Unlimited vs Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard: which one to choose?

Before diving in, did you already read our 2 articles about the NYC Subway?

**READ ALSO:** **5 Things to Know About the NYC Subway**

**READ ALSO:** **MetroCard: Key Things to Know**

In NYC there are 2 types of MetroCard:

- Pay-per-ride: every time you use the subway, you pay the ride
- Unlimited: you pay a fixed amount and you can ride the subway as many times as you want.

Both cards cost 1$. Each ride using the Pay-per-ride MetroCard is 2.75$. The unlimited MetroCard costs 33$/7 days.

**IMPORTANT**: you can use the unlimited MetroCard already from JFK to Manhattan. Read our article for all the info:

**READ ALSO:** **From JFK to Manhattan – Full Guide**

The choice depends by two factors:

- How many times you plan to use the subway
- The length of your NYC trip

If you spend 6 days in NYC and use the subway 2 times a day, there is no difference in terms of pricing between the 2 options.

In fact: 2 times x 2.75$ per ride x 6 days = $33. This equals the price of the weekly unlimited card.

However, if you spend 7 days in NYC or you plan to use the subway more than twice/day, the unlimited MetroCard could be a good choice.

The table below is a great summary:

1 Time | 2 Times | 3 Times | 4 Times | 5 Times | 6 Times | |

3 Days | Pay-Per-Ride | Pay-Per-Ride | Pay-Per-Ride | Equal | Unlimited | Unlimited |

4 Days | Pay-Per-Ride | Pay-Per-Ride | Equal | Unlimited | Unlimited | Unlimited |

5 Days | Pay-Per-Ride | Pay-Per-Ride | Unlimited | Unlimited | Unlimited | Unlimited |

6 Days | Pay-Per-Ride | Equal | Unlimited | Unlimited | Unlimited | Unlimited |

7 Days | Pay-Per-Ride | Unlimited | Unlimited | Unlimited | Unlimited | Unlimited |

Let’s get now to a conclusion: unlimited vs pay-per-ride MetroCard?

**3 days in New York City**: the Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard is the best option, unless you plan to use the subway more than five times per day. Highly unusual.**4 day trip to New York**: Similarly to the conclusion of the 3-day trip, our recommendation is to go with Pay-Per-Ride in this case.**5 day trip to NYC**: also here we recommend purchasing a Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard. You will most likely not use the subways more than twice per day.**6 day trip to New York**: if you plan to use the subway twice per day, we recommend purchasing an unlimited MetroCard. In this way you can use the subway without overthinking.**7-day trip to New York City**: we advise you to buy an unlimited MetroCard and use the subway to move around the city. It’s the quickest. You will not be sorry.