If you live in Sydney and have to suffer public transport, you’ll probably have your fair share of grips about the recently-introduced Opal Card. Overall, it’s not a bad system from a technological perspective, being the same as the ones used in the much-lauded Singapore and Hong Kong PT systems, but it is expensive.
Still, as always, there are ways to save if you know where to look:
The Opal fare system contains incentives, such as the Daily and Weekly caps, which can be exploited to reduce your overall spend. For example, you can make substantial savings if you can invest a little time to do short trips during the day. Rather than list out the techniques here, head on over to this Reddit wiki page, which contains an easy-to-follow summary of all the fare minimising techniques available: Opal Hacks on Reddit.
Top up discounts
Opal would prefer that you use the auto-top up feature on their website, which is convenient, but if you plan your spending ahead of time, you can gain a discount by topping up at Woolworths supermarkets using the 5% discount on Woolworths Gift Cards (even better if you’re earning bonus points using the American Express Platinum Edge credit card). It might seem small, but over the course of a year it starts to add up quickly – up to $156 a year if you’re spending $60 a week on Opal!