Suica Commute Plans are commuter passes that come in plastic and virtual varieties. The only difference between regular Suica and Commuter Suica is that one has a commute plan attached, the other does not. There is no difference using either kind of Suica, they both work the same way for transit and payments.
Virtual Suica has an advantage over plastic in that you can purchase a commute plan for any virtual Suica you have in Wallet. Purchasing a new Suica Commute Plan or renewing Suica Commute Plan past the expiration date requires Suica App and a Mobile Suica ID.
Basic Commute Routes
The greater Tokyo Kanto area has a complex transit system, purchasing a commute plan reflects this. The basic rule is you can use Apple Pay Suica Commute Plans for transit on JR East lines and connecting lines of other rail companies in the Suica/PASMO transit area. The full list of transfer stations and connecting rail lines is here (Japanese language only).
These are the basic commute plan patterns that can be purchased in Suica App. Note that the start station has to be a JR East station to purchase a commute plan in Suica App, however this is just a formality of the purchase process. The way you actually use the commute plan route does not matter, or which point you get on first or last.
There are special Apple Pay Suica Commute Plan routes that cannot be purchased directly in Suica App. These are commute routes where the start/end point is not a JR East station, or commute plans with 2 different routes that connect at one point (example: route #1 Shinjuku~Harajuku + route #2 Yoyogi~Tokyo). Use the Mobile Suica online form to apply and purchase a Suica Commute Plan for special routes.
Suica Commute Plans cannot be purchased for routes that do not include a JR East station point:
Add Plastic Commuter Suica to Wallet
Adding a plastic Commuter Suica card to Apple Pay is exactly the same as a regular Suica. You can also renew the commuter plan right in Wallet without Suica App. However you need to be careful of the 14 day Commute Plan renewal window.
Renew or Change Commute Plan
- Renew Current Commute Plan: Suica commute plans are valid for 1-3-6 month renewable periods that you choose when renewing the commute plan in Wallet. You must renew a commute plan in the 14 day renewal window before the expiration date the easiest way to renew Suica Commute Plan is in Wallet:
- Renew Expired Commute Plan: If you miss the expiration date you must purchase a new commute plan in Suica App with a new start date. To renew a commute plan past the expiration date:
- Launch Suica App and sign-in with your Mobile Suica ID if necessary. In Suica App tap Purchase/Suica Settings
- Tap Commute Plan > Tap New
- To renew a previous plan> tap New Plan from Previous Route > choose 1-3-6 month validity and the start date. The last step is purchase with Apple Pay
Your Apple Pay Suica Commute Plan is renewed and ready to go. It is not a new Suica card, it is the same Suica card with a new Commute Plan and validity period.
- Change Commute Plan: If you need to change the commute plan (station points, transfer points) renew the plan with Suica App during the 14 day renewal window before the expiration date, choose Renew and set new station points similar to the purchase section below
- Cancel and Refund Commute Plan: If you need to change or cancel your commute plan before the expiration, tap Refund and cancel the current plan (¥200 processing fee), get a refund, then create a new plan
- FREX/Student Commute Plans/Special Routes: Suica App does not support direct purchases for FREX Shinkansen Commute Plans, Student Commute Plans and Special Routes that cover more than 3 different companies, 2 separate commute routes or mixed Green car and regular commute sections. These commute plans have to be purchased online on the Mobile Suica site by different category, all forms are Japanese language only:
- Suica Bus Commute Plans: Apple Pay Suica can also cover bus commutes. Suica bus commute plans have to be purchased at a bus company window such as Seibu, Tokyo Metro, Odakyu, Tokyu, etc. depending on the bus line. Confirm with the bus company that a Mobile Suica commuter purchase is available for the commute route. Purchase the Mobile Suica commute plan then show the attendant your iPhone so they can record the Suica ID card number.
Purchase a Suica Commute Plan
A Suica Commute Plan can be attached to any Suica card in Wallet. In Suica App select the Suica card you want to add a Commute Plan to, tap Commute Plan in Ticket Purchase and follow the screenshot steps and captions below to set station points and purchase the plan:
Set the Commute Plan Expiration Option: after purchase you are presented with a commute plan expiration option to allow regular Suica SF (Stored Fare) balance use after the commute plan expires. Choose Allow or Disallow:
- If you choose allow and forget to renew your commute plan you might end up using the more expensive Suica SF fare without realizing it.
- If you choose disallow, Apple Pay Suica stops working on your expired commute plan route, forcing you to renew the commute plan.
Follow the screenshot instructions below. These last 2 steps complete the Apple Pay Suica Commute Plan purchase process.
You can also set a commute plan expiration warning sound in Suica App. The commute plan warning is a special 2 beep sound that emits from the transit gate, not your iPhone or Apple Watch, from 14 days before expiration. You can hear the sound in the video below.