Characteristics of the Rakuten Premium Card and Comparison with the Rakuten Card
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Rakuten Card is a card in which annual fees are not charged on a permanent basis, and is an extremely popular card with people living in Japan. However, for people who have the opportunity to use airports frequently, the higher-level card, “Rakuten Premium Card” may have further advantages. Please read this in conjunction with the previous article “What is the “Rakuten Card, a popular credit card in Japan?”
Comparison of Rakuten Premium Card and Rakuten Card
*1 Underwriter insurance company: Rakuten General Insurance Co. Ltd. There are certain conditions for using the insurance.
Advantages of the Rakuten Premium Card
Advantage 1: You can apply for the Priority Pass free of charge
The Priority Pass is a service that can be used in more than 1,300 airport lounges.
The Rakuten Premium Card member themselves can apply for the Priority Pass, and is able to utilize the same level of service as the highest rank “pre-stage member” free of charge. (Annual fees for pre-stage members are normally US$429) As this does not depend on the airline or class of airline ticket you purchase, this can also be used on a discount air ticket.
Advantage 2: You are able to use the main domestic airport lounges
When using Priority Pass at airports in Japan, you can only use the lounges at Tokyo Narita International Airport, Osaka Kansai International Airport, Nagoya Chubu Centrair International Airport, and Fukuoka International Airport. However, if you present your Rakuten Premium Card, and “airline ticket or stub” for proving you will be boarding a flight that day, you can also use the main domestic airport lounges.
Advantage 3: Applied insurance
The Rakuten Premium Card comes with significant insurance benefits compared to the Rakuten Card.
Advantage 4: ETC card annual fees are permanently free of charge
In the case of Rakuten Card, if you attach the ETC card, annual fees of 550 yen (inclusive of tax) are required. However, with the Rakuten Premium Card, annual fees are permanently free of charge.
Advantage 5: Birth month service
If you purchase from the Rakuten Ichiba/Rakuten Books on your birth month, the equivalent of 1% of your purchase amount shall be added as points.
Advantage 6: Able to choose preferential services
You can choose services fitting your lifestyle from three preferential services.
- Rakuten Ichiba Course
If you purchase from Rakuten Ichiba on Tuesdays or Thursdays, the equivalent of 1% of your purchase amount shall be added as points.
- Travel course
If you settle Rakuten Travel online, the equivalent of 1% of your purchase amount shall be added as points.
There are also free coupons for the luggage delivery, which can be used twice per year*2
*2 Narita International Airport, Haneda International Airport, Kansai International Airport, Chubu International Airport only
- Entertainment course
If you use Rakuten Books or Rakuten TV, the equivalent of 1% of your purchase amount shall be added as points.
Advantage 7: Easy to pass the screening
It is said to be relatively easy to pass the investigation compared to other credit cards. Provided you are 20 years of age or above and have a stable income, you can apply.
Recommended for foreign nationals living in Japan
The Rakuten Group has a wide variety of services such as banks, insurance, electricity and mobile etc. There are 16 services currently in the “SPU (Super point up program”), where you get a higher point return rate the more you use the group services. Among these, there are services where the Rakuten Premium Card point return rate is high, and they are extremely good value when used along with other services.
Additionally, among credit cards that can use the Priority Pass without restriction, the low annual membership fee is also a big advantage.