Stored Value

Stored Value is here!

With Stored Value you can load a dollar value to your Compass Card to use whenever you need to purchase a fare. All one-way fares and most passes offered by the North County Transit District (NCTD) can be purchased with Stored Value.

Read below to find out how it works!

Getting a Compass Card

Adult cards can be purchased for $2 at any ticket machine, NCTD Customer Service Centers, or at participating retail outlets (such as Albertsons). All riders must have their own Compass Card. Be sure to get the right card if you are eligible for discounted fares:

Youth: 18 or younger

Senior/Disabled/Medicare: Seniors (60+), people with qualifying disabilities, and those who receive Medicare

The purchase of a Compass Card for reduced fares must also include the purchase of either a pass or Stored Value. At this time, Stored Value for reduced fares is only available at the NCTD Customer Service Centers or MTS Transit Store. You will be asked to show proof of eligibility when you purchase these cards and when you use the card to ride.

Loading Stored Value

Stored Value can be loaded at all ticket machines, NCTD Customer Service Centers, Compass Card Call Center (619) 595-5636, MTS Transit Store, or online at or (value loaded online may not be available for 48 hours).

Amounts from $2.50 to $100 are available. Once your card is loaded, you can use it to purchase most fares. Note: Stored Value cannot be loaded on buses. Stored Value is not available at retail outlets such as Vons/Albertsons at this time.

How to Use Stored Value

Use Stored Value with One-Way Passes!

Tap your Compass Card on the station validator and the appropriate one-way fare will be deducted. Do not tap off at destination station.

Tap your Compass Card on the bus farebox and the appropriate one-way fare will be deducted. A new one-way fare will be deducted when transferring to another bus or rail route. Do not tap off when exiting vehicle.

Tap your card on the station’s validator once before AND once after riding the COASTER. The appropriate one-way fare will be deducted depending on the number of zones you travel. If you do not tap after riding, a three-zone fare will automatically be deducted. No refunds will be issued. A transfer to NCTD BREEZE or SPRINTER is allowed within two hours of purchase. No transfer to MTS Bus, Rapid or Trolley is allowed.

Multiple Modes

Follow the directions above for each mode you ride to deduct one-way fares. When making several one-way trips you may want to purchase a Day Pass or a RegionPlus Day Pass to save money.

Protecting Your Stored Value

Register your Compass Card at

If you lose your card, call (619) 595-5636 and any remaining Stored Value balance at the time the card is deactivated will be transferred to a new card. If you lose an unregistered card, your balance will be lost. Be sure to purchase the correct fare when using Stored Value. There are no refunds.

Get Day Passes with Stored Value!

Day passes are perfect for the person who rides several times a day and uses multiple types of public transit. Trips that include the COASTER require a RegionPlus Day Pass (available at ticket vending machines and transit centers).

Day passes must be purchased at ticket machines. Before tapping, follow the Compass Card prompts on the right side of the screen to load a day pass on the machine and then pay with Stored Value. After pass is loaded, tap card on validator to activate pass for your trip. To include COASTER, select the RegionPlus Day Pass.

Before tapping, tell the bus driver that you want to use Stored Value to buy a day pass. If you do not notify the bus driver, a one-way pass will automatically be deducted.

Need More Information?

There are a number of ways to get more information on Stored Value.

Online: Visit

Compass Card Call Center:
(619) 595-5636

(a function of MTS)

NCTD Customer Information:
(760) 966-6500

Stored Value Frequently Asked Questions

What is Stored Value?

With Stored Value (also referred to as Compass Cash) you can now load a dollar value to your Compass Card to use whenever you need to purchase a fare. All one-way fares and most passes offered by the North County Transit District (NCTD) can be purchased with Stored Value.

Can I use Stored Value on all NCTD services?

Stored Value is accepted on all COASTER, SPRINTER, FLEX and BREEZE trips. Stored Value is not accepted on LIFT trips.

Can I use Stored Value anywhere else in the region?

Yes! You can also use Stored Value to purchase one-way fares and most passes offered by MTS.

What type of card is needed for Stored Value?

Stored Value may be loaded only on a valid Compass Card. A card from another transit system cannot be used on NCTD services. Stored Value is not accepted or available for purchase on the mobile ticketing app, Compass Cloud.

Can I protect my Stored Value against theft or loss?

Yes, if the Compass Card is registered. But remember, a lost card is just like cash. You will be responsible for any value that is used on your card before the card is deactivated (which can take up to three days after NCTD is notified).

Register your Compass Card online or at the NCTD Customer Service Center. If your Compass Card is registered, your first replacement card is free. Additional replacement cards in the same 12-month period will cost $5. In order to protect the Stored Value, the replacement card must be provided by the Compass Service Center or Oceanside Transit Center Customer Service.

Click here to register your Compass Card

What if I lose my Compass Card and it’s not registered?

Any balance on an unregistered Compass Card cannot be replaced. You must also purchase a new Compass Card for the $2 fee.

What if my Compass Card expires or is damaged and there’s still value on it?

Visit Oceanside Transit Center Customer Service
(Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.)

Speak to an agent by calling the Compass Service Center at (619) 595-5636 or 511 (and say “Compass”)

Send an email to

If registered, the value remaining at the time of deactivation may be restored onto a new card.

Where can I go to load my Compass Card with Stored Value?

You can add Stored Value at:

  • Any COASTER or SPRINTER station ticket vending machine (TVM)
  • NCTD Customer Service Centers at the Oceanside, Vista, and Escondido Transit Centers. Find current hours here.
  • Online any time at
    It can take up to 72 hours for value loaded online to be available on the card. If you are ordering a new card with a pass product, the card will arrive in the mail with the product loaded and ready for use.
  • Call the Compass Service Center at (619) 595-5636.
    It can take up to 72 hours for value loaded by the Service Center to be available on the card.

Note: Stored Value is NOT sold at retail outlets (such as Albertsons/Vons)

Does the money I put on my Compass Card via Stored Value ever expire?

The Stored Value would expire when the Compass Card expires. However, if your Compass Card is registered, you may visit a Customer Service Center to transfer the Stored Value onto your new Compass Card.

If I purchase multiple one-way trips in the same day, will Stored Value automatically convert to a day pass if I reach the day pass fare price?

No. Stored Value does not recognize the number of one-way fares purchased and will not default to a day pass. If you are taking multiple one-way trips, a day pass may be the best value and should be purchased on the first trip (before tapping, the bus driver should be notified that you would like to purchase a day pass).

Is there an automatic reload feature so that I always have enough Stored Value on my card?

Yes, sign up for automatic reload online after registering your card by calling 511 and saying “Compass” to speak to an agent.

Find more information at

Can I use Stored Value to purchase pass products at retail outlets (e.g. Albertsons/Vons)?

No. Retail outlets cannot deduct Stored Value from your Compass Card as payment for pass products.

How much dollar value can I put on a Compass Card?

Stored Value starts at $2.50 and goes up to $100 per transaction. The maximum amount a card will hold is $300.

Can I get a refund on unused Stored Value or on a fare I purchased by mistake?

No, there are no refunds.

Can I get a refund if I forget to tap off at a COASTER Station and get charged the maximum three-zone fare instead of a lower zone fare?

No, there are no refunds.

Can I get a refund if I forgot to tell the bus operator I wanted a day pass before I tapped, and instead got a one-way fare?

No, there are no refunds.

Can I purchase Stored Value at retail outlets (e.g. Albertsons/Vons)?

No. Retail outlets currently do not have the ability to sell Stored Value. This is something that may be offered in the future.

What happens if I double-tap my Compass Card on accident? Will a fare be deducted twice?

On the COASTER, tapping on and off allows NCTD to determine how many zones you traveled and therefore calculate the appropriate fare. When you tap on, by default, the system deducts the three-zone fare. When you tap off, the system refunds the appropriate amount based on the length of your trip. Tapping off is also required to activate the free transfer to BREEZE and SPRINTER.

Be careful to only tap once before riding and to tap off only once at the end of your trip. Tapping more than once on the same trip before boarding the train will result in additional deductions.

On the bus and SPRINTER, Stored Value will not be deducted twice. When tapping on the bus, a pass back message is triggered alerting you and the bus driver that your card has already been tapped successfully. The stand-alone station validators will display the message “Already Touched” and the ticket vending machines will display the message “Valid Pass. Thank You.”

Can I load multiple fares onto one Compass Card using Stored Value?

No. Every rider must have their own Compass Card. Only one day pass can be loaded onto the card at a time. Once a day pass is loaded, one-way fares will no longer be deducted for the remainder of the operational day.

Can I load Stored Value onto a Compass Card and give it as a gift or let someone else use it?

Yes. However, if the Compass Card is for discounted fares, the person carrying the card must have proof of eligibility for the discount.

Is Stored Value the same thing as Compass Cash?

Yes! You may hear Stored Value also referred to as Compass Cash.

Is Stored Value the same thing as Compass Cloud?

No. Stored Value allows you to load a dollar value directly to your Compass Card.
Compass Cloud is the mobile ticketing app that lets you purchase and store fares on your smart phone.

Can I use Stored Value to buy my fares on Compass Cloud or transfer a pass to Compass Cloud?

No. Stored Value cannot be used to purchase fares or transfer passes onto Compass Cloud.

Can I use Stored Value to purchase non-transit related items at retail stores?

No. Stored Value is only to purchase fares and passes offered by NCTD and MTS.

Can I tap my Compass Card on NCTD’s ticket vending machine to validate my pass?

No. NCTD ticket vending machines (TVMs) cannot validate or activate passes. You must tap your card at stand-alone validators located on or near the station platforms.

How do I check my Stored Value balance?
  • Call NCTD Customer Service at (760) 966-6500
  • Go to the Transit Store or Customer Service Centers
  • Check card balance at station ticket vending machines: BEFORE tapping, select “Check Compass Card” option on the opening screen, then tap your card to get to the “Compass Card Information” screen.
  • Online: If you have registered and created an online billing account with a valid credit card on file (an online account and password required), visit for more information.
Can I purchase an NCTD Senior day pass with Stored Value?

No, the NCTD Senior day pass is not a fare product that can be purchased using Stored Value at this time. It is something we’re looking into for the future.

Can I use two payment methods for a single transaction?

No. You cannot use two payment methods for a single transaction.

  • If you have only $1 Stored Value on your card and it is a $2.25 fare, the fare box will ask for $2.25; it will NOT deduct $1 from Stored Value and ask for an additional $1.25 in cash fare.
  • The ticket vending machine (TVM) cannot accept two payment methods.
What happens if I have insufficient funds?

When you tap your Compass Card of the bus farebox, you will receive an insufficient value visual message, red light, and negative audible signal. You will have to purchase a one-way or day pass with cash.

Ticket Vending Machines (TVM)
When you tap your Compass Card on the ticket machine, a message will appear on the screen if you have insufficient funds. To purchase a fare, first add more Stored Value to your card.

Can I buy a day pass on my Compass Card using regular cash (not Stored Value)?

Yes. If your Compass Card has insufficient funds, you may purchase a day pass with cash.

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