These are 2 ways to recharge / charge / add money to Apple Pay Suica: Apple Pay credit cards and cash. Suica can hold up to ¥20,000.
Suica Recharge with Apple Pay
Adding money to Suica, Suica Recharge or simply Suica Charge, is very simple: use your Apple Pay credit card. Anywhere, anytime. It’s the single most powerful convenient and unique feature of Apple Pay Suica.
A little research can save you money and earn bonus points: Suica Recharge with a “No Foreign Transaction Fee” Apple Pay credit card and save on foreign exchange fees. Cards like Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve also earn you bonus points on transportation purchases like Suica Recharge.
The Apple Pay support site is short on details but the general rules are:
- Any Apple Pay credit card is good for Suica Recharge. This includes all Apple Pay compatible credit cards issued from your home country. I have Visa cards issued from Wells Fargo and Marriott/Chase Bank that work fine for Suica Recharge. It just works.
- One exception: Japanese issue VISA branded cards cannot be used for Suica Recharge with Apple Pay. Visa cards from other countries work fine. See Apple Pay Japan Credit Cards for the full list of JP issue cards that support Apple Pay Suica Recharge in Wallet.
- If you encounter problems check with your credit card issuer or choose another Apple Pay card in the Choose Card screen. Location Services may be causing a fraud prevention problem. From the iOS 11 User Guide:
If you have Location Services turned on, the location of your iPhone at the time you make a purchase (use Apple Pay) may be sent to Apple and the card issuer to help prevent fraud.
Suica Recharge with Cash
Suica Charge kiosks are installed at major Tokyo area stations as shown below. Simply place your iPhone or Apple Watch in the blue reader bin, select the amount of money you want to add on the touch screen and feed some bills to start the process, The blue bin flashes red while the machine charges Apple Pay Suica, then turns blue again when done. You also get a notification on your device.
You can also recharge Apple Pay Suica with cash at any convenience store, simply tell the clerk “Suica Charge.”
Videos of Suica Recharge at a JR station and a convenience store are shown below.
Suica Recharge with Suica App and Auto-Charge
Another Suica Recharge option is Suica App. Recharge in Suica App offers maximum flexibility with Japanese issue credit cards – prepaid cards – debit cards that are not supported in Apple Pay as well as a Auto-Charge option with JR East View Card. To use these options you need to register a free Mobile Suica account and the credit card in Suica App. See the Suica Recharge with Suica App section in All About Suica App.