For most New Yorkers, a MetroCard is one of the most important things to carry at all times. It is essentially a golden ticket to the city: whether traveling by bus or by subway, it gives you access to nearly every neighborhood in the city, 24 hours a day. If you lose your card, it is obviously a major problem!
Luckily, there are MetroCard vending machines at nearly every subway station so buying a new card is easy. But what if you bought your monthly pass just the week before? You certainly don’t want to spend another $100 on a new card or go 3 weeks without one. The good news is that if you used a credit/debit card, getting a refund for your lost card is a surprisingly easy process.
Simply call 212-METROCARD (212-638-7622) and speak to an MTA representative. Let them know you lost your card and they will ask for your name and contact info as well as the credit/debit card number you used to buy your card. Within a few moments, they will see when you purchased your card and you will get a prorated refund for the cost of your card! They will pay you back for each day that was remaining on your card (so make sure to call them as soon as you lose it- not a week later!). Unfortunately this replacement insurance is not available for cash-value cards, only 14 or 30 day Unlimited MetroCards and 7-Day Express Bus Plus cards. But you will get paid back $2.97 for each day remaining on your 30 Day Unlimited, $3.68 per day for your 14 Day Unlimited or $6.43 per day for your 7-Day Express Bus Plus.
MTA provides this service for free for your first lost, but if you lose a second card in the same calendar year, you have to pay a $5 fee. Lose it more than twice and you are out of luck: they will only give you money back for 2 cards per calendar year. Get a wallet.
Hopefully you won’t need to take advantage of this service very often, but if you do, be happy that it is a lot easier than you would expect. I lost my card a few months ago and it only took 5 minutes on the phone for me to get $60 back for my lost card. It took about 4 more days for the money to show up in my bank account, but waiting 4 days beats the heck out of losing the value of your card completely! Thanks, MTA!