Contactless Card: the best way to save money in London Tube

The London Tube or London Underground is a Rapid transit system for public, serving nearly all parts of Greater London. The London Tube is also a World’s oldest rapid transit system which opened in 1863. In the year 2013-14, Tube system carried 1.265 billion passengers, making it the world’s 11th busiest metro system. This transport facility is also not too much heavy for travelers’ pockets, and it also save their journey time. For travelling to the Underground, there are total four ways to make payments. You can pay with cash, get a travel card, use Oyster card or the newest method the contactless payments on your debit or credit card. It is a new kind of banking technology service where you pay for items by just tapping a credit or debit card on a reading device. Oyster card also offers the same platform of tapping card, and both of these modes are quite cheaper than the paper ticket. In case of Contactless cards, some suppliers claim that transactions can be almost twice as fast as a traditional cash, credit, or debit card purchase.

Payment Through Contactless

If you are a regular traveler of London Tube, then this article may save you some money and time through making you understand how one can use the contactless card inside tube. The aim of Contactless card is to speed up transaction process and you have just to touch your debit card at ticket barrier and you will be charged just like that of Oyster Card. Through Contactless payment, you don’t need to enter in recharge queues, and even you don’t want to do anything online. TFL accepts any contactless card issued in the UK on Visa, Maestro, MasterCard, or American Express. If you have contactless payments, you will know it by a symbol on your card which looks like sound waves. More than 30 million is now using contactless payments, making up 12 percent of pay as you go journeys. Some of the luxurious hotels in London like Park Grand London Hyde Park are planning to introduce Contactless payment option in their premises.

Capping trick for Contactless Users

Next Big benefit of using the contactless card is you can cap it as per the travel zone. In London, every Travel zone has different capping charges, and you can fix your expenditure as per that particular zone so that you don’t need to pay more. In case you traveled less than capping limit then you will charge as per your travel but if your capping limit is reached, and still you travel beyond to that then you don’t need to pay the price of that extra travelling, just capping charges is applicable. For example, the daily zones 1 and 2 cap is £6.40 each while the daily zones 1 to 3 cap is £7.50. That compares to a single peak time fare of £2.90 for zone 1 to 2 and £3.30 for the zone 1 to 3. Peak fares runtime is from Monday to Friday 6.30m to 9.30am and in the evening time is 16.00 to 19.00.

This capping facility is available for the whole week from Monday to Sunday but must know thing is you have to use the same card for whole to avail this capping facility. The official statement from TFL is ‘If you reach a Monday to Sunday cap before the coming Sunday, you will not be charged for any journeys made with that card, within the zones of the cap, till 04:30 next Monday. Daily capping keeps tracking of how much you have spent every day, between 4.30am and 4.29am on the next day. There is a warning. It is significant to note that the cap runs Monday to Sunday though. In case, you were going to do ample of travel in London over a seven-day period that is starting on a different day, and then weekly Oyster card surely is the better option.

Don’t Go for One Day Travel Card

The cashless methods of payment are always the best option if we compare it with one-day paper travel card as it made your travel more expensive than it needs to be. A Paper one-day travel card can cost you anything from £12 to more than that of £20 depending how far you wants to travel. For example, if you choose daily cap on Oyster, and contactless cards in zone 1 to 2 then cost will be of £6.40. A one-day travel card in the same zone may take your cost to £12. Now question is why these kinds of tickets are still on sale.

What about cash?

If you are going to buy paper ticket through machine, then it will be least cost effective options among all. For example buying a single paper ticket for Tube, Docklands Light Railway or for London Overground journey in case of zone 1 and 2, costs you exactly £4.80. But the same ticket with an Oyster or contactless card, need just £2.90 at peak times and £2.30 off-peak.

In case of Bus Only

You can pay your ticket charges through Oyster, contactless or a travel card. You can’t go for cash anymore. Next big thing is buses will not travel in zones, so it’s same all over. Single Bus journey through Oyster card cost you £1.50. There is also a cap of £4.40 and can go for it when you are using three or more journeys.

Bus and Tube travel

Buses do not operate in zones, so in case you lived in zone 3 and had to board a bus to a station in Zone 2, then best possible option is catch the tube to work in zone 1. It will cost you maximum £6.40 on the daily cap, or £32.10 on a contactless card on weekly cap.

If you are visitor

In that case using contactless card is the best option as it can save your time money and energy of getting paper ticket or Oyster card.

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