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Londoners: Travel for free on Monday with Apple Pay

by Todd Haselton | February 26, 2016February 26, 2016 11:00 am PST


We have good news for our London-based audience. Come this Monday, February 29 (it’s a leap year, remember?), folks who use MasterCard with Apple Pay will be able to ride the Tube or bus for free using Apple Pay. The free trips will continue each Monday through March 14 and applies to the entire “Transport for London” network.

Here’s a bit on how it works, according to MasterCard:

  1. Prior to boarding a bus or approaching a gate double-click the Home button of iPhone, when iPhone is locked.
  2. Select your MasterCard and place your finger on Touch ID until you see “Hold near Reader to pay” on the display.
  3. Touch the top of iPhone near the yellow card reader within one minute of completing “Step 2” listed above.
  4. You will see “Done” on the display, feel a brief vibration, and hear a beep, letting you know payment has been sent. A green light will also be displayed on the card reader.

You will actually be charged a fare, it seems. MasterCard says that cardholders will receive a refund “against their travel costs made with Apple Pay” up to a maximum of £28.10 per cardholder. It may take up to 28 days to get that refund.

You’ll need an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus (or an Apple Watch) to take advantage of the free trips, which will work on buses, London Underground, London Trams, Docklands Light Railway, London Overground, TfL Rail, Emirates Air Line and “most National Rail services in London.” It won’t work with the Thames Clipper River Bus service.

Just keep an eye out for the yellow card reader and, if you see it, the trip should be free.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...