London Fares Railcard or Oyster

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Greenback, 1 Jun 2015.

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  1. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm beaten by this one, despite having looked at the TfL website, which I found quite poor. Though maybe it's me being dim.

    My aunt and uncle are heading off to London for the weekend shortly. They each have a Senior Railcard. They also have PAYG Oyster cards from a previous visit, and they are intending to go to Hampton Court on the Sunday that they are there.

    They asked me if it would be cheaper to use their Oyster cards, or whether they should get a one day Travelcard if they can get a discount on the fare with their Senior Railcards.

    I've looked but I find the London fares a bit mystifying, especially since the changes in January this year. Please could a London expert give me a bit of guidance, and point me in the right direction as regards where the information can be found on the website? My uncle is a bit fussy and likes to know where information comes from in case he runs into any problems.

    Naturally, I won't take all the credit myself for giving him the answers! ;)

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. cool110

    cool110 Member

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    Last edited: 1 Jun 2015
  3. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    Probably easiest just to buy the Zone 1-6 Off Peak Day Travelcard for £7.90 each.

    If they load the railcards onto their Oysters upon arrival in London then they will cap at £7.75 for the day for Zones 1-6, or a remarkable £4.25 if rail travel is all within Zones 1 and 2. If they reach the Z1-6 cap on both days, they will get a part refund so it comes down to £5.90 per day.
     
    Last edited: 1 Jun 2015
  4. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    So if they reach the Z1-6 cap on day 1, it actually works out slightly cheaper to make sure you hit it again?
     
  5. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    I believe if spend on Zone 1-6 travel exceeds £5.90 on both the Saturday and Sunday then the refund will be invoked. It wouldn't be necessary to reach the £7.75 All Day cap.

    If travel was only in Zones 1-2 (£4.25 cap) on the Saturday, then the £7.75 cap was reached on Sunday, I don't think the refund would be invoked. Though that is something I don't know for sure.


    More information available here.
     
    Last edited: 1 Jun 2015
  6. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Yes. As long as the £5.90 is exceeded on any two days in a Mon-Sun week then a refund down to £5.90/day will be issued. It also works with four days in any two consecutive Mon-Sun weeks and eight days in four Mon-Sun weeks. It's known at the part-time workers refund.
     
  7. Dent

    Dent Member

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    It doesn't look like this would benefit anyone making a one-off weekend visit to London.

    Doesn't mention any arrangement to pay a refund to anyone who will not be using the card after the refund is made available.
     
  8. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    If it's a contactless card then the payment goes straight to the bank. If it's Oyster then a call to the helpdesk after a couple of weeks* should enable the refund to be sent to a bank account.

    *The refund will be sent to a station for 8 days starting on the Friday after the end of the week. It can't be changed until it returns to the central system. A further week may be required if they don't run the automatic process every week as happened with my recent refund.
     
  9. A1

    A1 Member

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  10. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks for the help everyone. I spoke to my uncle last night, and if the weather is nice they might go out to Greenwich by boat on the Saturday afternoon. If it's not so good, they will probably stay in the centre and go to the Natural History Museum instead.

    They are set on Hampton Court on the Sunday. I'll tell him that a (paper?) Travelcard at £7.90 will be the easiest way to do it. I think they are staying near Paddington so they can buy their Travelcards there.
     
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