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How to use your credit and debit cards to tap on public transport

Sydney commuters can use their American Express, Visa and Mastercard cards to tap on across the Opal network.

Updated

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Sydney commuters can use their American Express, Mastercard or Visa debit or credit card to tap on and off bus, train, light rail and ferry services across the Opal network. You can take advantage of this payment option regardless of who you bank with. You can also use your smartphone or smartwatch to tap on if you've linked your card with a mobile wallet like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay.

Just like an Opal card, you can hold your card or eligible device against the Opal terminal to tap on and off to pay for your trip.

Contactless payments on the Opal network were first rolled out as a trial across Sydney ferry and Inner West light rail services in March 2018.

Compare Visa, Mastercard and American Express credit cards

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate Interest-free period Annual fee Balance transfer rate Balance transfer rate
Skye Mastercard - Exclusive Offer
23.99% p.a.
Up to 110 days on purchases
$99
0% p.a. for 25 months
0% p.a. for 25 months
Long-Term 0% Balance Transfer Offer
Finder Exclusive
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 25 months, up to 110 days interest-free on purchases and flexible instalment plan options.
ANZ Low Rate - Exclusive Offer
12.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 25 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 25 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% Balance Transfer for 25 Months
Finder Exclusive
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 25 months (with a one-time 1.5% BT fee) and $0 first year annual fee. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
St.George Vertigo Classic
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% Purchase Rate & 0% Balance Transfer Offers
Get 0% p.a. promotional purchase and balance transfer rates and save with a first-year annual fee waiver. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Citi Rewards Card - Balance Transfer Offer
21.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 30 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 30 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% Balance Transfer Offer & $0 First Year Annual Fee
Save with 0% interest on balance transfers for the first 30 months (with a 1.5% BT fee) and a $0 annual fee for the first year.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
0% for 17 months, reverts to 20.24% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
20.24% p.a.
20.24% p.a.
0% Purchase Offer & $0 First Year Annual Fee
Receive a 0% purchase rate offer for 17 months and a $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$129
0% p.a. for 22 months
0% p.a. for 22 months
0% Balance Transfer Offer & Annual Fee Refund
Enjoy a 22-month balance transfer offer, travel insurance and an annual fee refund when you spend an eligible $6k/year. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Citi Rewards Card - $500 Voucher Offer
21.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$99 annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 12 months
0% p.a. for 12 months
$500 e-voucher and Discounted First Year Annual Fee Offer
Get a $500 e-voucher to spend at Myer, JB Hi-Fi or Coles when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, earn points with the Citi Rewards Program.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
20.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$64 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 22 months
0% p.a. for 22 months
$129 Gift Voucher & Balance Transfer Offer
Get 0% p.a. for 22 months on balance transfers and a reduced first-year annual fee. Plus, earn up to 30,000 bonus Velocity Points. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
19.99% p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases
$295 annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Bonus Qantas Points Offer
Collect up to 130,000 bonus Qantas Points. Get 100k when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 60 days and 30k after 12 months.
Westpac Low Rate Card
13.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$59
0% p.a. for 20 months with 1% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 20 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Long-Term Balance Transfer Offer & $200 Cashback
A low rate card offering 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 20 months and a $200 cashback offer.
Citi Clear Card
0.9% for 15 months, reverts to 14.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$99
0.9% p.a. for 15 months
0.9% p.a. for 15 months
0.9% Purchase & Balance Transfer Offers
Save with 0.9% p.a. for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. Plus, complimentary purchase insurance cover.
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
0% for 15 months, reverts to 10.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$49
2.99% p.a. for 9 months
2.99% p.a. for 9 months
0% Purchase Rate Offer
Save with an introductory rate of 0% p.a on purchases for 15 months and 2.99% p.a. on balance transfers for 9 months.
St.George Amplify Platinum - Qantas
19.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$99
0% p.a. for 6 months
0% p.a. for 6 months
Balance Transfer Offer & 60,000 Bonus Points
Earn 60,000 bonus Qantas Points, plus enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 6 months and complimentary insurance covers. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Mastercard
11.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($45 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 6 months
0% p.a. for 6 months
$0 First Year Annual Fee & $150 Woolworths Gift Card Offer
Save with a $0 first-year annual fee and get a $150 Woolworths Supermarket gift card when you spend $1,000 in the first 60 days. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Qantas Premier Platinum
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$199 annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 18 months
0% p.a. for 18 months
Balance Transfer Offer & Up to 80,000 Bonus Points
Get up to 80,000 bonus Qantas Points, 75 bonus Status Credits and a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 18 months. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
20.24% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$425
20.24% p.a.
20.24% p.a.
100,000 Bonus Points & $150 back
Earn 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, 75 bonus Status Credits and $150 back when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months with this premium card.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
No Annual Fee & 0% Balance Transfer Offer
Earn flybuys points for your spending and save with an ongoing $0 annual fee and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months.
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
12.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$59
0% p.a. for 20 months with 2% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 20 months with 2% balance transfer fee
0% Balance Transfer Offer
Receive an introductory 0% p.a. interest rate for 20 months on balance transfers, Visa Entertainment offers and a competitive $59 ongoing annual fee.
Coles Rewards Mastercard
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$99
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% Balance Transfer Offer
Earn 2 flybuys points / $1 spent and save with a 0% balance transfer offer. Plus, 0% international transaction fees on purchases.
Virgin Money No Annual Fee Credit Card
18.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0
0% p.a. for 12 months
0% p.a. for 12 months
No Annual Fee & 0% Balance Transfer Offer
Offers 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers and up to 55 days interest-free on purchases, all for a $0 annual fee. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$99
0% p.a. for 12 months
0% p.a. for 12 months
0% Balance Transfer Offer
Receive 20,000 bonus Qantas Points and a long-term balance transfer offer. Plus, complimentary travel insurance. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
N/A
Up to 51 days on purchases
$450
150,000 Bonus Points Offer
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 150,000 bonus points, 3x points on eligible Qantas flights & 2 lounge passes per year.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Qantas
20.49% p.a.
Up to 45 days on purchases
$99 annual fee for the first year ($200 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Balance Transfer Offer & 60,000 Bonus Points
Get 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 within 90 days. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount and a long-term balance transfer offer.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Classic
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% Purchase Rate & 0% Balance Transfer Offers
Save with 0% p.a. for 7 months on purchases, 0% p.a. interest for 22 months on balance transfers and a $0 first-year annual fee. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
St.George Vertigo Platinum
0% for 15 months, reverts to 12.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$49 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
6.99% p.a. for 12 months
6.99% p.a. for 12 months
0% Purchase Rate Offer & First Year Annual Fee Discount
Features an introductory 0% p.a. purchase rate, $49 first year annual fee and complimentary travel insurance covers. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
0% for 14 months, reverts to 20.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$64 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 6 months
0% p.a. for 6 months
0% for 14 months Purchase Offer with Virgin Australia Gift Voucher
Enjoy 0% p.a. interest on purchases for 14 months, a reduced first-year annual fee and Velocity Points per $1 spent. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
St.George Amplify Platinum
0% for 7 months, reverts to 19.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% Purchase Rate & 0% Balance Transfer Offers
Save with 0% p.a. interest rates on purchases and balance transfers. Plus a $0 first-year annual fee. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
BankSA Vertigo
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% Purchase Rate & 0% Balance Transfer Offers
Enjoy a 0% p.a. for up to 22 months on balance transfers and up to 7 months on purchases. Plus, $0 first-year annual fee. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
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When you use your credit card or debit card to pay your travel fare at the Opal terminal, you'll access the same benefits of an Adult Opal card including weekly travel rewards and transfer discounts. If you're using a frequent flyer or frequent flyer or rewards credit card to tap on, you can also earn points on every $1 you spend on your travel costs.

When Amex first rolled out the trial in 2018, it said this partnership further cemented its position as a leader in contactless payments in Australia. It was also the first card issuer to offer all three major mobile wallets (Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay) to its customers. Amex says this is just the latest initiative to give cardholders more convenient ways to use their cards.

"In the last year, American Express mobile wallet transactions have more than doubled and we expect this trend to continue as more places accept American Express contactless payments,” said Amex Vice President of Consumer Cards, Austin Huntsdale. “Our work with Transport for NSW is a great example of our commitment to growth in contactless acceptance in Australia.”

As our lives become increasingly more digital, the initiative is a reaction to consumer behaviour and our movement towards a cardless and cashless society.

“Australians have a keen appetite for new ways to pay, including via smartphones and wearables, both of which can now also be used to pay for public transport," said Visa's head of product Axel Boye-Moller. "Recent Visa research found 8 in 10 people would be comfortable using a smartphone for every day payments and 23% of Australians would likely use a smartwatch or other wearable for everyday payments, if they had one."

This partnership also follows Mastercard's successful six month trial in which commuters could use their credit or debit cards to tap on and off the F1 Manly to Circular Quay ferry service in 2017.

“The trial, which began in July 2017, has been a great success and demonstrates how we can apply and adapt technology to simplify customer experiences," said Mastercard division president for Australasia Richard Wormald.

Unfortunately, you can only use your bank card to tap on and off with Sydney Ferries and Inner West Light Rail services at the time of launch. However, there are plans to expand to other modes of public transport in NSW and across Australia in the future.

"We are looking forward to rolling out similar solutions in other states and making Australian cities more connected,” said Wormald.

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Pictures: American Express and Mastercard

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