Oyster cards

Wondering what on earth an Oyster card is? It’s a smart card that can be topped up with money (for pay-as-you-go credit) or with a weekly, monthly or annual Travelcard, and it’s used in place of a paper Travelcard ticket. 

When travelling with an Oyster card, make sure you:

• Touch your Oyster card on the yellow reader at both ends of your journey. This applies to pay-as-you-go and Oyster Travelcards. If you’re using the bus, tap your Oyster on the yellow reader next to the driver (or middle or back doors on newer buses) 

• Consider travelling at off-peak times. If you’re travelling on pay as you go, waiting a few minutes could save you some money. The peak times are normally 6:30-9:30am and 4-7pm, but for more info see TfL website.

• Have one Oyster card for every person. Only one person can travel on one Oyster card at any time.

All Visitor Oyster cards and paper Travelcards can be bought either in person at a London Underground station or online at the TfL Visitor Shop.

Oyster card vs paper Travelcard ticket

Not sure of the benefits between having an Oyster card, paper Travelcard or using contactless payment? You can easily compare on the TfL website. Generally, if you’re going to be using London transport infrequently, then buying pay as you go credit on an Oyster card may be best, but if you’re going to be using public transport a lot, then a paper Travelcard is perhaps the quickest and most convenient option for you.