Which Rakuten Card is Better? Introduction and Recommendations

2022-01-17 LIFE
Living in JAPAN JOBS
Living in JAPAN JOBS

この投稿は 日本語 でもお読みいただけます

One of the most popular internet shopping malls in Japan is Rakuten Market, and this is used by a huge number of people. What makes this card so popular is the high point return rate when you purchase products on Rakuten Market with your “Rakuten Card”. Today, I will introduce you to the various types of “Rakuten Card” that are available.

What is the Rakuten Group?

Rakuten Market is a subsidiary of the Rakuten Group. The Rakuten Group provides more than 70 services. These include Internet services such as e-commerce malls, travel, and digital content. There are also financial services such as credit cards, banking, securities, electronic money, and smartphone application settlement, as well as mobile services such as a mobile carrier business; and involvement in professional sports.

What is the Rakuten Card?

Some credit cards that were issued overseas cannot be used when trying to purchase items via the Internet in Japan. For that reason, for people living in Japan, it is convenient to have a card that is issued in Japan. The Rakuten Card is a card issued in Japan. Foreign nationals can also apply for this. If you are not comfortable using Japanese, you can inquire to the contact center, and a staff member proficient in English will call you back.

Rakuten Card is also a subsidiary of the Rakuten Group. For frequent users of Rakuten Group, by consolidating your payments with Rakuten Card, you will be able to learn and manage Rakuten points efficiently.

Types of Rakuten Card

There are many different types of Rakuten Card.

  1. Rakuten Card
  2. Rakuten PINK Card: Rakuten Card + benefits aimed at women
  3. Rakuten Card academy: Rakuten Card aimed at students
  4. Rakuten Gold Card: Upper tier Rakuten Card
  5. Rakuten Premium Card: Upper tier version of the Rakuten Gold Card
  6. Rakuten Bank Card: A card with a Rakuten Bank cash card function attached
  7. Rakuten ANA Mileage Club Card: A card that enables you to choose whether to collect Rakuten points or miles
  8. Alpen Rakuten Card: This is a card that enables you to collect Alpen points at the same time as you collect Rakuten points

Comparison of the main types of Rakuten Card


*1 The point return rate other than when shopping at Rakuten Market is 1% for everything. When shopping at Rakuten Market, the point return rate differs depending on the card (Note that there is a monthly point limit depending on your Rakuten Point Club membership rank.)

Features of the Main Cards

Rakuten Card



  • There are permanently no annual membership fees
  • You can choose from a variety of designs
  • You can receive points as a present when joining and when using the card

Rakuten PINK card



  • You can choose from four cute card designs
  • Benefits that are customized especially for women, such as coupons and insurance, can be included.


  • Customization benefits are provided on a charged basis

Rakuten Card Academy



  • Even students (or foreign students) can apply
  • The Rakuten student discount is automatically applied
  • There is a high point return rate when using Rakuten books or Rakuten travel


  • Usage limit is a maximum of 300,000 yen
  • The only international brands are VISA and JCB

Rakuten Gold Card



  • Usage limit is a maximum of 2 million yen


  • There are annual membership fees
  • You cannot choose American Express for the international brand

Rakuten Premium Card

Characteristics of the Rakuten Premium Card and Comparison with the Rakuten Card


  • Usage limit is a maximum of 3 million yen
  • If you shop at Rakuten Market, the point return rate is 5%
  • Free use of airport lounges
  • The priority pass member card is free of charge


  • Annual membership fees are high

Rakuten Bank Card



  • You can manage the Rakuten Bank cash card and Rakuten Card with just one card
  • There is double the interest rate for ordinary deposit with Rakuten Bank


  • The international brand is JCB only
  • Family cards cannot be issued
  • It is not compatible with touch settlement/Edy

Summary: Which card is recommended?

There are other cards that foreigners residing in Japan can apply for, but when using the Rakuten Group, it is worth you looking into applying for the Rakuten Card.

There are various types of Rakuten Cards, but the “Rakuten Card” or “Rakuten Premium Card” is recommended if you are a working adult, or “Rakuten Card Academy” if you are a student.