Free Point Cards in Japan: Types and How to use Them

Have you just discovered point cards in Japan, but you’re not quite sure which one(s) to use or how to use them? In this blog, you will discover the most popular point cards that are used in Japan and learn how to use them. Please note that the sources included in this blog are only available in Japanese.

Top 5 Free Point Cards in Japan

Table of Contents

The types of point cards listed below will have a legend on their websites to show which stores you can earn (たまる or 貯) and/or use (つかえる or 使) points. The best feature of point cards in Japan is that registering and the membership fee are free. To earn points, you will present your point card/app at the register; to redeem points, you will need to show your point card/app and ask the staff at the register if you can use a certain amount of points towards your purchase.

ponta icon

How to start: Register a Recruit account through here. Then, when they ask if you want to register for Ponta, proceed to sign up. You only need to confirm basic registration details such as your name, phone number and home address to sign up for the Ponta point program. 

Earn & use at: 

  • Lawson
  • LIFE
  • KFC
  • Hot Pepper (Gourmet and Beauty)
  • Japan Airlines
  • Takashimaya
  • and more

Tips: 

  • If you have LINE, you can add your Ponta account to the “My Card” feature found in the “Wallet” tab. “My Card” will allow you to instantly show Ponta’s bar code on your phone, scan it and get points.
  • If you have a Hot Pepper Beauty account (which is also connected to Recruit), your transactions will help you earn points for Ponta. You can also use Ponta points towards reservations you make on Hot Pepper Beauty.
tpoint logo

How to start: Register an account on Yahoo! Japan. Towards the end of the registration process, you’ll be asked if you have a T-point account. At that time you will choose “持っていない”, which means you do not have one, and you will proceed on to register your personal information.

Earn & use at:

  • Tsutaya
  • Yahoo! Japan Bookstore
  • Maruestu
  • Asics
  • New Balance
  • and more

Tips: Similar to the Ponta point card above, you can add your T-point account to the “My Card” feature on the LINE app. This will allow you to earn and use points just by showing your smartphone at the checkout counter.

dpoint logo

How to start: You will need to create a “d account” on docomo’s website. During the registration process, you will be asked if you want to sign up for the d Point program. If you’re interested, continue following their instructions (in Japanese).

Earn & use at: 

  • Matsumoto Kiyoshi
  • McDonald’s
  • Lawson
  • Family Mart
  • Sukiya
  • Mos Burger
  • and more

Tips: d Point has its own app which allows you to easily earn points and use them when you’re at the checkout counter. They have it on the App Store and Google Play.

nanaco_logo

How to start: Create an account and register for the Nanaco point card on their website. Similar to the other point cards sites, it’s only available in Japanese.

Earn & use at: 

  • 7-Eleven
  • Ito Yokado
  • Denny’s
  • Coco Curry House
  • Loft
  • and more

Tips: You add money to your Nanaco card at a 7-Eleven ATM machine or checkout counter as explained more in detail here (only in Japanese). The maximum amount you can charge your card is up to 50,000 JPY.

waon logo

How to start: You will need to register a membership account on WAON’s website. Once you input your information and confirm your account details, a point card will be sent to you via snail mail. 

Earn & use at: 

  • AEON
  • Daiei 
  • MaxValu
  • Mini Stop
  • Peacock Store
  • and more

Tips: WAON allows you to gather points with family members or friends who also have WAON POINTs to purchase gifts for a loved one as shown here (only in Japanese).

Japan makes it possible to earn and save with every purchase. After taking a look at the point cards above, which one is the best fit for you? If you have one already, would you like to share any other tips with us? Feel free to let us know. 

Related articles:

Instructions on Amazon Mastercard Japan Application

Steps on How to Apply for a Rakuten Credit Card

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