Monzo & Collecting Train Tickets

I purchased train tickets with my Monzo card via The Train Line.

When I went to collect the tickets from the machines at Sheffield station I was told there was an issue with the card and to seek assistance. Is this a known problem with Monzo prepaid cards?

I didn’t have time to try another machine as my train was in 5 minutes.

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Not that I’m aware of, I successfully pick up tickets ordered from Trainline using my Monzo card on a regular basis. :thinking:

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Hmm, could this be a magstripe issue? Do the alpha cards have magstripe and the beta card not?

If this is a problem I’m going to have to change the collection card on some tickets I bought…

Yeah it could’ve been the machine, but I didn’t get the chance to check. I’ve a beta card, Mondo branding and all, for the record.

It doesn’t read the magstripe on ticket collection.

I am a railway employee. The way it works is you insert your card like a transaction, it reads the card details from the chip and then asks you to remove. Once this is done (if successful read) then it will ask for the booking reference.

There may be some VERY old machines owned by some train companies that use Magstripe but I doubt it.

I think the issue here may have been that some TVM’s (ticket vending machines) are programmed to work offline and only connect once every 1-2 hours (hence the advised 2 hour collection timeframe), although this is rare, you may have used one of these machines. Because the machine is offline, I believe the Monzo card would have stopped itself from being used as it blocks offline transactions (even though it doesn’t make a transaction).

Apart from that, I can only assume it’s an issue with the machine.


Yeah, I’ve used the machines before, and if they are indeed using the chip then this is probably an issue with the machine rather than with the :mondo: card.

Just to note that the offline explanation likely has little to do with the Monzo card as the TVMs are only reading the card number along with a few other details and as you said, they make no effort to actually make a charge. Monzo’s offline “block” is just flags and CVM lists being set in a way that charges need to go online, you can still read information from the card offline.

Again, issue is likely with the machine itself. I’ve seen how flakey they can sometimes be at reading any kind of card.

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Hi Simon - I was wondering whether you could explain a bit further - do you actually have to use the same card as you do the booking with to pick up the ticket?

I’m pretty sure with East Midlands at least I just insert any card and it always works (e.g. its just checking that its a card, not checking that its the card that made the purchase). I had thought this was actually an important part of functioning as for purchases using ApplePay etc the card number is actually different (the ApplePay is a token)

When you book it always says you must use the same card used for purchase, however, if you pay with paypal (on it specifically says you can use any card. I can confirm this works for a paypal purchase, but have never tried when I paid by card.

Yes I used to think you had to use the same card (because it says you do) however I believe in reality you are able to use any card. Infact if i remember correctly sometimes I dont even use a card that even belongs to the person who paid (e.g. I have got my wife to pick up tickets using her card when I paid). This does raise the question of what is the point of putting in a card in the first place though.


In plain sight card skimming? :stuck_out_tongue:

I guess this might depend upon the machines / train operator - this link online said some people were even able to pick up tickets using a nectar card :smiley:

Hi James! Great question.

This is something that widely varies, and depends on where you purchased the ticket, the payment method, and also the TOC’s (Train Operating Company) machine that you are using.

So for example, if you purchased a ticket on Trainline using PayPal or Apple Pay for example, then it will allow any valid debit or credit card to collect the ticket, this is because with both of those payment methods there is no way for Trainline to confirm the card number used.

It’s exactly the same if you used any type of loyalty points (RedSpottedHanky for example), either as full or part payment, then it should accept any card to collect.

In regards to payments made by card directly with the merchant, like stated above it does vary depending on the retailer and the ticket machine you are using. Even with the ticket office, I’ve seen quite a large amount of ticket collections only require a signature and not the card used. However I am especially recently seeing an increase in the amount of bookings that require the card used when collecting.

So really the rule is, sometimes it will require the original sometimes it won’t. But unless paying with Apple Pay, PayPal, loyalty points or anything that isn’t your bank card then I wouldn’t recommend not taking your card with you when collecting, just in case.


Some rail companies can be a real pain about cards. I spent about £40 on advance purchase tickets but plans change so I tried to refund them. As I could not present the same card used to buy them, bank had swapped my Visa debit for a MasterCard debit, they would not refund my card and insisted on giving me a rail travel voucher instead :angry:

What Train Operating Company was this?

Did you buy online or in the station?

Abellio or whatever they call themselves now. Bought it in a station in hope it would avoid problems! Once ordered online and tried collecting tickets from a machine in an unmanned station and it tried to print but failed so had a lot of stress trying to show ticket inspectors the email they sent me :sob:

This happened to me as well at Finsbury Park station, London. I tweeted the train company (Thames Link) and emailed their customer service reps. The guy in the station said i should be automatically refunded - I can’t check as my phone has since broken!

Worked ok for me, booked on to london midland picked up from local station (GWR) no issues

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i agree i used mine to collect tickets it read my chip and pin on my monzo card :smiley:

you have to use the same card you brought ticket on to collect ticket so people cant just take your ticket its safety