We visit New York regularly and when we do, we eventually end up taking the subway to get around town when it’s more convenient than getting an Uber or taxi, or walking. Because it’s not on my packing list, I’ll occasionally forget to bring our old MetroCards with us and after a while, I end up with a collection of cards that looks like this.
The MTA doesn’t it make it easy to end up with an empty MetroCard. First of all, the subway doesn’t accept contactless payments like other cities such as Chicago do, so you’re forced to buy a card. The fare machines are set to offer you a set amount when purchasing a card, like $10. However, the subway fare is $2.75 per ride. It doesn’t take a genius to find out those amounts aren’t evenly divisible so if you don’t know better, you’re going to have a leftover balance on your card.
Just to make the math harder, the MTA adds a bonus when you reload your card for more than $5.50.
Put $5.50 or more on your card and receive a 5 percent bonus. For example, a $20 purchase gives you $21.00 on your card. Refill your card to use the balance.