Customer Support & FAQs

Employees and Non-Employee Participants: Employers and Other Organizations:

SmartBenefits® Frequently Asked Questions


Why did my balance suddenly drop? Why weren’t SmartBenefits delivered to my SmarTrip card?

Please review the scenarios below and apply the indicated solution. If indicated, contact SmarTrip & SmartBenefits customer service at 1-888-SMARTRIP or at smartrip@wmata.com.

Adjustments issued by customer service are typically delivered to rail SmarTrip targets within four-hours and to bus SmarTrip targets the next day. You must tap your SmarTrip card within 30-days of the adjustment date to load the adjustment to your card. In the meantime, you may need to add funds to your card’s stored value purse to travel.

  • Scenario: Your rollover benefit balance suddenly dropped months after your current or former employer changed your benefit status from Enrolled to Removed. Solution: This may happen if you did not use your card within 30-days after the benefit status change. To see if your card’s benefit status is Removed: 1) Log in to your SmarTrip account; 2) Click on the card that you use for SmartBenefits; 3) If the SmartBenefits link on the right side displays “Join SmartBenefits”, then your benefit status was changed to Removed. If your card was not updated before the remove transaction expired, then the flag on your card was not set to prevent your benefits from increasing in subsequent months. However, once your true SmartBenefits rollover balance reached $0.00 per our central system, the card’s excess benefits were removed and the card’s flag was set to prevent future benefits from being added unless and until the card is enrolled again.
  • Scenario: Your benefits stopped working or your virtual card’s SmarTrip app SmartBenefits balance is lower than your Apple Wallet or Google Pay balance. Solution: Your employer may have retrieved some or all of your benefits. If you did not tap your card within 30-days of this change, then the benefit balance on the virtual card is overstated. To confirm this: 1) Log in to your SmarTrip account; 2) Click on the card number that you use for SmartBenefits; 3) Scroll down to the SmartBenefits section; 4) If the benefit status is Deactivate-Pending, then contact customer service and request a ‘SmartBenefits refresh’.
  • Scenario: Benefit delivery stopped unexpectedly. Solution: 1) Log in to your SmarTrip account; 2) Click on the card number that you use for SmartBenefits; 3) Check the SmartBenefits link on the upper right side. Contact your employer’s SmartBenefits administrator to re-enroll if the link is “Join SmartBenefits” or if it is “Manage SmartBenefits” and, after you click the link, your SmartBenefits Dashboard shows that your benefit status is On Hold. Otherwise contact customer service.
  • Scenario: Your card was just enrolled in SmartBenefits, but you did not receive your first month's benefits. Solution: You tapped your card after the 15th of the first benefit month. Contact our SmarTrip customer service and request a 'SmartBenefits refresh'.
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Why didn't my vanpool or transit provider receive the funds that I allocated?

Please try one of the solutions below. If that doesn't help, then contact SmarTrip & SmartBenefits customer service at 1-888-SMARTRIP or at smartrip@wmata.com

  • Scenario: You may not have saved your allocation to the proper transit provider. Solution: Please log in to your SmarTrip Account, click the card you use for SmartBenefits, and click the Manage SmartBenefits link on the right side to display your SmartBenefits Dashboard and confirm your allocation. Make any necessary adjustments by the 21st of the month. Learn more.
  • Scenario: Instead of using SmarTrip’s automated Report Lost or Damaged Card feature, you had your employer reassign your benefits to a replacement card and you did not create a new Transit Allocation and/or you did not update your CommuterDirect, mobile ticketing or MetroAccess account with your replacement SmarTrip card number by the 21st of the month. Solution: Perform the solution for the first scenario and update any related third-party transit provider accounts with your replacement SmarTrip Card number.
  • Scenario: Your former employer removed you from their SmartBenefits account or your new employer has not added you to their account. Solution: Please see your employer’s SmartBenefits Administrator.
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How can I view my remaining transit or parking SmartBenefits balance?

When you tap your card to at a faregate to enter a rail station or tap it to a rail fare vending machine, the sum of your remaining SmartBenefits transit benefits plus your remaining personal stored value will be displayed. For example, if you do not have an active pass and your card has $100 in transit benefits and $20 in personal stored value, then $120 will be displayed. When you exit from a rail station, the fare is deducted from the balance displayed.

When you tap your card to a bus farebox, it works that same way except that the bus fare will be deducted immediately from the balance displayed. Using the example above and if the bus fare is $2.00, then the fare will be deducted from your benefits and $118 will be displayed ($100 in transit benefits less the $2.00 bus fare plus the $20 in personal stored value).

When you tap your card to a parking gate, the sum of your remaining SmartBenefits parking benefits less the parking fee plus your remaining personal stored value will be displayed. For example, if your card has $50 in parking benefits, $20 in personal stored value, and the parking fee is $10, then $60 will be displayed ($50 in parking benefits less the $10 parking fee plus the $20 in stored value).

To see your individual balances for SmartBenefits transit, SmartBenefits parking, SmartBenefits transit pass benefit and personal stored value, log in to your SmarTrip account and click on the card you use for SmartBenefits.

Make sure your personal stored value purse is ready to pay the fare or parking fee if your benefits run out. Consider using SmarTrip® Auto Reload so you're never caught short.

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How do I replace a lost or damaged SmarTrip® card that has SmartBenefits?

  • Log in to your SmarTrip® account; click the card you use for SmartBenefits; under Manage Your Card on the right side click Report Lost or Damaged Card; and follow the prompts to deactivate your old card and transfer the balance to your replacement card. If the email address associated with your SmarTrip account is current, then you will receive email updates regarding your replacement request.
  • If you use CommuterDirect or mobile ticketing, you must add your new card number to your existing CommuterDirect or mobile ticketing account.
  • If you purchased a Metro pass with your benefits, then you must ask your SmartBenefits Administrator to reassign the refund for that pass to your new card. Pass refunds are typically calculated within two days of when you reported the card as lost or damaged. Also, if your pass was setup for auto reload, you must re-establish the auto reload for your new card. See page 2 of this flyer for details.
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What do I need to do if my employer changes my monthly benefit amount or type?

Nothing if you regularly ride Metrorail, Metrobus or any of the regional bus systems. Just tap your card to a SmarTrip® target by the 15th of the current benefit month.

If you use third-party transit providers that do not have SmarTrip® card readers, then log in to your SmarTrip account and update your Transit Allocation amount by the 11:59pm ET deadline of the 21st.

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Do Senior or Reduced Fare SmarTrip® cards work with SmartBenefits®?

Yes. These cards automatically deduct the reduced fare. Just provide your employer with your card number.

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Why are transit and parking benefits separated on my card?

To satisfy IRS requirements, transit, parking and personal stored value are segregated in electronic 'purses' on your SmarTrip® card. (See Revenue Ruling 2006-57, 2006-2 C.B. 911 and Internal Revenue Code § 132(a)(5) and 132(f).)

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What happens if I don't use all of my monthly transit or parking benefits?

Employers designate the treatment of unused monthly benefits as either "Rollover" or "Non-Rollover". Rollover allows unused benefits to accumulate in your associated SmarTrip® account. Unused Non-Rollover benefits are credited back to your employer. Back To Top

How much can I accumulate in the separate electronic purses on my card?

If your employer allows Rollover of unused benefits, then there is no limit. However, your SmarTrip account and your SmarTrip card will only display up to $4,045 for the transit benefit purse and $4,045 for the parking purse at a time. The Rollover option is generally limited by employers to pre-tax payroll employee participants.

The personal stored value purse on a SmarTrip® card holds $300.

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Can I use transit benefits to pay for parking or parking benefits to pay for transit? Can I add funds to the parking or transit benefits purse or transfer funds between them?

No. If you need additional funds to pay for parking or transit before the end of the current benefit month, then add value to your personal stored value purse online using your SmarTrip® account; at a bus farebox; at the Fare Vending and Add Value machines at any Metrorail station fare vending machine; or at select CVS, Walmart, and Giant stores.

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I work for two different employers, can I use the same SmarTrip® card for both and still receive SmartBenefits®?

No. You will need a separate SmarTrip® card for each employer that provides you with SmartBenefits®. However, you can ‘register’ (add) all your cards to a single SmarTrip account.

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Can I obtain a refund of the remaining benefits on my card if I do not plan to use them?

To comply with the IRS code, Metro does not issue SmartBenefits® refunds to employees. Unused Non-Rollover benefits will be credited back to your employer. You may continue to use your Rollover benefits for commuting until they are exhausted. Alternatively, if you and your employer are willing to accept the tax consequences of removing rollover SmartBenefits from your card, then your employer’s SmartBenefits administrator can initiate the process by performing a “retrieve” transaction.

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