Cash In The 25 Million Unused Oyster Cards

TfL reminds Oyster customers how to ‘get back any money you haven’t spent’

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Transport for London (TfL) is reminding customers how easy it is to get back any money they haven’t spent on old or infrequently used Oyster cards.

The new campaign encourages customers who no longer need their Oyster card to return it for a refund.

Research has found that many customers like to hold on to an Oyster card even when they don’t regularly use it, however, TfL is keen to ensure that anyone who wishes to get a refund can do so easily and quickly.

Over 40 per cent of those surveyed by TfL knew that they could get a refund of their Oyster deposit and credit and the new campaign is designed to increase awareness of this. Deposits and unused credit can be refunded via TfL Customer Services (0343 222 1234) or at Tube stations.

Shashi Verma, TfL’s Director of Customer Experience, said: “Many customers tell us that they keep spare cards for guests or emergencies and that the vast majority of unused cards are held by infrequent visitors to London. Keeping their card in this way saves the time and effort of having to get a ticket the next time they want to use our services. However, for people who don’t intend to use an old Oyster card we want to let them know through this campaign that it’s easy to return it for a full refund.”

Of the 60 million Oyster cards issued since 2003, up to 9 million are in regular use and around 18 million have been returned for a refund. Of the 25 million cards that have not been used for more than 12 months, 7 million have no credit on them while the rest have an average credit of £2.87.

The survey of 1,766 customers who haven’t used their card for 6- 24 months found that the vast majority (77 per cent) plan to keep their card for when they next need it and, therefore, do not want a refund.

Most either hold on to their cards even if they are infrequent users of public transport (39 per cent) or have a spare card for guests or emergencies (22 per cent). Oyster cards do not expire and up to £90 credit can be held on them for future use.

More than half of the customers who were aware they could get a refund have not done so because they were sure they would use the card again. Only a minority said they planned to claim back the outstanding balance (7 per cent) or deposit (6 per cent).

September 6, 2013