Friday, September 25, 2009

Western Union in Japan and about money when traveling

I was checking their website other day and noticed that service is not available in Japan. Please be aware if you are traveling to Japan. I used Western Union before and it is quick and good service for money transfer. Needless to say that is great help for travelers in emergency situations, when money can be transferred from friends and relatives at home.

Western Union not offering money transfer in Japan came as a big surprise. They have very extensive list of countries where they offer services – starting from Afghanistan and ending with Zimbabwe. I guess in Japan many people want to send remittances home as it is popular country for guest workers. I wonder what happened ?

Also I wanted to add that exchange rates in Japan are expensive in banks and foreign exchange counters. Depends from country where you start journey, but it is probably cheaper to change currency to yen outside Japan. When I travel I bring yen and then change in foreign country. Yen is accepted almost everywhere in the world.

In Japan, credit cards can be used in post office ATM machines (I tried and it works). Yet, I think travelers cheques is smart choice when traveling abroad. They can be recovered when lost and sometimes there is no fee for cashing them. I used to buy Thomas cook travelers cheques in pounds and cash them in Thomas cook offices in UK without any charge, whereas if I would have used credit card I would have to pay much higher commission fee.


Alison said...

Also, you can use foreign cards in 7-11 ATMs in Japan now...

Mountaincat said...

Well, thank you! That's good update! 7-11 are almost everywhere.