Should you get the Singapore Tourist Pass?

Day passes can save money. I’ve saved plenty in San Francisco.

For transportation, travellers to Singapore can choose between a day pass, the EZ-Link (stored value card used by locals for transport and other small payments) or paying by cash.

Singapore’s tourist day pass is called the Singapore Tourist Pass (which I will shorten to STPass).

Singapore Tourist Pass
Credit

When I first read about STPass, my gut feel told me the pass is not worth the money and that a regular EZLink is an even better value for a traveler.

Here is the cost of the pass:
1 Day Pass S$10
2 Day Pass S$16
3 Day Pass S$20

However, I’m not quite sure what this line means: “At the point of purchase of the pass, a deposit of S$10 will be collected for use of the smart card. The rental deposit is fully refundable when the card is returned to any of the authorised Transitlink Ticket offices in Singapore, including within six days from the date it was first issued.”

You’ll need to give an extra S$10 when you buy the card. You’ll forfeit the money if you decide to keep the card. (Too expensive!)

The math

To see if my gut feel is right, I’ll do the math of travelling on an EZ-Link card for 3 days.

EZ-Link Card
EZ-Link Card

I’m using Wikipedia’s 3 Days in Singapore as an itinerary and use gothere.sg as my guide for transport cost.

For accommodation, let’s pretend that we’re staying at Raffles Hotel which I cannot afford (but bear with me).

Day 1:
Raffles Hotel to Singapore Zoo $1.76
Singapore Zoo to Orchard MRT station $1.73
Orchard Road to Clarke Quay MRT $0.88
Clarke Quay back to Raffles Hotel $0.93
Total spent: $5.30 + (non-refundable $5)=$10.30

Day 2:
Raffles Hotel to Chinatown $0.93
Chinatown to Little India $0.93
Farrer Park to Raffles Hotel $0.88
Total spent: $2.74
Day 1 + Day 2 expenses= $8.04
+ (non-refundable $5) =$13.04

Day 3
Raffles Hotel to HarbourFront $1.32
Monorail from HarbourFront into Sentosa $4.00 [Singapore Tourist Pass doesn’t cover this.
Sentosa back to HarbourFront (Free)
HarbourFront to Raffles Hotel $1.32
Total spent: $6.64 + $4 Monorail
Day 1 + Day 2 + Day 3 expenses= $14.68
+ (non-refundable $5) =$19.68

The journeys combine bus travel and train travel. Some tourists might not feel too comfortable taking the bus.

Verdict

The price of an EZ-Link travel and STPass are pretty similar. I like that you can use EZ-Link to pay for groceries and food, making it more convenient.

I have to admit that the STPass does look a lot prettier than a regular EZ-Link. So if you are travelling to Singapore, maybe you can give it a try.

UPDATE: As Gurpal mentioned below, the card is only available at selected MRTs and at specific timings. Boo.

Have you bought the Singapore Tourist Pass before? How was your experience?

This blog post was first published on September 1, 2012. It has been updated to reflect changes to the pricing of public transport.

More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.

20 Comments

    1. Very much informative ….thanks,….. Will go for stp. Only problem is that it not available all over…only at few selective places with timinings.

        1. No, through research for a first time visitor to see if it was worthwhile letting them borrow my ezlink card or recommending them to buy a STPass.

    1. I would appreciate if you could inform me whether it is possible to lend my EZ link card to my friend who will travel to spore. Tks.

      1. Of course you can since the card not linked to any person.

    1. good day! i have a few questions. what modes of public transport is the STPass valid for? Am I right to assume it covers SMRT, buses (which buses? all of them?), how about taxis?

      Sorry for the many questions. :( I was so intent on buying STP+ but after reading bad reviews on the FunVee Tour, I don’t think it’s gonna be worth the price.

      First time travelling to Singapore. Your blog helped me a lot.

      1. Hello! The STPass covers the two major bus companies (not sure about the night buses). Now I’m starting to think that the regular EZLink card should be sufficient for everyone. Even when I’m travelling a lot, I don’t use up that much credit. Happy travels~! :D

    1. Hi!

      We will be travelling to Singapore on March for a 5-day leisure. And we will be taking the MRT and bus mostly. My concern is that can we still use the STPass on our 4th and 5th day? Thank you very much in advance.

      1. Hi, I suspect the card can’t be used on the fourth and fifth day. Personally, I would prefer getting a regular EZ-Link card in your case, especially if it’s a leisurely trip.

    1. Hi, thanks a lot for the info.
      We (me, husband and son) will travel to singapore on march 2017. Been searching in the web but couldnt find this:
      With the STP, must each person buy one card? Can we used one stp for three person? How about ez link card? Need info. Thanks before.

      1. You’ll need three cards for you, your husband and your son. It’s the same for Singapore Tourist Pass and EZ-Link card. Everyone needs their own card.

    1. Hi,

      I’ll be travelling to SG on March with my husband and 1yo. daughter. Does my daughter need a separate EZlink card? Also, we will be staying there for 5 days, is it wise to buy the 3 days (4th day will be spent in Legoland) pass and just reload it on the 5th day? How much do we pay for reload?
      Thanks!

    1. Hi! you mentioned that EZ link can be used for groceries and food, can you please share the merchants accept payment with EZ link?
      I’ll be in Singapore 3 days for Coldplay, so not much places to go to. Which one do you suggest?

    1. Just like to ask, EZ Link can be used to buy ticket on the sentosa express? :)

    1. I bought and used a STPass during a 4-day stay in Singapore in March 2017. At the end of the third day I turned it into an EZPass card and added value, which worked OK for the fourth day. Except that I added too much value….

      I may have overpaid a bit by buying the STPass, but I enjoyed not having to worry about checking the remaining stored value during those first three days, so I think that convenience was worth the extra cost. Also, my hotel happened to be near the Little India MRT station which is one of the ones where they are available so I was able to get it easily.

      I got my S$10 (for the actual card) refunded at the Changi airport MRT station when I flew out.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.