That seems to go hand-in-hand with nailing you every 18 months for inactivity. They don't want:
1) low-use customers cluttering their database
2) tourists to get one at all,
3) would rather tourist pay for a $3 ticket, just as they stiffed us for a 74% increase for the 1-day pass.
which makes this tourist all the more resolute to defy authority figures and get one, which I will (one of these days) since I have a registered CC.
MAJOR EDIT on this 1st paragraph:
Upon reading the (outrageously enormous volume of miniscule small print) Cardholder Agreement this evening, I would [eat my words, as the web-based transit account agreement is NOT the paper-based debit account agreement that comes with the Ventra card. The paper-based debit account agreement] starts with this:
IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
1. Terms and Conditions for your Optional Ventra Money Network MasterCard Prepaid Debit Card."
"In this Agreement, 'Card' means the Ventra Money Network MasterCard Prepaid Debit Card issued to you by MetaBank."
In Section 2:
"Loading Your Card: you may add funds to your Card account, called 'prepaid loading', at any time. You agree to present the Card and meet identification requirements to complete load transactions as may be required from time to time."
"6. Fees and Limitations. To the extent permitted by applicable laws, the following Prepaid Debit Account fees will apply to your Card:
Monthly Maintenance Fee* $2.00
(only applies if no load activity in a previous 18-month period)"
" * Subject to applicable law, beginning on the 19th month, a monthly fee of $2.00 will be deducted from your Prepaid Debit Account only if there has been no load activity within a consecutive 18-month period. This fee will be assessed each month as long as there are funds remaining on your Card."
[This particular] contract only applies to the Prepaid Debit Card Option of which I have no intention of ever using.
Although I registered and received this new Ventra card just after 6pm, the following three entries were created in the "Support History" of my (wife's) new Ventra account:
11:17:41 PM New Registration, Customer Service, Closed Incident
11:17:44 PM Card Registration, Customer Service, Closed Incident
11:17:45 PM Nickname Change, Customer Service, Closed Incident