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Signature or Pin for Credit Card? 2008/2/13 11:01
I've been reading some old threads about having to use a pin number to be able to use your credit card in Japan rather than your signature as we would in Australia.
I dont know my pin number as its never used here, and its not something the bank just give out over the phone its mailed out, and probably wouldnt come through before i leave for Japan...
Will they accept signatures in Japan if you dont have a pin? im generally going to be using the card to purchase Train tickets, in restaurants and shops. And have informed the bank we are going to Japan so they dont block it when they see overseas activity.
by Steve  

Credit card PIN 2008/2/13 11:54
Steve,

Maybe the comments you saw were about withdrawing cash from ATMs? I've never been asked for a PIN when using a credit card for purchases in Japan. A signature is all that is required - and even that is rarely looked at.
by Dave in Saitama rate this post as useful

Thanks 2008/2/13 12:12
Thanks Dave, I think they were saying certain shops were asking you to put the pin in rather than sign, I thought this was odd and wondered if they were maybe confusing debit with credit cards...

Do most main restaurants in Tokyo, Osaka,Kyoto take credit cards without any problem?

How about in ski resorts like Hakuba? ive heard there not so commonly used and its cash only? is this still the case.
If so what about travelers cheques, do hotels change them for you? is it best to buy them in AUD or USD?
by Steve rate this post as useful

. 2008/2/13 12:14
Based on my experiences, making purchases using a credit card:
@ Train Stations (manned ticket office): signature
@ Department Stores: signature
@ Hotels: signature
@ Restaurants: signature

Note that many train station machines do not take credit cards.
Some of the special JR machines (the purple/pink ones) ask for a PIN apparently, not sure exactly on that, I just book long distance rides at the manned counter.

Bigger restaurants took cards. Smaller ones might not. If in doubt, there are usually signs by the cashier.
by John rate this post as useful

. 2008/2/13 13:47
If you buy your ticket at a midori no madoguchi, JR ticket counter, they'll ask your PIN.
by tokyonet rate this post as useful

. 2008/2/13 14:02
If you buy your ticket at a midori no madoguchi, JR ticket counter, they'll ask your PIN.

Having purchased dozens of tickets from the JR ticket office with a credit card, they have always asked for a signature.
by John rate this post as useful

thx 2008/2/13 17:53
thanks everyone, any experience of Travellers cheques ?
Or credit card use in Hakuba?
by steve rate this post as useful

... 2008/2/13 18:06
Signature vs. PIN for credit cards:

- If you use credit card for shopping at shops or train station counter (where you deal with store clerk, not vending machine), they ask for your signature.

- If your card comes with an IC chip, AND if the shop has one of those small PIN entry devices attached to their cashier machine, then they MIGHT ask for you PIN. But if you don't remember it, you can always sign.
by ... rate this post as useful

debit cards... 2008/2/13 19:03
so any issues regarding using debit cards instead?
by liangzzz rate this post as useful

IC cards 2008/2/13 21:35
as ... said, PIN only used if you have an IC-chip credit card, and the merchant has a terminal that reads the IC chip card.
by anon rate this post as useful

. 2008/2/14 05:44
"Having purchased dozens of tickets from the JR ticket office with a credit card, they have always asked for a signature."

Of course, they do. I didn't say that because I thought it was obvious..

They also ask your credit card PIN.
by tokyonet rate this post as useful

pin or signature 2008/2/14 06:23
At any place where I have used a credit card in Japan, I have only ever been asked for a signature, not a PIN. I have used my credit card at hotels, restaurants, shops and twice, at the JR ticket office.
But I use a true credit card, not a debit card.
by Spendthrift rate this post as useful

. 2008/2/14 07:08
They also ask your credit card PIN.

Maybe I should have been a lot clearer. They have always asked me for my signature and have never never asked for my pin.
by John rate this post as useful

T/Cs 2008/2/14 07:20
I normally use USD traveller's cheques and exchange them at the larger post offices or at the airport. Larger hotels may exchange it for you as well.
by Keitm rate this post as useful

... 2008/2/15 15:25
An increasing number of establishments in Japan asks for PIN numbers instead of signatures for credit card purchases. I am now using my PIN code about half of the time as opposed to using a signature. But I am pretty sure that you can alway opt for a signature in case you don't know your PIN code.
by Uji rate this post as useful

. 2008/2/15 15:32
Many credit cards (US credit cards) don't have pins. You usually have to request them and they are usually used for cash advances then for regular credit spending. Pins are mostly used for Debit cards. (again in relation to US cards).

I'm sure it might be different for other countries.

Now since it is though for a foreigner living in Japan to get a credit card, I'm not sure how Japanese Credit cards work, if they come default with a pin.

Debit cards are a little rare in Japan, though Tokyo Star bank introduced a Visa debit card. J-Debit is kind of different.

I know when using my bank card which has J-Debit, I punch in the Pin at the counter, since it is debit. But I don't have a Japanese credit card, so I use my US based one, where they have never ask me for a pin.
by John rate this post as useful

. 2008/2/15 15:35
"Debit card when using the debit vs the function".
by John rate this post as useful

... 2008/2/15 16:47
Now since it is though for a foreigner living in Japan to get a credit card, I'm not sure how Japanese Credit cards work, if they come default with a pin.

Yes, all the Japanese credit cards I got (all of them were easy to get for me as a foreigner without permanent residence status), came with a PIN, i.e. I specified the PIN number on the credit card application form.
by Uji rate this post as useful

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