FAQs and Tips

While answering questions on this site, several regular queries crop up time and again.  In an effort to improve the response time for these queries I am gathering the answers together here.  There are also some general tips towards the end of the page.

I’m only travelling through zone 1, do I have to pay? Yes.  The system knows which route is likely to have been taken and the zones crossed.  If you travel from Balham LU (zone 3) to Camden Town (zone 2) you cannot use a zone 2-3 travelcard alone.  If the travelcard is on your Oyster then the system will deduct a zone 1 single fare when you touch out.  The same applies to a journey from say Streatham Common (zone 3) to Twickenham (zone 5).  You’ll need a zone 2-5 travelcard as the journey requires you to change at Clapham Junction.

I had a problem topping up, have I been charged twice? No.  Top ups and purchases of travelcards at ticket machines are a two stage process.  First you put your Oyster card on the reader and select the product to buy.  Then you pay using whatever method you desire.  Finally you put your Oyster card back on the reader and the product is added to it.  When you pay by credit or debit card the machine will authorise the transaction with your bank.  Your bank earmarks the money so it can’t be used again.  After the transaction has completed the payment will be requested from your bank.  If something goes wrong (e.g. you forget to touch your Oyster for the second time) the payment will not be requested. Unfortunately the authorisation will remain on your account for a few days (typically 2-3 business days).  Some online banking systems will show these pending transactions and/or your balance may have been reduced by the value.  The key thing is that it is NOT an actual transaction yet, and if it isn’t requested it will drop off after the few days.

I have a travelcard for a few zones, can I use any TfL bus? Yes you can?  Buses don’t operate in zones because you only touch in and the system won’t know where you get off.  Therefore you can use any TfL bus with any travelcard, even one which goes outside the zonal area.

How accurate are the clocks when switching between off-peak and peak? They are pretty accurate, but to make absolutely sure, TfL do not switch over on the actual time.  Peak is turned on 5 minutes* after the advertised start times and turned off 3 minutes* before the advertised end times.  This is an un-advertised bonus designed to ensure that very few complaints are received about the station clock showing the wrong time.  If one day you get charged peak when on others you are still charged off-peak then you have no cause for complaint because the charge is correct.  You’ve actually gained on days you were charged off-peak.

*Grace periods confirmed in response to an FOI request, October 2017

General Tips

Always Touch In and Touch Out

When using Oyster pay-as-you-go on tubes, national rail and DLR, the single most important rule is to remember to touch in and touch out wherever you go.  If you forget to do it then you will be charged a maximum fare for that journey and it won’t count towards any price cap for that day.

Register your card and Top-up online

When you get an oyster card it is highly recommended that you register it.  This can be done at the same time by filling in a form and handing it to the vendor.  Part of the registration process involves setting a password which can then be used to prove your identity when asking for a refund of any pay-as-you-go balance in the event of loss or damage to your card.  You’ll also need it to set up an account on the TfL website.  Using that account you can order top-up and optionally set up auto top-up.

Check your Journey History regularly

The oyster system is incredibly complex, and the addition of national rail has added yet more complexity on top.  There are different price caps for buses and trams, peak and off-peak travel as well as different routes for many journeys on national rail.  If you regularly check your journey history you can spot if any errors have been made.  You’ll also see whether you have been charged any maximum fares and can work out why.  If there is a good reason you can ask for an adjustment to be made.

643 thoughts on “FAQs and Tips”

  1. Coming to London from overseas in July for 5 days. Is there one card we can purchase that can be used from Heath-row Airport to London return as well as unlimited tube travel while in town. We are yet to decide our accommodation area but will be fairly central. Tried reading through the information but become a little daunting with so much to digest. Was hoping you could provide the best/easiest option (s) available.

    • Hi Shayne,

      You can use Oyster as long as you use the Piccadilly line to travel from Heathrow. It is not valid on either Heathrow Express or Heathrow Connect from the airport.

  2. Regular journey Plaistow to Wimbledon. Quickest is via BR from Waterloo – already figured out that is also more expensive. Am trying to work out if it is cheaper to use a single District Line train which travels through Zone 1 or to go via Canada Water and East London (overgound) line which avoids Zone 1 but I think will result in more jouneys being clocked on the Oyster. Maybe I better contact TFL! Thanks Dave

    • Hi Dave,

      Using the ELL is fine as long as you touch the pink reader at Canada Water. It is cheaper than going direct via the District Line, but not the cheapest way overall. That honour involves travelling via Stratford, Willesden Junction and West Brompton, using the pink readers at both Stratford and West Brompton.

  3. Hi Mike (guru),
    Had a mad moment. Touched in at new Barnet and got off the train at potters bar. Didn’t even realise it wasn’t oyster friendly as I always go in to town not out. I told the train guys who told me I’d be charged max fare. Any ideas what that would be. It was 18:51 when I tapped.

  4. I have a zone 1-3 oyster that my work provide, I live in Zone 6 West Ruislip. I would like to use my work card for travelling but my work is in different areas on the central line is there anyway I could benefit from my work card without having it get off at zone 4 and go all the way up and touch out to touch back in with my work card?

    • Hi Amy,

      If you put PAYG credit on the card it will use that outside of zones 1-3 and the season inside. There is no need to get off to touch in or out, as long as you touch in at the start and out at the end the system will calculate what you need to pay.

  5. The map of First Capital Connect Oyster pay as you go validity (displayed at St Pancras recently and http://www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk/tickets-and-fares/peak-tickets/oyster-on-fcc/oyster-validity/) leaves out some of the services within south east London e.g. journeys towards Sevenoaks.

    This appears to be contradictory to the route map at http://www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk/static/pdf/network_route_map.pdf.

    Which do you think would be correct?


    PS Thanks for the excellent site.

    • Hi David,

      The FCC Oyster map is from before they started jointly running services with Southeastern to Sevenoaks. You can rest assured that Oyster is accepted on all FCC services within the London zones.

  6. I’m traveling the whole month return Watford Junction to Wembley Central I need to take a train at 4:10 Am and then change from Wembley central Bus N18 towards Paddington.
    How can I buy a Monthly ticket for this journey?

    • Hi Paul,

      You could buy a monthly zone 4-9+W travelcard which would work, but you are likely to be better off just using PAYG. At 0410 you will be paying off-peak fares and I guess that the return journey will also be off-peak (before 1600?). The rail fares are £1.60 off-peak or £3.30 peak. The buses are £1.45 per journey. Daily cost either £6.10 or £7.80. The weekly travelcard costs £49.40 and the monthly is £189.70.

  7. Hi. What would be the cheapest way to travel daily from Braintree Essex to Canary Wharf taking the 05.45 outward train from Braintree and returning 17.30-19.00 from Canary Wharf.

    • Hi Diane,

      A weekly season ticket from Braintree to Zones 2-6 costs £113.80. If you are travelling less than 5 days a week then you can get daily tickets, but the journey does get a bit more complicated. The cheapest way I can see will be to split the journey at Shenfield. Buy an Anytime Day Return from Braintree to Shenfield at £15.10. You change at Witham and arrive at Shenfield at 0624. Get off that train and touch in your Oyster before 0630. You’ll then be charged the off-peak fare to Canary Wharf which is £5.40. In the evening you do the reverse, but starting between 1600-1900 will be charged peak at £7.50. Again you’ll need to change at Shenfield to touch out. Daily total £28.00 compared with the £35.10 Anytime Day Return from Braintree to Zone U23* London. You’ll still save £5 if you’re late at Shenfield and touch in after 0630.

      Hope this helps.

  8. I am an occasional visitor to London, so don’t want auto top-up. I can’t understand why I have to wait until the week before I travel to top up on-line, and then top up at a named station. Surely once I have paid, the general server knows about me, and the card should be usable within a day or so without any further action required.

    • Hi David,

      Your card needs to touch an Oyster reader to physically receive the top-up. There is no communication with the main server while touching in or out because it would take far too long. 8 days is the time they allow before the local server sends the details back to the main server so they can refund your card.

  9. Coming to London for 4 days in June. What is the best option for travel from 1) Stansted Airport to London with return, 2) London Euston to Watford Junction with return, and 3) travel in zones 1-3 while in the city? We are a party of 6 (4 Adults, 2 children).

    • Hi Priscilla,

      I’ll assume that the children are under 16. If you have a family and friends railcard then you’ll need it, otherwise it would make sense to buy one. The precise detail of which tickets to buy depends on what else you are doing each day and what times you are travelling. For Stansted to London and back a few days later you can get Anytime Returns with the railcard for £21.90/adult and £6.30/child. The savings on your party will pay for the £30 fee for a new railcard if you haven’t got one. Within London you can get off-peak zone 1-6 travelcards for £5.90/adult and £2.00/child. For Watford Junction you can either buy an off-peak return from London Euston (£6.75/adult, £1.95/child) or from Boundary zone 6 (£2.95/adult, £1.00/child) depending on whether you will make any other journeys that day.

      Apart from the Stansted return, these prices assume travel after 0930 Mon-Fri. Hope that helps.

  10. Hi Mike, I am wanting to buy a season ticket to travel the total journey from Richmond to Holborn (Richmond to Waterloo and then a bus to Holborn) I am confused as to the cheapest way to do this? I can’t find much information online about when you are combining NR season tickets with buses/zones?

    Many Thanks, Meryl

    • Hi Meryl,

      If you want to combine train and bus travel then it will have to be a zone 1-4 travelcard. If you want to make it cheaper then you could try getting off at Vauxhall and taking the bus from there as you’d only need a zone 2-4 travelcard then.

  11. Hi Mike. We are moving to Ewell.
    1. Hubby wants to travel from Ewell East to Waterloo & then onto bank station (to work). I think the zone 1 – 6 annual travel card will work out the cheapest option. It appears that he will have to travel to Epsom to get into Waterloo. As East Ewell is in Zone 5 & Epsom in zone 6, will he have to pay more / buy an additional ticket to travel via this route or not? If so, what alternatives does he have?
    2. I need to travel from Ewell East to Victoria in order to get to Oxford Circus. Any issues there or is the Travelcard 1-6 sufficient? If not, what options do I have?

    • Hi,

      The two Ewell stations are in zone 6 and Epsom is outside the zones. If he must travel via Epsom then I think an Epsom to zones 1-6 travelcard is probably the best option. Alternatively, from Ewell East he could change at Balham onto the Northern line direct to Bank. For you, zones 1-6 will be fine.

  12. Hi Mike
    My daughter is travelling from Zone 5 Chadwell Heath station to Stratford then onto Hammersmith District and Picaddilly line (zone 2). If she taps on the pink card reader at Stratford, does that mean she will only pay for zones 2 to 5 and not have to pay for zone 1?. Do the pink card readers do this for a single fare on oyster and weekly fares?

    Many thanks

    • Hi Sue,

      The pink reader will only work if you travel via the North London line to avoid zone 1. You also need to touch at another place on the West side to prove you’ve gone that way. If you go through zone 1 then you need to pay for it.

  13. Hi Mike,
    Travelling from Coulsdon South to Kew Bridge every day, via Clapham Junction. Do I need to use the pink validators at Clapham?

    • Hi Richard,

      No, the default route is via Clapham Junction. It wouldn’t matter if you did touch them, but as they are only on the overground platforms you won’t actually pass them.

  14. Hi Mike,

    I am new to London, living in Ashford (Surrey) annoyingly one stop away from the last oyster zone 6 at Feltham. I need to travel between Ashford and Hendon (Colindale) for the next 12 weeks monday-friday, i will be leaving before 6:30 am most mornings. What is the cheapest way to do this journey? is there a way I can do this journey avoiding zone 1? I am very confused with how to combine the use of national rail tickets and oyster. Would it be most beneficial for me to but a ticket from ashford to feltham and then tap in at feltham with my oyster for the rest of my journey which would then be capped at £8.60 anyway?

    • Hi Rachie,

      This is annoying on more than one level. Yes, Ashford is one stop outside the Oyster area. Yes, it should be better value to buy a ticket to Feltham and then use Oyster from there. But the other really annoying thing is that you can avoid zone 1 between Richmond and Colindale, but not between Feltham and Colindale. I guess the extra change at Richmond tips the balance so they think you’d go via Waterloo. This means that your best bet is to buy a 7-day travelcard from Ashford to zones 2-6 for £49.40. Your route involves changing at Richmond, Camden Road and a short walk to Camden Town.

      If you can be sure to always touch in at Richmond before 0630 and touch in at Colindale before 1600 on the way home then you can save a little by buying a weekly season from Ashford to Richmond for £31.90 and then use Oyster at £1.50 per journey for the rest. Any journey which starts late (in the peak hour) will cost £2.30. Four or more peak journeys a week would make the overall travelcard better. You must touch in and out properly at Richmond (ie go through the gates). Using the pink validators won’t work properly.

      Hope this helps.

  15. Hi Mike
    We’ve recently found an old Oyster card at home. We know it is registered but can’t work out who it is registered to (which means we won’t have the security details). Is there any way we can find out who it is registered to and get it added to one of our accounts?
    Many thanks

    • Hi Steve,

      The helpdesk may be able to sort things out. If you know who it might have been registered to and therefore what the security answer might have been (even if you have several options written down when you call) then it might help.

  16. Do you have to touch in and out if you’re traveling through a station to change lines or does changing lines count as one journey?

    • Hi Dan,

      Changing lines counts as one journey. As long as you don’t need to leave the station there is no need to touch out and back in again. If you pass a pink validator then touch it once to indicate that you’ve gone via that station.

  17. Hi Mike,
    I will be in Uk for 3 weeks. Landing at Heathrow airport. 1st week I will travel to Scotland (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Fort William) and then I will be going back to London for 2 days and then will go day trips from Hatfield to visit Oxford, Cambridge, etc.
    What card/railcard do you suggest that I buy to save on train tickets? Thanks for your help..

  18. Hi Mike,
    I’m hoping you can help me. I travel to London occassionally, but not that frequently. Usually I have a ticket from work that covers me in and out of Town. My issue is that occassionally for work or pleasure I want to travel across town whilst there. Previously I have had to buy a Tube ticket but this has seemed an expensive and time consuming way to pay for travel.
    I was thinking of getting a pay as you go Oyster card for these occassions, but have seen posters saying that other contactless cards will work soon, charging the same fare.
    Is it worth me getting the Oyster card or can I just use my credit card for these occassional journeys.

    Many Thanks


    • Hi Mark,

      Contactless is coming to rail services soon. TfL have been running a pilot testing out the system, and I expect it will be rolled out properly later this year. In the meantime an Oyster card will definitely save you money. You can always get the deposit back when they enable contactless payment cards by handing back your Oyster.

  19. Hi Mike,

    My son has a zip card for aged 5-10 which still has some money on it. It’s now expired as he has turned 11 and he’s got a new 11-16 zip card. How can I transfer the balance from the old one to the new one?
    Thank you

    • Hi Viv,

      Check the balance on the new one first. TfL usually transfer whatever is on the old card at the point they produce the new one. If the balance was topped up since the new one was produced then you should be able to get it transfered. Contact the helpdesk for advice.

  20. Mike
    I’m travelling from Cutty Sark to Seven Sisters via Stratford and Highbury and Islington tomorrow. Does this require touching pink readers when changing at Stratford and Highbury?

    • Hi Leon,

      I don’t know about an actual receipt, but you can get a full Oyster printout which will confirm details of the travelcard stored on it. You’ll need to go to an Underground ticket office.

  21. Why I’m I being asked to tap my oyster at west ham when traveling from Chafford hundred c2c on to the jubilee line exiting at Canada water. Do I need to tap as the fare price is the same?

    • I think those validators are for people coming from further out on paper tickets who then want to use Oyster on the tube. You don’t need to use them if you’re already touched in.

  22. Hello Mike,

    I will be moving to south wimbledon ( zone 3-4) from September. I have been living in Epsom for the last year. From september on I will be traveling regularly to Epsom, because thats where my university is located. Annoyingly epsom is just one stop after zone 6. I have thought about buying a student oyster card for zone 1-4. My question is what is the cheapest way to travel to Epsom from wimbledon. I also have a national rail card 16-25

    • Hi Serah,

      It really depends when you travel and how often. You won’t need zones 1-2 to get from South Wimbledon to Epsom, just zones 3-6 and a ticket from whichever Ewell station you go through. In fact, if you travel south to Morden and then walk (about 1/2 mile) to Morden South you wouldn’t even need zone 3. Taking that route and changing at Sutton you’d go through Ewell East. If the trains you use stop there then you can buy whichever ticket is appropriate (day ticket or season). If it doesn’t stop there then it would need to be a day ticket.

  23. Hi Mike,

    Hoping you can help. I am coming down to London in a fortnight for long weekend, arriving on Friday, returning on Tuesday. Have booked hotel in Watford, as we plan to go to Warner Bros studio tour, but also intend to travel to Earls Court on Friday after checking in, then into city sightseeing for a couple of days over weekend. I have a family and friends railcard, and travelling with two daughters, one an adult, the other 12 at time of travel. Are we better to get Oyster cards and off peak travel card for youngest, or would we be cheaper if we all had day travel cards. So confused. Read about options, but tying myself in knots.

  24. Hi Mike,

    I started the day yesterday with £14.15 on my account. This is my journey from there:
    8.33: Brockley to [No touch-out]£7.50 – remaining £6.65
    10.05: Kew Bridge [National Rail] to [No touch-out]£5.10- remaining £1.15

    I tapped in at Brockely and thought I tapped out at Kew Bridge, but it registered it as tapping in again?
    Then, I came back to Kew Bridge about an hour later to make another journey and tapped in, but it said my balance was too low, I couldn’t understand how it was so low already, but there was no one around to help and I was in a hurry, so I just topped up again by £10, then tapped in and realised I was on the wrong platform, so swapped sides, and got on the overground. My journey however says this:

    11:37 Topped up, +£10.00 – remaining £11.55
    12:33: Wandsworth Town [National Rail] to [No touch-out] £5.10 – remaining £6.45

    13:40 – 14:25 Fulham Broadway to Angel £2.20 – remaining

    14:55 – 15:39 Barbican to Brockley £2.20

    I tapped in at Kew Bridge, which obviously wasn’t registered, so it said that I tapped in at Wandsworth Town, which was actually my tap out. Online it’s saying I can’t apply for a refund, but this day in total has cost me £22.10.

    Please help!!

    Sarah x

    • Hi Sarah,

      Don’t panic!

      You’ve fallen foul of an error in the maximum journey time table. Your first journey should have been allowed 110 minutes but it’s applied the standard 3-zone value of 90 minutes rather than the enhanced zone 1-3 value. You took 92 minutes so it’s assumed you’ve started a new journey. Touching in again later on has tried to start another journey but you didn’t have enough for a single zone fare. It looks like you either didn’t touch in after topping up, or touched in and back out again (after crossing sides?) hence the third incomplete journey. None of this is helped by validators not knowing which way you are going hence exits appearing as entries.

      Anyway, call the helpdesk and explain what happened and I’m sure that they’ll refund the overcharges. As your first journey was peak I think you’ll be charged for all four single journeys with no capping. The first journey depends on your route: via Crystal Palace would be £2.20 or via Waterloo East would be £3.20 or using Underground in zone 1 would be £4.80. After that it should be £1.80 + £2.20 + £2.20 = £6.20 off-peak. So you should get at least half and probably more* back.

      * If you didn’t use the Underground in the first journey – I know I wouldn’t.

  25. Hi Mike,

    I wonder whether you could kindly help with my query?
    I am traveling to Gatwick Airport on Wednesday 30th July, with my boyfriend, leaving around 10:00. I have a London zones 1 to 6 annual gold card (the boyfriend doesn’t) and wondered whether it would work out a lot cheaper to travel from Epping rather than travelling from Harlow Town and how much this would cost? Also, how would I work out how much extra I need to pay to add this journey onto my season ticket? My boyfriend does have an oyster card but I don’t know whether this would make a difference or whether he could use it to get to Gatwick? I can’t seem to find the right information on any website.

    Kind regards,


    • Hi Christy,

      Epping is in zone 6 so would save you paying anything that side of London. You’d then need an East Croydon to Gatwick ticket (single?). With your gold card this will cost £3.35 for any train or £2.95 if you can restrict yourselves to FCC trains between Croydon and Gatwick. Your boyfriend can use the same fare if he travels with you (up to 4 adults).

      Your boyfriend should use Oyster PAYG from Epping to East Croydon (where he’ll need to touch out). The off-peak single is £5.10 if you go via Central London or £2.50 if you change at Mile End, Whitechapel and somewhere between New Cross Gate and Norwood Junction.

  26. I have just travelled from the West End via Tottenham Court Rd, to Liverpool Street, Liverpool St to Tottenham Hale, and from Tottenham Hale to Waltham Cross. At Waltham Cross I checked out my Oyster, and the following person told me there had been a note saying there was a problem on my card and to ask for assistance. At that time of night there is no one on site. I don’t want to have been charged a full journey again. My card no is xxxxxxxxxx xx. Please check and let me know what is wrong.

    • Hi Kenneth,

      This is a completely independent website offering help to Oyster users. I cannot investigate specific cards on the Oyster system. I can tell you that zone 1 to Waltham Cross is £6.10 if it started after 1900. You may have incurred extra charges if you inadvertantly missed a touch at one of your interchanges. The helpdesk should be able to assist tomorrow and they can arrange a refund if too much was deducted.

  27. I travel from Bellingham and Farringdon stations every day and have an Oyster and buy a Monthly. On one month my monthly had run out the day before and I travelled to Farringdon as normal when I got my ticket out I realised I had not renewed it.
    I went to the ticket inspector and advised I had forgotten to renew it and could I go to the ticket office and buy a new monthly as I have done in the past when I have forgotten. For some reason she refused and said I would be fined and started writing a ticket; at this point I remembered I had a topped up Oyster card and asked to pay with that and she said I had not touched in so I would be charged the max which I think is £7.10 at the time which I was happy to do. She then said not you can’t has I had not touched in at the beginning of my journey and it would still be a fine. Right now I have a court case set for August 1st and I have noted that they a different notice form to the one that was filled out at the station where I insisted for my version of events to be added which are not there, plus they state I refused to sign the form which is untrue as I was never asked nor did she give me a copy of it at the time. Is there anything I can do?

    • Hi David,

      This may not be what you want to hear, but it is the most realistic advice. It’s a shame that you’ve let it get this close to court. Although technicalities about signing or refusing to sign forms are annoying, in terms of the strict liability offence of travelling without a valid ticket you really haven’t got a leg to stand on. Your best option is to contact the prosecutions office ASAP and ask if it’s possible to close the matter without wasting any more of their, or the courts, time. You’ll need to pay the fare due and an amount to cover their administration costs so far. It’s also a good idea to explain that you’ve realised you were in the wrong and will learn the lesson. The amount you have to pay is almost certainly less than you will be fined in court.

      Once the prosecution has been stopped and dealt with you can then write to the customer services of the company. Explain that had you just gone through the barriers you would have been charged a maximum fare and that would have been that, but you were honest and explained the situation to a member of staff. Explain that in the past you have been allowed to retrospectively buy the season ticket and provide proof if you can that you did subsequently buy the ticket that day to get home. Explain that you felt so hard done by that you let the matter escalate too far, but in the end you have accepted the situation, however, you still feel agrieved because the train company haven’t actually lost out on the fare (because you bought the ticket that day). Finally, ask if they can come to some compromise about the amount that you had to pay.

      For the future, if you are given a penalty fare in similar circumstances you should accept it and then claim it back under the rules for forgetting your season ticket. You can’t do it every day, but I think they allow you to forget twice in a year. It’s also worth touching in at Bellingham because then you do have a validated card and would simply pay the fare on exit at Farringdon. It would also tell you if your ticket had expired and you didn’t have enough credit.

      I do realise that this situation may be complicated by the fact that you travel with Southeastern, probably buy your season from TfL, and may have been stopped by FCC inspectors. If it is this complicated then you may struggle to get anything back, but it really is unfortunate that you’ve let it get this far.

      I hope this might be of some help.

  28. We’re visiting London in a few days and we’ve bought paper travel cards for zone 1-2. My son would like to see Wembley Stadium (zone 4) What is our best option, buy separate tickets for the remaining trip from the last station in zone 2 or is there a better way?


    • Hi Bart,

      As you’ve already got paper tickets, your best bet is to buy one-day travelcards for zones 1-6 for that day. It sounds a lot, but it will actually be cheaper than two singles between Willesden Junction and Wembley Central. The only other option is to get Oyster cards for that trip, but it will be a bit of a hassle. You’ll need to pay £5 deposit and on the day you’ll have to get off the train at Willesden Junction to touch in (and out on the way back). You can get the deposit and unused credit back once you’ve finished, but you’ll need proof of ID to get that immediately. The difference is that while an off-peak travelcard is £8.90 the single fare is just £1.50 on Oyster.

  29. Hi Mike,

    Was wondering if you could help. I need to travel from the islington area to elephant and castle for the next couple of weeks. I know I could go down to Angel and simply make my way down the northern line, but was wondering, as it is closer to me, if I could go from Essex Road to either Old Street or Moorgate and change onto the Northern Line without having to scan out with my oyster off the northern city line and back in to the underground (I assume this would attract a double charge on my oyster as it’s not one uninterrupted journey and I noticed on your interchanging trains page that neither Old Street or Moorgate are included).

    Many thanks

  30. Hi Mike,
    Great website! I have to travel daily from Wimbledon to Bethnal Green for work. Usually I go to Waterloo on SW Trains, Waterloo and City line to Bank, Central Line to Bethnal Green. Is there any way of doing this journey on a Zone 2-3 travel card since I only transit through zone 1?
    Many thanks

    • Hi Allie,

      I assume you’ve read the first FAQ on this page and thus know the literal answer is no. If you want to avoid zone 1 then you need to change at Clapham Junction, Whitechapel and Mile End. You need to touch on the pink validator at Whitechapel to indicate that you have avoided zone 1.

  31. Hi mike!

    I’m moving to London soon to study, and I will apply for an 18+ Oyster. I will be living in zone 3, Stratford and travelling to Denmark Hill 3/4 times a week on peak time, as well as going to campuses in zone 1 now and again, and generally exploring central London. What’s the cheapest way for me to get around, PAYG or a 1-3 travel card?

    Many thanks!

    • Hi Lauren,

      That’s quite a difficult question actually. If you were an adult then I’d say get a zone 2-3 travelcard as your main commute should avoid zone 1 (Stratford – Canada Water – Denmark Hill). However, the 18+ Student Oyster gives you a discount on travelcard seasons but not PAYG fares. It really depends on how much travel in zone 1 you will make. The zone 2-3 travelcard costs £16.50/week while the zone 1-3 is £25.70/week. The difference of £9.20 would be worthwhile if you make 5 or more journeys into zone 1 where you will be charged £2.20 a time. You also need to ensure that you make enough journeys full stop, because at only £1.60 per peak journey your commute could end up cheaper with PAYG if you only make 3 return trips and not a lot more. Only you know what else you would be doing.

      Finally, if you are also eligible for and have a 16-25 National Railcard, you can get 1/3 off your off-peak fares if it’s linked to your Student Oyster. See the railcards page for more details.

  32. Hi Mike

    I start a new job shortly in Holborn and will be travelling from Witham in Essex. Will it be cheaper for me to travel to Liverpool street by rail and then use oyster to Holborn or would it make more sense to start oyster journey at Stratford? Also if I change at Stratford do I need to go through barriers to tap in? I will be completing journeys pay as you go because the job involves travel to other areas and the company will pay from my home in that instance.

    Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Kirsty,

      Assuming you are buying daily tickets then Stratford does work out slightly cheaper. You will need to touch in at Stratford on the way in and out in the evening. However, an even cheaper split works at Shenfield, especially if you could be touching in there before 0630 and thus get an off-peak fare. The options work out like this with anytime returns:

      Witham – Liverpool Street £34.70 + £2.20 + £2.20 = £39.10
      Witham – Stratford London £29.70 + £3.20 + £3.20 = £36.10
      Witham – Shenfield £12.40 + £10.70 + £10.70 = £33.80 (or save £2.70 more if you touch in before 0630).

      Hope that helps.

  33. Hello Mike,

    I am moving out of London and will be travelling from Watford Junction (zone 9) around 8.20am to Shepherds Bush (zone 2) 4.53pm then getting a bus to Roehampton (72 i believe) for two weeks, 5 days a week, before we get our house in Berkhamsted. I wondered if i should pay for a week ticket on my oyster for zones 9-2, i think something around £55? Do you think that is the cheapest option?

    Also do you think a monthly ticket (not on Oyster) would be best when i’m travelling from Berkhamsted (not in peak time so around 9.30?) to shepherds bush then getting the same bus? (obviously i would still use the oyster for the bus) I would be doing that 4 days a week and coming back around 5pm.

    If you can help me with any of this I seriously owe you!!

    • Hi Sam,

      OK. Firstly, Watford Junction is not in zone 9, but the travelcard fares are the same for you. However, you can make this journey cheaper using PAYG. Watford Junction to Barnes via Richmond is just £4.10 peak single. Roehampton is just over half a mile from Barnes, so could you walk that? Ten single journeys would be £41 versus £55.20 for the travelcard.

      Once you add in Berkhampsted you only pay about a pound more for a Berkhampsted to zones 3-6 travelcard at £91.10/week so you might as well get that. You could then get the bus from Barnes if you want. For comparison a season from Berkhamsted to Watford and then PAYG as above would be £89.80/week and you’d need to exit and re-enter the station at Watford. If you want zone 2 included then the price becomes £94.90/week.

  34. Hello Mike

    Amazing website, really wonderful that you take the time to help people in this way.

    I’ve read your page on mixing Travelcard and PAYG, but I wonder if you could clarify for me (a non-Londoner) a couple of issues on their use, as I’m appealing a £120 fine for a (non-english speaking) friend.

    She has a Zone 1-2 travelcard oyster, and had put extra money on it in order to travel from Upper Holloway (2) to Stratford in Zone 3

    a) She did not touch in at Upper Holloway, and tells me she regularly does not do so when travelling within zones 1-2, believing it unnecessary. Is she correct in this, or is it mandatory and has she been seriously misusing it? I realise she SHOULD touch in for her own protection and particularly on this occasion, but I’m seeking to establish what could be considered ‘common usage’ of a travelcard oyster within its designated zones.

    As she came through the gates at Stratford, she was stopped and accused of ‘following another person through’ – and given an £80 fine, not simply charged for an ‘incomplete’. She maintains she DID touch out, but with language difficulties couldn’t adequately explain that she simply hadn’t touched in.

    b) Is it possible that the gates would open at Stratford even if she hadn’t touched in? i.e. is she mistaken in believing she touched out and did indeed follow through? (Frustratingly I can’t check her oyster history as far back as May when this occurred).

    She appealed on her return, but by then it was too late so was automatically declined, then unable to pay the fine it has now be raised to £120. I want to ascertain if there are any grounds for arguing that it was simply an ‘incomplete’ from someone with a record of departing from Upper Holloway regularly, rather than outright fare evasion.

    Many thanks for any pointers you can offer.

    • Hi David,

      Oh dear, this is looking a bit messy. I’m sorry to say that I don’t think she has much of a case here.

      The biggest problem is the not touching in at Upper Holloway. The rules state that you should always touch in and out at each end of a journey. If you are within the zones of a travelcard and remaining within them for the whole journey then there is no penalty for not touching in or out. This covers places where a single validator wouldn’t cope with large volumes of touching. However, if the journey goes outside of the zones covered by the travelcard then touching becomes mandatory.

      My understanding is that as long as she had the money for the cheapest single fare from Stratford then the gates would indeed let her out, albeit that they would deduct a maximum fare which might make the balance negative. Therefore I think that it is likely that she did follow through.

      I hope this helps in some way, if not perhaps in the way you were hoping.

  35. Many thanks Mike, it all helps, just wanted to get my facts as straight as possible and not weaken a compassionate argument with spurious cries of incorrect treatment. Much obliged

  36. My daughter will be travelling from Mortlake to Elephant and Castle (for college) every day. She will have an 18+ Oyster card. What is the cheapest way for her to make this journey ?

    • Hi Karen,

      She’ll need a zone 2-3 travelcard which is discounted with the 18+ Oyster. The simplest route may well be Mortlake to Vauxhall then Stockwell then Elephant & Castle. Any other route avoiding zone 1 is valid though, so changing at Clapham Junction and Clapham High Street/North is fine as is Clapham Junction and Denmark Hill for a National Rail only route.

  37. Hi Mike,

    Annoyingly as experienced by others, I live in Ashford (Surrey) (Outside oyster) and travel to Gunnersbury and back via Richmond. This is on different days of the week, up to three times a week only. I travel by 8:10 and return after 5:30.
    What is the cheapest way for me to travel? A return from Ashford to gunnersbuey is £9.90

  38. in london for nfl weekend so a novice as regards tube can you explain tap in tap out on oyster card eg my first journey will be kings crooss to westminster do i tap in at kings cross then tap out at westminster and that will charge me cheapest fare

  39. Hi Mike,
    You very kindly helped me last year when my son started college near Victoria and was travelling from Billericay 5 days a week. Your suggestion of getting return tickets to Harold wood and starting a zone 1-6 oyster ticket on his oyster 16+ zip card saved me a tidy sum. However can I ask am i able to get return tickets to Shenfield and start the oyster journey from there. I have spoken to a couple of stations and 1 says yes, 1 says no and the other couldn’t answer! If yes what zone ticket do I get, is it the zone 1-7? Also any tips for when he turns 18, I understand he can’t have a 18 oyster as we don’t have a London address albeit he is a student in London. Can i at least buy a monthly ticket on his 16+ a day before his birthday to at least give me one more month? Many thanks

    • Hi Tracey,

      Shenfield is a zone on it’s own rather than a number. However, you can use the 16+ Oyster to get half price travelcards from there. The 16+ Oyster card usually expires on 30th September after the Sept-Aug school year in which you turn 18. This is so that entitlement to the 18+ can be verified with the educational establishment. However, there is one place on the information page which suggests that it expires the day before the 18th Birthday, so I’m confused. My own son’s card expires this week, but then we do live in London. He’s also now in Bath so not that concerned. If the card has an expiry date printed on it then that is probably when it expires. You won’t be able to purchase a period or weekly travelcard which goes beyond the expiry, unfortunately.

  40. How do I buy a National Rail ticket online, using my Oyster 60+ card? I also have a senior railcard, for which there is a tickbox, but I don’t see a tickbox for my 60+ card. I know I can use it at the station when I buy a ticket on the day, but I’d like to buy online to save time at the station. My journey is Downham Market to Euston.

    • Hi Jane,

      The 60+ Oyster works like a Freedom Pass so it is the ticket. You need to buy a senior railcard discounted ticket from Downham Market to boundary zone 6 from where the 60+ Oyster takes over. The only thing to check is that you won’t be entering the London zonal area before 0930 Mon-Fri.

  41. Hi Mike
    Many thanks for your prompt response. Just looked at my son’s card and the expiry date is one day before his 18th! Re the Shenfield 16+ oyster to zone 1 any idea of price as it is not listed separately on the fares page.
    Thank you Tracey

    • Hi Tracey,

      It’s £48.50/week or £186.30/month. I think the early expiry must be because you live outside London. I can understand why, because the concession is paid for by the London councils.

  42. Hi, been trying to look online but finding it difficult to find what I want. I’m going to be travelling into London tomorrow by train from Braintree and returning the following day. I will be using the underground so would normally get a travel card (all zones). But as returning the next day I wondered if there was such thing as a two day travel card or something similar so I don’t have to buy one for each day?

    • Hi Josh,

      Unfortunately you can’t get a two day travelcard. If you are travelling off-peak (arriving in London after 1000 and departing after 0930 but not between 1629 and 1834) then you can get an off-peak return from Braintree to Liverpool Street which is valid for return within a month. Once you get to London use an Oyster card or a contactless payment card so the maximum you will pay will be the daily cap. If either journey needs to be at peak times then you’ll need to get Anytime singles for the main rail journey.

  43. I can’t find any details on your site of which stations accept oyster card or contactless payments. I know some do and some don’t. If the information is here, why isn’t it prominent. I even tried searching for my station and nothing came up. Anyway. Can I go from London to Luton on Oyster?


    • Hi Simon,

      No, Elstree & Borehamwood is the limit on the line to Luton. I may consider adding a link to the TfL/ATOC map, but a list of stations is not on the cards at present.

  44. Hi I have a zone 1-5 annual season ticket. I’m travelling from London Victoria to Luton on Tuesday and want to just pay for the extension beyond zone 5. How will I go about doing this? Also, any idea of the cost off peak?

    • Hi Nikki,

      You need to buy a boundary zone 5 to Luton ticket. The off-peak day return is £12.20. This ticket is normally only available from ticket offices, though some ticket machines are now able to sell them. They cannot be purchased online.

  45. Hi,
    I’m using a contactless payment card, I have one main journey between Barkingside(zone4) and Cheshunt(Zone 8) via stratford(zone 3) If i touch in at cheshunt (or barkingside) and pass through stratford without touching any readers(there are no gates) and touch out as normal at end station will I be charged for two incomplete journeys, or as it is within the max journey time will it be charged as a single journey?

    If it is the former would I require to find a pink validator at stratford or would touching out and in at stratford calculate the single journey for me or charge me for two journey’s.


    • Hi Andrew,

      The default fare is the cheapest and assumes travel in zones 3-8 only. You won’t pass the pink validators at Stratford so there is no need to touch them. As long as you keep within the maximum journey time for 7 zones it will be one journey.

  46. Hi,

    I am coming to UK and planning to stay at Canary Wharf and would be working at Winnersh triangle. From the maps, I understand that I will need to use the National rail and the tube to commute.

    Tried to check the monthly pass fares, but cudnt get a clear picture.

    Can someone help me understand how much it would cost me approx for the monthly pass for the above commute everyday


    • Hi utsav,

      You have two choices. Winnersh Triangle to zones 1-6 is £426.70 while to zones 2-6 is £375.60. You have to put in the out of London station in first to get the travelcard fares. To avoid zone 1 use London Overground between Canada Water and Clapham Junction.

  47. Thank you for the response. That journey went as planned. though my journey raised another question.

    I took the return journey (barkingside to cheshunt via stratford) as intended and this was charged at £2.70

    The outward journey i took via liverpool st was charged at £8.10.

    After looking at their own pdf I can see the liverpool street journey is the cash fare and I cannot see why I was charged £2.70 for the stratford leg. The liverpool st leg was made between 4pm and 5pm. the stratford leg was made at 10pm. on a thursday. Have I been charged corectly?

  48. Hi Mike,

    This thread is incredibly helpful! I’d still love your input on my situation. I live in Slough and visit London a few times a month. While I’m there I travel through many zones and use all forms of transportation. Which do you think makes more sense- a return ticket from Slough and a day travel card or a return ticket and an Oyster card?


    • Hi Matt,

      A travelcard from Slough to zones 1-6 would be the best option. This gives you a return from Slough to the zone 6 boundary then unlimited travel within the zones. Finally, if you really need to save money then a zone 1-6 travelcard alone can be used if you take the TfL bus to Hounslow West Underground station.

  49. Hi Mike,

    Thank you for your reply on the 8th Nov above. In continuation to that, can you also help me with the details on the travelling from London Waterloo to Winnersh triangle by NR and from Canary Wharf to London waterloo by Jubilee.

    Is there any possibility for me to get a monthly pass for the whole route as mentioned above?

    Thanks in advance for your help 🙂


    • Hi Utsav,

      I’m not sure what you mean by the details on the travelling? As I said last time, the ticket you need is a Winnersh Triangle to London zones 1-6 travelcard season. That will be valid for all parts of your journey.

  50. Hi Mike,

    I travel from Amersham to Marylebone every day Mon- Fri however often in the evenings I come home after 7pm so pay off-peak therefore does it make more sense for me to go pay as you go on Oyster than get a season ticket?

    Many thanks for your help


    • Hi Vicky,

      Yes, if you only use two trains each day then a travelcard season is usually more expensive. If you also end up paying off-peak one way then it’s even less likely to be worthwhile.

  51. Hi Mike,

    I am planning to commute from Goodmayes to London Blackfriars from Monday to Friday on peak hours I was wondering what will be cheaper for me a weekly travel card or an Oyster card. Please advise and where can I purchase them. Thanks

    • Hi Ashfak,

      For that journey you will be better off with a travelcard. You can either buy a paper version at Goodmayes or put it on an Oyster card.

  52. hi, I will soon be working in Harlow town which requires me to commute from barkingside station to Harlow town station 5 times per week. Which would be the cheapest and quickest way to do this? I can’t seem to find anywhere that tells me how much a monthly ticket is….

    • Hi Sam,

      I think your best bet may be to take the Central line to Epping via Woodford and then get a bus. To make the journey to Harlow by rail you’d need to travel via Liverpool Street. The monthly season from Harlow to zones 1-6 is £410.50. Barkingside to Epping is just £2.30 peak or £1.50 off-peak, so 22 peak return trips would be £101.20.

  53. Hi mike,

    This is the help I was searching for … Thank you ever so much!
    This makes so much more sense then the journey I was Already doing (via Liverpool St) and saves me a very good percentage of monthly fares.
    Once again, thank you.

  54. Hi Mike,

    I’m starting shifts soon. My shifts will involve:
    04.50 from bexley to waterloo East returning approx 2pm
    11.45 from bexley returning approx 21.00
    19.30 from bexley returning approx 0700

    What is my best bet for the 3 shifts re tickets? Shall I just do PAYG or will I still need to get a weekly oyster travelcard?

    • Hi Simon,

      PAYG looks like the best bet. All those times will be charged at off-peak rates apart from the 0700. If your shift patterns mean you might work for 6 days in any 7 day period, especially if the peak return is included, then you might be better off for that week with a paper season ticket from Bexley to London Terminals. Unless you need buses, tubes or dlr a travelcard will be more expensive than the point to point season.

  55. Hi,
    I have the student 18+ oyster card and I get a monthly pass of zones 2 -5 and I do not go through zone one, however when ever I though in at the elephant and castle rail station I go in to negative balance and I don’t understand why. I board the Thameslink service from Elephant and castle and get off at east Croydon (which is the next stop after elephant and castle). I checked and Elephant and Castle station is at the border of zone 2 and 1. My pass works fine at the tube station but not the rail station. Why is that?

    • Hi Tayeba,

      I have to admit I am puzzled too. Is your only journey the Thameslink train or have you already used the tube at that point? Can you give me some journey history to help work out what is happening? Can you check that there isn’t a negative PAYG balance on the card?

  56. Hi guys! Last week I topped up my oyster card (monthly ticket for 1/3 zones, discounted travel card) and I was charged twice, topped up for one month, but charged for two. What should I do to get my money back? Wait? Because, the first amount is already charged from my bank acc and the other one is still frozen. Will I get my money back or at least my oyster card will be extended for one more month?

    Thanks for your help!!! 🙂 Have a nice day!

    • Hi Eddie,

      If I’m reading you correctly you have had one actual debit on your bank account but it hasn’t cleared the authorisation. My gut feel is that it will disappear in the next day or so, but if it doesn’t it is a matter for your bank rather than TfL.

  57. Hi

    I have a zone 1-3 oyster card. How do I actually buy a boundary 3 > DESTINATION ticket. Is the only way at a station or can I do this online? Thanks.

  58. Just a quick tip for those who claim refunds for delays of 15 minutes or more. I only claim when I am absolutely sure I have been delayed for well over 15 minutes with the documentary evidence to prove it, so I was surprised when my two most recent claims were initially rejected. However, pursuing them over the phone with evidence in support (e.g. online journey history and journey planner times) brought eventual success, although for one of them I had to insist on speaking to a supervisor. The lesson is that if you are certain of your case and can prove it, TfL will change their decision, but you have to make the effort (although I still don’t know whether the price of the calls outweighed the refunds in my case!). I suspect a policy change from TfL – they never queried my claims in the past.

  59. Hi how much do I need to put on my oyster cardtravelling from bblack horse rd- earls court.Mon – Fri
    615 black horse rd.returning from earlscourt at 1730? Please help as iI fear I’ve been paying too much.for a very long time.

    • Hi Paul,

      Using the new fares from today your morning journey is off-peak so will be £2.80 while the evening journey is peak and will be £3.30. You can travel cheaper if you avoid zone 1 by using the Overground between Highbury & Islington and West Brompton. In that case the fares are £1.50 and £1.70.

  60. Hi Mike,
    I was visiting my sister recently and topped up my oyster card at London City airport by £20 (cash). But the money did not go on my card. I was in contact with someone at DLR but I have lost the ticket no. Is there an email address I can contact?

  61. Hi
    I read your website but I’m still confused regarding fares. My boyfriend and I are coming to London next week. We will be staying in Bickley and travelling into Central London via national rail most days, visiting attractions such as natural history museum, london zoo, aquarium etc. I think I am correct in saying we can use the Oyster cards we have purchased from Bickley to Victoria but can you give me an idea of how much we would be capped per day? We’d be off peak. Also, my boyfriend purchased both our Oyster cards online. Do we need to do anything to activate them before we get to London? Thanks

    • Hi Rachael,

      Bickley is in zone 5 so as long as you don’t go further out you will cap at £10.90. You don’t have to wait until 0930 because this is the new all-day cap. You can use the cards between Bickley and Victoria and they don’t need to be activated as such, but they will need credit before they’ll let you into a station. They should come with whatever your boyfriend asked for already loaded, so you’re ready to travel.

  62. Hi Mike, love that you’re doing this but disappointed that neither TfL or the Rail companies want to do the same!

    I travel from Ascot to Shadwell. Zone 2-6 through Clapham. I want to have the option of going through zone 1 (Waterloo) on the return leg so I can actually sit down on the days from hell.

    Questions if you can help:

    1) How can I combine railcard and oyster so I’m not paying an annual season ticket on zones 1-6 as I will probably use 5 single tickets maximum in a week to go from Shadwell to Waterloo, rest of the time going 2-6?

    2) If I had a railcard to take met to the edge of zone 6 (Feltham) how can I tap in on Oyster without my getting off a train, leaving the station on a paper ticket and coming back in again and waiting for the next one!

    3) I travel a fair bit for work and miss several weeks in town a year in addition to my 4 weeks annual leave. How many days do I need to travel to actually make an annual season ticket cost efficient?

    Any or all answers appreciated!


    • Hi Martine,

      Firstly, where you say railcard I think you mean paper season ticket. A railcard is a discount card for off-peak travel for certain groups of people.

      1) Buy a season ticket from Ascot to Feltham and then buy a zone 2-6 travelcard on Oyster for the rest of the journey. The train has to call at Feltham but I’m pretty sure that they all do. If you travel via Waterloo then your PAYG balance will be reduced by £2.30.

      2) There is no penalty for not touching within the zones on your travelcard as long as you stay within the zones while using it, so in the morning you will be fine. In the afternoon you will have a problem because you do have to touch out somewhere in zones 2-6. You might find that the first Feltham train isn’t going to Ascot so you can get that and touch out while you change. Hopefully there will be seats by Feltham on the Ascot train. Alternatively you could work out where to sit on the Ascot train so you are nearest to the validators/gates at Feltham. It can actually be any station that the train calls at in zones 2-6, so if there’s another one with validators nearer the train you can still get on again as your travelcard is still valid.

      3) An annual ticket is 40 weekly tickets or about 10.5 monthly tickets.

  63. I have just qualified for a 60+ Oyster Card. A couple of questions: Will I still need my ‘auto top up’ Oyster card for journeys that are not free? Can I transfer money to my 60+ from the ‘auto top up’ card and so just use the one card. It’s all a bit confusing but as I understand it the 60+ is not free before 9:30am – I’m thinking there might be an occasion when I have to start my travel before that time. Many thanks

  64. Hi Mike,

    Great website and you certainly are a helpful man.

    My query should be quite simple, I hope.

    I travel in to Waterloo from Sunningdale 3-4 times a week. I then jump on the Waterloo and City Line to Bank. I would like the option of walking now and again or even jumping on a Barclays bike.

    What would be my best option? Just to get a monthly travelcard or get a monthly retutrn to Waterloo and then either Oyster, walk or bike?

    Realistically I am more likely to walk/cycle back to Waterloo after work rather than in the morning.

    It looks like there is a saving of £75 per month just going to Waterloo rather than having a Travelcard. How many journeys could I make using an oyster card for £75 (Waterloo and City Line).

    Many thanks in advance.

    • Hi Simon,

      Yes, very simple query 🙂 It’s a zone 1 tube journey which costs £2.30 single at any time, so you could get 32 journeys before you exceed £75.

  65. Hi I notice that the renewal time for a Travelcard has been cut from 8 days to less than 5. Have TFL explained this change as part of the new software used on their ticket machines? These are being introduced as the offices are closing. Also can you ask TFL why we cannot pay online for 18+ student Oyster cards? The online option gives full price fare and not the 30% reduction. With the closure of the ticket offices, we will need this facility online.

    • Hi Steph,

      I wasn’t aware of this change in renewal time. I’ll certainly ask for some comments, although I believe the reason discounted travelcards can’t be bought online is a security measure of some sort.

  66. Hi Mike,

    I’d like a refund for a zones 1-2 season ticket having recently left a company and no longer needing the ticket. Problem is I paid for the season ticket with a company cheque and would prefer to get the refund paid to a nominated personal account. Is this possible?

    Thanks in advance,

    • Hi Sam,

      It probably is possible, but they may want a letter from the company confirming that they have no further interest in the ticket.

  67. Hi Mike,

    I have just discovered that I have been double charged for a ticket I attempted to buy at Wembley Central station on 02 March. The ticket machine did not dispense a ticket despite my pin number going through perfectly fine so I bought a ticket at the counter, using another card as the station staff said machine was faulty.

    Trouble is I now have discovered 2 transactions on the same date for same amount but I have thrown away my ticket. I thought the transaction had not gone through the first time but it appears that it did indeed! Any way I will be able to get a refund on this?

    Many thanks for your help

    • Hi Bee,

      Has the failed transaction actually gone through, or is it just an authorisation? If it has actually gone through then you either need to complain to London Overground (who operate the ticket office) or dispute the charge with your bank.

  68. Hi Mike,

    As an occasional visitor to London I use the PAYG Oyster Card which is currently registered to my online account. Am I right in thinking that having my Oyster registered to my online account isn’t the same as registering it with TFL?

    If so, I’d like to register it next time I’m in London as I’d like to protect against loss or theft. Do I need any form of ID with me when I do?

    Just out of curiosity, are there any limits to what tickets/travelcards I can have on an unregistered card?

    • Hi Phil,

      An Oyster card which is linked to an online account is protected against theft or loss. You don’t need any ID to register the card with TfL. If the card is unregistered then you can’t buy monthly or longer travelcards.

  69. Hi Mike, as a student, I have the 30% discount Oyster card and will be having my placement at Twickenham come May. If I live close to Waterloo, say Elephant and Castle. Roughly, how much will it cost me getting to and from Twickenham by the South West train monthly?

    • Hi Dolapo,

      If you travel via Waterloo then you’ll need zones 1-5 which is £146.70/month. If you start at Elephant & Castle and travel via Stockwell to Vauxhall then you’ll only need zones 2-5 which is £85.70/month.

    • Hi Dolapo,

      You can see the zone boundaries on this map on the TfL website. Both Vauxhall and Elelphant & Castle are on the boundary between zone 1 and 2. As long as you only use services from the zone 2 side you don’t need to pay for zone 1.

  70. Hi Mike,

    I am due to start my industrial work placement on the 13th July for a 12 month duration. I have seen this link on my university’s website regarding discounted travel in London; http://www.aston.ac.uk/current-students/hub/money/undergraduate-finance/placements-and-money/

    I currently live in Witham and will be commuting to Farringdon Monday to Friday so will need a yearly season ticket. With a 30% 18+ student oyster card it will cost a total of £3500? I just wanted to check with you that this is correct and I will be entitled to this discount on my travel from Witham to London as without this discount on the yearly season ticket it will cost £5000!

    Thanks, Dan.

    • Hi Dan,

      Unfortunately the 18+ Student Oyster card only discounts inboundary travelcard seasons. You also need to be living in London during term time as far as I know.

  71. Hello Mike
    Thank you in advance, a lot of your answers have helped me a lot
    Wonder if you could advise me
    I have recently moved to Watford while still working in Putney. I was wondering what is the best option to use PAY as you go Oyster or contactless. I’m aged between 30-40years and currently don’t have nay railcards. I will occasionally have to travel through Euston, but not often. I plan to use the overground straight to Clapham Junction and back, will I be required to touch at Clapham Junction on route to Putney?

    Basically asking what is my cheapest option (I do shifts so my travel varies, early shifts touching in before 6am and on lates touching in before 10am
    returning touch out (at Watford) about 4-4:30pm and about 8pm

    many thanks Mimi

    • Hi Mimi,

      PAYG and Contactless will both charge the same single fares. There is a chance that Contactless might charge slightly less if you do go via zone 1 but it won’t make any difference on your normal route. There is no need to touch anything at Clapham Junction.

      Peak or off-peak is decided by touch in time. Peak is 0630-0930 and 1600-1900. It looks like you would be off-peak apart from the return on lates unless you can leave that to just after 1900.

  72. Hi Mike, looks like you are a mine of information, so thank you in advance for any advice you may be able to give. I need to travel from Kings Langley to Southfields, and then a bus journey from there, with all travel at peak times. I am considering buying a paper season ticket from Kings Langley to Watford Junction, and then a zones 2-9+W travelcard (both annual), and travelling via West Brompton.

    I have 2 main questions, firstly is that the cheapest, and secondly, will I be penalised for not touching in or out at Watford Junction? (It should be fine on the way there as there is a validation on the platform in between connections, but on the way back the validator is at the bottom of the stairs and I might not have the time to get down there and back before my connecting train to Kings Langley, also if I need to go via Euston at any point I would not be able to get off and back on the train in time to touch out.) hope my ramblings make sense!

    • Hi Anthony,

      As it happens, that combination is actually 60p/week (£24/year) cheaper than the combined ticket. It’s fine not touching in or out at Watford Junction as long as you don’t travel via zone 1. If you do then you need a touch within your zones so that the system can charge the appropriate zone 1 single extension fare.

  73. Hi Mike

    I am now working at canary wharf and come in from outside the travel zone on South West Trains into Waterloo and then get Jubilee Line to Canary Wharf. Is it cheaper to get a travel card within my national rail season ticket, use Oyster pay as you go? or get a zone 1-2 season ticket on my Oyster card?

    • Hi Luke,

      Generally it is cheaper to get a travelcard as part of the NR season. There are some exceptions, but I’d need to know the station you’re coming from to be able to advise further.

  74. I have just got a oyster card for when I’m in London, but i would like a question answering. When i finish my journey at Euston i then get on a London Midland train home. I noticied that there is a oyster terminal on the ramp down the the trains. Am i meant to tap my card on this when i leave london

    • Hi James,

      Only tap those validators if you are using Oyster to get to Harrow, Bushey or Watford Junction. If you have a paper ticket for the LM train then you’ll start an incomplete journey if you touch in and don’t then touch out.

  75. I am a freedom pass user. I want to make a single journey to Witham (Essex). Please tell me the cheapest way to make this journey.
    Thank you

    • Hi mini,

      £11.70 is the maximum daily charge for zones 1-6. If the peak single is more than half then you won’t have to pay the full price for two.

  76. Hi, I want to travel everday from colindale station (zone 4) to moorgate station (zone 1) peak time and would be travelling 5 days a week and pay via contactless.

    What is the cheapest option (do you suggest buying a month/weekly pass or just everyday return touch via cotactless card) and how much would it cost me?

    Thansk in advance.


    • Hi Rishika,

      If you only make the journey 5 days a week, and no other travel at other times, then using PAYG with contactless or Oyster will be cheapest. Each single is £3.90.

  77. My 19 year old used her Oyster to touch in at Sutton – then found Epsom is not an Oyster station when she was fined £20 by the ticket inspector at that station. Is it worth appealing? – she also had nearly £6.00 deducted from her Oyster for not touching out! She is a student and £26 is more than she can afford. I have the statement showing the Oyster time of payment and that it was not touched out. Plus there is no info at Sutton reminding people that if they travel South (away from London) they cannot use an Oyster card. Many thanks for your help

    • Hi Elaine,

      The £20 penalty fare is not worth appealing unfortunately. It is a fare where a mistake has been made. If you or your daughter contact the Oyster helpline and explain the situation then they should arrange a refund of the incomplete journey charge. As for Sutton, Epsom is the first station on the only line which goes beyond the Oyster area. In all other directions Oyster is accepted for a considerable distance. There should be maps on the station which detail the Oyster area.

  78. Hi Mike, I am in awe of your knowledge! I have a query that I haven’t been able to solve. My daily commute is usually from Kings Langley to St James’s Park (peak) and then back to Watford Junction in the evening (usually peak). I think the cheapest way to do this is with an odd season monthly travelcard. However, I sometimes go to Bushey or Watford High St in the evening. My travelcard lets me out at Watford Junction but not at Watford High St (although they usually let me through if I show it). I asked the ticket people at Euston and they said I needed a different travelcard – is there a zone 1-9 travelcard?

    • Hi Amanda,

      The people at Euston are wrong. Ticket gates don’t always work when they should. If they don’t work it doesn’t mean that the ticket is necessarily invalid, and if they do work it doesn’t mean that the ticket is actually valid. A Kings Langley to London Terminals or to Zones 1-6 season ticket is valid via both routes from Watford Junction to Bushey. Season tickets are valid at intermediate stations on permitted routes so it is valid at Watford High Street.

  79. Hi Mike,

    My husband and I are going to London with our 8 years old daughter in Aug. We will travel from Heathrow airport to King’s Cross/Euston station and stay in London for 5 days. Then we will go to Oxford for 2 days and pick up our 12 years old daughter there. After that we will go back to London and stay for a week. Our last journey is from Blackfriars to Heathrow.
    So, should we buy a 1)F&F railcard+day Travelcard, 2) Visitor Oyster & zip Oyster card or 3) Oyster Travelcard+London pass package? Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Isabella,

      Firstly, thank you! I’d not heard about the London Pass package before, but it does seem quite good value if you are visiting lots of attractions. The travelcard part is not so good in all cases.

      Option 1: Family and Friends railcard is £30 then day travelcards are £7.90 for adults and £2.30 for kids.
      Option 2: Visitor Oyster is £3 or just get a normal adult Oyster for a £5 refundable deposit. Child zip cards are £10. The daily cap depends on how many zones you use varying between £6.40 for zones 1-2 and £11.70 for zones 1-6. As long as the child doesn’t travel before 0930 M-F then the zip card cap is just £1.50.
      Option 3: I’d buy the London Pass, but the travelcard add-on can be expensive, especially if you stay within zones 1-2.

      There is a further consideration in the first week, if you are only travelling on TfL Rail (see definitions) then children under 11 travel free. Hope that helps a bit.

  80. Hi, I have a zone 2-5 Oytercard and need to travel to Epsom 1 evening per week, is there a ticket extension that I can buy for this Journey? I tried to touch out on PAYG only to find out it was not possible. Many thanks.

    • Hi Ash,

      You need a Boundary zone 5 to Epsom ticket. These can be bought at Southern operated TVMs or from the ticket office at other National Rail stations.

  81. Good morning Mike,
    I will be moving to Ashford (Surrey) soon and know that I have to buy an extension for my zone 3-6 travel card as Ashford is outside of zone 6.
    Our new house is a little distance from the train station and I wondered if my travel/Oyster card would work on buses?

  82. I am travelling from Glasgow to NewMalden on 11 May and returning on 18 May. I have already purchased my return ticket between Glasgow and Euston. What is the best way to travel from Euston to New Malden? Thanks Mike

    • Hi Liz,

      Assuming you already have Oyster cards, you can either take the Northern Line to Waterloo then SWT or take the Victoria Line to Vauxhall then SWT. The Victoria Line option is slightly cheaper if you touch in during either peak (morning peak only on the way back). You could also excess your tickets to include the Underground and SWT which might be cheaper IF they are off-peak returns, but not if they are Advance singles.

  83. Hi Mike,

    My girlfriend has a refund due – when asked which station to collect from, she chose our local (National Rail) one. However, that expires after a week and she won’t be required to take a journey anywhere in that time. What you’ve said about about touching in and out implies that she can’t simply do that, without travelling anywhere, to collect her refund without incurring a new charge. Any suggestions?


    • Hi Simon,

      If the refund isn’t picked up then she will be able to select a new station, or the same one again at a time that she will be travelling. Alternatively the helpdesk may agree to refund direct to her bank. Nothing can happen until the refund is returned from the station it’s currently at, which happens automatically after the week.

  84. Hi,
    I’m moving to Ascot with my family this summer and we will be visiting London periodically. Do we need to purchase Oyster cards or can I use the Family and friends railcard? I have 3 children 16, 13, 10. I was planning on buying visitor Oyster cards…but does that make sense when I will have a Family and Friends Railcard?

    • Hi Charlie,

      I’d use the Friends and Family railcard to get inclusive travelcards from Ascot. You can only use Oyster from Feltham and it’s unlikely to be worth the hassle of getting separate paper tickets for Ascot to Feltham and getting off there to touch in.

  85. Hi is it possible for me to get my oyster travel card receipt reprinted? I forgot to press print receipt when I purchased on the ticket machine

    Thank you

  86. Hello, for work I travel from Hackney Central on the overground to Highbury and Islington, then change to the Victoria Line to Warren Street, and then back the other way in the evening. I do this several times per week but not every day, so I use contactless rather than oyster. I’m confused about whether I need to touch my card on the yellow readers at Highbury and Islington (on the overground platform) or not?
    Thanks very much in advance, Jo

    • Hi Jo,

      No need. The yellow validators on the platforms at Highbury & Islington are there for people who have come in from beyond the Oyster area on the Great Northern trains and wish to start an Oyster journey there. You just need to touch at Hackney Central and Warren Street.

  87. Hi There,
    I have a new job and need to travel from Sanderstead (Zone 6) to Ashford, Middlesex which is just outside of the travelcard zones, changing at Clapham Junction every weekday. I need to arrive at Ashford at 08:00 and leave at about 17:30 to travel back to Sanderstead.

    Because it is just outside the travelcard zones, I’m unsure of the most cost effective ticket(s) to purchase…

    Is there such a thing as a zone 2-6 + extension travelcard?

    All advice gratefully welcomed!

    • Hi Dean,

      Yes, you need a season from Ashford (Middx) to zones 2-6. The outboundary station has to be specified as the origin, but you can use it the other way round.

  88. Hi. Coming with a group to Harlow for 3 days in June and we want to go into Central London. We want to buy Group Day Travelcards, but not sure if we can use Group Day Travelcards 1-6 or 1-9 when we travel from Harlow Train Station? And, can we go by buses in Harlow having those Group DayTravelcards?

    • Hi Kasia,

      Harlow is outside the London zonal area and I don’t think any of the buses are operated by TfL. However, Epping Underground station is not that far away and is in zone 6 (the boundary is stretched at that point to include the end of the Central line). You can therefore use travelcards for zones 1-6 from there.

    • Hi Nason,

      I doubt you’d get much quicker than SWT from Richmond to Windsor & Eton Riverside then FGW from Windsor & Eton Central to Slough. A weekly season is £69.

  89. Hi
    My sixteen year old son is travelling from Cheam to Westminster Monday to Friday for one week in peak times – is the cheapest way to use an oyster?

    • Hi Mena,

      Yes. Has he got a zip Oyster card? If he’s in year 11 at school then it should be an 11-15 card which is valid until the end of September following the August following his 16th birthday. If he’s in year 12 then it should be a 16+ card. If he hasn’t got one and won’t be travelling for a couple of weeks then order one online asap. If a zip Oyster card is not possible then an adult weekly travelcard will be the same both on Oyster and on paper.

  90. Hi Mike,

    I am travelling from Clapham Junction to Gatwick Airport at a cheaper price than buying a ticket because I am using my oyster card for part of my journey (CLJ – ECR) and then a ticket for the rest (ECR – GTW). However, the first train I get on from Clapham Junction is actually going to Gatwick but stops at East Croydon. I was wondering if there was a way to stay on that train without having to get off and tap out and then having to get another train to Gatwick? Or if you knew of a oyster point on the platforms that I could run off the train and tap out then jump back on the train. I am a student without a railcard and Im trying to cut costs as much as I can!

    Thanks in advance.


  91. Hi, I need to start a new commute next month, berkhamsted to Denmark hill, I plan to go via Clapham junction, then swap to london overground, this is priced at £441 per month including a zone 1-6 travel card, even though I don’t believe I need the travel card since I’m using only national rail and london overground. Can you advise any better season ticket options? Cheers. Alan

    • Hi Alan,

      You can’t get a rail only season ticket for that journey unfortunately. However, as long as you don’t intend to go via Euston or zone 1 then you only need a Berkhamsted to zones 2-6 travelcard which is £373.30/month.

  92. Hi,
    I was wondering if I could take my sister, who is 10 at the moment, on the tube and bus without an adult; however, I only have a 11-15 ZIP Oyster.
    Your help would be much appreciated;

  93. Hello,
    I have a 16+ oyster card.
    I tapped in at New Malden, went to Bermondsey and on my way back home, I tapped back in at Waterloo.
    However, I left my Oyster card on the train and therefore couldn’t tap out at New Malden. Do I still have to pay a fine?

    • Hi Ha-Neul,

      Small technical point, but a fine can only be imposed by a court. I’m assuming you managed to leave the station without any problems. If you were issued with a penalty fare by staff at the gateline then that is a different matter. In terms of your Oyster card you should report it lost asap. There is a £10 fee for a replacement. The helpdesk should be able to resolve the incomplete journey for you and the remaining credit will be added to your new card.

  94. What’s the cheapest way to travel from wimbledon to vauxhall by train?
    I’m guessing I have to use some sort of pink validator but I am not sure where or how to even do this?

  95. Okay thanks,
    If i got the tram into wimbledon how would i then go to vauxhall without paying the mximum fare? (Where do i touch in/out after the tram journey?)

  96. Truly I am sorry to ask what might seem a simple question but I have scoured the responses and am finding it difficult to find the answer. I have an Oyster but by virtue of my location, I am not a regular user.
    Is it OK to use an Oyster card to travel underground from Heathrow into London and then out to New Beckenham or Beckenham Junction? Would I need to touch in twice?
    Many thanks for any answers provided.

    • Hi canterburypotter,

      Yes that’s fine. You’ll need to touch in at Heathrow, out at Victoria LU, in at Victoria NR and out at Beckenham Junction. As long as you touch back in within 40 minutes of touching out at Victoria it will count as one journey. You don’t need to touch when changing Underground trains. For New Beckenham you can use a similar system changing at either Embankment (for Charing Cross) or Cannon Street.

  97. hi there,

    could you pls advise how much weekly/monthly ticket will be from harlow to canary wharf?and the quickest route?

    could you please advise how much weekly/monthly ticket will be from romford to canary wharf ?

    • Hi Kinga,

      Harlow to zones 2-6: £91.00/week, £349.50/month. Travel via Tottenham Hale and Stratford. From Romford you only need a zones 2-6 travelcard: £40.10/week, £154.00/month. Change at Stratford. The same zone 2-6 travelcard will also get you from Epping to Canary Wharf via Stratford, though it will take longer.

  98. Dear Mike,
    I have family staying with me from the U.S. Can I purchase a child’s visitor Oyster card and load on to it a weekly travel card that will cover zones 1-9 + Watford Junction? If not, can a normal child’s Oyster card be purchased with the weekly travel card at an Underground station on production of their passport and issued at the same time? I presume that I can load an adult’s weekly travel card on my spare Oyster card.
    Unfortunately when I searched TFL for this information it not only gave incorrect prices for the travel cards, it failed to mention that photos were required for the cards. I’m trying to make their week’s travel around London as cost effective as possible whilst still covering peak and off peak journeys.
    Thank you,

    • Hi Anne,

      You can get a visitor Oyster card registered as a child version and enjoy half price daily caps and single fares. You can’t load a weekly travelcard onto any visitor Oyster card. Normal child zip Oyster cards can only be ordered online and take several days to arrive, so probably not much use in your situation. They also cost £10 and require a photo (digital).

  99. Thanks Mike. Unfortunately they spoke to staff at three stations and were given different information every time; TFL really doesn’t make this clear when you look online. But having had to call to register my spare Oyster card I asked about this and was told I could buy a normal Oyster card, take it to a Visitor Centre or Victoria station, have the child visitor discounts loaded on and then add the weekly travel card. However it would have meant another journey into London just to do this. In the end we got a photo and bought the child travel card from Watford and loaded the adult travel card onto the Oyster card. It doesn’t make it easy for visitors to find this out beforehand though and potentially save a lot of wasted time! Thanks for your help though.
    Kind regards,

    • No, children with visitors is way too complicated. I really don’t know why they can’t sell child visitor Oyster cards in the first place.

  100. Hi Mike,
    I’m soon to move to Gants Hill/Ilford for a job that is based at Barking but also at Harold Wood. Is my best bet a 4-6 travel card? It seems the quickest way from Gants hill to barking is via Mile End in zone two…

    • Hi Vicky,

      If you want to include Gants Hill then you’ll need a zone 3-6 travelcard. No need to go to Mile End, change at Stratford onto the Jubilee line to West Ham and then you also have the option of fast C2C trains to Barking. If you can stick to Ilford then zones 4-6 is possible by walking between Manor Park and Woodgrange Park.

      You might be able to go via Mile End, but you should ensure you have enough PAYG credit for a zone 2 journey just in case. £1.70 will cover it in the peak.

  101. Hi, not sure if this is in the right section. If I start a journey on DLR to I have to touch out and back in when I get to a ‘normal’ tube station, or can I touch out at my destination station?

    • Hi Phil,

      It depends where you are changing. If it’s at Canary Wharf then yes you do because they are separate stations. If it’s at Canning Town then no because it’s all one station.

  102. I’m going to London for a few days next week. Can I borrow my Dad’s PAYG oyster card and just top it up myself, or do I have to get my own card? He is not coming to London with me. Thanks.

  103. If I travel on the tube from zone 3 to zone 1 and back, my oystercard is capped at £7.50 for 1 day off peak travel. can I then travel from zone 3 to zone 4 on the bus for free

  104. Mike,

    I will be travelling to the UK in September for the RWC, arriving on the 18th and leaving on the 29th, however my housing will not be in London. Half the time I will be Crawley and the other half in Ascot (trying to save a little by staying with friends). I know that I will want to do sightseeing in/around London and have been reading up on the Visitor Oyster and Travelcards but still am very confused. Since both Crawley and Ascot are outside zones 1-6, please advise what the most cost effective options would be for transport. On previous trips I have just purchased a 1-day travelcard from Ascot to Waterloo and used that on the tube while sightseeing but I am not sure if that is the best option for this extended trip. Thanks!


    • Hi Sarah,

      It depends how long you will stay at each address and how many days travel you require. If you can always make use of an off-peak travelcard then you’ll be better off buying these daily. But if you need to use anytime travelcards and will use 4 or more days in a week then a weekly travelcard could well be cheaper.

  105. Thanks Mike! Right now I will be in Crawley the 18th-23 and Ascot from the 23rd-29th. Since the details are still up in the air as far as what days I will be travelling into London and other excursions planned, the daily travelcards may be better. That is what I was leaning towards, but it is nice to have your opinion confirming it


  106. Hi Mike,

    I study at a University outside of London, but this year will be undertaking a paid work placement for my third year. I will be living in London until my placement ends next year and start my fourth year at Uni. I was wondering if I can apply for the 18+ Student Oyster Card?

  107. Hello , I paid today but I didn’t touch the second time , and I could read Your money has not been Taken or Like that, so I tryed to pay again It was Ok but in my Account Bank I can see I have paid two times!!!!!!

    What do I do ? 32 and 32, sorry for my English but I need help please

    • Hi Francisco,

      Don’t Panic! Your situation is the second FAQ above. Your bank has two authorisations but only one will be collected by TfL. The other will disappear from your account in a few days.

  108. Hi Mike
    Our son is moving to London for work and we have said that we will help him out by buying his travel card. He will travel from Stepney Green to Victoria and back during rush hour Monday to Friday and then around London at weekends. Would the most cost effective thing to buy him be an annual Oyser Card for Zone 1-2? Also, if he travels outside of zone 2, how do the charges work?
    (Sorry in advance if you have answered this question before)

  109. Hi Mike
    Thanks for the confirmation.
    Sorry to bug you again,but on the same subject if he travelled from Stepney Green to,say, Seven Sisters would that extra charge just be taken from his Oyster Card and, if so, how does that work when we have paid a set amount up front for the year? If not, how would it work?
    Also, could he use the card to go to White Hart Lane Station instead? (No, he’s not a Spurs fan but will be travelling there at least once in coming the year so I thought it would be a good example to use!)

    • Hi Farida,

      If an Oyster card has a travelcard stored on it then travel beyond the zones covered is deducted from the PAYG balance which is separate. He can top that up as and when required. If the travelcard is zones 1-2 then he’d only be charged a zone 3 single when travelling to Seven Sisters or White Hart Lane. The actual zone 3 fares may vary depending on which fare scale applies to that journey.

  110. Hi Mike,

    I live in london and will become a student in September 2015. I will be travelling to luton from elephant and castle station almost everyday. Can you please tell me what the cheapest way to travel will be. When I called national rail they said it will cost £515 a month to use the bus, train from elephant and castle to luton and bus from luton station to my college. I cannot afford this with my loan and I have been told I cannot get a student discount on thameslink please help!

    • Hi Titi,

      Can you give me more information about the buses you need, especially the one in Luton? Also, how important is being able to get fast trains between London and Luton. Could you cope with the slower ones which call at Elstree & Borehamwood?

  111. Hi Mike, thanks for your reply. The fast trains will be preferable. The bus I will use from luton station will either be 79 or 81. From my house in london any bus to elephant and castle, 53,453 etc.

    • Hi Titi,

      That’s a long commute and it’ll be difficult to get it down. I can’t make any recommendations about fares on the Luton buses as they are not operated on behalf of TfL. For the rest of your journey there are five sensible options (prices are weekly, multiply by 3.84 to get the monthly equivalent):

      £123.40 – Luton to zones 1-6. No discounts, worst case.
      £119.70 – Luton to zones 5-6 and Student 18+ zones 1-4. Valid on fast trains.
      £112.70 – Luton to London Thameslink and Student 18+ bus pass. Valid on fast trains.
      £104.95 – Luton to Elstree and Student 18+ zones 1-6. Train must call at Elstree & Borehamwood.
      £ 98.10 – Luton to London Thameslink and walk rather than bus. Valid on fast trains.

      This assumes you are eligible for the student 18+ Oyster card where mentioned. London Thameslink means all stations between St Pancras and Elephant & Castle or London Bridge on the Thameslink route.

  112. Hi wondering if you could help.
    I’m looking to travel from welwyn north or welwyn garden city to Canary Wharf 5 times a week. I’m not wanting to commit to an annual ticket as of yet and thought of maybe getting a monthly season ticket? Any idea of the cheapest/ most effective ticket to purchase?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Hi Nisha,

      The cheapest route is likely to be Welwyn to Highbury & Islington then Stratford on Overground and Canary Wharf on Jubilee. This avoids zone 1 so you’d need a ticket from Welwyn to zones 2-6. As for Welwyn, North will cost more than Garden City as it’s further out.

  113. HI Mike,
    Wonder if you could clear something up. My son will be travelling on his own by bus and tram from September. He is 10, turning 11 at the end of November.

    Does he need a 5-10 zip to use the bus?
    If he doesn’t have one and is challenged by an inspector, would a copy of his passport be sufficient to prove his age and prevent any problems?

    I don’t really want to have to pay to get a 5-10 zip that he will only use for 2 months and then need to pay again for an 11-15 card. I would be happy to get him a 11-15 card now as he will only be using the tram and bus but it doesn’t look like this is possible until he is 10 years 11 months which would be the end of October.

    Is there any way he could get an 11-15 zip now?

    Grateful if you could clarify these points for me.

    Many thanks

    • Hi Maureen,

      He certainly can’t get an 11-15 zip just yet. If he will be in primrary school uniform when travelling alone then I don’t think he will have any problems. If he has a copy of his passport in the unlikely event that someone questions him then that should give you both peace of mind.

      The only other consideration is if you ever travel around town on trains at the weekend, the 5-10 zip card offers extremely good value with a daily cap of £1.50 compared to a normal child travelcard at £6.00.

  114. Hi Mike,

    I usually buy a weekly or monthly travelcard. I need some flexibility so I usually use a ticket machine on the day. My question is, is a weekly/monthly travelcard valid on the day I buy it (if I select “Today”) or only from the time I buy it?
    Sometimes I’m in a rush in the morning and travel with PAYG. Can I buy a travelcard in the evening and get the morning journey refunded (since I bought a travelcard for the day later that day)? A friend told me that’s how it works but I’ve never found any proof.


    • Hi Julie,

      It is how it works if you start at a station where you are unable to buy the paper season you require from the machine and the ticket office is closed. It doesn’t work that way with Oyster, but you could use a contactless payment card and benefit from Monday to Sunday weekly capping. You can also order a travelcard online up to the evening before (2300) and it will be loaded when you touch your Oyster at the station you select for pick up.

  115. I recently moved to zone 5 in edgware and will travel to work in zone 2 elephant and castle. Can i get a zone 2-5 travelcard or do i have to get 1-5 despite not touching out at zone 1. everyone is giving me different answers!

  116. Hello

    On a tight budget and soon to be moving to London. Travelling from Whitechapel to Kingston on Tuesdays & Thursdays (need to be in Kingston before 10 am). On Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays will be travelling from Whitechapel to Westbourne Park. I have an Oystercard and a 16-25 railcard. Not sure if it would be best to purchase a travel card – if so which type? Also, which way/route would you recommend travelling from Whitechapel to Kingston?


    • Hi T,

      The 16-25 railcard will be of little to no help during peak times unfortunately. Whitechapel to Westbourne Park is a zone 1-2 journey at £2.90 each way. Whitechapel to Kingston is either a zone 2-6 journey at £4.00 each way or a zone 1-6 journey at £7.60 each way. Total for PAYG is either £33.40 or £47.80 per week. If you buy a zone 1-2 travelcard at £32.10 the Kingston journeys reduce to £3.40 each way (zone 3-6) making £45.70 per week. Monthly and longer travelcards will save more, but PAYG will still be cheaper if you always avoid zone 1 when travelling to Kingston.

      For Kingston the cheap route is Overground from Whitechapel to Clapham Junction then SWT to Kingston. The expensive route can vary but the quickest is likely to be District from Whitechapel to Monument, Waterloo and City from Bank to Waterloo then SWT to Kingston. I’d recommend trying each route to Kingston before committing to a long period season.

    • Hi Anis,

      Do you mean you used an exit gate to touch in? If yes then you’ll probably have 1 or 2 incomplete journeys. If you phone the helpdesk tomorrow they should be able to sort it out for you.

  117. Hello Mike, thanks for your response above. Assuming I have a 1-6 travel card which will take me from my house to elephant and castle station to get the thameslink train to Luton. Where would the travel card validity end on the thameslink train and what would I have to buy to get me to Luton station. Regarding the buses in Luton, I made enquiries and was told I will need to buy a bus plus card £41 a month to use buses in Luton. Thank u

    • Hi Titi,

      If you are sayng that you will use the option of a student zones 1-6 travelcard then you’ll need an Elstree and Borehamwood to Luton season to go with that and the train will need to call at Elstree and Borehamwood.

  118. Hello may I ask a question if I have a zip card 11-16 can I get on at south Croydon and gett off at Elstree and Borehamwood can I use the zip card to get out of that station

  119. My parents want to travel from London to Edinburgh. They have a oyster photocard 60+. My questions is: do they get discounts? Because they can travel in National rail services.

    • Hi Aroon,

      The 60+ Oyster card only applies to rail services in the Greater London area. To travel to Edinburgh they would need either a senior railcard each or a two together railcard between them.

  120. Hi My daughter needs to travel to Oxford street from Elstree and Borehamwood everyday for work she has an oyster card can she put weekly travel card onto it ? does she need to have a photo card also

  121. Hi, I travel from clapham junction to embankment. I take SW trains to waterloo then change to trhe bakerloo/northern line. I am forced to scan out then back in at waterloo. Why am I charged for 2 transactions (zone 2-1, then zone 1-1) for 1 overall trip?

    • Hi David,

      That journey is a mixed NR and TfL fare including the surcharge because it involves zone 1. The extra bit you are charged is not a full fare, just the surcharge. Have you ever considered using Charing Cross NR instead? That would just be a NR journey so you wouldn’t be charged any extra on touch out at Charing Cross.

  122. Hi, we will be visiting London for a week and we will be using our Oyster card extensively – as always. I was trying to create an online account in order to register our Oyster cards – for security and convenience. But it appears I cannot register an overseas address (we live in the Netherlands). Is this correct?

  123. Hi

    I am from India and had traveled to London in the first week of August. Due to an error in the system in Canary Wharf station while topping up my Oyster Card, I was unable to take a print of the receipt. I used the Amex Card to top up my Oyster Card. Is there a way I can get hold of this particular receipt, because I need it to submit proofs for reimbursement in the organization I work. I have registered my Oyster Card in the Mayor of London TFL Oyster website, have got an account of all the journeys undertaken using the Oyster Card, but I am unable to get a receipt of the top ups done.

    Please assist me!

    • Hi Shalini,

      I’m not sure I can be of much help, sadly. The best I can suggest is matching up entries on your Amex card statement with top-up entries on the journey history. There’s no way you’ll get an actual receipt after the event.

  124. Hi Mike,

    I will be travelling to University from Hounslow West to Mile end for probably 4 days a week. Would it be cheaper getting a monthly pass or weekly? If so, how much is it roughly as I am unsure which zones they come in. Thank you so much!

    • Hi Gurneet,

      Hounslow West is zone 5 and Mile End is zone 2 so you’d need zones 1-5 (as you travel through zone 1). The single fares are £4.70 peak and £3.10 off-peak. A weekly travelcard is £54.70 so wouldn’t be worthwhile unless you make a lot of other travel. Monthly is £210.10 but is still likely to be more expensive than 4 days a week commuting.

  125. Hi Mike
    About to get 60+ Oyster. Will be travelling occasionally Thaneslink from Mill Hill Broadway to Blackfriars. How do I do this and pay for bit not covered by the Oyster? Many thanks.

    • Hi Jane,

      The 60+ Oyster is valid from Mill Hill Broadway after 0930. If you need to travel before then you’ll need a single to West Hampstead where the 60+ becomes valid all the time.

    • Hi Adam,

      Not at Feltham, no. You should be able to get a refund from a tube station, but it might involve cancelling the card and then issuing a new one. The credit won’t run out so you could just leave it there until you need it.

  126. Hi Mike

    I’ve accepted a new job in Mile end, closest tube station is Stepney Green and closest overground station is Whitechapel. I live in West Dulwich (closest overground station is Forest Hill or Denmark Hill) and closest tube is Brixton. I will have to commute 5 days a week, and possibly the odd weekend.

    I was wondering what the cheapest and easiest route would be, and whether it would be worth getting a season ticket or to payg?

    Please help

    • Hi Lauren,

      From what you’ve said, Denmark Hill to Whitechapel on London Overground will be both easiest and cheapest. PAYG will be better unless you plan to use trains or buses a lot more than the usual 10 single trips a week.

  127. Hi Mike,

    I am a current student who commutes from Epsom Overground station to Mile End underground station 4 times a week usually on peak but sometimes off peak. I go to London Waterloo and use the waterloo and city line to bank and from bank use the central line to Mile end and return on the same day. I have a railcard which gives me a discount if the minimum fare is £12. However, if I used an oyster PAYG card or even a student 18+ oyster, would that be cheaper? If not, would a day or weekly travel card be more cheaper than the travel cards? Thank you!

    • Hi Dipa,

      If you change your route you can save money by buying a weekly Epsom to zones 2-6 travelcard. You’ll need to travel via Sutton, West Croydon and Whitechapel to avoid zone 1. You can’t use Oyster at Epsom at the moment.

  128. Hi Mike,
    I live in Watford. I will have to commute 5 days a week to work at farringdon.
    I have a 16-25 railcard linked to my oyster and I am planning to take the following route
    Watford junction to Euston and then from Euston square to Farringdon during peak and returning via the same route but at off-peak times.

    Can you please tell me what the cheapest and easiest route would be?
    Also do I have to touch out at Euston and then enter Euston square or is it enough if I touch out only at Farringdon?

    • Hi Vinodh,

      Oyster will just be cheaper if you avoid 1600-1900 to start your return journey. You will need to touch out at Euston and in at Euston Square but you will be charged one journey as long as you don’t take too long between touches (20 minutes E-ES, 40 minutes ES-E).

  129. Hi Mike

    I’d like to know your current advice on the process of (a) registering an Oyster card and (b) getting Railcard discounts added to Oyster cards please.

    Do cards still need to be registered in person using a form to be eligible for lost/stolen refunds etc? The old style Oyster- and new style TFL-websites are unclear on this. Or is it adequate to register it online by adding it to an account?

    Also is it still the case that Railcards can only be added in person at a ticket office? But with ticket offices closing, how are we supposed to do these things?

    The past advice to play safe and go to a main line station where the staff are more experienced no longer holds true. I sent my (now student) daughter on such a mission and she discovered that Kings Cross, St Pancras, Euston, Oxford Circus and Camden Town all now have NO ticket offices! The helpline (in Scotland, with little idea of London’s geography) “helpfully” suggested Paddington or Liverpool St – not much help when you live near Kings Cross! The Kings Cross staff suggested walking to Caledonian Rd – which is open but with limited hours (and was closed at the time when she asked, between 13:00-16:00)!

    Is this what TFL is doing: installing fancy new ticket machines and closing the stations when they’re done (in progress at Kings Cross and Euston at present)? And they’re doing the big stations first, hence they’re closed first. If so, they’re making it difficult or impossible to register Oyster cards and to add Railcards discounts!

    • Hi Dave,

      I’ll have to get back to you about registering. Adding railcards should be done at the new machines by one of the staff using their special commands. Did the Kings Cross staff not say that they could do it, or were they just asked where an open ticket office was?

  130. Hi Mike,
    I’m traveling from Chafford hundred to Barbican or Angel station in London around 4/5 days per week and wanted to know what is the cheapest way around since I normally buy a ticket for £19 at peak times.
    I recently applied for a 18+ oyster but am not entirely sure on what I can save with it?

    • Hi Sarah,

      If you are just making one return journey each day then I’d use PAYG. The 18+ Oyster will give you discounted period travelcards, but not from Chafford Hundred. I don’t think it will actually save you anything, especially if you only travel 4 days a week.

  131. Hi, I wonder if you can help me? If I travel from Cheshunt to Canary Wharf, using underground from Tottenham Hale (Victoria Line to Green Park then Jubilee to Canary Wharf), how much would this be on oyster? I realise that the cheapest option is Cheshunt – Stratford – Canary Wharf but unfortunately buses from my house don’t run in line with the Stratford trains. I only travel 3 days/week so am I still cheaper to use Iyster rather than travel cards? Many thanks

    • Hi Lindsay,

      You can still get the cheap Oyster fare by changing between Hackney Downs and Hackney Central, then Stratford. There’s a new walkway between the two Hackney stations so you don’t actually leave the railway.

  132. Hi Mike

    Many thanks for this. I didn’t know there was a walkway between the two stations. Unfortunately the train I would get doesn’t stop there though. Could you tell me how much would be charged to my oyster for the cheshunt – Tottenham hale – green park – canary wharf journey?

    • Hi Lindsay,

      I’m not sure. If you travel via Liverpool Street it’s £6.90 peak single. You would be avoiding Liverpool Street while not touching out and in again in zone 1 so you might be charged the £5.50 peak single avoiding zone 1. The maximum journey time for the cheaper fare will be quite generous too, so you shouldn’t fall foul of that. It is possible that Tottenham Hale might trigger the higher fare, but you’ll just have to try it and see.

  133. Continuing the registering and Railcard saga…

    No, my daughter didn’t tell the Kings Cross station staff why she needed a ticket office. But shouldn’t they be trained to ask, if TFL believe everything can be achieved at the new smart machines, rather than sending her on to Caledonian Rd (which was closed)? But I told the telephone helpline EXACTLY what we wanted to do (add a Railcard) and they never mentioned the smart machines but just directed us to manned stations (like Paddington and Liverpool St – handy when you’re at Kings Cross…) Left hand, right hand…?

    So today, she tried at Camden Rd Overground ticket office. They said they couldn’t add her Railcard as the card wasn’t registered! They didn’t seem to know about a form to complete. But she HAS already registered her Oyster online (but only yesterday). What gives?

    I predict that very soon we will hear statistics from TFL that hardly anyone is using Railcards with Oyster any longer and so they’re going to withdraw the benefit. Hardly surprising, as it’s almost impossible to add a Railcard now.

    (We haven’t gone for an 18+ student card as she doesn’t need a season ticket and it costs £20!)

    • Hi Dave,

      I have a funny feeling that registration online isn’t the same thing. The registration needs to be confirmed on the actual card. You might actually get more joy out of a committed Oyster ticket stop as they used to be able to handle registration forms. I’ve not needed a new Oyster for several years though. You might even find that the shop can add the railcard, though there is little incentive for them to do so because they don’t get paid for doing it.

  134. Hi Mike,
    Many thanks for your helpful advice. I was wondering if using a 16-25 railcard would benefit me with PAYG whilst traveling from Chafford to Barbican?

  135. Hello 🙂 I have recently moved to Colindale and am working in Balham. I have been using my oyster card for the commute, getting the Northern line across London but at 3.90 each way it is a little dear (zone 4 to zone 3). It doesn’t look as if the 1 – 4 travel card will save me any money
    Do you know whether there is such a thing as a season ticket specifically station to station, rather than just zone to zone and whether this would be cheaper?

    • Hi Laura,

      Unfortunately LU do not provide point to point seasons. If you only make 10 single tube journeys then a travelcard usually does cost more.
      The only way to cut the cost will add quite a bit of time as it involves bussing across zone 1 so you only need a 2-4 travelcard.

  136. Our twins are 16 on Friday. Do their child Oystercards stop working automatically on that day? Also, should we apply for 16+ ones before Friday or wait until afterwards?

    • Hi John,

      It depends where you live. If you are in London then the 11-15 zip card carries on working until 30th September following the school year in which they turn 16. This is because the 16+ zip card is tied in with post 16 education so you need to have started at whatever school or college to get their stamp on the form. You should get an email inviting you to apply for new cards about a month before expiry.

  137. Hi Mike,

    I’m just about to renew my oyster card for the year, I live in Bexley (zone6). Someone told me there used to be such a thing as a zone 1+2 with one designated station outside these zones. My work moves between zone 1+2 but never go into 3/4/5 unless I catch the train home to Bexley. Is there a cheaper way to do it than buying a 1-6?


    • Hi Adam,

      Not really. You could buy a zone 1-2 travelcard and use PAYG between Bexley and the boundary of zone 2, but it would cost about the same overall as a zone 1-6 travelcard. Any extra travelling at weekends etc could tip the balance fully in favour of the travelcard.

  138. I am starting uni in London for full time course I want to travel from Langley Bucks to Paddington. Unfortunately Langley does not have Oyster reader and I need to get off the train at West Drayton to touch my Oyster breaking my journey. Is there any way I don’t have to get down to touch my oyster and carry on with the same train from Langley Bucks to Paddington?
    What are my options to get the best deal?

  139. Hi Mike,

    I am a student (above 18 years old) living in Zone 1, and will be walking to university during the week. I will use my oystercard for the underground around 3 times a week maximum. If I understood correctly, this is not worth getting the student18+ oystercard as I am not a frequent tube user. I currently have the regular oystercard. I have two questions:

    1. Should I get the student oystercard, even if I won’t use it daily? I may travel to zones 2 and 3 on the weekends but never during the week. As there is a cap for the underground regardless of which card I use, my understanding is that it is not worth getting the student card.

    2. I plan on using the train to visit further areas, like Oxford and Cambridge, and also plan to travel to Belgium and other European countries. I understand that I should get the 16-25 railcard so I can benefit from the 30% discount. Can I link this to a regular oyster card or can I only link it to the student oystercard?

    I hope I understood the system correctly. Please advise on what you think is the best approach. I will be in London for one year.

    Thank you very much!

    • Hi Jowel,

      The 18+ Student Oyster is not worth it for your circumstances. The 16-25 Railcard is worth it, and yes, you should add it to your adult Oyster card. The discount on off-peak fares and caps is 34%.

  140. Hi Mike,

    I travel every day, at peak time between Blackhorse Road tube station and Harlow town train station, usually on stanstead express but it varies day by day depending on when I arrive at the station!

    I am the owner of a disabled freedom pass and a disabled railcard. I’m trying to figure out the cheapest way to travel to work Monday-Friday but am receiving different advance from every member of staff I speak too!

    Could I purchase an Enfield lock – Harlow town season ticket for £1092.00 and then use my freedome pass for the rest of my journey? Someone quoted me this same journey but for >£1800, why is this?

    Because I have a disabled railcard I am entitled to a third off during peak times – so it may be that buying tickets daily is cheaper. If this is the case, is there a way on buying X amount of journeys and storing them on a card (much like various bus passes) rather than either (a) buying in bulk and having 100’s tickets or (b) having to queue every morning for tickets and add time to my commute!

    I look forward to your advice 🙂

    Kind regards,

    • Hi Josephine,

      This is a difficult one. The freedom pass is treated like a season ticket, so if you combined it with another season the train would have to call at Enfield Lock. Day tickets would be fine, though sadly there isn’t an easy way to store them. You could order online and pick up at the ticket machine, possibly the day before if it saves queuing.

      Have you considered using the bus between Epping and Harlow? Your freedom pass is valid all the way to Epping on the Central line so you’d only need to pay for the bus. They aren’t TfL buses sadly, so they may cost a bit more than London ones.

  141. I am trying to renew my daghter’s Oyster Card. She has a 11-15 card that expires today. On Saturday this week (October 3rd) and next Thursday (October 8th) we will be in London. Is it possible to simply buy a 16+ Oyster card at a railway / Underground station in London when we are there on Saturday, please? (Or even at our local railway station here in Derby?) Alternatively, if we do this online when and where would we be able to collect the card? Obviously I don’t want to pay £20 admin fee and then find it doesn’t arrive at a collection point until too late. Any help here would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Ian,

      The 16+ Oyster can only be applied for online. It will be delivered by post to your home if you live in the UK. I think you have probably left it too late for this weekend. An alternative suggestion if she has a 16-25 Railcard is to add that to a normal adult Oyster card. This can be done by staff at Kings Cross St Pancras Underground station using the new ticket machines with their staff code.

  142. My 16+ Oyster expires today, but my new one has not yet arrived. If I put PAYG money on the expired oyster, will I still be able to use it? Or due to it’s expiration, will it not be usable at all? If not, then what should I do until my replacement arrives?

    • Hi Joe,

      My recollection from when my son’s zip card expired is that you can’t keep using it. You’ll need to get a normal adult Oyster in the meantime, but you can add a 16-25 railcard to that at a tube station if you have one.

  143. Hi Mike,

    Your website is awesome! I’m traveling with my 2 sister to London for 3.5 days landing Saturday evening, leaving Tuesday evening and I just wanted your opinion on contactless vs travel card. We are flying in from heathrow and flying out from gatwick and staying near east Croydon station.mThe only other zone 6 attraction /outside zone 6 we will be going to will be Hampton court Sun and watford junction to go see the Harry Potter studio tour Tuesday . I’ve estimated that if we do the contactless with the cap it should work out to just under 44 pounds for travel within zones 1-5 saving us 10 pounds a person vs getting the 1-5 7 day travel card. What would you recommend for the outside zone travel or would it be cheaper to get the travel card / do the contactless at 58 vs 47 or buy separate tickets for those attractions?

    • Hi Natali,

      Absolutely continue to use contactless for the other things. Both Hampton Court and Watford Junction are covered by the Oyster system so you’ll only pay extension fares (zone 6 and zone 6-W) assuming you have capped at zone 1-5. The system works out the best combination of caps and extension fares for each day.

  144. Hi Mike,
    Your website is really helpful. I live in Luton and I need to travel to South Kensington that to any 13 days of month including weekends. Please advice cheapest way to travel. I have heard about carnet tickets but have no idea how to use them and how much they cost? Do I have to get Oyster as well?

    • Hi Sajitha,

      You don’t need Oyster as well. The ticket you require is “Luton to Zone U12* Londn” on Mondays to Fridays. At weekends the super off-peak Luton to zones 1-6 travelcard will be cheaper. I’m also not sure about Carnet tickets, but the ticket office at Luton should be able to advise.

  145. Hi Mike,
    I am travelling from Queensbury to Epsom around 3 days a week in a month.
    What would be the cheapest option
    a)Get a monthly pass or
    b)Buy ticket on daily basis from Queensbury to Epsom(How to get the ticket?)
    Any other cheaper option is appreciated.

    • Hi Dikesh,

      I’m assuming that this will be a peak time commute. I think the cheapest way is to get a zone 1-4 day travelcard from Queensbury at £12 and then buy a boundary zone 4 to Epsom return at £5.10 from either Waterloo or Victoria. The ticket machines at Victoria may be able to sell the ticket, otherwise it will need to be the ticket office. You can buy the tickets in advance to save time queueing, though you may need to buy the travelcards at the same time.

  146. Hi, I will be travelling from London City airport to Paddington, so I will be using the DLR and the tube, changing at Canning Town. Do I have to touch out of the DLR and then touch in to the tube at Canning Town and then out at Paddington or can I just touch in at the DLR at City airport and then just touch out at Paddington? thanks

    • Hi Declan,

      Yes. If it says zones 2-6 then it is actually a travelcard season. Elephant and Castle is on the boundary of zones 1 and 2 so as long as you only travel to or from the south you will be fine.

  147. Thanks for your site, and all your valuable information. I will be arriving London City soon, and need to travel to Denmark Hill. Can you confirm that I can use an Oyster card for that journey via DLR and Overground? Thanks

    • Hi Stephen,

      Yes, that’s absolutely fine. Remember to touch out at Shadwell DLR as you will need to touch in on the gateline at Shadwell Overground.

  148. Hi Mike,

    On a weekly basis, I need to travel from Ewell West (6) to both Bromley South (5) and West Croydon (5). I have a number of route options, that take me via Epsom/Sutton, Wimbledon/Herne Hill or Clapham/Denmark Hill.

    Trying to work out what’s the most cost effective ticket for me to purchase to cover return trips to both Bromley South and West Croydon.

    Am I eligible for a zone 5-6 travelcard, as I only exit at Ewell, Bromley and Croydon and simply change trains at other stations?


  149. I am considering buying a zone 2-4 annual travel card. I am just wondering if I travel through zone 1 but end up back in zones 2-4 (eg. Balham to Stratford) would I be charged extra for travelling through (at Bank) but not entering or exiting in zone 1?
    Any help would be amazing! Thanks!

  150. Hi. I’m confused. So I have a zone 2-5 travelcard and travel between seven sisters and Twickenham via the overground service. So I usually take the Victoria line to highbury and Islington and switch to the London overground service that goes all the way to Richmond. I haven’t had any problems until yesterday; on my return I took the BR train from Twickenham to Richmond where I tapped the pink validates at Richmond Station. I boarded the London overground service from richmond to stratford and got off at Stratford where I also tapped the pink validates upon exiting the train. I then proceeded to the actual exit gates at Stratford and to my surprise as I tapped out my oyster card I was charged something in the region’s of £2. It minuses my oyster card and I really don’t understand why or how. Stratford is in either zone 2 or 3 to my knowledge. I travelled on the overground service that doesn’t cover zone 1 at all. And I have a weekly 2-5 travelcard. Why on earth have I been charged extra for this journey. Was I not supposed to touch the pink validates at Stratford?

    • Hi Dal,

      I think you’ve found a little flaw in the interchange logic. Touching the pink validator at Stratford is causing the problem. There is no need to touch pink at either end of your journey, only if interchanging along the way. However, it shouldn’t make any difference. Call the helpdesk and ask them to refund the extra charge of £2.30, a zone 1 tube single.

  151. Hello,
    When I buy a 7 Day travel card from a tube station instead of online, is it going to activate immediately or it would be on the next day as it is if you buy it online 😕

    • Hi Aleksandar,

      Yes, it will be immediately. Make sure you touch the Oyster card for a second time after completing payment so the travelcard can be added.

  152. Hi Mike,

    I have an Oyster card and am travelling to crawley. Could I use my oyster card and get off at Coulsdon south station using my oyster and then buy a ticket to crawley station from coulsdon south?

    • Hi Sarah,

      Yes you can, but you’ll potentially have a long wait. It’s usually the same price to split at East Croydon where there is a much better service.

  153. Hi mike
    I’m moving to Ashford (Surrey) at the end of the month and will need to get to Clapham junction for work. What’s is the cheapest way of doing this? I.e. What’s the monthly travel card, quarterly and yearly? Thanks!

    • Hi Kaylie,

      Unless you need to use anything other than South West Trains then a point to point season between the two will be the cheapest way. That is £185.50/month or £1932/year. A quarterly ticket is just 3 times the monthly, but you can buy any odd period over a month at the same pro-rata rate, upto just over 10 months. Some people find buying tickets for 5 weeks (1 month 2 days or 1 month 3 days depending on the number of days in the start month) works quite well as you then don’t pay for the 5th weekend. You can also time it around holidays to save a bit more.

  154. Hi,
    I recently went to purchase an oyster from Aldgate station, I was charged for the oyster and the travel, but I didn’t recieve the oyster, who am I best contacting as the number they provided, I didn’t have enough time to get

    • Hi Hannah,

      I’m confused. The Oyster is the physical card. Do you mean a travelcard? Did you also pay for a PAYG top-up?

      I think it’s likely that the ‘payment’ is an authorisation which will drop off after a few days. If this isn’t the case then it is the helpdesk you need to contact.

    • Hi Hannah,

      Did you not ask one of the staff in the ticket hall at the time? If you did and they said that you won’t be charged then the authorisation will drop off in a few days.

  155. Hi Mike,

    I am looking to buy an annual ticket from Epsom to London terminals, but do not want zone 1-6 travelcard. I am, however, wondering if the option for £2,092 per annum would include zone 2-6, which is preferable (my usual destination station with be Vauxhall, but commute to Victoria or Waterloo occasionally).



    • Hi Mark,

      The £2092/year ticket does not include any travelcard. It is a season for rail only between Epsom and London Terminals. The permitted routes for this ticket do include many of the lines in South London, but no Underground or DLR and no buses.

  156. Hi Mike. I have a question on Oyster Season Ticket refunds? For example if I have an Annual Zone 1 to 6 travelcard on my Oyster (cost £2344) and request a refund after 9 months how much will I get back? What about after 11 months? Am struggling to find anything on tfl which confirms this for Oyster. I have found it for National Rail but not Oyster.

    • Hi Akkers,

      It works the same way whether the travelcard is on paper or Oyster. After 9 months you would get just over £300 taking account of the admin fee. After 11 months there is no refund value because the price of monthly based tickets is more than the cost of an annual.

    • Hi Pauline,

      Only if they are TfL operated buses displaying the Roundel. As far as I know the only TfL bus in Slough is the 81 which runs along the Northern perimiter of the airport.

  157. I bought the wrong travel pass on my blue oyster, 2-4 when I need 2-5, can I get oyster to cancel the 2-4 and refund me my money and then buy the 2-5, as that are my zones that I need

    • Hi Matthew,

      Your best bet is to go to an Underground station and do a changeover. You’ll need to speak to one of the staff in the ticket hall for assistance. If the travelcard hasn’t started (and won’t for a couple of days) then the helpdesk may be able to cancel it. There may be an admin fee in either scenario.

  158. I bought for it to start today, and have used it as well this morning, I released when I looked at the receipt that the price I normally pay for a weekly card was wrong and logged on to my account and it said 2-4 zones, unable to get through on the phone at all

    • Hi Matthew,

      If it’s just a week then you might be better off just using PAYG for the final zone. You can’t buy a single zone travelcard and an exchange does usually incur an admin fee, plus it’ll be hassle to get it sorted.

    • Hi Matthew,

      The only other possibility is to use a bus between the last zone 4 station and your destiantion. All TfL buses are covered by any travelcard as they don’t actually run in zones.

  159. Hi.I currently have a monthly travel card zones 3-4.I’m worried about the price increasings starting tomorrow because my travel card expires on 7th of January. do you know if I have to renew it tomorrow before it’s expiring or on 7th?Hope that someone can help me with this.Many thanks

    • Hi Anna,

      I really wouldn’t worry. A monthly zone 3-4 travelcard goes up 80p tomorrow. The only way to get the old price would be to start it today which would mean you’d be overlapping by 7 days. That would cost far more than 80p.

  160. Hi Mike.Thanks for the tip.So basically I shouldn’t be worried and still be able to travel with my current travel card till it expires without paying any extra charges?

    • Hi Anna,

      Goodness me, yes. The new fares only apply to tickets purchased for travel starting from tomorrow. If you have a travelcard already then it will remain valid without further charge until it expires.

  161. Hi, Mike. I’m not sure if this is something you can help with.

    I’ve turned my place upside down trying to find my Oyster card without any success. I don’t live or work in London, but I did use it on my last trip on my way home through the capital, so I assume I’ve lost it somewhere at this end. When I logged into my online account to check it, the value of the credit still on the card is still the same as it was after my last visit to London several months ago, so it looks as though it hasn’t been found or used by anyone else.

    I’ve reported it lost to TfL this morning, who are transferring the credit to a new card and are posting it out to me. It’s a pay and go card without auto top-up and was the only card registered to my online account.

    Will the new card replace the old one on my online account automatically, or will I have to do that myself? Will the account with the old card on it be deleted and leave me needing to register a new account?

    • Hi Phil,

      My understanding is that the new card will automatically be added to your existing account. Whether the old one will disappear or not is not clear, but I expect it will eventually go. You shouldn’t need to do anything yourself.

  162. Mike,
    Tourist question – Arriving in Clapham Junction by rail from Teddington am I supposed to swipe Oyster Card out before then using London Overground to Peckham Rye.

    • Hi Dave,

      No need. You can use Oyster all the way from Teddington to Peckham Rye. The default fare is the route you propose taking so no need to worry about the pink readers either.

  163. I’ve just bought a house in Ashford (Surrey) and have only just found out about the oyster restrictions. Im searching everywhere to know the best way to travel for my daily journey to London and cant find any solid information? please help

    • Hi Stella,

      You can buy paper tickets to travel between Ashford and Waterloo, or Ashford and zones 1-6. If you tell me where you are heading to then I might be able to offer more tailored solutions. If you really want to cut costs and use Oyster all the way then you’ll need to use the 117 bus to get to Feltham.

  164. Hi!

    I bought a Travel Card to go from Zone 7 to Zone 1 (Watford-Barbican). How does it work? Does it only work when going exactly through those zones or can I get down at zone 2 if I needed to for example?


  165. Hello! I have a question, if I wanted to travel from vauxhall, which seems to be in both zone 1 & 2, to wimbledon in zone 3, would a zone 2-3 card work?

  166. Hi,
    For 12 months from July this year I will be commuting everyday to work (9-5) from Euston Station to Watford Junction. What is the cheapest ticket I could get?

    Thank you,

    • Hi Justyna,

      The cheapest ticket will be to use Oyster PAYG or a contactless payment card. Because you are travelling against the peak flow the single fares are significantly cheaper than any season ticket. The single fare is £5.00.

  167. Hi Mike, i topped up a weekly bus card on my 18+ oyster but only used it once. Is it possible to get the money i didnt use back or extended or not at all? Thank you

    • Hi Muna,

      If the ticket has already expired then you won’t get a refund, unless possibly if you have a medical certificate proving that you were unable to use the transport.

  168. Hi Mike,

    A question I am hoping you might be able to help with:

    I currently have a paper ticket (Gold card) from Putney to London stations with zone 1-2 on it. Can i change this over to an oyster card and is there any station that would do that for me (I’m closest to King’s Cross/St Pancras or go through Waterloo)?

    The paper ticket keeps deactivating (at Waterloo between the train ticket barrier and tube ticket barrier – about 10 feet) and it is driving me crazy!

    Many thanks for the help.

    • Hi Harriet,

      As long as the paper ticket was bought from a NR station then you need to find one which carries out Oyster transactions at the ticket office. St Pancras Thameslink office may be able to do it, or another which is known to be quite good with this sort of request is Marylebone. The London Overground office at Liverpool Street may be another option.

  169. Hi,
    I think I’ve understood this correctly but am seeking reassurance, as it appears I’m a natural born worrier! I bought cheap advance National Rail tickets to Clapham Junction from Exeter (and return). My accomm plans have since changed and I need to go to Waterloo instead.
    Can I get off at Clapham J and touch in with my PAYG Oyster on the platform to start my Oyster journey without exiting the station? (And touch out on the platform for the return leg?)

    • Hi Andy,

      Sadly you can’t. The readers are not situated on the platforms at Clapham Junction, you’ll need to go to a gateline. Leave plenty of time (10+ minutes) on the return in case the train you are on from Waterloo gets held up and/or you need to negotiate crowds in the subway at Clapham Junction.

  170. Many thanks for the advice Mike. I see I was wrong – not a first for me!

    I particularly note your point about the return leg – I shouldn’t be in any great hurry so I can allow plenty of time.

    Thanks again,

  171. Hi mike. I live in stanwell and will soon be starting a job in London Bridge. I’m very confused about what would be the best route fare wise and travel time. I live about a 15 min bus journey from either Ashford Surrey or Hatton Cross. Ashford seems the quicker option but more expensive?? Any advice?

    • Hi Kerry,

      Ashford is one stop outside zone 6 so will cost a fortune to commute from. Hatton Cross is on the boundary of zone 5 so is considerably cheaper. It’s one change either way: Hatton Cross – Green Park – London Bridge or Ashford – Waterloo – London Bridge. Unless you can afford the extra I think I’d go Hatton Cross.

  172. Hello, could you help me to find out how is cheaper to travel from Catford Bridge to Canary Wharf? I used to take a train to Lewisham and then dlr from there to CW. But in this case I have to touch out and in twice. But what about if I getting of at New Cross from the train, continue by overground to Canada Water and change to Jubilee. I have to touch in and out once. Am I right?

    • Hi Sheila,

      Although you have to touch out and in again at Lewisham, you are still only charged one journey as long as those two touches happen within 20 minutes of each other. There is no cheaper way by rail to make that journey. If you have been charged more than £2.40 for a peak journey then you have probably missed one of the touches at Lewisham. On the way back to Catford you need to have touched out on the DLR readers if you then have to touch in on the NR gatelines.

      Having said that, travelling via New Cross and Canada Water will be just one touch at each end, but it will also probably take longer.

  173. Hi Mike, I will need to travel from Epsom station to Canary Wharf Underground station and return starting next week. I plan to leave from Epsom around 8am and leave from Canary Wharf around 5pm in evening. Also, I only need to do this 3 or 4 days in a week. As Epsom just falls outside the Oyster zone, what will the best alternative to make this journey 3 or 4 days a week. Thanks.

    • Hi Vivek,

      You’ll need an anytime day travelcard from Epsom to either zones 1-6 or zones 2-6. The latter will be cheaper but you must avoid zone 1. An example would be Epsom to New Cross Gate then Canada Water and finally Canary Wharf.

      Edited to remove incorrect information.

  174. Hi
    This is probably a stupid question but I can’t find the answer. If I have a weekly travelcard on Oyster then do I need a photocard? Thanks

  175. Hi Mike, thanks a lot. I am planning to daily pass from Epsom to London zone 2-6. I am considering following two options
    Option 1
    Epsom to West Croydon (Zone5) (Southern trains)
    West Croydon to Canada Water (Zone 2) (London Overground)
    Canada Water to Canary Wharf (Zone 2) (Jubilee Line)

    Option 2
    Epsom to Vauxhall (Exit at Vauxhall)(Zone 1-2) (Southwest Trains)
    Vauxhall to Green Park (Change at green park) (Zone 1) (Victoria line)
    Green Park to Canary Wharf (Zone 2) (Jubilee Line)

    Is it possible use option 2 on a London zone 2-6 daily pass considering that it involves a change at zone 1 station?

    • Hi Vivek,

      I must apologise for a bit of misinformation. There is no day travelcard which avoids zone 1. You would need to get a weekly ticket. You would still save a little with 4 days use, but not with only 3. If you want to avoid zone 1 then I think the cheapest option is to buy anytime returns from Epsom to Canada Water and use Oyster for the last bit on the Jubilee line. On the way to Canary Wharf you can touch on the pink reader at Canada Water to start your Oyster journey. On the way back you will need to touch out at the gateline and come back in using your paper ticket because pink readers will never end an Oyster journey. You can also use a contactless payment card instead of an Oyster card.

      If you want to travel via Green Park then you will need a ticket covering zone 1, so you might as well buy the Epsom to zone 1-6 travelcard.

  176. Hi Mike, thanks for the reply. Very useful. I am going to take same day return from Epsom to Canada water and then use contactless card for the rest of the journey. Thanks for the information.

  177. Hi. We will be staying at Kew and spending two days in London. Is oyster card best bet or travel card. Need to get on train at Kew to central London then tubes

  178. Hi,

    I traveled from Cutty Sark to Goodmayes yesterday. But, it took longer than maximum time allowed for a journey. As a result, 5.30£ were deducted from my account twice as below,
    Cutty Sark – no touch out (5.30)
    Goodmayes – no touch in (5.30)

    Hoeever, I did touch out and in at both the stations.

    Is there any way I can get at leaSt 5.30£ refunded? I do not intend to get any more refund since I had travelled more than permissible time.

    I hope I am clear here.


    • Hi Surabhi,

      How long did the journey take? You should have been allowed 2 hours 15 minutes on a Sunday. Was there major disruption anywhere? If you call the helpdesk and explain what happened they may decide to refund the difference. If you actually went a lot further then expect them to refuse.

  179. Hi, can anyone tell how to get my Gold Travel card registered on my Oyster so I can just carry the Oyster card?i am operating from Kingston so zones 1 – 6. Thank yo

    • I think what you are asking is to have your paper travelcard transferred to your Oyster card. If that is the case then you’ll need to try taking it to one of the NR stations listed on this page. Marylebone is a very helpful ticket office and if it can be done then they should be able to do it. I’m not certain that it’s possible though.

  180. Hi Mike,

    My 18+ oyster card is due to expire at the end of August, and I was thinking to add a monthly season ticket on so it will last through September. Will the season ticket be valid despite that the actual oyster card was expired?

    Many thanks, Sue

  181. Hi Mike

    I like your website; I find TfL very confusing so this is helpful!

    I wondered what you thought the best option would be for my new job travel

    I live in Teddington and my job will be in Brixton. I can walk to Tedd station in 15 mins or I can get the bus to Richmond in around the same time. I think it’s cheaper to go via Richmond- would that be right? Would you say I should use an Oyster or a contactless card or a weekly travelcard?

    Thanks! Appreciate any advice you can offer

    Kind regards,

    • Hi Jane,

      Yes, bus to Richmond will be cheaper. You’ll need a zone 2-4 travelcard on your Oyster (it would be zones 2-6 if you use Teddington). You may be able to use contactless and be capped at the same rate as a weekly travelcard, but Tfl do warn that some journeys avoiding zone 1 do not cap correctly on a weekly basis. It might be worth checking it out because if you don’t travel on 5+ days in the (Mon-Sun) week you won’t pay for the whole travelcard.

      Just in case there’s any confusion, the rail journey is SWT from Richmond to Vauxhall then Victoria Line to Brixton.

  182. Thanks Mike

    I may end up working from home some days so I imagine it’ll be cheaper then to pay as I go rather than having a travel card?

    • Hi Jane,

      Yes, if you might not travel 5 days a week then PAYG will be cheaper. And the bus is included in the daily travelcard and cap prices.

  183. Hi Mike,

    I have a Zone 1-4 travel card. I travel in between Bank and Waterloo via the Waterloo & City line.
    At Waterloo you can walk straight past the validators. As I have a travelcard is it ok to only tap in at Bank and not touch out at Waterloo?
    (Vice versa, not tap in at Waterloo and only touch out at Bank).


    • Hi Richard,

      The rules say that you should always touch in and out, but if you have a travelcard and are within the zones covered then there is no penalty for not doing so. So in effect yes, it is ok to walk past the validators at Waterloo.

  184. I live in feltham. And i have to start work in british museum… I have to get off at tottenham court road tube station. Which monthly pass would be good… Does monthly pass covers most of the tubes??

    • Hi Binay,

      You need a zones 1-6 travelcard for that journey. That covers all tubes within zones 1-6 as well as all DLR, almost all National Rail*, all trams and any TfL bus (including those that go outside the zones).

      *It doesn’t cover Heathrow Express/Connect at Heathrow Airport or Southeastern High Speed between St Pancras and Stratford International.

  185. Hi Mike i am traveling from holloway road or highbury and islington to croydon either east or west is fine. Can you tell me the cheapest option? Would travel card zones 2-5 work?

    • Hi Nicola,

      The cheapest option requires travel via Stratford to avoid Shoreditch High Street which is in zone 1. So Highbury & Islington to Stratford on Overground then to Canada Water on the Jubilee line and then Overground to West Croydon. You can of course do Highbury & Islington to West Croydon direct on Overground, but you’d need zone 1. You must touch the pink validators at both Stratford and Canada Water if you avoid zone 1. In both cases the weekly travelcard will only be worthwhile if you do more than just 5 return commutes.

  186. Hi mike thanks for that its for work monday-friday so is really 5 days. Does.it make sense to get the travel card or just use my oyster?

    • Highbury & Islington to West Croydon is £4.70 peak single direct and £2.80 peak single via Stratford. The weekly travelcards are £55.20 and £32.20, so unless you do extra travel they aren’t worth it.

  187. Hi Mike
    My son has a 16+ oyster card and travels from (home) east croydon to (college) reigate.
    Now that Redhill is in Oyster Zone, I tried to find out the cost of Oyster travel & the remaining redhill to reigate portion but without success. Can you help (his times vary from peak to off peak).
    Thanks John 20

    • Hi John,

      East Croydon to Redhill single fares with a 16+ zip card are £2.60 peak and £1.50 off-peak. The best place for Reigate to Redhill is probably brfares.com where it appears as though an anytime return is £2.60 and off-peak is £2.30. The weekly season saves 20p over 5 anytime returns. If he can commence travel from Redhill to Reigate after 0900 then he’ll only need the off-peak return. He must remember to touch out/in at Redhill before travelling further.

  188. Hi – my annual travelcard (registered on my Oyster) expires tomorrow but my wife has a similar travelcard on her Oyster that is valid till next April. Can we transfer her remaining travelcard to my Oyster?

    • Hi Mark,

      No you can’t. You can apply for a refund for your wife if she no longer needs it, but you can’t transfer it, and neither should you attempt to use her card. If caught you both would face serious consequences.

  189. I have a zone 2 to 6 oyster card. If I travel from Sheperd’s Bush to Wooodford, how much would I be charged for transiting through zone 1.

  190. Hi in starting uni this september and trying to find info on the student oyster, how much discount will i get with the student oyster? Also, is it cheaper for me to link the student oyster to a 16-25 railcard? Or would it be the same cap?

    • Hi Maryam,

      The Student Oyster card allows you to buy travelcards at a 30% discount, but single fares and daily caps are the same as adults. If you add the 16-25 railcard to a Student Oyster then the adult off-peak fares and caps are reduced by 34%. There is no reduction to peak single fares or the anytime cap.

  191. Hi, great site by the way!

    I have a question. I have a 16+ oyster which expires on the 30th of this month. What would happen if I were to buy an annual travelcard in the last week? i.e. the travel card would expire much later than my discount does. Would it work? I know that the Oyster card itself would still work after expiry (without the discount), and I would have the discount at the point of payment. Thanks!

  192. Hi Mike

    I’m looking to travel from Penge East to Kew Gardens underground on a Sunday. I just want to make sure I get the lowest fare possible. The TFL single fare calculator comes up with 3 different possibilities for peak or off peak, but it’s not clear on which route I’d need to take to get the lowest fare. can you help to clarify this specific request. I didn’t even realise that peak fares might apply on Sundays too. Also, is there a way of getting that sort of information clearly and efficiently in the future? TFL’s website makes customers jump through hoops before ultimately not revealing honest and open answers, it seems to me, when it comes to upfront costs of travel.

    Many thanks

    • Hi Chris,

      Firstly, there is no peak at weekends or bank holidays. Both the single fare finder and my Oyster fare finder make that clear. Secondly, the cheapest route is described as via Brixton and Vauxhall. Thus you need to take Southeastern from Penge East to Brixton, then the Victoria Line to Vauxhall, then SWT to Richmond and finally Overground or District Line to Kew Gardens.

  193. Hi,
    i am going to be staying in Epping from 27-29 September, flying into Stansted and getting the stansted experess to Liverpool street station to get the underground to Epping from there. Over the couple of days i will be wanting to travel from epping into central london to do the typical tourist stuff mostly found in zones 1 and 2, obviously im staying in zone 6.
    What do you suggest i use…oyster card? and how much should i top it up to do this travel the cheapest.

    • Hi Jessica,

      If you have a contactless payment card then that might be cheapest, especially on the middle day when you only travel from and to zone 6 once. The maximum you will pay for zones 1-6 is £11.80, but if you avoid 0630-0930 and 1600-1900 for the journeys to and from Epping then you’ll cap at £6.50 for zones 1-2 and pay 2x£1.50 for the extensions to zone 6. If you do use an Oyster card then you’ll need £11.80 each day.

  194. Hi,
    not sure if this is the right place to ask but my here’s my question:

    My 16+ oyster card expires in few days 30/09/2016 and I already get my 18+ oyster card on Friday, so now could I still use my 16+ one at least on trains for pay as you go until it expires date ?

  195. Hi Mike. Very useful website! I might be repeating a question so apologies if so. I just moved to Hatfield and I work near Kings Cross so I will be getting the train from Hatfield there at least 5 days a week. I currently just have an Oyster card. I’m wondering what the cheapest and best option is? An annual ticket? But do I need a photocard to get the best fare? I will be travelling just after 6am and returning around 5/6 pm. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    • Hi Michael,

      Hatfield is just outside the Oyster area at the moment. For now I think a season ticket for Hatfield to London is the best bet. You will need a photo card, but they’re free; just take a couple of passport photos to the booking office when you get your first season and they’ll sort one out. An annual ticket is the cheapest option as long as you don’t need to pay to finance it.

      When Oyster gets to Hatfield you may find it cheaper to use PAYG because touching in before 0630 means you pay off-peak for the first journey. It will depend on your regular travel patterns and how much extra travel you make.

  196. Hi Mike,

    Looking at travelling from Welwyn Garden City to Twickenham on a daily basis. Am I allowed to get a zone 2-6 travelcard as long as I use the pink reader at Highbury & Islington?


    • Hi John,

      Bearing in mind that Welwyn is outside the travelcard zones and also that Oyster isn’t accepted there, you can use a Welwyn GC to zones 2-6 travelcard as long as you change onto the Overground at Highbury & Islington and change again at Richmond.

      If you get a paper ticket to cover Welwyn GC to Hadley Wood then a zones 2-6 travelcard will cover the rest, but you must touch the pink readers at both Highbury and Richmond.

  197. Hi Mike, I am hoping to make a trip to Wembley SSE Arena on Sunday 23rd, from Ewell West. i will be using my 16-18 oyster card and will most likely be getting a train to waterloo and then the tube to wembley park. I was wondering how much this will cost me for a trip there and back? I have looked at oyster calculators and some say £6.60 and others say just under £10. Also is this the best way to do this trip, or is there another way you would recommend. Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Emma,

      It’s probably the most straightforward, especially after the event. The Oyster fare finder on this site says £2.65 each way, so £5.30 return. There is a cheaper route avoiding zone 1, but for a one-off trip on a Sunday I wouldn’t really recommend it.

  198. Hi Mike, I have an adult Oyster card and added my 16-25 National Railcard to get discount. In my journey history,
    08:20AM / Touch in, North Action / -1.95 pounds and
    08:47AM / Touch out, Holborn / +1.20 pounds. It means that I spent 0.75 pound by getting tube. Is it right discount ? If it is right, just i am considering buying National Railcard for 3 years instead of buying 18+ student Oystercard with monthly travelcard. Thankyou

    • Hi Lee,

      No, that’s a staff discount that they’ve set. You should get it fixed as soon as possible to avoid any issues if your Oyster is inspected and the staff card is requested.

  199. Hi Mike,
    We will be in London from the 29/10 till the 01/11, we are 4 tourists. We are staying near Liverpool Street. I was wondering if it’s better Oyster card or a daily travelcard. we will stay mainly in zone one, sightseeing.

  200. Hi Mike
    i will be traveling with a child (15) thu 27/10-Monday 31/10,every day return journey from Hendon to zone 1 and several trips at zone 1 . What is the best ticket and is it the same for a child?

    • Hi Sam,

      Does the child have a zip Oyster card? Will the journeys start before 0930 on the weekdays? Do you have an Oyster card or a contactless payment card?

  201. Hi Mike,
    Stirling work helping so many people out with Oyster issues!
    I just have one question, my occasional journey from Richmond to Bank takes me on the train to Waterloo then changes to W&C line. Am i supposed to tap the optional scanners at Waterloo or just the ones at the gates?? I seem to get charged different amounts for the same journey each time!


    • Hi Leon,

      When you touch the gates you are touching out after the NR journey. You need to touch back in using the validators before using the Waterloo and City line. If you can post journey history here I’ll see if I can work out what’s happened and if there’s anything you can do.

  202. Hi Mike

    My wife and I are just about to retire and intend to travel into London on a regular basis to visit museums from Swanley, Oysters cards are now usable out to Swanley.

    Do we both need to apply for Senior Citizen Rail Card and Oyster cards or can just one of us apply for both, can who ever applies buy tickets, return preferably for both of us.

    Or do we have to both apply, £30 each and £5 each for the oyster, all very confusing, any help would be appreciated

    • Hi Waynesworld,

      The senior citizen railcard is only for one adult so you would both need one. If you are certain that you’ll always travel together and always after 0930 weekdays then the Two Together railcard might be a better alternative as it’s only one £30. The drawback is that the Two Together card cannot be added to an Oyster card so you would need to buy paper travelcards. Currently the zone 1-9 off-peak discounted cap on Oyster is £7.85 and the zone 1-9 off-peak discounted travelcard is £8.50.

      So, if you’re going to make lots and lots of trips (or may sometimes travel alone) then the two senior cards could be cheaper, otherwise the two together is your choice.

  203. Hi Mike

    Thanks for getting back so quickly, can you explain the cap?

    Also are you saying that you will get the discount but not on the Oyster

    • Hi Waynesworld,

      When you make journeys using Oyster you are charged the single fare for each journey. Once you have made enough journeys the system stops charging you because you have reached the cap for the day. The cap varies in amount depending on how many zones you use, whether you have a discount and sometimes whether you use it before 0930 or not. The zones always start from 1 so as Swanley is in zone 8 you will always be subject to the zone 1-9 cap. The cap is usually slightly cheaper than the relevant paper travelcard.

      If you have a senior railcard then this can be added to an Oyster card so that you benefit from discounted off-peak fares and off-peak caps. If you have the two together railcard then it can’t be added to an Oyster card so you would be paying full adult prices.

      Hope that helps.

  204. Good Afternoon Mike

    I am moving permanently to Berkhamsted from overseas, so I am not familiar at all with how the pricing works, other than some brief research.
    I will be travelling 5 days a week on the overground rail into Euston, and taking a tube from Euston to Victoria. The trips in will be around 6am, or 2pm. The trips out will be either at 4pm or 11pm.
    Please could you be so kind as to advise the best option for me to take with regards to purchasing a card, and perhaps a ballpark figure for my budget?
    Keep up the good work – your response time and detail is of the highest order!

    • Hi Douglas,

      In that case I think a travelcard season is probably your best bet. Berkhampstead to zones 1-6 is £116.10/week or you can buy period tickets for any length between a month and a year, where a year costs 40x the weekly rate. If you had a week with only off-peak travel then daily off-peak tickets would just be cheaper than a weekly season, but any peak travel wipes out the saving.

  205. Hello Mike
    I am a 18 year old student and looking to study at Greenwich University next year, i live at Marks Tey Colchester.
    I see i can apply for 1/3 off but what would be my cheapest option to get to the Cutty Sark DLR , as some weeks would be 3 days others 5 days and i do not need to travel on holiday’s.
    Kind Regards

    • Hi James,

      That’s quite a commute for a student. If you are travelling 5 days in a week then it looks like a weekly travelcard season to zones 2-6 is the cheapest option. If it’s less than 5 days then buy 16-25 discounted anytime returns for Marks Tey to Stratford and use PAYG for the DLR. The weekly travelcard season is £120.90, a discounted anytime return is £23.55 and PAYG fares are £1.70 peak single, £1.00 discounted off-peak single. You’ll need to get your railcard added to your Oyster card to get the discounted off-peak singles.

  206. Hi Mike,

    Could you please help me with details for a more reasonable cost of traveling by train from Ashford, Surrey to Richmond? I am just starting a job in Richmond and unfortunately the train station is outside the Oyster zone. I was thinking about a monthly travelcard, but am not sure which one shall I buy and where. Thank you in advance for any help!

    • Hi Tatiana,

      If your journey ends at Richmond station then just buy a SWT season between Ashford and Richmond. If you need TfL buses as well then the travelcard would be Ashford to zones 4-6.

  207. Hi Mike,

    I travel from Kilburn to Canary Wharf and back Mon-Friday. Usually there isn’t any travelling within London, however I catch a bus in the morning sometimes 2 to Kilburn station and 1/2 on the way back from Kilburn station. I use a daily cap on my oyster at the moment do you believe there is other cheaper methods, such as contactless? Please bare in mind I rarely use oyster/tfl during weekends.

    • Hi V,

      Contactless is unlikely to be cheaper over 5 days as the daily cap is 1/5 of the weekly travelcard, but if you did use it on the odd occasion for 6 or 7 days it would then be cheaper. You could actually save quite a bit more if you avoid zone 1. If you travel from Brondesbury to Stratford on the Overground, touch the pink reader there and then take the Jubilee (or DLR) to Canary Wharf your weekly cap will be £8.30 less.

  208. Hi Mike, not sure if this is the right place to ask. Do you have any tips for Oyster PAYG users who want to claim “Delay Repay” from a TOC. Southeastern’s wording of what they require (“a journey receipt”) is rather vague.

  209. Thanks Mike, I was hoping a screen print of the journey history from the TfL oyster site would do it. Southeastern’s terminology is a bit odd (they vary between asking for a “receipt” and a “statement”). Well I’ll give it a go!

  210. If I am avoiding zone 1 and there’s no pink card readers at interchanging stations, how to make sure that I am charged the correct amount?
    For instance, if I travel from South Ruislip to Stratford, avoiding zone 1 would mean changing from Shephered bush, where there isn’t a pink reader. There are pink readers at Stratfort, but I am tapping out there anyway.
    So do I need to get off at some point just to tap the pink reader, risking missing the train?

    • Hi Vinny,

      Shepherd’s Bush is two different stations so you have to touch out at one and touch back in at the other when changing between Overground and the Central line.

  211. HI Mike,
    Hoping you can help!
    Starting a new job and need to know the cheapest way to travel between Bishops Stortford and London Victoria during peak times 5 days a week. The quickest and easiest route is via Tottenham Hale. I have a Network rail card but I don’t believe it is valid during peak. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.
    Best wishes,

    • Hi Amelia,

      Generally it looks cheapest to split the ticket at Tottenham Hale. A weekly Bishops Stortford to zones 1-6 ticket is £127.30. Bishops Stortford to Tottenham Hale weekly is £87.40. You can then either make ten zone 1-3 tube journeys for £33.00 or get a zones 1-3 travelcard for £38.70. If you use a contactless payment card then you’ll only pay for the journeys you make, with the weekly cap of £38.70 as a safety net. If you can afford monthly tickets then the zone 1-3 travelcard will cost about the same as 22.5 days of PAYG journeys. You can still use PAYG if you are sure you won’t make any extra journeys.

      You are correct that the Network railcard won’t help with travel before 10am.

  212. Hi Mike.
    I’ve always had a paper ticket, but now we’re London Overground (TFL), it looks like I can get paper or Oyster depending where I buy it. I’ve read here that you don’t have to tap in or out as long as I stay within the valid zones, but is there any downside to Oyster where I could be charged more than the travelcard fee? For instance, to avoid the rain, at Victoria I often go from the street, through the north ticket hall barrier, along the vic line platform and then out the barrier in to the main station (to avoid the rain) and then back again after buying a coffee. There are no penalty fees for entering/exiting same station within 15 mins, or anything like that I should be aware of?


    • Hi Steve,

      You should be fine as long as the station is covered by your travelcard. The worst that will happen is that the gates might not open if they think you’re letting more than one person in, but staff should let you through.

  213. Hi Mike,

    Am coming to London in July this year with my partner both over 60. We are going to stay in Lewisham and do most of our travelling into the City.
    Would you think it would be better to use an oyster card with senior railcard included or a discounted travelcard?
    Also I take it that I could use the oyster card on National Rail to/trom a London Terminus.
    Would appreciate any advice

    • Hi Robert,

      It looks like you’ll only be travelling in zones 1 and 2 so you’ll definitely be better off with an Oyster card and the railcard discount. And yes, Oyster is valid on all rail services in London apart from Heathrow Express/Connect between Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow Airport.

  214. Hi Mike,

    I have zone 1-4 annual pass (use work’s interest free loan). I was wondering if using contactless is a better option. Because my annual pass doesn’t factor in my 5 weeks holidays and weekends when I rarely travel on tube. I am due a renewal soon. Your advise will be helpful. Much appreciated.


    • Hi Gul,

      An annual season ticket costs the same as 40 weeks, so your usual holidays and bank holidays are already covered. All season tickets are based on 5 days travel in any week. I’d carry on with the annual if I were you.

  215. Hi. Travelling from Welling to Kensington Olympia. Planning to change trains at Denmark Hill and Clapham Junction. Just changing platforms so presumably just touch in at Welling and touch out at Kensington Olympia ie no touching pink validators????

    • Hi Maddy,

      If you use my Oyster fare finder, the default route is the one avoiding zone 1 (covers zones 2-4) so no pinks required. You can further check that the alternative routes both describe changing at London terminals.

  216. Thanks. Not quite sure what route the default route is though?
    We are not doing the first alternative route but are doing the second one.
    We are starting out either 9.22 or 9.52 from Welling.
    Also Welling came up as NR 5 which I took to mean zone 5 yet Welling is zone 4 (unless they’ve suddenly changed the zones)

    • Hi Maddy,

      No, you’re right, Welling is in zone 4; the 5 is an error in my data which I’ll correct shortly. You are actually using the default route by changing at Denmark Hill. The alternative would have you stay on to Victoria, switch to a Southern train to Clapham Junction and then to Kensington Olympia from there.

  217. Have to collect a refund from my oyster card but don’t use public transport much. Have said I would collect from Feltham train station but I don’t want to actually make a journey, what do I do just scan in and then scan straight out again.

    • Hi Karen,

      No, that will charge you an maximum journey charge. The best thing in your case is to ask them to refund to your bank account. You’ll need to wait for the refund to lapse at Feltham, which should be after 8 days.

  218. I need to travel from Ashford Surrey to Barbican tube station for three months. How much it would cost for monthly ticket? Or any 3 months Season Ticket available in cheaper rate ?

    • Hi Shanmugam,

      A monthly Ashford to zones 1-6 travelcard is £275.40. Above a month you can choose any period and the price increases at 1/30th of a month per extra day above a round number of months. Exactly 3 months would be £826.20.

  219. Hi, I have a monthly rail ticket St Mary Cray to Victoria, can I use this ticket to travel from Charing Cross to Sidcup to visit friends this evening, or do I need to buy another single rail ticket?

  220. Hi,
    Not strictly relevant to fares but something I’ve always wondered -why do some stations have oyster top-up / ticket vending machines INSIDE the gateline (paid) area? London Bridge Underground Station has machines inside both the Jubilee and Northern underground gatelines. Is it for payment of excess fares perhaps?

  221. My nice easy commute to Farringdon has been ruined by a transfer ot Wandsworth town I come up from Kent to st Pancras then Victoria line to Vauxhall then to Wandsworth town I’ve got zones 1to 6 rail card does this cover the Vauxhall to Wandsworth leg or do I need to use my back up Oyster card

  222. Hi
    I plan on travelling from mill hill bdy to stratford and according to my route planner it is quicker if i change at st pancras intl and use the javelin to stratford intl.
    Now the information i can find contradicts itself as to whether i can use my pay and go or a travelcard and if it will cost more than normal. Are you able to confirm please.

    • Hi Elliott,

      You can use PAYG on the high speed line. It will cost significantly more and won’t count towards any caps. You can’t use a travelcard unless it is an out-boundary version from Kent marked “Plus HS1”

  223. Hi!
    I am travelling to Hampton Court Palace on Sunday July, 16th (from London) and, when I was checking the train timetable on the National Rail website, I read there will be “amended services” to and from Waterloo Station due to engineering works. How can I get to Hampton Court if the trains are not running? Thanks a lot!!!

    • Hi Sol,

      It looks like trains are running on that day. The day before (Sat) you’d need to get a train to Surbiton and pick up a shuttle to Hampton Court, but Sunday appears to be the usual half hourly service all the way. Other lines are affected.

  224. Sorry to leap onto this thread. I’m new to the forum and website today.

    In May 2017 my Oyster card dropped out of my pocket on a TfL train to Liverpool Street. I said as much at the ticket barrier and I was advised to speak to the two TfL men at their stand. One went to ask the cleaners if they’d found an Oyster card whilst the other one issued me with a £40 penalty fare. As he was issuing me the fare I was cancelling my auto top up Oyster on my phone. The issuer told me I could appeal the fine as long as I got a receipt from Oyster. A couple of days later I called the Oyster card people and they were able to send me a receipt via email showing that I’d tapped in at Romford, but not tapped out. I was deducted a maximum fare by Oyster card as a result of the call. Fair enough. However, the result of my appeal is that I was ordered to pay the £40 because I wasn’t able to provide a valid ticket for travel. I’m so angry. I’ve paid the fine – today – and a maximum fare.

    • Hi Swit,


      Technically speaking the penalty fare is correct because you weren’t able to show a valid ticket or smartcard when asked. Unfortunately I don’t think that the inspector/issuer had the authority to suggest an appeal, or certainly not to suggest that it would be cancelled with a receipt. It is good that you’ve paid the penalty fare as that means that it won’t escalate any further.

      What I would do now is write to TfL Rail customer services enclosing copies of everything you’ve got and request that they uphold what the inspector said and refund the penalty fare. If they feel unable to do that then at the least they must refund the incomplete journey charge because you should not have to pay twice. Try to stick to the facts and not get emotional. Come back and let me know how you get on.

  225. Hi Mike,

    I was wondering, my blue adult Oyster card keeps correctly capping my zones 1-3 fare, so on the last trip of the day, I save about 5p.

    So, here’s my question. If I then decided to travel from a zone 3 station to a zone 2 station, would I get charged, or would it still be free as I’ve already payed for zones 1-3.

    Sounds simple, but with TFL it is sometimes worth checking twice before you go and try something!!!


  226. Hi, I bought an Oyster card the first time I went to London. I kept it. I was wondering if the credit still on the card when I left, is still useable after a long period, like a year or two? Thanks a million.

  227. One can now use Oyster to Gatwick. What about the Freedom Pass? If not, I have a conundrum which to train conductor, station staff nor TFL phone helpline has been able to answer. If I get on an LGW from, say, Clapham Junction, my travel is free with my FP to Croydon. Assuming that the FP does not include LGW, I would have to pay for the travel after ECY. Paying with Oyster is significantly cheaper that buying a paper ticket from Natl Rail. However, how do I tap in? There is no time to do so whilst the train has its 1 min pause at ECY. Getting off with luggage to take the next train seems daft for obvious reasons. Tapping in at the beginning of my journey in Zone 3 defeats the advantage of the free travel to Croydon offered by the LP

    • Hi Mike,

      I’ll try and clarify with facts as best I can. The Freedom Pass is a specific product which is only related to Oyster in that they both utilise a smart card. Throughout Oysters existence the Freedom Pass has remained as it has always been. In fact to start with the Freedom Pass was valid at a couple of stations which did not accept Oyster (Dartford and Swanley which are both now in zone 8 and do accept Oyster). It is a London Councils funded product administered by TfL. It is valid throughout zones 1-6 as that roughly corresponds to the London Boroughs. Dartford and Swanley were included because there were parts of the boroughs of Bromley and Bexley where those stations were the nearest. It’s also valid on TfL services (Underground, London Overground and TfL Rail) outside zones 1-6. My understanding is that you have to live in a London Borough to be able to get one.

      So, looking at your questions, the Freedom Pass is not valid beyond Coulsdon South. You will need to have a paper ticket from either East Croydon, Coulsdon South or Boundary of zone 6 if you want to remain on the same train. Single tickets are all £5.20 to Gatwick Airport (apart from a cheaper Thameslink only fare from East Croydon).

      If you want to use PAYG Oyster then you have to follow the rules of that product and touch in at the start of the journey and out at the end. The peak single fare is £5.20 (ECR-GTW) and off-peak it’s £3.00. There is no magic solution to combining a Freedom Pass with PAYG Oyster, unfortunately.

      Hope that helps.

  228. Hi there, we are visiting London for 5 days in August, we are a family of 3 (2 adults & 1 child aged 11), I was going to use my contactless debit card when travelling by tube (as is my husband) but my 11 year old daughter doesn’t have one, so what would be the best thing to get for her to travel? I have a family & friends railcard and I read on th TfL site that I can use that to get a discounted daily travel card for my daughter, would that be the best option? Any advice appreciated, thanks Jan

    • Hi Janet,

      If you use the family and friends railcard then at least one adult and one child needs to buy tickets at the same time, and travel together. If you can give me a bit more detail of your travel plans (ie all in zones 1-2, might go further) I can further advise.

  229. Hi Mike, we are staying pretty central so most of our travel is likely to be in zones 1 & 2 but we have tickets to the IAAF world championships at the Olympic Park on 2 of the nights we’re there so not sure what zone that is in? Really appreciate any advice / help you can offer.

    Thanks Jan

    • Hi Jan,

      Stratford is in zones 2 and 3 so the 3 doesn’t count if you come from Central London. The family and friends off-peak travelcards are £8.10 per adult and £2.30 per child and these cover all of zones 1-6. Contactless will cap at £6.60 per adult in zones 1-2. You can get a normal Oyster card for your child and get the young visitor discount set for 14 days which means they will pay £3.30 max in zones 1-2. Full details are on the TfL website. Scroll down about half way for the young visitor details.

      So, one adult and a child pay £10.40/day for travelcards or £9.90/day using contactless and a discounted Oyster. If you end up only making a couple of tube journeys one day then you won’t cap so it will be less than £9.90.

  230. Hi Mike
    I am visiting London soon and will be making several day trips using a an Oyster and rail ticket combination. I am now feeling quite nervous about the tapping in and tapping out issue. For example, I will be travelling from Pinner to Salisbury as follows: Pinner to Victoria and Victoria to Clapham Junction by tube. Then I take the train from Clapham Junction to Salisbury. Do I need to “tap out” with the Oyster card at Clapham Junction before I board the train? Please help! Thank you!

    • Hi Bomesia,

      First, a minor correction. Victoria to Clapham Junction is not tube, it’s National Rail just like the train to Salisbury. That said, if you make the journey as planned then you will need to touch out at Clapham Junction. My personal recommendation would be to use Oyster for Pinner to Waterloo (cross platform interchange at Finchley Road between Metropolitan and Jubilee lines) and then a paper ticket from Waterloo to Salisbury.

  231. Hi, I will be taking the kids to London and want use the National Rail 2for1 offer for the zoo. We live in Chelmsford but may drive to Epping and catch the train from there. I believe,you have to have a rail ticket issued at a national rail station to get the 2for1 deal. Are tickets issued at Epping Station valid, or are they TFL tickets. Also, can I purchase One Day Travel Card without the overhead rail part at Chelmsford (as this will have the National Rail logo,on it) and then drive to Epping. Thankyou

    • Hi Lel,

      Tickets issued at Epping will be TfL tickets. Chelmsford should be able to sell inboundary zone 1-6 travelcards, but you’ll need to explain clearly what you want to do or they may try to sell you the Chelmsford to zone 6 bit as well.

  232. Hello Mike, my niece who is 6 years old will be visiting me here in London for 2 weeks. She will not have zip Oyster card as we don’t have enough time to apply. I live in Sutton and would be travelling with her via Victoria station( southern rail) to the tourist spots. It’s the blue route where free travel for kids her age is possible only with zip Oyster card. I’m planning to get her a normal Oyster card. Is she eligible for discounts since TfL website does not clearly mention anything for age 5-11 in these situations. Some clarity would be helpful. Thanks!

    • Hi Ria,

      Depending on when she is coming to London it may be worthwhile applying for the zip card. If her parents can apply online with a passport number then the card is sent out within a week. They could send it on to you if the two weeks have started by then.

      Otherwise, the best bet* is a blue adult Oyster card with the young visitor discount. This only gets half price travel though, and journeys from Sutton to Victoria and back will soon add up. Don’t use the Oyster on the Underground or buses as she is free. You might need to persuade staff to give you the discount by explaining about the charges on National Rail.

      *unless you have a National Railcard or a Gold Annual season ticket. Then you can get her a travelcard for £2.30.

    • Hi Gary,

      It depends what length of travelcard you bought. If it’s weekly or monthly then you can either add a zone 3-5 travelcard or just use PAYG for the extra zones. If it’s a longer validity then you can extend the zones.

  233. Thank you, Mike. I think I now understand the tapping in and out part. In terms of the actual trip, I ended up changing the tickets because of all the upcoming disruptions at Clapham. I think Waterloo will also be affected. My new route is through Paddington – a bit longer but I think less of a hassle in the end.
    Thanks again for this great service.

  234. Hi

    I need to commute from seven sisters to stevenage everyday from September. Is there a travel card I can purchase for this journey?


    • Hi Emma,

      Yes. Ask for Stevenage to zones 2-6. Travelcards can only be specified with the zones as the destination. You need to change at Finsbury Park.

  235. Hi Mike,

    I’m sure this’ll be covered somewhere, but I’m struggling to find it out. I’m moving to Battersea Park, and for the first time have encountered…you guessed it…the mixed NR/TfL premium through Zone 1. I normally work in the St James’ Square (so, Green Park or Piccadilly Circus tube) area, and I can’t work out whether a Zones 1-2 travelcard would help me avoid the premium cost, or whether it’s still levied even if you use a travelcard.

    Thanks for all your work on this site – your knowledge is outstanding!

    • Hi Kate,

      A travelcard is valid for all* rail travel within the zones, there is nothing extra to pay. In the case of a mixed mode journey you will save money over using PAYG because the combined fares are so high. In fact, the daily cap for zones 1-2 is less than 2 off-peak mixed fares, let alone peak. The weekly travelcard or (Mon-Sun) contactless cap is 5 times the daily cap.

      * Usual annoying caveats – travelcards aren’t valid on HS1 (St Pancras to Stratford) or at Heathrow (Express or Connect).

  236. Hi Mike
    I live in zone 1 and need an annual season ticket to get to Chelmsford each day, using tube then rail. when I use the season ticket price calculator, and put London to Chelmsford it is £3832, without the tube. If I put Chelmsford to London it is £4836 including a zone1-6 travelcard – which is what I want. Each day I will be travelling from London to Chelmsford first, not the other way around. Does this make any difference? Should I be able to get the Chelmsford to London ticket for 4836 and use it to commute from London? I cannot see any reason why not, but it seems odd the 4836 fare is not shown if I search London to Chelmsford.
    Hope you can help – love the site – Mark.

    • Hi Mark,

      It’s fine. Travelcards have to be specified with the zones as the destination, it’s just the way the fares database works. You can use season tickets either way round and as many times as you want in a day.

  237. Hi there. If I don’t touch out at a train station by accident but im on a monthly oyster travelcard, will i be fined or does it have any penalty whatsoever? Thanks

    • Hi Alex,

      There is no penalty for failing to touch in or out within the zones covered by your travelcard. There is a problem if your journey takes you beyond those zones and you need to use PAYG for part of the fare.

  238. Hi mike,

    what is the fastest and cheapest way to travel from Stratford station to Uxbridge station and Maryland station to Uxbridge station. I have a 18+ student oyster. Thanks

    • Hi Mrahman,

      As usual with this sort of question, fastest does not equal cheapest. The fastest route is TfL Rail to Liverpool Street then Metropolitan line to Uxbridge, taking the first Met line train and changing at Finchley Road if an Uxbridge train isn’t on the board. You’ll need zones 1-6 for that.

      The cheapest uses London Overground from Stratford to Finchley Road and Frognal then a short walk to Finchley Road and pick up the Met line there. You’ll only need zones 2-6 for that.

      In both cases, starting from Maryland doesn’t change the travelcard required but will add a few minutes to the journey.

  239. Hi Mike,

    I am currently looking to purchase a monthly travel card as I have just started working in zone 1 – I will likely up this to yearly when I am able to. However, I was just wondering if my monthly travel card will work at anytime on weekends? I am based in Romford and will need zones 1-6 and I use my oyster often for social reasons. Does the travel card itself have any restrictions regarding times you are (un)able to use it?

    I was recommended here by a friend who said your advice really helped them so I would appreciate any information you can give me.

    Thank you!


    • Hi Alana,

      Yes, a monthly travelcard is valid at anytime during the month. If you are going to make lots of extra journeys then the travelcard is worthwhile, but if you were to only travel from Romford to (say) Oxford Circus and back 5 days a week then you’d actually be better off with PAYG.

  240. Hi Mike,

    I’m going to be using the Waterloo & City line soon and I was wondering if it is actually necessary to touch in and out on the Oyster readers at each end of the line, as I understand that the line validators are in the station gateline. The last time I travelled on the W&C was about 6 years ago, and I remember being totally confused then! Surely if I touch in at Bank and the out at Waterloo, it will charge me the correct fare of £2.40 even if I don’t use the W&C validators?

    • Hi Will,

      One exit from the Waterloo & City at Waterloo takes you straight out to the unpaid area. You will need to touch the validators at that point. There are then gates to take you inside the paid area at Waterloo Mainline, but these only do that – start/end National Rail journeys.

  241. Hi Mike – hoping you can save me from my confusion!

    I’m soon moving to Ashford Surrey, just outside of zone 6! I work in Hammersmith and will be commuting there Mon-Fri during peak times.

    I’m looking for a travelcard that would allow me to complete the journey without having to tap in an Oyster card at Feltham (as this would involve getting off the train then jumping back on!) or having to tap in at Richmond as I believe this would mean I would have to leave and re-enter the barriers to tap in?

    However if I don’t tap in anywhere I would then surely get penalised when trying to tap out to exit at Hammersmith. So I’m not sure this is even possible?

    Any help or suggestions would be hugely appreciated!! Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Kim,

      You need a paper season ticket from Ashford to zones 2-6. Sadly this can’t be put on an Oyster card. If you need to travel into zone 1 then you can get off at either Vauxhall or Earls Court, use your season ticket to exit and an Oyster card to enter before continuing to your destination. Both stations are on the boundary between zones 1 and 2 so you aren’t double paying. Off-peak from Hammersmith to zone 1 is the same as zone 1 only so you could just use Oyster for the whole journey.

  242. Hi Mike,

    We are coming to the UK next month and want to travel from Horley to and from London Victoria one day. Our journey will start in Horley after 10 am on a Thursday but we are not sure about the return time (could be at Peak time). We have Visitor Oyster cards with £30 credit on them; will the system just charge us for an Off-Peak return ticket even if we return during Peak Time ? We will be using the Oyster cards on the tube (3 trips zone 1) and (one) bus the same day; is the credit sufficient ?

    Interesting and informative site btw.

  243. great advice on here so far, I live in Ashford Surrey and recently got a job in Warren St for around three days a week, is it still cheaper to buy a weekly season from Ashford to zone 1? and would that work if I leave at Vauxhall and go into the underground? I Think its £71.70 a week?

    • Hi Stephen,

      If it’s 3 days then daily tickets are cheaper, 4 or more and the weekly saves money. The travelcard option is actually Ashford to zones 1-6 and yes, you can switch at Vauxhall. If you are using daily tickets then the travelcard inclusive anytime return is a little over-priced. As long as you don’t go beyond zones 1-2 in Central London then the £6.60 daily cap is less than the £7.20 difference in fares. Just use Oyster or a contactless payment card for the Underground.

  244. Hi Mike,

    On April 20 till April 22 my boyfriend and me will visit London for 3 days. We are arriving on Southend Airport. From there we will take the train (Greater Anglia) to Liverpool street. For sightseeing I wanted to buy an Oyster card with £25. Can we use the Oyster card for the train as well? And how much do we need to put on it? Thanks

    • Hi Jellie,

      You can use Oyster on trains, but not as far out as Southend Airport. If your sightseeing will be restricted to zones 1-2 only then the daily cap on your card is £6.80. You should therefore only need £20.40 for 3 days, plus the £5 refundable deposit. Alternatively you could use contactless credit/debit cards (you’d need one each) so you wouldn’t have to worry about topping up or a deposit.

  245. Hi Mike
    I am travelling from Woodgrange Park to Gunnersbury, so I have Z2-3 travelcard. Normally I change at Gospel Oak and use the pink reader. There is an overground service at 7:59am from Woodgrange Park to Wiilesden Junction, which doesn’t stop at Gospel Oak. Few years ago when I tried and used pink reader at Willesden Juntion it has charged me as if I used Zone 1. This journey is obviously not using Zone 1. What can I do to have the correct amount charged?