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Riders who take the CTA have lost more than $16 million and the reason? Failing to register their Ventra cards. Say what?! A registered Ventra card allows you to receive a refund on the $5 cost of purchase. And if you are like me, this is news…


To obtain this magical unicorn of a refund, you must register your card within 90 days of purchase. Sounds easy enough, right? It was reported that 66% of refunds are not collected and most customers have no idea what they are missing out on…

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But the CTA boasts that the information is clearly displayed on their website and Ventra vending machines. “I didn’t know anything about it,” said the 36-year-old Portage Park commuter Amy Mercer,
who waits for the train at the Grand Avenue station on the Red Line.

Registering your card also includes being able to add value at vending machines or by “autoload” through credit card and bank accounts as well as the ability to have a lost or stolen card, replaced with its value in tact. Registering the card can be done online at ventrachicago.com or by phone.

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Chase says some people do not want to register their cards and many tourists may not see the need for it. Chase also says that the CTA is the only major transit agency that offers all customers the ability to get the cost of buying a transit value card returned just by registering.

“We want people to get the most benefits out of Ventra that they can,” a representative from the CTA, Chase said. “We want them to get the $5 back.” And Chicago wants it back! So if you have made a purchase in the past ninety days, this article is for you! Go get that refund! Tell your friends!

You may be missing out on a free refund by riding the CTA Photo by Getty Images / Tim Boyle
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