Translated by Takuya Erik Watanabe
How And Where To Refund Your Suica Or PASMO IC Card
Written by Mako Hayashi
While traveling in Japan, you may not spend all the money charged to your Suica card (prepaid smart card). If you're looking to refund your remaining balance and 500 yen deposit, this article will tell you how and where to go.
How to Refund Your IC Card
Unfortunately, they cannot be used outside of Japan. Some visitors like to keep them as a souvenir or use them on their next trip to Japan. The money on the card doesn't expire for ten years, so you can use them again if you plan on returning here.
However, if you prefer to get a refund, we'll tell you how to return your IC cards before your departure.
Where to Refund IC Cards
Suica refunds can only be done at East Japan Railway Company (JR East) stations where Suica cards are issued. If you leave the greater Tokyo area, you can use your Suica card but cannot be refunded. Keep this in mind if you're planning to travel around Japan.
This rule applies to all of the other IC cards available in Japan. For example, you can perform the refunding process for ICOCA cards in areas operated by the West Japan Railway Company (JR West). Similarly, refunds are issued for TOICA cards in the Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central) area.
Even if you're in the Tokyo area, you won't get a refund at train stations or bus offices that are not operated by the Japan Railway Company (JR). JR stations all have the JR logo.
There are consultation and travel offices called Midori-no-madoguchi (Ticket Window) at all JR stations. This is where you can refund your Suica card. Just look for their green-colored sign.
Tell the staff that you want a refund to begin the procedure. Most of the staff speak simple English, so you needn't worry about the language barrier.
How the Suica Refund Is Calculated
There's a charge of 220 yen to get a refund on your Suica card's remaining balance. However, you'll also receive the 500 yen deposit you paid when first purchasing your Suica. If the remaining balance on your card is less than 220 yen, you will only receive your deposit of 500 yen.
This is how the amount is calculated below:
Remaining Balance - Commission Fee (220 yen) + Deposit (500 yen) = Refundable Amount
Should You Refund Your Suica Card?
You have to return your Suica card if you want a refund. If you don't want to pay a commission fee of 220 yen or keep your IC card as a souvenir, you will not be eligible for a refund.
Choose wisely if you're looking to keep it as a souvenir because IC cards can be attached to many memories from your trip!
If you are wondering what a Suica card is or want to obtain one, you can do so at train stations throughout Japan. You can also reserve one online before your trip via Klook. Pickup is conveniently available for the Tokyo area at airports.