Best in class
We've been meaning to write a post like this for a while now, to discuss the best financial products and providers available in Japan.
This is just an initial list. I can see this becoming a regular feature, with intense competition for the top spot in the list each year ;)
Just to get us started, here is a rough initial list with some candidates for some of the categories:
Current account: I'm a big fan of Shinsei Bank. They have a decent website and you can do almost everything online. You get a couple of free transfers every month. You can take money out of ATMs in Japan and abroad without paying fees.
Savings account: any suggestions?
Mortage provider: when I was shopping for a mortgage last year the best options seemed to be smaller, regional banks. I ended up getting a mortgage with Shonai Bank, based in Yamagata.
Broker: Monex seems to have the widest range of products, while SBI and Rakuten also seem decent options.
NISA account: Monex for the range of options.
iDeCo account: SBI seems to have the widest range of funds.
Robo-advisor: THEO for ease of use, but WealthNavi claims to do tax-loss harvesting (this would make it a more valuable service).
International money transfer: TransferWise for ease of use and low fees.
Credit card: I use JAL/ANA cards to maintain my status with them. United cards seem to be good for casual air miles. Any other good options?
Debit card: LINE Pay seems promising (2% cashback).
Electricity provider: I looked at this before, but didn't find anything compelling.
Internet provider: I'm not happy with NTT, but haven't found anything better. Sony's service looks good, but is not available in Tohoku.
Private health insurance: any suggestions?
Life insurance: any suggestions?
Accident/liability insurance: any suggestions?
Car insurance: any suggestions?
P2P loans: Maneo seems popular.
Cryptocurrency: I've been using bitflyer. Happy so far.
Phew. This should be a start. Any other categories we should consider? Any other contenders for top product in an existing category?