Wednesday, August 4, 2010

How to draw cash using your Oyster card

You got a call from your mates who are waiting for you at a pub in the City and you need some cash fast and Murphy’s Law kicks in: the only cash machine at the Tube station has run out of cash. Great, now you’ll have to contend with having tap water while your mates are downing pints. Familiar? Well, that’s when your Oyster card will come to your rescue.

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I’m not suggesting that you get a refund for the Oyster card that you are holding on to. Quite the opposite actually. I’m asking you to head to the ticket office (hopefully there’s one operating at the station) and buy an expensive Oyster card (say £50 with £3 refundable deposit) with your credit card. Take the Tube to your destination where there is another operating ticket office (lots of assumptions here I know) and ask for a refund for £53 (or whatever that's left in the card).

Curiously, unlike most refund procedure, Tube stations doesn’t require that refunds be made only to the credit card used for the initial purchase. In this manner, you could possibly ‘draw cash’ through your Oyster card.

This is fabulous for instances when 1) cash machines aren’t available or there is simply a long queue for it or 2) you wish to draw cash using your credit card instead of savings card and looking to avoid exorbitant bank charges.

There's only one more thing to do - look out for your next credit card bill.

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