Amazon Japan and Citibank End Credit Card Partnership

October 2, 2008

I got the email today from Amazon Japan and Citibank Japan informing me that the Amazon Credit Card was going to end as of December 15,2008.

Although a reason is offered on Citibank’s Japanese homepage, the reason says that the card has been discontinued because the have decided to end their contract.

That is to say, no reason was given.

People will be sent a Citibank Classic card to replace their Amazon Credit Card, however the Amazon Credit Card had no annual fee whereas the Classic card has an annual fee of 3,150 yen. The annual fee won’t be charged until the current card is renewed (however I doubt that anyone is happy about going from a card with no annual fee to a card with one).

The Rewards Visa card in the US is done through Chase which I don’t believe has a presence in Japan so we’ll just have to hope that one of the other large credit card companies in Japan (Jomo, Resona, etc) pick up the slack because there is definitely a market for an Rewards card.

There are still several ways to pay for Amazon purchases, including a gift card that can be bought at most convenience stores, credit cards, the cell phone Felica payment system, and pay on delivery.

Personally I think Amazon will come out with a new credit card partnership sometime early next year, or maybe even in December as the current Citibank issued card comes to an end.

I haven’t seen any news about this in either Japanese or English newspapers. Anybody know anything about this, is this maybe a harbinger of some other Citibank or Amazon news coming out?