Have You Replace Your Old Bangkok MRT Card?

The old Bangkok MRT (Mass Rapid Transport) Stored Value card is valid until 30 Dec 2016 (Update Dec 2016: further extension until 30 June 2017). A new card is introduced due to the additional Purple Line. The new card can be used on both Blue line and Purple Line. Explaining to frequent-Thai-visitor friends, there were questions of why the need to change .. can’t they sort out the technical part of the card? Hmm ..

For the uninitiated, there are two form of tickets: Token for single journey and Smart Card for multiple journeys. For the latter, there are two types of Smart Card: Stored Value Card (Adult, Child, Elder, Student and Business Traveller) and Period Pass (1-day, 3-day and 30-day).

I have four Stored Value cards in hand, which belongs to me, my younger niece and two friends;

  • Adult Card x 1 (Card A)
  • Student Card x 1 (For student below 23 years old, which gives 10% discount from full fare) (Card B)
  • Business Traveller Card x 2 (Card C&D)

Younger niece was only 8 years old when she bought the Student Card. Yet, she wasn’t entitled to the Child Card, as it is only issued to children who is not more than 14 years old and 91-120 cm tall. Thai kids must be really, really short, huh?

Info at station
Info at station
More often than not, staff speak no English
Trade in card to be done at Ticket Office
Paperwork for the card trade-in
Paperwork for the Business Traveller card trade-in

Replacing the cards should be as easy as ABC, no? No, not for me, due to poor English proficiency in the country, and my half-bake Thai language skillset. I have made few enquiries before, and always left not understanding what was communicated to me. This time round, bf either did the asking, or helping with translations.

First things first, for a new Stored Value card, it costs 180 baht:

100 baht travel value + 50 baht deposit + 30 baht issuing fee

This is standardized across Adult, Child, Elder and Student Cards. Business Travelled card has a different pricing structure: mine, for example, has no deposit.

 

Adult and Student Card Trade In

Adult card and Student card
Adult card and Student card

The Adult Card and Student Card’s trade in process is rather straight forward, and it’s free of charge.

To change to a new card, the deposit and issuing fee are removed from the equation. The value from old card is transferred to the new one, without any fee.

Easy peasy, but sometimes, things are not always what they seem .. “Complicatiom” arises when your current balance of travel value is less than 100 baht. Why so?

  • The minimum travel value for first card issue is 100 baht;
  • Each top up must be at least 100 baht : so even though there are some travel credits left, you’ll still need to fork up 100 baht

Card A: Balance travel value 45 baht – 0 baht deposit – 0 baht issuing fee + 100 baht top up = 145 baht travel value

Card B: Balance travel value 19 baht – 0 baht deposit – 0 baht issuing fee + 100 baht top up = 119 baht travel value

But nevertheless no harm was done, as the top up is usable for rides.

 

Business Traveller Card

Christmas Collection Card
Christmas Collection Card 2012
Business Traveller card
Business Traveller card, the 2012 Christmas Collection card

So, I hold a “Christmas card“, without realizing that it is categorized as a “Business Traveller card”. Duh. I can’t remember exactly how the card was structured, but I paid 180 baht for it, and the card has no deposit.

To obtain a new Adult card, I had to pay 50 baht deposit and also 30 baht issuing fee. In a nutshell, for “Business Traveller” card holders, it’s getting a new card altogether. The only benefit of this whole exercise is the value from the old card is transferred to the new one, without any fee.

Card C: Balance travel value 477 baht – 50 baht deposit – 30 baht issuing fee = 397 baht travel value

Card D: Balance travel value 234 baht – 50 baht deposit – 30 baht issuing fee = 154 baht travel value

New Adult card
New Adult card

These Stored Value cards are valid within 2 years from date of last use, and can be refunded.

So, do trade-in your card by 30 Dec, 2016, and get a new one free-of-charge, except for Business Traveller Card.

 

Writer

Travel opens up a whole new world, which is cliche but true. I am a strong advocate for independent and solo travel. I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but now live in Bangkok, Thailand, resulted from a chance encounter in 2009 with my why-are-you-Thai bf. I am now split between two countries. One country for my bf, another for the family, for the occasional weekend together.