Anonymous asked in TravelAsia PacificJapan · 10 years ago

why isnt my bank of america debit card working for atm in japan?

i called bank of america yesterday and told them i was in japan.

the lady said i should be fine to take out money.

today i went to a post office and i couldnt take out money.

i also went to a 7-11 atm and i couldnt take out money.

what the f is wrong with bank of america? if they are not the problem, what is?

ive been penniless for the last few days, in JAPAN of all places. someone please help me.


@tokyo e:i dont think its because im trying to take out too much. the first time i tried to take out only 5000 yen, and it didnt work. i have at least 200 dollars in my bank accoutn, which would help me last very well until i leave. so it made no sense that i couldnt take out just 5000 yen, which is basically around 50 dollars. i tried a few more times, and at a 7-11 atm, i tried 10,000 yen, but still didnt work. so its not that im going over the limit. the 7-11 atm told me my card was invalid, which doesnt make sense since on my debit card, it says until april 2013.i dont know what my daily withdrawl limit is;maybe its pretty low that i cant even take out 5000yen, so im going to try to take out 1000 yen at least next time. another thing is my friend, who is also from america, was perfectly fine when he did it at an atm that wasnt post office or 7-11 that didnt work for me. the difference would be that he is citizen of us while i am not.

Update 2:

and yeah im definitely taking travelers checks next time.

im in kashiwa, chiba prefecture btw. its about 30min train ride to ueno, and all my atm trials have been in kashiwa, as well as my friend. while he was successful all the time, i was not.

Update 3:

i dont have a star or cirrus symbol on the back of my card

Update 4:

i should be able to take out money without a problem, but i cant.

Update 5:


1.a possibility. is correct for sure.

3.they havent given me any notice that its suspended

4.i have at least 200 dollars in account

5.the card i received worked before back in america. also mailed by BofA doing the operation in English. its definitely not wrong. taking out only a small amount.

8.probably yeah

Update 6:

i need a star/cirrus symbol for it to work on atms??

12 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    So your friend's card works just fine but your's doesn't?

    Try Citibank ATMs:

    Finally if Citibank Does not work, try Shinsei Bank:

    ACTUALLY since you are in KASHIWA try Shinsei Bank first:

    Before going to Citibank.

    Shinsei Bank KASHIWA Branch:

    1-4-3, Kashiwa, Kashiwa-shi, Chiba, 277-0005 

    @ Docomo, my Japanese bank card work in America, they are on the PLUS network.

    Source(s): I have a BofA card, and my friend visiting used hi BofA card too at the Post Office/Shinsei Bank without problems. I understand the situation you are going through so let's troubleshoot this through.
    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    As you said, what the f is wrong? The bank card tied to my U.S. bank is supposed to work at all the post offices, but guess what? That's right, doesn't work. Theory/idea versus reality. Now I wouldn't get all angry at the Bank of America off the bat. I use a different bank and it doesn't work either. Get upset with the Japanese. It's what I do. Sounds like it is their fault, not your bank's. But either way, you are basically up the creek without a paddle. You might try to go to a bank and see what can be done. You do speak Japanese well enough to get your problem explained, right? If not, it goes back to being up the creek without a paddle.

    The only thing I can think of is to actually call your bank and explain the problems you are having. I'm not giving that much hope though, but it is the only thing I can think of. I mean, the lady already told you that there wouldn't be a problem. But now that means you can blame the U.S. lady and the Japanese to take your frustrations out on.

    Do you have anybody you know that can go to a bank with you and explain your problem? I've had similar problems with my U.S. based credit card not going through, but when push came to shove, they made a phone call and they used the old type impression thing to take my card.

    I hate to say this, but going to a foreign country without traveler's checks is a very, very bad idea. As you have now learned. Next time, okay?

    NOTE: You've at least learned something. Traveler's checks. They work every time.

    Additional note: I feel sorry for you, I really do. I've gone through the same kind of thing, but always had a fallback of a Japanese based credit card. Things just don't work out sometimes and you, my friend, are getting first-hand experience of that.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 10 years ago

    This is because your card is being flagged by the Japanese system as being foreign.

    It is not the fault of your bank. This happened to me often when I first moved to Japan and before I got Japanese credit cards.

    I am very sorry. I know it must be difficult for you.

    People will thumb me down sensing that this accurate information makes Japan look bad or claim that your experience is rare or that you are just making it up because you dislike Japan.

    From the State Department:

    "The use of credit/debit cards is not widespread, particularly outside major cities. While there are ATMs in Japan, most are not open 24 hours a day only a very limited number accept U.S.-issued cards. ATMs at major airports, foreign bank branches, Japanese post offices and some convenience stores are more likely to accept foreign cards than are those at other locations. Travelers should have access to sufficient funds through credit cards, debit cards, or cash to carry out their travel, and know how to contact their banking or credit card establishments in an emergency. Please be aware that there is no Western Union service in Japan".

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 10 years ago

    Check the back of the card. Does it have the Star or Cirrus symbol? If it does, you should be able to take money out. And you're sure your 4-digit pin number is correct, right? And does your Bank of America account have a low balance limit?

    Sounds to me like you'd better contact Bank of America. Their international toll-free collect call number is 1.315.724.4022. Good luck!

    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 10 years ago

    I agree with E Tokyo. Try to take out small amounts daily as opposed to one large amount. I It might be too late know but in the future, consider a pre-paid credit card. It can be used in any country and the rates are much better than what your bank will charge you for withdrawing cash

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 10 years ago

    Check the back of your card.

    If you find Cirrus or Plus marks, it will work at Post office's ATM.

    If it has Maestro or no marks, then you won't be able to withdraw your money.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • ?
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    They do not work. Same here in the USA, you can not use Japanese issued Bank Card.

    It is for a security, try American Express Card

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 10 years ago

    try going to a bank, those atms might use different technology or only use japanese characters to process your card

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    1) card magnetic bar is out of order

    2) pin number is misunderstood or wrong

    3) your card is temporary suspended by BA

    4) No balance

    5) your card is fake

    6) your operation is incorrect

    7) withdrawing amount is wrong

    8) God dislikes you

    cirrus/star symbol is essentially necessary to proceed with any plastics valid through ATM anyway.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 3 years ago

    Lots of good answers already for this question

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.