London Drum

Visitor Oyster Card Fares 2024 - London Bus, Tube & Daily Caps

London Visitor Oyster card bus fares 2024
Bus fares Single fare Daily cap Weekly cap
All zones £1.75 £5.25 £24.70
London Visitor Oyster card fares 2024
Train fares Single fare Daily cap Weekly cap
Peak Off-peak Peak Off-peak
Zone 1 fare £2.80 £2.70 £8.50 £8.50 £42.70
Zone 1-2 fare £3.40 £2.80 £8.50 £8.50 £42.70
Zone 1-3 fare £3.70 £3 £10 £10 £50.20
Zone 1-4 fare £4.40 £3.20 £12.30 £12.30 £61.40
Zone 1-5 fare £5.10 £3.50 £14.60 £14.60 £73
Zone 1-6 fare £5.60* £3.60* £15.60 £15.60 £78
Zone 1-7 fare £6.40 £4.70 £17 £15.60 £85
Zone 1-8 fare £7.80 £4.70 £20.10 £15.60 £100.30
Zone 1-9 fare £7.90 £4.80 £22.30 £15.60 £111.30
Zone 2 fare £1.90 £1.80 £8.50 £8.50 £32
Zone 2-3 fare £2.10 £1.90 £10 £10 £32
Zone 2-4 fare £2.80 £1.90 £12.30 £12.30 £35.50
Zone 2-5 fare £3 £2 £14.60 £14.60 £42.50
Zone 2-6 fare £3.40 £2.10 £15.60 £15.60 £53.40
Zone 2-7 fare £4.70 £3.30 £17 £15.60 £55.40
Zone 2-8 fare £5.40 £3.40 £20.10 £15.60 £75.40
Zone 2-9 fare £7.90 £4.80 £22.30 £15.60 £75.40
Zone 3 fare £1.90 £1.80 £10 £10 £32
Zone 3-4 fare £2.10 £1.90 £12.30 £12.30 £32
Zone 3-5 fare £2.80 £1.90 £14.60 £14.60 £35.50
Zone 3-6 fare £3 £2 £15.60 £15.60 £42.50
Zone 3-7 fare £3.80 £2.20 £17 £15.60 £55.40
Zone 3-8 fare £4.60 £2.20 £20.10 £15.60 £75.40
Zone 3-9 fare £7.90 £4.80 £22.30 £15.60 £75.40
Zone 4 fare £1.90 £1.80 £12.30 £12.30 £32
Zone 4-5 fare £2.10 £1.90 £14.60 £14.60 £32
Zone 4-6 fare £2.80 £1.90 £15.60 £15.60 £35.50
Zone 4-7 fare £3.10 £2.20 £17 £15.60 £40.10
Zone 4-8 fare £3.80 £2.20 £20.10 £15.60 £67.60
Zone 4-9 fare £3.80 £2.20 £22.30 £15.60 £67.60
Zone 5 fare £1.90 £1.80 £14.60 £14.60 £32
Zone 5-6 fare £2.10 £1.90 £15.60 £15.60 £32
Zone 5-7 fare £2.80 £2.20 £17 £15.60 £40.10
Zone 5-8 fare £3.10 £2.20 £20.10 £15.60 £67.60
Zone 5-9 fare £3.30 £2.20 £22.30 £15.60 £67.60
Zone 6 fare £1.90 £1.80 £15.60 £15.60 £32
Zone 6-7 fare £2.10 £1.90 £17 £15.60 £40.10
Zone 6-8 fare £2.80 £2.10 £20.10 £15.60 £67.60
Zone 6-9 fare £2.90 £2.20 £22.30 £15.60 £67.60
Zone 7 fare £1.90 £1.80 £17 £15.60 £40.10
Zone 7-8 fare £2.10 £1.90 £20.10 £15.60 £67.60
Zone 7-9 fare £2.20 £2 £22.30 £15.60 £67.60
Zone 8 fare £1.90 £1.80 £20.10 £15.60 £67.60
Zone 8-9 fare £2.10 £1.90 £22.30 £15.60 £67.60
* Tube journeys between zone 1 and Heathrow are always charged at the peak rate. Elizabeth line journeys between zone 1 and Heathrow are £10.20 during off-peak hours and £12.80 during peak hours
Note: Visitor Oyster card prices are correct as of

Visitor Oyster Card charges for children

London Visitor Oyster card bus prices for children 2024
Bus fares
Children aged under-11
All zones free
Children aged 11-15 with a Young Visitor Discount applied to their Visitor Oyster card
All zones Half the adult fare
Children aged 11-17 without any kind of discount or photocard
All zones Same as the adult fare
London Visitor Oyster card prices for children 2024
Train fares
Children aged under-11
All zones free
Children aged 11-15 with a Young Visitor Discount applied to their Visitor Oyster card
All zones Half the adult fare
Children aged 11-17 without any kind of discount or photocard
All zones Same as the adult fare
Note: Visitor Oyster card fares are correct as of

What is a Visitor Oyster card?

Visitor Oyster card
Visitor Oyster card

A Visitor Oyster Card is a London travel pass that comes pre-loaded with some pay-as-you-go credit. All you have to do is touch them down on the big yellow readers that you’ll find on the buses and at the train stations, and the correct fare will automatically be deducted by the computer.

Visitor Oyster cards are aimed primarily at tourists, but you don’t have to be a tourist to use one. Just think of it as a normal blue Oyster Card with a picture on the front. And don’t worry if your card looks different to the one shown here, because the picture changes all the time.

What’s the difference between an Oyster card and Visitor Oyster card?

Oyster cards and Visitor Oyster cards work in exactly the same way, and if it wasn’t for the picture on the front then you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

The main difference is that Visitor Oyster cards come pre-loaded with some credit already on them, to save tourists the hassle of having to load it on themselves when they arrive in London.

You can choose how much credit you get when you buy it, either £10, £15, £20, £25, £30, £35, £40 or £50. You’ll also have to pay an extra £5 activation fee on top, which can’t be used for fares. So if you want £20-worth of credit then you’ll have to spend a total of £25.

Visitor Oyster cards come bundled with a leaflet of discount vouchers.

The other differences are unlikely to bother a tourist. You can’t load travelcards on to them, for example, but you usually get better value for money with pay-as-you-go credit anyway. And you can’t register them on the TFL website either, which means you can’t top them up online – but seeing as it comes pre-loaded with credit you might not need to (we’ll explain where you can top it up later).

What are the benefits of a Visitor Oyster card?

  • You can order a Visitor Oyster card online and have it delivered to your home address – even if you live overseas. This is handy if you prefer to have it all sorted out prior to arrival
  • Visitor Oyster cards are ready to be used as soon as you arrive in London – there’s no need to register them or top them up with credit
  • Oyster cards are accepted all over London on the bus, London Underground, London Overground, DLR, TFL Rail, National Rail, Thames Clipper riverbus, and even the IFS Cloud Cable Car
  • Oyster card prices are the cheapest way to pay for single journeys (along with contactless), and the Oyster daily cap is always cheaper than buying a one day travelcard
  • The pay-as-you-go credit on a Visitor Oyster card can be used in zones 1 to 9, whereas travelcards are only valid in the zones you buy them for
  • Your pay-as-you-go credit never expires, so if you have any left over at the end of your holiday then you can carry on using it during your next visit
  • Visitor Oyster card discounts give you money off at shops, restaurants and entertainment venues

What are the downsides of a Visitor Oyster card?

  • You can’t buy a Visitor Oyster card once you arrive in central London, only the normal Oyster cards
  • You can’t register your Visitor Oyster card on the TFL website, unlike a normal Oyster card. This means that you can’t top it up online, or get your remaining credit transferred onto a new card if it’s lost or stolen
  • Travelcards can’t be loaded onto a Visitor Oyster card, unlike normal Oyster cards
  • You can’t get a refund for the £5 activation fee

Do Visitor Oyster cards come with discount vouchers?

Visitor Oyster cards come bundled with a leaflet full of discount vouchers. These offers are constantly changing, so we can’t tell you what they are right now, but typically include things like 10% off a boat ride, 10% off souvenirs in a particular gift shop, or 20% off a meal in a particular restaurant.

In the past they have offered 20% off a guided tour at the Royal Albert Hall, £2 off exhibition tickets at the National Gallery, and 2-for-1 entry at the London Bridge Experience.

What time is peak and off-peak?

PeakPeak time fares are in effect when your tube journey starts between 6:30 AM and 9.30 AM, and 4.30 PM to 7 PM (Monday to Friday). It doesn’t matter what time your journey finishes.

Off-PeakOff-peak fares apply at any other time, including all day Saturday, Sunday and public holidays. Note: Between the 8th March and 31st May 2024 TFL are running a trial called ‘Off-Peak Friday Fares’, where Fridays will be classed as off-peak all day.

What is the Oyster daily cap?

The Oyster daily cap is the maximum charge that will be taken from your card each day (it actually runs from 4.30 AM to 4.29 AM the next day). It doesn’t matter how many buses or trains you ride in one day, the maximum amount the computer will take will never exceed this daily limit – and the limit will always be lower than the cost of one day travelcard.

If you stick to the buses then the Oyster card cap rate will be lower. If you ride the trains instead, or a mixture of buses plus trains, then you’ll have to pay the higher cap rate for the trains.

Note: Journeys to Gatwick airport and on the Heathrow Express don’t count towards the Visitor Oyster card cap. They are always charged separately to your card. Journeys on a Thames Clipper boat and the IFS Cloud Cable Car don’t count towards the cap either. The computer will just deduct the relevant charge from your credit.

What is the Young Visitor Discount?

The Young Visitor Discount gives children aged between 11-15 half-price fares for fourteen consecutive days, as compared to regular adult fares (under 11s travel for free).

Children who live in London will usually have a Zip Oyster photocard instead, but this isn’t recommended for tourists because the admin fee will wipe out any savings made, so that’s where the Young Visitor Discount comes in.

All you have to do is buy your child a Visitor Oyster card (exactly the same version that you’d buy for an adult), and then get the discount applied to it once you arrive in London. Unfortunately there’s no way of doing this before you arrive – it has to be done at a London train station or Visitor Centre.

Just walk up to a member of staff at an underground station or National Rail station (within London), or one of the Visitor Centres at Euston, King’s Cross, Liverpool Street, Paddington, Piccadilly Circus and Victoria, and say “please can you apply the Young Visitor Discount to this card”. Note: Your child must be present when you do it (up to a maximum of four children per adult), and they might ask for proof of age if your child looks close to 15.

Your child can then carry on using the card like normal, tapping it down on the big yellow Oyster readers on the buses and trains, and the computer will automatically deduct the correct child fare.

Once the fourteen days are over any credit left on the child’s Visitor Oyster card will still be there, but the computer will revert back to charging adult fares again.

Can Visitor Oyster cards be shared by two people?

No. If two people are travelling together then they’re not allowed to pass the card between them because it’s not possible to pay two fares on it.

Lots of people assume that if they tap down twice then two fares will be deducted, but it doesn’t work like that – the first time you tap down the computer will think that you are entering the station, and the second time you tap down it will think that you are leaving the station.

At this point it all starts to get a bit confusing… if you tap down twice within 2 mins at the same station then you will be charged 1x maximum fare (from your station to the end of the line), which will automatically be refunded if you start a new tube journey within the next 45 mins.

If you tap down twice within 2-30 mins then you will be charged 1x minimum fare (from your station to the next one in the same fare zone). And if you tap down twice after 30 mins then you will be charged 2x maximum fares.

Where can you buy Visitor Oyster cards?

From the TFL website – You can order a Visitor Oyster card online from the TFL website. UK delivery typically takes between 2-4 days, whilst overseas delivery can be as long as 1-2 weeks.

From an airport – You can also buy them from the Gatwick Express desk in Gatwick airport, the Stansted Express desk in Stansted airport, plus the National Express desk inside Gatwick, Stansted and Luton airport.

From Eurostar – You can purchase Visitor Oyster cards onboard a Eurostar train.

From an overseas travel agent: Visitor Oyster cards can be purchased from lots of overseas agents. Here is list of them: https://​​fares/​how-to-pay-and-where-to-buy-tickets-and-oyster

But NOT in London! – For some bizarre reason it is not possible to buy a Visitor Oyster card once you arrive in central London. And, yes, we know that sounds totally ridiculous – but it’s true. You have to purchase one before you arrive in the city. If you forget to buy a Visitor Oyster card before you get here then you’ll have to buy a normal London Oyster card instead (which is basically the same thing anyway, so it hardly makes a difference).

Important: you have to pay a £5 activation fee the first time you buy a Visitor Oyster card, and you can’t use that money for fares. So if you decide that you want £20 credit then you will have pay a total of £20 + £5.

Where can you use Visitor Oyster cards?

Buses – You can use Visitor Oyster cards on buses all over London (but not on tourist sightseeing buses).

London Underground, London Overground, DLR, TFL Rail, National Rail – You can use Visitor Oyster cards on trains within Oyster zones 1-9, plus Watford Junction (for Warner Bros Studios) and Gatwick Airport. Note: If you use it on the Gatwick and Heathrow Express then the fare won’t count towards the daily cap maximum charge. The computer will just deduct the fare from your credit.

You can see which stations are within the Oyster zones on TFL’s Oyster zones map.

IFS Cloud Cable Car & Thames Clipper – You can travel on the IFS Cloud Cable Car and Thames Clipper riverbus by touching your card down on the gates (they have exactly the same yellow Oyster readers that you find on the buses and at train stations). But all you’re doing is paying the fare – neither journey will count towards the travel cap.

Are Oyster cards the cheapest way to travel?

Oyster cards are the cheapest way to travel on the buses and trains (alongside contactless). But bear in mind that you also have to pay a £5 activation fee the first time you buy a brand-new Visitor Oyster Card – and you can’t get that money back at the end of your stay – so contactless actually works out a bit cheaper.

The Visitor Oyster card cap is always cheaper than buying a one day travelcard (but not when you include the £5 activation fee on top).

A Visitor Oyster card will also work out cheaper than buying a weekly travelcard, unless you’re planning on making three or more journeys on six days, or two or more journeys on seven days.

How do you top up Visitor Oyster cards?

Visitor Oyster cards already come with some credit pre-loaded on them, but the maximum amount you can buy at the beginning is £50. You can then top them up afterwards to a maximum of £90.

Self-service ticket machines at a train station
Self-service ticket machines, with yellow Oyster readers

At a train station – The simplest way to top them up is at a self-service ticket machine at a train station. Just wave your card in front of the big round yellow reader and select top up on the touch-screen.

You can then add on some more credit with a debit card, credit card or cash (bear in mind that some ticket machines don’t accept cash – if you look at the top of the machine then it will tell you what it accepts).

At a Visitor Centre – You can also top them up at a Visitor Centre inside Euston station, King’s Cross station, Liverpool Street station, Paddington station, Piccadilly Circus station, Victoria station and Heathrow airport (there are actually two at Heathrow: one inside Terminals 2-3, and another one inside the Underground station).

At an Oyster Ticket Stop – You can also use one of the 4,000 Oyster Ticket Stops all over London. These are basically just high-street shops (usually newsagents) which have the blue Oyster card symbol showing in their window. Just hand your card over at the counter and tell them how much money you want to add on.

But NOT online! – Unlike a regular Oyster card, it’s not possible to register a Visitor Oyster card on the TFL website, so it’s not possible to top it up online.

Note: The minimum amount that you can add at an Oyster Ticket Stop is £1.50. The minimum amount you can add at a ticket machine is £5.

How much credit do you need on a Visitor Oyster card?

To work out how much credit you need on your Visitor Oyster card you need to see which zones you’ll be travelling through each day. Most tourists will spend their entire holiday inside zone 1 (which covers most of the touristy stuff), but you might enter zone 2 for places like Camden, Canary Wharf and Greenwich. If you’re flying into Heathrow airport then you might enter zone 6 as well.

Once you’ve got a list of which zones you’ll be travelling through each day, all you have to do is look up the relevant ‘daily caps’ in the price table. The daily cap is the maximum daily charge that the computer will take from your Visitor Oyster card that day, regardless of how many journeys you make. For example, if you’re travelling in zone 1 then the current daily cap is £8.50.

If you total up the daily caps for the whole of your holiday, then that’s how much your credit you’ll need to put on your card. Easy!

How do you use a Visitor Oyster card on the bus?

Oyster card reader on a bus
Touch your Visitor Oyster card against the round yellow reader

Using a Visitor Oyster card on the bus is easy. All you have to do is wave it in front of the big round yellow reader in front of the bus driver. Some designs of bus also have an Oyster card reader by the middle door and the back door (but not all buses do – so you might want to stick with the front door to be safe).

If the card registers correctly then you should see a little green light appear next to the reader. If the light turns red then it didn’t work properly, so try holding your card flat against the reader again. If that doesn’t work then you’re probably out of credit – check what it says on the little LCD screen next to the reader.

Assuming that it worked okay, the correct fare will be automatically deducted from your card.

There’s no need to do anything when you leave the bus. You don’t have to touch it down again to get out – you only have to do that for the trains.

How do you use a Visitor Oyster card on the train?

Oyster card reader at a train station
Touch your Visitor Oyster card against the round yellow reader

To use your Visitor Oyster card on the train all you have to do is wave your card in front of the big round yellow reader that you’ll see at the front of the gate. If it registered okay then the gate will open automatically.

Some of the stations outside the central zones might not have gates, and you’ll find the Oyster readers on the wall by the platform instead, or by the platform stairs.

If it didn’t register then don’t worry, just get your card out of your wallet and hold it flat against the reader.

At the end of your journey you have to touch it down again when leaving the station because the computer needs to work out which zones you travelled through. If you forget to touch down then it won’t know where you went, and you’ll be charged a penalty fare which is whatever the maximum journey was on that line (ouch!).

How long do Visitor Oyster cards last?

Visitor Oyster cards last forever. You can top them up with extra credit as many times as you like, and the credit never expires. If you still have some left over at the end of your holiday then you can carry on using it during your next visit.

How can I refund my unused credit?

At a train station – If you still have some credit leftover at the end of your holiday then you can get it back at a self-service ticket machine at a London Underground station. Just touch your card against the big round yellow reader and select Oyster Refund on the touch-screen. Unfortunately this only works up to a maximum of £10, and at least 48 hours must have passed since you first used it.

It’s not possible to claim back the £5 activation fee. That money has gone forever.

Note: Once your card has been refunded it will be voided by the machine, and you won’t be able to add any more credit to it.

By sending TFL a letter – If you need a refund of more than £10 then it’s a bit of a hassle because you’ll need to send the card to TFL with a letter asking for the money back. The address is: TFL Customer Services, 14 Pier Walk, 4th Floor, London SE10 0ES.

If you provide a phone number or email address then they’ll contact you to arrange a bank transfer, otherwise all they can do is send a check through the post in sterling, which isn’t much use if you live outside the UK.

From a Visitor Centre – Luckily there’s an easier way… you can take it to one of the Visitor Centres at Euston station, King’s Cross station, Liverpool Street station, Paddington station, Piccadilly Circus station, Victoria station or Heathrow airport (there are actually two at Heathrow: one inside Terminals 2-3, and another one inside the Underground station). Note: There’s also a Visitor Centre at Gatwick airport but it’s not possible to get a refund from there.

Your comments and questions

Fabiano Hi, I am here in London for 3 months, so I wanted to know which card is more cost effective & beneficial? A Visitor Oyster Card or a normal Blue Oyster Card?

Staff Hi Fabiano. They're exactly the same. The only difference is that the Visitor Oyster Card already comes with some credit pre-loaded onto it (you choose the amount when you buy it), whereas with the blue Oyster card you have to load it on yourself. They also come with some discount vouchers for various attractions and restaurants, but apart from that they are basically the same thing.

MichelleM Hello, We're coming down to London and we're staying in Barking, but coming in to London itself for one day, possibly two. How much would you recommend putting on an Oyster Card for two days in total?

Staff Hi Michelle. Barking is in zone 4, so you need enough to cover the 'daily cap' for zones 1-4. The daily cap is the maximum amount that the computer will charge your card each day, regardless of how many journeys you make.

Klaus We are a group of danes who are going to travel around London for two days next week. Is it right that we with oyster's Daily Price Cap we can travel all we want in zone 1&2? Should we pay 5 pounds for each card in deposit ? And we will we get those 5 pounds returned when we are finished with using the card? Thanks in advance for answers

Staff Hi Klaus. That's right, yes. The daily cap is the maximum amount that the computer will charge you each day. Any journeys you make after that in the same zones will be free. You have to pay a £5 deposit for each new oyster card. That £5 is non-refundable

Klaus How does one get the daily cap activated or is it automatic?

Staff It's all automatic. As long as you use the same card for each journey then the computer will automatically apply it.

TW Wong I am getting a 3 day London Pass with Visitor Oyster Card. I plan to use the London Pass from 3rd June to 5th June. Can I use the Oyster Card from 2nd June after collection? Is there a 3 day limit for the Oyster Card?

Staff Hi. It's basically just a pay-as-you-go Oyster card, with three days of credit loaded onto it. It has no date, so you can use it whenever you like. If you use all the credit up then you can load some more on at one of the station's self-service ticket machines. The London Pass is a bit different, because that will only be valid for three consecutive days after you start using it. You can't skip a day or extend it.

PM Hi. I'm trying to determine how much money to load onto my Visitor Oyster Card when I first buy it. I'm in London for 7 days, travelling within zones 1-2 for 6 days, but zones 1-3 on the last day, how does the daily cap work? Is my card capped differently per day depending on use, or must I choose the higher daily cap for the entire week?

Staff Hi PM. The computer will apply the correct daily cap all by itself each day, you don't have to do anything. So you'll end up paying 6xdaily caps for zones 1-2, and 1xdaily cap for zones 1-3

Glenda I'm travelling to London from Australia can I purchase a visitor Oyster card from Heathrow Airport? Also I need to get to South Kensington station which line is this on and approx how long is the journey?

Staff Hi Glenda. You can only buy a normal blue Oyster card, which is basically the same thing. The only difference is you have to pay a refundable £7 deposit, and then load on however much credit you need when you buy it - whereas with a Visitor Oyster card it would have come with the credit already on it (but of course you would still have had to pay for the credit in both cases, so there's no real difference). You can get the Piccadilly direct to South Kensington in about 54 mins -​transport/​train-journey.php?from=heathrow-terminal-5&to=south-kensington

Jane What is the minimum amount that can be placed on a Visitors Oyster pass as I think we have a short trip on our last day and I think we will have used up our credit by the last day.

Staff Hi Jane. You can put on whatever amount you like (up to a max of £90), but the minimum useful amount is £2.40, because that's the cheapest possible tube fare.

Confused Does every person need their own Oyster visitor card or can 2 people use one card?

Staff Hi. Everyone will need their own card. It's not possible to tap the card down multiple times and have it charge multiple fares - the system doesn't work like that.

Sarah Hello, I'm trying to find out which is the most cost effective way of traveling while we are in London. My friend and I will be arriving at London City airport and staying in Notting Hill. We will be doing a lot of sightseeing etc within zones 1-2. The only time we will go to zone 3 is when we arrive and then on our last day we will then make a trip to zone 3 to go see friends. Do you advise us on getting an uncapped visitor Oyster card for zones 1-3 for the 7days we are there, or get a zone 1-2 visitor Oyster card and just buy single tickets on the day when traveling in zones 1-3? Thanks

Staff Hi Sarah. It sounds like you are confusing a Visitor Oyster card with a travelcard. The Visitor Oyster card doesn't have zones. You just tap it down on the gate at the start and end of your journey and the computer automatically deducts the correct fare from your credit. That is what I recommend you get, because you can use it in all the zones you want. Travelcards are the ones that are restricted to zones. It is possible that a 7-day travelcard might save you a few pounds, but it depends on how many journeys you're making in total. The only way of knowing for sure is to count them all up and compare the prices -​transport/​adult-train-fares.php

Bred I have a Visitor Oyster Card from two years ago. I don't know if it has any value on it. Can I find out online if it's still got value? If its value has been used up will I be able to add value when I arrive at the airport?

Staff Hi Bred. You cant register Visitor Oyster cards online, only the normal blue ones. You'll either have to take it into a newsagent with an 'Oyster Ticket Stop' sign in the window, and they can check the credit on their till, or you can tap it against the yellow reader on a self-service ticket machine at a train station. You can top it up at either place as well -​transport/​how-to-check-oyster-card-balance.php

John Hello, firstly thanks for your very useful website! Secondly, I'll be travelling to London next weekend and thought about getting a Visitors Oyster card for travel by train, but are bus journeys included (in the daily cap) or do I have to pay extra for them? I just don't get it if the train fares exclude buses or if it's the other way round? Thanks, John

Staff Hi John. If you use buses all day (with no trains) then you'll pay the bus daily cap, which is cheaper. If you use trains all day, or use trains+buses, then you'll pay the train daily cap instead.

Lee Hi I’m coming over for the London marathon in October. I arrive at Heathrow so can I get a train and use the visitor Oyster card from there Thanks lee

Staff Hi Lee, that’s right, you can use it on the tube from Heathrow. You just need to make sure you get one with enough credit on it to cover all your journeys. The daily cap for zones 1-6 at the moment is £13:50, so don’t get one for £10

Ann Baker My teenager and I are coming to London for 4 dayS and plan to take the train from London to the airport on our day of departure. Seems the travel Oyster card is out of the question as we didn’t purchase before our trip..would you recommend an Oyster card or a travel pass? Depending on the answer where can we purchase?

Staff Hi Ann. Visitor Oyster cards and normal Oyster cards are basically the same thing anyway, with the same fares. An oyster card will work out cheaper than a travelcard if it's only 4 days. The maximum you will pay each day is the 'daily cap' for the zones you travel through. This is always cheaper than the cost of a 1-day travelcard. But bear in mind you have to pay a £7 deposit on top when you buy a new card as well. If you're arriving into Heathrow then you can get one from the Visitor Centre there. Check out our Oyster card page which lists all the other places you can get them -​transport/​oyster-cards.php

Ejaz Husain I'm a bit confused. My wife & I (not UK Nationals) will be visiting London this June. It seems oyster cards are best for us (coming through Gatwick) but can they be used on buses, underground & over ground trains (including London to Manchester)? Can I use cash to top them up?

Staff Hi Ejaz. You can use them on the buses, underground and overground trains in London. But they won't get you to Manchester. You'll have to buy a separate ticket from a site like National Rail for that (you can usually pay in advance and pick them up at the station on the day). You can top up Oyster cards with cash at a self-service ticket machine, but some of the machines only accept bank/credit cards, so you just need to check what it says at the top first. All the other places you can top them up are described here -​transport/​how-to-top-up-oyster-card.php

jean Is there a surcharge to have my VOcards delivered in London?

Staff Hi Jean. You'll have to pay the postage. It's normally £3 on top, but you can pay extra for express delivery

Brendan What age children require an Oyster card?

Staff Hi Brendan. they travel for free on the tube if they're under 11. but they dont require an oyster card, they can pay cash or get a travelcard instead -​transport/​child-train-fares.php

Sonia Do children under 11 need an oyster card

Staff Hi Sonia. Not if they're accompanied by an adult. But they'll need something if they’re unaccompanied on the tube. Its all explained on our child fares page -​transport/​child-train-fares.php

Vered Hello, my son (14) and I will be visiting London for 1 week and staying in zone 3 planning on visiting zone 1 every day. Should we get a week travel card or a visitor / oyster card? (flying in/ out LCY), thank you.

Staff Hi Vered. A weekly travelcard will usually work out cheaper if you make at least two journeys on each of the seven days, so it sounds like it might be a good idea for you. But I’d still get your son a visitor oyster card and have the ‘Young Visitor Discount’ applied to it. More information about that here -​transport/​child-train-fares.php

Vered Thank you staff :-)

Terri I am trying to purchase 2 Visitor Oyster cards, but am having trouble with my phone number (from Aurora, Colorado 80016 USA). I put down [removed number], but it will not accept it.

Staff Hi Terri. You really need to contact the people you're trying to buy them from. If its TFL then try here -​help-and-contact/​

Nicola Avella What is the daily price cap for return trips from Watford junction into and around Central London, both Peak and off peak? Have searched endlessly and sent emails but cannot get a response. Thanks!

Staff Hi Nicola. Watford Junction is a special case with its own prices. the daily cap into zone 1 is £27 peak and £20,10 off-peak -

Anne Hello Do you have to purchase the VOC prior to visiting London and is the plastic Visitor Oyster card the only option or is there an app which you can download to your phone and use on the underground tubes / trains ?

Staff Hi Anne. Yes, you do have to buy it before you get to London. You can only buy the normal blue Oyster cards once you get to London (we’ve explained it in the ‘Where can you buy a Visitor Oyster card?“ section above). There is an Oyster app, but you cant pay fares with it, just top up your card and view your old journeys. but its only for the blue oyster cards. you cant register visitor oyster cards on the TFL website

Chloe Hi, I didn't purchase a Visitor Oyster Cards before my trip (arrive today). I have an 13 and 15 year old with me. Can I buy them a normal Oyster card on arrival in London and ask a member of staff to apply the Young Visitor discount? Many thanks, Chloe

Staff Hi Chloe. You can do, sure. The big difference is that the visitor Oyster card comes with some credit already loaded on, whereas you’ll have to choose the amount when you buy it. Then you can ask a TFL staff member at the station to apply the discount afterwards

John Hi there, if I use visitor Oyster card, can I have a cheaper fare when tapping the pink reader (avoid zone 1)

Staff Hi John. Visitor Oyster cards have exactly the same fares as Oyster cards, so you’ll pay the same fare for avoiding zone 1 on both

Gote Hi I am travelling to London and am Buying a Visitor Oyster card. If I have travel amount left on the card after my last trip (in my case to Heathrow), can I use the refund function to get the remaining travel amount back (upto £10 I assume)?

Staff Hi Gote. You can do, yes, as long its over 2 days old. Its all described here -​transport/​how-to-claim-oyster-card-refund.php

Theo We live in the Netherlands and we want to stay for a maximum of 3 days in London. We take the DLR train from Lewisham and will be travelling the rest of the day only in zone 1. How much do we have to pay?

Staff Hi Theo. It depends on how many journeys you make, but the maximum you'll pay each day is the 'daily cap' for zones 1-2. Bear in mind that the prices shown in the table above are going up at the beginning of March.

Jim Can a oyster visitor card damage other credit cards?

Staff Hi Jim. Not in any physical way. But they can stop them from registering a contactless payment though. if you keep both cards in the same wallet then the computer will get confused about which one you’re using and reject both

Saj I'm travelling with my 12 yr old. I already have 2 oysters. Can I get a Young Visitor's Oyster loaded onto one card from Epping? If not, which stations offer this facility? Thanks

Staff Hi Saj. As long as there's a member of TFL staff there then you can ask them to do it. You can't do it yourself at a machine. But remember the child has to be there at the same time, because they'll want to see if they're the right age

DimPl Athens Hi, I'll get to London on August for 15 days and i'll stay on Woolwich. Is the Oyster more cost effective and beneficial for me ?

Staff Hi Dimpl. Oyster usually has the cheapest fares, so thats what I would get. But its possible that two weekly travelcards might work out cheaper if you make two or more journeys on each of the seven days (each week), or three or more journeys on six of the days (each week)

Pawel Hi, I and my family are going to arrive to London on Sunday. For a one child, we want to apply Young Visitor Discount. Is there chance to meet a member of TLF staff in train stations on Sunday? If yes, where can I look for them?

Staff Hi Pawel. Zone 1 stations should be fine, but if you want to be absolutely sure then visit one cf the big National Rail stations like Charing Cross, Euston, King’s Cross, Liverpool Street, London Bridge, Marylebone, Paddington, Victoria and Waterloo.

Sylk Why is the £5 activation fee for the Visitor Oyster Card not refundable and why does it not go towards credit?

Staff Hi Sylk. That’s just the decision they've made. I suppose it helps to offset the costs of providing it

Rosane Hi I will stay in London from July 17th until 23rd, visiting many place, using tube, bus and train. I think I will be in zone 3. Which card is more beneficial? Thanks

Staff Hi Rosane. A Visitor Oyster Card will work out well, as long as you don't mind ordering it online in advance and having it delivered (you can only buy the blue Oyster cards once you arrive in London, unless you're flying into Gatwick). but there are pros and cons for each option. we've described all the differences here -​transport/​oyster-contactless-travelcard-comparison.php

Jean Good morning, I am not sure I understand about the daily cap. If I have an Oyster Card and only use it on the day of arrival to travel from Heathrow to somewhere on the Northern line just for that day - Does the daily cap amount whatever amount it is come off? I probably wouldn't use the card again for a further two days. What happens then. If the daily cap is applied to limited travel using the Oyster card - doesn't that then make it very expensive? Appreciate the help in understanding. Thank you

Staff Hi Jean. The daily cap is the maximum amount that you'll be charged each day. The computer keeps track of all the journeys you make each day, and as soon as their combined total reaches the daily cap it will stop charging you. All the journeys you make after that will be free. And it resets back to zero each day. If you're just making one journey from heathrow to central london then it wont apply - because a single journey fare is cheaper than the daily cap. You'll pay a single fare instead.

Lesley How far in advance do I need to order a Visitor Oyster Card if I'm coming from the USA? Also, is there a senior discount card available for visitors? Thank you.

Staff Hi Lesley. Oversea delivery usually takes 1-2 weeks. There are senior discounts, but only if you live in the UK -​transport/​senior-train-fares.php

Anna Hi, staying overnight, travelling from Paddington to Russell Square and Covent Garden one day and travelling back to Paddington the next from Russell Square. How much would you suggest putting on the visitor's card?

Staff Hi Anna. All of those stations are in zone 1, so the maximum you will spend on the first day is the 'daily cap' for zone 1, which is currently £8.10. The single fare for day 2 depends on whether you're travelling peak or off-peak. The prices are in the table at the top

isabel I will be visiting London from another county with a group of 30 students, for 5 days. What is the best card to buy?

Staff Hi Isabel. I would look at the Group Day Travelcards. They do come with time restrictions though. There’s more information about them here -​fares/​how-to-pay-and-where-to-buy-tickets-and-oyster/travelcards-and-group-tickets

Emanuel camilleri Can I use my visitors' oyster card to travel by train from ST Pancras station to Cambridge railway station.?

Staff Hi Emanuel. No, Cambridge is too far away from London. You’ll have to buy a separate ticket from a site like National Rail -

Oliver mc Donald Does visitors Oyster card work in Northern Ireland U.K.

Staff Hi Oliver. No, its just in London

Malcolm My wife and I are travelling from Liverpool Street to Heathrow terminal 4 on 8th May at about 10am and returning from LHR to Liverpool Street on 15th May at 2pm. I have a Disabled Railcard. How can I prebook our tickets and what is the cheapest fare please?

Staff Hi Malcom. As far as we are aware, your disabled railcard will get you a 1/3 off single oyster fares (off-peak times only, which your journey times are). And the zone 1-6 oyster fare to heathrow is currently £5,60. (Journeys to heathrow are always charged at the peak rate, even during off-peak hours.) But that’s on the London Underground, not the Elizabeth line. The Elizabeth line to heathrow has its own price - £10,20 - and we don’t think your railcard gets a discount on that because it’s not listed in their FAQs. You might want to query that with them, otherwise you’d have to take the Piccadilly line -​help/​faqs/validityusage/

Leave a comment