A NYC MetroCard will cost $1 (as of today) each time we apply for a new card. So can we refill the "7-day Unlimited MetroCard" after it expires? For an example if I go to subway station on 8th day and tried to refill it with $11, will it be allowed?

Or else can I buy a "Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard" and then add the "7-day unlimited" ride option to "Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard" and once it get expired will I still be able to use the "Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard" card on 8th day and forward?

Is there any expiration time for these metro cards? Will I be able to use them in my next trip as well?

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    YES. You can add any entitlement to a MetroCard (except Unlimited AirTrain) at the same time. Unlimited time will be applied before any fare is deducted.
    – DTRT
    Aug 29, 2017 at 19:06

1 Answer 1


You can add Time to a Pay Per Ride metrocard. The vending machine will prompt you to choose. You can also tell the agent to add Time to your metrocard if you're paying at a booth.

Once Time is added, the metrocard behaves as an unlimited metrocard until said time expires. After that, it will behave as a "Pay Per Ride" metrocard again. You can refill a metrocard with either Time or Value (money) as often as you'd like. Source here, relevant example (copied from source) pasted below:

For example, if you have $5 in value remaining on your MetroCard and add a 7-day unlimited ride pass, the next time you use your card, it will activate the unlimited rides and the $5 value will only become available when the 7-day time period expires. Note again however, that if a customer wants to access locations where a 30-Day pass is not accepted such as express buses, PATH or AirTrain stations, the appropriate fare will be deducted, as long as there is enough monetary value on the card.

Metrocards usually expire after a year:

Has your MetroCard expired?

Whether Pay-Per-Ride or Unlimited Ride, every MetroCard has an expiration date. The date is located at the upper left corner on the back of the card. The expiration date is usually about one year from the date of purchase.

If your Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard expires, you have two years from the expiration date to transfer any remaining money to a new card. Within the first year after expiration, bring your expired card to any subway station and ask the agent to make the transfer. After that time, the expired MetroCard must be sent to MetroCard customer claims. Ask the station agent for a postage-paid Business Reply Envelope.

MetroCard Customer Claims
130 Livingston Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
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    And it's worth mentioning that this doesn't work for the Metro cards that can be bought at the Air Train station - at any vending machine they allow only to add Money. Aug 30, 2017 at 1:09
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    If you are a New Yorker, I think it is better to have both per-per-ride and timed metrocards at the same time in your pocket so that you can use the former for select bus services or airtrain while you continue using the latter for regular subway rides.
    – user5054
    Jul 18, 2019 at 13:39
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    @user5054 What would be the benefit of that, given the quote above suggesting that it's possible to use the dollar-value at locations that don't accept unlimited cards, even though an unlimited pass is currently active? Am I missing something?
    – lxgr
    Dec 1, 2021 at 20:14
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    @lxgr I think it helps when you want to take a ride or two that you'd rather not trigger the timer for (that would otherwise be triggered), in case you were saving the time value for a day where you need to ride more frequently (iirc the timer kicks upon first eligible swipe when time is available).
    – Bahrom
    Dec 1, 2021 at 21:55
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    Ah, not wanting to activate an already loaded unlimited pass is a good point, thanks!
    – lxgr
    Dec 2, 2021 at 11:00

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