Issues with JCB and Discover in Japan

All about Discover & Diners Club - talk about their credit card deals such as the More, Miles, Escape, and others.
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zaxkcmous
 
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Issues with JCB and Discover in Japan

Postby zaxkcmous » Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:18 am

It's really strange how Discover works in Japan. Anyone else had issues with it? Sometimes I will use it at places that just have the Diner's Club sticker on the outside and it works, or sometimes no sticker of any kind at all like furniture stores, grocery stores, etc. However, Family Mart and 7/11(which I stop in there DAILY) are on nearly every street corner here in Tokyo but every time I try to use it at the counter it is not accepted even though they clearly accept JCB there. I can even pull money out of EVERY 7/11's ATM, yet out of all the other places I can swipe my Discover where JCB is accepted it does work at Family Mart, 7/11, Mini-Stop, etc....STRANGE. I even used it at a JCB merchant in Australia but not convenience stores in Tokyo. :confused:


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nismoZtuner
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Postby nismoZtuner » Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:51 pm

zaxkcmous wrote:It's really strange how Discover works in Japan. Anyone else had issues with it? Sometimes I will use it at places that just have the Diner's Club sticker on the outside and it works, or sometimes no sticker of any kind at all like furniture stores, grocery stores, etc. However, Family Mart and 7/11(which I stop in there DAILY) are on nearly every street corner here in Tokyo but every time I try to use it at the counter it is not accepted even though they clearly accept JCB there. I can even pull money out of EVERY 7/11's ATM, yet out of all the other places I can swipe my Discover where JCB is accepted it does work at Family Mart, 7/11, Mini-Stop, etc....STRANGE. I even used it at a JCB merchant in Australia but not convenience stores in Tokyo. :confused:


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djrez4
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Postby djrez4 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:24 pm

That's odd. I didn't use my Discover at all there, so I can't speak from personal experience, but I can't imagine that some JCB terminals would accept it and others would not. I had no trouble with Visa acceptance in either FamilyMart, 7-11, or Lawson. This may be something to bring to Discover's attention.

Side note - My CapOne360 MasterCard ATM card worked fine in the 7-11 ATMs and neither the ATM or CapOne charged me anything. It's nice to know there are still countries where banks don't charge you for access to your own money.
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kcm7
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Postby kcm7 » Mon May 12, 2014 10:06 am

djrez4 wrote:
Side note - My CapOne360 MasterCard ATM card worked fine in the 7-11 ATMs and neither the ATM or CapOne charged me anything. It's nice to know there are still countries where banks don't charge you for access to your own money.


That's good to know. I've been reading up on US card ATM acceptance in Japan, and I've been hearing mixed advice. Everything from, "Just go to 7-11" to "I tried going to 7-11, and it's a LIE. Not all ATMs there accept U.S. Visa/MC."

I've also heard Post Office ATMs accept foreign cards.

It's my first time going anywhere abroad, except for Europe. In Europe, I've always been able to pay for hostels in advance online, from home, using a credit card, which made things easier. In Japan, it seems, you make the hostel reservations online in advance, but you must pay IN CASH once you arrive. I really don't want to carry that much money (enough to cover all my hostel stays) around, so I'm really hoping that it's easy to get cashing using my Visa/MC debit card from ATMs. In fact, I'm counting on it!
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uhmgawa
 
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Discover card failures in Japan..

Postby uhmgawa » Fri Oct 24, 2014 7:53 pm

zaxkcmous wrote:It's really strange how Discover works in Japan.


Oh man, if you ever figure it out please share your findings.

After discussion with the Discover Card people a few months ago, I'd converted my vanilla Discover card to the "IT" version in preparation for a 2.5 week trip to Kanagawa. Reason being was the claim no foreign transaction fees would exist on purchases in Japan.

Well I just returned and my experience was the card was nearly universally declined with the single exception of an AEON grocery store. Hardly meeting the claim by Discover their card would be accepted anywhere a JCB card would be. A few vendors mentioned an "error" existed when they tried to run the card even manually, or my wife's duplicate card manually or magnetically.

I just got off the phone with Discover who had no idea why I was unable to use the card anywhere which accepted JCB. So I'm guessing this problem may be generic and am interested to hear whether other folks experienced the same trouble and more importantly if some way was found to work around the issue.

Thanks,

-ug

Michael
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Postby Michael » Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:02 am

It would be a lot easier if. The JCB logo were on the back of the discover card. Perhaps if enough people complain to Discover, they will do that.

uhmgawa
 
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Postby uhmgawa » Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:40 am

Michael wrote:It would be a lot easier if. The JCB logo were on the back of the discover card. Perhaps if enough people complain to Discover, they will do that.


I don't believe that would solve the problem. i did explain the Discover card was associated with JCB to several register folks however didn't get past the "error" complaint received when they tried to run the card. Frankly the only reason I was interested in using the Discover card was the belief it would be as universally accepted as a JCB card and the lack of a foreign transaction fee.

Since my post yesterday I coincidentally stumbled upon a promotion I'd received for a long forgotten CapitalOne Visa card and gave them a ring. I found they also assessed no fee on foreign currency transactions and as the card I'd been issued was a Visa, that should fly just about anywhere in Japan. The promotion being offered was for their "Quicksilver" card which offers a 1.5% accross the board cash back and bests any other credit card I have. So I'm probably going to punt the Discover Card at least for now as in my recent experience I've found it to be essentially useless in Japan. The Discover folks do however seem well intentioned and I hope they can work the issue out. But I can't really wait for that to happen and I don't believe I've ever had an issue trying to use a Visa branded card in Japan over the past 20 years.

-ug



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