It's tough to beat a credit card's convenience, so I felt naked and demoted after moving to Japan and encountering a sea of rejection when trying to apply for a local credit card. True...I could use my US credit card, but that weak dollar / strong yen exchange rate right now would obliterate my US savings account. In addition, overseas card transactions are often denied by the vendor or credit card company or both; and sending money home to pay the bill effectively strips the credit card of its intrinsic convenience.
Damn, I wanted a local card. But at the same time I understood their reluctance to grant me one. I'm a gaijin, and everybody knows that we're the ones that commit all the crimes here. I could easily go on a crazy "Brewster's Millions" shopping spree and skip town. While jobless irresponsible American me managed to get a decent credit card as a college student, responsibly-employed living-in-Japan me failed time and time again.