What are Commuter Benefits? Commuter Benefits allow employees to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for expenses related to commuting to and from work for mass transit, vanpooling and work-related parking costs. This includes transit passes, tokens, fare cards, vouchers, parking passes and more.

Commuter Benefits help employees save 40% or more on their monthly commuting costs. These are great transportation benefits for employees looking to pocket more money from each paycheck.

As part of our comprehensive Commuter Benefits offering, we also developed our Smart Commute program, which enhances the payment experience for commuter benefits participants in select cities. 


All About Commuter Benefits


Employee enrolls through his or her employer


Employee sets a monthly contribution amount

Employee pays for transit passes or vanpooling services using the Discovery Benefits debit card at over 10,000 terminal locations OR


Employee direct loads commuter funds onto a local transit authority smart card (in select cities)

The 2020 IRS monthly contribution limit for mass transit is $270/month. The 2021 IRS monthly limit is also $270/month.


Employee enrolls through his or her employer


Employee sets a monthly contribution amount


Employee pays for parking passes with the Discovery Benefits debit card OR


Employee pays out of pocket and requests reimbursement

The 2020 IRS monthly contribution limit for parking is $270/month. The 2021 IRS monthly limit is also $270/month.


Whether they’re used in a bus, van, subway or parking garage, Commuter Benefits should be easy to use on the go. That’s the basis of our commuter offering. Here’s what makes our Commuter Benefits better:


One card, one online account and one mobile app for all benefits


Fully compliant with IRS regulations in all U.S. regions, including Washington, D.C.


Integrations allowing direct loading of funds to smart cards, providing greater payment flexibility


Electronic fund loading capabilities, eliminating risk of lost vouchers and reducing frustration


Ability to use designated funds for rideshare services UberPOOL and Lyft Shared, and parking service SpotHero

Smart Card Integrations with Smart Commute

Our Smart Commute program improves the ease of accessing commuter funds by allowing participants in select cities to load funds directly onto a specific transit authority’s smart card. By letting participants load their monthly pre-tax Commuter Benefits funds onto a smart card directly from their Discovery Benefits online account, they can easily access those funds during their commute.

Smart Commute currently offers direct load capabilities with the following transit authority smart cards and accounts:

  • Chicago Ventra® Account
  • San Francisco Clipper® Card
  • Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) SmarTrip® Card
  • Atlanta Breeze® Card
Discovery SmartCommute screenshot