Chengdu helper

Right Way to Use Tianfu Tong Card

    Commuting around Chengdu is easy for people without a car, because public buses and the metro are both fantastic options. However, purchasing tickets might have put off those that do not speak Chinese very well. At this instance, if there is a Tianfu Tong card in your pocket, all you need to do is to wave the pass near card readers on buses or in metro stations. Today, let me present to you a "guide to commuting with the Tianfu Tong card".

First of all, you need to know what is a Tianfu Tong card

    The Tianfu Tong card is a pre-paid card. Passengers may wave the card near card readers for direct fare payment instead of buying tickets when riding public buses or the metro in Chengdu. Discount on fares are also enjoyed by card users.

How to get a Tianfu Tong card

    To get a Tianfu Tong card, you need to first find a Tianfu Tong branch.

    At present, the main Tianfu Tong branches in Chengdu are as below

    Ximianqiao Customer Service Center: 1/F, Building A, High Speed Tower, No.30 Ximianqiao Street


    Hi-tech Development Zone South District Service Center: No.799 Jincheng Avenue


    Shuangnan Service Center: No.286 Shuangnan Road


    Customer service offices in Chengdu Metro stations: 

    Most customer service offices can be found in the terminal and transit stations of the various Metro lines. Some examples are Tianfu Square Station, Luomashi Station and Chengdu Second People's Hospital Station.


    Some stations such as Tianfu Square Station, Xinnanmen Station and KuanzhaiAlleys Station are outfitted with automated Tianfu Tong vending machines where users can both buy and top up Tianfu Tong cards.


    Public bus customer service offices: 

    Most of these are set up inside the major public bus depots such as Baihua Public Bus Central Station, Chadianzi Public Bus Central Station and Jinsha Public Bus Station.


    After reaching any of these Tianfu Tong locations, we can start to get our card

    Step1:Choose the type of Tianfu Tong cards you want, including the graphic design.

    There are two types of Tianfu Tong cards: one is on-loan cards and the other souvenir cards. Both types of cards offer the same functions and are valid in the long-term.

    To get an on-loan card: You will need to register with your personal identity card (or valid identification documents for foreign nationals or citizens of the Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan regions) and pay a deposit of RMB 10.


    To get a souvenir card: Pay a production cost of at least RMB 20 (The designs of on-loan cards are relatively monotonous, while souvenir cards offer a diverse range of unique graphics).


    For an on-loan card, from the seventh working day onward after receiving the card, you may get a refund of the remaining credits with your valid identification document, on-loan card and deposit slip. If the exterior of the card is undamaged and has no evidence of intentional alterations, the deposit of the card will also be refunded.

    Step2:Pay deposit or production cost

    Step3:Top up your pay-per-ride card or electronic wallet

    The Tianfu Tong card is used as two different types of fare payment methods: pay-per-ride card and electronic wallet. The pay-per-ride card offers a 50% discount on fares, while the electronic wallet offers a 10% discount on fares. When riding the public bus, the pay-per-ride account is deducted first, while the Metro only accepts payment from the electronic wallet.

    Of course, you may also choose to purchase souvenir cards from the Tianfu Tong automated vending machines inside Metro stations

    Step1:Press "Buy Card," then choose the card design from the screen and press "Next"



    Step2:Choose payment method and pay production cost


    Step3:Take card


    The purchased card has not yet been topped up, and we can use the automated vending machine to top up the electronic wallet. The steps for recharging the card by the machine are similar to purchasing the card. First, put the card in the top-up area, press "Recharge", choose the amount and payment method, and then pay.



    Besides, we can also use WeChat to buy souvenir cards online. Follow the Wechat official account of Chengdu Tianfutong to buy cards in Tianfutong Mall. Online shopping supports customization of the card, you can send a private message to the customer service for details.



    When the credits stored on the card are run out, you may proceed to any Tianfu Tong location, Hongqi supermarket, Wudongfeng supermarket or 711 convenient store to recharge your pay-per-ride card or electronic wallet.


    The top-up process is very simple. Just give your Tianfu Tong card to the store clerk, tell the desired top-up amount and pay. Remember to keep the receipt in case you want to double check your remaining credits.

    If you only need to top up your electronic wallet, you may also proceed to any ticketing booth or automated vending machine in Metro stations  for recharge.

    Steps for top-up using automated vending machines:

    Place your Tianfu Tong card at the stored card sensor area


    Choose "Recharge" on the machine's screen


    Choose the top-up amount and press "Next"


    Choose payment method and pay by scanning QR code or inserting cash bills



    Wait for the top-up process to complete. If the top-up process failed, get the receipt and proceed to the Metro ticket booth to solve the problem


    After recharging, it's time to enjoy an easy commute!

    Since Hongqi supermarkets and other third-party top-up organizations may not support electronic payment, remember to bring cash.

How to use a Tianfu Tong card on your day-to-day commute

    Public bus

    Place your Tianfu Tong card near the Tianfu Tong card reader on the bus. If you hear a "beep" noise, it means that fare payment has been accepted and you may proceed forward.


    After fare payment is accepted, the screen on the Tianfu Tong card reader will display the number of rides or amount of credits remaining.


    When entering the Metro station, place your Tianfu Tong card near the "Please Swipe Pre-Paid Card" area on the turnstile, and similarly, place your Tianfu Tong card near the "Please Swipe Pre-Paid Card" area on the turnstile when leaving the destination Metro station. When the green light is lit on the turnstile, you may go through.


    When both entering and exiting the station, the screen next to the card-swiping area on the turnstile will display credits remaining on the card.

    Other than commuting on public transportation, the Tianfu Tong card also offers a multitude of other payment functions for shopping, dining, taxi fare and public bicycle usage, among other scenarios. Keep an eye out for other applications of the Tianfu Tong card and unlock a more colorful life in Chengdu!



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