Anybody visiting Japan can buy transit cards like Suica and PASMO at stations, or e-money cards like nanaco or WAON at convenience stores. These cards are ‘Japan issue’ cards that qualify the holder for CASHLESS rebates at participating stores. But plastic e-money cards have a downside: you can’t check the card balance at a glance or recharge it with credit cards. That’s what makes Apple Pay Suica so great for inbound iPhone users.
Most rebates for prepaid cards are done through point systems such as JRE POINT for Suica. However there is an interesting exception: convenience stores participating in the 2% rebate program instantly give you the rebate deducted from your transaction at checkout. No point system or registration involved.
For Apple Pay Suica inbound users this is especially sweet: until June 30 using Apple Pay Suica gets you the 2% rebate at checkout. All you need to do is use Apple Pay Suica at 7-Eleven, Lawson, FamilyMart, MiniStop, etc. The list is expanding so be sure to check for the CASHLESS banner on the store door or the logo at checkout.
UPDATE: the tax free store program for short term visitors is a whole different thing and not covered here