check your card’s terms and conditions carefully to make sure you pick a provider which suits your needs.

3. Travel Credit Cards

Travel credit cards come with added international features such as low or no foreign transaction fees and rewards for international spending. Although they are safe and convenient, they can be more expensive compared to using a debit card. Before you select the right card for you it’s important to check the fees, rates, eligibility rules and interest rates which apply, so you can make sure it’s a good fit for you.

Travel credit card option 1: Barclaycard Rewards Visa

The Barclaycard Rewards Visa card has no foreign transaction fees and no international ATM fees. Instead, your overseas spending is simply converted to pounds using the Visa exchange rate, before being added to your monthly bill. You’ll need to repay your bill in full every month to avoid fees and interest, but can earn cashback on your day to day spending.

  • No foreign transaction or foreign ATM fee

  • Earn cashback at 0.25% on spending

  • Protection on purchases over 100 GBP

  • International spending uses the Visa exchange rate

  • Variable interest rates which apply if you don’t pay off your bill in full

Travel credit card option 2: Halifax Clarity Mastercard

The Halifax Clarity Mastercard has a variable interest rate which you can see when you check your eligibility for the card. There’s no foreign transaction or foreign ATM fee to pay, and all currency conversion uses the Mastercard exchange rate.

  • Variable interest rates

  • Check your eligibility and order a card online easily

  • No foreign transaction fee

  • No ATM fee - but interest will accrue instantly when you make a withdrawal

  • Mastercard exchange rates apply

Pros and cons of using credit cards in Japan


  • Spending from 100 GBP has extra consumer protection

  • Spread the cost of your travel over several months

  • Check eligibility for a card online with no impact on your credit score

  • You may pay no foreign transaction fee and no ATM fee

  • Network exchange rates usually apply, which are usually pretty fair


  • Interest charged if you don’t repay in full every month

  • Eligibility rules apply

How to choose the best travel credit card for Japan?

The best travel credit card for Japan will depend on your personal preferences. If you’re interested in earning rewards and cash back on your overseas spending, the Barclaycard Rewards Visa might be a good pick, as it has no foreign transaction fee and offers cashback on all spending. Whichever card you’re considering you’ll want to weigh up the potential fees you’ll need to pay against the rewards you can earn to make sure it’s worthwhile.


If you’re off on a trip to Japan you might want to get yourself a travel money card for convenient spending in JPY. Travel money cards have different features, and can be picked up via regular banks, online specialists and even the Post Office.

You could opt for a low cost travel debit card which comes with a linked account to hold a selection of currencies - like the Wise account. Or you might prefer a prepaid travel money card like the Monese card which can be linked to either a fee free account or an account which has monthly fees in exchange for lower transaction charges. Finally, another option is to get a travel credit card either to earn cashback and rewards, or to avoid foreign transaction fees.

You'll be pleased to know that there are plenty of options available in the UK for travel money cards. Use this guide as a starting point to research and find the best option that fits your specific needs.

Order your Wise card for Japan

FAQ - Best travel cards for Japan

Can you withdraw cash with a credit card in Japan?

You can usually make cash withdrawals with a credit card in Japan at any ATM that supports your card network. Occasionally ATMs in Japan can’t accept foreign issued credit cards, although this is becoming less common over time. You’ll often find that a fee applies, and you may start to accumulate interest on the withdrawn amount immediately. Travel money debit cards from providers like Wise and Revolut can be a lower cost option for cash withdrawals in JPY.

Can I use a debit card in Japan?

You can use your debit card anywhere you see the card network’s logo displayed. However, it’s worth being aware that card acceptance in Japan isn’t as high as in the UK, so you’ll also need to carry cash just in case. Visa and Mastercard networks are very well supported globally, including in Japan, making these good options to look out for when you pick your travel debit card for Japan.

Are prepaid cards safe?

Prepaid cards from reputable providers are safe to use at home and abroad. They aren’t linked to your main bank account which can offer extra peace of mind, and may also make it easier to manage your travel budget. However, you’ll need to check the card features and fees carefully to make sure you're getting the best match for your needs.