The Oyster Card is a magnetic rechargeable plastic card valid for all of London’s public transport. It not only simplifies the payment system, but it's also cheaper than paying for a single journey ticket every time you ride the Underground, bus, DLR, or Overground.
Method of payment
The Oyster Card can be used as a pay-as-you-go or as a weekly or monthly pass (Travelcard). Both payment methods can be used at the same time. For example, you can have a Travelcard for zone 1-4 and then get a one-way ticket for zone 1-6 to get to Heathrow Airport.
Travelcard or Oyster Card?
If you’re visiting London for 3 days or less, the best option is to get the Oyster Card, as it's the most cost-effective system.
For stays of over 4 days, we recommend getting the 7-day Travelcard, since it's cheaper than getting 7 x 24-hour travelcards.
It's important to keep in mind that if you want to have access to the 2FOR1 offers to visit London’s top attractions, you’ll have to get the Travelcard in the National Rail (different railway stations in the city).
The Peak fares apply during the week between 6:30 am and 9:30 am and between 4 pm and 7 pm. The off-peak fares apply for the rest of the hours, bank holidays, and weekends.
|Zone 1||£ 2.50 (US$ 3.10)||£ 2.50 (US$ 3.10)|
|Zones 1-2||£ 2.90 (US$ 3.60)||£ 2.40 (US$ 3)|
|Zones 1-3||£ 3.30 (US$ 4.10)||£ 2.80 (US$ 3.50)|
|Zones 1-4||£ 3.90 (US$ 4.80)||£ 2.80 (US$ 3.50)|
|Zones 1-5||£ 4.70 (US$ 5.80)||£ 3.10 (US$ 3.90)|
|Zones 1-6||£ 5.10 (US$ 6.30)||£ 3.10 (US$ 3.90)|
|Single journey||Paying with an Oyster Card||Daily Cap||7 Day Bus Pass|
|£ 2.40 (US$ 3)||£ 1.65 (US$ 2)||£ 4.95 (US$ 6.10)||£ 23.30 (US$ 28.90)|
Traveling with children
Children aged under 11 ride for free accompanied by a paying adult and each adult can go with a maximum of four children. They don’t need an Oyster Card or any other traveling card.
Children aged 11 to 15 must get a specific Oyster Card and will travel free on buses and trams and pay £ 0.70 (US$ 0.90) (Peak) or £ 0.65 (US$ 0.80) (Off Peak) when traveling on the Tube in zones 1-6.
Fares of Unlimited use
The rate for this type of Oyster Card is similar to the Travelcard, but you'll have to pay an extra £ 5 (US$ 6.20) as a deposit to get the Oyster Card.
Where to buy an Oyster Card?
The Oyster Card can be purchased at any of London's Tube stations and London Overground in any ticket machine. Travelers can also buy cards at any railway station. Once you’ve bought the card, you can also top it up at most newsagents.
Giving back your Oyster Card and getting your money back
When leaving London, the card can be handed in at any tube station, London Overground, or train station. When you give it back, you’ll get the £ 5 (US$ 6.20) deposit back and the money you didn’t use when you last topped it up.