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 2021 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our January 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus.
British Airways American Express
5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending 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:
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review
Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history. By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.