New app gives CTA riders 50 percent rebate

By Eileen Li

Softcard, a new app created out of a joint venture between AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless, gives CTA and Pace riders a 50 percent rebate off of their fare. However, to get the rebate, riders must sign up for American Express Serve, a reloadable prepaid e-card. The mobile wallet app will offer this promotion through December 10.

The app allows users to hold pre-paid e-cards from American Express, Wells Fargo, or Chase bank on their phones. In order to use the system, riders tap their phone on the Ventra card reader on each CTA bus and at every El station. The app is compatible with all Android phones and all iPhones except the iPhone 6. Riders must have $5 on their account to begin and first pay the full fare, but later receive 50 percent of the cost of all rides as credit on their Serve accounts. The credit can take up to 30 days to appear on the user’s account, though the transaction will appear shortly after being processed.

Those with Wells Fargo or Chase e-cards can still use the app but will not be eligible for the discount. The maximum credit per month is $25, which allows up to 10 rides.