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Yen vs. Amex Travelers Cheques 2008/9/22 03:14
What do you recommend:
1. Purchase yen ahead of time in the US.
2. Purchase Amex Travelers Cheques in US & redeem for yen in Japan
3. Is there a fee for cashing travelers cheques.
4. Obtain yen with debit card.
by pj  

Yen vs Travellers Cheques 2008/9/22 10:27
Why don't you do both a get
some Yen in cash as well as AMEX travellers cheques in Yen.
I know there available as i got them last time i went to Japan.
by Philip rate this post as useful

amex 2008/9/22 10:57
what fee are you charged for exchanging amex travelers check to yen at a hotel in japan?
by rj rate this post as useful

... 2008/9/22 11:48
Traveller's Checks can be exchanged at many hotels commission free and you already paid commission when you bought them from Amex. However, I find traveller's checks generally difficult to use outside major hotels and would recommend relying on cash instead.

I recommend getting a few hundred dollars in yen in the US so that you have cash when you arrive.

From then on either withdraw from a US checking account from Japanese Postal ATMs. The rate is typically good and the commission is low. I did this last week from my Bank of America checking account and got an exchange rate around 105 yen/dollar (not the best day to make a trade with the weak dollar) with a 1% commission and a $5 foreign atm fee. On $500 dollars of exchange that comes out to a 2% total fee.

Or you may find it easier to bring a bunch of traveller's checks and just exchange them for cash at your hotel instead of making trips to the post office.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Cash from ATM 2008/9/22 15:25
all the 7-11 have ATM accepting foreign bank cards. I live in North America and have no problems using my card in a 7-11 in Japan.They open later than the Post offices and are easy to find.
by Sensei 2 rate this post as useful

$$$ 2008/9/22 18:22
I just take a big wad of cash and use the credit card for a fall back. Tip with cash is don't carry it all in one place.
by RodW rate this post as useful

cash 2008/9/22 21:23
Everytime I go to Japan I just take a load of cash, then everyday I just take out a few thousand yen with me to cover food and stuff.
For big purchases I use credit cards where I can, and if I need more cash I go to the 7-11
by Kittywheaty rate this post as useful

. 2008/9/22 23:57
I disagree, just change your US dollars into Yen (cash) when you are in Japan. You seriously get ripped off back in the US when it comes to exchange rates. The rate is always better in Japan when it comes to exchanging dollars to yen.

The airport exchange office gives a pretty decent exchange rate in Japan, WAYYY better then in the US.

Traveler's checks also have a very good exchange rate at the airport offices as well.

The problem with 7-11 ATMs for foreign cards (at least when it comes to Bank of America cards) is the the MINIMAL withdrawal you can do is 10,000 yen. Shinsei bank also works with international cards, and you can withdrawal a standard minimal 1000yen +.

so points 2 and 4 are pretty good options, along with changing whatever cold hard cash you have as well.
by John rate this post as useful

best rates 2008/9/23 06:00
If you want the best rates you don't want TCs or to change money in the states. See:
by acase rate this post as useful

exchange rates 2008/9/23 08:45
I never change my money in the US simply because I live in Australia. I have always found the rates here as good as or better than Japan. That is why I take a lot of cash.
by RodW rate this post as useful

. 2008/9/24 01:51
I always get TCs in US dollars and get them changed into yen while I'm in Japan. My TCs are free, and there is no fee for cashing them in. Depending on when your flight arrives, you can use the money exchange at the airport to get some yen to start off with.

I normally send lots of postcards, so it's not an inconvenience to go to the larger post offices to cash TCs. I tried cashing them at a bank once and their process was longer and a bit confusing compared to the post office.
by Keim rate this post as useful

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