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Save Money on Public Transport | Save Transportation Costs in Singapore

Budgeting | Singapore
by Priyadarshini 30 December 2021

Singaporeans always grumble about MRT outages. Objectively, Singapore’s public transportation system is reasonably efficient. While bus and MRT costs are unlikely to be the most expensive monthly expenses on your list, you may still feel the pressure if you don’t make a lot of money. In this blog, we give you tips to save money on public transport in Singapore.

Save Money on Public Transport

Use the MRT before 7:45 a.m.

They say that the early bird gets the worm. Here’s an example of an early-morning incentive: If you board the MRT before 7.45 a.m., you will receive a $0.50 discount on your MRT fare. Of course, if your business allows it, working from home is the cheapest method to get to work. However, if you must be at work and your employer allows for flexible working hours, you may as well begin and conclude your day earlier.

The savings do build up if you are persistent in coming early. Assuming 22 working days per month, you’d save $11 per month, which is enough to cover a couple of dinners in Singapore.

Within 45 minutes, tap in and out

If you need to perform a quick errand, you can count the round trip as one excursion by tapping in and out within 45 minutes. This only applies to transfers by bus or train. For example, you could take the MRT from Bishan to Serangoon, get anything you require at Nex, and then transfer to bus 53 to return to Bishan (within 45 minutes of tapping out of Serangoon MRT).

If you tap in and out within 15 minutes, you can make several MRT transfers without incurring additional charges. To save time, use this approach when switching between MRT lines.

SimplyGo allows you to earn credit card rebates

Using the introduction of SimplyGo in April 2019, you can totally avoid the EZ-Link card and pay for public transportation with your credit card. There are a few credit cards that can earn you some very nice public transportation rebates. While both credit cards provide substantial rewards (5 percent or 8%) on bus and MRT fares, keep in mind that you must spend at least $600 (DBS Live Fresh) or $800 (Maybank Family & Friends) per month to qualify.

If you don’t mind not having to meet a minimum expenditure, try one of these hassle-free cashback cards to earn 1.5 percent or more on your transportation purchases. It is great hack to save money on public transport here.

Do you prefer EZ-Link? Make use of the Citibank SMRT Card

For bus and MRT travels, you might choose to stick with the tried-and-true EZ-Link. There’s even a credit card for that: the Citibank SMRT Card.
The Citi SMRT Card is one of the best for public transportation because it also functions as an EZ-Link card that can be auto-reloaded. This allows you to get a 5% rebate on your public transportation spending as long as you spend at least $500 every month.

It also pays you for grocery and online purchases, so consolidating your expenses on this card should be simple.

Obtain a public transportation concession card


Singaporeans and PRs can purchase an Adult Concession Card for $128 for one month of unlimited bus and MRT travel. You’ll have to travel a lot to gain from it, so it’s probably not worth it for most individuals unless you have a regular cross-country commute. To determine whether the concession card is worthwhile, use the MRT fare calculator and bus fare calculator. If you’re purchasing this travel pass for the first time, there’s also a one-time price of $8.10 (includes $5 card purchase and $3.10 personalization fee).

With these tips & tricks, you can save money on public transport in Singapore.

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Tags:
budgeting
budgeting tips
moneysaver
public transport
Singapore
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