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Should you get the Singapore Tourist Pass instead of a normal EZ-Link?

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

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.


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.


    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?

    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.

    1. i did a comparison for 3-day tourist pass (not the plus since that is pretty much useless) vs adult EZlink pass.

      3-day tourist pass is better if you make at least 2-return trips a day, everyday for the 3 days, and then get the $10 deposit fee refunded.
      adult EZlink pass is better if you are here on a week or longer trip, and you don’t have the need to travel so much everyday. Your only loss is $5 for the card, you can get the balance of the stored value refunded.
      for everyone else, a standard ticket bought at the train station is best, or pay in cash if you’re taking the bus.
      after all, there will be times when taking a taxi or Uber is so much more convenient or just cos you wanna relax after a long day out.

    1. l will be going Singapore on 28 Dec for a night. Don’t think l need a pass at all. Am l right? Thank you

    1. hi. im going to Singapore on 26 January 2018 with my colleague trip aroud 15 people. what card should we buy for 2 days trip?

    1. thank you for writing this blog post, really helpful!
      btw I’m wondering if I purchase ez link card for my upcoming trip to singapore, will I still be able to use the same card for my next singapore trip on, let’s say, next year? does it have an expiry date? thank you in advance :)

    1. I iust got back from a week in Singapore. If your cellphone has NFC there are many apps that shows balance, trip history (MRT or bus, the stations got on and off that can be shown on a map), debits – and interestingly – credits of each trip. Always make sure to tap the card when you get off the bus. If not the trip cost is assumed to the very end.

      I have an android phone and after trying a few apps chose the Singapore Transit Card Reader app. I like it because not only show debits but also credits (not sure how it’s calculated) and net cost of each bus trip. Also the expiry date. I bought the 3-day tourist card, top up on the 4th day and the app shows expiry date November 14, 2024. Hope this helps.

        1. Hi Liau
          Apologies didn’t mean to say the phone can be use as a transit card. I meant the apps will read data in the card. Turn on NFC feature on the phone then place the card behind it. The phone screen will show the information I mentioned above.

    1. Hello, We are 2 adults and 2 children (10 and 15) and we will stay in Singapore for 6 days. It is better to use STP or Ez link card or because we are 4 it is better to use taxi, grab or uber?

    1. Helllo, i would like to ask if you borrow an ez link card and tourist pass, can we still avail the 3day pass? What do we have to do?

      1. If you can borrow the EZ-Link, then you won’t need to get the Tourist Pass. Just top up money on the card and start using it.

    1. My kid’s age is just below 03. (02 years and 10 months) Do I need to take tickets for him.

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    1. Hi ,
      I am travelling to singapore from 7th Nov to 12th Nov, 2018 with my family of 3 adults and 2 children of 6 and 11 years. from where can I get cheap tickets for attractions and which mode of transportation will be convenient for me? suggestions please.

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