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credit card fees buying niseko all mountain pass

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Hi

 

I am new to this forum and over the past few days I really have enjoyed reading all your posts.

 

This January I will be travelling to Niseko for the first time with a group of nine. (i.e. 2 families). We have never skied in Japan before but have skied in Australia and the US.

 

We have booked the accomodation, ski hire and airline tickets. One area I am looking into is purchasing is our lift tickets in Niseko using our credit card.

 

The travel group we have been using has offered to buy them but charges a merchant fee of 2.5%. Highway robbery in my view. I am buying 9 all mountain passes for 17 days (734,400 yen). The credit card I am using offers a spot rate with no fees.

 

I want to avoid the merchant fee of approx. 190 AUD. Does anyone know if I buy the tickets in Niseko say at grand hirafu Mountain Centre will they also charge a merchant fee?

 

Any advice would be of great assistance

 

Thanks

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Not sure about the merchant's fee, but you may want to reconsider buying the all-mountain passes.

 

Better to see your groups ability levels and the weather conditions.

 

In high winds the top lifts close meaning you can't access all areas.

 

And during heavy snow the visibility is poor up high making travel between villages difficult and unpleasant.

 

And if you wanted to visit some of the nearby resorts - Moiwa, Rusutsu, Kiroro - you wouldn't have already paid up for a days skiing.

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Yeah just get the Grand Hirafu passes and see how you go our family never used the all mountain pass.

Pay now and cop the fees and get points on your credit card. I predict the dollar will drop approx 5% anyway so you will be in front. This is only a prediction though so please don't take my line if our passes cross and I am wrong.

I have just been told I don't have to pay for my accom or passes till Jan but will most probably cash in now that way may save a few beers on the exchange rate

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Thanks for the reply. Half of us are intermediate and the other half are advanced.

 

That said I didn't realise that on average we would miss some days due to bad weather. Apologies for my dumb question but if it is too windy at Niseko wouldn't Rusutsu be too windy as well? We have 17 full days (i.e. ignoring arrival and departure days) so its hard to guess what we can prepay.

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Yeah just get the Grand Hirafu passes and see how you go our family never used the all mountain pass.

Pay now and cop the fees and get points on your credit card. I predict the dollar will drop approx 5% anyway so you will be in front. This is only a prediction though so please don't take my line if our passes cross and I am wrong.

I have just been told I don't have to pay for my accom or passes till Jan but will most probably cash in now that way may save a few beers on the exchange rate

I buy Grand Hirafu passes and also an all mountain points pass, wrap it in foil and tuck it into an ankle pocket or similar. Then if we do get lucky with weather we can go wherever and know we can get back with the alfoil wrapped safety net. Use up at end of trip.

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Thanks for the reply. Half of us are intermediate and the other half are advanced.

 

That said I didn't realise that on average we would miss some days due to bad weather. Apologies for my dumb question but if it is too windy at Niseko wouldn't Rusutsu be too windy as well? We have 17 full days (i.e. ignoring arrival and departure days) so its hard to guess what we can prepay.

 

Not always. Sometimes very different weather patterns, even though the resorts are relatively close by.

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Rusutsu would definitely be too windy if Niseko is on wind hold I would suggest just having the day off and relaxing :D

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Thanks guys (or girls) for the advice. I still unsure on the merchant fees.

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I think what you should be more worried about is how much your bank is going to charge for overseas transaction. If you are that worried about merchant fee's and possibly want to lessen the hit on bank fee's maybe hit up a post office and get out some cash and pay for your lift passes for the day or whatever in cash. But My advice is also to buy on the day depending on conditions.

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Is it actually any cheaper to pre-buy? I know that in our countries they give these offers but I don't know how common they are here unless you are buying a season pass......regardless of what ur travel agent is saying. Tell them to jog on, buy ur tix ftom the local convini for discounts and that gives u tge freedom to check out other places if the weather is crud

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Is it actually any cheaper to pre-buy? I know that in our countries they give these offers but I don't know how common they are here unless you are buying a season pass......regardless of what ur travel agent is saying. Tell them to jog on, buy ur tix ftom the local convini for discounts and that gives u tge freedom to check out other places if the weather is crud

AFAICR there is only a financial advantage to buying a season pass in advance in Niseko (but that was a few yrs ago).

 

The biggest advantage of buying ahead of time to have in your accomodation when you arrive is no time wasted queuing up for tix.

That's more of an issue in Aus (or other crowded poorly staffed resorts over the world), but less so in Japan. Even at peak time in Niseko at the main spot for purchases it's not bad. We had to go there to get a student season pass in December. I got my pass and the all mountain points passes at the Family lift base (took 5 minutes), used the all mountain pass for Junior to go up family and quad, skied down to Gondie, bought kid the season pass (took 20 minutes - photo/big form to fill in etc) - had a loo pit stop while doing so, then back out onto the Gondie for the day.

 

Westerners are often indoctrinated that they need to buy in advance. Not necessary in Japan. Honest.

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I think what you should be more worried about is how much your bank is going to charge for overseas transaction. If you are that worried about merchant fee's and possibly want to lessen the hit on bank fee's maybe hit up a post office and get out some cash and pay for your lift passes for the day or whatever in cash. But My advice is also to buy on the day depending on conditions.

 

The credit card I used gives me the spot rate and does not charge any fees. I used it extensively in the unted states nearly 2 years ago and I never incurred any fees. The bonus is always getting the spot rate as this is a normal way banks will earn an extra margin. How do I know? I unfortunately work for one.

 

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Let's see: 2.5% on a Y6,000 lift pass is about Y150. You're paying at least $1,000 airfare, probably $100+/night for accommodation and let's say Y4,000/day for skis and you're looking for ways to save that Y150. Sorry, can't help ya :rollabout:

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We tend to get around to a few resorts-- so now a days we just buy on the day wherever we have decided to be so we don't waste pre-bought tickets. Never more than a 2 min wait at the ticket counter (with that said in Niseko we started the day at Hanazono and not Hirafu which may be busier) so didn't find it inconvenient.

 

What I can say is that all the large places take credit card-- and I don't remember there being any merchant fees added.

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