Suica and PASMO Commute Plans are commuter passes that come in plastic and digital varieties. The only difference between regular transit cards and commuter transit cards is that one has a commute plan attached, the other does not. There is no difference using either kind, they both work the same way for transit and payments.
Apple Pay Suica•PASMO has an advantage over plastic in that you can purchase a commute plan for any Suica•PASMO you already have in Wallet even if it’s a regular non-commuter card, and you can also renew a current commute plan directly in Wallet. No more waiting in line at a station kiosk. Suica App or PASMO App, and a free Mobile Suica or Mobile PASMO account ID are a basic requirement for commute plan setup and some renewal configurations:
- Wallet App
- Transfer a valid plastic Commuter Suica or PASMO card to Wallet
- Renew commute plan during the 14 day renewal window before the expiration date
- Suica App • PASMO App
- Purchase a new commute plan
- Renew an expired commute plan
Basic Commute Route Patterns
The greater Tokyo Kanto area is a very complex transit system and commute plan purchases reflect this. The basic rule is
- Use Apple Pay Suica Commute Plans for transit on JR East lines (including Rinkai and Tokyo Monorail lines) and JR East + PASMO connecting lines of other rail companies in the Suica/PASMO transit areas
- Use Apple Pay PASMO Commute Plans for PASMO group rail and bus lines (non-JR East transit) The full list of transfer stations and connecting rail lines is here (Japanese language only). PASMO Commute Plans are unique in that 2 separate commute plans for rail and bus can be added.
These are the basic commute plan patterns that can be purchased in Suica App / PASMO App, the basics apply for both:
- Suica Commute Plans: the start point must be a JR East station, the end point can be JR East or PASMO
- PASMO Rail Commute Plans: the start point must be a PASMO member station, the end point can be PASMO or JR East
Start station • end station points are only a purchase formality. The way you actually use the commute plan route does not matter, the end point of the commute plan can be your daily commute start point. The patterns below apply to both Suica and PASMO, simply reverse the JR East/non-JR East (PASMO) labels for your commute situation.
There are special Apple Pay Suica•PASMO Commute Plan routes that cannot be purchased directly in Suica App or PASMO App. These are commute routes where neither start nor end are JR East stations for Suica App or PASMO stations for PASMO App, 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 commute plan online form or the PASMO commute plan online form to apply and purchase a Suica • PASMO Commute Plan for special routes.
Suica Commute Plan Purchase
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:
PASMO Rail Commute Plan Purchase
PASMO Bus Commute Plan Purchase
PASMO has exclusive and extensive support for bus commute plans and also supports combo rail + bus commute plans.
Commute Plan Renewal
- Renew Current Commute Plan: Suica•PASMO 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 within the 14 day renewal period before the expiration date. After the expiration date you cannot renew the commute plan in Wallet app. To renew Suica•PASMO Commute Plan in Wallet:
Renew expired Commute Plan
If you miss the expiration date you must purchase a new commute plan in Suica App or PASMO App with a new start date.
- Renew a Suica commute plan past the expiration date:
- Tap Purchase/Manage
- Tap Commute Plan
- Tap New Plan from Previous Route
- Choose 1-3-6 month validity and start date > purchase with Apple Pay
- Renew a PASMO commute plan past the expiration date:
- Tap Purchase/Manage
- Tap Rail Commute Plan or Bus Commute Plan > Tap New plan from previous
- Choose 1-3-6 month validity and start date
- Purchase with Apple Pay
Your Apple Pay Suica•PASMO Commute Plan is renewed and ready to go. It is not a new Suica•PASMO card, it is the same card with a new Commute Plan, start date and validity period.
Cancel and Refund Commute Plan
Refund of a current plan costs an upfront ¥220 processing fee. The plan refund amount is calculated on how many valid days are left before expiration. When too close to the expiration date the plan refund is 0. To cancel the commute plan and get a refund follow the screenshots below, they are the same for PASMO App. Note that refunds are made back your to Apple Pay payment card used to purchase the commute plan. The current commute plan is invalidated immediately but you can still use it as a regular Suica•PASMO for purchases and transit. You can also purchase a new commute plan at any time.
Set SF use after commute plan expiration: 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 Use or Don’t Use:
- Use SF: Suica keeps working as always after the commute plan expires. If you choose this and forget to renew your commute plan you might end up using the more expensive Suica SF fare without realizing it.
- Don’t Use SF: Suica stops working when the commute plan expires forcing you to renew the commute plan to use the card again for transit.
Tap the option you want and tap done in the upper right. Be careful when setting the Don’t Use SF option, it’s easy to forget and be completely confused when Apple Pay Suica or PASMO stops working at every station gate when the commute plan expires.
You can also set Suica notification sounds in Suica App. There are notification sounds: (1) commute plan expiration notification is a special longer 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. (2) low SF sound is a special 3 beep sound that emits from both transit gates and store readers. These are handy helpful audio reminders and recommend turning on this notification setting.
Change Commute Plan and other options
- Change Commute Plan
- Before the 14 day renewal period: If you need to change the commute plan (station points, transfer points) select Change Plan and enter the new route and start date. Review the changed plan and refund amount as shown in the screenshots below and purchase the new plan. Your old plan will be immediately cancelled with a ¥200 fee and the unused portion refunded to the credit card used to make the cancelled purchase.
- During and after the 14 day renewal period: purchase a new plan with Suica App or PASMO App outlined in new commute plan section.
- FREX/Student Commute Plans/Special Routes: Suica App does not support direct purchases for some kinds of commute plans, these have to be applied for via the Mobile Suica or Mobile PASMO member sites, all forms are Japanese language only:
- Special Route Commute Plan (Suica)
- Special Green Car Route Commute Plan (Suica)
- FREX Shinkansen Commute Plan (Suica)
- Student Commute Plans
- Mobile Suica supports student commute plans: pre-register for a student commuter pass on the Mobile Suica member page and upload a picture of the student ID for verification. Approved student commuter plans are then purchased in Suica App in the New Commute Plan menu.
- Mobile PASMO student commute plans: apply for one of the following types:
- Other Special Commute Plan Requests (Mobile Suica support link), Mobile Suica rail + bus commute plans have to be purchased at a bus company service window such as Seibu, Tokyo Metro, Odakyu, Tokyu, etc. depending on the bus line company. Confirm with the bus company that a Mobile Suica commuter plan 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 to attach commute plan.
- Transfer Plastic Commuter Suica•PASMO to Wallet
- Transferring a plastic Commuter Suica•PASMO card to Apple Pay is exactly the same as a regular Suica•PASMO. Renew the Commute Plan in Wallet during the 14 day renewal window.