Sorry to make you feel old, but EZ-Link card is almost 20 years old


Zhangxin Zheng | Sponsored | September 12, 2020, 11:03 AM

People of a certain vintage will remember this bus ticketing machine:

via Twitter.

This device goes back to the 1990s.

Commuters had to slot a somewhat flimsy fare card into the machine and select the destination for the bus fare to be deducted while boarding the bus.

During those days, each person would take at least a few seconds to board the bus.

It’s so easy to get on buses or trains nowadays that you get tsk-ed at when the EZ-Link card reader rejects your card. While it’s just a few seconds of delay to those behind the queue, you can’t help but feel bad about it.

Everyone is simply so spoiled by the ease of getting around with EZ-Link cards. Right?

While EZ-Link cards remain to be an everyday necessity, they have been around for 20 years.

Growing up with EZ-Link cards

EZ-Link cards were broadly introduced in 2002. I was in primary school then.

Here’s my very first EZ-Link card. Photo courtesy of Zheng Zhangxin.

It was basically the ticket to independence which brought me to Plaza Singapura after major examinations during primary school days.

For a long time since then, the EZ-Link card has probably become one of the most important cards I have in the wallet.

Besides travelling to places, the student concession card helps to unlock all the student price deals that I now dearly miss.

While there’s no more student deal, EZ-Link cards continue to mean more than just a transport fare card to me.

So many ways to top up EZ-Link card now

I got to admit that life is much more fast-paced in adulthood.

Thankfully, there are many ways to top up my cards these days to avoid getting stuck at MRT gantries or on the bus when my card runs low on balance.

Trust me, I hate getting stuck for that few seconds as much as you.

Besides top-up machines, there are also retail stores like 7-Eleven which provide such a service.

You can now top up EZ-Link card at your fingertips via EZ-Link‘s mobile app and earn cashback from reloading your card.

Anywhere and anytime, as long as your phone is alive.

More than just for commuting

EZ-Link cards also function like cash cards and are handy when you run out of cash in your wallet.

Two generations of EZ-Link cards. Photo taken by Zheng Zhangxin.

Many retail outlets now accept payments with EZ-Link cards, such as 7-Eleven, McDonald’s and NTUC stores.

My favourite bubble tea shop, Koi, also accepts this mode of payment option. Yay.

Pretty funky 7-Eleven design when EZ-Link cards were first introduced as a payment mode at retail stores such as 7-Eleven in 2010. Images via EZ-Link website.

Because EZ-Link cards are so useful, they actually make good corporate gifts:

The one on the left was from a career fair and the ones on the right were from community events. Photos by Zheng Zhangxin.

Since you use it almost every day, one more EZ-Link card is never too many.

Today, EZ-Link cards are no longer just flat and dull cards.

They come in the form of small dongles that look like keychains, known as the EZ-Link charms.

I got myself one as well because I found it convenient to hang it on my phone. And I’m not even kidding, these EZ-Link charms can be really highly sought-after as collectibles or gifts.

You probably have come across the popular ones such as the Sanrio, Pokemon and Marvel inspired designs.


Earn cashback when you top up via EZ-Link mobile app

If you use EZ-Link cards (or charms) for various purposes like me, you should definitely have the EZ-Link App on your phone for convenient top-ups.

Both Android and iPhone users can use the app for this function now.

For Android users, you have more incentives to use the app.

There is the option to top up your senior or student concession card using the Express Top-Up Function.

From now till Oct. 31, 2020, there’s also a S$0.50 cashback for every top-up made, capped at S$2 per card every month, for Android users only.

Here are the three simple steps to do so if you want to download the app:

via EZ-Link website.

With this app, you will no longer need to leave the house earlier just to top up your card or queue up at the machine when you are in a hurry.

Making life even EZ-ier.


This article brought to you by EZ-Link has made the writer realise she’s an EZ-Link card hoarder.

Top photo via Twitter and by Zheng Zhangxin