I am back in Tokyo for my fourth trip to Japan in the last year. Something new that I wasn’t too up on in my late days here is the “T Point” card, which is heavily promoted by Family Mart, a major convenience store chain. I think that the T Point rivals Ito Yokado (7-11) ‘s Nanaco. I still have my old, well-used Nanaco, and it is so worn out as to not look like anything but a white card anymore.
The things you forget when you are away. T Point accrues points when you buy things, but Nanaco—as I should have remembered—is working like a bank, where you put money in, and then get points as you use the Nanaco to pay for things at participating Ito Yokado stores. If it’s one yen savings per hundred, it is paying for the transaction fee for me to get yen.
I got confused as to how the programs work, so I am there with my broken Japanese explaining that I want the points for the Nanaco like they’re T card points (bank them, don’t necessarily use them). I forgot these small details that you have to put money into the Nanaco card to get the points.
On the way home, I realized what was going on, and felt bad that I don’t remember all the small parts of life from five or ten years ago.
The next day, I put a 10,000 yen note on the counter and had them load the Nanaco. Last summer that 10,000 yen cost about $100, now it’s closer to $80. (American a/k/a real dollars.)
The low exchange rate for yen is the best customer rewards card going. Effectively, a pre Plaza accord (pre 1985) yen.
I know the rule book says they still have to ask for T Point at the store counter, but enyasu from the Bank of Japan is twenty times the discount card. Good throughout Japan in any establishment that takes yen.