Japan has opened to tourists !! But before that, let’s try to Top Up Suica using ApplePay.
Table of Contents
Back to Japan with Suica iPhone App
Japan has now officially opened up to the tourists (without the need for tour guides) and this will be of much delight to all Singaporeans. There is now a running joke is that there will be “more Singaporeans in Tokyo than in Toa Payoh” as we are all going to the land of the Rising Sun soon.
Update in Dec 2022 : I can tell you that it worked very well in Osaka with the Citibank Mastercard. In fact, my Citibank Mastercard was added to all the Suica Card for my family and everyone was (happily) topping up Suica using MY (MINE ! I HAVE TO PAY !!) Citibank Mastercard.
Using Suica on my iPhone has been a great job back when I was in Fukuoka in 2019 (that was sadly, my last trip to Japan…). I did buy one in 2017 but in 2019, I set it up on my iPhone and then had joy using it in Japan (check out this post where there is also a video of using it on the JR line).
Top Up Suica using ApplePay with Visa card
So in preparation for my trip, I checked my phone whether the Suica app is still working (it is) as I have moved from iPhone to a new iPhone 14 Pro Max. It is still working.
Except when I tried topping Suica app using ApplePay, it is not working !! 🙂
First, I open my Apple Wallet and the Suica is still there. I click on “ADD MONEY”..
And try to add 1000 Yen (it is SGD9.59…wow.. our currency, Japanese currency… we really should go shopping !)…
But Payment Not Completed error shows up !
Damn. What happened.
That’s because “Visa cards are currently not working for Suica”. You have to use Mastercard or American Express. You can see I am using a DBS Vantage Visa card.
VISA cards are currently not working for Suica and PASMO recharge (top up), there’s lot of discussion you can web search.
Use Mastercard or AMEX instead.https://discussions.apple.com/thread/254156527
Top Up Suica using ApplePay with MasterCard
So I changed my ApplePay to Citibank Rewards MasterCard.
And it worked… you can see it refreshing…
From 3,026 Yen, it is now 4,026 Yen.
It will be charged in Japanese Yen so you will incur credit card’s exchange rate ? Unfortunately, you cannot add Instarem or YouTrip as an ApplePay card.
Topping up Suica iPhone at 7 Eleven ?
Oh well… the best is still to do so in Japan itself at the JR stations. I heard that the automated Suica top up machines in JR stations are not working for iPhones and you need to do so in 7-Elevens. I shall check when I am in Japan !
Update in Dec 2022 : I never go round to doing that in a 7-eleven during my recent Osaka trip. Sorry… But I can confirm that Mastercard works really well… Too well as my family added my Mastercard to their Apple Pay wallet and every 2-3 days will be adding funds to the Suica cards in Japan.
Update in Dec 2023
Just an update that in Dec 2023, I still CANNOT use VISA to top up the Suica Card.
I can still use my Mastercard (specifically Citibank PremierMile and Citibank Rewards) credit cards to add money to my Suica card in my iPhone Wallet.
I topped up 1,000 Yen in Singapore before my Dec 2023 trip to Tokyo and Hokkaido.
So, no change to only using Mastercard to add funds to your Suica Card.