By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Why you should keep your vintage CharlieCard

CharlieCard_800You can’t make this up.

Because I can be slow on the uptake, I thought MBTA CharlieCards were only for those with monthly passes. A friend told me otherwise, and a T worker at North Station gave me one.

I tried to register it online and got rejected. When I called the 800 number, a friendly employee explained that the online system only works with older cards. “Would you like me to send you an old one?” she asked. Sure, I said, and a few days later one arrived in the mail. I just registered online and added $20 to it without any problem. And the brand-new card sits unused.


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  1. Dan, I had no idea you could refill your Charlie Card online. Thanks for the education! (I, too, am a little slow on the uptake.)

    • Just FYI: Two months ago I got a brand new Charlie Card — turned 65 and got a Senior monthly pass card (a perk of getting older). It works just fine charging it on line. So maybe it’s just some cards, or non-monthly passes ??

  2. John Emery

    I recently *renewed* my senior Charlie Card which was a bit of a reality check on my lost youth. It works perfectly and the remaining credit on the old card was seamlessly transferred to the new car.

  3. There’s a new Charlie Card?

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