Transfer your WhatsApp account to a new mobile number

We all know how annoying it is changing mobile phone number and having to tell everyone about it. If communicating with your friends and family is actually ‘whatsapping’, you can transfer your existing account and keep all your groups, profile and chat history quite easily. The steps to transfer your WhatsApp Messenger account to a new number are different when you have lost or damaged your SIM card, have changed providers or are travelling abroad and want to use a different mobile number.

To keep your existing WhatsApp account you will need two things: a new mobile number and the smartphone you were using with the app installed. This will allow you to keep your account subscription if you paid for the service, migrate your data and delete the number associated with your WhatsApp account.

Transfer to a new number and delete your old account

Instructions may vary slightly depending on the platform you use. On iOS you just need to launch the app, go to Settings → Account → Change number. You will be asked to enter your old number (the one you want to delete) and the new one (the one you will use from now on). After confirming your selection you will receive a new verification message to confirm you actually are using the new number.

Once your new number is registered all your account records will be associated with it and the old one is deleted from WhatsApp. Should you still tell all your friends that you have changed number?

Using a different number and keeping your old account

This option is ideal when you are travelling abroad and will be using a local mobile number or if you are switching providers and you have been assigned a temporary mobile number. In this case you will definitely need to tell your friends about your new number, set up a new account, join groups and add a profile picture just like any other new user.

Although your WhatsApp account can only be associated to one number, you can still use the service with a new number without deleting your old one. Just insert the new SIM, launch the app and confirm you want to use the app with that new number. Your old account will remain active and will be able to use it as long as you insert your old SIM on the same device.

Take control of your London travel expenses with Oyster Info

In the last post in the London travel series we discussed how to combine the pay as you go and travelcard options to make the most of your Oyster card when you travel in London. We also explained how to set up the auto top-up service to ensure your Oyster is recharged automatically whenever you run out of balance. That’s right: no more embarrassing queues at the Tube barriers when you get a red light. No more bad looks from the bus driver.

The secret to saving money is to understand what’s the best fare for your usual trips and avoid being too conservative with your travelcard. You can sit down and study the alternatives, but believe me it’s nothing like seeing the real data. Since you have already created an account on Transport for London’s website to manage your auto top-up, let’s sign in again to access your journey information. If you don’t have yet, here’s how you can set up automatic balance top ups on your Oyster. Simply log on, click on the ’My card’ tab and select ‘Journey history’. The preset option is to show the last seven days but you’ll be surprised to see all your journeys for the past two months have been recorded and are available here.

Pay as you go or Travelcard?

Depending on the payment mode you have chosen you will have to tackle this in different ways. For a pay as you go user, add up all the journey charges for a week and compare the cost to the equivalent travelcard. Basically open the fare chart, find your current fare and look for something that does exactly the same on the rows above. If you only use buses, the bus travelcard is definitely going to be more economical. For a travelcard user you need to look at the charges outside your allowance and understand why you are paying for those. Are you taking the tube to a zone not included?

They key here is to evaluate your needs based on your past usage and not on what you think you are doing. These are the questions to ask yourself: - How much would I pay for these journeys on ‘pay as you go’? - Do I travel to Zone 1 by tube or train every day? - Am I forgetting to touch out too often?

Transport for London does a great job informing you about your automatic top-ups and even sending you a copy of your journey history with a weekly or monthly statement via email. However…

Oyster Info

TfL’s website has a lot of very useful information, but it’s not that convenient on a smartphone. Part of the site has been redesigned with a responsive web layout for mobile devices but the ‘personal area’ is the same as the desktop web version. You could bookmark the page and log on quickly with the 1Password extension, but that’s still a lot of taps.

The most convenient way I’ve found to access your Oyster records is with an app. Oyster Info by Bitmood allows you to keep an eye on your journey history as well as checking your balance and the expiry date of your travelcard. All at a glance without having to type your username and password. There are a lot of Oyster-related apps on the App Store and they all use the same information available on the website so there’s no magic special feature exclusive to this app. I mean, there are similar apps but they’re a bit clunky. For me it’s a matter of convenience and layout preference over functionality.

The reason why you should use an app like Oyster Info with you is that it makes all the analysis described above way less boring and accessible at any time. If you have followed the steps to set up auto top-up, changed the travelcard you use or ditch it altogether, you want to know what’s going on. The reason why you are overpaying if because you want to be conservative and be sure your travelcard will cover your zones. That’s not always the cheapest way to go about it.

In my case I’ve decided to change from a weekly travelcard covering zones 1 to 3 to just 2 to 3. I figured that my use in Zone 1 is minimal and that when I’m in central London I tend to walk and use the bus, which is covered already with any travelcard. Yes, there will be occasions when my journey ends in a Zone 1 Tube stop or train station, but the cost difference is not enough to justify a travelcard covering Zone 1.

I guess now it’s time to download the app, continue with your life and re-assess as needed. Are you using an old fashioned Oyster card or a contactless bank card?

Top image (c) Transport for London