December 29, 2017

The Truth about Contactless, Oystercards and the TfL fare rise

Contactless Card

If you're a regular commuter in London, you've probably noticed TfL are pushing Contactless hard.

And it's hard not to be wooed by its appeal. You never worry about topping up or wasting your time in a queue, all you need is a bank card or a phone and you're good to go. Sounds simple enough but is it actually your best choice?

We've reviewed all the arguments and costs so you don't have to.

Start saving on your Commute

The Short View

If you commute regularly (more than 4 days a week) season tickets are the best value for money. However, for infrequent travelers or tourist, Contactless is the best bet. Curious to understand why? Read on...


The Nitty Gritty

Season tickets come in three flavours - weekly, monthly, and annual. As the period gets longer, the value gets better - an annual costs the same as 10.4 Monthly tickets and just 40 Weekly tickets. So unless you work part-time or you're lucky enough to take 2 months' holiday a year, annuals are the way to go!

The trouble is that while they're cheaper, annuals still aren't cheap and are expensive to buy up-front. 

That's exactly why Commuter Club exists: to combine the savings of annual tickets with the flexibility of monthlies and Contactless. It's simple - you get an annual ticket and pay by Direct Debit in easy monthly installments. Each month will cost you about the same as a monthly season ticket but - here's the good bit - you first and last months are half price!

Forget about remembering to top up or queuing for a ticket every week; step into the 21st century instead, pay for your commute like you would your Netflix subscription and save while you do it.

See how much you could save on your trip to work with CommuterClub:

Confused about Contactless vs. Oyster Card? Read on and all your questions will be answered...


Contactless

Contactless is a great way to pay for individual trips in London. It's straight forward: you tap your card, phone, or watch on to the card reader and the payment comes directly from your bank account.

Contactless payments are charged per journey, and there are daily and weekly caps beyond which you won't be charged. Once your aggregated fares for the day or week exceed this price cap, you won't be charged for subsequent journeys made within that time period.

Check out this article for a detailed explanation of the TfL contactless capping, and how automatic refunds work.


Oyster Cards

Oyster Cards work in a similar way to Contactless - individual fares are the same and Oyster also employs a daily cap. However, weekly caps are only available for Oyster Card on buses and trams, a quirk that will no doubt have caught out many rail and tube travelers. Now you know!


Season Tickets

Since being introduced, season tickets have saved regular commuters a lot of money and many hours of queuing. And because they grant unlimited travel for the time-period their purchased, you're free to go back and forth along your route as much as you like without paying a penny more, weekends included!  Just another way season tickets offer greater saving and freedom than other options.

Here are a couple of examples illustrating the cost and savings of each payment option. Assumes 5 days of travel per week:

Commute: Zone 1 to Zone 2

Ticket type

 Monthly cost

 Annual cost

 Savings vs Contactless

 

CommuterClub

£120

£1,483

£342


Monthly

£135

£1,618

£207


Weekly

£152

£1,825

-


Contactless

£152

£1,825

-




Commute: Zone 1 to Zone 6

Ticket type

Monthly cost

Annual cost

Savings vs Contactless


CommuterClub

£227

£2,727

£611


Monthly

£247

£2,959

£379


Weekly

£278

£3,338

-


Contactless

£278

£3,338

-



So on a Zone 1 - 6 commute, you could save as much as £611 vs using Contactless, even more if you factor in the unlimited travel you get. And remember you're not just limited to train or tube, you be able to travel on buses and trams within your Zones too.

Commuter Club makes the savings of an annual accessible to everyone with our easy and convenient monthly payment plan. And you'll see the savings straight away with 50% off your first month!

The best thing for you to do now is to check out our savings calculator, enter your current commute and how you pay for and see just how much you could save with Commuter Club. You may well be looking at saving hundreds across the year.

And if you live beyond London's Oyster Zones don't worry, Commuter Club offers exactly the same money-saving payment plan for rail travel as well.

Any questions? No problem! Visit our FAQ page, open up a live chat, or email us on info@commuterclub.co.uk.

Representative Example: Borrowing £1,200 over 11 months will cost you £115 per month at a representative 11.6% APR. Total repayable £1,267 which includes £67 of interest at 5.6% fixed.