Oyster card month

Keywords: oyster card month
Description: Learn how to buy and use a Visitor Oyster card or Oyster card as payment for travel on London's Tube, bus, rail, tram, DLR and London Overground Services

Whether you're making a one-off trip to London or you're a regular visitor, using an Oyster travel smartcard is the easiest way to travel around the city's public transport network.

Visitor Oyster cards are electronic smartcards that come fully charged with credit which you can spend as you travel on the Tube. DLR. MBNA Thames Clippers river bus service, London Overground and most National Rail services in London.

It's easy to use a Visitor Oyster card. Simply touch the card on the yellow card reader at the gates when you start and end your journey. This will ensure you pay the correct fare. If you don't, you may get charged a penalty fare. If you need help, ask a member of station staff.

London's public transport network is divided up into nine travel zones. Zone 1 is in Central London and zones 6 to 9 are on the outskirts of the city. You can download a Tube map from our selection of Free London Travel Maps .

Travel ticket prices vary depending on the transport service you use, the zone(s) you travel in, the day you travel and the time you travel.

Peak travel is between 6:30am to 9.30am and 4.30pm to 7pm, Monday to Friday. Travel is more expensive during these hours than it is during off peak travel times (all other times, including bank holidays ).

A Visitor Oyster card is one of the cheapest ways to pay for single journeys on the bus. Tube. DLR. tram. MBNA Thames Clippers river bus service, London Overground and most National Rail services in London:

  • Save time – your card is ready to use as soon as you arrive in London
  • It’s more than 50% cheaper than buying a paper Travelcard or single tickets with cash
  • There is a daily price cap – once you have reached this limit, you won't pay any more
  • Enjoy special offers and promotions at leading London restaurants, shops and entertainment venues – plus discounts on the Emirates Air Line cable car and MBNA Thames Clippers river buses.

Buy a Visitor Oyster card before you visit London and get it delivered to your home address. A card costs £3 (non-refundable) plus postage. You can choose how much credit to add to your card. If you are visiting London for two days, we recommend you start with £20 credit.

You can also buy a Visitor Oyster card from Gatwick Express ticket offices at Gatwick Airport Station and on board Eurostar trains travelling to London.

You can, if you prefer, pay for your Visitor Oyster card using money from your own country. Find out more about paying with your home country's currency .

If you run out of credit on your Visitor Oyster card you can add more credit at the following locations:

Oyster cards work in the same way as Visitor Oyster cards but do not include special offers and promotions. Oyster cards cost £5 (refundable) and can also be loaded with credit.

If you do not live in the UK, either buy a Visitor Oyster card before you leave home, or buy an Oyster card once you arrive in London.

A 1 Day Travelcard is a paper ticket which allows you to travel as much as you like, as often as you like, for a single day. You can use it on the bus. Tube. DLR. tram. MBNA Thames Clippers river bus service, London Overground and most National Rail services within London.

Get a third off the normal fee on most river boat services with a Travelcard. You can also get a 25% discount on fares for the Emirates Air Line cable car.

  • Zones 1-4 (only Anytime Day Travelcards are available for these zones)
  • Zones 1-6
  • Zones 1-9
  • Zones 1-9 including Watford Junction

You can use Anytime Day Travelcards at any time on the day of validity any day of the week for any journey until 04:30 the following day.

Alternatively, the Anytime Day Off-Peak Travelcard lets you travel from 9:30 Monday to Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday.

If you want to buy a 7 Day Travelcard, this ticket is only available on an Oyster card, not as a paper ticket. This means you will need to buy an Oyster card and get a 7 Day Travelcard loaded onto it.

Contactless payment cards are debit, credit or pre-paid cards which can be used to make quick, easy and secure payments for everyday purchases of £20 or less. You do not need to use a PIN or a signature.

If you are using a contactless payment card to travel in London, touch the card on the yellow card reader in the same way as Visitor Oyster cards and Oyster cards at the start and end of your journey.

  • You won't run out of credit 
  • If you use the same card for all your journeys your fares will be automatically capped daily and weekly (Monday to Sunday) so that you only pay the cheapest fare. Pay-as-you-go capping does not apply when using Oyster or Visitor Oyster card to pay.

For contactless payment cards issued outside the UK, check for any transaction fees or bank charges that may apply.

Deciding which ticket to buy – a Visitor Oyster card. Oyster card or Travelcard – depends on how long you're staying in London and how frequently you'll be using public transport.

If you plan to make two to four journeys a day for a couple of days, or if you want to travel to the outskirts of the city, then a Visitor Oyster card. Oyster card or contactless payment card will be your cheapest options.

If you are visiting London for a week or more, and plan to use only the central London area (e.g. zones 1 to 2 or zones 1 to 4) to make four or more journeys per day on a daily basis, then a 7 Day Travelcard may be the most cost-effective option.

Still not sure which travel ticket you need to buy? Unclear on how to use your Visitor Oyster card? Read our Oyster FAQs section for the answer to these and other Oyster-related questions.

The cost of your journey will depend on how you travel, which day you travel, what time of day you travel and which zones you travel through.

Visitor Oyster card maximum daily cost for unlimited journeys for adults, after 9:30am Monday to Friday:

Day Travelcard (paper ticket) daily cost for unlimited journeys for adults, after 9:30am Monday to Friday:

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