Just after receiving the kid’s Oyster cards I had set up auto top-up on them in anticipation that they would be used most weeks. The initial top up had been loaded onto their cards the day before the email about the Family and Friends Railcard arrived. What should I do now? I rapidly decided that we wouldn’t be using these cards anywhere near as much as I’d originally envisaged. There was no way I wanted £20 being debited from my card if it would take months, or even years, to use it up. So I requested an auto top-up cancellation before the first auto top-up had actually had a chance to happen.
Now the only problem was how to use up the remainder of the initial deposits. Fortunately the railcard kids fare is the same £1 as the Oyster child price cap. On a Thursday I could buy a paper return ticket for one child to qualify me for the discount while the other one could use their Oyster card. Sorted! Once the balance returned to zero I’d keep the cards in a safe place for that odd occasion when they might be the cheapest method of payment.