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Frequently Asked Questions

The following responses to some FAQs should help answer a lot of queries.

  • Who do I talk to if I need some help with my Smartcard?

    You should contact Card Services on +44 (0)115 848 2857 or email card services.

  • How do I put more money on my Smartcard?

    Using your NTU username and password, you can put money onto your Smartcard via the web on the Smartcard loading page. Alternatively, your parents or guardian can put money for you. It can take up to 30 minutes for uploaded funds to appear on your Smartcard for use.

  • Can I put money onto my Smartcard if I don't have a credit or debit card?

    In special circumstances we will accept cash by prior arrangement with Card Services.

  • How do I activate my Smartcard?

    You will need to have your Smartcard activated before you can use it for purchases. You can get your Smartcard activated by going to one of the following locations:

    • City Campus – Student Services Centre in the Central Court of the Newton building, or Boots Library
    • Clifton Campus – Card Services in Student Services Centre or Clifton Library
    • Brackenhurst Campus – Brackenhurst Library.

  • What can I buy with my Smartcard?

    You can use your Smartcard to pay for purchases in the University's Taste NTU cafés, libraries and the print shops. Bars are excluded. View more information on Taste NTU outlets and opening times. Staff can pay for car parking at Gill Street and Binsey car parks.

  • What kind of food and drink can I buy at NTU?

    Taste NTU outlets sell hot and cold drinks as well as a range of sandwiches, pastries, and snacks. At lunchtime, Dine locations at Dine Arkwright (city), Dine Brackenhurst and The Refectory (Clifton) offer freshly prepared hot lunches made with organic and ethically sourced local ingredients.

  • Can I buy my friends a coffee with my Smartcard?

    Yes, you can use your Smartcard just like cash – just present it when its time to pay.

  • What is a sensible amount to put on my Smartcard before I get to NTU?

    As a student you get £20 free printing  /copying at the start of the academic year, so we don't recommend you load any money for printing / copying before you arrive.

    For food and drink, the typical cost of a lunch is £4 for a sandwich and a drink to £5 for a cooked meal and a drink. Assuming you had lunch at NTU everyday that would be £16 to £20 per week. There are ten weeks in the first term, so that would mean £160 to £200 for the first term.

  • Once I've started at NTU, can my parents/guardians put more money on my Smartcard?

    Yes, your parents or guardian can put money on your Smartcard at any time by going to the Smartcard loading page.

  • Can I use my Smartcard in the Students' Union shops or bars?

    No, sorry. The Students' Union is separate organisation from the University and cannot accept payment by Smartcard.

  • Can I use my Smartcard outside of the University to pay for things?

    You can use your Smartcard on the tram and NCT buses (after you've set this up at NTU). At the moment the Smartcard can only be used for purchases at the University.

  • Can I pay for the NCT buses before I arrive at NTU?

    No, you have to activate your card for transportation use at the time of collection or later by visiting Card Services.

  • Once I've put money on my Smartcard can I get a refund when I leave NTU?

    Yes, when you have finished at NTU we can refund any money you have on your Smartcard in excess of £25, less any unspent bonus money.

  • What should I do if lose my Smartcard?

    You should immediately contact Card Services by either visiting a Student Services Centre, calling 0115 848 2857, or emailing You can collect a new Smartcard from either Card Services or one of the libraries. There will be a £10 charge. In the event of a Smartcard being stolen, the holder will be entitled to a new free one, provided he / she can provide NTU with the relevant crime number.

  • What happens if someone else uses my Smartcard?

    As soon as you are aware of someone using your card you should immediately contact NTU Security on +44 (0)115 848 6462 to have your Smartcard deactivated. You will be credited the cost of any fraudulent purchases that take place after you have reported the problem.

  • Can I move money between my printing / copying budget and my food budget?

    No, due to incompatibilities between the two systems we cannot offer you the facility to move money between the two. We realise this is inconvenient and hope to be able to offer this facility in the future.

  • Can I get my money back before I leave NTU if I don't use my Smartcard for purchases?

    No, any money you have on Smartcard will be refunded when you leave the University. In special situations the University may make an early refund at the discretion of the Head Of Customer Services.

  • What is the minimum I can put on my Smartcard?


  • What is the maximum I can put on my Smartcard?

    There is no upper limit in total. However, you are limited to £1,000 each time you load money on via the web on the Smartcard loading page.

  • How can I check how much money I have on my Smartcard?

    Your Smartcard balance for non-printing /copying is displayed whenever you use your Smartcard. You can also go to the Smartcard money loading page to see your balance.

  • As a purchasing agent at NTU can I use my purchase card to load money on to a Smartcard?

    Technically you could do this. However, when you take into account credit card usage charges paid by NTU, the University would lose money. So, please don't do this. If you want to load money onto a Smartcard from a University budget please contact Card Services.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418