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:
- What it is
- Where you can get them
- How to use them
- How to add money
- Types of cards
- Where you can use them
- Checking your balance
- How it compares to other smart cards
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.
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 :
- 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-Eleven||Online shops||EasyCard Corp. service center||Grocery stores (sometimes)|
|Airports||Travel websites||FamilyMart||MRT station kiosks|
|Metro station service counters||Schools||Credit cards|
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.”
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
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 :
|Taipei City Parking Management and Development||Parking|
|Taiwan International Development Co.||Parking|
|TOTAL PARKING SERVICE||Parking|
|Taiwan Railways Administration trains||Train|
|Taiwan High Speed Rail||Train|
|Taiwan Taxi (台灣大車隊)||Taxi|
|Taipei City Bike Rent Station||Bicycle rental|
|Barrier Free Bus||Bus|
|OK mart||Convenience store|
|Taiwan Fresh Supermarket||Supermarket|
|Taiwan Sugar Health Supermarket||Supermarket|
|National Army Welfare Station (國軍福利站)||Supermarket|
|Cotton Fields Health Store||Supermarket|
|Hsin Tung Yang||Gift store|
|Black Bridge||Gift store|
|Shan Mai Food||Gift store|
|Yu Zhen Jai (玉珍齋)||Gift store|
|Vigor Kobo||Gift store|
|Jiu Zhen Nan||Gift store|
|Kerry TJ Logistics||Logistics|
|Daiso Japan||Stationery shop|
|SHOWBA (小北百貨)||Stationery shop|
|National Electronic (全國電子)||Stationery shop|
|Tien Chiao Shih||Bookstore|
|101 Stationary paradise||Bookstore|
|Nine Times Nine||Bookstore|
|Sanmin Bookstore (三民書局)||Bookstore|
|YIFANG TAIWAN FRUIT TEA||Beverage|
|Dante Coffee Shop||Café|
|Mr. Brown Café||Café|
|Peter Better Café||Café|
|Fried Chicken Master||Restaurant|
|Mercuries Food Chain||Restaurant|
|Very Thai Noodle||Restaurant|
|Hai Rei Foods||Restaurant|
|Zhengzhong Pork Ribs Rice||Restaurant|
|Magie de LEVAIN||Bakery|
|The Landis Taipei||Bakery|
|TransAsia Catering Services||Bakery|
|Pizza Hut||Fast Food|
|TKK Fried Chicken||Fast Food|
|Sinyi Realty||Fast Food|
|Laya Burger||Breakfast store|
|QK Brunch||Breakfast store|
|Chungyo Department Store||Food Court|
|Shin Kong Mitsukoshi||Food Court|
|Q Square||Food Court|
|Taipei 101||Food Court|
|Global Mall||Food Court|
|Big City||Food Court|
|Ming Yao Department Store||Food Court|
|Beyond Plaza||Food Court|
|Profond Duty Free Store||Food Court|
|Great Food Town||Food Court|
|Bada Forest Park||Attraction|
|Xiao Ren Guo||Playground|
|Lihpao Resort||Water park in Taichung|
|Taipei Children’s Amusement Park||Attraction|
|Happy Home||DVD rental?|
|National Taiwan Museum||Attraction|
|Taipei Fine Arts Museum||Attraction|
|Guandu Nature Park||Attraction|
|Scenic Area Service Industry, Taoyuan||Attraction|
|Taipei City Hospital||Hospital|
|New Taipei City Hospital||Hospital|
|Lukang Christian Hospital||Hospital|
|Hungchi Women & Children’s Hospital||Hospital|
|Chang Gung Memorial Hospital||Hospital|
|Lotung Pohai Hospital||Hospital|
|Tri-Service General Hospital||Hospital|
|Mackay Memorial Hospital||Hospital|
|CPC Corporation||Gas station|
|Taiwan Sugar Gas Station||Gas station|
|Formosa Oil||Gas station|
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.
You can use EasyCard Taiwan to enter and exit the following Taiwan Railway Association (TRA) trains and lines:
|Pixgin lines||Shalun lines||Puyuma Express|
|* Suao-Keelung-Pingtung||Jiji lines||Taroko Express|
|Shenao ines||Liujia lines||Special & reserved seats|
* 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).
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
The following Taiwan city buses accept EasyCards:
- 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.
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 .
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 :
|# of Trips Required||Cashback Percentage|
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.
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.
You can find it on the lower portion of your EasyCard:
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.
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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