How to Add Fare to a Metro Smart Card Online

You can fare to your metro smart card online or offline.
You can fare to your metro smart card online or offline. (Image: Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Whether as a matter of convenience or because of environmental reasons, may people choose to take public transportation instead of driving. In the Washington D.C. area, adding money to your metro smart card, or SmarTrip card ensures you won’t be stranded. Fortunately, technology has made it easier than ever to add fare to the card. Knowing your options for adding fare to card makes public transportation that much more convenient.

Things You'll Need

  • SmarTrip card
  • Access to farecard machine
  • Cash, metrocheck or credit card

Purchase your SmarTrip card at Commuter stores, Metro stations, online or at participating retailers.

Register your SmarTrip card with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, or WMATA. This allows you to take advantage of member benefits, such as replacement of lost or stolen cards or transfer of value to a new card for a small fee.

Add value to your SmarTrip card. This will allow uninterrupted use of the card.

Locate a pass or farecard machine in any one of the metro stations. Touch your SmarTrip card to the target area on the machine. Follow the prompts to finish the transaction.

Insert cash, a current used farecard or Metrocheck. The balance of the card must be less than seven dollars if the card has been used. If the Metrocheck or facecard is unused, it may hold any value.

Insert a VISA, MasterCard or Discover card if you prefer this method of adding value to your SmarTrip card.

Press the plus or minus button to display the amount that you wish to add to your SmarTrip card. If you are using a Metrocheck or farecard, the amount you wish to add cannot be less than the trade-in value of the Metrocheck or facecard.

Touch your SmarTrip card to the target area on the machine one final time. This will update your card and show your current balance.

Visit a participating retailer. Some retailers will allow you to add value to your SmarTrip card conveniently at the retail store.

Visit to purchase fares online. You will need your SmarTrip card and a valid credit card to complete the transaction.

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