London skyline

Oyster cards and contactless

Oyster

What is Oyster?

Oyster is a smartcard that top-up with credit and pay as you travel around the TfL network, capping at the daily or weekly fare. You can also add Travelcards for specific London zones. It’s quick and convenient, and you’ll pay much less than buying paper tickets.

Oyster can be used on the Underground, Overground, TfL Rail, Docklands Light Railway, buses, trams, Emirates Air Line, River Bus and most National Rail services in London.

If your child is travelling within the London fare zones and has a Zip Oyster photocard, they may be eligible for free or discounted travel.

How do I get an Oyster card?

You can buy an Oyster card on the TfL website, all TfL stations and some National Rail stations. You’ll need to pay a £5 deposit.

How do I use an Oyster card?

Just like our touch smartcards, make sure you tap in and out at the gates or validators at stations otherwise you’ll be charged a full day fare.

If you have contactless cards in your wallet, make sure you keep them apart when you tap in and out to avoid card clash.

Find out more about buying and using Oyster cards.

Contactless

Don’t come to London often? Use your contactless card or a mobile device with your debit or credit card enabled instead. It’s a great alternative to Oyster and paper tickets, and you don’t need to top up in advance.

You can use it on the Underground, Overground, TfL Rail, Docklands Light Railway, buses, trams and most National Rail services in London*.

Make sure you tap in and out at the gates or validators at stations otherwise you’ll be charged a full day ticket.

If you have more than one contactless card in your wallet, make sure you keep them apart when you tap in and out to avoid card clash. Remember that if you travel with a contactless card, you must have the card available for inspection if asked by a member of staff.