London Transportation passes

Jun 26th, 2006, 07:32 AM
  #21  
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Has anyone tried the Oystern Online Shop? Do they mail you the card or is there some kind of will-call?

Do the Oyster Shops or Tube stations take Amex when you buy the OC?

If I'm just buying an OC and loading it up with a 7-day Travel Card, I shouldn't have to pay anything more than the 22.20 pounds for the Travel Card?

Can I then reload that OC like next year?
scrb is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 07:42 AM
  #22  
 
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You have to enter a Royal Mail postcode to use the online shop. I suppose you could theoretically have one sent to your hotel, but then the timing becomes problematical.

When you load anything less than a monthly Travelcard on an Oyster, there is supposed to be a £3 deposit paid - but I've never seen this enforced in the case of tourists loading a 7-day.

You can reload an Oyster indefinitely.
Robespierre is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 07:50 AM
  #23  
 
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no. think it would be will call for overseas orders.

yes.

right.

yes.

lots of answers at the "ask oyster" feature which can be accessed from the tfl site: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/
click "tickets and oyster" then there's a button on the lower left for "need help? ask oyster".
noe847 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 07:54 AM
  #24  
 
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according to the "ask oyster":

"Q: Do I have to pay a £3.00 deposit for a 7 Day Travelcard on Oyster?
A: No. From 14 August 2005, for a limited period, there will be no deposit to pay on Oyster cards loaded with an Adult 7 Day Travelcard."

You can actually go to that Q&A and set it to notify you when the answer to the question changes.
noe847 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 08:47 AM
  #25  
 
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Robespierre,

The TfL person I emailed back, said he/she (cant tell with a name of Riki) ordered the brochure "Fares and Tickets" to be sent to me in a separate envelope. I was impressed by the service provided. May be I am just lucky to catch them at a slow time.

The information on TfL site about Travel Information Center does not provide operation hours and when I clicked the "Location" tab, it gave me a 404 error. Therefore I haven't been able to find out if we can get the Oyster at LHR upon our arrival 6:30am.


nho9504 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 09:22 AM
  #26  
 
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Fares and tickets is also available on-line at http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/fares-tick...fares-2006.pdf

Underground ticket offices open at least a quarter-hour before the trains start running.
Robespierre is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 09:37 AM
  #27  
 
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Thanks Robespierre for the link.

This should help to figure out approximately how much we need to put on the Oyster to minimize the residual value. We are not frequent UK visitors so we really dont know when will be the next time we go to UK. Our next idea of going to the other side of Atlantic is to Southern Spain, portgul and may include Greece, with friends, in Fall 2007. This winter and next Spring are all pinned down - a December cruise and a 40 days to NZ/OZ in Spring. The next trip to UK would probably in 2008, if that!
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Jun 26th, 2006, 09:39 AM
  #28  
 
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You don't even have to estimate very closely. Just load a few quid, use it up, and recharge. It only takes a few seconds. When you get down to Departure Minus One or so, you can probably calculate the last day's requirement to the p.
Robespierre is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 10:10 AM
  #29  
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Thanks Noe for looking it up.

So basically you get the Oyster Card for free with a 7-day Travel Card.
scrb is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 10:14 AM
  #30  
 
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that's how it worked for us. I just looked it up for official confirmation, as I was pretty sure that was the policy. We have saved our Oyster cards and will bring them back to London this August and load a new travelcard on them.
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Jun 26th, 2006, 10:25 AM
  #31  
 
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Robespierre,

That is right, I keep forgetting the wonderful convenience called "topped up". I guess it wont let you go negative into the 3 pound deposit balance. (Unlike the system used in Japan you can go into negative to board the train/metro and then pay the difference when you LEAVE the transit system. At first we did not understand all those Japanese were doing at those machines at the exit area - it turned out the machines were used to calculate the price difference they had to pay on their journey when their existing tickets did not have enough value for the journey.)
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Jun 26th, 2006, 10:41 AM
  #32  
 
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I just came accross about this post on FT, and copy it below - it seems any 7-day pass will do to waive the 3 pound deposit, not just the Travelcard, as the poster bought a zone 2-3 BUS pass.

Jun 8, 06, 7:01 pm #48
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Recently,we were in the UK for 3 weeks, spent our first night with relatives in zone 3, then some time at the Hilton London Olympia, went away from London on the holiday weekend and another weekend and went out to zone 3 again from time to time.

Given the travel pattern above, we resolved to use the bus as much as possible so we initially bought zone 2-3 passes on Oysters at Northfields tube station and didn't top up. The big surprise was that the GBP3.00 deposit was not charged and all we had to pay was GBP14.00 each for the travel cards on our new Oyster. This was only 0.50 more than a seven day bus pass would have been. To get into town from Olympia, we used the 9 or 10 bus and took in the sights along the way. To get to our relatives place at Ealing, we caught a bus to Hammersmith, tube to Northfields and hopped an E2 or E3 bus for two stops up the street.

When the initial 7 day pass ran out, we knew we would have some days we would be out of London so we put GBP10.00 on each of the cards and still travelled around by bus as much as possible. The bus travel on days we didn't use the tube was capped at GBP3.00 so we only had to top up our Oysters one more time and still have some credit left. We didn't register them so don't know exactly how much but think there will be enough to travel in on the tube from LHR next visit
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Jun 26th, 2006, 10:43 AM
  #33  
 
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To clarify: this poster bought zone 2-3 Travelcards (not bus passes - they don't have zones) for Tubing out to their relatives, and traveled around in Zone 1 on buses.

They were able to do this because any bus pass or Travelcard is valid for unlimited bus travel in all zones throughout Greater London.
Robespierre is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 10:48 AM
  #34  
 
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On the first page of the same thread, I found this post, about the machine only allows you to top up with same credit card only one time per day! That is a surprise.

Robespierre, is this true?

Apr 24, 06, 1:32 pm #5
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Originally Posted by jerseyfinn
As you see, doing the math on which card works best is daunting when you factor in peak vs. off peak travel and zones.




As of this year (2006), you're pretty much always better off using Oyster. Put cash on it (say £20 each to start) and then keep an eye on whether you need to top up. One thing to be aware of, if topping up using a credit/debit card at a machine, is that it will only let you use the card one time (in a day), so if you want to top up both of your oysters at the same time, you will need to use two separate cards to do so.

I live in the UK, but am American and we seem to have people visiting us on a monthly basis these days!

nho9504 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 11:09 AM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Does the Oyster card actually know what you bought? If it is a pure pre-prepaid card, then the Travelcard choices are merely being used for the calculation of initial purchase amount only instead of a "real" Travelcard. (It is the "capped" feature that leads me think this way - as it automatically converts your daily usage to the Travelcard value eventhough initially you never buy a Travelcard.)
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Jun 26th, 2006, 11:55 AM
  #36  
 
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Sure it does. If you have a Travelcard, OysterNet knows not to deduct any value for any day your pass is effect unless you go outside your prescribed zones. If you don't have a Travelcard valid that day, it deducts value for each trip but stops when it gets to £4.40 or £3.
Robespierre is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 12:16 PM
  #37  
 
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From that perceptive, yes, you are right, Oyster knows whether a Travelcard is loaded or not.

About using credit card to top off, have you experienced such that you can only use the same credit card once per day, and if you have 2 Oyster to top off, you need to use 2 separate credit cards? That is a strange restriction. Because of the 3% currency conversion fee now being imposed by virtually 99% of the credit cards, I plan to exclusively use our Schwab MBNA card for foreign travel - despite BofA bought MBNA and reportedly the Fidelity and Merrill MBNA cardholders received notices that efective June 1, their cards will start charging foreign currency conversion fee, I have yet received any notice from my Schwab MBNA Visa. I have used it to buy tickets on EasyJet last month, there is no 3% charge (EasyJet itself charged 5 BP for credit card usage though). I just used it to buy train tickets on GNER site. Wont know until statement date to see if 3% will show up.

I think my best bet would be to use cash to top off our Oyster. BTW, BofA lets you withdraw cash from Barclay in UK, and BNP in France, without the persky $5 international withdrawal fee and reportedly has very competitive rate.
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