My friend & I were traveling in UK March 16th-20th,2020. We used the Oyster Card during our travels by train in London. Very convenient to use particularly during these "no contact" times. I had loaded both card with 50 pounds each. We only used around 15 pounds each on the train travels. The Oyster card website states that you can get a refund at the train station kiosks but only if you 10 pounds or less on each card. When we left the UK, we were unable to go to any of the "Visit Britain" stores for refunds since all the stores were closed on our date of departure. After I arrived back in the US, I sent an email to Visit Britain website to ask about a refund back to my credit card. This is the response I received:
We are pleased to confirm that credit on your Visitor Oyster card never expires, so you may use it any time you are in London.
If preferred, you can also get a refund on any unused credit on your card. To do so just send your card and a covering letter including your home address explaining why you are returning it. The correct address to send it to is:
TfL Customer Services
14 Pier Walk, 4th Floor
A cheque will then be sent to you in GBP (£) for the unused credit amount. Your card will not be returned to you if you send it by post and the activation fee paid at the time of purchase is non-refundable.
So when you are traveling with to the UK & using the Oyster card, be aware of their return of funds policy (no return of funds to your credit card) they only refund you by paper check in British pounds. I have no idea how to cash a check in British pounds in the US since I have don't have a major bank acct( does Bank of American do this or any major Bank?), only credit union. Does anyone have advice? I had thought of perhaps donating the funds to a legitimate charity in the UK for travel for sick patient's for example, but my name, address & credit card number are attached to the card which isn't safe to do. So the Oyster Card is great for travel throughout the UK & more money can be added to it at the kiosks at the train station, but don't put too much money on it as it would be difficult to get the money refunded without a hassle. I appreciate input anyone can give me. Thank you