I Lost My 30 Day Unlimited NYC MTA Metrocard! Can I Get a Refund?

January 11, 2017

If the thought of dealing with one more government bureaucracy or system makes you want to gouge your eyeballs out with spoons, JOIN THE CLUB.


However, I am pleased to announce that today’s post talks about one government process that actually works. To say that I am astonished is a gross understatement.


Here’s my story:


I bought a beautiful new Metrocard.


I immediately lost it.


I cried to a station attendant.


“Call and declare the card lost or stolen,” he said, with no emotion.


I pictured myself waiting on the phone with 511 for hours the next day at work. I was ready to forfeit over $100 of Metrocard just to avoid that experience. But I did a quick Google search and found that NYC, for all its antiquated systems, actually has this one figured out. There is a way to submit your claim ONLINE. Like it is actually 2017. Skeptical but hopeful, I located the claim website, entered the required info, and waited 3 hours because I am impatient. Then, I called and waited on hold for about 15 minutes, wondering if I would ever speak to a human.


But someone picked up! They pulled up my claim and refunded the money. It was back on my card in 3 days.




So to recap, if you lose/damage your 30 Day Unlimited Metrocard that you bought with a credit card, here are the instructions to get the remaining balance of the money back:


Step 1: File a Claim


Claim Option 1: Call 718 330-1234 and go through a miserable phone maze of recorded instructions delivered by people talking at sloth-pace until you arrive at the Balance Protection Program.


Claim Option 2 - The Better Alternative:

Fill out this nifty web form 

                You’ll need:

Last 4 of your credit card #

Date of purchase

Date Metrocard was lost or stolen

Approximate time of incident

What the form looks like


Step 2 - Optional: After you submit the claim, call 718 330-1234 if you are neurotic and want it to be resolved more quickly


Step 3: Go to a machine and get yourself a new Metrocard


Step 4: Make sure the credit for your lost card posts back to your credit card statement



Small print:

  • The pro-rated balance ($3.89 per un-used day) that is returned to you is based on the day you file the claim, so file ASAP!

  • If you bought the card with cash, filing a claim will not work. Sorry!

  • If you had cash value on the card on top of the 30 Day Unlimited (time), you are outta luck. You won’t get that cash value back.

  • The $1 card fee is not refundable.

  • You can make 2 claims per calendar year per person; your first claim is free, the second one is $5 which is deducted from the refund amount. 




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