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  • FIRST POST
    • Isaac :)
    • By Isaac :) 18th Aug 17, 12:53 PM
    • 10Posts
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    Isaac :)
    Cheapest way to commute on the tube
    • #1
    • 18th Aug 17, 12:53 PM
    Cheapest way to commute on the tube 18th Aug 17 at 12:53 PM
    Hello everyone, if anybody knows TFLís pricing system inside out then your help would be much appreciated!

    I will soon be moving to London, and plan to commute Monday to Friday, making a return journey at peak times, on the tube, from Ealing Broadway (zone 3) to Embankment (zone 1). Outside of this commute, Iím sure Iíll find myself using the transport network for social purposes at least fairly regularly too.

    Iím just trying to work out what would be the cheapest way to buy travel for these journeys. An annual travelcard for zones 1-3 would cost me £1548, and from what Iíve seen, this looks to be the cheapest option, seeing as itíd entitle me to unlimited travel, unlike pay as you go. I also think my employer offers a salary sacrifice scheme for these travelcards, meaning Iíd be able to pay in instalments (does anybody know if Iíd get tax relief on this, or does it not work like that?).

    I also have a National Rail 16-25 Railcard, so I could load this discount onto an Oyster Card, which would entitle me to reduced off-peak fares. However, given that my commute will be entirely at peak times, I donít think this would be very useful.

    Is my instinct that the £1548 annual travelcard is the best option therefore correct? Do let me know if Iím missing anything, such as any price caps when paying by Oyster/Contactless which would make it cheaper than this.

    Many thanks for your help.
Page 1
    • ctbfc
    • By ctbfc 18th Aug 17, 2:20 PM
    • 78 Posts
    • 74 Thanks
    ctbfc
    • #2
    • 18th Aug 17, 2:20 PM
    • #2
    • 18th Aug 17, 2:20 PM
    the Z1-3 travelcard will be your best option. If you buy an annual ticket you'll also get all the gold card benefits: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ticket_types/46573.aspx

    Some companies also give additional benefits for buying through them, for example I buy my z1-4 annual ticket from Chiltern despite not using them for my commute and they give free travel on their netwerk at weekends and bank holidays: https://www.chilternrailways.co.uk/new-customers#special%20benefits

    Other companies also offer incentices, SWT gave 6 free weekend tickets too (although their franchise ends on Sunday).
    • surreysaver
    • By surreysaver 18th Aug 17, 3:06 PM
    • 2,342 Posts
    • 1,316 Thanks
    surreysaver
    • #3
    • 18th Aug 17, 3:06 PM
    • #3
    • 18th Aug 17, 3:06 PM
    Unless you spend a significant amount of time commuting off peak, an annual season will work out cheapest. Unless you want to get the bus all the way in!
    I consider myself to be a male feminist. Is that allowed?
    • elverson
    • By elverson 18th Aug 17, 3:17 PM
    • 704 Posts
    • 419 Thanks
    elverson
    • #4
    • 18th Aug 17, 3:17 PM
    • #4
    • 18th Aug 17, 3:17 PM
    Season ticket schemes are usually set up as interest-free loans, not salary sacrifice - so no tax advantage.

    Another option: you could get a decent bike for about a quarter of the £1548. Ealing to Embankment is mostly flat and you can use the Cycle Superhighway for
    the eastern end.

    https://tfl.gov.uk/travel-information/improvements-and-projects/cycle-superhighway-east-west
    Last edited by elverson; 18-08-2017 at 3:20 PM.
    • t0rt0ise
    • By t0rt0ise 18th Aug 17, 8:04 PM
    • 2,926 Posts
    • 1,792 Thanks
    t0rt0ise
    • #5
    • 18th Aug 17, 8:04 PM
    • #5
    • 18th Aug 17, 8:04 PM
    The cost of the annual travel card is the same as travelling twice a day in peak times for 47 weeks of the year. It assumes 5 weeks annual leave. So if you never use the card at any other time you will draw even but if you use it outside commuting that extra travel will be free. Also paying by contactless card has a weekly cap .. zones 1-3 of £38.70 so something else to take into account.
    • p00hsticks
    • By p00hsticks 19th Aug 17, 11:45 PM
    • 5,709 Posts
    • 5,321 Thanks
    p00hsticks
    • #6
    • 19th Aug 17, 11:45 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Aug 17, 11:45 PM
    If you can't get an interest free loan from your employer, you could look at getting a credit card with either cashback or a 0% on purchases offer (I used to pay for my annual Season ticket withan American Express card to earn cashback).
    • Isaac :)
    • By Isaac :) 21st Aug 17, 12:40 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Isaac :)
    • #7
    • 21st Aug 17, 12:40 PM
    • #7
    • 21st Aug 17, 12:40 PM
    the Z1-3 travelcard will be your best option. If you buy an annual ticket you'll also get all the gold card benefits

    Some companies also give additional benefits for buying through them, for example I buy my z1-4 annual ticket from Chiltern despite not using them for my commute and they give free travel on their netwerk at weekends and bank holidays

    Other companies also offer incentices, SWT gave 6 free weekend tickets too (although their franchise ends on Sunday).
    Originally posted by ctbfc
    Thanks to you all for your replies, they were really useful.

    Looks like the annual travel card is the way to go.

    ctbfc, you mentioned the annual Gold Card which I can see you can load onto your Oyster. Would anybody be able to tell me if it is possible to load more than one discount card onto the same Oyster (i.e. a Gold Card and a 16-25 Railcard), or if you're limited to just one? If the latter is the case, what would give better value?
    • ctbfc
    • By ctbfc 21st Aug 17, 1:01 PM
    • 78 Posts
    • 74 Thanks
    ctbfc
    • #8
    • 21st Aug 17, 1:01 PM
    • #8
    • 21st Aug 17, 1:01 PM
    Thanks to you all for your replies, they were really useful.

    Looks like the annual travel card is the way to go.

    ctbfc, you mentioned the annual Gold Card which I can see you can load onto your Oyster. Would anybody be able to tell me if it is possible to load more than one discount card onto the same Oyster (i.e. a Gold Card and a 16-25 Railcard), or if you're limited to just one? If the latter is the case, what would give better value?
    Originally posted by Isaac :)
    Limited to one but they give exactly the same discount.
    • elverson
    • By elverson 21st Aug 17, 1:02 PM
    • 704 Posts
    • 419 Thanks
    elverson
    • #9
    • 21st Aug 17, 1:02 PM
    • #9
    • 21st Aug 17, 1:02 PM
    You can't load the Gold Card discount onto the Oyster - it's a separate paper ticket which you get as a 'freebie' with an annual ticket.
    • Isaac :)
    • By Isaac :) 21st Aug 17, 2:39 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Isaac :)
    You can't load the Gold Card discount onto the Oyster - it's a separate paper ticket which you get as a 'freebie' with an annual ticket.
    Originally posted by elverson
    I think you can, actually. From the 'Annual Gold Cards' page on the TfL website:

    'With the Annual Gold Card discount set on your Oyster card you get 1/3 discount on off-peak pay as you go fares and off-peak daily caps on Tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and most National Rail services in London.'
    • elverson
    • By elverson 21st Aug 17, 3:25 PM
    • 704 Posts
    • 419 Thanks
    elverson
    OK sorry. I was confused by the other page:

    https://tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-payments/adult-discounts-and-concessions/railcards?intcmp=1757
    • bubieyehyeh
    • By bubieyehyeh 21st Aug 17, 10:19 PM
    • 359 Posts
    • 99 Thanks
    bubieyehyeh
    You can't load the Gold Card discount onto the Oyster - it's a separate paper ticket which you get as a 'freebie' with an annual ticket.
    Originally posted by elverson
    You most definitely can add gold card discount to Oyster.
    • jraf
    • By jraf 6th Sep 17, 3:13 PM
    • 54 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    jraf
    If you have a gold card you can buy a discounted network railcard for £10 for yourself or anyone you name.
    • t0rt0ise
    • By t0rt0ise 6th Sep 17, 7:00 PM
    • 2,926 Posts
    • 1,792 Thanks
    t0rt0ise
    Actually there are three slots on an oyster card so three discount cards can be added.
    • bubieyehyeh
    • By bubieyehyeh 6th Sep 17, 8:36 PM
    • 359 Posts
    • 99 Thanks
    bubieyehyeh
    If you have a gold card you can buy a discounted network railcard for £10 for yourself or anyone you name.
    Originally posted by jraf
    Is there any point buying a network card for yourself? I thought it has the same discount as the gold card. I suppose if you aren't renewing your goldcard there maybe a reason.
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