You may have heard of a Suica card. It’s a must-have item when traveling Japan by rail. It’s convenient, fast, and as easy ! You just TAP and GO! But did you know there is a type of Suica card called “My Suica Card” which is more secure?
For some regular travelers to Japan, the “My Suica” could be a better option than a “Standard Suica”.
Continue reading to find out why!
Like a Standard Suica card, an e-money card, you can top up My Suica with cash at ticket machines and in convenience stores. Once you’ve charged your card, you can use it for travel on trains, taxis, buses, and subways and even purchase drinks at vending machines, use it to buy daily items at convenience stores, and food at restaurants. If you can see the Suica logo (usually near the cashier or beside the reading machine) you are good to go!
There are two benefits. Firstly, the My Suica doesn’t have an expiration date. Inactive cards can be re-activated by simply toping it up. And secondly, if ever you lose it, you can get a replacement at most train stations. Visit the Suica customer service counter or ticket machine and inform the staff that you’ve lost your card. They will cancel your old card and transfer any remaining balance to a new one you purchase.
You can purchase a “My Suica” at any JR East station ticketing machine or booth, including the ones located at Narita and Haneda airport. You can also buy it at some tourist information centers. If you want, you can also purchase the card online through the JR East website or other authorized sellers. If you buy the card online, you must pick it up in person at a designated location in Japan or have it shipped.
Using “My Suica” is easy. This part is the same as any Suica card. Tap your card on the reader at the ticket gate when you enter a station or bus. And tap again when you exit. The fare is automatically deducted from your card’s balance. If you run out of money on your card, you can charge it at any ticket machine using cash or credit card. Note that you may not be able to use a credit card to re-charge your Suica card at some stations and convenience stores.
As mentioned above, if you have a “My Suica”, you can also report it lost or stolen and transfer your balance to a new card. You can also do this through the JR East website. The last four digits which can be found on the lower right on the back of the suica card can help identify individual cards, so it is handy to write this number down. You can also transfer your My Suica to your Apple Wallet. In this case, your information will be transferred to your smartphone and you won’t be able to use physical card after that.
Another Suica card for foreign visitors is the “WELCOME Suica card” without the security and without a deposit. The Welcome suica is designed for tourists and provides a similar level of convenience. If you would like to know more, check out our article about the Welcome Suica Card.
Getting a “My Suica” is a great idea when traveling to Tokyo or other parts of Japan especially if you plan to stay for a while or come back regularly. It will make your travels much more convenient, and you’ll be able to take advantage of discounts and special offers from participating merchants.
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Contributor: Venice Aka
Venice’s lives locally and has a passion to make travel videos so she can provide reliable information to travelers visiting Japan. After starting her youtube channel, she’s been continuously sharing about travel, local events, and everyday life in Japan.
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