Did You Know You Can Use Your Transportation IC Card For Other Things Than Transport?

It's a useful payment method for anyone in Japan.


Now that you already know about all the different
payment methods in Japan, it’s time to talk about transportation IC cards and the other ways you can use them. Yup, these trusty cards are not just useful for transportation, you can also use them for your other travel expenses!


Having a transportation IC card can make cashless purchases more convenient. And you can even get discounts and accrue points that you can exchange to cash in your IC card.


There are several types of
transportation IC cards, which can be divided by each region. Most of the IC cards can be used only for a specific region or city. However, there are some IC cards that can cover anywhere in Japan. You can use these IC cards not just for transportation, but also in convenience stores, franchise shops, department stores, and vending machines instead of using cash. To help acquaint you with the system, here is a list of the different IC cards and where you can use them.


Suica (Issued by JR East)
Where you can use it: Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Yamanashi, Sendai, Niigata                                 
Benefits: Earning points



Kitaca (Issued by JR Hokkaido)
Where you can use it: Sapporo
Benefits: None



PASMO (Issued by Tokyo Metro + Local line)
     
Where you can use it: Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Yamanashi
Benefits: Earning points 



ICOCA (Issued by JR West)
Where you can use it: Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Nara, Mie, Shiga, Wakayama, Toyama, Ishikawa, Okayama, Hiroshima
Benefits: Earning points and discount on Kansai-Airport Express HARUKA



PiTaPa (Issued by Surutto KANSAI) 
            
Where you can use it: Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Nara, Mie, Shiga, Wakayama, Okayama, Nagoya, Shizuoka, Kanazawa, Toyama           
Benefits: Discount Service


*Post pay system



SUGOCA (JR Kyushu)
Where you can use it: Fukuoka, Saga, Oita, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Miyazaki, Kagoshima
Benefits: Earning points



HAYAKAKEN (Issued by Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau)
Where you can use it: : Fukuoka City     
Benefits: Discount Service



For PiTaPa, this different from others. PiTaPa IC card is a post pay system. It can be use for transportation as others. However, it can only be used for shopping where there is a “PiTaPa” signal.  Used amount will be charged via automatic withdrawal from your bank account.


These IC cards have difference in specifications. Make sure to choose the card of the railway company that you will be using the most during your time in Japan because some cards cannot be used for their benefits, such as discounts and points, once you’re outside the region.

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 (17 May 2019)

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