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Oyster card top up help please

(5 Posts)
triplets Sat 24-Oct-15 07:46:15

Hi my three children are all going up to London today for the first time on their own. Last night we topped up our oyster cards for them but are confused as it said the top up wont be activated until they use it at the nominated starting station for their journey. Only worried as they now are saying they may meet friends and go from a different station. I would have thought if you top up online the money would automatically go on from which ever station you go to? Confused !

tribpot Sat 24-Oct-15 07:49:34

No, they need to swipe in at the nominated station. They'll have to start from that station and then go on to meet their friends. I guess it's a security check to make sure you can't pick up a lost Oyster and activate a potentially large top-up (or rather, you could but it makes it much less likely that you'll succeed).

triplets Sat 24-Oct-15 07:57:41

Thanks tribot (think we have met on here before) does seem a bit daft though because what if you are just going up to London for the day with no plans and want to just decide when you get there? My three are going to Excel to Comicon, guess they will sort themselves out! So if they go from anther station the top up just wont have gone on? Think there is enough anyway on two of the cards but the third one only has just over a fiver on it.

BrendaFlange Sat 24-Oct-15 08:25:24

I suppose generally people would be arriving by train so would know what station through which they were coming into London . You can very easily and quickly just top up your Oyster at what ever tube you decide to use as your starting point, so that option is open to those who have no plans etc.

They can top their cards up at the machine with cash, too.

Mine are off to ComicCon, too.

tribpot Sat 24-Oct-15 10:39:24

Yes, you can top up at the stations as well, you would just need to have the debit card with you to do it - topping up online requires a bit more planning smile

It's worth registering the cards, by the way. When I was last in London I got charged for a 'we don't know where you swiped out' fare, i.e. they charge like a fiver. I challenged it and they agreed to refund, but they can only automatically refund to a particular station. Not much use when I wasn't going to be in London for another few months, as the refund is only good for a week or so. Anyway, I called them and as my card is registered I could have the money refunded to my bank account, hurrah.

As Brenda says, most people don't arrive in London and then wonder which station they might get on at grin

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