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Mayor of London

Visitor Oyster card

Why get a Visitor Oyster card?

A Visitor Oyster card is a travel smartcard and the cheapest way to pay for single journeys on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and most National Rail services in London:

  • Save time - your card is ready to use as soon as you arrive
  • It's cheaper than buying a paper Travelcard or single tickets
  • Great value - there is a daily price cap - once you have reached this limit, you won't pay any more (except on Emirates Air Line cable car and Thames Clipper River Buses)
  • Enjoy special discounts on the Emirates Air Line cable car and Thames Clipper river buses
  • Exclusive offers and promotions at over 25 leading London restaurants, shops and entertainment venues

The card costs £3 (non-refundable) and is pre-loaded with money for you to spend on travel. You can choose how much credit to add to your card: £10, £15, £20, £30, £40, £50.

Visiting London for 2 days?

    Start with £20 credit on your card for unlimited off-peak travel in central London (Zones 1 and 2).

    Save time and money - buy a Visitor Oyster card before you leave and get it delivered to your home address. It is not possible to buy a Visitor Oyster card when you are in London.

    Buying a Visitor Oyster card

    A number of overseas agents also sell the Visitor Oyster card and other travel tickets. Find your nearest agent.

    No time to buy your tickets before you leave or already in London? Find out about the other tickets available.

    • London is divided into nine travel Zones. Zones 1 and 2 are in central London and Zones 6-9 are on the outskirts of the city. See maps
    • Peak travel times are Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) from 06:30 to 09:29 and 16:00 to 18:59. Travel is more expensive during these times
    • Off-peak travel is at all other times including the weekend and public holidays. Travel is cheaper during these times

    Great value

    There is a daily price cap for using your Visitor Oyster card - once you have reached this limit, you won't pay any more.

    For example you can travel as many times as you like in a day in Zones 1 and 2 (from 04:30 to 04:29 the next day) and you will never be charged more than £8.40 even if you make 20 journeys.


    Visitor Oyster card
    TravelcardCash tickets

    Cost of single journey on Tube, DLR, London Overground
    Maximum daily cost of unlimited journeys

    Cost of single journey on bus and tram

    Maximum daily cost of unlimited journeys

    Cost of single journey on Tube, DLR, London Overground
    Travel Zones PeakOff-PeakPeakOff-PeakAny time
    PeakOff-PeakAny time
    Zone 1 only
    £2.20

    £2.20

    £8.40

    £7.00

    £1.45
    Maximum daily cost for unlimited journeys on buses and trams £4.40
    £9.00

    N/A

    £4.70

    Zone 1-2
    £2.80

    £2.20

    £8.40

    £7.00

    £9.00

    N/A

    £4.70

    Zones 1-4
    £3.80

    £2.70

    £10.60

    £7.70

    £11.40

    N/A

    £5.70

    Zones 1-6 £5.00

    £3.00

    £15.80

    £8.50

    £17.00

    £8.50

    £5.70

    Find out the difference between a Visitor Oyster card and a Travelcard.

    Special discounts

    Enjoy special travel discount and promotions with your Visitor Oyster card.

    Child tickets

    • Children under 11 travel free on buses and trams
    • Up to four children under 11 years of age can travel for free when accompanied by a fare paying adult on Tube, DLR, London Overground services
    • Children under five travel for free on the Emirates Air Line when accompanied by a fare paying adult
    If you're travelling with children over 11 years of age, you have two ticket options:

    Visit our Visitor Shop to buy adult and child tickets before you leave home.

    How to use your Visitor Oyster card

    In order to calculate the fare for your journey you need to touch your Visitor Oyster card on the yellow card reader at the gates when you start your journey and again when you end your journey on the Tube, DLR, London Overground and National Rail services.

    If there aren't any gates when you enter or come out of a station, look for a free-standing or wall-mounted yellow card reader instead. If you need help, ask a member of staff.

    It is important to touch your Visitor Oyster in and out on a yellow card reader every time - if you don't do this, the system will not know which journey you've made and you may be charged a maximum fare. You may also face a penalty fare or prosecution.

    On buses and trams you only need to touch your Visitor Oyster card on the yellow card reader at the start of your journey.

    How to add more credit to your card

    If you run out of money on your Visitor Oyster card, it's easy to add more credit at:

    • Touchscreen ticket machines in Tube, DLR, London Overground and some National Rail stations
    • Around 4,000 Oyster Ticket Stops across London
    • Travel Information Centres
    • Tube and London Overground station ticket offices

    You can't top up your Visitor Oyster card online.

    Unused money on your card

    The credit on your card never expires so you can keep your card until your next visit to London, or lend it to friends and family.

    Please check the balance on your Visitor Oyster card before you leave London at a Tube, DLR or London Overground station ticket machine or Oyster Ticket Stop as you cannot do this from home.

    To get a refund on any unused credit take your card to a Tube station or post it to us.

    Refunds at Tube station ticket offices

    We will ask you for proof of your name and address. Your refund will be paid in cash or by debit/credit card depending on how you paid for the credit originally. Your Visitor Oyster card will be returned to you for future use.

    Acceptable proof of your identity

    • A valid passport or an ID card from an European Economic Association country
    • NHS medical card
    • Birth certificate
    • Driving licence

    Acceptable proof of your address

    • Current council tax bill
    • Current council or housing association rent book or statement
    • Residential utility bill (dated within the last three months)
    • Residential bank or building society statement (dated within the last three months)
    • Credit card statement (dated within the last three months)
    We do not accept mobile phone bills as proof of name and address.

    Refunds by post

    Send your card and a covering letter explaining why you are returning it to:

    TfL Customer Services

    14 Pier Walk
    4th Floor
    London
    SE10 0ES

    We will send you a cheque for the unused amount in GBP. We cannot return your card to you.