A reader asked if I could write a post about Suica card refunds. First of all there are different kinds of refunds: Shinkansen eTickets, Green Seat Purchase, Commute Plans and Stored Fare (SF). All of these are handled in Suica App and require a Mobile Suica account login.
A withdrawal refund of the Apple Pay Suica card SF (Stored Fare) balance is covered here, but beware: doing this withdraws the Suica card from the Apple Pay and Mobile Suica system forever. You can never use the Suica card again. It’s also a pain in the ass.
JR East recommends using up the balance instead of a withdrawal refund. This is far easier to do. Just use the balance then remove Suica from Wallet and forget about it. Apple Pay iCloud stores it for you in case you ever need to use it again. The JR East recommendation is the best choice.
Suica withdrawal refund requirements are:
- A Japanese bank account
- A Mobile Suica account: this is free but registration can only be done via the Japanese language only Suica App
- Suica App (not SuicaEng)
- A refund processing fee of ¥220 for each Suica card refund
- Once you refund a Suica card in Suica App it cannot be used again and has to be manually deleted from Wallet, your Mobile Suica account is also automatically deleted
- No refunds of Suica balance when the card has not been used for 10 years
If you already have a Mobile Suica account and a Japanese bank account, the process is straight forward. Open Suica App, if you have multiple Suica cards choose the one you want to refund, tap on Ticket Purchase•Manage Suica, scroll to the bottom of the list and tap “Refund this Suica”.
Scroll to the bottom of Terms and Conditions and tap Agree. In the next screen confirm the SF refund amount of the Suica card then tap next.
In the next few screens you enter your bank account information so have the information ready. In the first screen enter the first 3 katakana of the bank name and tap search, select bank name, enter the first katakana of the bank branch name and tap search, select the bank branch name, enter the bank account type, account number and account name and tap next. In the final screen confirm your information then tap Suica Refund.
Once completed Mobile Suica sends an email to your registered address, the bank transfer from JR East takes 2~4 weeks to process.