– You cannot purchase MetroCards on buses
– The only MetroCards available to purchase online are intended for people who need a card every month. If you are a visitor to NYC it is best to buy your card in the city
How to Buy MetroCards:
– Vending machines will take cash, ATM cards, and all major credit cards
– Tellers can only accept cash
– If you’re paying by cash at a machine, be aware that the machine can only give up to $8 in change and it is paid out in change, not bills.
– It you’re paying by credit at a machine with a foreign billing address, be aware that they will ask for a billing zip code. Enter “99999” in this field which indicates to the machine that an international card is being used.
Regular Pay Per Ride MetroCards:
Unlimited Ride MetroCards:
– The 7 Day Pass is $30. It’s good for a full 7 days from the first day you use it.
– The 30 day Pass is $112. It’s good for a full 30 days from the first day you use it. This option is only a good deal if you will be in the city for 3- 4 weeks and plan to use the subway at least twice a day.
**Both Regular Pay Per Ride and Unlimited cards can be used on all the Subway and Bus lines. There is a free transfer between subway and bus or bus to bus. Only the Pay Per Ride cards can be used on the PATH trains.
**Discounts: The MTA states that ” up to 3 children 44 inches (3.6ft) tall and under ride for free on subways and local buses when accompanied by a fare paying adult.” The city does offer a reduced fare for seniors 65yrs+ but since you have to apply for the discounted card making it inaccessible to non-residents.
All this information and loads more can be found at the MTA website.
Every MetroCard purchase requires a $1 new card fee. Hold on to your cards and refill them when needed. The $1 charge does not apply if you’re refilling cards, only when you’re buying a new card. Our 6 hour tours (Dozen Apples Group, Big Apple Private, Christmas Private) require 3-4 subway rides. You can put $10 on a Regular Pay Per Ride MetroCard, and with the new card fee your total will be $11. With the 5% bonus you will now have $10.50 on your MetroCard.
Our 3 hour tours (Downtown Dozen Group, Half Apple Private, Grow Your Own, Pub Crawl) do no take many subway trips but having at least one ride on a card will be helpful. The cost of a single ride ticket is $2.75 (non-refillable card) and with the new card fee the total is $3.75
The Then and Now Private Tour does NOT require a trip on the subway.
The subway is really the most convenient and economical way to get around the city. If you plan on riding the subway a few more times during your stay you should consider putting $20 on a Regular Pay Per Ride MetroCard. If you’re staying in the city for 4+ days then your best option may be the 7 day pass for $30. If you take only 13 trips on the subway this pass reduces the fare to $2.31.