It’s been awhile since I’ve been to a fair. In fact, the last time I went was probably as a elementary-aged kid! It might be time to remedy that, but I have to admit that the Colorado State Fair’s new cashless system isn’t making me eager to attend. They’ve implemented a new process where you will need to buy a card and preload it with funds that you can use at the fairs vendors (food and rides). The cards cost $1.00, and you can reload them at kiosks throughout the fair if you run out of money. Or, it sounds like you can reload it while you’re making a purchase, if a credit card is your source of funds.
Unfortunately, not only do the cards cost $1.00 (and it sounds like they are a required purchase if you want to buy food or ride a ride), but if you don’t spend all the money you load onto the card, you have to register the card online and request a refund of the remaining balance. If you don’t do that within five years, the funds will be turned over to our state’s Unclaimed Property division.
The fair says that the system is a benefit to fair-goers because they won’t have to carry cash or a credit/debit card. However, you will have to use cash or credit/debit to purchase your admission tickets, and if you want to make a purchase at a vendor that is not food or rides, you will have to have cash or credit/debit.
I’m curious what you all think about this. Do you think it’s a good idea? If you plan to go to the fair, how will you manage spending with the card? Will you load your exact budget on the card, and mess with the hassle of having to reload if if you need just one dollar more? If you aren’t on a tight budget, will you load extra money to the card and just deal with requesting a refund?