If you usually work in London but are working from home for the forseeable future, you should be claiming a refund on your season ticket.
The reason I’m discussing this on Head for Points is that there is a little extra benefit if you do so.
What are the rules for refunding your Travelcard, bus or tram season ticket on Oyster?
Transport for London has put some guidelines in place.
You can claim a refund if there is at least:
- 6 weeks remaining on an Annual ticket
- 7 days remaining on a Monthly ticket
- 3 days remaining on a 7 Day ticket
Importantly, your refund will be backdated to the day when you last used your season ticket. The administration fee will also be refunded.
Why is this interesting to HfP readers?
For most Londoners, buying their season ticket is a great way of putting a large amount of spending onto a credit card. It can take you a decent way towards your next British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher or a new credit card sign-up bonus.
Here’s the sad news:
TFL will only issue refunds by bank transfer.
They will not send the money back to the credit card you originally used. This means that you don’t lose any miles or points and your ‘qualifying spend’ for any bonus is not reduced. Handy ….
Once you go back to work, you can buy a new Travelcard and put another chunk of spending through your credit card.
There is a catch though
For people who cannot see any way they will be returning to work for at least the next 4-6 weeks, you should be claiming a refund. This is regardless of the points aspect.
However, do the maths.
Your refund is NOT pro-rata. TFL will deduct the cost of a travel card for the period you have used.
If you bought a one-year Travelcard on 1st January and started working from home on 15th March (10 weeks in), your refund is NOT 42/52 of what you paid.
It is ‘cost of a one-year Travelcard’ minus ‘cost of 2.5 monthly Travelcards’.
This means that, if you have used your Travelcard in the last few days and expect to be back at work within 1-2 weeks, getting a refund does not make sense. You will be out of pocket because monthly Travelcards are disproportionately more expensive.
However, for anyone who will be out of the office for at least two months – which is most of us – you will still make a saving by getting a refund.
Instructions on how to claim a refund on your TFL Travelcard or season ticket are on this page of the TFL website.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – January 2023 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review
Earning miles and points from small business cards
If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:
SPECIAL OFFER: Capital On Tap has increased its sign-up bonus to points worth 30,000 Avios if you apply by 4th February. This is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to apply.
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 30,000 points bonus, worth 30,000 Avios, until 4th February 2023 Read our full review
For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.