As stated by moomoochoo, Shinsei Bank is very handy for remittances overseas, so if you still have residence (for instance, you worked there and have permanent residency and have a valid address you can use to register for the bank account), then I strongly suggest you open an account during your next visit as soon as possible (opening an account needs to be done at a branch, but is very quick and easy compared to most other banks in Japan and should take under 30 minutes).
If you are no longer a resident of Japan, you are stuck with your current bank. Non-residents cannot open new accounts in Japan.
As a Shinsei Bank customer, you have two options:
- ATM withdrawals (best for transfers <50k JPY)
- Remittances (best for transfers >50k JPY)
Shinsei Bank's cash card is usable on any ATM in the PLUS network (very common in both the US and Europe). There is no fixed fee to do this, but there is a 4% fee charged over and above the VISA international rate.
To give an example, the current EUR to JPY exchange rate is 141.64. Using the VISA calculator with the 4% fee, that means you would be paying 147.80 JPY/EUR. If you are transferring 50,000 JPY, that means you get 338 EUR instead of 353 EUR, for a total fee of 15 EUR (~4.2% of the total).
This is convenient, and scales to small withdrawals easily as there is no fixed fee, but will be very expensive if you withdraw larger sums (the daily cash withdrawal limit from a foreign ATM is 100,000 JPY).
Shinsei Bank allows internet remittances with GoRemit. This gives a better rate, but has a 2,000 yen fixed fee that is added on. To give an idea of what this would look like, the exchange rate is 143.20 JPY/EUR (compared to the actual rate of 141.64). If you sent 100,000 JPY, this would mean you would get 684.36 EUR/JPY instead of the 706.02 EUR (~22 EUR, ~3.1%), which is better than the ATM withdrawal for 100,000, but will become a worse deal the smaller the withdrawal amount.
As you increase the transfer amount, the fee becomes smaller and smaller. ~5% at 50k, ~3% at 100k, ~2% at 200k, ~1.5% at 500k, etc.