Travel Smart with 4 Money Saving Tips

Feeling blue that transport costs are rising? Experience the pinch that bus and train fares have gone up 2.8% despite drop in oil prices? Maximise your travel dollar with the following four life hacks. As part of it, be rewarded with a limited edition Hello Kitty EZ-Link charm (HELLO KITTY!!!) and how to DIY your own.

Tricks of the Trade

1) EZ-Link Rewards with Perx

EZ-Link has linked up with Perx to offer EZ-Link Rewards, which is a reward scheme for Ez-Link users. Every trip with the Adult ez-link card earns 25 points while every trip with EZ-Link co-brand cards including EZ-Link Imagine American Express® Prepaid Card, FEVO Prepaid MasterCard® Card, M1 Prepaid MasterCard® Card, PAssion Card, DBS Live Fresh card, POSB Everyday card, PAssion POSB Debit card and Citibank SMRT card earns 50 Points. Each user can link up to ten ez-link cards to each Perx Account and accumulate points concurrently with the linked cards.

As an introductory offer, card holders who sign up for the EZ-Link Rewards Scheme get an instant scratch card with reward points. I got 100. Accumulate 2,500 points by 20 July 2015 will stand a chance to win Tigerair air tickets to Maldives, Hong Kong, Chiang Mai, Langkawi or Taipei.

I was looking at the reward catalogue. With 500 points (or 10 trips on a EZ-Link co brand card, you can get $2 off at Watson’s). Assuming 1 trip is $1.50, that works out to a rebate system of about 13%. Not too bad.

2) Travel Smart Rewards

LTA Travel Smart Rewards scheme is another reward system that you can accumulate points with off peak travel. This is primarily for train trips using the registered EZlink or Nets Flash Pay card. Co-brand cards are supported.

As you earn points, this points can subsequently be converted to cash by either spinning the wheel, or exchange a 1000 points for $1. The odds are in favour of spinning the wheel.

3) Travel Early, Travel Free

If you can wake up early, this is an awesome way to shave dollars off your transport bill. If you can exit the selected station before 7:45 am, your ride is waived off.

The 18 designated stations are Bayfront, Bras Basah, Bugis, Chinatown, City Hall, Clarke Quay, Dhoby Ghaut, Downtown, Esplanade, Lavender, Marina Bay, Orchard, Outram Park, Promenade, Raffles Place, Somerset, Tanjong Pagar and Telok Ayer.

4) Auto Top Up Rebates

You can get cash rebate depending on your credit card promotion tie up with EZ Reload or Nets Flash Pay ATU function. The more straightforward credit card is the POSB Everyday Credit Card. Typically there is a charge of $0.25 for top ups via EZ Reload, but POSB has waived off this charge. Hence for every $50 top up, you get $1 back.

You can choose to use the credit card as your EZLink but there’s no need either. Just need to specify the CAN number when registering. If I am not wrong, the highest rebate currently is the Frank OCBC credit card which uses Nets Flashpay. The rebate is 6% for auto top up triggered on the Nets Flashpay but subject to monthly spend of $500.


Travel around in style

After saving some cash and getting some reward points, travel in style too. As part of Travel Hack 1, the first 1,000 members to accumulate 5,000 points can get to redeem a limited edition Blue Hello Kitty EZ-Charm. Redemption begins on
11 May 2015. Forget the old-fashioned EZ-Link card, I think the new EZ Charms will be all the rage.

Singapore has a weird infatuation with the iconic feline character.

Singapore gripped by Hello Kitty frenzy

The first EZ-Charm design features Hello Kitty to give users a lovely, fun and stylish piece of ornament to hang off their mobile phones, key chains and more. This series of charms are available in four designs: Red (white face with red bow), Blue (white face with blue blow), Pink (white face with pink bow) and Black (black face with gold bow.

Functioning in exactly the same way as existing ez-link cards, EZ-Charms can be used on buses, trains, taxis, for shopping and dining and topped up at all ez-link card channels.

They have no pre-existing value and only have a 2 year validity, which is rather short.

The full set of the Hello Kitty EZ-Charms will available for sale on My EZ-Link Online Shop beginning from 30th April 2015. The Red and Pink Hello Kitty EZ-Charms will be at all 7-Eleven outlets except Changi Airport and petrol kiosks outlets beginning from end May 2015 with the Black Hello Kitty EZ-Charm available from end June 2015.

Hello Kitty EZ-Charms Full Set

Individually, they are priced at $S$24.90 each, with the full set at $99.60.

Meanwhile, the Blue Hello Kitty EZ-Charms is exclusively available for the first 1,000 customers who accumulates 5,000 points on the EZ-Link Rewards Scheme with Perx. Redemption begins 11th May 2015.

For guys, who can’t carry off the Hello Kitty charm, how about performing some DIY – geekery by removing out the EZ Link RFID chip? You can embed it in anything you want and DIY your own charm. I think Bunnie explains the whole EZ-Link RFID transplanation quite well, and it is still relevant as of today. I attempted something similar, but had problems connecting up the antennas.

Sean

Sean is a tech geek and star wars fan. He loves playing with new gadgets, writing little code snippets in Python, JS, and dabbling with Android programming from time to time, while keeping a lookout for the next biggest happening in the world of tech!

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