CTA Tattler: Don’t put $30 on your Chicago Card

CTA Tattler: Don’t put $30 on your Chicago Card

If you’re using a Chicago Card, do NOT select $30 (or $10) as your refill amount. You’ll be giving up free money if you do.

Back when I got my Chicago Card, I selected $20 as my refill. After a few months, I decided that resulted in too-frequent charges, so I moved it up to $30. Today, I finally noticed on my account history, that I was only receiving a $2 bonus for those $30 refills. Wait a second…isn’t it supposed to be a 10% bonus? That’s what I thought all the ads and marketing said when I signed up…current marketing says $2 bonus for every $20 value added. Maybe that’s what it’s always said, and I didn’t realize it. Who knows…

So, the options are:

Refill $10 Bonus $0
Refill $20 Bonus $2
Refill $30 Bonus $2
Refill $40 Bonus $4
Refill $60 Bonus $6

I replied:

How is $2 for every $20 different from 10% when they don’t stipulate anywhere on their website that the $20 must be loaded at the same time? Seems to me, it ought to work out to the same thing, unless they plan on clarifying their wording.

And this is still fucking pissing me off. No, really. How is $2 / $20 different from 10%? I mean, the only thing I would assume from reading that is maybe they would wait until, say… you put $10 on your card twice. Not that they meant they’d give you a $2 bonus for every literal chunk of exactly $20. But if you load $10 twice, guess what bonus you get? A big, fat zeeeeero. Fuck, shit, piss. Yeah, this probably means I lost out of a whole… not very many dollars before I caught it. But, still.

Pretty lame, Milhouse.

Fie on you, CTA farecards

“There is one circumstance where a Chicago Card Plus cannot be used to pay for up to seven customers: If six or fewer customers begin their trip while using one card, and they attempt to transfer to another bus or rail line with customers who were not present at the origin of the trip, the card will not be accepted for fare payment of the additional customers.”

So basically… if Sean comes home from work right now, and we wish to go out together before his transfers have expired, I need to use a different card because passback won’t work.

We already experienced this once, last week. I had just come home, and the two of us needed to get to State Farm to sign some forms and turn in my car key (since I no longer had the car and all — don’t know why they didn’t try to get that from me when they came and towed it, or why they didn’t try to let me know they were in fact planning to tow it — but I digress). We didn’t have any cash, and I just had the one farecard, but I thought — gee! There’s that nifty passback feature. We can share.

Nope. Doesn’t work that way. The farebox just flashes “invalid” or somesuch when you try it, and the driver gets all uppity.

I found this ancient discussion about the passback “feature”. I’m glad to see that the annoyance has carried over to the new Chicago Cards… Do people not use passback, or something?

I guess we’ll probably buy a second (non 30-day pass) card just for this purpose. Dumb. Since you can’t get transfers with cash anymore (also dumb).