I left London nearly two weeks ago, and didn't have time to turn in my Oyster card to get a refund for the £5 deposit plus the remaining balance of roughly £11. Is it possible, somehow, to request a refund of the remaining balance online now that I've left the country?

I'm guessing the answer is no, and it's not a big deal for such a small amount, but it seemed worth asking.

  • Given that the credit on them doesn't expire, is there a reason why you can't just hold onto it for your next trip to the UK?
    – Gagravarr
    Oct 17, 2014 at 23:39
  • 1
    @Gagravarr: I'm sure that's what I'll do. I just don't have any idea when that will be :)
    – Flimzy
    Oct 18, 2014 at 0:08

1 Answer 1


From Refunds:

Whether you use the online process or contact TfL Customer Services, we can credit your online Oyster account if:

  • you only had pay as you go credit on your card
  • you have five days or less on the tickets on your Oyster card

We will charge a £5 administration fee when processing your refund. In some cases this may mean that no refund is payable."

So online seems possible but any refund even smaller than you were hoping. Also, the above may not be much use to you if "credit your online Oyster account" does not suit.

So for "cash" on line does not seem an option, there are others (by post, at a Tube station) but the least impractical may be:

"When you call Customer Services, on 0343 222 1234 (TfL call charges), you'll need to confirm that you are the registered owner of the Oyster card you're calling about. You must provide the following details:

  • Your Oyster card number
  • The answer to the security question you selected when you registered or protected your card online

If you don't have this information, Customer Services will ask you some other questions to find your card and identify you as the registered owner.

We can refund you by:

  • Cheque (cheque refunds in pound sterling only)
  • Payment to your bank account (UK bank accounts only)
  • Credit to your Oyster card. We can refund up to £50 back to your Oyster card as pay as you go credit
  • Web account credit. We can give you a web account credit which you can use when you next top up or buy a Travelcard using your Oyster
    online account"

An "0343" number from overseas might also eat into any net refund.

Overall, probably best to forget it!

  • 5
    Overall, probably best to forget it! - I'd say, it's best to save it for your next trip to London. Oyster cards don't expire and neither does the balance on them. I recently used an old Oyster card that I found in the drawer - it spent at least 6 years there and had about £10 left on the balance.
    – Aleks G
    Oct 17, 2014 at 16:28
  • 03 numbers are non-geographic but charged at the same rate as 01 and 02, so should be pretty cheap to call. Nov 28, 2015 at 23:24
  • @pnuts, ask.ofcom.org.uk/help/telephone/03number gives Ofcom's take on it. Obviously they don't regulate prices for inbound international calls, but I'd be surprised if they weren't the same. Nov 29, 2015 at 10:31

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