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London Oyster card

Home > Travel > London Oyster card

Oyster is a blue plastic card you can use instead of paper tickets. You can put Travelcards on it, as well as credit which you use up as you travel.

A London Oyster card is the fastest, smartest and most cost-effective way to pay for single journeys on the bus, Tube, DLR, tram, London Overground, Thames Clippers and most National Rail services. And London daily, weekly, monthly and yearly Travelcards can easily be added to your Oyster.

It is a contactless electronic smartcard run by Transport for London. In general, Oyster is the more cost effective option than paper tickets if you plan to be in London for any more than a couple of days, or if you intend to make return visits to the city - the savings quickly recover the inital purchase cost. You can buy an Oyster Card from any Tube station for a deposit of 3. 

You can "charge up" an Oyster card with electronic funds. This cash is then deducted according to where you travel. The cost of a single trip using the Oyster card is considerably less than buying a single paper ticket with cash. Prices vary depending on distance travelled, whether by bus or tube, and on the time of day.

The deposit is fully refundable if you hand it in at the end of the trip. However, there is no expiry date on the Oyster Card or any pay-as-you-go credit on the card. If you have any pay-as-you-go credit left this will also be refunded. You will get refunds in cash only if you paid in cash.


Visitors - Order yours online before you arrive!

Beat the queues and give yourself more time to enjoy London buy your Visitor Oyster card or Travelcard online and have them delivered to your door.

To use the online shop, you must be in one of the 58 countries we can deliver to. If you're travelling soon, you can also check to see if we can deliver your tickets to you in time.

Contact Details:

Oyster card helpline,
1st Floor,
Albany House,
55 Broadway,
Telephone: 0845 330 9876