Accounts that take foreign currency (London Oyster card refund)?

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bryansmile
Posts: 279
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:14 am

Accounts that take foreign currency (London Oyster card refund)?

Post by bryansmile »

We have several Oyster cards that have some good amount that we'd like to cash out, since we don't expect to go to London again in the near future.
In my online account, it gives two options, one is to go to a customer service kiosk/counter which we can't do (we tried before leaving London but the kiosks were out of money that morning;-( ), the other is to request a refund to my bank account. The problem is my Alliant account does not take foreign currency. What is a relatively easy solution to this problem? Is there any Vanguard/Fidelity accounts (brokerage etc.) that will take GBP? Thanks.
Last edited by bryansmile on Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
123
Posts: 6387
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: GBP refund from London Oyster cards

Post by 123 »

If you have a balance of 200 GBP or more it might be worth the bother to deal with it. The likely best option is to hold onto it until you hear of someone going to London and simply give it to them.

If you could get a refund by check (in GBP) your bank will be able to handle the payment as a foreign item which involves manually sending it back through the banking system for a charge. You can ask your bank what they charge to process a foreign check but it may be in the range of $20 - $50. Your bank will collect the money for the check and deposit USD to your account. It could take a couple of weeks or a couple of months.

You are correct in assuming I do not want to raise false hopes in this matter.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
jminv
Posts: 1073
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:58 pm

Re: Accounts that take foreign currency (London Oyster card refund)?

Post by jminv »

You can open a transferwise borderless account which will allow you to accept a local British transfer. You can then withdraw the money with their debit card or transfer it to your regular account.
Ron
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Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:46 pm
Location: NY-NJ-PA Metropolitan Statistical Area

Re: Accounts that take foreign currency (London Oyster card refund)?

Post by Ron »

Here's one reference:

https://www.wikihow.com/Transfer-Euros- ... nk-Account

Last year, I received 1200EU from Lufthansa for a delayed flight from Europe back to the US. They approved the claim and transferred the funds using the SWIFTBIC code for my bank, REF: https://www.theswiftcodes.com/

It depends on the exchange rate on the day the transfer is done. Additionally, there may be transfer charges (in my case, there were none).

FWIW,

- Ron
danielbird193
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:15 pm

Re: Accounts that take foreign currency (London Oyster card refund)?

Post by danielbird193 »

You could find a friendly Boglehead who lives in London and would be happy to get the refund into their bank account and transfer the proceeds to you using TransferWise or Revolut.
ralph124cf
Posts: 2596
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:41 am

Re: GBP refund from London Oyster cards

Post by ralph124cf »

123 wrote: Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:41 pm If you have a balance of 200 GBP or more it might be worth the bother to deal with it. The likely best option is to hold onto it until you hear of someone going to London and simply give it to them.

If you could get a refund by check (in GBP) your bank will be able to handle the payment as a foreign item which involves manually sending it back through the banking system for a charge. You can ask your bank what they charge to process a foreign check but it may be in the range of $20 - $50. Your bank will collect the money for the check and deposit USD to your account. It could take a couple of weeks or a couple of months.

You are correct in assuming I do not want to raise false hopes in this matter.
I tried asking my bank how much they charged. It took 60 minutes on the phone to get a wrong answer.

U.S. banks appear incompetent about foreign currency compared sompared to every other country on earth.

Ralph
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Cyclesafe
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:03 pm

Re: Accounts that take foreign currency (London Oyster card refund)?

Post by Cyclesafe »

It took over three years for us to get our Oyster card refund. And we have been back twice since! We got the full run around treatment.

Ultimately we used the SWIFT transfer system and we got the full amount into our US bank. Lesson learned: never put too much on an Oyster card.
"Plans are useless; planning is indispensable.” (Dwight Eisenhower) | "Man plans, God laughs" (Yiddish proverb)
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