Loading Value

Many transit agencies offer some type of 31-day pass for your convenience. Your 31-day pass becomes active the first time you use it to pay a fare.

It depends on how you buy your pass. If you buy a new 31-day pass in person at a retailer, ticket office or self-service machine while the previous pass is still active on your card, Clipper will simply extend the expiration date of your current pass by 31 days, with no gap in between. Once you have an active 31-day pass on your card, you can add up to three more passes to your card.

If you want a gap in between your old pass expiring and the new one becoming active, purchase your new pass in person only after the old one expires, and the new pass will be activated the first time you use it.

If you are signed up for automatic reloading or if you order your pass online or by phone, Clipper will automatically add the new pass to your Clipper card the next time you tag, after the original pass has expired. For example, if you have an AC Transit 31-day pass that expires on May 12, the new pass will not become active until the first time the card is tagged AFTER May 12. If you do not tag your card again until May 24, the new pass will be activated with a start date of May 24 and an expiration date 31 days from the start date. This happens automatically, with no disruption in your ability to use Clipper.

“Picking up” your value means loading the value on your card after you’ve placed an online or phone order. A couple of things have to happen before you can use the value. All the orders placed on a given day are distributed that night through the Clipper system to built-in devices like fare gates, card readers on train platforms and at ferry terminals, as well as to servers at bus yards. Once your order is stored on card readers and fare gates, you can tag your card to them to “pick up” the value. Buses can take another day or two to receive your order because they have to connect to the server in the bus yard. That’s why we say to allow a few extra days if you are picking up your value on a bus.

Monthly passes are for a specific calendar month and must be loaded to your card before the pass expiration date. When you set up Autoload or load value to your card online or by phone, you have 6 months from the order date to tag your card to a card reader to load cash value and 31-day passes. After 6 months, you’ll need to call Clipper Customer Service at 877.878.8883 (TDD/TTY 711 or 800.735.2929) for assistance.

If you purchase value for your Clipper card online or by phone, it won’t be available immediately. When it is, you will have to pick it up by tagging your card to a card reader, which will load the value onto your card. Here’s how long you’ll need to wait to pick it up:

  • If you place your order by midnight, you can usually pick it up in the next 1 to 2 days.
  • If you are picking up your value on a bus or a Muni light-rail vehicle, allow up to 5 days.
  • If you are setting up automatic reloading (Autoload) with a bank account, allow an additional 10 days for value to be available.

If you need to use your value right away, reload your card in person at a retailer, staffed location or self-serve machine, and you’ll be able to use it immediately. For more information, visit Sales and Service Locations.

You can load up to $300 on a Clipper card. The most you can load online at any one time is $255.

If your next order will cause your Clipper card to exceed the $300 maximum balance, Clipper cannot load the funds to your card. You have up to 6 months to spend down your balance, so you can load the funds. If you haven't reduced your balance by that time, the order will expire, and Clipper will return the value to your transit benefit provider.

You can use cash value on all transit systems that accept Clipper. Load cash value at self-serve machines (including BART ticket machines), retailers, transit agency ticket offices and Clipper Customer Service Centers or online, by phone or through your transit benefit program.

BART's HVD tickets, which are good only for BART trips, give you a 6.25% discount: You pay $45 for $48 in value or pay $60 and receive $64 in value. You can get BART HVD tickets only by setting up Autoload or purchasing them through your transit benefit program.

Learn more about discounts.

Limited-use tickets can only be used for one-way and round trips on Golden Gate Ferry and Muni and provide no transfer discounts, but youth, senior and disabled riders can purchase discounted tickets at ticket machines. You can use Clipper cards on all Bay Area transit agencies. You can use them to load and reload cash value and passes and take advantage of any available transfers.

Golden Gate Ferry and Muni ticket machines only sell adult Clipper cards. You must apply for a Youth, Senior or RTC Clipper card to receive applicable discounts on fares.

No. Cash value and transit passes are not interchangeable. Once one type of value is loaded onto the card, it cannot be converted or exchanged for a different type of value.