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MensaCard Emeal - cash-free payment in the canteens and cafeterias

MensaCard Emeal

The Emeal smart card is the cash-free method of payment in all canteens and cafeterias of the Studentenwerk Dresden. Those intending to frequent these locations should certainly plan to acquire an Emeal card first. The front of the card has a uniform design, whereas the back is used as advertising space or includes information indicating the specific user group. A few universities combine the Emeal and the student card.

The user's status is codified on the card. Subsequently visitors are classified as either students, staff or guests.

Purchase and validity of the Emeal

In order to purchase the Emeal card, users are required to place a deposit of 5,00 € and show their ID card or passport, as well as the Emeal voucher at the counter. With the exception of the deposit, the same procedure goes for extensions of the card's validity period at the beginning of each new semester.

Attention: The Emeal voucher in included in the semester sheet of the respective participating institution. Exception: Students of the HTW Dresden, the Zittau/Görlitz University of Applied Sciences and the IHI Zittau are to show their student card.

In the winter semester, the card is valid until April 30 of the following year, while during the summer semester, it can be used until October 31 of the same year. This allows for a transitional period of one month. No personal information whatsoever regarding the Emeal is documented or saved in our records. Therefore it is important to write down the 17-figure serial number in a safe place in order to be able to receive a new copy in case of loss.

Transferring credit onto your Emeal

All canteens offer special terminals for transferring credit from your debit card to your Emeal. Credit- and money cards are not accepted. Nevertheless, we recommend the use of the autoload-method which transfers credit onto your card in no time, sparing you the trouble of searching for your wallet at the counter.

Autoload enables you to make direct debit payments from your bank account onto your Emeal without cash or card. If a transaction causes the credit balance to drop below a set minimum figure, our cashiers will ask if the user wishes to replenish his/her credit balance. With the user's consent, a certain amount is then automatically withdrawn from the user's account and transferred onto the Emeal card via direct debit payment. For security reasons, no more than one such transfer can be made per day. Students can register for this method at certain counters in all of the main canteens, as well as at the designated information desks.

Web portal

A password-protected web portal for autoload-users has been made available at Here you can have a look at all transactions made in the last 90 days, change your password along with your minimum credit balance, as well as cancel direct debit authorisation or freeze your card.

Emeal suspension

In case of charge backs following a transfer, the Emeal card is automatically suspended. In order to re-activate the card, the user can make up for the deficit (incl. charge back fees) in cash at any counter he/she likes.

Payment procedure / checking balance

The Emeal card is to be placed onto the validation surface for approximately 2 seconds before costs are fully deducted. All granted discounts related to the respective user group (students, staff) are considered during this process.

User verification

The householder's rights of the Studentenwerk allow its staff to check Emeal users for verification. Students are requested to show their student card as a valid form of identification. Users who cannot present any credible means of identification have to pay the current staff price.

Returning the card

Functioning and undamaged Emeal cards are redeemed at the same places they are issued, while remaining balance is paid out in cash or via Autoload.


In case of loss, the user should report the incident to canteen administration or at an information desk, while he/she will also be required to provide the card's serial number so that it can be locked immediately. Autoload-users can perform this operation themselves by accessing the web portal.

“Campus4You“ - Project / TU-Campuscard

The Studentenwerk Dresden was a partner in "Campus4You", a joint venture of HTW Dresden and TU Dresden hosted by DRESDEN-concept. The aim of the project was to develop a multifunctional chip card that combines the functions of a student ID, a canteen card, a semester ticket and a library card.

By the end of 2023, the chip cards now available will be successively issued as new student and employee ID cards. By the end of the winter semester 2022/2023, all TUD students should receive their new student ID - the TU Campuscard.

More information about the Campuscard