We’re sure everyone have had this experience: You are driving on a highway, you see a toll booth coming up, and you know you’re prepared for this because you’re sure you reloaded your Touch N’ Go card yesterday. You cruise into the toll plaza, but lo and behold, you just can’t seem to find your card or your card is out of credit!
If you ever find yourself in that situation again, don’t fret, because there are actually a few alternatives to the traditional Touch N’ Go card.
Now that the government are taking steps to implement cashless toll systems across all highways nationwide, we’re sure you guys will need this guide even more ;)
As of today (2nd June), at least 50 toll plazas across highways in Malaysia have implemented the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system. By 2018, the government plans to convert all toll plazas to the cashless system. This step is supposed to quicken the payment process in toll plazas.
According to Sazally Saidi, vice-president of the Association of Highway Concessionaires Malaysia (PSKLM), cash transactions at toll plazas take up to 15 seconds, Touch N’ Go lanes 6 seconds, while Smart Tag lanes are the fastest with only 3 seconds. That might not seem like a lot, but in an hour, cash transactions lanes can process only 400 vehicles, compared to the 550 vehicles for Touch N’ Go lanes and 1,000 vehicles for Smart Tag lanes.
Before we bore you with too many statistics, here are some of the alternatives for the traditional Touch N’ Go card:
Did you know that your identity card, which you bring with you everywhere you go, can be used as a Touch N’ Go card? It can also be used as a driving license, a storage for your health information, an e-wallet (which can store up to around RM1,500), and ATM card. Wonder why the MyKad has so many usages? It is actually because of the in-built computer chip embedded in the card, which can store information for up to 20 years.
The best thing is, you don’t need to pay an extra fee for a Touch N’ Go card, or waste your time registering for it, just reload your MyKad at any toll booth and you’re good to go!
2. Watsons VIP Card
Bet you were surprised to see this on the list, eh? Don’t be, because it’s true!
Not only can the Watsons VIP Card act as a Touch N’ Go card, you are also entitled to earn 5 times the points when you pay with it! Not sure what it means? Let us simplify it for you: when you shop at any Watsons stores, every RM1 you spent will be converted into 1 point. However, when you use it as a Touch N’ Go card, you’ll be earning 5 points for every RM1. The points that you accumulate will then be used as rebate points to pay for in-store products. So that means you’re actually cashing in some money when you tap the Watsons VIP Card at any toll booth!
Sign up for a Watsons VIP Card at any Watsons outlet or even online.
3. Tesco Clubcard
Similar to the Watsons VIP Card, the Tesco Clubcard can not only be used to accumulate points at Tesco stores, but can also act as a Touch N’ Go card. The Clubcard enables members to reload and use it as a prepaid smartcard, without any additional fee. For convenience’s sake, you can also reload the card at any Tesco store in Malaysia.
Every ringgit you spend will be converted to 1 Clubcard point. When you accumulate up to 400 points, a RM2 discount voucher will be sent to your address. That’s not all, you can also get discounts for certain participating merchants and partners, from Sunway Lagoon, to Dunkin’ Donuts, and to Sanrio Hello Kitty Town and Thomas Town.
You can register for the Tesco Clubcard at any Tesco outlet for a minimal fee of RM10.60.
4. CoPilot Card
The CoPilot Card, a revolutionary automobile card, acts like a driving companion or co-pilot. Why do we say that? Touted as the 1st of its kind in Malaysia, this CoPilot Card gives you fast access to legal assistance, comprehensive insurance solution and services, and prepaid cash card convenience all in one.
It’s a more premium service compared to The Watsons VIP Card or Tesco Clubcard, as it requires at least RM280 per annum. See it as a more expensive Touch N’ Go alternative that covers legal assistances for auto accidents, from the point of accident to the point of delivery of a fully restored vehicle, and insurance coverage of up to RM150,000 in partnership with Zurich Insurance.
Visit CoPilot’s official website for more information.
5. Zing Card
So far, we’ve talked about alternatives to the traditional Touch N’ go card, but well, the Zing Card is the same as any traditional Touch N’ Go card, it does not serve any other purpose except to pay for your tolls. Except for one small but very significant difference. With this card, you’ll never have to worry about running out of credit anymore.
The Zing Card is an auto-reload card. This means that whenever your card reaches RM50 or below, it will automatically top-up with an additional RM50/100. Of course, this card is linked to your bank account, and the money that goes to your card will be deducted from your account. A RM2 fee will be charged for every top-up. Currently, CIMB Bank, Maybank, Hong Leong Bank, Bank Simpanan Nasional, Affin Bank, and AEON Bank provide this service.
PS: We don’t recommend this method to anyone who doesn’t have a steady monthly income.
6. TimeTraveller Watch
This is something you don’t see every day.
Touted as the “1st Contactless Card Payment Watch in Malaysia”, the “TimeTraveller Watch” looks like a normal watch, but is actually embedded with a sim card that allows users to pay their tolls just by tapping their watch to the card reader. Not only can you pay for tolls with this watch, it also allows users to shop, dine, and even travel.
As the watch can be reloaded with credit of up to RM1,500, transactions for public transports, convenience stores, and even selected restaurants can now be executed without any cash changing hands.
The “TimeTraveller Watch” retails at Touch N’ Go Hubs at The Sphere, Bangsar South, and KL Sentral, albeit with a price of RM239, not inclusive of 6% GST. It is available in black and white, with more colours to be made available soon.
BONUS: This is not an alternative or easier way to reload your Touch N’ Go card, but did you know that you can customise your card? It’s called a Photocard and you can print your Touch N’ Go card with any photo of your choice! The service is available at Touch N’ Go Hubs at KL Sentral, Bangsar South, and Wisma Nufri, JB.
If you ever find yourself without a Touch N’ Go card again, don’t panic! Just remember this article and you are good to go!