How to use the new Rabbit Card in Bangkok

April 30, 2012

For a long time, people have been grumbling that Bangkok doesn’t have a one ticket policy for transport across the capital. Whenever we travel on the subway, skytrain or buses, we have to use different passes for each of them. However, with the introduction of the Rabbit Card on 1st May 2012, we have come a step close to achieving one card for them all. In the first stage, the Rabbit Card can be used on the BTS Skytrain and about 20 retail shops such as McDonald’s, Starbucks, Black Canyon, Au Bon Pain, Burger King, Mister Donut, Oishi Group, and selected outlets in Siam Paragon and The Emporium. Towards the end of the year, the Rabbit Card will also be able to be used on the MRT Subway and the BRT Buses.

‘Rabbit’ is modeled on similar international smartcard systems, such as in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and England. During the launch period, holders of BTS smartcards, both stored value and 30-day trip passes, can exchange their cards for ‘Rabbit’ without having to pay an issuing fee. For those not holding a BTS card, ‘Rabbit’ will be available for a special introductory issuing fee of 50 baht plus a 50 baht refundable deposit. BTS’s 30-day trip pass can also be added to the same ‘Rabbit’.  The ‘Rabbit’ will be available and can be topped up with cash at all BTS Ticket Offices from 1st May. There are plans to increase ‘Rabbit’ top up channels to include retailers, banks, and other transit system operators in the future.

In addition to the launch of Rabbit, there is also the Rabbit’s affiliated loyalty and points program, ‘Carrot Rewards’, an initiative by Carrot Rewards Co., Ltd. From 1st May, 2012, members can earn ‘Carrot Points’ when they top up their ‘Rabbit’, travel on the BTS and spend at places like McDonald’s. ‘Carrot Points’ can be redeemed for gift certificates such as from McDonald’s, Major, AirAsia and the Mall Group. To become a member of ‘Carrot Rewards’, ‘Rabbit’ holders must first register their card on the Company’s website. In addition to ‘Carrot Points’, they are planning other member benefits such as a network of ‘Carrot Kiosks’ at BTS stations by August. The ‘Carrot Kiosks’ will be for members to check their ‘Carrot Points’ balance, redeem their ‘Carrot Points’ for top up value to their ‘Rabbit’ and to print promotional coupons from fast food chains and other retailers.

It should be noted, that if you are using the new extension from Bearing to On Nut, you need to change your BTS smartcard for the new Rabbit Card. I believe this is because this extension has different owners to the rest of the network. I will be travelling from BTS Bearing on 1st May and I will confirm this information on twitter @RichardBarrow.

More information at www.rabbitcard.com and www.carrotrewards.co.th

16 Responses to How to use the new Rabbit Card in Bangkok

  1. Randy on April 30, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Yeah, funny how you make the get one carrot look like you actually get zero….I saw it as a big zero and only after looking at it several times did I see they are trying to indicate one carrot….subconsciously that is how it will register with many….loser campaign for sure, but I get on at Bangjark and understand Thai ting-tong ways, so no problem for me to understand the Thai “fail” attitude in forcing me to change to “rabbit”…

  2. Lalaine Ladores on April 30, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    I went to the BTS counter in Saladeang to exchange my store value card and I was told that the Rabbit Card is only available to exchange with the 30-day pass (Adult and Student). So, when can we exchange our BTS store value card?

    • Richard Barrow on May 1, 2012 at 11:01 am

      When did you go? Up until today, you could only change a 30-Day pass to a Rabbit Card. But, from 1 May, you can change your store-valued card as well. I will be doing that myself today as I live along the new extension.

  3. tom on May 1, 2012 at 9:20 am

    why not just issue 1 card for subway, skytrain or bus and be done with it. Here;s a tricky name as well “Bangkok Trans Card”

    • Richard Barrow on May 1, 2012 at 11:01 am

      The Rabbit Card will be the same as the Oyster Card in places like London and will eventually be able to be used across the entire network.

  4. Brandon on May 1, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Long queues at BTS Bearing this morning but if you don’t want a Rabbit Card yet you can get a 15B exit ticket. I was not forced to change my old bts card but I went ahead and changed it at ekkamai station.

  5. K.Komalittipong on May 1, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Thanks for the information!I will go change my store-valued card next week when it’s not too crowded!

  6. Richard Barrow on May 2, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    I had a couple of additional questions which are answered here by the PR for Rabbit:

    (1) In the future, will it also include the Airport Rail Link?

    Rabbit is designed to become the common ticketing platform for all mass transit and certainly Airport Link is one of our potential stakeholders for this project. Rabbit will be working with Ministry of Transport and SRT this year to discuss the arrangement.

    (2) Am I right in saying that from the 1 May it is compulsory to use the Rabbit Card on the Bearing-On Nut stretch but optional for the rest of the network? If so, for how long optional?

    If a passenger has a BTS stored value Skycard, they can continue to use this card without having to switch to Rabbit to travel anywhere on the BTS network (extensions included). However if a passenger has a current BTS 30 day Pass, it will not be able to go through the extension from 1 May as BMA has started to charge 15 BT flat rate to the Bearing -On Nut stations (E10 to E14) and the existing BTS 30 day Pass price scheme doesn’t include such charge.

    For BTS 30 day Pass holders who need to travel between the core stations and these extension stations, they will need to exchange the BTS 30 day Pass for a Rabbit Card. Rabbit Card is designed to hold both Pass and Stored Value Purse where the system will deduct one trip from the Pass and additional 15bt from the purse if you travel between the core and the extension. However, if you only travel between E9-E14, it will only deduct 15bt, NO DEDUCTION on the trip pass.

    BTS has stopped issuing its own 30 day Trip Pass card and its stored value Skycard from 1 May and it’s optional for passengers to come and exchange for a new Rabbit card. BTS aims to migrate all their existing card base to Rabbit by end of this year. However, if passengers choose not to migrate, BTS will still support the existing cards until further notice.

  7. Savin on May 3, 2012 at 5:38 am

    Oh lord, the process is horrific..

    I had my card converted last night. It took 20 minutes to do the 2 people before me.
    Having my “flat fee, monthly card” basically not covering the entire system anymore is annoying, but the conversion process is beyond obnoxious. They had better not really plan on spending 10 minutes per person to convert the card for everyone.

  8. Stephan on May 5, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Thank you, Richard, for your efforts. One has to add minimum THB 100 Travel Value to one’s Rabbit Card, if one wishes to use Rabbit Card to travel from Sukhumvit Line extention stations to the other 25 stations.

    Source:

    http://www.bts.co.th/customer/en/07-news_event.aspx?cat=1 , then click on บัตรแรบบิทที่มีเที่ยวการเดินทาง จะต้องเติมเงินขั้นต่ำในบัตร 100 บาท.

  9. jacci on May 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    hi Richard, what are the options now for a tourist coming to Bangkok for 7-10days please?

  10. trent on May 8, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Arrived back to bangkok yesterday and confronted with a ‘see counter’ as my bts 30-day pass is invalid. by a new rabbit card and expect all good – but the same damn thing.

    The staff have absolutely no idea what the system is and cannot explain. Simply pay an extra 15 baht to exit or enter EVERYTIME I use it on extension line? Then you get a paper coupon which you have to present as you get off on the normal line and the lady at the gate performs another ridiculous act of using my card to walk through and back to validate it.

    God help us all – Thailand again tries to pretend it’s a modern society and fails remarkably.

    By the way where does the extra money end up – should we expect more trains frequently with more carriages… I highly doubt it.

  11. Desdeash on November 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Wow – some people seem to have a lot of difficulty coping with inconveniences in a foreign land. Why didn’t they just stay home? I guess they’d be whining there, too. For me the adventure only starts when things go awry.

  12. Vasu on May 21, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Its getting tough to get across without knowing Thai language, that’s a known fact. I’m resigned to that fate okay. But info about MIRACLE RABBIT CARD says I can exchange existing stored value card to enjoy the CARROT, but BTS SIAM STATION Staff said I CANT, I HAVE TO BUY ONE FOR 50b. Kindly enlighten me

  13. DREW on April 11, 2014 at 3:27 am

    So now, April, 2014 can anyone tell me; Yes Or No Will the rabbit card now work on both the MRT and BTS both subway and skytrain with just one card?

    • Richard Barrow on April 11, 2014 at 5:05 pm

      Not yet.

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