Loading Value & Automatic Reloading

To add value to your Clipper card, open your mobile wallet on your phone. Your mobile wallet will display purchase options for your selected Clipper card. Select your Clipper card and then choose an amount to add to your Clipper card, then select 'Add.' You can also add value through the Clipper app.

Follow these step-by-step instructions on how to add value to Clipper in Apple Pay and Google Pay.

You'll need to use the Clipper app to set up Auto-Reload for a card on your phone. Open the Clipper app and select the card you want to set up for Auto-Reload. Select an amount of cash value or transit pass you want to load, and indicate you want to Auto-Reload this value. Choose your payment method and complete the order.

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, Clipper readers on train platforms and at ferry terminals, as well as to servers at bus yards. Once your order is stored on Clipper 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.

This is different in the phone environment. Your value will be available immediately if you add value to a card in Apple Wallet or Google Wallet, whether you are adding the value through the Clipper app or in your wallet. The exception is BART HVD, which will be available the following day. If you add value to a plastic card using the Clipper app, it will take as long as a card normally does for the value to be available.

Monthly passes are for a specific calendar month and must be loaded to your card before the pass expiration date. When you set up Auto-Reload or load value to your card online or by phone, you have 6 months from the order date to tag your card to a Clipper 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 plastic 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 plastic Clipper 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 (Auto-Reload) 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 Auto-Reload 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. Limited-use tickets are not available on phones.

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.

You can set up automatic reloading when you initially order a card and load value online. When loading cash value (between $20 and $255) and/or passes, you will be asked if you want to set up Auto-Reload.

If you already have a card, you can choose to set up Auto-Reload when you load value online. However, you will need to register your card as part of the process, if you haven’t already done so.

Once you set up Auto-Reload, we need to confirm your payment method is valid. This is done immediately with credit cards, but it can take up to 10 days if you are using a checking account as your payment method. After that process is complete, you need to tag your card to activate your Auto-Reload set-up. Once you’ve activated your Auto-Reload, you’ll be able to see it in your account.

For all cards (plastic and cards on your phone) with BART HVD, value will be available in the normal reload time frame. For all other cards on your phone without HVD, value will be available immediately.

If you set up Auto-Reload for a Caltrain, Muni, VTA or SamTrans monthly pass, we can only automatically reload your new pass from the date your old pass expires to the end of the sales window for that pass. After the end of the sales window, be prepared to pay your fares with cash value.

Yes, you can set up your Clipper card to automatically reload cash value, multiple passes or any combination of cash value and passes. And you can do it anytime. You could choose to set up Auto-Reload for a pass and go back later to set up cash value, too.

If you set up Auto-Reload for cash value, when your balance falls below $10, Clipper will automatically reload you card when you pay your next fare. If you set it up for a pass, Clipper will automatically reload a new pass on your card when the old one expires. You can only order a BART high-value discount ticket by setting it up for automatic reloading, and again, Clipper will reload the ticket you order after the balance falls below $10.

If you are setting up Auto-Reload for cash value or BART high-value discount tickets, Clipper won’t charge your credit card or bank account until you tag your Clipper card to a card reader and load the value.

If you are setting up Auto-Reload for a transit pass for the first time, Clipper will charge your credit card or bank account before making the pass available for you to pick up. After that, Clipper will not charge you until after you tag your card and load your pass on it.

When you first set up automatic loading, the process is not complete until we confirm your payment source is valid and you tag your card to a card reader or fare gate to activate automatic loading. Once you do that, it will show up in your account. If it’s been more than 6 months, you’ll need to call us at 877.878.8883 or TDD/TTY 711 or 800.735.2929.

This means we couldn’t process your payment for automatic reloading. If your credit/debit card or bank account is declined:

  1. We will automatically send a declined payment notice to the email address in your Clipper account.
  2. We must collect payment before midnight on the day we send you the declined payment notice if you want to keep using your card without interruption. If we can’t collect payment before midnight, we may block your pass/ticket or, in the case of cash value, your entire Clipper card.
  3. To provide payment, log in to your Clipper account and edit the payment information in My Profile. Even if you plan to use a credit card that is already associated with your account, you need to re-enter your card’s security code and select Save. We will send an email to confirm that you have updated information in your account. This is separate from confirmation of payment.
  4. After we collect payment, we will send you an email confirming this. Credit card charges are processed immediately. If you choose to provide bank account information, it may take up to 10 business days for Clipper to collect payment.
  5. Once you receive the email confirming successful payment, allow at least 1 day for your card to be unblocked. You will need to tag your card to a card reader or ticket machine to activate it. This process may take up to 5 days if you are tagging only on a bus or light-rail vehicle. You can shorten the process by tagging a fare gate; card reader at a train station or ferry terminal; ticket machine at Golden Gate Ferry, Muni, SMART or VTA; or Clipper Add Value machine. You can also ask a transit agency ticket office or Clipper Customer Service Center to tag your card.

You will not be able to make other changes to your Auto-Reload settings until we are able to successfully charge your payment source and remove the block.

If you did not receive email notifications, we may not have the correct email address for you, or our email may have been blocked by a spam filter. Log in to your Cilpper account with the email address we have on file and provide an updated email address. You will need to use this new email address the next time you log in to your online account. Update your spam filter by adding custserv@clippercard.com to your list of approved email addresses.

You can avoid blocked cards by adding a Backup Payment method (credit/debit card) for Auto-Reload purchases. So if your primary funding source is declined, your order will be charged to your backup card. Log in to your account to add a Backup Payment method.

We notify customers 30 and 60 days before the expiration date of their payment card on file. Make sure you always have a current email address on file. Update your spam filter by adding custserv@clippercard.com to your list of approved email addresses.

You can add a backup credit card for Auto-Reload purchases, so if your primary funding source is declined, your order will be charged to your backup card. Log in to your Clipper account to add backup payment.

Log in to your Clipper account. Find your card and select Manage Auto-Reload from the More Options menu. Your Auto-Reload is now cancelled, but your online account will not reflect this until the next time you tag your card. While Clipper processes your cancellation request immediately, there is a slight delay in this information reaching card readers. Most card readers are updated within a day, but please allow up to 5 days for readers on buses and Muni light-rail trains to be updated.

No, transit agency ticket offices cannot load value to mobile phones at this time.