Does anyone know if the Barclay's bike hire kiosk's that are all over London take magnetic strip debit / credit cards or just chip & pin? I've searched the website and can't find that info...thanks!
The most explicit wording I can find is on the 'Terms and Conditions' page, where it says "11.3 You need to provide a valid credit or debit card, which is either a VISA, Mastercard, JCB or Amex and which is accepted by us and from which we can deduct the Charges (a 'Payment Card')." I just sent a Tweet to Transport for London (TfL) to ask. Will post answer when I get it. They are usually quick to respond.
Ask London Transport directly: https://web.barclayscyclehire.tfl.gov.uk/contact
The reply from TfL: "A chip-and-pin is not required, your card should work fine." Also, there's a spiffy free iPhone app called 'Cycle Hire' that shows the locations on a map of central London where all the bicycle hire docks are, real-time numbers of how many bikes are available and how many empty spots there are, so you can be sure to go to a dock where you will find a bike to hire or an empty spot to return one when you're done. It has a 'Find Bikes' capability by which you can find the nearest bike dock in relation to your current location, near a specified Tube station, near a specific site, near a postal code, etc. Includes a map routing feature by which you can get directions from your current location to the bicycle dock of your choice. Also an alarm/reminder feature that will alert you to return the bike in a specified amount of time to avoid paying more than you might wish. Most features work without a live data connection.
Also, there's a spiffy free iPhone app called 'Cycle Hire' that shows the locations on a map of central London where all the bicycle hire docks are, real-time numbers of how many bikes are available and how many empty spots there are I love apps too. The Citymapper London app has those features for the Barclays Bikes, as well as live bus and Tube info, maps, route planner, etc. Saves having a separate app.
Kevin, I think you're bit by bit convincing me to try the Citymapper app, though I do love my mxData apps for the London Tube and buses. :)
Wow Rose...thank you! This is so helpful! Good to know that I can just slide the card and go! Cheers... :)
Just got back Sunday. The bikes are everywhere. Do as the Londoners do and only use them 25 minutes. Return them to a kiosk and then take another, you'll get a new pin and as long as you keep your time on the bike under 30 minutes it's free. They have been a great success aeb you see them all ever, in fact I noticed a lot bike riders in general since my last visit in 2007.
Thank you so much everyone! This looks like it'll be a great way to get around London for a great price - can't wait!