For various reasons, I've ended up with more Pay As You Go credit on my Oyster card than I'm now likely to use in the next 18 months. I'll still be using my Oyster card, so I don't want to cancel it for a refund+deposit, but I'd quite like to get some of the credit back off of it.

The TFL Oyster Refund page is a little ambiguous about this case. It mostly talks about cancelling the card for a full refund + return of deposit, or for refunds of season tickets / travel cards loaded onto the Oyster. However, under the Refunds at Ticket Offices part, it does mention Refunds of pay as you go credit

Is it possible to receive a partial refund of Oyster Pay As You Go credit? Or is the only way to do it to cancel the card for a full refund, then get a new card and only put some of the money back onto it?

3 Answers 3


Oyster cards are essentially free. There is a five pound deposit, but you get that back when you close down the card.

It would seem to be most convenient to get a full refund on your current card, and then buy a new one for the amount you actually want. Auto-topup may be a good option in the future.


You can go to any train station with an attendant on duty to cancel your card. You'll get a full refund for any unused credit, plus a refund of the £5 deposit on the card itself.

If you still need an Oyster card, you can then request a new one, for which you will be required to pay a £5 deposit, and buy some credit.

If you explain to the attendant what you're trying to do, they may be able to make the process easier than cancelling your card, then getting a new one. But in a worst-case scenario, that is what you can do.

Depending on how often you travel each week, you should also consider buying monthly passes. When I was in London a couple of months ago, the monthly pass saved me a fair amount of money. But I was using the metro system nearly daily, and often train + buses which adds up pretty quickly on a pay-as-you-go schedule.


There's no need to cancel the card if a partial refund isn't "directly" possible.

A full refund of the PayG, but excluding the £5 deposit, can be obtained without cancelling the card - I have requested this successfully. I'm sure a part of this refund can be loaded into the Oyster immediately. Hence, = partial refund.

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