How to Pay for Public Transport in Singapore?

There are 3 cashless ways to pay for public transport in Singapore. With the launch of SimplyGo in 2019, paying for public transport has never been more convenient. Don’t worry, if you’re caught stranded without these options, you can also pay by cash. Just a small thing to note if you’re paying cash on Singapore buses. Bus drivers don’t provide change!


The most convenient option

SimplyGo allows you to pay for train and bus rides with Mastercard, NETS, or Visa credit and debit cards. Registering for a SimplyGo account allows you to track your journey and fare history. In our experience, you can tap and take public transport with your card even without registering too. If your credit card has EZ-Link or NETS FlashPay functionality (e.g. POSB Everyday Card, Citi SMRT Card), you need to go to General Ticketing Machines to switch the payment mode to SimplyGo.


Earn rewards and top up automatically

The EZ-Link card needs no explanation, as it is the first contactless way of paying for MRT and bus fares. You can purchase one at MRT stations, passenger service centres and 7-Eleven stores. It costs $12 with a stored value of $7, meaning the card cost is $5. You can earn rewards through the EZ-Link app and redeem freebies like free Old Chang Kee curry puffs. Topping up can be done manually or through EZ-Reload.

NETS FlashPay

Similar to EZ-Link

NETS FlashPay is another type of card that you can use for fare payment. You can purchase over the counter at General Ticketing Machines, 7-Eleven stores, Cheers, and some money changers. It costs $12 with a stored value of $7. There’s also an auto top-up feature that you have to register to use. The activation is a little more troublesome as you have to bring your NETS FlashPay Card and activation code to any TransitLink Ticket Office within 7 days.

Best Credit Cards for SimplyGo Cashback 2023

Online Promo
Online & Visa Contactless Spend
Online Promo
Online & Visa Contactless Spend

DBS Live Fresh Card

Cashback on Online & Visa Contactless Spend
Up to 5%
Cashback cap
Up to S$75
Min. Spend per month
Online Promo:
Welcome Gift: Get S$150 Cashback when you apply with promo code 150CASH and make the min. spend of S$800 within 60 days of card approval. T&Cs apply.
Valid until 30 Jun 2023

The next highest cashback on public transport is 10%, offered DBS Live Fresh Card. This is on the condition that you meet the $600 monthly minimum spend and apply from now until 31 March 2020. This applies to Comfort/CityCab Taxi, Grab, GOJEK, as well as bus and MRT rides using SimplyGo.

Prior to this promotion it offers 5% is for all contactless and mobile payments as well as public transport fares (via SimplyGo), so if or when the above promotion is over, you can still expect to get 5%.

There is a cashback cap of $60 per month ($20 on eligible online spend, S$20 on eligible Visa contactless spend and S$20 on all other spend).

Online Promo
Online Promo

UOB One Card

Rebate on Shopee, Dairy Farm Group, Grab, SP and more
Up to 10%
Rebate Cap per quarter
Min. Spend per month, per quarter
Online Promo:
Get S$300 cash credit when you successfully apply for an eligible UOB Credit Card and spend a min. of S$1,000 for 2 consecutive months from your card approval date. T&Cs apply.
Valid until 28 Feb 2023
Another card you can use to get up to 5% off your public transport spending via SimplyGo is the UOB One Card. There's a high minimum spend of $2,000 per month to earn this cashback so it may not be suitable for everyone. There's up to 10% for Grab too.
Cash Rebates on All Local Spend
Up to 3.33%
Cash Rebate Cap per quarter
Up to S$100
Min. Spend per month, per quarter
If you don't want to hit high minimum spend requirements, go for the Maybank Platinum Visa Card. You only need to spend $300 each quarter to earn 3.33% worth of quarterly rebate.

Best Credit Cards for SimplyGo Air Miles 2023

Base Earn Rate
S$5 = 1 Point
Category of Choice
S$5 = 10 Points
Min. Spend
This one is for the ladies. You earn $1 = 4 miles in one category. Choose from Beauty & Wellness, Dining, Entertainment, Family, Fashion, Transport and Travel. Don't forget to register Transport as your category of choice if you want to earn rewards (to redeem air miles) with your transport spending (buses, mrt rides, taxis included).
on Dining, Petrol, Taxi and Hotel Bookings at Agoda
S$1 = 8X Points
on Air Tickets, Travel Packages and Foreign Currency Spend
S$1 = 5X Points
Rewards to Miles Conversion for Selected Airline Partners
1 Point = 0.4 miles
With the Maybank Horizon Visa Signature card, you earn 8X Treat Points or $1 = 3.2 miles on dining, petrol, public transport, hotel bookings and travel packages with a minimum spend of $300.

Frequently Asked Questions

What card do you use for SimplyGo?

This depends on whether you want to earn straightforward cashback or you prefer to collect air miles. If you want to earn cashback, the Maybank Friends & Family Card, UOB One and DBS Live Fresh are good options. You need to examine your lifestyle to find the most suitable one, as the 5% to 8% cashback is conditional upon your monthly expenditure. If you are collecting miles, the Maybank Horizon Visa Signature offers $1 = 3.2 miles with a minimum spend of $300.

How do I pay with SimplyGo?

SimplyGo is the name of the feature that allows you to use Mastercard, NETS and Visa credit and debit cards to tap and pay on MRTs and buses. You either tap the physical credit or debit card like an EZ-Link card, or you can register it in mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay to tap with your phone.

Which credit card can be used as EZ-Link?

Almost all credit cards from major banks like DBS, UOB, and OCBC can be used as an EZ-Link with the launch of SimplyGo.