how to get to airport from Kings Cross

Old Apr 16th, 2017, 09:42 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,353
Yep, it's different for all of us as we all travel differently and have different preferences & lifestyles.

I started from zero knowledge about transportation options for London. I found it difficult to find a clear website that explained the various options and pros and cons. Yes, I also looked at the paper travel cards/2for1 as an option. Perhaps London just has more options than most cities, I don't know what it was, but I found it confusing and somewhat complicated. On my thread about options others also commented on this. I appreciated all the help Fodor folks provided.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 10:18 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 17,571
Mimar, "American banks are falling behind the rest of the world."

I spent a career negotiating deals that needed bank support and so worked with so many different banks I got to know the games and tricks. Apart from the top 4 US banks, most US banks do what the locals want them to do, but in term of service and technology are about at the level of the Portugeuse ones (that is pretty much dead from the neck up).

The top 4 or so lack serious competition and any pressure from your fellow customers and will always be behind international standards (have been for the last 30 years) but will make great profits while claiming poverty.

Time the US had some sort of Monopoly commission to break the big ones up and make them work for society
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 11:33 AM
  #23  
 
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I have seven assorted credit and ATM cards (although I just carry one CC while I am in the US) and none of them are contactless, even though most have been recently reissued.

I have zero interest in using my phone to pay for things. Bad enough my CC company knows what I buy without adding Google.

Like janisj, when I'm in London my Oyster is more accessible than my phone. Since I travel solo the two for one offers have never been relevant so I have never found the options complicated. I can't see that tapping a card is any more difficult than waving one.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 11:56 AM
  #24  
 
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Apple Pay is not connected to google -- 2 different systems. Of course tapping a card is easy -- that's what I do where I live when I ride the metro and in many other cities.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 12:18 PM
  #25  
 
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My phone is Android, so if I were using it for contactless pay it would be via Google. Have no idea whether that is possible now, but no doubt if not it will be soon.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 12:54 PM
  #26  
 
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Yup, google wallet is available.
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Old Apr 17th, 2017, 09:23 AM
  #27  
 
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@yestravel - yes, I used Apple Pay all over the place in London. I'd guess 85-90% of the time. There were only a few places that didn't take it, and at those shops I just used my regular credit card and had to sign the slip.

And I agree with janisj - when I'm in London my Oyster is somewhere easily accessible. Usually in a trousers or jacket pocket, or I have a bag with a zipper pocket in the front flap that's perfect. I also have a wallet case for my phone that holds my ID, one credit card and my Oyster; I used that a lot too.

I know it all sounds confusing, but really it's straightforward: if you get an Oyster, just put pay-as-you-go credit on it, check the balance occasionally (it often shows up as you tap out of a station), and top up when you need it. If you use contactless, you don't really have to keep an eye on it, from what I understand.

@PatrickLondon - foreign exchange fees depend on the card you have linked to (in this case) Apple Pay; Apple doesn't charge you anything.* My card doesn't have foreign transaction fees so there's no difference. With my old card, that might have been a consideration (though I'm pretty sure it was percentage-based, so it probably wouldn't have mattered much).

* to thursdayd's point, this is when I think "if the product is free, you are the product"
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Old Apr 17th, 2017, 11:21 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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jent -- good to know re Apple Pay. Once I could get straightforward info on the options for transportation, it became clear. And Fodorites filled in the blanks. For some reason my thinking of using Apple Pay instead of getting an oyster card generates comments. I also sorted through whether getting the paper travel cards/2for1 was a cost effective way to go. Anyway the OP has long gone since I hijacked this thread. Hopefully got their answers.
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Old Apr 18th, 2017, 07:37 AM
  #29  
 
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>>If you use contactless, you don't really have to keep an eye on it, from what I understand.
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Old Apr 18th, 2017, 07:41 AM
  #30  
 
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">>If you use contactless, you don't really have to keep an eye on it, from what I understand.
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Old Apr 18th, 2017, 08:40 AM
  #31  
 
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And your bank may stop payment/block your card if they see multiple very small charges one after another . . .
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