Taipei EasyCard Guide: Taiwan’s Smart Card

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A Taiwan EasyCard is an integrated circuit (IC) card you can use to pay for various goods and services throughout Taiwan without cash. These cards start at NT$100 ($3.00) and make your time in Taiwan more convenient.

When moving to Taiwan 4 years ago, the first thing I did was buy an EasyCard. Throughout this guide, I’ll explain my reasoning.

I’ll also cover this information:

Let’s move out.

What Is an EasyCard in Taiwan? #

EasyCard, Yo Yo Card or 悠遊卡 (Yōuyóu kǎ), is a contactless security smart card developed and maintained by EasyCard Corporation.

The Taipei EasyCard costs NT$100 ($3.60) and has zero balance. You can fill the balances from various mediums I’ll cover in this guide.

You can get it at any Metro station or chain store.

Since 1 April 2010, use has been expanded for convenience stores, department stores, supermarkets, taxis, and other retailers.

Like traditional electronic fare, the card uses RFID technology to work without physical contact.

You can find Taipei Smart Card designs in various shapes and sizes. For instance, you can carry an official Poké Ball EasyCard or chicken wing smart card that functions like normal. These unique cards usually cost more.

playstation controller easycard

The maximum amount that you can put on an EasyCard is NT$10000 ($359).

Are you worried about your Yo Yo Card failing you?

Each card has a one-year warranty. If the card fails you for any reason, you can exchange it for free.

You don’t have to register your Taipei Smart Card. However, failing to register your card won’t allow you to receive reimbursement or protection if someone steals your card.

Discounts With the Taiwan EasyCard

Using an EasyCard to transfer to and from the following transportation vehicles will receive these discounts [1]:

  • YouBike (Taipei only): rent one within an hour of departing the Taipei MRT and get a NT$5 discount
  • Buses: NT$8, NT$6 and NT$4 discount when transferring between the Taipei Metro and bus within an hour
  • Danhai LRT (Tamsui District):
    • Seniors & children receive a NT$4 discount when transferring
    • Everyone else gets a NT$8 discount

Where Can I Purchase an EasyCard? #

Here’s where you can get an EasyCard:

7-ElevenOnline shopsEasyCard Corp. service centerGrocery stores (sometimes)
AirportsTravel websitesFamilyMartMRT station kiosks
Metro station service countersSchoolsCredit cards
Places you can buy a Taiwan EasyCard from.

Avoid buying these online if possible. Unless they’re from a known brand. A hacker COULD upload malware to these cards.

Referring to schools. Your education institution will give you an EasyCard once during your orientation.

Some credit cards come with an EasyCard built-in.

How Do I Use an EasyCard? #

Hover your card above an IC card sensor and wait until you get a confirmation notice.

These notices include the following:

  • Balance display
  • A green light with a beep
  • Staff notifying you your card was successful
  • Gates at public transportations opening

To know if you’re tapping a smart card sensor, pay attention to what surface others use to pay with their smart card. Or search for a surface with the text “IC card.”

claw machine in taiwan

If you’re at a convenience store, look for a surface with various cards’ logos. Usually, the cashier will guide you to where you’re supposed to tap your card.

Act confused, and the staff will guide you to the sensor. However, you’ll want to show the employee your Taipei EasyCard to notify them that it’s your payment method.

How To Top Up an EasyCard #

Here’s how you can top up a Taiwan EasyCard:

  • Metro & train station touchscreen kiosks
  • Convenience stores
  • Speak to metro station staff
taiwan easycard vending machine

Most convenience store clerks can’t speak English. Just hand them your EasyCard and cash. They’ll likely understand that you want to refill your card with the amount of cash you presented.

Refilling your card at an MRT station is a different story. All the staff I’ve encountered speak English.

Types of EasyCards #

Depending on what group you fall under, you can get 1 of these cards:

  • Taiwan Adult EasyCard
  • Taiwan Student EasyCard
  • Co-branded credit card
  • Taiwan Concessionaire EasyCard

Taiwanese citizens can get these cards:

  • New Taipei City Children’s Cards
  • Welfare EasyCard
  • Taipei City elementary school digital Student ID EasyCard

I’ll only emphasize the former 4 Yo Yo Cards.

The following sections will explain eligibility requirements for each card.

Taiwan Adult EasyCard

Non seniors and students will receive the Adult EasyCard, or 普通卡 (Pǔtōng kǎ). You will find these cards anywhere that sells EasyCards. 

Taiwan Student EasyCard

You will receive a Student EasyCard from your education facility if the Ministry of Education recognizes you as a student.

A Student EasyCard, 學生卡 (Xuéshēng kǎ), will serve as your identification to check into class, university libraries, and cafeterias.

If you’re considering studying in Taiwan, you’ll want to see my guide on getting a Taiwan Student Visa.

Taipei City elementary school students with a Student EasyCard will get a 40% discount on single-journey MRT rides. New Taipei City elementary school students receive a 60% discount.

Anyone holding a Student EasyCard will receive an NT$8, NT$6, or NT$4 discount when transferring between a city bus and an MRT within an hour. Taipei Metro’s website doesn’t specify what conditions you must meet for a higher discount.

I suppose it varies by trip.

Co-branded Credit Cards or Debit Card

If you’re a part of a bank in Taiwan, you can receive a debit or credit card branded with Smart Pay, JCB, MasterCard, or Visa that doubles as a Taipei EasyCard.

The benefit of this card stems from the ability to automatically top up your EasyCard’s balance in increments of NT$500 ($18).

You won’t find this card useful if you’re a tourist.

If you’re arriving in Taiwan with the intent of staying, you’ll want to consider a co-branded EasyCard if you can get a bank account.

Taiwan Concessionaire EasyCard

If you’re disabled, a senior over 65 years old, or purchasing for a child; you’re eligible to receive a Concessionaire Card, which translates to 優待卡 (Yōudài kǎ).

Seniors with these cards will receive a 60% discount on single-journey Taipei Metro rides.

Where Can I Use EasyCards? #

Here’s where you can use an EasyCard [2]:

Taipei MetroMetro
Kaohsiung MetroMetro
Taoyuan MetroMetro
City BusTransportation
Taipei City Parking Management and DevelopmentParking
LYPARKINGParking
LUCKY PARKINGParking
Taiwan International Development Co.Parking
TOTAL PARKING SERVICEParking
YOUPARKINGParking
DODOHOMEParking
Taiwan Railways Administration trainsTrain
Taiwan High Speed RailTrain
Taiwan Taxi (台灣大車隊)Taxi
YouBikeBicycle rental
T-BikeBicycle rental
Taipei City Bike Rent StationBicycle rental
Barrier Free BusBus
7-ElevenConvenience store
Hi-LifeConvenience store
OK martConvenience store
FamilyMartConvenience store
Simple MartSupermarket
Taiwan Fresh SupermarketSupermarket
JasonsSupermarket
Santa CruzSupermarket
AnyoSupermarket
Taiwan Sugar Health SupermarketSupermarket
National Army Welfare Station (國軍福利站)Supermarket
Farmer’s AssociationSupermarket
Cotton Fields Health StoreSupermarket
CarrefourHypermarket
Hsin Tung YangGift store
Black BridgeGift store
I-MEIGift store
Shan Mai FoodGift store
Yu Zhen Jai (玉珍齋)Gift store
Vigor KoboGift store
Jiu Zhen NanGift store
PoyaCosmeceutical store
WatsonsCosmeceutical store
Kerry TJ LogisticsLogistics
SR. ExpressLogistics
Daiso JapanStationery shop
JSFStationery shop
MUJIStationery shop
SenaoStationery shop
icolorStationery shop
SaiyukanStationery shop
GuangnanStationery shop
SHOWBA (小北百貨)Stationery shop
National Electronic (全國電子)Stationery shop
Tien Chiao ShihBookstore
101 Stationary paradiseBookstore
Cave’s BooksBookstore
We ShareBookstore
9taBookstore
EsliteBookstore
Nine Times NineBookstore
Kingstone BookBookstore
Sanmin Bookstore (三民書局)Bookstore
Cold StoneBeverage
FIFTEABeverage
Le PhareBeverage
ComebuyBeverage
CocoBeverage
TP TeaBeverage
Cha NungBeverage
Tea TopBeverage
YIFANG TAIWAN FRUIT TEABeverage
85°CBeverage
StarbucksCafé
IS COFFEECafé
Ikari CoffeeCafé
Koi CafeCafé
Meet freshBeverage
Milk ShopBeverage
* 檸檬•創意⋅飲品專賣Beverage
TEASBeverage
Ching-ShinBeverage
TenRen’s TeaBeverage
Dante Coffee ShopCafé
Mr. Brown CaféCafé
Peter Better CaféCafé
Sushi Take-OutRestaurant
FoodRepublicRestaurant
Fried Chicken MasterRestaurant
TonKatsuRestaurant
DonMonoRestaurant
Mercuries Food ChainRestaurant
BaFang YunJiRestaurant
Very Thai NoodleRestaurant
* 四海遊龍Restaurant
Hai Rei FoodsRestaurant
Zhengzhong Pork Ribs RiceRestaurant
Bread FirstBakery
YamazakiBakery
Magie de LEVAINBakery
The Landis TaipeiBakery
SunmerryBakery
TransAsia Catering ServicesBakery
Real BakeryBakery
GaKuDenBakery
Mr. MarkBakery
Mister DonutBakery
Pizza HutFast Food
KFCFast Food
SubwayFast Food
DominosFast Food
TKK Fried ChickenFast Food
Sinyi RealtyFast Food
MyWarmDayBreakfast store
Laya BurgerBreakfast store
QK BrunchBreakfast store
Food Court
SOGOFood Court
Chungyo Department StoreFood Court
Shin Kong MitsukoshiFood Court
Q SquareFood Court
MetroWalkFood Court
Taipei 101Food Court
Global MallFood Court
Big CityFood Court
taimallFood Court
Ming Yao Department StoreFood Court
Beyond PlazaFood Court
everrichFood Court
BreezeFood Court
Profond Duty Free StoreFood Court
CitylinkFood Court
Great Food TownFood Court
City GovernmentGovernment
City LibraryGovernment
Bada Forest ParkAttraction
Taipei ZooAttraction
Xiao Ren GuoPlayground
Lihpao ResortWater park in Taichung
Taipei Children’s Amusement ParkAttraction
Happy HomeDVD rental?
National Taiwan MuseumAttraction
Taipei Fine Arts MuseumAttraction
hamasenAttraction
YehliuAttraction
Fullon HotelAttraction
Guandu Nature ParkAttraction
Scenic Area Service Industry, TaoyuanAttraction
Maokong GondolaAttraction
Taipei City HospitalHospital
New Taipei City HospitalHospital
Lukang Christian HospitalHospital
Hungchi Women & Children’s HospitalHospital
Landseed HospitalHospital
Chang Gung Memorial HospitalHospital
Lotung Pohai HospitalHospital
Tri-Service General HospitalHospital
Mackay Memorial HospitalHospital
Zhongmei HospitalHospital
WellcarePharmacy
Vending MachinesNA
I-MailMail storage
PelicanMail storage
ABCOSelf-printing kiosk
QioskSelf-printing kiosk
MEMOPRESSOSelf-printing kiosk
CPC CorporationGas station
SmileGas station
Taiwan Sugar Gas StationGas station
Formosa OilGas station
SchoolyardsSchools

This table shows where you can use Taiwan’s EasyCard.

* I couldn’t find an English name.

The following sections will cover some main uses for EasyCards and potential discounts they offer.

Taiwan Railway

You can use EasyCard Taiwan to enter and exit the following Taiwan Railway Association (TRA) trains and lines:

Pixgin linesShalun linesPuyuma Express
* Suao-Keelung-PingtungJiji linesTaroko Express
Shenao inesLiujia linesSpecial & reserved seats
Neiwan lines
Taiwan Railway Association trains the EasyCard works with.

* These include mountain coast lines.

If you use an EasyCard to enter these trains and lines, you can get a 10% discount on trains traveling less than 70 kilometers (43 miles).

Taipei EasyCard screenshot

EasyCards won’t give you discounts on Taiwan High-Speed Rail (HSR) tickets. And you can’t use a Yo Yo Card for reserved HSR tickets

Buses

The following Taiwan city buses accept EasyCards:

  • Taipei
  • New Taipei
  • Keelung City
  • Tainan City
  • Yilan County
  • Matsu City
  • Taichung City

Tap these cards on the IC card sensor when entering and exiting the bus. The first tap notifies the bus you’re on. The second will charge your card based on the distance traveled.

MRT Stations

Use an EasyCard to enter the following metro stations:

  • Taipei Metro: carries you through Taipei and New Taipei cities
  • Kaohsiung Metro: takes you around Kaohsiung city
  • Taichung Metro: takes you around Taichung city
  • Taoyuan Metro: will ferry you from Taoyuan (and the airport) to New Taipei and Taipei cities

You’ll get a 15% discount off the Kaohsiung Metro (KRTC) when using an EasyCard to enter the station [3].

But you can’t get a discount when using this smart card on other metro systems. Long-term Taiwan stayers can get a rebate on the Taipei MRT based on the number of trips they take in a month.

Here’s the Taipei MRT rebate chart [4]:

# of Trips RequiredCashback Percentage
11-2010%
21-3015%
31-4020%
41-5025%
51+30%
Taipei MRT rebate cashback chart.

You’ll get your rebate at the beginning of the following month. Check the MRT ticket machines to see your rebated amount.

Calculate your cashback for the current month by multiplying cumulative fare from the previous month by the cashback ratio. Round this to the nearest dollar.

YouBike

You can use an EasyCard or iPASS to rent any YouBike 1.0 or 2.0. To use YouBikes, you’ll need to register your card online with a phone number.

I cover how to do this in the guide I linked a second ago.

YouBike, or uBike, is a bike-sharing system throughout Taiwan.

How To Check EasyCard Balance Taiwan #

The easiest way to perform an EasyCard balance check is to use ticket kiosks at metro centers.

Adjacent to every MRT service counter, you’ll see an EasyCard reader that displays your balance and transit history.

You can also download an app like EasyWallet to check your balance anywhere. While the app is only in Chinese, it’s simple to navigate. All you need is a nickname for your card and your card’s number.

EasyWallet app

You can find it on the lower portion of your EasyCard:

How to check for EasyCard Number

If you don’t want to search for your card’s number, you can enable near-field communication (NFC), tap your card against your phone, and the EasyWallet app will register your card. However, EasyWallet doesn’t update your card’s balance until the next day.

You can take your smart card to a convenience store and ask the staff to check your balance.

When you enter a bus or MRT station, your balance will display on the screen. So, you should remember that number.

Differences Between EasyCard and Other Smart Cards #

Taiwan has quite a few Integrated Circuit (IC) cards. You’ll want to know the differences to avoid confusion.

Throughout this portion, I’ll cover information about each card and how it differs from the EasyCard.

Taipei EasyCard vs. iPASS

EasyCard has more accessibility than iPASS. I’d only recommend getting an iPASS to ensure you have coverage to all services, shops, and restaurants.

iPASS works the same as the EasyCard. It started as being exclusive to Kaohsiung and eventually became adopted as a payment method throughout the country.

EasyCard vs. Fun Pass

The Fun Pass targets tourists looking for a stellar deal rather than an explorer. You can purchase the Fun Pass in one-two-, or three-day passes.

These passes shave a large amount from ticket fees that would otherwise pay to enter 16 different tourist destinations.

You also have unlimited access to Taipei’s buses and metro during the duration of these cards.

icash vs. EasyCard

An icash smart card makes it so you can generate points through 7-Eleven’s (Taiwan) parent company, Uni President.

The points will go through the Open Point app and make it so you can get discounts and freebies. Upon accumulating enough points.

icash still can get you the cash rebate from the Taipei Metro. But you can’t use it with as many places as the EasyCard Taipei. For instance, you can’t use icash to rent YouBikes.

I only recommend getting an icash if you intend on living in Taiwan.

Difference Between EasyCard and HappyCash

HappyCash is a rewards program that makes it so you can make payments at places like:

  • SOGO malls
  • BigCity shopping centers
  • Far Eastern Telecom
  • a.mart supermarket

You can generate rewards points. But you can’t use it for public transportation.

FAQs: Taipei EasyCard

The following sections will cover frequently asked questions about the Taipei EasyCard.

Can I use EasyCard in Kaohsiung?

You can use an EasyCard at any retailer in Kaohsiung that accepts the card. You can use this integrated circuit card on the KRTC Kaohsiung Metro’s Orange and Red lines.

What Do I Do With Unused Funds on an EasyCard

You can take your EasyCard to an MRT station information counter and pay a NT$20 ($0.72) fee to refund up to NT$3,000 ($100) of unused funds from your card.

Does EasyCard Expire?

The Taiwan EasyCard does not have an expiration date. Unless you use a Student card. Your funds will remain on the card until you either refund it or spend all your money.

How Do I Register My EasyCard?

Visit EasyCard’s website and providing the required documents. You can only register your EasyCard if you’re a foreign resident with an Taiwan ARC (Alien Resident Certificate) or APRC (Alien Permanent Resident Certificate) number.

Conclusion

The Taipei EasyCard has many uses and can save you from having to lug coins and banknotes throughout the country. Many retailers and public transportation mediums will accept this card as a form of cashless payment.

Due to the card’s convenience, there’s no reason not to buy the Taipei Smart Card when you’re in Taiwan.

If you want to save time at the airport, you can purchase an EasyCard through Voyagin and pick up the IC card once you arrive in Taiwan.

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person standing on top of Taipei 101 tower in Taiwan City, Taiwan

About Tee

Tee began first experienced the wonders of traveling when visiting Vietnam. Afterward, he went crazy and ventured to at least… More about Tee