Hong Kong Octopus Discussion

justinbrett

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At HKG, buying a tourist octopus card to get on the train. I then found out you can only top up with cash, and the deposit is non refundable.

I found out while on the train to the city you can download the tourist octopus app, load with credit card and you can top up as required. You can then get a refund when you leave.

I binned my physical card after the first train trip (you couldn’t top up extra at the airport so didn’t even have enough value to get on the tram) and switched to the app version.

Definitely recommend just using the app.
 
At HKG, buying a tourist octopus card to get on the train. I then found out you can only top up with cash, and the deposit is non refundable.

I found out while on the train to the city you can download the tourist octopus app, load with credit card and you can top up as required. You can then get a refund when you leave.

I binned my physical card after the first train trip (you couldn’t top up extra at the airport so didn’t even have enough value to get on the tram) and switched to the app version.

Definitely recommend just using the app.
Or skip the tourist version, and just use regular.

Still using the same Octopus cards we started around 2007 - just top up as needed. Can now see the balance via the App (can actually scan the RFID via iPhone to read the card in the app - sort of neat).

Physical card doesn't run out of battery.......
 
Or skip the tourist version, and just use regular.

Still using the same Octopus cards we started around 2007 - just top up as needed. Can now see the balance via the App (can actually scan the RFID via iPhone to read the card in the app - sort of neat).

Physical card doesn't run out of battery.......

There was no way to buy that at the airport unless you had HKD cash. And then you’d have the cash only top up restriction. My whole thing was avoiding the need for cash.

Believe me I checked.

App worked brilliantly. You can transfer a physical card to the app, but not the tourist card.

It’s silly you can’t just use contactless like in most global cities but I guess Octopus has become so widespread they’re now protecting it - which is annoying for tourists.
 
There was no way to buy that at the airport unless you had HKD cash. And then you’d have the cash only top up restriction. My whole thing was avoiding the need for cash.

Believe me I checked.

App worked brilliantly. You can transfer a physical card to the app, but not the tourist card.

It’s silly you can’t just use contactless like in most global cities but I guess Octopus has become so widespread they’re now protecting it - which is annoying for tourists.
You can use a Visa card (Mastercard coming later this year) for the MTR, and I think also buses and the trams. Bizarrely, you can't use them on the airport express (but can buy tickets for that with a credit card). Tip: If travelling with at least 1 other person, buy a "group" ticket from the counter (for same day travel only). It's the counter you can see the platform from after you've exited arrivals. They're quite discounted. And if you know someone who lives in HK, they can add it to their octopus later to count towards the local PT subsidy system if they have the tickets and receipt.

I believe the Octopus for Tourists app insists on using its own (terrible) exchange rate?
 
You can use a Visa card (Mastercard coming later this year) for the MTR, and I think also buses and the trams. Bizarrely, you can't use them on the airport express (but can buy tickets for that with a credit card). Tip: If travelling with at least 1 other person, buy a "group" ticket from the counter (for same day travel only). It's the counter you can see the platform from after you've exited arrivals. They're quite discounted. And if you know someone who lives in HK, they can add it to their octopus later to count towards the local PT subsidy system if they have the tickets and receipt.

I believe the Octopus for Tourists app insists on using its own (terrible) exchange rate?

Aren’t the fares cheaper if using Octopus?
 
Aren’t the fares cheaper if using Octopus?
I always thought two or more you buy the Group ticket at the airport.

Octopus possibly cheaper for solo traveller?
 
Aren’t the fares cheaper if using Octopus?
If we're talking the normal MTR, no, in most cases the fare will be the same. Some concessions may not apply like early-bird fares and the fare-saver machines you see around a few places (that deduct $2 from your next ride).

The MTR buses and light rail (in New Territories areas tourists don't normally go) aren't usable with a Visa. But the normal MTR everyone knows is. Most bus companies and the HK Island Tram support all credit cards.

Octopus is good for the same-day free return trip on the airport express. The group tickets don't provide for that as far as I know.

If travelling solo, Klook provides discounted Airport Express tickets.
 
There was no way to buy that at the airport unless you had HKD cash. And then you’d have the cash only top up restriction. My whole thing was avoiding the need for cash.

Believe me I checked.

App worked brilliantly. You can transfer a physical card to the app, but not the tourist card.

It’s silly you can’t just use contactless like in most global cities but I guess Octopus has become so widespread they’re now protecting it - which is annoying for tourists.
NYC is/was similarly far behind. Most of the subway works for contactless now. Airtrain was only in the last month or two.

No capping other than weekly (so not as good as London in that regard), but it's quite low at $35 or so. In comparison that's about 2 days of a London zone 1-6 cap.....
 
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NYC is/was similarly far behind. Most of the subway works for contactless now. Airtrain was only in the last month or two.
I believe it’s technically after 12 rides (currently $34). You can register your card to track rides in their system v your actual charges and also challenge duplicate charges.
 

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