The Meeting Place

How to claim your share of $80 million


About 14 million Opal card holders have a combined $80 million in unused public transport credit, according to an exclusive document obtained by 7 News.

Much of this money is sitting around in drawers, bags and backpacks – even bins, says the report, and much of the unused credit belongs to tourists who’ve purchased Opal credit and left the country without using it.

The Freedom of Information document revealed that many Opal users are failing to lodge the correct documentation with Transport NSW to receive the refunds, leaving a substantial bank of unclaimed credit – around $5.70 wasted per card on average.

In a statement sent to, a Transport for NSW spokesperson said customers should be encouraged to find their dormant cards and seek a refund for any unclaimed funds.

“By planning ahead, visitors can top up enough to cover their travel and avoid excessive balances remaining on their Opal cards,” they said in a statement.

“Customers should register their Opal card so their balance is always protected, even if their card is lost or stolen. Opal cards are designed to last for years, and Transport for NSW recommends visitors consider keeping their card for future trips to Sydney or pass it on to family and friends.”

Users of the cards are able to request a refund at Transport NSW 

Money on cards can be transferred to another person for use.

There are no part refunds – you can only apply for a refund in the amount of the full refundable balance of your Opal card. No refunds will be made in cash, you can only receive the full amount back as a refund in the form of a cheque.

You will need to provide details of an Australian bank account. If bank account details are not supplied, a cheque will be sent if the amount is over $5 to the Australian address specified in the refund form only. No refund cheques will be sent overseas.

Do you have any unclaimed credit on your public transport card?


Unless you have an idle Opal card there is no 'your share' to claim!


And just for the record, you have to download a form, fill it in and then mail it (cost $1.00+) to NSW Transport and then wait a month for them to process it. Given the average amount due on the card less the cost you you making your claim, you may be lucky and receive about $4 back. The very reason why people don't bother!