SmarTrip® cards have the following advantages:
You can purchase SmarTrip® cards online, by mail, at select CVS/pharmacy, Giant Food and Safeway stores in the region that display the SmarTrip sign, Metro Sales Offices, SmarTrip® dispensers at Metrorail stations, and regional transit stores. Click here for a list of sales locations.
IMPORTANT: A SmarTrip® card or farecard must be purchased for each Metrorail rider. However, up to two children under age five may travel free with each fare paying adult.
1-Day Unlimited Trip Pass: $14.50 (SmarTrip® and paper)
7-Day Metrorail Fast Pass: $59.25 (SmarTrip®)
28-Day Metrorail Fast Pass: $237 (SmarTrip®)
7-Day Metrorail Short-Trip Pass: $36.00 (SmarTrip®)
7-Day Regional Bus Pass: $17.50 (SmarTrip®)
All smart card purchases are final. If you experience problems retrieving stored value or with product delivery or you find that you were charged incorrectly for your product, contact SmarTrip® Customer Service at 1-888-762-7874 so that we can review your order and address any problems. If you live outside of a 100-mile radius of the Baltimore or DC area, you may be eligible to request a refund of the value on your smart card. Please contact SmarTrip® Customer Service to discuss.
The primary difference is that the SmarTrip® Card allows a maximum stored value of $300, while the CharmCard® maximum stored value is $200. Both are smart cards and may be used interchangeably on participating transit systems including WMATA Metrorail and Metrobus, Maryland Transit Administration Local Bus, Light Rail and Metro Subway, Montgomery County RideOn, Prince George's County TheBus, Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission OmniRide, Alexandria DASH, Arlington Transit (ART), Fairfax Connector, Fairfax CUE, and Loudoun County Transit.
SmarTrip® and CharmCards® can be purchased by visiting the Online Fare Purchases page or by clicking on the link for "Online Store" from within your SmarTrip® Account. You will need to have a SmarTrip® Online account in order to complete your purchase.
You should receive a confirmation email if your order went through, however, it is possible that the confirmation email could not be delivered or was sent to your junk folder. You can check your order status by clicking "View Order History" on your online account home page. If your order went through, it will be listed with status of "Submitted". Once your order begins the fulfillment process, it will show as "In-Process", and after it has been shipped, the status will change to "Shipped".
Click on "View Order History" once you have logged into your account. Smartcard orders from the Online Store will include a circular blue icon in the list of orders. Click on "Details" for information on a specific order.
The shipping method available for your order will be displayed during the checkout process. US Postal service first class mail is used for orders totaling less than $200 that are shipped to addresses within the USA. However, for orders totaling $200 or above, UPS or Priority shipping is required for tracking purposes. If UPS or Priority shipping is required, the tracking number will be noted in the details of your order online, after the order status has changed to "Shipped". You can check the status of your order by clicking on "View Order History" on your online account home page. If order status is "Shipped", then click "Details" for the order to obtain the tracking number.
Yes, as a part of the online checkout process, you can specify a shipping name and address for an online smartcard order that is different from the address in your online account.
No. We are unable to ship SmarTrip cards to addresses outside of the United States.
About two-weeks after the Scheduled Release Date. The online product description will indicate the Scheduled Release Date, which is the estimate of when the product will be available to fill orders. Your order status can be viewed in your account, under "View Order History". The status will show as "shipped" when the product is on its way to you.
Log into your online Account and click on "View Order History". If the status of your order is "Submitted" or "In-Process", it will typically ship the next business day. If your order status is "Shipped", and free delivery was applied to your order, please allow 5 business days for delivery. If your order status is "Shipped" and UPS or Priority shipping was applied to your order, please note the tracking number from your order details and visit the website corresponding to the delivery method , input the tracking number and view the delivery status. If additional information is needed, please contact SmarTrip®/CharmCard® Customer Service at 888-762-7874.
Please see information above under "I did not receive my order yet."
Smartcard orders can be cancelled online the same day the order was placed by going to "View Order History", clicking on "Details", and clicking on "Cancel Order". After that, if your order status is "submitted", please call SmarTrip®/CharmCard® Customer Service at 888-762-7874 to see if your order can be cancelled. If your order status shows as "In process" or "shipped", the order cannot be cancelled. To return an order after it has been received, please call SmarTrip®/CharmCard® Customer Service.
Contact SmarTrip®/CharmCard® Customer Service at 888-762-7874 to discuss the return of your order.
Instead of paying each time you use Metrorail, Metrobus, MTA, and local bus systems you can "store value" (transfer money) onto your SmarTrip® card(s). Unless you purchase a Pass product, your fare will be deducted each time you ride on Metrorail, Metrobus or other regional transit systems that accept SmarTrip® cards. If you purchase a pass product, your SmarTrip® card will work during the time period specified for that pass product.
You can add up to $300 in stored value on a SmarTrip® card. Since the value on registered SmarTrip®cards is protected against theft and loss, save time by adding enough value on your card to avoid trips back to our website or vending machines.
You will need to use a major credit or debit card to pay for your order.
On a SmarTrip® Point-of-Sale Device:
Available at commuter stores and hundreds of CVS/pharmacy and Giant Food stores. Click here for sales locations. Follow the directions of the employee assisting with the device.
SmartBenefits® cannot be transferred to another card automatically. If you are a SmartBenefits® user, contact your employer's SmartBenefits® administrator to reassign your SmartBenefits® to another card. If you need assistance, call SmarTrip® Customer Service at 1-888-762-7874.
Click on this link to go to the Lost, Stolen, Damaged or Malfunctioning section.
For time-based pass products (e.g., the 7-Day Regional Bus Pass), the pass period begins the first day the pass is used.
The combination is fine. The bus farebox is programmed to read the pass products first and then stored value to deduct a ride. If there are no pass products on the card, the proper fare will be deducted. If there is a combination of pass product and stored value, the pass will be read first and the base fare will not be deducted from stored value.
On Metro Express and Airport Express (5A and B30) buses, the amount deducted from your card will be the difference between the appropriate express bus fare and a regular base fare. For example, if the express bus fare was $4.00 and a regular bus fare was $1.75, then $2.25 would be deducted from your card.
Add a rail pass to your SmarTrip® card online as well as at any Metrorail station. Note that you cannot load a rail pass if you have a negative balance on your card.
Add a bus pass to your SmarTrip® card online as well as at any Metro sales office, regional transit store, and select CVS/pharmacy and Giant Food stores where the SmarTrip® card is displayed. Note that you cannot load a bus pass if you have a negative balance on your card. For more information on where to purchase a bus pass, see our sales locations.
You can purchase two unique passes, such as a 7-Day Regional Bus Pass and an MTA Pass. The card can also hold two copies of each unique pass. For each unique pass, one copy will be active; the second will be ready to activate when the first one expires. For example, this feature allows you to add your next 7-Day Regional Bus Pass before the current one expires.
When a smart card is used at a bus farebox, faregate or fare vending machine a product previously purchased online is "loaded" to the card. At faregates and fare vending machines, product delivery is available within one business day of online purchase. Allow up to five business days for bus farebox product delivery. You have 30 days from the date of purchase to take advantage of your product delivery.
After 30 days, the product delivery transaction will expire and will no longer be available for loading at bus fareboxes, faregates or fare vending machines. If this happens, your product delivery status will show as "expired" on your SmarTrip® online account. Please contact SmarTrip® Customer Service at 1-888-762-7874 to request that the product be resent to your smart card.
If you experience problems loading stored value or products through product delivery, contact SmarTrip® Customer Service at 1-888-762-7874 for assistance. However, please keep these key points in mind:
The maximum stored value that may be added is $300 per 24-hour period.
Smart cards can hold stored value, plus two unique products, such as time-based passes (e.g. 7-day pass) or ride-based passes (e.g. 10-trip ticket). The card can also hold two copies of each unique product. One is active and the other is inactive. Once a product has been used, it is erased from your card.
Auto Reload for SmarTrip® or CharmCard® allows you to have a pre-defined dollar value or pass automatically added to your registered card, using a credit card stored in your online account. This convenient feature eliminates the need to stop at stores or fare machines. To create a SmarTrip® online account and register your card, click here.
Your credit card will be charged when you initially set up Auto Reload and complete your first purchase. The amount of your initial credit card charge will be the total value in your shopping cart. Your credit card will again be charged automatically when the minimum threshold of value or time is met for the SmarTrip® product (value or pass) selected for Auto Reload. Anytime your credit card is charged, you will receive an email confirming the dollar amount charged and stored value or pass added.
Auto Reload is triggered when the value or pass on your SmarTrip® or CharmCard® meets a pre-determined threshold.
Below are the values and/or times when your credit card will be charged and you can expect additional value or a new pass to be loaded on your card:
No. The minimum threshold for Auto Reload cannot be adjusted.
NOTE: You will be responsible for any Auto Reload amount charged to your credit card within five days of beginning the cancellation process. To avoid any unexpected, additional charges, remain mindful of the Auto Reload thresholds for fare products.
No. However, we urge you to register your SmarTrip® card to protect it if it malfunctions or is lost, stolen, or damaged. If you purchased your card online or by mail, it is already registered; however, we recommend that you add the card to your online account.
Login to your SmarTrip® online account. If your card is listed under "Associated cards", then it is registered. If your card is not listed, then click "Add SmarTrip® Card" and follow the prompts. If you have any questions, you can e-mail us at SmarTrip@wmata.com or call us at 1-888-762-7874 and press zero to get an operator.
No. However, if you would like us to provide you with services such as replacing the stored value on lost cards, then we need to collect some personal information from you such as your date of birth. We use this information only to confirm your identity before fulfilling your requests. We do not lease, sell or otherwise release your personal information to outside companies for marketing purposes. For more information on how Metro uses personal information provided by our customers, please read Metro's Privacy and Data Use Policy.
If you purchase your smartcard online, we will automatically register your card for balance protection, and associate the smartcard with your SmarTrip® account. The most efficient way to register your card for balance protection is to associate it with your online account, by logging into your SmarTrip® account and clicking on "Add SmarTrip® Card". You can also register your card by faxing a note with the SmarTrip® card serial number, your name, address, and email address to 202-962-1035 or mailing the same information to:
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
3301 Eisenhower Ave
Alexandria, VA 22314
Note that if we mail a new card to you (e.g., to replace a lost card), we automatically register the card for balance protection, on your behalf. Please see the chart below to determine whether your card has been registered or associated with your SmarTrip® account:
|Smartcard Sales Location||Is my card registered for balance protection?||Is my card associated with my online SmarTrip® Account?|
|PURCHASE NEW CARD|
|Online Store||Yes||Yes (unless you select otherwise, during purchase process)|
|Card Dispenser in rail station||No||No|
|Metro Sales Office||No||No|
|CVS, Giant or other retail location||No||No|
|OBTAIN REPLACEMENT CARD|
|In the Mail from SmarTrip® Customer Service||Yes||No|
Once you've entered your information on the registration website, it takes two business days for your card to show up as registered to you in Metro's systems. If you've mailed or faxed your registration in, the registration will be completed two business days after we've received it.
Please call SmarTrip® Customer Service at 1-888-762-7874 and press zero to speak to an operator. Based on the information you've provided, we can't verify that you're the owner of the SmarTrip® card you're trying to register. Please remember when calling for assistance that we must speak to the registered cardholder. We will not give any information to anyone other than the registered cardholder.
When using your SmarTrip® card, transfers from Metrobus to Metrobus are free, with unlimited connections (including round trips) within a two-hour window. In addition, SmarTrip® card users receive a 50¢ discount when transferring from Metrobus to Metrorail and from Metrorail to Metrobus.
No, you cannot share a SmarTrip® card; each rider must have his or her own card. However, you do not need a SmarTrip® card to ride. There are other ways to pay your fare, and this can be done once you get to the station or board the bus; however, most non-SmarTrip® fare options have surcharges. For more information on other ways to pay your fare, please see our Metro Pass and Farecard Options or call Metro Customer Service at 202-637-7000.
If you hear the low balance ringtone consider adding value at wmata.com, Metrorail stations, regional transit stores, or select retail stores like CVS/pharmacy and Giant Food. For commuters, your best bet is to use Auto Reload. Although you can also add value at the bus farebox, that slows down passenger boarding.
Products will be processed in the following order:
After processing stored value transfers, the system will use the order above to further process the product belonging to the agency on which you are riding, followed by regional products, and finally other agencies' products.
For online purchases, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express cards are accepted. We do not recommend using gift cards or prepaid cards, as we cannot guarantee that they will work, especially if they do not have a billing address tied to the card account.
There are several reasons why the transaction may have been declined, including reaching the maximum limits on your credit card (as established by your credit card issuer), unsuccessful zip code verification or other issues with your credit card account. Be sure that your credit card has not expired. Please contact your credit card issuer for additional information on declined transactions, and to check whether your credit card supports AVS (Address Verification System). If your card does not support AVS, the card may not be accepted by WMATA online.
There are several reasons why the transaction may have failed, including a communications problem or system error. This transaction can be researched by SmarTrip® Customer Service; if your credit card was charged in error, the charge will be refunded. Please contact SmarTrip® Customer Service at 1-888-762-7874 for additional information.
You may place up to four orders in your SmarTrip® online account within a 24-hour period. The maximum value of all purchases made online within 24 hours is $300.
You can update your address or any other information associated with your SmarTrip® card at any time by selecting the Update Card Information option after logging in to your account.
Yes, you can. There is no limit to the number of cards you can associate with your account. To add a new card, log in to your account and in the right menu, select the option Manage Your SmarTrip® Account. On the next page, select the option Add a SmarTrip® Card from the right menu. Provide the requested information about the card. Repeat this process for each new card.
If the card has already been registered, you'll be asked to provide some information that will enable us to verify that you're the registered card owner. If the card you're adding hasn't been registered, it will automatically be registered when it's associated with your account.
Every time you touch your SmarTrip® card at a faregate, at a Passes/Farecards vending machine or on a bus farebox, it will display your current balance. You can also check your balance via your SmarTrip® online account.
Yes, you can view your card usage history at any time by selecting the View Usage History option after logging in to your account. Your usage history is available online only back to Friday, January 1, 2010. Recent bus transactions can take up to three days to post to your account.
Please try again. The information you provided about your phone number and/or zip code doesn't match your current card registration record. You'll be permitted three attempts to enter this information. Remember that the phone number must be exactly 10 digits, and the first digit cannot be a 1. If you need further assistance, please call SmarTrip® Customer Service at 1-888-762-7874 and press zero to speak with an operator. Please remember when calling for assistance that we must speak to the registered cardholder. We won't give any information to anyone other than the registered cardholder.
You can close your SmarTrip® account at any time by logging into your account and selecting the Delete SmarTrip® Account option.
Log in to your SmarTrip® online account and select the Report Card as Lost/Stolen/Damaged option and follow the prompts. To learn more, click here.
Contact your employer to find out if your company offers SmartBenefits® "Transit Pass Benefits" and how to sign up to receive the benefits.
To determine which passes are available for your smartcard, log into your SmarTrip® account, click on a smartcard number to view the summary of that card, then click on the link to "Add Pass". Each pass description will indicate "Eligible for purchase using Transit Pass Benefits" if the pass can be purchased using Transit Pass Benefits. Stored value cannot be purchased using Transit Pass Benefits.
Yes. If you have Transit Pass Benefits, and wish to subscribe to Auto Reload for a pass that is eligible for purchase using Transit Pass Benefits, log into your SmarTrip® Online account, click on the smartcard number that receives Transit Pass Benefits, and sign up for Auto Reload for that pass. The payment for your initial Auto Reload purchase and all recurring loads will be automatically deducted from your Transit Pass Benefits, as long as there are funds remaining in your Transit Pass Benefits. You must provide a valid credit card, as a secondary payment method for Auto Reload, even if you intend to pay for the pass purchases using Transit Pass Benefits. Your credit card will be charged if your Transit Pass Benefits are not available.
Log into your SmarTrip® Online account and select the smartcard number that receives Transit Pass Benefits. On the "Card Summary" page, under the "SmartBenefits®" section, you will see the detailed information on your Transit Pass benefits, including period end date and timing, initial value and remaining value.
Log into your SmarTrip® Online Account, and click on "View Order History," which will show you all online purchases along with the payment method (SmartBenefits® or credit card). Details of each order can be viewed by clicking on the order number.
In order to protect your card's value, including any passes on the card purchased with Transit Pass Benefits, you should report your smartcard lost/stolen by logging into your SmarTrip® Online account, clicking on the smartcard number, and clicking on "Report Cards as Lost, Stolen, Damaged or Malfunctioning" to complete the process. While in your SmarTrip® Online account, you can request the stored value of your lost/stolen card to be transferred to your replacement smartcard. For passes purchased using Transit Pass Benefits, the full value of any unused passes, or the pro-rated value of partially-used passes, will be returned to your Transit Pass Benefits. You must then contact your Employer to transfer any SmartBenefits® to your replacement smartcard.