Money and Bank Accounts

Questions about Money

Question: Do you keep a savings account at home, transfer money home, or just save at a bank in Japan?

Answer: Most people keep their bank accounts at home. Many JETs transfer money home, and most use GoLloyds to transfer money home, to save or pay off loans or whatever. Saving in Japan is nearly pointless since they don’t offer much return. Of course, having a bit extra in your account in Japan (for emergencies) is a good thing.
This is a rough outline of the process to transfer money from Japan to overseas, via GoLloyds:

1. Transfer by furikomi (just means electronic transfer via ATM) from Japan bank to Golloyds account. For example, 130,000 yen. (the bank will usually charge a small fee like 650 yen or something to do the transfer, but it’s not much) [Of course, you need to set up your account with GoLloyds first – go to their website and follow the steps. You need to be living in Japan to do this, and it takes about 2 weeks]

2. Golloyds receives the amount, charges 2000 yen commission, (128,000 yen after) and then multiplies by exchange rate. That varies, as you know, so let’s say it’s around 96.5, (Japanese yen to U.S. dollar) and so the final amount to get transferred would be about $1,326. (You make money if the exchange rate is low, lose if it’s high, so if it’s low the fees don’t mean anything, esp if sending a lot of money).

3. Golloyds transfers through the intermediary bank, which charges like $10 or 20 or something small like that.

4. Money goes to our U.S. account, still around $1300. Again, this will vary depending on the exchange rate, whether your bank charges money to get a transfer, etc.

There really isn’t a cheaper way to do it, or easier way. You can also go to a Japan Post office and fill out a paper and give them cash to send money via post – but it costs more and takes 3 or more weeks, whereas GoLloyds takes only a few days at most.