Inbound Visitors and Using Apple Pay Credit Cards
Q. Can I use credit cards issued from other countries with Apple Pay in Japan?
A. This is changing but for now assume that you can only use Japanese issued credit cards with Apple Pay in Japan. Cards issued abroad do not support FeliCa Type-F NFC systems and do not work with store terminal QUICPay, iD and Suica payment networks.
There are NFC-Pay terminals that accept inbound Apple Pay credit cards from abroad but these are still few and far between. If you have iPhone 8 or Apple Watch Series 3 add Suica to Apple Pay. Apple Pay Suica can be used for store purchases everywhere, for transit too and you add money with your Apple Pay credit card from home.
Using Apple Pay Japan Credit Cards
Apple Pay Support Pages
Apple Support Pages are an excellent place to start. Not all pages have been updated to include iPhone 8, iPhone X and Apple Watch Series 3 but the support information applies to the new devices.
Set up Apple Pay
About Apple Pay in Japan
Using Apple Pay in Japan
Apple Pay Credit Card Support Pages
Japanese Credit & Prepaid Card Q&A
Q. What Japanese cards can I use with Apple Pay?
A. The cards listed below can be used at stores displaying any of the QUICPay and iD payment system logos listed above. Suica, iD, and QUICPay are commonly found together.
|QUICPay||JCB (JCB and JAL)
Orico (JCB, VISA, MC)
Saison Card (JCB, VISA, MC, AMEX)
View (JCB, VISA)
MUFG CARD (VISA, MC)
au (VISA, MC, Prepaid)
TS CUBIC CARD (JCB, VISA, MC)
SEVEN CARD (JCB, VISA)
Rakuten Card (JCB, VISA, MC)
APLUS (JCB, VISA)
JACCS (JCB, VISA, MC)
Yahoo Japan Card (JCB, MC)
UCS (JCB, VISA, MC)
|iD||Mitsui Sumitomo (VISA, MC)
Aeon (JCB, VISA, MC)
d CARD (VISA, MC)
SoftBank Card (VISA)
Cedyna (JCB, VISA, MC)
POCKETCARD (JCB, VISA, MC)
Life (JCB, VISA, MC)
The complete card issuer Apple Pay Japan list is on the Apple Pay Support Page.
Q. VISA is not listed on the Apple Pay Japan page, do VISA cards work with Apple Pay?
A. VISA has not signed an agreement with Apple for Apple Pay in Japan but VISA cards issued from the list above, and the full launch list from Apple, work for store purchases with QUICPay and iD. VISA cards issued in Japan do not work for Apple Pay Suica Recharge, in-app purchases and web purchases.
Q. What credit cards work for Apple Pay in-app and web purchases?
A. The JCB, MasterCard or American Express cards listed above and in the full launch list work for in-app and web purchases.
Summary and Tips
If you work and live in Japan and plan to use Apple Pay regularly, rearrange your credit card collection to fit your needs. If you are a daily Suica commuter, sign up for the Bic Camera JCB ViewCard and link it with the Bic Camera Point Card number. Use ViewCard to recharge Apple Pay Suica in Wallet and receive bonus points. You will quickly rack up substantial Bic Camera Store points just with Apple Pay Suica Recharge.
Another example for users who drive a lot would be the ENEOS JCB card which gives you points and a small gas discount when filling up at ENEOS. You also earn more points matching it with an ENEOS ETC card.
There are lots of credit card loyalty point systems out there. Do some research up front to avoid the hassle of changing cards later, and get the most out of using Apple Pay.