How can I check my balance in PRESTO card?

PRESTO is an electronic fare payment system used throughout the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) in Ontario, Canada. The PRESTO card allows users to load funds and pay fares on various transit systems across the region, including GO Transit trains and buses, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) subway, streetcars and buses, MiWay buses in Mississauga, Brampton Transit buses, Oakville Transit buses, Durham Region Transit buses, UP Express airport rail link, Union Pearson Express airport rail link, and more. With PRESTO, riders simply tap their reloadable PRESTO card on a card reader when entering and exiting transit systems to automatically deduct the correct fare. It provides a convenient way to pay for transit without having to carry cash or purchase individual tickets or passes. One of the key features of PRESTO is the ability to check your card’s balance, allowing you to easily keep track of your funds. Here are some tips on how to check your PRESTO card balance:

Check Balance at Reload/Ticket Vending Machines

The easiest way to check your PRESTO card balance is by using a reload or ticket vending machine, which can be found at many subway stations, transit hubs and select retail locations. Simply insert your card into the machine and the display will show your current balance along with options to reload your card or purchase fares. This provides an instant way to check your balance at many locations across the PRESTO network.

Call the PRESTO Card Customer Service Number

You can also check your PRESTO balance by calling 1-877-378-6123, the PRESTO card customer service number. This automated phone service system is available 24/7 and can provide you your card’s balance after entering your PRESTO card number. This is useful if you want to check your balance remotely when you do not have access to a reload machine.

Check Online

Checking your PRESTO card balance online is easy and convenient. You simply need to register your card on the PRESTO website at This involves entering your card number, name, email and creating a password. Once registered, you can log into your account anytime and view your balance and transaction history. This online account also allows you to set up auto-reload, manage card details and more.


The free PRESTO app for iOS and Android devices allows you to manage your account on the go. After registering your card online, you can link it to the app and then view your balance in real-time, along with recent transactions. The app also provides notifications when your balance gets low or when auto-reload transactions occur. This makes it easy to monitor your card balance from your smartphone.

Check Balance on Bus/Streetcar Reader

When boarding a bus or streetcar, you can quickly check your balance by tapping your card on the PRESTO reader. It will not deduct a fare, but instead display your current balance on the screen. Simply tap and hold your card on the reader for a few seconds until the balance appears. Keep in mind that on subway station entries, tapping your card will deduct a fare, so only use bus and streetcar readers to quickly check your balance.

Call or Visit Transit Agencies

Each local transit agency that accepts PRESTO also can look up card balances, such as at TTC Collector booths. You will need to provide your card number and potentially ID. Specific instructions for each transit agency are below:


– Call TTC Customer Service at 416-393-3030

– Visit a Collector booth at subway stations

GO Transit

– Call GO Transit Customer Service at 416-869-3200

– Visit staffed GO stations

UP Express

– Call UP Express Customer Service at 1-844-GET-ON-UP (438-6687)


– Call Miway Customer Service at 905-615-4636

Brampton Transit

– Call Brampton Transit Customer Service at 905-874-2999

Durham Region Transit

– Call Durham Region Transit Customer Service at 1-866-247-0055

Other Transit Agencies

– Check with customer service contacts for Oakville Transit, Milton Transit, Burlington Transit, etc.

Ways to Check PRESTO Card Balance

Method How To Benefits
Reload/Vending Machine Insert card and balance displays Instant check at many locations
Call Customer Service Call 1-877-378-6123 and enter card # 24/7 phone access
Online Account Register card and login to view balance Real-time balance info
PRESTO App Link card and view balance Check on-the-go from smartphone
Bus/Streetcar Reader Tap and hold card on reader Quick check when boarding
Transit Agency Call or visit customer service centres Agency can directly access info

Keeping Your PRESTO Card Balanced

Once you know how to check your PRESTO card balance, it’s also important to understand how to keep your balance topped up so you always have funds available for your transit trips. Here are some tips:

Set Up Auto-Reload

The most convenient option is to register your card online and set up auto-reload. This allows you to choose a thresholds when your card will automatically be topped up from a linked credit card or bank account. For example, you could set it to add $40 when the balance drops below $10.

Manually Reload at Vending Machines

If you don’t want auto-reload, simply monitor your balance and reload manually when needed at reload machines located across the transit network. Make sure to reload before your balance gets too low.

Reload Online or via App

You can manually add funds remotely through the online account or mobile app. Allow 24 hours for funds to be applied to your card.


Fares are deducted from your card balance each ride. When the balance gets low, simply reload. Monitor closely to avoid getting stranded with no funds.

Purchase Monthly Passes

For unlimited travel each month, consider loading a monthly pass online or at select machines, which provide better value than Pay-As-You-Go. Be sure to reload a pass just before it expires.

Track Your Transactions

Review your transaction history online or in the app. This can help identify your regular commuting costs and needs. Frequent small balances indicate you should reload larger amounts less often.

Avoiding Low Balance Problems

When your PRESTO card balance runs too low, it can lead to problems and inconvenience when taking transit. Here are some tips to avoid low balance issues:

Check Balance Frequently

Get in the habit of checking your balance often, such as before each trip or daily. This way you’ll have advance notice to add funds before hitting zero.

Set Balance Threshold Alerts

Utilize the balance alerts available through the online account and mobile app. Configure alerts to notify you when your balance is getting low.

Reload Early

Don’t wait until your balance is empty before reloading. Leaving a buffer means you won’t get stranded without funds when travelling.

Know Your Avg. Cost per Trip

Understand how much your average bus, subway or train trip costs. This makes it easier to estimate how many trips your current balance can cover before needing a reload.

Have Backup Payment

Carry a debit/credit card or cash when travelling in case your PRESTO balance is accidentally depleted. This provides a backup to complete your trip.

Understand Reload Timelines

Allow 24 hours for online/app reloads to apply to your card. Manual reloads at machines are immediate. Factor these timelines into your balance management.

Negative Balance Issues

If your PRESTO card does not have sufficient funds for your fare, it can go into negative balance. Here is what you need to know about dealing with negative balances:

Card is Locked if Below -$10

Your card will become locked if the negative balance dips below -$10. This prevents further use until the balance is brought back to at least -$10.

Top Up As Soon as Possible

Reload your card immediately if it goes negative in order to restore usage as quickly as possible. Leaving it with insufficient funds will lead to problems.

Call Customer Service for Unlocked

For negative balances below -$10 that caused your card to be locked, call PRESTO customer service once topped up to at least -$10 to have it unlocked.

Online Top-Ups May Take 24 Hours

Since online/app reloads can take up to 24 hours to process, an in-person reload at a machine may be required to reactivate a locked negative card.

Fee Charged for Negative Balances

A $0.25 fee will be charged per trip taken using a negative balance. Avoid repeatedly dipping negative.

Can’t Load Monthly Pass if Below -$10

Passes require a positive balance of at least $10 and cannot be loaded if your card is locked due to a very negative balance.

Avoiding PRESTO Card Scams

Unfortunately, some scammers target PRESTO cards to try and steal balances or card numbers. Use these tips to detect and avoid PRESTO scams:

Never Share Card Number

Do not share your card number with anyone, outside of registering your card online or using transit services. Never provide the number if requested out of the blue.

Watch for Phishing Emails

Delete any suspicious emails claiming to be from PRESTO and requesting personal or card details. PRESTO will never request information by email.

Avoid Card Modification Offers

Offers to “upgrade” or “modify” your PRESTO card to get benefits are scams. This illegally clones your card number for theft. Simply ignore such offers.

Beware Public Machine Tampering

Do not use PRESTO machines that appear unusual or tampered with, as your card details could be copied. Notify transit staff of issues.

Monitor Account Activity Closely

Frequently check online or in-app transaction history and report any unknown charges or activities immediately to PRESTO customer service.

Change Password if Compromised

If you suspect your online account has been accessed by someone else, change your password immediately to lock them out.


Checking your PRESTO card balance is easy through online accounts, mobile apps, phone support and numerous reload machines across transit agencies. Regularly monitoring your balance helps avoid being stranded without funds when travelling. Keep your card topped up in advance by setting auto-reload thresholds or manually adding funds early. If your balance does go negative, quickly add money to unlock it. Avoid PRESTO scams by never sharing your card number or other personal information. With sound balance management, the PRESTO card provides a secure and convenient way to pay for transit across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

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