I just left a job at which one of the "benefits" was a (terrible, labyrinthine) commuter debit card program, that, in retrospect, I never should have opted into. "Dedicated" debit cards have been issued in my name, and can ONLY be used for transit expenses -- in this case, only for tickets on the Long Island Railroad. The money for these cards has already been deducted from my pretax income, the idea being that it makes purchasing the tickets slightly less expensive.
I possess one such debit card, with one more on the way -- holdovers from the money already deducted. Each card has about $250 on it. But I no longer live in the NYC metro area, no longer have that job, and no longer need to spend money on commuter rail. The thing is, though, that if I don't spend the money that has been loaded onto the card I have, the money cannot be used AT ALL. It will simply vanish, inaccessible to me. This seems unjust.
Do you know of any way that I can "extract" all or some of this money without actually spending it on LIRR tickets? This is around $500 that I could really use - and have, in a sense, already spent. I'd like it back!
I talked to the issuer of the card
. I cannot get a refund. I cannot use it to buy other transit-related expenses (for instance, to buy gas for the car I now own). The card can ONLY be used for LIRR tickets.
I have considered buying LIRR tickets and then sending them back for a refund, but I have had major troubles with the LIRR website and cannot accomplish this seemingly simple task. (MTA's LIRR refund policy.
) I'd lose a certain percentage of the money if I were to do this, which I am OK with. But buying and then refunding via mail does seem rather elaborate, though -- and, again, I can't even seem to do it. The website has been very uncooperative.
The benefits coordinator at my former employer is sympathetic but unable to help me.
Anything else I can do? I am not keen to throw away $500.