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Octopus Card - how much should we get put on for 1 week!

Calgary, Canada
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Octopus Card - how much should we get put on for 1 week!

I will be in Hong Kong from September 22nd to the 29th staying at the Evergreen Hotel close to Jordan MRT.

I will be taking the Vigor Shuttle back and forth to the airport.

I plan on going to Stanley, taking bus one way to the Peak ( no tower ), cable car down, lots of exploring of Hong Kong Island plus Kowloon, Big Buddha (cable car under maintenance) and Macau.

Would 280 HK$ be enough for one week on the Octopus Card?

So when I approach a machine or counter I would be requesting 330 HK$ including the 50 HK$ refundable?

Can I pay at the counter in cash?

Thank you so much fir your assistance.

Hong Kong, China
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1. Re: Octopus Card - how much should we get put on for 1 week!

you can put as much, as often you want on the card because at the end of the day, you can refund your card or top up easily. It is quite difficult to estimate how much you can use on the octupus card because besides transportation, the card can be used at some shops (usually small establishments with low cost puschase), convenient stores (where you can top up) and some small restaurants (usually fast food place, cafes... etc)

you can pay cash, or actually, HAVE TO pay cash for the top up at any MTR stations and convenient stores (except at the airport counter where you can top up with credit cards)

New Forest, United...
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2. Re: Octopus Card - how much should we get put on for 1 week!

You can only top up Octopus Card in units of HK$50. The cost of the Adult On-loan Octopus Card is HK$150 which comprises HK$50 deposit and HK$100 starting credit. You can only use cash to pay for the card and for subsequent top-ups. The nearest you could get to HK$280 would be to add HK$200 when you initially obtain the card which would give you a balance of HK$300.

Probably it would be enough if you're only using the card for transportation and don't intend using it for the ferry to and from Macau (Cotai Water Jet ferries accept Octopus).

An Octopus Card can be topped up in a matter of seconds at thousands of locations all over HK so its not really worth worrying about how much to put on it. What you don't spend you get back if you hand in the card before you leave HK. It's not wise to have a large credit balance on the card because if you lose the card you can't get your money back or if the card malfunctions you have to wait 7 working days for any credit and the deposit to be refunded and, in the meantime, either buy a new card or pay for single journey tickets.

Calgary, Canada
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106 posts
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3. Re: Octopus Card - how much should we get put on for 1 week!

Thank you so much for clarifying this for me. Also the fact if I lose the card or it malfunctions.

So you are saying if I got the total amount that I think I would need closest to 280HK$ that when I initially purchase the card I would pay 100 + 200 + 50 deposit - therefore an outlay of 350HK$?

What are the chances of a card malfunctioning?

Hong Kong, China
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4. Re: Octopus Card - how much should we get put on for 1 week!

quite rare I would say, usually unless you snap the card in two...

HK
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5. Re: Octopus Card - how much should we get put on for 1 week!

"malfunctioning" about 0.00000000001%, your talking about microwaving it.

You can have it blocked but its a hard thing to do deliberately. Just head to a MTR or bus station and have it sorted., not that it`d ever going to happen.

A couple of 100 top-up when you need, if you lose it, get another at the MTR. Spend any excess on food at the airport and take the card home as souvenir.

Hong Kong, China
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6. Re: Octopus Card - how much should we get put on for 1 week!

I have had my card malfunction twice over the past twelve years. It's quite irritating when it happens :) But don't worry, each time I had used the card for like five years, stuck in my wallet, taking all the abuse a wallet normally gets to endure (and that's a lot: bending in a pocket, being sat on, whatnot).

A few times (again maybe three, four times over the past 12 years!) I had it blocked when something went wrong entering/exiting the MTR gates. I just went to the customer service centre, told them my card wasn't working, they put it on a machine, reset it, and it's good to go again.

A fresh card obtained when entering Hong Kong won't give you any problem.

Don't bother topping it up too much right away. Maybe add $100 when you get the card, after that if not enough just add $50-100 increments (depending on your actual use) in any 7-11 or OK shop or MTR customer service centre.

New Forest, United...
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7. Re: Octopus Card - how much should we get put on for 1 week!

I had the same Octopus Card for 12 years and it never malfunctioned until last December. The replacement failed within 3 days and the replacement for that failed after about another week. Each time it malfunctions you have to wait 7 working days after returning the card to claim the deposit and any credit back and anybody leaving HK before the 7 days is up and wanting to reclaim money due has to complete a form and wait until Octopus Cards posts a cheque to you. Its best not to keep in a back pocket where the card can get bent and the chip damaged.

Edited: 08 June 2014, 17:54
Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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8. Re: Octopus Card - how much should we get put on for 1 week!

I wouldn't put any extra money on it to start with - just the regular $150 start-up price. Then after 2-3 days if it looking a bit low, add $50-$100.

Dublin, California
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9. Re: Octopus Card - how much should we get put on for 1 week!

You can easily get a malfunctioning card replaced at any MTR service counter. It's not an issue to worry about. The Octopus card is one of the top inventions of the 20th Century (or at least it should be).

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Osaka
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10. Re: Octopus Card - how much should we get put on for 1 week!

My card malfunctioned once. All I did was take it to the Service Center (located at every MTR station) and it was fixed immediately. Of course, not all problems might be resolved immediately as in my case.

Since you can top up the card so easily, there is no reason to put more than a couple hundred dollars on it so in case you lose it, you don't lose a whole lot.