Shop: Amazon Japan, HMV Japan, CDJapan Points System Comparison

Updated on 5 February 2009 to reflect HMV Japan points system changes.

The nice thing about shopping at Amazon Japan, HMV Japan and CDJapan, you get points for buying most of the products that are on sale.

CDJapan is in English. For HMV Japan and Amazon Japan, I usually browse and search for items in Japanese as it returns better search results. If you get stuck, just turn on the English language option to view the terms. Amazon Japan offers a points system too but I don’t buy from them as often.

This is a value-per-yen guide to the points systems of Amazon Japan, CDJapan and HMV Japan.

Amazon Japan
You earn 0.01 points for every 1 Yen spent. They list the points you’ll earn very clearly on every item detail page. So far, only selected CDs would earn you points but most books would.

After you’ve earned your points, you can login to your account to see it. Pending points become confirmed points after shipment date if you paid by credit card.

You can apply the points you earned in any amount during checkout.

Tip 1: Amazon Japan carries a fantastic selection of BLCDs, manga etc which you sometimes can’t find in the other two stores mentioned here. Pity about the much lower value for points per dollar spent and the more expensive shipping charges.

You earn 0.03 points for every 1 Yen spent. Their points system is fairly straightforward and they list the points you’ll earn very clearly on every item detail page and during checkout.

You can apply the points you earned in multiples of 100 during checkout.

Tip 1: New members get a welcome 300 points (I can’t remember the expiration date :P ).

Tip 2: Register your birthday and you get 300 points yearly during your birthday month (expires in 1 year).

HMV Japan (updated 5 February 2009)
The points are calculated differently from CDJapan. Generally, every 100 Yen spent will earn you 1 point. Occasionally, there are double points promotions for selected products and you’ll be able to get 2 points for every 100 Yen spent. So you can earn 0.01 points or more for every 1 Yen spent. Read on for more detailed explanation of how that works.

[100円に付き1ポイント][1points / 100yen][100円に付き2ポイント][1points / 100yen]

For items that are not eligible for points, it will also be indicated clearly as follows:
This item is ineligible to earn Members Point / こちらの商品はポイント加算対象外となります

Using your points! (yay~)

HMV Japan has updated their system since end January 2009, so you can use your points in full on the checkout confirmation screen. Now, you don’t have to accumulate the points to a certain amount before you can use your points.

The way you redeem your points in HMV Japan is slightly different from most online shops that allow you to apply the points by manually keying the amount you want to use at checkout.

Before you can use your points for your next purchase, login to your member account and access your Members Points page.

You can use your points for your next purchase only if you have accumulated at least 50 points as seen in the pic above. If you can hang in there and accumulate 100 points, you get bonus 500 Yen for your points.

So, if you decide to use your points, select the Savings Value from the drop-down list, then click on use points button as shown.

The savings that you’ve redeemed here will automatically be applied onto your next purchase when you check out.

Tip 1: The bonus 500 Yen only kicks in at per 100 points Thereafter the bonus repeats in such a way like 150 points gets you 3500 Yen and 200 points gets you 5000 Yen, so there is no real incentive to keep accumulating and not use it once you reach 100 points. Well, that’s if I remember correctly. ^^

Tip 2: After you have made your -first- purchase, you get a one-time free 500 Yen voucher that you can use for your next purchase. But it only lasts for one month. *darn*

Tip 3: Buy your items during 2xPoints promotions! Better value for money ^^

Value-for-Points comparison among the three points systems

  • Amazon Japan
    a) You can use all your points as soon as they are confirmed.
    – Every 1 Yen spent earns 0.01 points
  • CDJapan
    a) Once you spend at least 3334 Yen, you’ll accumulate 100 points.
    The points are applicable only in multiples of 100.
    – Every 1 Yen spent earns 0.03 points
  • HMV Japan
    a) You can use all your points as soon as your order ships.
    – Every 1 Yen spent earns 0.01 points
    The old points system actually gave us the potential to earn more points than the new one.

    a) Once you spend 25000 Yen, you’ll accumulate 50 points that can redeem 1000 Yen
    – Every 1 Yen spent earns 0.04 points
    b) Once you spend 50000 Yen, you’ll accumulate 100 points that can redeem 2500 Yen
    – Every 1 Yen spent earns 0.05 points

Although HMV Japan gives you better points value for your spending, you must spend at least 25000 Yen before you can use them (unless you got your points during 2xPoints promotions), whereas for Amazon Japan and CDJapan, you don’t have to wait as long to use your points.

There are pros and cons. Sometimes when I’m running a little bit low on cash but I need to take advantage of promotions or what not, Amazon Japan and CDJapan do offer a little bit more flexibility in terms of cash-flow workaround LOL~ xD

In general, although HMV Japan and Amazon Japan now have the same value-for-points, HMV Japan occasionally has double, or more points promotions. It has lower shipping costs than Amazon Japan for international orders. So I don’t use Amazon Japan unless I’m buying in bulk or need to buy items I can’t find in the other stores.

Points Expiry Date
Also, all three systems have expiry dates for their points, so always remember to check them once in a while :)

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8 thoughts on “Shop: Amazon Japan, HMV Japan, CDJapan Points System Comparison”

  1. It depends on the company. Some charge higher handling fees for breakable items. Generally each one has a base charge for item prices below a certain amount. Anything beyond that they’ll charge a corresponding percent.

    RInka and Crescent charge about US$15 and 2000 Yen and up to 25% of for shopping service, shipping not included. For auction service, Crescent’s base service charge seems cheaper if your item is below 4000 Yen at 500 Yen per auction (shipping also not included). Rinka’s base charge is also US$15 for auctions I think.

    Actually, since you have relatives in Japan, with a growing global demand for Japan goods, this IS a very good business to go into. There is almost no risk for the Japan Deputy Service since most of them collect a deposit from you before they let you bid, and asks you to pay for your shopping items before they place the order for you. You foot all the shipping expense as well. It is like an almost perfect business. Low risk, high returns. If you want an investor, please let me know XD

  2. Yeah, if there wasn’t online shopping available, I’ll probably be so much richer lol~ xD
    You’re right about the books *nods* that’s why it is nice if they provide other methods such as SAL and Airmail. Lots cheaper.

    I checked their FAQ again. Both HMV Japan and CDJapan charge in Yen if you use a credit card. The USD price CDJapan shows on the website is for reference only ^^ However, as CDJapan also accepts International Money Order/Cash in USD, so the amount you pay will be pegged to the exchange rate of the day when the order is -made-. Whereas for credit card, it will be charged at the exchange rate on the day the order is -shipped-.

    Yeah, I looked up HMV HK too. I wanted to get a music CD by a Japanese group but they only have it at the Japan store (T-T) So in the end I still went back to the Japan one. If not, their shipping to our locations are cheaper, so is a good option to buy CDs if they carry it. However, they don’t have BLCDs the last time I checked ^^”

  3. yeah shipping cost somehow is very expensive, thts why i asked my relatives for help.

    Shipping cost can be more expensive than the items ha-ha…
    I guess shipping cost for books is surely high becoz books are heavy, especially illustration book or photobook.
    Other online shop such as also charge quite a lot for shipping cost.
    It’s the same everywhere, anyway HMV Japan charges you in Yen, while CDJapan in USD, right?
    Have you ever try HMV HK?

  4. I did the research cos I have limited funds to spend, so I want to get the best value for my money since the stores sometimes carry the same items LOL~ xD

    Amazon Japan offers free shipping for domestic orders if your order reaches a minimum amount, so it is good value to get your friends or relatives in Japan to order then send the items to you using EMS or AIrmail. ^^ Lucky you! Saves up to half the shipping cost compared to you ordering direct from Amazon Japan to ship to you. If you’re ordering just one CD, their courier charges (DHL/Fedex) is around 1700 Yen. You can buy 1/2 of another CD already :P Books are worse. Just one book, the shipping is around 2200 Yen *faint*

    HMJ Japan has a very nice interface (and their frequent promos are great!). I also like them more than the other two ;) But I think all 3 shops are good cos they have very good customer service. Their boxes and envelops are like you said, very nicely bubble wrapped and packed. I also keep some of these boxes for storage kekeke. I would’ve ordered more often from Amazon if their shipping wasn’t so much more expensive now.

  5. Whoa…

    This iz a very thorough research.

    Among the 3 online shop i never exactly purchase anything directly from Amazon Jp. Why? I usually ask any of my friend or relatives in Japan to buy me something from Amazon Jp and then sending it to me using EMS or Airmail.
    Therefore my friend or relatives can put something else such as booklets, letter or candies^^ and they say cheaper shipping cost.

    My reason for using HMV Japan is they have a great service and nice packing.
    Although Cd Japan’s search engine is alot better than HMVs

    of course it’s not all about points or shipping cost, i guess sometimes people shop becoz they just like it or already like it and don’t wanna change their preferences.
    But it’s also good to consider everything before making your choice.

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