Buy a Ventra card before yours expires.
This gist of this post is that Ventra is replacing our cards when they expire by sending out new cards one week before the old one expires. I’ve had issues in the past with Ventra and a friend told me a couple days ago he never received his replacement card and had to got to the Ventra offices, twice to get is straightened out. In order to avoid this I am suggesting that we be proactive and buy a new card in advance rather than waiting for Ventra to maybe send us our new cards.
You may very well receive your card so this may not be an issue but the last time I had a problem with my card I had to: get off the bus, go to cash station, get change and wait for another bus so I’m not keen on a dead Ventra card. You can skip to “UPDATE 2/6/18” and “Be proactive and purchase a new card in advance” for more details.
Ventra cards are changing
The first Ventra Cards issued will begin to expire on December 31, 2017, and continue to expire on a rolling basis now through 2022. The expiration date can be found on the front of your Ventra card. Your card will work through the last day of the month. The original silver Ventra cards had a debit card feature and the new cards will not. The new Ventra Cards will have a much longer expiration date – supposedly up to 20 years.
If your Ventra Card is registered
If your Ventra Card is registered log in to your account to confirm the mailing address on file is correct. Ventra
will may mail you a free, new replacement Card prior to your Card’s expiration. Once you activate the new Card, any passes or transit value will be automatically transferred to the new Card.
Ventra may send reminder emails
Supposedly in the months leading up to your card’s expiration, you will receive emails reminding you to update and confirm your mailing address. I wouldn’t hold my breathe and try to stay on top of it given Ventra’s track record. Also if your replacement Card is shipped to an incorrect address, you may have to purchase a new Card and call to transfer any unused passes or transit value.
UPDATE 2/6/18 Ventra probably won’t send you your new card (as I suspected)
A friend of mine never received the new Ventra card even though Ventra sent three emails asking him to confirm his address which was correct. He went to Ventra headquarters at 567 W. Lake to get a new card and get the old balance transferred to the new card. There were huge lines and he had to go back again.
Ventra said they are sending out the new cards a week before the old one’s expire. So as I said earlier:
Be proactive and purchase a new card in advance
In order to avoid all this hassle you may want to be proactive and purchase a new Card at any time. New cards cost $5 and the $5 will be refunded as transit value if the Card is registered within 90 days of purchase. Where to buy.
If you use CTA monthly passes be careful if your monthly pass auto reloads and then the card expires. If that happens and you don’t receive a new card you will have to go to the Ventra offices at 567 W. Lake to get the pass transferred over to a new card. They are only open M-F 8AM-5:30PM.
To drain your old card: monthly passes expire 30 days from when they were issued. You can see when you made your last purchase in the app. To use up the non-pass dollar balance left on your old card just scan the old card when it has less than a full fare left on it (be sure to turn off auto reload!) and pay the balance of the fare in cash (Ugh!).
- Purchase new card.
- Register new card.
- Turn off auto reload.
- Use up value and/or monthly pass on old card.
- Delete old card from your Ventra account.
- Load value onto new card.
- Start using new card.
- It sounds like a pain but it took less than 15 minutes.
Register your card now here.
If you don’t register
Make sure you spend down your balance before your Card expires to avoid losing your transit funds. You will need to purchase a new Ventra Card and add passes or value to continue riding transit. New Ventra Cards will become available later this year and will be sold at rail station vending machines, more than 1,000 local retailers and online.