What is an Oyster Card




Oyster cards are plastic smart cards used instead of paper tickets or cash.

• are widely available, reusable and do NOT expire.

• can be used on buses, London Overground, London Underground, most National Rail services, trams and the Docklands light railway.

• you can use one card for various tickets, journeys and services and any credit that you may have on your card will stay on your card for unlimited time.

• they store your pay as you go credit as well as up to three season tickets.

• you can also protect your card from loss or theft by registering it as soon as you get one




You can get an Oyster card from;

• any participating newsagents (look for the oyster card logo) or Oyster ticket shops

• a ticket office in most underground stations and London Overground ticket offices

• ticket machines from London Underground stations (cash and bank cards both accepted)

• Travel Information Centres

online or by telephone via Transport for London website




There are several ways of topping up or buying season tickets on your Oyster card (same applies if you just want to check your balance). You can do so;

• at most newsagents/Oyster ticket shop (look for the Oyster card logo)

• at any Underground and Overground station ticket offices

• by using a self-service touchscreen ticket machine at Underground and Overground stations

 • online where you can also set up ‘auto top-up’ by registering your credit card. Your credit  will be topped up automatically every time your credit falls below £10. This is a good option if you’re using pay as you go on a regular basis.





You can order your card and have it delivered to your home before you leave for London. You are then ready to use it straight away once you arrive in London. You can use it to travel on buses, trams, Tube, DLR, London Overground, Tfl Rail, and most National Rail services in London. A Visitor Oyster card costs £3 (plus postage). You decide how much credit you want to add on (£10, £15, £20, £25, £30, £35, £40 or £50).


The credit on your card NEVER expires – it stays there until you use it! 



The best feature about oysters is that the credit never expires, which means you can keep your card and use it again on your next visit to London (even if you visit years later). You could also lend it to your friends or family. 

If you think you’re unable to use up all your credit you can always get a refund of your remaining credit and your card will be returned to you. You can also send your oyster card from your home country for a refund, you’ll receive a cheque in GBP , however your card won’t be returned to you.

Order you Visitor Oyster card online from the official Transport for London website by clicking here



In order to protect any cash that you may have on your Oyster or any tickets, register your card as soon as you get one. By registering your Oyster card, the Transport for London will also keep you updated with any latest disruptions or changes that may affect your journey.

If you buy a 7 Day Travelcard (or Bus and Tram Pass) or you use pay as you go option you are not compelled to register your Oyster, however, if you buy a monthly or longer Travelcard (or Bus and Tram Pass) you must register your Oyster at the time of purchase.

You will need to fill in a form consisting of some personal details such as name, address, email, phone number and your own password together with your Oyster card number. Once you fill in the form return it to any London Overground or Underground ticket office or Oyster Ticket Shop or London Travel. Forms are freely available at most underground stations. You will have to keep your password and the card number safe. These will be required from you if your card is lost or stolen. For registering online and for more information as well as reporting lost or stolen Oyster cards visit the official Transport for London website. Alternatively, you can call the 24 hour Travel information line on 0843 222 1234

(You pay no more than 5p per minute if calling from a BT landline. There may be a connection charge. Charges from mobiles or other landline providers may vary.)

Related Topics

How to travel to Heathrow

HEATHROW   Heathrow is a major international airport with five terminals situated approximately 32km (20miles) west of central London. It is also considered one of the busiest airports in the world! There are various ways of getting to and from the airport depending on your: budget what time do you need to travel how long are   Read More

How to travel on Docklands Light Railway (DLR)

Docklands Light Railway (DLR)   DLR is a light overground railway covering south-east London and the Docklands providing an important connection between east London and the city of London. DID YOU KNOW  DLR a computerised system, which means it operates completely without drivers! Despite there being no drivers present, there is a member of staff   Read More

Translate »