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How to Activate your Leap Card top-up

Updated: Nov 7, 2022

Every time you recharge your Leap Card by loading a Top Up online, you have to ACTIVATE that Top Up yourself to make it work. Sound confusing? Let us explain it for you.

What is the Leap Card?

The Leap Card is Ireland's great leap into the 21st Century of Public Transport. With it, you can take nearly all forms of public transport in urban areas across Ireland, while carrying one convenient card with you. Readers are placed at various locations, such as the entrance to the bus and the train, allowing you to be charged automatically for your journey. You can pay per trip or load tickets that give you even greater value.

So why would I need to activate?

We provide your Leap card for you when you come to Ireland. We load the money for you, and, when it's time, we reload it online, saving you the extra time and hassle.

You will have to go and activate those online top-ups, though, once they're done!

Here are the options:

1. Visit the "Leap Card Hut"

We affectionately call this Cork landmark the Leap Card Hut." If you already know where it is, congratulations! If not, you'll find it on St. Patrick's Street near the AIB bank. No more hints!

We have great affection for the hut, but there are often volunteers and protesters in front of it, and it frequently doesn't work. is central enough in Cork that it's work a shot.

2. Visit the main Bus Station

This one is more reliable, but it is more out of the way and can be crowded as well.

3. Visit a local retailer

Okay, this is the option most of you will choose. It's also a chance to practice your English if you're feeling ambitious!

Find a local shop that has a Payzone Machine and ask them "Could you please check the balance on my Leap Card? Thank you."

Centra, Supervalu, Spar, Mace and Londis usually have them, along with many other local shops. They will appreciate it if you buy some gum or a soda as well.


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