Apple Pay New Life spring campaign page has lots of goodies for Apple Pay Japan users. Here’s a quick look by category with very subjective ratings for usefulness/motivation value using a five star system, just like iTunes: ★★★★★
Points are pointless. The point exchange stores for each card vendor never have anything I want or find remotely useful. The whole setup feels like cereal box tops for secret decoder ring from childhood: the one that was a rip-off.
Mitsui Sumitomo: Not bad actually. 5 times points that you can exchange for ANA mileage, other point systems or gift coupons. ★★★
TS3: 5.5 times points. And a catalog of exchange goods. ★★★
Aeon: 5/10 times points depending on where you use Apple Pay. Let’s see, exchange points for Waon points so I can buy real stuff at …..Aeon run stores. I’ll pass, the Okada family is rich enough already.★★
Orico: 5 times points. The Amazon gift coupon trade-in sounds nice, the iTunes Gift Code trade-in sounds nicer.★★★
au: 500 point reward. The only good thing about au points is using them to upgrade to the latest greatest iPhone.★★
Rakuten: 555 point reward. Rakuten has lots of stuff and points are useful if you use it frequently.★★★
Softbank: 500 point reward. au again.★★
APLUS: 1,000 T-Points. Stinky useless T-Points. ★
POCKETCARD: 5/10 times points if you use the Family Mart T brand card. 5% cash-back for other brand cards.★★
Demae-kan (in-app/web): 1,000 T-Points. Stinky useless T-Points. And you have to sign up.★
Usually the first 1,000, 5,000 50,000, etc., Apple Pay users who spend a determined amount are eligible for points or cash-back credit. If you are a lucky winner, that is.
View: 1,250 points each for 5,000 lucky winners. JR East, you can do better than this.★
MUFG: ¥50,000 in cash for 50 lucky winners. I will not be one of them. ★★
Cedyna: 50% cash-back to the first 50,000 entrants each month. But the small print says only up to ¥2,500. Suckers.★★
AMEX: ¥5,000 cash-back to the first 20,000 users who spend ¥50,000. ¥50,000?! What a group of rip off investment bankers. Zero stars
Life: ¥5,000 cash-back to the first 500 users who spend ¥5,000. ¥1,000 cash-back to the following 20,000 users who spend ¥5,000. This sounds normal, compared to AMEX. ★★
EPOS: 5,000 points to 2,000 lucky winners who spend ¥5,000. Meh. ★
JALAN (in-app/web) 1,000 points to 1,000 lucky winners who use Apple Pay with the JALAN app. Cheap but at least you can use it when staying at a hot spring ryokan. ★★
Cash-backs are simple and attractive but often mangled with arcane rules to get the goods.
JCB: 5% cash-back up to ¥5,000 to all campaign applicants and ¥10,000 cash-back to 555 lucky winners who use Apple Pay five times. Why all the five business anyway? Is this some kind of subliminal marketing trick? ★★★
Saison UC: 5% cash-back on a day of month with number 5. Also ¥91,900 cash-back to 30 lucky winners,¥|9,190 to 300 winners, ¥919 to 4,000 winners. But what do those numbers mean? ★★★
Suica: 1,000 Cash-back when you renew or purchase Suica transit pass. Nice idea but registering the Suica card number from the Suica app is a pain. ★★★
No fuss or complicated entry procedures here, just a nice simple discount at the cash register.
MINI STOP: ¥50 discount off a vanilla softcream. Insanely simple instant gratification, evil genius, and delicious. ★★★★★
Matsumoto Kiyoshi: 7% off your purchase. Details not announced yet. No rating
Sukiya: ¥70 off your purchase. Not my kind of eating place but a no-brainer for fans. Starts March 15 ★★★★
TOHO Cinema (in-app/web) ¥300 coupon with ticket purchase. But the app ratings are terrible. ★★
TAXI (in-app/web): ¥1,500 coupon to the first 5,000 new users. Nice app but those 5,000 first time users will be over soon, if not already. ★★★
Base (in-app/web): 10% off with ¥10,000 purchase. This app looks like a Jiyugaoka boutique with overpriced goods. ★★
minne (in-app/web): Free shipping for purchases over ¥3,000. OK but Amazon or Rakuten have better deals.★★
giftee (in-app/web): Another boutique app but two for one doesn’t sound like a bad deal. ★★★