Shinjuku Station JR Yamanote
Photo: Hong Feng/UnsplashAn undated stock photo of Shinjuku Station

JR East will begin an off-peak Suica points programme in March

The new rewards scheme is designed to promote staggered commuting

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Written by
Kaila Imada
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Navigating your way through Tokyo’s complex railway system during rush hour can make for a stressful commute – especially during Covid-19 times when we’re all trying to keep a safe distance. As an incentive to promote staggered commuting, JR East will implement a Suica points programme to get people travelling during off-peak hours. 

The programme, set to launch on March 15, rewards passengers who use registered Suica commuter passes during off-peak hours on weekday mornings. All rides on JR East train lines in the Tokyo metropolitan area are eligible to earn rewards, minus shinkansen trips.

To sign up for the programme, you’ll need to have a Suica commuter pass – that’s one with a monthly or annual subscription that covers trips on a fixed route – and register it through the JRE Point service. From there, points will be credited to you as you pass through ticketing gates before or after the morning rush hour. The points collected can be used to pay for train travel or shopping inside JR stations and at JR East online stores. 

The specific times you’ll need to travel to earn points will differ depending on the train line taken. The full schedule, along with more details, is on the JR East programme website (in Japanese only). 

Don’t have a subscription Suica? JR East will also be launching a separate points programme for people without Suica commuter passes. This one will also begin in March and reward passengers who make ten trips that each cost the same fare in one month. These passengers will receive points equivalent to a single-trip fare in return.

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