The expiration date on your SEPTA Key card is not one you want to ignore.

For “early adopters” who were eager to get their hands on the new way to pay back in 2016, the end is near. About 40,000 SEPTA Key cards — more than 35,000 of which take advantage of the agency’s “travel wallet” feature — expire July 31. If you’ve been waiting idly for a new card in the mail, you’ll want to rethink your plans.

So, for the procrastinators: Here are the steps you should take to make your Thursday go smoother than the El cruising under the Ben Franklin Bridge.

How do I know if my card’s expiring?

The expiration date is printed on the front of your Key card. A countdown to your card’s expiration can be found on your SEPTAkey.org account dashboard, and you have likely received an email from SEPTA.

SEPTA Key cards are valid for three years, and the next wave of expiring cards will happen Nov. 30, impacting about 23,000 customers, SEPTA spokesperson Andrew Busch said.

If my card is expiring, what do I need to know?

  • You’ll need to get a new Key. You can buy one pretty much wherever you catch your preferred mode of public transit. Snag a new card at fare kiosks, SEPTA sales offices, or retail locations. A map of where to buy is on SEPTA’s website.

  • To transfer funds from your current card to a new one, both must be registered ahead of time. Then, update your account with the new card’s number. Registration can be done online at SEPTAKey.org, or via phone, 855-567-3782. That’ll direct you to Conduent, the contractor SEPTA uses to manage the cards.

  • You can’t transfer funds from your old card to your new card online. It must be done at one of nine SEPTA locations, or by calling 855-567-3782.

  • If you transfer funds via the phone, do it before the July 31 deadline. It takes up to 48 hours to process, according to an email sent to customers with cards expiring Wednesday. Busch said SEPTA encourages riders to transfer funds at a sales office. “Many regular customers pass through or near these locations, and the sales office offers convenient one-stop shopping for everything,” he said.

  • The $4.95 fee it costs to buy a new card will go toward your travel wallet as long as the card is registered within 30 days. While you’ll be prompted to load money onto a travel wallet, SEPTA has recently reduced the minimum load amount to $1.

What are my options?

The easy way out

1. Use up all the funds on your soon-to-expire card.

2. Buy a new card and register it online or via phone.

Transferring funds and passes

1. Buy a new card.

2. Register it online, or via phone.

3. If you have leftover fare from your old travel wallet, call 855-567-3782, or head to one of nine SEPTA sales locations. You must go to one of those nine locations to transfer one-day passes:

  • SEPTA Sales Office, 12th and Market Streets.

  • 15th Street Sales Office, 15th and Market Streets.

  • Frankford Transportation Center, Bridge Street and Frankford Avenue.

  • Olney Transportation Center, 5600 N. Broad St.

  • 69th Street Transportation Center, 6901 Market St.

  • 30th Street Station, 30th and Market Streets.

  • Jefferson Station (Section A), 12th and Market Streets.

  • Suburban Station, 16th Street and JFK Boulevard.

  • Temple University, Berks Street between 9th and 10th Streets.

Attention, autoload users: Don’t forget to turn the feature off on your soon-to-expire card and turn it on your newly purchased card.

Will I be able to transfer balances online in the future?

SEPTA is working with Conduent on a “possible online option,” Busch said.

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