As noted here, it seems much better to get a CharlieCard rather than a CharlieTicket. Unfortunately, I didn't know this and bought a stored value CharlieTicket. Is there any way I can transfer the amount in my CharlieTicket into a CharlieCard instead, so I don't pay the higher ticket prices? Will the fare machines let me do this?

2 Answers 2


As usually, the MBTA is quite obtuse about this. Apparently this did work at some time (http://charlieonthembta.blogspot.com/2006/12/now-can-you-transfer-funds-from.html) but there is no current information whether this is still the case or not.

They are pretty clear that you can't redeem the remaining value of a Charlie Card for cash. It's a pretty devious system actually: the Charlie Ticket subway fare is $2.65 and the smallest default value at the vending machine is $5.00 (although you can select "other amount"). There are probably quite a few Charlie Tickets $2.35 remaining value been thrown away.

Your best shot is to go to the Charlie Card store in Downtown Crossing and ask.

  • The devious part is not the current fare, but the numerous increases in the fare over the years. May 11, 2016 at 21:31
  • Great, I'll check at Downtown Crossing. Thanks for the blog link too.
    – PonyEars
    May 14, 2016 at 3:01
  • Charlie Ticket fares being higher than Charlie Card fares when the Charlie Card is free is definitely very devious. Not to mention the default value that @Hilmar pointed out.
    – PonyEars
    May 14, 2016 at 3:02
  • A follow up: So I asked at Downtown Crossing, and was told that they have stopped doing this, but that there is a way to do it by mailing in the CharlieTickets. Unfortunately, the MBTA employee who said this was in a rush, and didn't seem to want to explain. When I tried to dig deeper, I was told that the "easiest" thing to do was to avoid doing the transfer and instead use up the CharlieTicket. I'm not convinced this is the policy, but oh well.
    – PonyEars
    May 20, 2016 at 1:48
  • FWIW, they recently changed the default values to be multiples of ticket prices. (At least, for filling Charlie Cards — I haven't checked tickets.)
    – mattdm
    Aug 30, 2016 at 17:30

At least as of 2022, you can do this via mail using the "Consolidate cards or tickets" process listed at https://www.mbta.com/fares/charliecard

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