Railcards and Discounts

Disabled Railcards

Holders of the above National Rail discount railcard can have their entitlement registered on their adult* Oyster card.  This then gives them 1/3 off the price of all single rail fares and caps (NR, tube, DLR and Overground).  There are no discounts for bus or tram single fares.  Also, while the railcard will only discount the purchase of zone 1-6 and 1-9 paper travelcards, on Oyster you also get reductions on the zone 1-2, 1-3, 1-4 and 1-5 caps as well.  Plus the Oyster caps are cheaper than the related travelcards.  An adult companion travelling with a disabled railcard holder can purchase a discounted off-peak day travelcard.

16-25/26-30/HM Forces/Senior/Veterans Railcards and the Annual Gold Card

Holders of the above National Rail discount railcards can have their entitlement registered on their adult* Oyster card.  This then gives them 1/3 off the price of all single off-peak rail fares (NR, tube, DLR and Overground) and also the off-peak price cap.  Remember that the off-peak cap applies during the evening peak between 1600-1900.  There are no discounts for bus or tram single fares.  Also, while the railcard will only discount the purchase of zone 1-6 and 1-9 paper travelcards, on Oyster you also get reductions on the zone 1-2, 1-3, 1-4 and 1-5 caps as well.  Plus the Oyster caps are cheaper than the related travelcards.

*Note that only adult and student 18+ Oyster cards can benefit from the railcard discount. 16+ zip cards get 50% discount on all fares.

How to get the discount

You need to take your Oyster card and your National Rail discount card to an Underground station*, or a National Rail ticket office listed on this page.  You then ask the clerk to add your discount entitlement to your Oyster card.  It will be valid until the expiry of the railcard.  Once your Oyster has a discount attached to it you can no longer share it with other people as it is only valid with the associated discount card.

*At an Underground station you should ask one of the visible members of staff who will use a special menu on one of the ticket machines.

And that’s all there is to it. Logic says that if you buy an annual travelcard season the Gold card discount flag should automatically be set, but it won’t be. Just ask the clerk to ensure that it’s set.

Others (inc Family & Friends/Network/Two Together Railcards)

If you have other railcards then it is often cheaper to use them, along with paper tickets, rather than use individual Oyster cards.  You can use the family & friends and two together railcards after 09.30 Mon-Fri, plus anytime weekends and public holidays.  The Network Railcard cannot be used in the Oyster area on Mon-Fri because of the minimum fare.

The January 2015 fares revision has made things much more complex.  The increase in the price of paper off-peak travelcards means than many simple single and return journeys will now be cheaper using full price PAYG.  One thing is certain though, with child off-peak fares and caps frozen yet again, they are almost always better off with Oyster as long as they have a zip card, of course.

You also need to remember that children aged 5-10 travel free with a zip oyster card (except between Coulsdon South – Gatwick Airport, Epsom – Ewell East/West, Crews Hill – Hertford North, Hadley Wood – Potters Bar, Elstree & Borehamwood – Radlett and St Pancras International – Stratford International).

1,114 thoughts on “Railcards and Discounts”

  1. Every moth i renew my monthly travel card zone 1-3 and whenever i have to travel beyond zone 3 i just top it up and i can travel.

    On the other hand my wife purchased zone 1-3 goldcard (paper ticket)think it is more beneficial for her to buy a goldcard and when ever she had to traver beyond zone 3 she will need to purchased another ticket from the ticket office. But many staff dont know about boundary zone ticket and the will sell her a noraml ticket even though she will ask.
    the station run by london overground.
    my question
    1 why they dont give the right ticket to the passenger.
    2 all the staff of london overground instead of helping us passengers they will spen time chatting on their phone WHY (we dont pay for such service)
    3why when one london overground ticket staff made a mistake another london overground ticket office cant rectify it.
    4. why when my wife showed them her gold card they refused to open the gate (even though she told them that it is not working properly).
    ======ARE WE HAVING A GOOD SERVICE I !!!!!!=====


    • Hi Kamal,

      You can put an annual travelcard on an Oyster card as well. You’ll get a record card to enable you to get discounts on travel outside London while the discount flag gives you discounts on off-peak single rail fares and the off-peak cap. As to your other complaints I suggest you contact London Overground customer services.

  2. Hi Mike,
    I really appreciate your website (and your helpful comments here and other rail sites).
    A question if I may, I renewed my Annual Z1-3 travel card earlier in the week and the ticket clerk went to re-add the Gold Card and noticed that my YP railcard was also registered and he said it was better to leave that on rather than replace it with the GC. Now it doesn’t bother me as I so rarely use my oyster outside of my zones, and indeed thought that it was my GC rather than my YP that was registered with the account, but I was wondering if you could think of any situations where having the YP rather than the GC would be advantageous? The only possible thing that I could think of was that the restrictions for minimum fares for the YP are lifted July and August. Are there similar restriction easements on the times for off-peak caps / LUL Rail fares with a YP in the summer? I would have asked the clerk why he felt that the YP was better but there was a queue and is was the only window open.
    Many Thanks, Nick.

    • Hi Nick,

      Is the 16-25 railcard a three-year version with more than a year still to go? If yes then he’s saved you the hassle of linking cards again until it expires.

      Oyster treats all NR railcards the same. Discounts are given on off-peak single fares and off-peak caps. This includes discounts on fares between 0430 and 0630 but also no discounts on most fares between 1600 and 1900. It uses the same setting for all railcards so the only way he would know that it was a 16-25 railcard would be the extended expiry, or possibly a guess if the expiry didn’t match your season.

      Obviously you need to carry the 16-25 railcard with you whenever you travel beyond your zones.

  3. I have always had my Network Railcard linked to my oyster meaning Pay as You Go fares off peak are lower – presumably like the YP Railcard mentioned by Nick. Was the card incorrectly linked or have the rules changed?

    My Network Rail Card expired last week, will I no longer be able to link this card with my Oyster?


    • Hi seb,

      The card was incorrectly linked. The rules have not changed. The minimum fare on weekdays means that the card is effectively useless within the Oyster area.

  4. I have perviously tried to get my senior railcard attached to my oyster to no avail. I contacted oyster customer services who stated my discount hadnt been put on hence i have not had my discoun t applied since the 21st JAN.
    I was assured by the person at the station it had been added. I even called the tfl oyster people to confirm they said it had as well —– but no discount. when I received my oyster statement I asked where my discount for my journeys are, to be told there is no sentior railcard added to my account.Well as I have not received any discount so far maybe your instructions will help many thanks.
    Staff need to be trained on putting these on .

    • Hi Maureen,

      Can you confirm as many details as possible. What sort of Oyster card is it? In particular, is it the 60+ card issued to those over 60 but not quite old enough for a freedom pass? And when are you travelling and over what routes. You won’t get any discount applied before 0930, nor will single fares be discounted between 1600-1900. Also, can you spill the beans on which station you are using?

  5. Hi Mike

    I have a question about Chiltern’s free travel at the weekend with a season ticket offer. I wanted to know if I could get the same deal if I bought the ticket from their website rather a Chiltern station.

    I used a Z1-4 travel card and their website says you can get the free travel at weekends using a season ticket in Oyster if you show your ticket receipt.

    The response from Chiltern to my email says the free travel deal only applies for Chiltern point to point session tickets and not travel cards. Grrr confusing. Are you able to help? Thank you

  6. Hello,
    Please can you help? i am confused about best tickets.
    My husband & i + 3 children are visiting London in March for 5 days.
    We do qualify for both Disabled railcard OR friends and family rail card. Our children are aged 13, 9 and 8 so 2 adults + 3 children traveling together.

    iI need help on which would be best and offer best discounts.

    Kind regards Patricia

    • Hi Patricia,

      You will almost certainly be better off with paper travelcards using the family and friends railcard. If your travel can be restricted to Underground, DLR and buses, plus London Overground* then your 8 and 9 year olds will not need to pay.

      * There are a few National Rail routes as well as London Overground that operate on the TfL basis. Any FGW, Chiltern, London Midland or C2C routes within the London fare zones will also be fine. See the definitions page on this site for details of a few other routes.

  7. I have a YP railcard and im using a temporary (normal adult) oyster card but im getting another one through the post with money on that TFL owe me.. so can I add the YP discount on the current card and then add it on to the new one when it comes through? as i will be returning my current card to receive the deposit back

    • Hi Hannah,

      Yes you can. You can attach a railcard to more than one Oyster card, but obviously only one can be used at any one time because you have to carry the railcard with you as well.

  8. Hi Mike,

    Great website, thanks for all the info.
    I just want to clear up something. I live in London within zone 3. My wife has an annual 1-3 travelcard and i use oyster payg within zones 1-3. I have seen that she can get me a Network railcard for £1 which is great. Can that be put on my oyster and then used for my payg journeys? I travel at peak times (around 8.30am and 6pm). I also occassionally travel within the Network Railcard area so once this has been loaded on my Oyster can I still use it for National Rail services?

    • Hi Rob,

      No, the Network Card cannot be added to an Oyster card because the minimum fare on weekdays means it would never be useable within the Oyster area.

  9. Hi Mike, just wanted to say great website, it’s actually more helpful in many ways than the official ones.

    Do you happen to know if the link shows up at oyster.tfl.gov.uk after the cards are associated? I asked for a receipt but they didn’t provide any because it was a simple registration process. So I asked if it would appear on the aforementioned website, and they nodded. I’m not sure if that was a confirmation though. I checked the website right afterwards and nothing seems to be there yet confirming the link, but sometimes the website takes a while to update.


    • Hi Schiez,

      I don’t think the railcard discount appears anywhere apart from the full printout which would be the receipt that you asked for. The last time I added one for my son they also wouldn’t give me a receipt, but the clerk did turn the screen so I could see it on there.

  10. Hi
    I have an anual Gold Card paper ticket from Banstead to London Terminals and pay as you go oyster. Can I have the gold card added to my Oyster to receive the travel discounts on other journey’s?

    Great site by the way

  11. I’m finding it a bit hard to decipher. Seems that one of the discounts only apply if I but a ticket each day using my Oystercard (rather than a weekly). But then I would lose money on not buying a weekly, if that makes sense.

    • Hi Toby,

      I’m not quite sure what you’re trying to say here. National railcards newver give discounts on season tickets. Only the student Oyster card offers reduced travelcard seasons. If you can explain in more detail I’ll try and understand what you are saying.

  12. Sorry, I was talking to someone else when I typed my query, so it got a bit muddled. I have been buying a weekly oyster card as this is cheaper than getting tickets every day. Can i still get a discount on my weekly with a 16-25 rail card or does this just operate in single tickets.

    • Hi toby,

      The railcard only gives disounts on single and return tickets. A season ticket is already discounted compared to five anytime return tickets.

  13. Hello. I’m coming to London on Friday and arriving at Liverpool street station. I have an Oyster card and family and friends rail card. There will be 2 adults and 2 children (both 8 years old) travelling together. We are only going to South Kensington and back to Liverpool street off peak both directions. What is the cheapest ticket option? Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Sarah,

      Kids under 11 travel free on the Underground. Liverpool Street to South Kensington is zone 1 only so you’ll be better off using an Oyster card for the adults (£2.10 each way). The family and friends railcard won’t help you on this occasion.

  14. The Chiltern offer is definitely available on Oyster, but you have to go to the Chiltern Railways ticket office at Marylebone.
    You must carry both the Oystercard and Record when using the offer. It does sometimes cause a little confusion when I show my Oystercard to the gateline staff at Moor Street 🙂

  15. Hi, I have a 16-25 rail card….. so do i just go to any understand station to add my discount to my oyster? Could i go to Wimbledon Station as its the closest one to me and could start my discounted journey?

    • Hi Melissa,

      Yes, I believe you can go to Wimbledon to get the discount added. Depending on how much you travel on that day though, you may cap at the discounted rate even if your first journey was undiscounted. The only thing it won’t do is refund any overpaid charges, so don’t leave it until after you’ve passed the disocunted cap for the zones you will use.

  16. I am visiting my son for a few days in surrey and thinking of getting an oyster card in advance as i live in nottinghamshire. I have a senior railcard and would like to know how to get this added correctly to the oyster card. Do i need to register the card first. thanks

    • Hi Carol,

      Although it’s technically possible to add a railcard to an unregistered Oyster, the instructions given to staff seem to indicate that it must be done. In your case I would buy the Oyster card online so it can be registered at the same time. Then take it and your railcard to a Central London tube station where most of the staff will know what to do right away. You might need to know the security word which you’ll set up as part of the application process.

  17. Hi there,

    Don’t know if you can help (nothing to do with Oyster) but I hope so. I commute in from Diss, sometimes to Liverpool Street (a week at a time), sometimes to Stratford (London) as my firm has two offices. I was wondering why I can’t buy a weekly season ticket from Diss to Stratford, but I can buy one from Diss to Liverpool Street or Diss to U1. If I was travelling from Ipswich it would be ok (on the same line), but not from Diss. It just doesn’t come up on the online fares calculator. The cost difference would be massive over a month. I know this hasn’t got a lot to do with Oyster, but I couldn’t see where else to post this. Thanks!

    • Hi Danny,

      I don’t know why it isn’t offered either, but do you realise that a season ticket entitles you to make any intermediate journey along the line of route? So a season to Liverpool Street is valid to alight at Stratford (or Colchester, Chelmsford, etc etc)

  18. When my 3 year Senior Railcard to which my Oystercard was linked expired, I renewed it again for 3 years. Will the renewed Railcard have been linked automatically to my Oystercard or do I have to link it?


  19. That’s useful thanks Mike, I didn’t know that I could make intermediate journeys with a season ticket. Nobody tells you these things do they? In fcat it’s really useful as it means if I have a weekly season ticket and have a day off during the week, I can use my season ticket to go into Ipswich or Colchester. The main reason I wanted a season ticket option from Diss to Stratford though is I expect it would cost a fair bit less than a season ticket from Diss to Liverpool Street. Comparing prices for the same options from Ipswich show £146.00 from Ipswich to Liverpool Street for seven days and £138.60 from Ipwich to Stratford. But that’s the furthest on the line you can do it- Stowmarket and Diss allow season tickets for Liverpool Street and U1-6 but not for Stratford, and Norwich only allows U1-6. I’ll try and email them and ask why.

  20. Mike

    I noticed after I loaded my gold card discount that online my card now is occasionally flagged as a non-adult card which confused me.

    I got the following reply from TFL:

    In answer to your enquiry, when you have a discount loaded on to your Oyster card it changes the way it is recognised on the online system. As the majority of discounted cards are the photocards available for children and students it will show this as an error message online. This will not affect using your adult Oyster card in any way.

    As a result you will not be able to use some of the online options in place for a standard Oyster card.

    I am sorry for any inconvenience caused.

    This seems a bit of handy for TFL assumption as most folks with an NR Gold Card are adults, as are most holders of Senior/Disabled/Forces cards.

    How much it impacts folks (how often do you transfer season tickets/travelcards between Oyster cards – one of the functions now blocked online) compared to the benefit is open to discussion, but thought you’d like to know.

    • Hi Charles,

      I think the distinction is between a normal adult PAYG only card and anything else. You can’t apply for refunds on incomplete journeys online if you have a travelcard or a discount.

  21. Hi,

    Do you have a list of overground stations that you can go to to link your GC with your Oyster please? I read last week it could be done at St Pancras but they looked at me like I was mad and told me to go to the Underground ticket office but the queue was too long so I didn’t receive my discount.

    • Hi Susy,

      Was it the FCC ticket office or the EMT one at St Pancras. The FCC one will do it while the EMT one doesn’t have the equipment. Otherwise the list on this page should help.

  22. Hi Mike,
    This is a great post. I just wanted to clarify before I buy. I am travelling to london from birmingham (3 adults and a 12 yr old) in april. Stopping in zone 1 or 3 (havent decided yet) but will be travelling between zones 1,2 & 3.
    I have a friends and family railcard that i want to use. Will i need to buy my underground tickets with my train tickets to get the discount or can i go to a tube station with my railcard and get discounted tube tickets. Also how much would the daily travel card be with the railcard discount.


    • Hi Sam,

      With paper tickets you can only get discounts on the zone 1-6 and zone 1-9 versions. These cost £5.90/adult and £2.00/child for the off-peak tickets. They can be bought at Underground stations as well. The travelcard is valid on all rail (inc tube and dlr) apart from St Pancras to Startford International (HS1) and Hayes&Harlington to Heathrow Airport (Heathrow Express/Connect).

  23. I have a Senior Railcard and will be spending 2 full days and parts of 2 other days in London next month, travelling solely on the Underground Zones 1 and 2. It seems to me that a Visitors Oyster Card would be best for me, but I can I have this linked to my Senior Railcard? And if so, do I have to annoy everyone in the queue at my first Underground ticket office (the very busy Paddington one) by asking for it to be linked there (and possibly taking ages for it to be sorted)?

    • Hi Mike,

      I wouldn’t recommend a visitor Oyster card. You cannot get a refund of the fee on them and you can’t load travelcard seasons either. I’m not sure about adding a railcard, but it would not surprise me if this was barred as well.

      You don’t have to get the card added before the first journey, but it will have to be done by before the third one, or you won’t fully benefit from the reduced cap that day.

  24. Hi Mike

    This is a fantastic resource!

    I noticed that the National Rail booking engine allows me to plan journeys from London using a network card before 10am as long as the National Rail portion of the journey starts after 10. For example Oxford Circus to Southampton. I can’t see anywhere a justification that this is OK – all the Ts&Cs I can find specify no travel before 10. Do you know if it is in fact allowed? And would it be any different if I was starting on the tube at a NR station like Finsbury Park?



    • Hi Alan,

      I don’t think it is allowed, but if you print out an itinerary at the time of booking the tickets and stick to it then you should be allowed to travel. As to Finsbury Park, it might work if the tube is clearly the first train, but I don’t know.

  25. Hi Mike,

    Just wanted to thank you and your visitors for all the information regarding gold card discounts.

    I purchased a Zone 2-3 Annual Travelcard from Golders Green Station yesterday, and checked for the discount at Finchley Road and Frognal this morning. Lo and behold, it had not been added… However, I showed the ticket booth staff the instructions, and my discount was dutifully loaded.


  26. hi!
    recently purchased an oyster card and was hoping for some advice! I travel from Bushey to Old street most days, normally during peak times. I have a 16-25 discount card and was just wondering whether it is cheaper to use my oyster or just get a travelcard with my railcard ?

    • Hi Alice,

      You can’t get discounts on anytime travelcards with a 16-25 railcard. If you only travel to and from work up to 10 single journeys a week with little other useage, a travelcard is not going to save you anything over PAYG.

  27. Hi Mike.
    Great site thank you. I am a 26 year old londoner looking to purchase a railcard. I was about to buy a network railcard but then I read about the goldcard. I travel most days in london. I have read on another site (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/mindthegap/2011/01/mind_the_gaps_mind_your_wallet.html) that linked me to yours to purchase a season ticket with a goldcard for a train journey on the Isle of Wight, for Ryde. I will never use that – but that’s the way to get a goldcard and be able to get 1/3 off oyster card travel pay as you go, with no minimum, after 9:30am. Is that correct? Do you know what train journey they might be referring to? Does the goldcard discount when applied to oyster pay as you go refer to all means of transport (I have read that it does, but wanted to check)
    On a separate note, what is the evening off peak for pay as you go? I always thought before 9:30am/after 9:30am was the two price brackets. Please inform!
    Thanks in advance. Emily

    • Hi Emily,

      Ryde St Johns Road to Ryde Esplanade is one of the cheapest fares within the Network area. It still costs £156 though for an annual gold card season. Another example is Newhaven Town to Newhaven Harbour at the same price. I don’t think you can get it for less. With that ticket added to your Oyster you will get 1/3 off all off-peak single rail tickets (inc tube and dlr) and the off-peak caps. Between 1600-1900 you will be charged peak single fares for most journeys, but the off-peak cap still applies. You also get off-peak fares between 0430-0630, but they don’t count towards the off-peak cap. It’s all explained on the Peak, Off-Peak and Caps page on my site.

      Hope this helps.

  28. Hi I travel 7 days in 1to 4 zone at 8:30 and return at 20.00 evening just want to know got friends and family railcard if I attach that to my oyster will I get the discount on my fares thnxx

  29. Hi Mike

    Yours is the first site that is making the confusing UK travel system clear! We are a South African family & will be spending about 9 days in and around London in July and we will be doing some longer trips as well. We are 2 adults, 2 18year olds and 1 15 year old so I see we qualify for a family card. The one 18 yr old already has the 16-25 card as he is in the UK for a year. Two questions – Do we use the family card for the 18 yr old or is it better for him to use his card? Would it be better to use the 7day travel card rather than the family card?

    • Hi Clairanne,

      The discount for a 16-25 railcard is the same as the adult discount on the family and friends railcard, so it doesn’t really matter. The 7-day travelcard includes travel before 9.30am which makes it quite expensive. If you can avoid travel before 9.30am then daily off-peak travelcards discounted with your railcards will be much better value. You should also search for Britrail passes online in case they are an option.

      Hope this helps.

  30. Mike
    My question is about the senior railcard. We are outside the Freedom Pass area so have an Oyster Card that tops up as needed. We rarely travel before 9.30. Would we get a discount on the underground fare from Epping to say Oxford Circus?

  31. My wife and I each have PAYG card. I have listed them both in my online Oyster account. Today my wife presented herself, her Oyster Card and her NR Senior Railcard at the Underground booking office at Liverpool Street, and requested Senior Card be added to Oyster Card. She was rebuffed with the response that she would have to register the card, and handed a form to fill in. As we had better things to do and no immediate requirement to travel, we haven’t done this yet.
    We will be going to Liverpool Street again on Saturday, can you advise whether she should obey this instruction, or simply present the booking clerk with you instructions, which seem to imply that a Senior railcard can be added to an unregistered PAYG Oyster Card.

    • Hi John,

      Although the instructions above do seem to say that railcards can be attached to unregistered Oyster cards, I believe that the instruction to staff is that they must be registered.

  32. Hi Mike
    Your advice on here seems really useful and following what seems like an endless trawl through various websites for info on the best way to travel on public transport I hope you can help! We (2 adults and 1 child aged 14) are off to London next weekend (Fri – Tues) and want to know what we should be purchasing to get the cheapest travel around London. We have a family and friends railcard but don’t know whether its cheaper to get Oyster cards or off peak travel cards? Can we use the f&f railcard (already purchased) to get a discount on either of these options? I have to say I’m very confused! Your help would be appreciated 🙂

    • Hi Sara,

      Yes, you can use the f&f railcard to buy travelcards at £5.90 per adult and £2 per child. That covers all travel on rail, tubes and DLR in zones 1-6 (except St Pancras Int – Stratford Int and Hayes & Harlington – Heathrow) plus buses and trams throughout the TfL area. There are no discounts on the smaller zone 1-2 and 1-4 travelcards. Monday to Friday you cannot travel before 0930.

  33. Hi Mike!

    Maybe you can help! I currently travel from Wandsworth Common to Woking about 4 days per week. I currently purchase a London all Zone and Woking travel card monthly.

    I am debating, in order to get a 1/3 off railfares to get an annual gold card from WC to Woking and then use my Oyster card for any other travel in London. What’s your thoughts – is this the best way?

    All very confusing!!



    • Hi Russell,

      If you travel via Clapham Junction without going via Waterloo or Victoria then you only need Woking to zones 2-6. This would then cover you for everything in London apart from zone 1 on trains/tubes. If you buy an annual ticket then you can get that recorded on your Oyster card to give you discounted off-peak fares when you have to go into zone 1.

      Hope that helps.

  34. Ok that makes sense, thanks! Any idea on what zones 2-6 and the woking addition would be for 1 month, I can’t seem to find that – can then see if it would be worth it.

    So if I get the annual pass and add to the Oyster Card – will it allow me to use my Oyster in zones 2-6?

    Last Q! Is the 1/3 off rail fares with Gold applicable to most routes?

    Great – thanks Mike, there should be one of you for all services!!!

    • Hi Russell,

      To get prices including travelcards enter Woking and Clapham Junction in that order into the season ticket calculator. This usually gives you 3 options being the point-to-point price, the travelcard for just the zones you need and the all-zones travelcard. For Woking there is an extra option adding a more roundabout route.

      If you get an annual point-to-point season ticket then you can add that to your Oyster and get 1/3 off all rail off-peak singles and the off-peak caps. If you include zones 2-6 on your season ticket then you will only want to use Oyster on journeys involving zone 1 as everything else is covered by your paper ticket.

      The discount applies to all rail, tube and dlr off-peak journeys apart from SEHS between St Pancras and Stratford Intl and also between Heathrow and Hayes & Harlington.

  35. Mike that is really useful, so thank you.

    Last question – if you travel from zones say 6 -1 I can use my travel card (zones 6-2) do I have to get off and go back in or can I go straight to zone 1 – so check in at zone 6 with my travel card and then check out at zone 1 with my oyster?


    • Hi Russell,

      If you had your travelcard on Oyster then you could stay on the train, but unfortunately you can’t because your Oyster only knows about the discount rather than what season you own. However, coming in from Woking isn’t too bad. If you just want Waterloo then you can buy a return from Vauxhall to Waterloo at Woking and use it with your season ticket. The train doesn’t need to stop at Vauxhall either. For other places, Vauxhall is your friend because it is dual zoned (1 and 2). Thus you can arrive on your season ticket, change to Underground, and start using Oyster from there. As long as you can get off at Clapham Junction on a fastish train then connections to Vauxhall are very frequent and only take about 5 minutes.

      Hope that helps.

  36. Thanks Mike – I do travel quite a lot in zone 1 on weekends, I suppose for the saving of £500 it would make sense, depends if I can be bothered with the hassle of always getting off at a dual zoned station!

    • Hi Russell,

      Do you live in Woking or Wandsworth? If it’s the latter and your travel that day is only in zones 1-4 then you might as well use the Oyster card as the cap with a railcard is only £5.10.

  37. Hello Mike. For the last fewf years I’ve applied for a Gold Card partner Network Rail card alongside my Annual Gold Card.

    When I’ve purchased the partner card the station staff have added (on request) the discount flag to the partner’s oyster card as well as my own oyster (which has the annual ticket), which has enabled the parter to get 1/3rd off of off-peak PAYG fares for the year. However this year they have refused to add the flag to the partners card.

    Should it not have been done in the past?
    Have the rules changed at some point?
    Or which page of the national fares manual do I need to quote at them to get them to do it?


    • Hi Tom,

      Sorry, but you were lucky before. Only the holder of a gold card is entitled to the discount flag on Oyster. The partner card is simply a Network Railcard at a nominal rate and suffers from the minimum fare restriction on Mondays to Fridays which renders it useless in the Oyster area.

  38. Hi Mike
    I have a monthly travelcard on my oyster. Can I use Family & friends card to get a discount to buy a day travelcard for our kids? Thanks

    • Hi Edita,

      Sorry for the delay replying. You can only use your season ticket with the railcard if it is an annual ticket. For seasons less than a year duration you will need to buy a discounted ticket for yourself. It may be cheaper just to buy the child tickets in that scenario.

  39. I am from Canada and never been to London before, so I don’t know if I can use my oyster card to get from Heathrow terminal 3 to Paddington station?

    • Hi Marsha,

      Oyster (and travelcards) are valid from Heathrow, but ONLY on the Piccadilly Line. To get to Paddington you would need to change at either Earls Court or South Kensington. Oyster is NOT valid on either Heathrow Express or Heathrow Connect* services from the Airport.

      * For completeness you can use Oyster on Heathrow Connect between Hayes & Harlington and Paddington, but not from the Airport.

  40. Hi, Mike , Hi, I have 60+ oyster card and I was told that if I have to travel on national rail to anywhere in the UK will get discount and if yes how much.

    • Hi Satish,

      I don’t quite understand what you are asking. However, my understanding is that the 60+ Oyster card is a special one which only gives concessions in the same area as the TfL Freedom Pass which you become eligible for a year or two later.

  41. Hey Mike,

    I have a disabled rail card. However, I find it really frustrating that when I travel to work in the morning I have to buy a paper ticket to get the discount. It just seems really absurd to me that I can’t use my Oyster card with rail ticket loaded onto it. Can I ask, from your experience have you had many opinions on this, and whether I can do anything else! Thanks

    • Hi Chris,

      The system isn’t ideal, but it’s better than not allowing discounts at all. All railcards are treated the same on Oyster so they had to mix and match the conditions as best they could.

  42. Hi
    I am wondering how a disabled person’s companion gets a discount on the oyster system. I know I have to link my disabled r/c to my oyster, but what about my companion?

    • Hi Fay,

      There is a special concession that allows your companion to purchase a zones 1-6 travelcard at the child rate when accompanying a disabled railcard holder.

  43. Hi
    My hubby & i will be travelling to London for a few days & staying in Zone6. We have Senior Railcards. Which Oyster cards should we buy & should we buy them in advance?

    many thanks

    • Hi Pat,

      Sorry for the delay. Just buy the normal PAYG adult card and get the senior railcards logged on each one so that off-peak fares and caps are discounted. You can buy the cards in advance, but adding the senior railcard discount can only be done at an Underground station.

  44. Hi. Family of 4 (2 ad plus 13 & 15 ch). visiting from wed to Monday. have f&f railcard. travelling in by train to heathrow t5 hotel. visiting Thorpe park thurs and fri. queens theatre to see les mis at 2.30 on the sat and poss arsenal stadium in morning. Sunday harry potter at Watford junction. Monday back into kings cross using already purchased train ticket, visit madame tussauds then back to kings cross to depart for sunny Dundee. I have looked into buses to Thorpe and harry p so wont be travelling into London those days. Was about to buy zip cards and payg oysters and try to link railcard then found your site. I know it a bit garbled, but any advice would be appreciated. ta

    • Hi Ashley,

      You can’t link a friends and family railcard to Oyster card(s) because the F&F is only valid in a group while Oyster cards are only ever for independent people. The £10 charge for zip cards will negate most savings on a short trip, so I think I’d advise buying travelcards with the railcard.

  45. Hi Mike,
    My daughter has an 18-25 railcard and is moving to acton in September and will be travelling in zone 2/3 during the day at peak times (1 return journey a day) From what I can work out if she links her railcard and her Oyster card she can get single peak fares of 80p (75p off peak) as opposed to £1.60 and £1.50 with an adult oyster or 18+ student oyster. This is a huge saving over a year. (She will only be there term times ). Are my calculations correct?

    • Hi Julie,

      This is where the discounts get a little complcated. The 16+ zip card (issued to students in years 12 and 13) gives 50% discount on adult fares on TfL rail fares. On the NR set rail routes the 16-25 railcard provides 23% discounts on off-peak fares. You get whichever is the better discount for the journey you make. The 18+ student card is just like an adult Oyster for PAYG fares, but it goes give a discount on period travelcards. With the 16-25 railcard added you get the 34% discount on off-peak PAYG fares and caps for all rail routes.

      Hope that helps.

  46. Hi I’ve had a gold card for travel between East Croydon and Brighton since February but just this week i’ve found out that it can lead to discounts for other travel incl tube travel. I understand i could take my oyster to a station like East Croydon to have my gold card discount added to my oyster; is that correct? And also, is there anywhere I can find a full list of the benefits available in relation to a gold card. I can’t believe the ticket office didn’t tell me at the time that my gold card resulted in other benefits!

    • Hi Carol,

      This page on the National Rail website lists the benefits of a gold card. East Croydon is one of the few National Rail stations which ought to be able to add the discount as they have a machine enabling access to the Oyster system. I’d be interested to hear what response they give if you ask them. If they can’t then try at London Bridge or Victoria Underground stations next time you go to London. If you do it after the first journey in you will still get the reduced cap for that day so shouldn’t lose out.

  47. I am ex BR retired and have Oyster cards for myself and my partner for the odd occasions we visit London.These have to be renewed against our BR passes at a LUL office. This means a special journey from Leeds to Borisland. Can I renew mine and my partners cards, or does she also have to appear in person?
    Nobody else seems to know the answer……you are my only hope !

    • Hi Les,

      My experience is that if you know the secret word associated with the Oyster card then you should be able to do it without her being present. I’ve certainly managed to add my Mum’s senior discount without her being there.

  48. Hi Mike, I wondered if I could ask you advice as I am getting very confused. We are a family of 2 adults and 2 children aged 7 and 13 years and a baby. We are travelling to London via train in July for one week staying in Kensington and we are planning on doing all the tourist attractions via tube or bus. We have a family rail card but my children both have disabilities so we are considering getting each of them a disabled rail card as it reduced our train fare down to London if we travel first class (my son has autism and is really keen on the quieter cabins). I was going to pay for an Oyster card prior to coming as it states this would be needed for my son to get reduced fares. If they both have a disabled rail card would we get any discount travelling with them once in London? I wasn’t sure whether I had read we can travel at a child’s fare? I don’t know what we should be buying on arrival and what would be the cheapest overall, any help would be appreciated. We also have a friends and family railcard which I have just applied for. thanks

    • Hi Jackie,

      Sorry, I’ve been trying to get my head round this one with little success. Might I suggest hopping over to the nice people at Rail UK Forums and posting your question there. It’s a bit beyond my specialist knowledge, but there are others on that site who may be able to help.

  49. Hello,we are coming to london in july and we are going to book a hotel in east croydon. We are 2 adults and 2childs. Which is the best and cheapest way to get there from gatwick airport and 2. the best and cheapest way to get into the city? Thank you

    • Hi Rupert,

      Best is a very subjective statement. It depends on what is important to you. The cheapest way is obviously to walk, though that probably isn’t feasible. Assuming you mean by train, from Gatwick Airport to East Croydon you need the FCC only single and must travel on one of the FCC trains (destination Bedford) which are every 15 minutes. If buying a ticket at Gatwick you may need to be sure that they understand what you want as I have heard reports that they often try to sell a more expensive ticket, especially where the destination is London. If you want to use any train between Gatwick and Croydon then the Any Permitted single is a little more expensive.

      Assuming that the kids are both under 16 then you may want to consider buying a family and friends railcard. They last for a year and offer discounts on both adults and children. Under 5s don’t need a ticket, but if both are under 5 then you can buy child tickets for one of them to get the generous adult discounts. The whole group must travel together at all times.

      As for the city, that can mean a number of things. If you have the railcard then your best bet is a one-day travelcard as long as you only travel after 0930 Mon-Fri. After that time they are valid on all buses, trams, dlr, tube and almost all National Rail services (only excludes Hayes& Harlington to Heathrow Airport and St Pancras International to Stratford International) within the London zonal area (zones 1-6).

      Hope that helps.

  50. Hi Mike,

    I have a quick and rather confusing question. Assuming that i have an oyster card and load the 16-25 rail card benefits on it, what happens when I load a weekly zone 1-2 travelcard as well but travel further out to say a station on zone 3? Will I get the 1/3 discount when paying the zone 3 bit?

    • As long as the entire journey started in off-peak times, yes. So if you touch in in London at 1555 you would be fine even though it won’t get to zone 3 until after 1600.

  51. Still problems with National Rail, Oystercard and the Tube. I used to have an annual zone 1 to 3 season ticket on my Oystercard issued by National Rail at Wimbledon. Having changed jobs, I asked them to swap it for zones 2 to 5. They said that it wasn’t possible to issue a partial season ticket on an Oystercard so issued me with a paper ticket and removed the zone 1 to 3 season ticket from my Oystercard. I then realised that on the occasions I want to go to zone 1, I now need to pay for a cash fare or use my payg Oystercard which will charge me for a zone 1 to 3 fare rather than a zone 1 only fare. I then found out that it is possible to load a partial season ticket on to an Oystercard, it’s just that National Rail don’t have the software but tube stations do and would have charged me just £5 to do this. I then rang Oystercard to tell them all of the above and they told me they sympathised but apart from complaining to National Rail that they should have advised me to swap my zones at a tube station, there’s nothing I can do now, since I now have a paper ticket and this can’t be converted back to a season ticket on Oystercard. Finally, I thought well at least I can reduce the cost of off peak trips to zone 1 by getting the goldcard entitlement added to my Payg Oystercard, so asked South Wimbledon tube to do this. No such luck, the clerk told me I could only have that if I had a season ticket on an Oystercard, in which case I wouldn’t need the goldcard entitlement registered, would I. Advice to readers is to avoid buying season tickets at National Rail. Problem is that tube office opening ours around here are very restricted, however. Grrrr.

    • Hi James,

      Oh dear. That is indeed a sorry tale. I am aware that there are issues with changing a travelcard loaded on Oyster part way through it’s validity, but I didn’t think it would end up with a paper season instead.

      South Wimbledon is a very poor show though. Not only can any Gold Card be added to an Oyster for discount purposes, having a gold card on the Oyster DOES NOT switch the discount on automatically. When will LU get the training up to standard with this discount? It’s only been around over 3 years already!

  52. Hi Mike,

    I had my Young Person’s Railcard linked to my Oyster card a while back, but now that the Railcard has expired (and I won’t be getting a new one) will I automatically start getting charged full fares on Oyster? As in I don’t have to arrange to have it unlinked or anything do I? Thanks very much.

    • Hi Gareth,

      You don’t need to do anything. The railcard is added with the expiry date and it will stop applying discounts after that day unless the railcard is renewed and relinked.

  53. Hi Mike

    We will be in Ldn for 2mths. 2 ad, 2kids(age4&7). We will be traveling within Ldn mostly but may visit friends in Dorking, Surrey, Harrow, etc. What do you recommend I get? Network rail or F&F card? What’s the difference??

    • Hi Su,

      As long as you will usually have kids with you then the Family & Friends will be better as it has less restrictions. The four year old will never need a ticket, while the 7 year old will get you sizeable discounts for the adults even if they don’t need a ticket for the travel you are making. Within zones 1-6 at off-peak times you will need £5.90/adult and £2/child for a travelcard with F&F discounts.

  54. Hello Mike,
    I already linked my rail card and oyster card.
    But I lost my rail card and I reissued it.
    In this case, should I request again to link my rail card and oyster card at underground ticket office?

    • If the replacement railcard has the same expiry date then you don’t need to do anything. If it was a new railcard with a later expiry date then take it and the Oyster card back to a tube station to get the discount entitlement extended to the new expiry date.

  55. Hi mike,
    Just a quick question I currently have a 16+ oyster card which is due to expire in September, is it still possible to purchase an annual travelcard which will be valid until a years time to this date?

    • Hi Richard,

      I don’t think so. The card should stop working at the end of September. It may be possible to transfer the ticket to your new card, but I’d check that at an Underground station first, before buying the travelcard.

  56. Hi
    I will be travelling to London for one week in August, one adult and two children aged 16 and 14. We will be travelling after 9:30 everyday on tubes and buses. I have an Oyster card but my children don’t. I have a family and friends railcard, what combination would you suggest to be the cheapest to travel and does my 16 year still qualify for child fares as she is still a student? Many thanks

    • Hi Julie,

      As long as you bought the family and friends railcard before your daughters 16th birthday she can continue benefitting from child fares until the railcard expires or the day before her 17th birthday if it is a 3-year one which expires after that. On that basis I think paper travelcards discounted with the railcard will be your best bet. A further advantage is that paper travelcards are valid for 2 for 1 offers at top attractions while Oyster is not.

  57. Hi Mike, thank you for a great website! As I am still confused what the best option is for me, I would appreciate your thoughts. I plan to spend a week in London, together with two kids aged 13 and 17. As I work outside London, I usually use Oyster pay and go. What would be the best option to use for this week? We do plan to see a few 2for1 attractions, so I guess we’ll need to buy train tickets for those days? Thank you very much for your reply!

    • Hi Suzana,

      Assuming that the kids haven’t already got Zip Oyster cards, I think paper tickets are probably best. If you have a family and friends railcard then you can get discounts on off-peak day travelcards for all three of you with the 13-year-old counting as a child. If you haven’t got an F&F card then you only need to buy travelcards for the zones you are using, either 1-2, 1-4, 1-6 or 1-9. For travel just in the centre the zone 1-2 is cheapest. The railcard only allows discounts on the 1-6 and 1-9 varieties but the discounted 1-6 is cheaper than an undiscounted 1-2.

      Hope that helps.

  58. Hi Mike,

    I’m travelling to London for a few days in August with my 2 nieces and wanted some advice as to what would be best to buy oyster or day travel cards. We will mostly be travelling over the bank holiday weekend and off-peak on the Tuesday in zones 1 – 3.

    One of my nieces is 12, so my guess is that the 12-15 Oyster card would be better?

    My other niece is 19, but she has a 16-25 railcard so guessing again getting the Oyster card and adding the railcard when we get down to London is the best?

    I myself have an Oyster card as I travel down more regularly.


    Best Regards

    • Hi Jawaid,

      If your niece already has an 11-15 card then it is worth it, but if this is the only time you’ll use it then the £10 fee may not be worthwhile. Also, you’ll need to get the application in quickly as they take a week or so to produce the card. Alternatively, if you have access to a friends and family railcard then you may be better off using that. Otherwise you can get a child paper travelcard for the youngster and use an adult Oyster with the 16-25 railcard for the elder niece.

  59. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your suggestion, I’ll get a paper card for my youngest niece and ask the eldest one to order an Oyster card online and then register the 16-25 railcard when we arrive in Euston.

  60. Hi Mike
    I was wondering if you could advise for our weekend in London. We’re coming to London by train on a Family & Friends Railcard and will be staying in the Lee Valley campsite in Chingford from Thursday to Sunday. There will be 2 adults, an 11 year old & a 9 year old. The journey will involve tubes & buses to the campsite, but I’m not sure which zone it’s in.
    I had planned on getting all of us Oyster Cards, but would we be better getting paper cards for everyone apart from the youngest & get her a zip card?
    Thanks for any advice.

    • With a family and friends railcard you will be better off getting paper travelcards with the discount. The 9-year-old will travel free on all tubes and buses anyway, so you only need to pay for them if you want to use National Rail. You only need to get a zip card for an under 10 if they will regularly use NR trains or travel on tubes alone. At £10 each they are not recommended for occasional travel.

  61. Hi Mike

    My wife and I are over 60 and travel to London fairly frequently. We know we are not entitled to the over 60’s Oyster cards but is it possible to get Oysters and then get a discount with our senior railcards?

  62. Hello, I find this site really helpful!

    I lost my 18+ student oyster card and 16-25 railcard which were linked together, since my purse was stolen. Fortunately My replacement railcard came quickly but I didn’t get 18+ oyster yet (it takes more than 5 days, they say). After they were stolen I bought a normal oyster card for temporary use which I’m using now.

    So, I’d like to link my railcard to normal oyster card I have now and use until my 18+ oyster card comes. But when I link this to a normal oyster card, will it be possible to link my railcard to 18+ oyster card when I get it? Or can the railcard only be linked once?

    • Hi Jiyun,

      The railcard can be linked as many times as you need. Once linked the railcard must be carried with the Oyster giving the discounts. It can be linked to more than one Oyster as long as only one is used at once.

  63. Hi Mike,

    I tried to link my oyster card and my 16-25 railcard yesterday but it made my oyster stop working giving error ‘seek assistance 01’ The attendants let me through and told me to explain it to the assistance at my destination station as they didn’t know what to do. I ended up going to two more stations and none of the attendants knew what was wrong.

    The discount was registered on my oyster and was in date and there was money on my oyster.
    Can you help?


  64. Hi Mike,
    I have a senior railcard and will be staying in zone 3 for 2 weeks, commuting to zone 1 each working day and back at PEAK times; also some off peak leisure travel at weekends (and at other times). Is it worth getting an oyster or just buying a couple of weekly Peak travelcards with railcard discount? Many thanks, Terry

    • Hi Terry,

      You can’t use a senior railcard to buy season tickets, nor can you use one in London before 0930. I think a zone 1-3 weekly travelcard on Oyster is your best bet, but get the discount loaded as well in case you want to go beyond zone 3 one day.

  65. Hello Mike, I have a 3-year Senior railcard, which is about half-way through it’s validity, and had my Oyster card linked to it in May 2012, during a visit to London. After a recent visit in early July this year, I checked the journey history, and noticed that discount had not been applied for a London Overground journey from Crystal Palace to Battersea Park. (I noticed because my wife’s card, also on my Oyster account and ‘linked to her Senior railcard was about 55p cheaper for the same journey we did together.

    I queried with OYSTERENQUIRIES@tfl.gov.uk whose response stated: “the validity of the discount is applied for a years duration. Therefore the discount will expire annually”.

    This seems to be at variance with the information in your explanation, viz:

    “You then ask the clerk to add your discount entitlement to your Oyster card. It will be valid until the expiry of the railcard”.

    Which situation is correct please – or am I missing something? Thanks for a useful site…Jim

    • My understanding was that it should be for the duration of the railcard, although I’ve only ever added annual ones for my Mum. My son has a 16-25 card for 3 years but the 16-18 Oyster card is only issued for a year which kind of trumps that. According to the Oyster helpline it should be possible to add the discount for the duration of the railcard, so I wonder if the clerk who did yours made a mistake.

      You’ll need to get the discount reapplied next time you are in London, and assuming the railcard still has more than a year I would ask the clerk at the time what they’ll do.

  66. Thanks Mike
    That sounds like what probably happened – the clerk only applied the discount for a 1-year period. I’ll make a note to point out that it is a 3-year railcard, when I’m getting it linked again. (It is quite possible that my wife’s card, which was linked on a different occasion to mine, DID have the full 3-year period applied, so she will continue to receive the discount until her card eventually expires).

  67. Hi Mike, I am looking to purchase a Family and Friends Railcard to travel in and out of London over 3 days with my 5 year old and my OAP parents. If I purchase an Oyster Card for myself will I get a discount by having a Railcard? And can this Oyster card then be used for travel on buses? The more sites I read, the more I get confused lol

  68. I am travelling in London with my 11 year old son for 3 days in London (Thurs,Fri, Sat) We will be using the tube after 10 in the morning, mainly zones 1-2. We have a family and friend railcard. What is my cheapest options, oyster or travelcard?

    • Hi Sarah,

      You’re best off with paper travelcards discounted using the F&F railcard. Adult is £5.90 and child £2.00 valid throughout zones 1-6.

  69. Hi Mike. I have some questions. I had a National Rail Card but this was expired, so I renewed one. Before buying the new card, I could discount during off peak. For example, from Zone 3(national rail) to Zone1(national rail), it cost £1.45, but now it cost £2.20.

    What shall I do to get the same discount. I went to ticket office but the clerk did nothing. Can I do something online?? I have registered my oyster card. I am not English speaker, so it is difficult to explain by talking. My card type is Network Rail Card.

    • Unfortunately you were very lucky to get the discount applied on your last Network Railcard. That railcard is not eligible for Oyster discounts because the minimum fare on weekdays renders it useless within the Oyster area most of the time.

  70. which national rail ticket offices can you add railcard – I am arriving at Euston can i do it there or do I have to go down to the underground ticket office?

    • Hi Stew,

      I think one of the Euston ticket offices should be able to do it, but it’s the LM one tucked away down a ramp. You will be better off going to the Underground ticket office.

  71. Hi Mike,

    I would like to know if the 16-25 railcard discount would apply to purchasing an annual pass for the London Underground? If it does, should I go about the same process in order to set it? Thanks, James.

    • Hi James,

      Sorry, railcards cannot be used to buy season tickets. If you are eligible for a student Oyster card then that does give a discount on travelcards only, but that is nothing to do with the 16-25 railcard.

  72. Hi Mike, Brilliant Site.
    My question! My son has a 16-18 Oyster Card and a 16-25 railcard. My son starts College in Victoria in September and we Live in Brookmans Park Hertfordshire. My son will have to travel Brookmans Park to Finsbury Park then underground to Victoria. Could you please please advise me on which is the best way to pay and the cheapest way. We would like if possible to get a season ticket or monthly pass for Him. The trouble is we keep getting told different stories, and most of them come from the ticket booth staff. So for once and all could you please help Us solve the problem on which is the cheapest and best way for My sons Travel.
    Many thanks, and look forward to your reply in due Course,
    Regards KENNY

    • Hi Kenny,

      The 16-18 Oyster card entitles your son to half-price period travelcards which pretty much can’t be beaten if you make 2-3 return trips a week. A zone 1-6 travelcard costs £106.80/month and covers him from Hadley Wood onwards. Brookmans Park to Hadley Wood season costs £88.80/month. To use two season tickets on a through train it must call at the changeover point, but as all your trains are stoppers that isn’t a problem.

  73. Hi Mike, great site. One question, my partner has an annual oyster travel card through work, she didn’t receive a gold record card with it (so not benefitting from discounted travel outside London at present) – how do we get this record card, given that we seem to be losing out on some substantial savings given the amount of NR travelling we do outside of London. Thanks!

    • Hi Paul,

      Initially your partner should ask at work whether the record card was issued. If it wasn’t then they may need to request it. I’d imagine that an Underground station can issue one, although they would need to be satisfied that it hasn’t been issued already.

  74. Mike, You say that the trains my son will use are stoppers. what does this mean. For instance we get the monthly Brookmans Park to Hadleigh wood, then the monthly oyster from Hadleigh wood to Victoria. But how do you swipe the Oystercard on the outward journey??? or on the way home?? Do you have to get off the train at Hadleigh wood ?? If you could please explain how the journey would work and how you swipe your card, this would be a great help. Sorry for being a bit thick about this. Regards Kenny

    • Hi Kenny,

      To use two season tickets on a journey the train must call at the place where you switch from one to the other. In your case that means Hadley Wood and the tickets wouldn’t be valid on a train that runs fast from Potters Bar to Finsbury Park. But as the trains that serve Brookmans Park are all stopping services that also call at Hadley Wood, you shouldn’t have a problem.

      And with a travelcard on your Oyster there is no requirement to touch in or out providing the whole journey (as far as the Oyster card is concerned) is covered by the travelcard. In your case it would be.

  75. There is an interesting case travelling into Zone 1 in the evening peak with an OSI and railcard. E.g. Wood Lane to South Kensington, changing at Hammersmith. The journey up to Hammersmith costs £1.60. However, Wood Lane to Hammersmith costs £1.40. When the journey is completed at South Kensington, would the difference in fare be credited?

  76. Hi Mike,
    Couple of things.

    I’m thinking of buying a 16-25 railcard because of the cheaper oyster pay and go rates. I am slightly confused though by the way tfl segment the pricing out on the single fare finder page on their site.
    Whilst they have an option to see how much journeys will cost with a national railcard they also have another option which allows you to check how much journeys cost you with a 16+ National Railcard.
    As an example:- a journey from East Ham to Fulham Broadway would cost £3.20 (peak) and £1.80 (off peak) with a National Railcard and yet with the 16+ National Railcard it goes down to £1.60 and £1.35 respectively.
    The latter clearly provides considerably cheaper prices.

    I want to know, if I bought a 16-25 Railcard would it come under the second set of pricing or the first? Sorry if I’ve been all over the place explaining it. It is best if you check the single fare finder page on tfl. Btw, I am mainly interested in the cheaper pay and go rates.

    Also, as my 18+ student oyster is due to expire on the 31st August, would It still work as a normal oyster card and should I purchase the railcard would I still be able to merge it with my oyster and receive the cheaper rates?

    • Hi Uzzy,

      The 16+ Zip Oyster card gives half price travel on TfL rail routes but full price on NR rail routes or combined ones. The 16-25 railcard gives you a 1/3 discount on off-peak fares and caps unless the TfL discount has already reduced it by half. I’ve had conflicting information as to whether the student or zip cards carry on as adult cards after expiry. They might do, but it doesn’t matter because you are not limited to linking the 16-25 card with just one Oyster. The only stipulation is that you must carry the railcard whenever you use an Oyster card with the discount applied.

  77. Hi Mike

    I will be travelling from Paddington to Cutty Sark DLR on a Thursday after 09:30, and returning the other way on a Sunday morning. I am intending to buy a Visitor Oystercard online, and add the Senior Railcard discount entitlement onto it when I get to Paddington. Three questions:
    1) will I need to fill in a form at Paddington to have the Senior Railcard entitlement added (I know I have to show the Senior Railcard and the Visitor Oystercard!)?
    2) Would it be better to buy an ordinary Oystercard online (£5) rather than the Visitor Oystercard (£3)? I don’t mind leaving a small amount of credit (less than £10) on whichever for use next year.
    3) (tongue-in-cheek) wouldn’t Whelkcard have been a more appropriate name for (East) London than Oystercard?


    • Hi John,

      1) I don’t think you can add railcard discounts to visitor cards. You certainly can’t add travelcards.
      2) Yes, I think it is. The £5 is refundable whereas the £3 is not.
      3) The (London) world extends beyond East London.

  78. Hi Mike,

    My YP railcard expired last weekend & I’ve just tied the replacement YP railcard to my Oyster. When I asked at the ticket office if I could tie the YP railcard to more than one Oyster (which I did without a problem last year) the clerk suggested I would lose the discount on the first Oyster card as soon as I register the second. Can you confirm if this is true?


    • Hi Harry,

      Absolutely not true. However, it must be remembered that when using an Oyster card with discount entitlement loaded you must have the relevant discount card with you at all times as well.

  79. Hi Mike

    2 questions which nobody seemed to be able to answer me, inculding station staff, giving conflicting info!!

    1) What is the difference in terms of the benefit you get for purchasing a young person’s rail card vs Network rail card?

    2) My student oyster card which gives me discount only on monthly and weekly travelcard expires in Oct. But if i purchased an annual travelcard, for which i obtained a discount, would i still be able to use it after the expriy of my student oystercard? If i can, do i continue to use the student oyster card even though its expired (i.e i cease to be a student) or do i need to transfer my “travelcard credit” to another adult oystercard? if i can’t use my “travelcard credit” then what happen to the money i paid?

    • Hi Van,

      1) The young persons railcard is valid throughout the UK to 16-25 year olds and students over that age range. The Network Railcard is only valid in the South East area but anyone can buy one. There is a minimum fare Monday-Friday which is why the Network card cannot be added to an Oyster card. If a young persons card is available to you then get it, otherwise the Network card can give benefits, but not as much.

      2) I don’t think you are allowed to buy a travelcard which expires after the end of your student Oyster card.

  80. If I have gold card. How do I get discount on rail tickets if I buy them online. Or I can only get discount with gold card if i buy them at the ticket counter at train station?

  81. I have to travel into London on South-eastern 3 days a week(M,W,Th) for school as a mature student – to Charring Cross and either walk 20 minutes to destination or take Northern to Central Line. What’s the cheapest way to make the journey and back? Will Oyster and Network Rail card be of benefit or just Oyster or just Network Rail? Time of travel before 9:00 am and after 4:30 pm.

  82. Hi Mike
    I am an OAP but do not have a senior railcard. I was visiting grandchildren in Barnes today when my son dropped in on his way up to the City. He had forgotten his Oyster card so I offered to lend him mine. I assume that my Oyster fares are the standard adult fare. However when he tapped in, the screen apparently said that my card was a pensioner card so he decided to buy a ticket because he was not entitled to a pensioner discount. A ticket inspector on the train confirmed that he had been correct to do so.
    Two questions for you please. Was the inspector correct? Can I get my money back?
    Thanks in anticipation.

    • Hi Mike,

      Is your card a freedom pass or a 60+ card? If yes then the inspector was absolutely right. If money was taken then call the helpline and they will arrange a refund.

  83. Hi Mike

    Thanks for the rapid reply. I don’t live in London so don’t have a freedom pass. So far as I am aware my card is a standard card. I don’t recall being given the option to buy a 60+ card. As a non-London resident, would I qualify for such a card and what discount would it give?

    Kind regards


    • Hi Mike,

      The 60+ card bridges the gap between the holders 60th birthday and when they are now eligible for the freedom pass. It gives the same discounts as the freedom pass, and as a non-London resident you almost certainly aren’t eligible.

      Which leaves me puzzled. I don’t know what sort of card, or discount, would produce that message. When you travel, do you know what fares you get charged? Are they standard adult fares?

  84. Hi Mike

    So far as I am aware, the standard fare is deducted from my Oyster card when I use it (which is rarely nowadays).


    Mike Post

    • Hmmm. I’m not sure what has happened there then. As far as I know all the NR Railcards are encoded the same, and I don’t remember my son seeing anything which confirmed that he had a discount when he touches in. If you’re concerned then take it to an Underground station ticket office next time you’re in London and ask them to confirm what you’ve got. Sorry I can’t be more help at this time.

  85. Thanks for your time Mike. I shall be seeing my son later today so hope to be able to work out what happened. I already know a lot more about the Oyster system.



  86. Hi Mike, a quick question on young person’s rail card: After i have loaded the rail card onto my oyster card,do i get discount on single trips and/or season ticket for buses?

    • Hi Van,

      No, railcard discounts only apply to rail journeys, although they do apply to all rail journeys whether or not they include National Rail.

  87. Hi Mike,
    A quick question – apologies if you have answered it above.
    I have just become a student in London so have now got an 18+ student photocard. Can I add my 16-25 railcard discount to that oyster photocard as well, or is the discount only eligible to add to adult oyster cards?

  88. Hi Mike

    I think there may be another ‘gotcha’ or ‘when not to use Oyster’ for holders of Disabled railcards on national rail during the morning peak, if you are correct that all railcards are treated equally on Oyster.

    I hold a DPRC and a Freedom Pass; if I travel on national rail before 0930 (pretty rare) then I need to pay for it, so I came here wondering about linking my DPRC to an Oyster card.

    The DPRC is valid on Anytime day single/return tickets (unlike most other railcards) so, if this is not reflected in the behaviour of a linked Oyster card, I guess it’s cheaper to stick with paper tickets.

    • Hi Keith,

      Yes, you’re right. To be fair, the DPRC website does say you get discounts on off-peak fares and caps, so they’re not hiding the restriction. I agree that travel in the morning peak may well be cheaper on paper tickets though.

  89. Hello, I work for NYU in London and have a question regarding the student oyster photocard and 18-25 railcard discounts.

    Firstly, is it advisable to purchase both cards, what is the difference in discount.

    and with regards to the discounted fares, will they still apply if the oystercard is linked to auto-top up? is the 1/3 off applied here automatically each time the card tops up?


    • Hi Ruth,

      The two cards offer discounts on different things so yes, it is best to get both if you are eligible and will use them. The student Oyster card allows travelcard seasons (and bus/tram seasons) to be purchased at a 30% discount off the adult rate. This will automatically be applied when a travelcard is added to the Oyster card. Auto top-up is a different system for maintaining the pay-as-you-go balance and has no effect on any discounts.

      The 16-25 railcard gives 1/3off off-peak fares and the off-peak daily price cap, but has no benefit for season tickets. The actual railcard works throughout the UK, but to get discounts on Oyster journeys it needs to be logged on the Oyster card.

      Hope that helps

  90. Mike,

    I’ve read almost all the questions and answers (you’re doing fantastic work here, by the way) and am a bit puzzled about why you repeatedly state that a (standard, not gold) network card cannot be linked to an oyster card due to “the minimum fare restriction on Mondays to Fridays which renders it useless in the Oyster area”.

    Why would it not be reasonable for the cards to be linked in order to provide a discount on Saturdays and Sundays?

    What is actually the recommended way to obtain what appears to be a discount to which holders of both cards are entitled at weekends, if it isn’t by linking the network and oyster cards?

    • Hi Mike,

      In an ideal world you would be able to link the cards for use at weekends only. Unfortunately the facility only exists to link ‘national rail railcards’ as a single entity. All the different railcards have their own time and fare restrictions so it was necessary to match the best set into a common restriction for Oyster. Only being valid at weekends was sadly not an option. With other railcards the pros and cons are deemed to cancel each other out in the eyes of the TOCs, but they weren’t prepared to allow Network railcard discounts all week, and only allowing any railcard discounts at weekends would have been a serious barrier to uptake.

  91. Hi,
    I am an International Student.
    I have purchased the 16-25 railcard. Can this Railcard be Linked with the oyster card?
    as for the 18+ oyster card, if i’d opt for the pay-as-you-go method, i would be charged adult rates so, would it still mean i would be entitled for the 30% discount off adult rate?
    Could you please suggest to me the most economical means on traveling from east croydon to egham.

    Also one more question, If it could be linked, how does it work?..should i bring both cards to the ticketing counter and what should i tell them?

    From then on, how would the oyster card function when i am traveling out of london zone? Should i still purchase a paper travel card or would the oyster be good enuf?

    I’m looking to travel with just one card thus hassle free…

    Thank You and hoping to hear from you soon.

    • Hi Nan,

      Unfortunately Egham is outside the Oyster area. This means that the 18+ Oyster card would not work for the whole way. You will therefore need to have two tickets/cards to get the cheapest fare. Weekly rates are as follows:

      East Croydon to Egham via Clapham Junction: £60.70 (just one ticket)
      Zones 2-6 travelcard with 18+ discount: £26.20 (on the Oyster card)
      Feltham to Egham rail only season: £28.80 (paper ticket)

      You would use the Oyster to touch in at East Croydon and the paper season to exit at Egham. Providing the train stops at Feltham you can use this combination without getting off the train. If you want to go directly into zone 1 from Egham then you will need to get off to touch in somewhere in zones 2-6. If you do it at Clapham Junction you won’t have long to wait for another train. When you touch out in zone 1 the system will deduct a zone 1 fare. If it’s off-peak then you can get the discounted fare if your 16-25 railcard has been linked.

  92. Hi Mike,

    I’m also an international student and my question is similar to the previous post. Does it make more sense to buy travel cards through my 18+ oyster card (for which I get a 30% discount) or should I go for the 16-25 railcard and get 34% discount on pay as you go journeys on my 18+ oyster card?


    • Hi Joe,

      The discounted travelcards usually make more sense. The 16-25 railcard only discounts off-peak fares and caps on Oyster, plus there is a minimum fare before 10am when buying paper tickets (except in July and August).

  93. Hi Mike. I wasn’t sure where to post this question, so I’ve gone for “Discounts”…

    It SHOULD be easy – positively encouraged, in fact – to add a child or 16+ Oyster Photocard to my online account – after all, I’m the responsible adult who made the application and who has to finance and monitor its use – but TFL don’t appear to mention this and it isn’t easy at all. Every year when we get new cards, a tedious game of “Helpline ping-pong” ensues, and it’s just happened again with my daughter’s first 16+ card. (At least they now last for two years…)

    I understood that a child/16+ card is already “registered” in the application process. In the past with paper application forms, there was a PIN code (the last four digits of the application ref – confusing in itself, as there are 11-digit and 28-digit versions of the number). But I saw no mention of the PIN when applying online this year or last – but the Helpline say I still need it and it is still the last four digits etc. They told me to go online to add the new card – even though I said I thought this hadn’t worked in the past. So I tried, but there’s nowhere to enter a PIN at “Add existing card” – only a previously entered memorable name, date or place. Any input gives an error message: “The Oyster card you are trying to register does not have a password. Please call the Oyster Helpline on 0343 222 1234 to update your card details.” (Yes, I tried to tell you that…!) So back on the phone tomorrow…

    On a related point, I don’t understand the apparent distinction between “protecting” your card and “registering” your card, as referred to at http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/14836.aspx. I had assumed they were the same thing, but apparently not, as the web page says “If you have protected your card online, you can register it at a Tube station.” My 18 year old will shortly be going to university outside London and so can only get a normal adult card (boo!) plus YP Railcard discount. Does he have to register his Oystercard before adding it to an online account? If so, can this only be done by filling out a form and taking it to a Tube station? It really doesn’t seem clear!

    • Hi Dave,

      Where to start? Yes, it’s good news that they’ve made the 16+ card valid for two years now. I guess it’s appropriate as they’ve raised the school/education leaving age to 18.

      Embarassingly I should be able to answer your main point very easily, having added my youngest’s 11-15 card a month ago. I think I might have used the same password as my adult cards, or maybe the password for the photocard account, but I can’t remember. My eldest has just received his second 16+ card which I will try to add when he remembers where the safe place he put it is. He has a small balance on the old card which he’ll be using up before the end of the month.

  94. Thanks Mike

    Any idea about the distinction between “protecting” and “registering” an Oyster card and whether it’s possible to “register” a new adult card online, etc? (Entirely understandable if you fell asleep before my second question above!)

    • Hi Dave,

      Oooops, yes I missed that. My understanding is that an online purchased card will be both protected and registered by default. I think protecting is attaching a password to the individual card (one of name/date/place) while registering is linking it to an online account with your name, address and contact details. I may be wrong here, because it sure is confusing having two names for what would seem to be a similar purpose. Almost! Registering gets done at a tube station and involves storing your name, address and password on the card. Protection involves linking the card to an online account. This means that you can report it lost and get a replacement, but not at a station. Only registered cards can get monthly or longer travelcards stored on them.

  95. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/14416.aspx

    For those of you confused on the 16-25 railcard and 18+ Oyster combination, such as myself.. this paragraph from the website below is helpful.

    “You must have an 18+ Student Oyster photocard to get 30 per cent off 7 Day, Monthly and longer period Travelcards
    You can get 34 per cent off off-peak pay as you go single fares and off-peak daily price caps on Tube, DLR and London Overground if you get a 16-25 National Railcard and add the discount entitlement to your 18+ Student Oyster photocard”


  96. Hello,
    Please can you tell me the most economical way for my daughter to travel from Vauxhall to Kingston each day. She has to leave just before 9.30 am. She is just about to get an 18+ Oyster and also has a railcard.
    Many thanks. L

    • Hi,

      A point-to-point season between Vauxhall and Kingston is £26.80/week. With the 18+ Oyster she can get a zones 2-6 travelcard for £26.20/week which will also cover any other travel apart from rail in zone 1. I think I’d go for the travelcard option.

  97. hi there,

    i’ve got a situation i couldn’t figure out myself, so i thought i might just ask here, as you seem quite fit with the tfl system. 🙂
    today i checked what would be the cheapest way to go to surbiton from dalston junction and the single fare finder told me that it would be 5.70 during peak times but the last time when i went there (going to waterloo and then taking the train) i had to pay 7.20 with the oyster card. Could you probably tell me how i get the 5.70 fare? Maybe when i get a ticket from dalston junction to surbiton at the ticket counter?

    Kind regards

    • Hi Martin,

      The £7.20 fare is the mixed TfL+NR fare for using the Underground and National Rail on a journey involving zone 1. The journey still involves zone 1*, but the £5.70 fare means you will travel by Overground from Dalston Junction to Clapham Junction then by SWT to Surbiton. A paper ticket will be more than the oyster fare whichever way you go.

      * Unfortunately you go via Shoreditch High Street which is in zone 1.

  98. Hi Mike,

    I have an 18+ student oyster card with an annual 1-6 loaded on to it which runs until 01/11/2013 (also the printed expiry of the 18+ card on the front). TfL have sent me an email advising that the expiry date of my 18+ card has been brought forward by one month (to 01/10/2013). Does this mean the card will stop working on 1st October and that I won’t be able to use the remaining month of the season ticket? What should I do?

    Thanking you,

    • Hi Annie,

      Call the helpline and ask them. I’ve not heard of bringing forward the expiry date on photocards before. They do usually expire on 30th September though, so I wonder if there’s been some error here.

    • Hi Stewart,

      I think you can do it at the London Midland ticket office next to the platforms used by them and London Overground. The main ticket office won’t be able to help.

  99. I am a mature student at Birkbeck university. (50 years old ) I currently use an oyster card but do not have a railcard. I always travel in to London after 9.30 am and before 5 pm and I leave after 7.30 pm. Is there any point in my having a rail card or is the oyster always going to be cheaper.

    • Hi Cathie,

      Is the Oyster card a student version? If it is then it depends what your journey is. If it is a standard adult version then you should also get a railcard to get discounted off-peak fares and caps on the Oyster.

  100. Hi mike,

    I have recently moved to twickenham and was looking into getting a zone 1-5 travel card. Would I be able to get a discount on this if I linked my YP railcard to my Oyster card

    • Hi Louise,

      Unfortunately no. The 16-25 card discounts daily fares with a minimum fare applied before 10am to disuade commuting. Discounts on travelcard seasons are available to London students via the 16+ and 18+ Oyster cards.

  101. Hi,

    I travel from Bexleyheath to Cannon Street mon- fri. For the last 10 months I have been using my Oyster card to make payment. My outbound journey is before 6:30am so is charged at the off peak price meaning the savings for an annual season ticket are not so large for me.

    However I finally decided to bite the bullet and get my hands on an annual season ticket this morn. I requested that my season ticket be added to my Oyster card but was advised that this would not be possible. The lady at the station kiosk advised that only a travel card can be added to an Oyster card but definitely not a season ticket.

    This seems completely ridiculous to me. I’ve become quite accustomed to using an Oyster card on my daily commute. Touching in and out is far more convenient than the hassle of dealing with a paper ticket. With auto top up enabled it really was super easy to use.

    Do you know if it there are any plans for this situation to change in future? It seems a bizarre situation to me. There are oyster readers at Bexleyheath and Cannon Street. They can be used for daily tickets but not for season tickets….unless it’s a travel card?



    • Hi Steve,

      Oyster works largely in zones rather than lines, so restricting validity to sections of line would make the system more complicated. Also, be thankful that you still have the option of a point to point season, as those lines priced by TfL do not.

  102. Hi Mike

    I have an annual national rail season ticket (gold card) between Winchester and London which doesn’t include tube travel. I do occasionally use the tube during the evening peak and have an oyster card for this, is there any value in getting my gold card registered on the oyster card?


    • Hi Simon,

      It depends how much you do. Single fares are not discounted, but the off-peak cap is. In zones 1-2 the £7.00 cap comes down to £4.60 so you could save on the second or third journey.

  103. Hi Mike,

    I commute from Harringay (Green Lanes) to Richmond 5 days a week using the tube through central London on Sundays due to engineering works. What is the cheapest option for me? I spend a lot on travel around London during my days off work. Can I use my 16-25 railcard for a zone 1-4 travelcard and does this include bus?


    • Hi Annie,

      The 16-25 railcard will not discount travelcard seasons, but it will discount off-peak fares and the off-peak caps on Oyster. A travelcard does also include buses. If you travel at least 4 days a week on Mon-Fri during peak hours then I suggest a zone 2-4 travelcard season and load some PAYG credit for your occasional trips through zone 1.

  104. Hi Mike,
    I will be moving from London to Chichester in the New Year and I am trying to work out my cheapest route(s) to commute back to London St Pancras.

    I need to be in London for 9:30ish Mon-Fri.

    Could you help me please?

    Thank you

    • Hi Jamie,

      Sorry for the delay. This is a little beyond my speciallity as it is outside the Oyster area, but I think you’ll need to ask for a season ticket to St Pancras as a named station rather than London Terminals. Travel from Chichester to East Croydon, then change onto an FCC service to St Pancras.

  105. Mike

    Thank-yoU for you many responses! I have been in contact communication with rail and Oyster card staff but can’t resolve a way to purchase in advance of arrival from US an Oyster card preferably registered and a senior rail card. Is it possible to order the railcard on line and have send to my B&B then forwarded to me in US? Having the railcard when I arrive at Heathrow then allows me to purchase an Oyster card at the tube station at the airport and hopefully linked and registered at the same time? Is it true that a railcard can only be purchased with a credit card with an UK mailing address? Any other suggestion on how to get these cards in advance? Thanks!

  106. Hi just to help out anyone who is about to apply for a 60+ Oyster card

    The application is straight forward but where someone can get stuck is when they have to add their passport number as its not the normal number but the full number that appears at the bottom it looks like this { this is not a real number }

    3142729832GBR5310226M2302232 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 06

    its split into areas so the fields will look like this

    3142729832 GBR 5310226 M 2302232 06

    as the form is time limited your best to save the details in a text file so that you can copy them over after double checking everything.

    The image you use is similar to a passport type image – the one I used was 978 by 800 – for some daft reason they don’t give you a hint as to the size but it accepted my one.

    You can apply 14 days before you are 60 and it costs £10.

    The only tricky area was agreeing to the terms and conditions as its in a fixed window and you have to scroll to the bottom where the tick box is – if you don’t tick you don’t pass go.

  107. Here is a update – I applied just after midnight { 14/11/2013 }
    and at 07.20 { 14/11/2013 } they had approved my image and they posted the card out at 09.50 { 14/11/2013 } so that is amazing fast work.

    I know filling in a form can be a pain but seeing I have had two strokes so if I can manage it then most should be able to get though it quickly – the trick is to have everything prepared.

    Be sure to have a read at


    and fully read ‘ Q: If I get a 60+ London Oyster photocard, do I need to complete another application when I become eligible for a Freedom Pass ? ‘

    by opting in they will let you know when you can apply for a Freedom Pass.

  108. Hi,
    I am not sure how helpful having a railcard is. I have a 16-25 railcard, I live in zone 1 and just started working in zone 4. Is it more suitable to buy a monthly travelcard to work and back or should i register my railcard and load PAYG credit? Should i register it anyway even if i buy the monthly travelcard?

    • Hi peny,

      The answer depends a lot on which line you use to get to work. Returning into zone 1 in the afternoon peak is charged at off-peak rates and discounted if the fares are set by TfL, but not if they are set by NR. If you can let me know the details of your journey then I can offer fuller advice.

  109. I travel from Elmstead Woods to Cannon Street about 180 times a year. Occasionally I travel to St Pancras off peak. I am wondering what the best annual reason ticket for me to purchase is. I can get a Zone 1-4 Travelcard for around £1750 or I can get a Gold Card season ticket to London Terminals for £1244.

    If I get a Gold Card season ticket to London Terminals I can then use my gold Card to get 1/3rd off off peak travel around central London.

    Alternatively I could just use PAYG for £7.20 per journey.

    Which arrangement would be the best value for money.

    Also if I buy a ticket to London Terminals I cannot travel further than City Thameslink. For the same cost I can get an annual ticket to St Pancras but could I still use this ticket to go to other London Terminals. Nationalrail online seems to suggest so but it’s not entirely clear!

    Many thanks for any advice you have.

    • OK. First thanks to my friends at RailUK for a solution: http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=93103

      Note that the price to West Hampstead does seem to be a bit of an anomaly, but that isn’t your problem. It is just as valid to walk from either Cannon Street or Waterloo East* to Blackfriars as it is to take the train from London Bridge. All you can’t do is use the Underground*. Season tickets are valid for intermediate travel so you don’t have to go to West Hampstead.

      You may encounter issues at Cannon Street. I don’t know how likely it is, but if you don’t want potential hassle then this solution isn’t for you. If you are prepared to argue your corner then I am pretty confident that it’s all valid. You should read through the routeing guide as refered to on that thread on RailUK so you can confidently explain why it’s valid.

      * Whether you will be able to walk through Southwark LU station is another potential issue with the Waterloo option.

  110. Mike, many thanks for your efforts looking into this problem. Before investing in an annual travel card I will try a daily ticket and see what happens at Cannon Street! I will let you know.

    Really grateful for your assistance and the help from Rail UK.

    • That’s a good idea. A weekly could also expose any problems you might face without the commitment of an annual, but don’t forget that you can always do a changeover from one annual to another with the charge or refund calculated pro-rata.

  111. Mike – great website, as usual.

    I am about to buy my annual travelcard-oyster for 2014. I will need to buy it before 24Dec, when I will go on holiday, and I won’t be able to use it until after 10Jan, when I am back… I think I read somewhere that you must use your travelcard in the first week of validity… is that correct? Is there anything that I can do if it is?

  112. Mike –
    Glad to have found you.

    I will be in England this summer with my two sons (one will turn 16 during the trip on 7/7/2014 and the other will be 12). I will purchase a Friends & Family rail card when we arrive in Scotland (early June) for our travel there and later in the summer. My understanding is that my 15-year-old will be eligible for the child rate on trains for the entire trip since we will initiate the F&F rail card when he is 15.

    We will be in London for a week after my son turns 16. Does it make the most sense to use the F&F and paper tickets, get both boys the 11-15 discount card, Travelcards, something else?

    • Hi Eleanor,

      The child 11-15 discount cards cost £10 to get and I’m not sure they issue them to overseas travellers. Unless you’ll be doing a lot of travel in London it probably isn’t worthwhile. The F&F railcard will get you discounted child travelcards and you are correct that it is valid for the duration of the one-year railcard if the child turns 16 after the railcard is bought.

  113. Hi,

    I was in London at the weekend with my daughter and attempted to buy discounted travel cards using our Family Railcard. This was at Rayners Lane about 09:00 Saturday. The ticket office was closed and neither the staff or myself could see how to do this using the machine.

    Luckily the very helpful staff member went behind and sorted it out. Do you know whether this is possible using the machine or is this a small oversight?

  114. He couldn’t work it out, so went behind the scenes and did it in the ticket office. We couldn’t see a way to get the £2.00 child ticket. I might have a look again if I am in town with a little time to spare.

  115. Hi Mike,

    I just have a question. I have just added my 16-25 railcard discount entitlement to my 18+ oyster card with the help of a staff at London Bridge Underground Station. The process took only a few seconds and it was done! But I’d like to know how I can check whether the entitlement was actually loaded or not. I’ve already checked my online oyster account and there’s nothing changed yet. Or does it take some times to be updated on the website? Is there any other way I can check I’ve got both 18+ student discount and 16-25 railcard discount? Thank you very much for your help!

    • Hi William,

      Discount entitlement is not shown on the online system unfortunately. If you are given a printout after adding the railcard then that will show everything, but some clerks don’t do that. Last time I had my son’s done I asked for a printout and had the screen turned round so I could see both discounts. For piece of mind I’d take it back to a tube station and just ask them to confirm what the discounts are.

      Obviously you’ll find out about the 16-25 discount next time you make an off-peak rail journey.

  116. Hi Mike.
    Great web site by the way.
    I have a disabled railcard and a Disabled Freedom pass for Greater London. (I live and work in Bromley)
    Is there any advantage in my having an Oyster card and having the disabled element added to it? The lady in the booth said to me there was no point but amended my Oyster card anyway.
    Many thanks

    • Hi Bob,

      As far as I know the disabled freedom pass gives you free travel in the zones, so the only benefit might be if you use Oyster outside the normal travelcard zones (ie in Essex or Hertfordshire).

  117. Hi Mike, I emailed Southeastern trains and they responded first to say a ticket from Chislehurst to West Hampstead would be valid through VIC, WAE and CHX but not CST. Then they replied to say the following “I can confirm that, Chislehurst to West Hampstead would be valid only to London Terminals stations where there is a legitimate break of journey, so that would include:

    London Bridge, Elephant & Castle, Blackfriars, City Thameslink, Farringdon, St Pancras

    And not:

    Waterloo East, Charing Cross, Cannon Street, Victoria

    Unfortunately, I am unsure if your ticket would work through the barriers at London Bridge or Blackfriars”.

    I decided to buy a ticket to London Terminals and pay the extra for the times I need to go to St Pancras or Farringdon.


    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks for letting us know. You’ve had some pretty hopeless advice there. It may be worthwhile revisiting this when the details about alternative routes while FCC can’t serve London Bridge are published. Also, while your ticket might not work the barriers at London Bridge or St Pancras, it would indisputably be valid there.

  118. Hi Mike

    I really need some advise on gold cards

    My sister has a annual gold card between Slough & london
    Inc all zones.
    It has another 5 months left on it

    She has no use for it anymore as she has left her job in london, she would like to give it go me
    I work in London travelling between 3-4 stations on daily basis.

    My questions are;
    Im i allowed to use it?
    How can i get around to using it?
    Can i get it changed over to my name?
    What would happen if i did use it?

    I have heard about paying £1 to add another person
    Is this true?

    I would gladly appreciate all the help and advice

    Kind Regards

    • Hi Rav,

      Season tickets cannot be transfered. The £1 you mention is to get a Gold Card Partner Railcard which is basically a Network Card for a quid. Your sister has two options, basically. First is to ask for a refund of the unused season. This will be calculated as if she had bought period tickets for the time used. If there are 5 months remaining then she’ll get between 2 and 3 months worth back. An annual ticket has no refund value after about 10 months (40 weeks). The other alternative is to ask for a changeover to a local season for one stop. This will be calculated pro-rata on the annual price and she would get back the difference between 5 months of her ticket and the cost of the same period on the new ticket. Depending on the prices involved this might work out better. She also still has the Gold Card with it’s benefits for off-peak travel.

      Hope that helps.

  119. Hi Mike,
    From January my son will be working with a training theatre company in London. He’ll be living in zone 1 and travelling to work at various locations in zone 3 at peak times on weekday mornings and some weekend mornings, and returning to zone 1 at peak time in the evenings. He’ll also be travelling socially in the evenings and at weekends.
    His company doesn’t qualify him for the 18+ card but he will be linking his 16-25 railcard to his oyster card. I know that the railcard only discounts off peak and caps so would it be better to buy a monthly zone 1-3 travel card and top up with payg for other journeys ( say outside zone 3,) or just stick to payg?
    Would be grateful for some help
    Best wishes,

    • Hi Anne-Marie,

      The answer depends on (a) how much use above 5 peak commutes he does and (b) which lines he uses to return in the evening. If they are TfL priced lines then because the journey ends in zone 1 it will be charged as off-peak and discounted.

  120. Hi Mike,
    Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly and also for this fantastic site.
    He will be doing his 5 peak, zone 1-3, commutes on the Northern and London Overground lines. Leaving from, and returning to, zone 1. He would make this same commute on some Saturdays.
    Any social use would be on friday nights after work, and at weekends using the tube and probably no further than zone 3.

    • In that case I think PAYG is probably better. The zone 1-3 travelcard costs £35.60 per week and the peak single is £3.20. He would get discounted off-peak travel in the afternoon though, which is only £1.80. There would need to be a lot of extra travel to justify the travelcard.

  121. Hi Mike,
    My wife and I both have senior railcards and live in Yorkshire. We travel to London fairly frequently and wonder if it would pay us to attach our railcards to our PAYG Oyster cards. We usually use the underground for travel to and from central London into Essex.
    Many thanks,


    • Hi Malcolm,

      Yes, it would probably be a good idea. As long as your travel is off-peak you will benefit from a reduction, even if the whole journey is on the tube.

  122. Hi Mike. I have an Oyster card with a gold card discount loaded onto it. If I touch in during the week after 9.30am, but before 10am, will the discounted, £5.60 off peak cap apply to journeys made during the day? I ask as gold card discounts don’t normally kick in until 10am. Thank you.

    • Hi Tom,

      Yes. All railcards are treated the same way on Oyster. This means that you get the discounted fares and cap from 0930 rather than 1000. You can also get discounted fares before 0630 as well.

  123. Mike,

    There will be 3 of us, 2 adults ( 55 and 21) and 1 child (13). We have plans to use the train to visit Watford Junction for Warner Bros. and Warwick for the castle. We are staying in central London and plan to get paper 7 Day travelcards from National Rail for zones 1&2 for using the Underground in the city. Is there any benefit to getting F&F or other discount plans before arriving or while in London to get a better deal on rail tickets outside the city? I will be in London again in June. Thank you.

  124. If I add a young persons railcard to an oyster card can I still return the oyster card to receive the deposit back at the end of my visit or is the card then linked to me?

  125. hi I have a 16plus zip oyster card and a 16-25 railcard I live in zone 1-4 . would it be possible for me to get my railcard linked to my zip oyster ?.

  126. Hi, I have a disability and therefore was given a disabled railcard by my case to do with the traffic accident that I was in to get this injury. My question is that I have lost my purse which has my disabled railcard, oyster card, disabled bus pass, everything in but i had already booked my tickets to get up to Loughbrough from Harrow on the Hill. Is there any way I can still get by with the receipts that I was sent (i can even bring my disability letter to prove i am disabled!) etc or am I now going to pay out money I don’t have… only because I am running on emergency funds due to losing my bank card too….?

    • Hi Jess,

      Obviously I’m sorry to hear about your predicament. Unfortunately I don’t think you would be allowed to travel on discounted tickets without the railcard. If you can get another railcard before you travel then you will be fine, otherwise you will need to change the tickets to full price ones before you travel. If you are found with discounted tickets and no railcard after your journey has started then you will need to buy completely new tickets, and you could be liable to a penalty fare or prosecution.

  127. Hi, I have a 60+ oyster. If I want to go from London Bridge to Haywards Heath in the afternoon, do I show my oyster, then they charge me from the boundary of the last zone (I think it is East Croydon on that route) and then take off my one third discount for my Senior railcard? Thanks

  128. Hi. I’d attached my 16-25 student railcard to my oyster. Unfortunately I’ve lost my oyster, how do I go about linking my railcard with my new oyster?

    • Just take your new Oyster and the railcard to a tube station ticket office. A railcard can be linked to more than one Oyster, but each Oyster is then only valid if carried with the railcard. Also, if your Oyster is the 16-18 variety then you needn’t relink it as the zip card discount now exceeds the railcard discount at all times.

    • Hi Lidia,

      Yes, that’s right. A third off off-peak single fares and the off-peak caps. If it hasn’t already been, the discount flag needs to be set by a tube ticket office.

  129. Hi Mike
    I have an annual gold card zones 1-6 from upminster. It’s frustrating that you can’t just buy Upminster to Fenchurch street but nevermind. What is the link posted on HOTUKDEALS about switching to an Oyster and getting a network railcard for £1 instead of £30. Can you explain what I would do and if it’s of benefit.

    • Hi Nelly,

      Your annual gold card is already valid as a network card for you. If you put it on Oyster it still is, but you need to show the gold record card to get discounted paper tickets. The £1 network railcard is an offer to any gold card holder (oyster or paper) which is designed to allow your partner to have their own Network card to use when you are at work. Each gold card holder can get one partner Network card each year, but it can be given to anyone, as long as the recipients name is on the application form.

      Also, if you really only want the ticket to commute between Upminster and Fenchurch Street, and rarely use trains on any other line or buses etc, then you can get an annual season from Ockenden to Fenchurch Street via Upminster for £104/year less.

  130. Hi Mike
    Thanks. I do use tubes and buses now so I’ll keep my ticket as it is. So can I just show my gold card and get a network card for my partner for just £1 as it is now?

  131. I had my Senior Railcard linked to my registered Oyster card in May of last year. A few days ago I was challenged by a bus inspector, as his reader showed that it was a discounted Oyster card and required a photocard. I spoke to tfl yesterday who seemed a little uncertain, but undertook to call me back. As the call did not materialise, I callewd them back today, only to be told that I would need to exchange my Railcard for an up to date version that included a photo. This was news to me and I can find no evidence on the Railcards website or anywhere else that such a Senior Railcard exists. As far as I can ascertain, only the 16-25 Railcard requires photo id. Any helpful suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks/

    • Hi John,

      They are getting confused with other discounts. Any Oyster discounted with a National Railcard simply has to be presented with the railcard. In the case of the senior card there is no photo as you say. The same goes for Gold Cards. The expiry date of the railcard should match the expiry date on the discount field of the Oyster.

      Please do let me know if they refuse to accept this.

  132. Hi,
    I commute from Clapham Junction to Syon Lane, and I am just weighing up my option with regards to tickets. I have a 16-25 railcard as well.
    Would it be cheaper to get a year season pass for Clapham to Syon Lane or attach my railcard to my oyster card and use that pay as you go?

    • Hi Alex,

      The answer depends on when you use the trains. If it is always in the peak time 5 days a week then a paper season ticket will be better value. If you can make some of your journeys off-peak (before 0630, 0930-1600, after 1900) then discounted off-peak PAYG singles may well work out cheaper.

    • Hi Steve,

      I believe that the newer POM machines have the capabilities to do these things when under the control of one of the visible staff.

  133. Hi,

    2 Adults + a 14 year old with a f & f railcard. Liverpool St to Wembley & about 4 single train journeys in london off peak over weekend. Single tickets with discount or oyster card – confused :/

    • Hi Lorraine,

      The Underground only trip suggests that discounted paper travelcards will probably be cheapest. You’ll need one each day, so if there isn’t much travel on one day then single tickets might be better. I’d need more info to be sure.

  134. Hi Mike

    I am commuting into London full time from Chesham (zone 9) to St Pauls, I have been using a monthly oyster card but have just discovered I could get a 16-25 one.
    Seemingly this is only valid in zones 1-4? So would I still be able to use it from zone 9/ would I make any savings?
    PAYG oyster seems a good solution if valid as I do not want to commit to an annual oyster pass.


    • Hi Alice,

      A 16-25 railcard is a National Rail discount card. It can be linked to an Oyster card and gives discounts on all off-peak fares and caps. This is not limited to zones 1-4 but anywhere where Oyster is accepted. The catch is that it doesn’t discount peak fares. If you commute both ways at peak times then you are probably better off getting a travelcard on your Oyster. If you can time your travel to make use of off-peak fares (e.g. touch in before 0630) then PAYG with a 16-25 discount should make sense.

  135. i have a senior rail card and normal oyster card which I would like to register to take advantage of senior citizen discounts. how can i do this.

    • Hi Amjad,

      I suggest you take the Oyster card and the senior card to a ticket office window at the Underground when you arrive. They should be able to do both functions (register and link).

  136. I am travelling to London from Manchester tonight. I would like to take advantage of discounts while travelling in London – How Plz?

  137. Hi Mike,
    I intend travelling from Stevenage at 10.20 Sun 4th May to York (arr. 12.49) then from York at 18.59 to Kings Cross, arr. 20.58. The 2 single fares with EC trains advance tickets using a senior railcard amount to £37.85.
    Then using my Oyster card for £3.90 from zone 1 to zone 7.
    Can I better these prices using the combined cards and if so how do I go about ordering the NR East Coast tickets as I can’t see anywhere on their website when booking tickets to allow for this.
    I have had my Oyster card registered with my Senior railcard.

  138. Hi Mike,

    What a great website!

    I have just received my 16+ zip card. I have also got a 16 – 25 railcard which I will link to it when next in London.

    However, I am still confused as to whether or not I will receive an extra discount with the railcard, on top of the 50% discount I will already be getting off the adult fare. Please could you advise?


    • Hi Jack,

      No, there is no benefit linking 16+ zip cards now that the discount is 50% across the board. You don’t get any extra discount.

  139. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your reply. This is what I thought too.

    However, yesterday, I also contacted TFL Oyster team on the helpline to ask the same question and was given the impression that I would receive an extra 1/3 off fares on top of the 50% discount. As well as this, on the TFL website, it does list the 16 – 25 railcard as being available to use to gain a discount on the 16+ zip card.

    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-payments/fares?intcmp=14736 (On the drop down list under ‘National Railcards and Gold Cards’)

    Therefore, is it a definite that I cannot gain any further discount? I am just a bit confused.


    • Hi Jack,

      That’s an error. On that page there is a link to another page on railcards which correctly doesn’t mention the 16+ zip card.

  140. Hi Mike,

    I buy the monthly/weekly season from Brighton to Clapham Junction, and then take the bus to Chelsea for placement.

    Someone told me that if I had an 18+ photocard Oyster I would be eligible to get 1/3 off my train tickets. I am also eligible for a mature student railcard if this helps. I was wondering if you could clarify this as I don’t seem to be able to find any such information online. Would be really great if I could save some!

  141. Hi Mike,
    I am traveling mostly in off peak time from High Wycombe to stratford, so using both national rail and underground services. Recently got network rail card and using it to get day travel card.
    Is it useful for me to get oyster card, if so how to use it.? May i need to get ticket from high wycombe to london marylbone using network rail card and from london marylebone to stratford using oyster card ?! please clarify me ..
    Thank you very much…

    • Hi Kowsalya,

      For that journey you are better off with the discounted travelcard from High Wycombe. An off-peak return to London would be subject to the minimum fare during the week and would not save enough to pay for the tube travel.

  142. Hi, I am visiting London May 17 with my mom.
    We are going for 4 days. I don’t know which tickets we need to get. We travel on the underground zone 1 and 4.
    Piccalilly and Victoria. We want to travel anythime.
    No certain times. I hope you can help me, it would be nice !

    • Hi Daimy,

      From what you’ve said it looks like an Oyster card is the best bet. If you travel a lot it will cap at less than a paper travelcard.

  143. Hi Mike

    Great site – Really helpful. I got a DPR on 17/4/13 and presented it at an underground station to have the discount applied to my Oyster card. I was told it was done and was given my oyster back – today I have found out that this evidently didn’t happen and I have been charged full price – using auto top up it was less evident as I just ‘get in with my journey’ but thought it was wrong so called customer services to check. When I called the customer centre I was told to email in and request a refund for the overcharging and they could work it out, which I have, but wondered if you had any other advice to expedite the overcharge they have made, which quick maths tells me could be quite a lot?

    Any insight gratefully received.

    • Hi Mark,

      Does the DPR only last a year and need renewing? If it does then you need to renew the link to the Oyster each year as well. Other than that I’m not aware of anything more you can do.

  144. The TFL site states an 11-15 Zip Oyster photocard is required to get child-rate travelcards. Does this also apply to discounted child-rate Travelcards when travelling with a Friends & Family Railcard holder?

  145. I had no problems loading my Gold Card (came with Zone 1-3 annual travel card) discount entitlement onto my the other spare Oyster card last year at one of the London underground station offices but they refused to do it this year for me on this particular spare Oyster card upon the renewal of my annual travel card insisting that the Gold Card (imprinted with my primary Oyster card number) must link back to the same Oyster Card. Have they changed their rules/practices? Tried to reason out with them but to no avail. At the end they only loaded the gold card discount entitlement on my primary Oyster card.

    • Hi Zak,

      I’m not surprised that they wouldn’t do it (and quite surprised that they did it last year). The discounted Oyster card is only for use by yourself and you must have proof of the gold card entitlement with you when using it. If the gold card is a travelcard on a different Oyster card then you will pay more than you need to unless you travel entirely outside the zones of your travelcard.

  146. Mike- you are a hero. Thank you for answering so many of our questions.

    I am a full time student doing a one year MA program- my student oyster card expires in September this year.

    I would love to purchase an annual card, but don’t understand what will happen when my oystercard expires. Will I lose the balance on my card? Do I have to wait until my student card expires to buy an annual travelcard, can I buy one with a partial discount?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Gin,

      I’m pretty sure that you can’t buy annual travelcards with a student Oyster because they would almost certainly extend beyond the validity of the Oyster. It’s also unlikely that many students would want an annual travelcard covering the summer. You can’t buy one with partial discount either.

  147. Thanks for the quick reply, Mike! I only intended to use the spare Oyster card exclusively for journeys outside (not involving) zones 1 to 3 on certain odd occasions. That’s why I wanted to load the Gold Card discount entitlement on this particular Oyster card. I thought, as pointed out in your much earlier reply to someone above, one could link a railcard to more than one Oyster card. And I presume Gold Card is a type of railcard? Thanks again!

    • Hi Zak,

      Yes, a gold card is a type of railcard, but it is a special type when the actual ticket is loaded onto an Oyster card. Whilst you can load 16-25 and senior railcards, for instance, onto more than one Oyster you can only use one at a time. The main reason you might want to load a 16-25 card onto more than one Oyster is when the Oyster itself expires before the railcard. The other good reason is when you lose the Oyster card. In your case, if you lose the Oyster card with a travelcard on it you’ll be getting it stopped and a replacement issued, which can of course have the discount loaded again.

      I’m not suggesting that you were thinking of doing this, but the thought that crops up is that you wanted the other Oyster card for a partner. Unfortunately, without it’s own validating railcard that Oyster would be invalid for travel. If caught by an inspection the holder (and possibly the donor) could be liable for prosecution.

  148. hi Mike,
    travelling from pembroke dock to london in july. my fare will be less expensive if i purchase an advance ticket and as i understand it even more so if i purchase a senior rail card. do i just present my senior rail card when i purchase an oyster card?

    • Hi Philippa,

      Yes, get your Oyster card from a tube station ticket office and ask them to add the senior railcard discount at the same time.

  149. Hi I have an 18+ discount Oyster card. I want to get a monthly travelcard from Shenfield to zones 1-9. However it won’t let me do this online even though I have a student account? Do I have to go to the Shenfield station in order to get the travelcard with the discount?

  150. Hi Mike,

    Thank you for the useful website. I have a maths problem for you as I really want to find the best way of travelling and saving money. During the term time, I travel from Rickmansworth station (Zone7) to South Kensington station (Zone1) everyday. In the morning it is always peak time for me and I will use the tube/ train again after 7pm to go back to Ricky. My question is will it be better if I buy an annual ticket from Chiltern to travel or shall I buy an annual oyster card or just use PAYG? The reason why I ask this is because I am not sure if the annual tickets from Chiltern will cover from London Marylebone to other Zone 1 station. If not, does that mean I will need to use my oyster card once I enter the Bakerloo line in Marylebone if I take Chiltern to work in the morning? Currently I use PAYG and there is no rail card that I can load to the Oyster card to save money. Hope this makes sense. Thank you for your reply in advance.

    • Hi Fei,

      Simple answers. You can’t buy rail only seasons between Rickmansworth and Marylebone, it has to be a zone 1-7 travelcard season which then will be valid to South Kensington. However, if you only use your Oyster to commute then there isn’t much benefit to buying an annual travelcard. If you regularly return home off-peak there is even less benefit. I’d probably use PAYG unless you regularly use buses or make other train trips on days you don’t commute.

  151. Hi Mike,

    Thank you for the reply. I hardly use buses and only go to central during weekends once in a while. Hence your suggestion confirms what I have thought as well. Thank you very much.

  152. I’ve just bought my first Senior Railcard, and was hoping to link it to my Oyster to use for a family London trip on my 60th. Went to Croxley the day before, but the clerk told me the card was not registered – I’ve had online access since the start of Oyster so was told to ring the helpline! They said I needed a paper registration. So took it all to Watford the next day @ 13:00 but the clerk said the ticket office was shut, so tough, but I didn’t need to re-register?! Another call to helpline elicited the same response.
    They really don’t seem to know the rules… Will try again between 07:00 & 10:00, together with your instructions.

    • Hi Nick,

      There is some confusion about whether the card needs to be registered or not. I think the reality is that the system doesn’t require it but the company do want it for security purposes. I’d always recommend registering anyway.

  153. Hi there

    I have just purchased an annual zones 1-4 travel card via a southwest train station in London. They said TFL no longer allow them to deal with annual goldcards on Oyster so I chose to take their paper ticket. Is there a way of transferring the zone 1-4 paper ticket onto an oystercard in the future as using the paper ticket may end up a pain everyday?


    • Hi Jack,

      I’m not convinced that TfL are to blame, but it’s complex so I won’t expand any further. You might have a problem converting the season to be held on Oyster though. Very few NR stations handle Oyster at ticket offices. I’ve heard good reports about Marylebone, so I’d probably try there if anywhere.

  154. Hi
    Me and my partner are going to London for 3 days. We both have a 16-25 railcard.
    We’re staying in zone 2 (Kilburn is nearest tube) and will be be spending time around central and won’t be going outside of zone 2.
    On a morning we won’t be travelling until after 9.30am but we’ll be out all day and into the evening/night.
    Would it be better for us to get an Oyster card and link the railcard to them or get an all day travel card and with the railcard discount?
    Thanks for your help

    • Hi Riley,

      Definitely cheaper to get Oyster cards and attach the railcard discount. The paper ticket costs £5.90/day while the Oyster cap for zones 1-2 with railcard discount is just £4.60/day.

  155. I have a paper zones 1-4 gold card, yet when I try to get an extension I am charged more than the correct fare. I also have a pay as you go Oyster card. If I want to travel z1 to z6 then the oyster fare is 1.50 but both Tfl and national rail want to charge me 4.70. Will linking to my Oyster card fix this problem? If so how?

    • Hi Aaron,

      Oyster extension fares are only available when the travelcard is loaded on the Oyster card, unfortunately. However, if £1.50 is the off-peak single for zones 5-6 you will only be charged £1.00 when the annual gold card is taken into consideration.

  156. Hello Mike,

    I have an 18+ oyster due to expire in a month. Any idea if the discounted travel cards can extend past this date? I would ideally now buy a z1-3 annual and get a tidy discount but I’m unsure if 1) this will even be allowed on the machine and 2) if I’m breaking some terms of the agreement and leaving myself open to a fine if I do buy it

    • Hi Joe,

      My understanding is that all season tickets purchased with a student Oyster card must expire by the last date of the student card. For this reason, I don’t think it’s possible to get an annual season ticket with a student Oyster card.

  157. Hi Mike,

    I am a foreign language student and I would like to find out what is the cheapest way to travel between Surrey (Addlestone) and Wimbledone for a person minor 25 years in the period of July and August. 16-25 railcard does not cover July and August. Your response will be much appreciated.

    • Hi Maria,

      The 16-25 railcard does cover July and August, it’s just that there’s no minimum fare before 10am. This makes them more valuable in the summer months. Depending on the route taken and day and time of day you’ll pay between £5.15 and £10.15 for a return fare. As long as you travel off-peak and avoid Clapham Junction you won’t pay more than £6.40.

  158. Is there a way to remove the railcard discount from a specific Oyster card? My oyster with my discount wouldn’t register for automatic top up so I registered a different card, without remembering I had a discount on the original one. Is there a way to remove the discount or switch it from my old to my new card?

    • Hi Emma,

      You can add the discount to the new card in the same way as you did it to the old one. Just remember that neither card is valid without the supporting railcard. If you needed to, an Underground station would be able to remove the discount from the old card. It will cease working anyway on expiry of the railcard.

  159. Hi Mike
    Is it now possible to see whether my Gold Card discount is logged against my Oystercard on my online Oyster account? If not, how do I check?

  160. Hi, Mike

    I have a disabled persons railcard. Is the discount added to my oyster just as a 16-25 railcard would be?

    Could you suggest somewhere I could go to get this put on my oyster?

    Also how much of a discount am I entitled to with it when buying a weekly ticket for example?

    • Hi Marcio,

      Yes, the disabled railcard works exactly the same as the 16-25 railcard with Oyster. Just take them both to an Underground ticket office to get the discount applied. There is no discount on weekly tickets, nor on peak fares with Oyster.

  161. Hi, my current oyster card expires on the 30th of September, so obviously I’ll need to get a new one, but I’ve lost my current one and I need to use it before the 30th of September. So would I be able to get a new one early or wait until my current one has expired?

    • Hi Ryan,

      I assume you had a zip photocard or a student Oyster if it expires at the end of September. If that is the case then you can report it lost and order a new one on payment of a £10 fee. It can be done online, or over the phone to the Oyster helpdesk. The replacement will have the same expiry date as the one you’ve lost unfortunately.

  162. Hi,
    I am an international student eligible for the student Oyster as well as the 16-25 railcard. I was wondering, since I will be using the visitor Oyster for about a month before I receive my student Oyster – is it recommended for me to attach the railcard to the visitor Oyster first? Or should I wait for the student Oyster before I attach the railcard? How does the discount work with the ‘pay as you go’ on the visitor Oyster if my railcard is not attached to the visitor Oyster?
    Also, which are the stations where I can buy the railcard?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Meri,

      I don’t believe that you can link a railcard discount to a visitor Oyster card. However, you can buy a normal Oyster card when you arrive and the deposit is fully refundable when your student Oyster arrives. The £3 charge for a visitor Oyster card is non-refundable.

      The railcard can be purchased from any National Rail station. You’ll need a passport type photo and proof of eligibility.

  163. Hi Mike – We are spending 3 days in London (Thurs-Sat). Our hotel is near Park Royal (Zone 3) and we are going to the New London Theatre (Zone 1) on Friday evening. Otherwise we are intending to do a fair bit of walking (instead of taking the Tube). We are 2 adults, 2 children (10 & 15). It looks like the Oyster card is the best thing for us but we are very confused, to say the least!! Would you agree that the Oyster card is the best value for money for us? How do we work out how much to load each card with? Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Fred,

      Oyster cards will be best for the adults. You can find fare information using the single fare finder for a guide to how much to top up. The 10-year-old travels free on the Underground, DLR, London Overground and selected National Rail routes as long as they acompany a fare-paying adult. The 15-year-old is slightly more problematic. Child Oyster fares are only available with a photocard which costs £10. You probably wouldn’t save enough over 3 days to make that worthwhile. Their best bet is likely to be a child travelcard at £3.60/day as long as you don’t travel before 0930 Mon-Fri.

  164. Hi Mike,

    Rather than travel into London to an Underground station, do you know if a Ticket Stop or Travel Information Centre can (or should be able to) add a railcard discount to Oyster?

    It seems to be possible so TfL point out on their page (under how do I apply):


    Just wondering if I’m likely to be met with a confused look or just told that they can’t do it…


    • Hi Si,

      I don’t doubt that ticket stops should be able to do it, but it wouldn’t surprise me if you got a confused look. Perhaps take along that page from the TfL website and they might check their training manuals. You might have to shop around. I’ll ask around the local ticket stops here to see if they know what to do.

  165. I’m an occasional visitor to London with a Disabled railcard loaded on my Oyster. I’m aware of the concession that allows an adult companion (I have an invisible disability and don’t need a carer as such) to travel with me on a child rate Off-Peak Travelcard. I’m also aware of the advice to carry a print of the rule for the benefit of rail staff unfamiliar with it. My companions have thus far been unwilling to test this out!

    A couple of points:

    Is it just a normal child Travelcard and can it can it be purchased from a machine to avoid lengthy discussions at ticket offices?

    Presumably the Travelcard would also be valid for bus travel in the normal way? I’m a little apprehensive about arguing its validity in front of a bus load of impatient passengers and wonder if any of your readers have experience of this?

    • Hi Nigel,

      Yes it is a normal child travelcard. A printout would be useful in case of questions. I’m not aware of any people using it and whether they encounter problems. An invisible disability might cause questions, but the disabled railcard and the Oyster should be enough to answer them.

  166. Hello Mike
    Very helpful site – thank you. If we link out Two Together Railcard, does that mean as with the railcard’s conditions, we’d always have to travel together on TfL services when using that linked Oyster card please?

  167. Thanks for the great information source. I am still a bit confused:
    We are 2 adults (with oyster payg) and 2 children (5&6 applying for oyster photocards) and have a friend & family railcard. We live in Streatham Hill. If we use rail within London we all 4 go on Oyster fares. But if we only use buses and tube and are doing several journeys can we just get discounted travelcards for £5.90 for the adults and none for the children as they are free on buses and tube anyway? Do I buy the discounted travelcard at the railway station?

    • Hi Stephen,

      To get adult discounted fares with a friends and family railcard, at least one child must buy a ticket as well. You are actually better off using the railcard to get discounted travelcards when using the train as well, except that one child should use their zip card to get the cheaper off-peak cap.

  168. Hi Mike,
    Im getting a little confused, I will be traveling from Grays to the Barbican for university. i understand that I can get a discount oyster but i will be having to travel in peak times so will i still be able to benefit from the full discount and will i have to buy my tickets in advance to benefit from the discount? Am I right in thinking I would not be able to use pay as you go facilities?

    • Hi,

      The 18+ student Oyster is only available to students living at a London address during term time. Also, travelcard seasons are not available on Oyster for the Grays group of stations, so your best bet will be a paper ticket.

  169. Hi Mike,

    I will be travelling from Hatfield ( Herts ) to london waterloo.
    My partner works in barnet and on certain days could take me to high barnet underground where I could tube it to waterloo. This will not happen every day and chances are he can drive me to barnet but I would need to find my way back. What would be the cheaper way to do this? I understand with the train type of tickets when its done weekly,montly or yearly its for return and not pay as you go like the Oyster ? can you please help.

    Thank you

    • Hi Caterina,

      Hatfield is outside the Oyster area, so to travel from there you will need a paper season. There are two options. (1) £62.50/week season from Hatfield to London Terminals will get you as far as Kings Cross. You’d then need to use Oyster PAYG to get to Waterloo which is £2.20 per journey, so £22.00/week making a total of £84.50/week. (2) £90.70/week for a Hatfield to zones 1-6 travelcard season. This would cover you for the whole journey and also allow you to use High Barnet at no extra charge. If you buy period seasons of a month or more then the travelcard is likely to be slightly cheaper because the PAYG wouldn’t reduce in the same way as the season cost. Also, if you make any other trips in London then the travelcard becomes more beneficial.

      I hope that helps.

  170. Hi Mike, thank you for your reply.

    I have another question if you dont mind please. My partnet works in barnet and on some days he can take me to high barnet to save on cost etc but there are two problems with this: 1- dont know if he can then take me back 2 – on some days he may not be able to take me to high barnet at all. is there a flexible card that I could buy and use as and when for my journey from Hatfield to Waterloo when I cant travel from high barnet ?

    Thank you

    • Hi Caterina,

      If you can travel to/from High Barnet most days then your best bet is to get a zone 1-5 travelcard on Oyster. This will cover you from High Barnet and also New Barnet if coming from Hatfield and costs £53.40/week. To travel from Hatfield to New Barnet you’ll need a paper ticket costing £6.40 return or £5.60 single. For five days travel that is cheaper than the travelcard from Hatfield, but longer periods won’t work out so well.

      There is no need for the train to stop at New Barnet because one ticket (the travelcard) is a season and the other is not.

  171. Hi Mike, thank you for your answer. Have you heard of the carnet tickets ? Are they worth buying, in my case that I will not know for sure how many days a week I will be using the train.
    Thank you

    • Hi Caterina,

      Yes, I’ve heard of carnet tickets. If you buy them be very careful about filling them in. Preferably ask for and use a pen provided by the ticket office. In my personal opinion they are not worth the potential hassle if you have trouble writing the date on the ticket.

  172. Hi Mike,

    I am going to start my second year of study on a 3 year university course in London.

    My journey would normally be in the morning from about 8-9AM, and I would return at about 5-6PM. The stations I would leave from are either Cricklewood station with the National Rail or I would take the bus to Golders Green Underground station. My destination will be to Holborn Underground station and then I will make a return journey.

    My question is, that since I will be making a daily commute, would it be worth getting a 16-25 National Rail discount card?

    I’ve read that there is a minimum fare of £12 if you travel between 4.30am and 10am, but I don’t understand how this works in conjunction with the 30% discount of the Student 18+ Oyster.

    Thank you for your time

    • Hi Alex,

      The discounts work on different tickets. The 16-25 railcard can be used to buy singles and returns with the minimum fare to restrict commuting. The 18+ Student Oyster allows you to buy discounted travelcard seasons, but it has no effect on singles or returns. So for your commute the 16-25 railcard will make no difference, but you may still find it worthwhile for other leisure journeys. If you get one then you should still put it on your Oyster to reduce travel costs in the holidays when you might not have a season ticket.

  173. Hi Mike,
    Thanks for your answer, but may I ask, does this mean that when I use my Oyster card to touch in to National Rail and/or Underground stations, there is no discount?
    For a daily commute to uni, what kind of card or ticket would you recommend?
    Thanks again

    • Hi Alex,

      You should get a zone 1-3 travelcard on your student 18+ Oyster. This will then give you unlimited travel in zones 1-3 and also on TfL buses throughout London. The student discount means it costs £25.70/week or £98.70/month.

  174. Hi Mike,
    Twice a week I travel in the morning and evening peak from zone 5 to 1 and back (I have a 16-25).

    Would it make sense to purchase a paper ticket (presuming this is possible?) from a ticket office prior to the evening peak rather than use my oyster in the evening. I don’t use any other transport on either day.

    I’d appreciate your help Mike.

  175. Hi Mike,

    Well it would either be Bond Street or Baker Street in zone 1. In zone 5 it would be North Harrow which is obviously not a NR service. Is this not possible then?
    But if I were to travel to Headstone Lane, it would be possible?

    • Hi Jack,

      Railcard discounts are only applicable to paper tickets which are valid for travel on NR. This used to be the case with Oyster as well until a couple of years ago when they extended it to all off-peak rail fares.

  176. Hi,

    I am a student moving to London, and have a 16-25 railcard. I can also apply for a Student Oyster Card but currently have an adult oyster card.
    Is the discount for a student oyster+railcard more than an adult oyster+railcard??

    I do not understand if the discount will be the same and therefore if it is worth me buying a student oyster, please help!


    • Hi Chloe,

      The student Oyster card gives you discounts on travelcard season tickets while single fares and daily caps are the same as adult cards. The 16-25 railcard has no effect on season tickets but will discount off-peak single fares and caps. It can be added to both student and adult Oyster cards.

  177. I have an outside london station to zone 2-6 Gold card.

    Am I eligible to travel on ALL london buses with my gold card? E.g. Even the ones in zone 1?


  178. Hi Mike. I have found all these questions and answers very informative however I havnt quite found the answer to my question. I just got married and moved to london so my young persons railcard is still in my maiden name till it expires next year. I went to enquire about a zone 1-7 monthly travelcard and the supervisor quoted me basically £240. With my young persons railcard I thought it would be cheaper but he said it’s only cheaper after 9:30, although I will always travel before 8:30. Why is that? Have I been overcharged?

  179. How can I find out if my Forces discount card has been linked to my Oyster card? I registered it at Borough tube station but I am not entirely sure it has been linked?
    Regards in advance Pete.

  180. Hi Mike,
    I am a student and I’m commuting from Seven kings station to Colchester station. I wanted to know the cheapest way I can do this? My travelling times aren’t set, they change every week. Also, can I use my oyster card till the station? Or do I need to buy a paper ticket? (Side note: I have a 16-25 railcard!)

    • Hi Sadia,

      If you are eligible for a Student 18+ Oyster then there might be a benefit getting a discounted travelcard for Seven Kings to Romford. If you can travel after 10am some days then your railcard will discount the return fare. It’s a bit difficult to advise without having a clearer outline of your travel times.

  181. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for providing such an informative and useful website. I will like to inquire if it is possible to link one 16-25 railcard to two different Oyster cards. Will I have to register the second Oyster card under the same name?

    Many thanks in advance!

    • Hi Jess,

      You can link a railcard to more than one Oyster and they do need to be registered to the same name. You can only use one Oyster at a time though, because you must carry the railcard with you at all times when using a discounted Oyster card. If checked by revenue staff you may be asked to show the railcard.

  182. Hi Mike,
    Thanks to your site I now have my gold card discount loaded on to my Oyster card. My question is according to National Rail site once you have an annual gold card you can purchase a Partner Network Rail Card for £1. Can I do this when my gold card/season ticket is on my Oyster card? (It’s Z1-5) National Rail stations say I need a paper ticket to get one & LU say railcards have nothing to do with them. Also is it really worth getting one if you get the discount when my partner travels with me anyway

    • Hi Tilly,

      If you have an annual travelcard on your Oyster then you should have been given a gold record card. This is what you need to use to get discounts on paper tickets and the £1 partner card. Obviously if your partner always travels with you then there is little point, but it doesn’t have to be a partner – do you have a friend who could make use of it?

  183. Hi Mike,

    My journey for my new job is from Headstone Lane train station to Gerrards Cross. The optimum route is from Headstone Lane train station to Wembley Central and then from Wembley Stadium train station to Gerrards Cross. Therefore, I decided to buy a monthly travel card (including return at any time) between Gerrards Cross and Zones 4-6 at £175.90. I was wondering if I have to use an Oyster card for zones 4-5 for the first part of the route or there is no need for that.

    Thanks in advance,


  184. Hi

    If I use an oyster with 16-25 railcard discount (which doesn’t apply to buses) and use a bus, will the price cap then be set at the price of a standard day travelcard? If I do one journey off-peak and one journey during peak travel time how will the charge (and price cap) work?


    • Hi Anna,

      The railcard doesn’t discount single bus fares or the bus cap, but using it on a bus doesn’t affect the daily cap when using rail. After 0930 all travel counts towards the off-peak cap. Between 1600-1900 you will be charged peak single fares, but only up to the off-peak cap. Hope that helps.

  185. Hi,

    i’m a student who recently moved to London. I just got the student oyster card, i usually travel between zone 1-6, in the afternoons and evenings, say from 4 – 5pm and return say about 9pm. I just realised i pay so much for the trips. What would you advice on best travel ticket to get and, including best times to travel, all to save cost and get value.
    I don’t have the student rail card yet.

    • Hi Uzo,

      Can you start the afternoon journey just before 4pm? If you can then you’ll get off-peak fares both ways. Even if you can’t, the 16-25 railcard will give you discounts on the off-peak cap so the most you’ll pay would be £5.60 each day.

  186. Hi,
    im a student here and have a 18+ oyster card. my travel time is always between 9am to 5/6pm and i travel between zone 1-6 and it costs me SO much. i somehow end up paying more then 12pounds :/
    If i get the rail card what is the cap for peak times?

    • Hi Shez,

      With a student 18+ Oyster card the benefit is discounted travelcard seasons. Zone 1-6 costs £40.00/week or £153.60/month. The 16-25 railcard will not affect peak prices, the anytime cap or travelcard seasons.

  187. My daughter has an 11-15 Zip Card which still has money on it. She has now got a 16-18 Zip card. Can the balance of the 11-15 cad be transferred to the 16-18 card and how do we go about this if it is possible?

    • Hi Roy,

      When my son made this transition the balance was transfered automatically. If you have added money to the old card since the new card was ordered then you can probably get it transfered at an Underground station. The letter which came with the new card should confirm if any balance was transfered.

  188. Hi Mike,

    I asked you on the 12 September would it be possible to travel in the afternoon peak between Bond Street and Headstone Lane. After one failed attempt at Bond Street where I would told there was no such discount available for a 16-25 railcard, I tried again last week only to be told I would have to purchase such a ticket from a NR station.

    This ticket is available on National Rail Enquires, so it does exist, but was that the correct response? If not, what do you suggest?

    Unfortunately, I cannot purchase it beforehand as I do not know of my timings from day to day, so it has to be purchased on the day of travel.

    Any help would be great.

    • Hi Jack,

      Underground stations should be able to sell through tickets to National Rail stations, so I’m unsure what the problem is. As you say, the ticket exists. Did you ask for a ticket from Bond Street to Headstone Lane or from Zone U1256 to Headstone Lane? The latter of these descriptions is the technical name for such a ticket and might yield different results.

    • Hi Jack,

      Further enquiries seem to suggest that this is a bit of a grey area. It looks like the fare shouldn’t be available with the discount and thus it certainly won’t be available from Underground stations. It can be purchased online and collected from a machine at a TOD enabled station. Headstone Lane is such a station, so if you can predict your requirement in the morning you could order it and pick it up on the way in. There doesn’t seem to be a solution if you only know you’ll need it at Bond Street in the afternoon.

  189. Hi Mike,

    I tried again this evening, quoting the Zone U1256 to headstone lane. He insisted that I could not be sold the ticket from the station and if it could, the fares system and training was completely wrong.

    Good point, I’ll bear that in mind. Thanks for your help

  190. When my senior railcard expired, I purchased an updated 3 year one (hopefully I will stay alive that long!!) I assume that they system is not clever enough to recognise the fact that it has been renewed, so I will have to go to an underground station to get it re-added. Having turned up at a station this morning to do this, only to find the ticket office closed, made me wonder what will happen when all the ticket offices are closed under the new proposals. Why can’t they have them linkable on the web-site; it’s not exactly rocket science.

    • Hi Russ,

      My understanding is that the staff on the concourse will be able to access special menus on the ticket machines to accomplish this task, and some others.

  191. Hi Mike,

    Does the oyster payg price cap with 16-25 railcard discount loaded cap the bus fares too?

    I see that the discounted off-peak price cap for zone 1-2 is £4.60 but if I take a decent amount of bus journeys, would it be wiser if I would buy a zone 1-6 paper travel card instead which costs £5.90 as it includes buses as well?

    Because a zone 1-2 off-peak daily price cap with buses is up to £7.00 which could be more expensive than £5.90.

    Thanks so much!

  192. Hi Mike,

    Would like to seek your advice. I would be staying in Dorking with friends, but would be commuting between Dorking and London on a daily basis for a week (9 – 16 Oct) during off peak hours (depart Dorking at 9:30am; return to Dorking from Waterloo station at 7:00pm). I would also likely use the London Underground frequently (as a visitor to London). Could you advise what might be the best travel card to purchase? Thank you!

    • Hi Nick,

      If you intend to travel to London on 6 or 7 days then a weekly travelcard will be worthwhile and you won’t have to worry about waiting for off-peak. Any less than 6 days and you should get daily off-peak travelcards. If you want to save a little money then you could buy Southern only versions of the Dorking to zones 1-6 travelcard, but you would have to travel on Southern trains between Dorking and Ewell East (effectively via Sutton). You could still change at Clapham Junction for Waterloo and once inside the travelcard area you can use any trains.

  193. Hi Mike,

    I was wondering that can my family use my monthly travel card when I am not using it? However, the monthly ticket is on my photo card, which was expired a few years ago. Thanks for your help.

  194. Hi Mike,

    I’m moving to Uxbridge (zone 6)and will be commuting to London Bridge (zone 1) Monday to Thursday (most probably travelling during peak times and probably 1 journey in and 1 journey back out again each day) with the odd trips into Zone 1 on the weekends.

    I also have 16-25 Railcard which I would like to make use of.

    I’m wondering if I should purchase an annual travel card or am I better off on a PAYG oyster and linking the railcard so I can get the discounts on the single off peak journeys on the weekends?

    Its costing almost £2200 for an annual travel card for zones 1 -6 and am looking to reduce my transport costs!

    • Hi Ying,

      A travelcard for a zone 1-6 commute on Underground only is only worthwhile if you use it 5 days a week and a few weekends as well. In your case I think PAYG would be cheaper, especially if you can avoid the actual peak times some days (ie touch in before 0630 or after 1900) because the railcard discount will then reduce the costs considerably.

  195. Hi Mike,
    Wondering if you’ve come across this situation before. I have an 18+ student oyster card, which entitles me to 30% off travelcards. The card states “Discount expiry date: 31 Aug 15”, as that is when I graduate. When I went to renew my annual Z1-2 travelcard, I was told I would have to buy monthlies instead, because the discount can’t overlap two months. I can’t find anything online about how travelcards and expiry date overlap works, but I have a feeling I was told incorrect information.

  196. Hello, I was wondering if there is a possibility for me to save some money on my travel to work. I travel from East Croydon to Farringdon and back Mon, Tue and Wed. Currently I pay a return ticket for £10.80 going on the Thameslink service.

    With the announcement today about capping travel and making it cheaper for part time workers from the beginning of next year, would I be able to save anything and what should I put up on the oyster card?

    Also, would I be able to save any money right now or is £10.80 the cheapest option?


    • Hi Antje,

      Yes, if you use Oyster PAYG you will pay £4.80 each way in the peak. If either journey can be made at off-peak times then it’s £3.00 single.

  197. Hi there, thanks for your helpful info, I really appreciate it!
    I just reaised my 16-25 railcard expired in July, but as it is ongoing I was issued with another card in time for expiry. However, I wasn’t aware I’d have to reattach my renewed card to my oyster so I’ve been paying full fare since July. Do you know if it’s possible to claim back the difference had I attached my new railcard at the time? Thanks!

    • Hi Luke,

      Unfortunately they can only go back 8 weeks with Oyster journey history. Call the helpdesk and see what they are prepared to agree.

  198. Hello. I’m new to Uk so I’m not really sure how railcards and everything work. My father is going to Southampton. So does he need a railcard in order to buy the ticket? If yes, what kind of railcard should he buy since he is only 58 years old, hence not eligible for the senior railcard? Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you.

  199. Hi Mike
    can you please assist we are visiting London for 3 days and I have a disabled person railcard. Is the discount able to be added to a visitors oyster card or is it just the standard oyster card. Also is my husband able to get discount on his oyster card if travelling with me. Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Fiona,

      I’m pretty sure it’s just an adult Oyster that can take railcard discounts. Your husband can’t get a discount on his Oyster, but he can buy a child rate day travelcard to accompany you.

    • Hi Ash,

      No. If you have a TfL issued 18+ student Oyster then you do get a discount on travelcards. The 16-25 National Railcard only discounts off-peak fares and caps.

  200. Hi Mike

    I would appreciate your help with the following. I have a DPRC attached to my Oyster and last Friday my card was capped at £7.50. I am having a hard time figuring out whether my Oyster has been charged correctly. My journeys for the day were as follow:

    17:08 – 17:33 Angel to Belsize Park £2.10
    15:56 – 16:13 Hampstead Heath to Highbury & Islington £1.00
    15:49 Bus journey, route C11 £0.00
    10:52 Bus journey, route 168 £0.05
    10:30 Bus journey, route C2 £1.45
    09:18 Bus journey, route C2 £1.45
    08:54 Bus journey, route 168 £1.45

    Is the £7.50 capping correct as I checked the TfL website for the fares and there does not seem to be any capping at this particular amount for Zones 1 and 2?

    Many thanks

    • Hi Dem,

      Yes, you have been charged correctly. The first two buses were in the morning peak so they were added to the discounted off-peak cap of £4.60.

    • Hi Dem,

      Not really. You’d need an anytime travelcard to use the bus before 0930 which would have cost more than you were actually charged.

  201. Mike

    I want to buy a zone 2-3 annual Oyster Card. If halfway through the term I want to update to a zone 1-3 Oyster Card – will I be able to do this at an adjusted cost or will i need to buy a brand new card with overlapping terms?


  202. Hi,

    Question related to getting a Gold Card.

    If I buy an annual travelcard (zones 1-5) online from tfl.gov.uk website, then is the gold card automatically added to my oyster card? Or do I need to add it at a ticket office?

    My friend bought his annual travel card at a ticket office and they also issued him a seperate paper gold card (which says ‘Travel Gold Card’ on it).

    – Dilip

    • Hi Dilip,

      The paper card is called a Gold Record Card and is what you show to get your discounts on train travel outside the London area. The discount flag on the Oyster card may not be set by default, particularly if you pick up the travelcard before it starts. You won’t have any trouble getting it added though because the clerk can see the annual travelcard on your Oyster. I imagine that the paper card will be sent in the post.

  203. Hi Mike,

    I am a student but leave in Woking, I want advice on the best transport option to Russel Square where I school and must attend and come back at least thrice a week.


    • Hi Lovina,

      For only 3 days a week I’d get a return ticket to Waterloo from Woking and use Oyster for the tube or get a bus to save a bit. If you need to go in on 4 or 5 days travelling in the morning peak then get a weekly season for the rail part.

  204. Hi Mike,

    Great site. It’s very interesting reading.
    Question I hope you can help me with:
    I get the 6.15am New Barnet to Moorgate (£3.00 with Oyster PAYG) and the 17.08 Moorgate > New Barnet (£4.80 on PAYG) 4/5 days a week.

    Would I benefit by getting a Lichfield Gold card, and then loading onto my Oyster card? Would that save me £1.00 a day?

    In addition, could I use the gold card to get 1/3rd discount on off peak travel (£5.90) if I purchased a paper ticket for the 17.08 Moorgate > New Barnet?


    • Hi Graeme,

      Woah! Slow down! The gold card area doesn’t expand to include Lichfield until Jan 2nd 2015. You could buy the Lichfield season beforehand to avoid the price hike on the same day, but you might then need to get the physical season swapped onto Gold card stock before you could get the discount applied to your Oyster. Once you’ve done all that, the £3.10 morning fare would reduce to £2.05. The £4.90 afternoon fare could be replaced by a £6.00 paper single reduced to £3.95. So yes, you could save £2 per day. All the prices I’ve quoted are applicable next year. The Lichfield annual season rises from £108 to £144 at the same time.

  205. website says my 60+ Oyster card can be used on all southwest and southern trains. Does it mean I can travel for free from Richmond to Reading and Richmond to Gatwick Airport?
    Many thanks for your assistance.

    • Hi Paul,

      Unfortunately not. You can use your 60+ Oyster within the Freedom card validity area which stretches to Feltham and Coulsdon South on the lines you’re interested in. It is valid on all SouthWest and Southern trains within that area.

  206. Hi Mike,

    I have an annual travelcard/gold card between Carshalton Beeches and zones 2-5. I work in zone 2 but travel to zone 1 quite often. My queries are:

    (1) As I understand it i need to come out of a station on the zone 1/2 border and check in with my Oyster card to travel in zone 1, then again break my journey at the zone 1/2 border coming out of zone 1. Is this correct?
    (2) To avoid getting off and breaking my journey I often buy a discounted off peak zone 1 to 6 travel card in advance. In 2014 this was £5.90 with discount and only slightly more expensive than the oyster components on main line and tube in zone 1. However I’ve been told the discounted price has risen to £7.90 from 1st January. Is this correct as it no longer make this option viable?

    Many Thanks

    • Hi Nigel,

      1) Yes.
      2) Yes.

      Your best bet is to get your travelcard loaded on Oyster. That way you will only be charged for a zone 1 single and it doesn’t matter if you stay on the train as long as you touch in at the start and out at the end.

      Unfortunately finding somewhere to do this may pose a bit of a problem. East Croydon may be your best bet as it is run by Southern (who presumably issued your paper ticket), but I’m not sure whether they have authority to transfer travelcards.

  207. Hi Mike, I have an expensive problem I’m hoping you can help.
    I have a 16-25 railcard, which up until 2nd Jan I was using to get 1-6 day travelcard at £5.90.
    My route to work is a long one, beginning at Mile end and ending at Hinchley Wood.
    My issue here is the cost of travel. Before price rises, I was getting a 1-6 discount travelcard to take me as far as Surbiton (last zone 6 station on route) and a discount return ticket from surbiton to hinchley wood at £2.45… In Total costing £8.35.
    Now the prices have changed drastically for travelcards, is there a way you can recommend I can travel without spending £10 plus a day??
    I have yet to link my oyster with my 16-25 card so hopefully this Will save me some money.
    I should mention that I also make a trip to the gym 3-4 Times aweek in Bethnal green.. so maybe the travelcard is still the best option! Racking my brains trying to find a solution! Please help!

    • Hi Sam,

      Firstly, get your 16-25 card linked as it will definitely save you money. The off-peak daily cap with a railcard discount is now £7.75. However, two off-peak singles between Mile End and Surbiton are only £6.90 so you may not always cap. The drawback, of course, is that you’d have to get off the train at Surbiton to touch your Oyster out or in. There is also a bigger saving, though you would need more time. If you travel via Whitechapel and Clapham Junction using London Overground you avoid zone 1 and the off-peak single fare with railcard discount becomes £1.70 (£3.40 return)

  208. Please Help

    Traveling to London for the first time with husband and two teenagers. Only for a four day visit but really confused which tube ticket to get. Are we best getting four oyster cards (as I don’t want to spend £10 each on junior ones) or is a there such a thing as a daily family ticket? We will be staying in zone 1-2 for 3 days and going to Harry Potter on the 4th day. We will only be using the tube not the buses.

    • Hi Wendy,

      There are no family tickets for use wholly within London apart from the discounts offered by the family amd friends railcard. However, since the recent fare change even that option would be more expensive if you restricted yourselves to zones 1-2. Basically, Oyster PAYG is the way to travel.

      You don’t say how old the teenagers are, but for a four day stay you might find the zip photocards worthwhile. The adult zone 1-2 cap is £6.40 (you’ll be saving on the third tube journey each day) while as long as you start after 0930 M-F the child cap is £1.50 (age 11-15). For 16-17 year olds the zip card offers half adult rate fares and caps. For Watford Junction the benefits of the zip cards are even greater as the fares are not set by TfL. Adult off-peak single from Euston to Watford Junction is £4.90, £2.45 for both 11-15 and 16+ zip cards. If you make any other journeys on the same day then the caps including Watford Junction are £16.80 adult and £8.40 with zip cards.

      Hope that helps.

  209. Hi Mike,

    I have a quick question regarding the student oyster card. My student oyster card expired a while ago and my wife has been using it as a normal oyster card paying full amount. She top ups weekly bus pass to go to work. Recently one TFL member accusing that it was a crime and took away the oyster card and took my wife’s details (such as DOB , address etc). She wasn’t even informed when she topped up at a station this morning. Is this an offence? She only topped up the weekly bus pass this morning and had to use the underground because of the bus strike and going to lose the money.

    Can we make a claim to TFL? She has been using with my consent and I don’t use that? Why would someone pay another £5 to get an oyster card?

    Is there a way to claim refund for incurring additional charges to top up for the rest of the days?

    Much appreciated for your comments.


    • Hi Mayu,

      Only normal adult non-photo Oyster cards are allowed to be transferred between people, and then only if using undiscounted PAYG. Although an expired Student card acts like an adult Oyster it is still has a photo on it. You can try explaining the situation to TfL and see if they’ll be lenient, but by the letter of the rules you have broken them.

  210. Hiya,
    Please help,

    I am abit confused. I am think of getting an annual season ticket Oyster through work, Will i get 30% off that? or do i need to buy an annual gold card or is a annual season ticket Oyster the same thing as an annual gold card?


    • Hi IC,

      The annual season ticket is an annual gold card. If it is loaded onto an Oyster card then you get a separate gold record card to use for the benefits. These include discounts on off-peak tickets on National Rail within the gold card area. There is no discount on the actual season ticket price which is the same as 40 weekly tickets (ie you get 12 weeks free).

  211. Hi Mike,

    I travel from Zone 1-5 everyday. I have an 18+ student oyster card and a national railcard. I recently linked my railcard to my oyster card. However, today, when I left Zone 1 at 4.30pm, I noticed that I was charged £4.70 upon tapping out (the normal price for a peak single). I was under the impression that a railcard would give a 1/3 off on prices in the region 4-7pm along with all other off-peak times. Is this not the case?

    Thank you for you all help,

    • Hi Yohan,

      The railcard discount applies to off-peak fares and the off-peak cap. Individual single fares between 1600-1900 will be charged at full price subject to the discounted off-peak cap not being reached.

  212. Hello again Mike…still a great site…. I have linked my senior rail card to oyster every year. I have just renewed my Senior Rail Card again and notice it has the same number. Do I have to link this again to my Oyster. In other words is it necessary to re link a travel card to the Oyster card regardless every time it is renewed?

    • Hi Jeffers,

      Yes it is necessary. The key data used in linking is the expiry date and that has to be extended on the Oyster each time you get a new railcard.

  213. Hi there, thank you for this website!

    With my railcard on my oyster card my zone 1-5 journeys used to cap at £5.60. I used to take the train into London Victoria from East Croydon (zone 5). I’m angry because now, to cut costs due to price capping increasing, I have to take the train into London from Thornton Heath station (zone 4).

    1. How much is the capping with a 16-25Railcard for travelling in zones 1-4?
    Also, could you let me know what the capping is for all the other zones, so 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 1-5, 1-6?

    2. Often in one day I take multiple trains within zone 4 and 5. Is there separate capping for staying within these zones or will I just be capped at the 1-5zone price?

    3. How much is a Bus and Tram cap, £4.40 or £5?

    Thank you for your time and help!

    • Hi George,

      1) 1-2: £4.25; 1-3: £4.95; 1-4: £6.10; 1-5: £7.20; £1-6: £7.75.
      2) Not since the zone 2-6 travelcard was abolished a few years ago.
      3) £4.40. The one-day bus and tram pass is £5.00.

  214. Being incensed over how pensioners have been treated with this unprecedented £2 increase for a Senior Railcard 1-6 Travelcard, I am about to get my station to link my Senior Railcard with an Oyster just obtained. I am anxious to know if it will be cheaper to use Oyster for Travelcard journeys, or is the newly increased£7-90 payment still the better option ?

    • Hi Colin,

      The Oyster cap will be better, especially if you stay nearer the centre of London. The caps increase from £4.25 for just zones 1-2 up to £7.75 for zones 1-6.

  215. Hi,

    I have recently found out that I qualify for a disabled persons railcard – I have bought a 3 year one. I currently buy a zone 1-3 monthly travel card on my Oyster card each month for my work travel in peak times, using top up for any journeys outside of my zones.

    Can you tell me – is it worth my while going to a ticket office to add the disabled railcard to my registered Oyster card? Will it give me any discount in daily use? Thanks!

    • Hi Emily,

      Definitely. You may find that you no longer need to buy travelcards. The disabled railcard now gives you discounts on all rail fares and caps. But not on travelcards.

  216. Hi Mike,
    Searched high and low, but can’t find the answer, so hope you can help! I have got my Oyster card setup for Gold card discount recently, but don’t understand the discount pricing on the buses. Mon-fri, on the bus in zone 4 I am being charged at the cap of £4.40 but at the weekend I am being charged max of £4.25. Two questions:
    1. what is the percentage discount that I’m getting?
    2. on weekdays after 9/9.30 shouldn’t I be getting the same discount?


    • Hi Sanjuti,

      Technically there is no discount on buses. The off-peak zones 1-2 cap is £4.25 so buses also cap at that amount if you don’t use rail or only use it in zones 1-2. The railcard discount only applies after 0930 on weekdays so if you use a bus before that then the normal £4.40 cap applies.

  217. Hi Mike,

    I’m struggling working out my options around Watford. I need to travel on a Friday from Watford (can get to high street or junction) at about midday to Euston. I’ll then need to go to Liverpool Street for a bit and then on to Hainault for a bit (all before 4pm). I’ll then leave Hainault between 4 and 7 to head back to Euston and then back to Watford.

    If I use oyster will I only pay the off peak cap of £11 odd? The tfl website is confusing and suggests that I might pay the off-peak cap plus the peak fare?

    Also is Watford Junction more expensive than High Street? What if I got touch in at high street can I go up to junction and then travel back down again?

    • Hi Dave,

      Watford Junction is much more expensive than Watford High Street, largely down to the availability of fast trains to Euston. However, you can touch in at High Street and go via Junction as long as you don’t leave the paid side of the barriers. The off-peak cap for zones 1-8 is £11.80 which is all you will pay as long as you start after 0910 from High Street. Although peak fares are charged between 1600-1900 the off-peak cap still applies. If you did need to start at Junction the off-peak cap is then £16.80.

    • Hi Lee,

      Not at the moment, no. The problem is that inspectors would have no way of knowing whether you should have a railcard with you or not.

  218. Hi Mike,

    Was wondering if you could clear something up for me. Currently travel off-peak between zones 1-4 and hit the cap a couple of times a week (not enough to make a annual travelcard worth it).

    I notice the railcards discount this to £6.10 from £9.20, so I would like to definitely get this done.

    But what card should I get? It says that Network Rail Cards can’t be loaded onto the Oyster?

    My partner has a annual travelcard so I presume I could get a ‘partner’ gold card, but this seems to be a Network rail card as well? (http://www.network-railcard.co.uk/partner-card/)

    Also, the application form on that page seems to be out of date (for use up to 1/1/15).

    So which card would I need to get the cheaper off-peak 1-4 cap?

    • Hi Simon,

      It all changed from Jan 2nd. Rather than a partner card for £1 you now get a discount off any normal railcard. Unfortunately the only ones you can add to the Oyster card are the 16-25, Senior, Disabled, Forces and the Annual Gold card. The network railcard is scuppered by the minimum fare on weekdays because you’d never get a discount just travelling in the London area. The other railcards require more than one person to travel together which is incompatible with the individual nature of the Oyster card.

      So in summary, unless you qualify for one of the specific 5 cards you can’t get the discounted cap.

  219. Thanks Mike.

    Would it be possible for my partner to add the Gold Card onto a PAYG Oyster card or would it have to be the same Oyster as the one the season ticket is on??

    • Hi Simon,

      In the case of an annual travelcard on Oyster the discount can only be loaded on the same Oyster card. Also, to use an Oyster card with a discount loaded, the relevant railcard must also be carried at all times, even on buses.

    • Hi Carole,

      There is a disabled persons freedom pass for residents of London Councils. If your bus pass has the ENCTS rose on it then it will be valid on London buses. If you are eligible for and have a disabled railcard then you can record the discount entitlement on your adult Oyster card and get 1/3 off all rail (NR, LU and DLR) fares within the Oyster area.

  220. Hi mike

    If travelling from East Croydon to London with 3 children 8 years and under do they need to have tickets? They will be accompanied by to fare paying adults



    • Hi Danielle,

      On NR services (which those from EC are) children under 5 do not need a ticket. If you travel from West Croydon and use the London Overground services to Canada Water then Underground, you are then on TfL services where children under 11 do not need a ticket.

  221. Hi Mike,

    Having turned 60 and living outside London I’m planning to get a NR Senior Railcard principally for use on other rail journeys. Having done so I might as well associate it with my Oyster to get the occasional off-peak discounts.

    However, I was also considering switching from Oyster to contactless. I take it that Railcard discounts cannot currently work with contactless?


  222. Hi

    I presented my Oyster Card with my Senior railcard to the ticket office at North Woolwich yesterday. I was first told the Oyster card was not registered when I said it was and I had been in my account that day I was asked for my account password, after a discussion as to why I had to give my password, I reluctantly wrote it down. I was presented with my cards but on checking my account today I can’t see any discount for the travel to London yesterday. How do I tell if the travel card has been registered?



    • Hi Vaughan,

      I don’t think it’s been done correctly. You can either call the helpdesk or take it to another Underground Station. The best ones to use are those linked to main National Rail stations. You can’t see the discount itself on Oyster online, sadly, but the fares should be adjusted to the correct level.

  223. Mike
    Thanks for a quick answer , having expanded the transactions i can now see that discounts have been applied . Still can’t understand why they need the account password to link the travelcard .


    • Hi Tracy,

      Yes, that’s right. If it’s just because the railcard has expired though then don’t worry, the discount will stop on the same date.

  224. Hi Mike,

    I have a student oyster card and would like to buy a raildcard, combine it with my student oyster card and “take” the monthly ticket for zone 1-3.

    Could you tell me how much discount I would get by doing this compared to a “normal” student monthly ticket for zone 1-3?

    Many thanks!

  225. hi Mike
    This is like a minefield of info to me! We live in zone 6 at gidea park and that is the closest station (national rail red route) although I can get to hornchurch on the district line if I drive and park.

    My question is… From April my child is 5 years old. She occasionally models, and we have to go to central London or further sometimes (zone 6 at other end). It’s only occasional, but I have been paying full fare of £13 or whatever it is for a travel card. She currently goes free but from April I will have to pay.

    So, should I get an Oyster card? Is it worthwhile buying a railcard of some kind to get a further discount? If so which one? I’m so confused!

    We probably go to London approx 15 or so times a year. It comes in fits and starts…. Pls could you advise me..

    • Hi Jewels,

      It’s a bit complicated because it depends where you go to and sometimes how you get there. It could well change when London Overground take over the route to Shenfield, but I’ll try and explain your options as they currently stand.

      First the travelcard. You pay £12 for an off-peak travelcard. If you buy a family and friends railcard (£30 for a year) then you will pay £7.90 and your child £2.30, so a total of £10.20. You can do that now because you can choose to buy tickets for an under 5 to enable adults to get the railcard discount. At £30/year you will need to make a reasonable amount of travel to make it worthwhile, but it discounts tickets across the country on National Rail.

      You can get an Oyster card for yourself (or use a contactless payment card) which means you will pay single fares up to the daily cap of £11.70. If you only go to Liverpool Street then the off-peak single is £3.70 (£7.40 return). If you go on to say Oxford Circus then it increases to £5.20 (£10.40 return) and the discounted travelcard is just about cheaper. However, if you drive to Hornchurch then the fare drops to only £3.10 off-peak single because you are then on the TfL scale. So it really depends where you have to get to. If it’s Elstree and Borehamwood and you travel via Stratford and West Hampstead then it’s National Rail avoiding zone 1 at £2.60 off-peak single from Gidea Park. But if your destination the other side is on a TfL route (eg Wembley Park) then if you can avoid zone 1 you only pay £1.50 off-peak single. Suggested route for that is Hornchurch – West Ham – Stratford – West Hampstead – Wembley Park. I could go on, but you can find out the options for actual journeys using the single fare finder.

      When your child is 5 then your best bet for regular travel in London involving National Rail is to buy a 5-10 zip Oyster card. This costs £10 but lasts until their 11th birthday. Child off-peak fares are a flat 75p with a daily cap of £1.50. If you can make the whole journey on TfL fares then the child is free up to 10, but for National Rail journeys you really can’t beat the zip cap.

      I hope that helps a bit, though I admit that it is very confusing.

  226. Hi Mike,
    i will be travelling to london in April for the day(saturday) with my son (11) to watch football, we will be travelling in zones 1-4 on both underground and southern rail. i have already booked train tickets on trainline.com using my friends and family railcard.
    what will be the cheapest way of travel in london, Buy a one day travelcard for both of us from my local rail station using my F&FR card or use my visa debit contactless card for me and buy a travelcard for my son?
    Thanks in Advance.

    • Hi Paul,

      Without knowing where you arrive and which station you are heading to it’s impossible to advise properly. I’ll take a wild guess that the Southern station is Norwood Junction, but is the terminal Kings Cross or Euston?

  227. Wow, Mike thank you for that reply. That must have taken such a long time…That is amazingly complicated! So, am I right in understanding that all round it’s easier and cheaper for us if I go via hornchurch station rather than gidea park until London overground take over the route to shenfield (when will that be?)

    And am I right in understanding if I stick with tfl, buy an Oyster card then my daughter will still be free to travel with me on tfl until she is 10 yrs old?

    One last question, I have to get to Caledonian Road Station on Friday this week…. Will I be able to get an Oyster card by then? Where do I go to get one? Do I need a photo or I.d? Sorry, as you can see I know nothing about Oyster cards and normally drive everywhere. I was planning on going from hornchurch to Mile End then to Holborn on the central line, then to Caledonian Road on the Piccadilly line. Just to avoid gidea park station….

    • Hi Jewels,

      Yes, Hornchurch will definitely be cheaper if you can stick to TfL priced services. I’m not sure when the overground takeover is, or whether the fares will change at the same time, but I believe it is some time this year. And yes, your daughter is free on all TfL services until her 11th birthday.

      You can get an Oyster card at Hornchurch Underground station, or any of the local ticket stop shops. For Caledonian Road I think I’d avoid zone 1 by changing at Barking, Blackhorse Road and Finsbury Park.

  228. Yesterday was my first visit to London since receiving my Senior Railcard and I wanted to associate my Railcard with my Oyster. After reading many comments here and elsewhere about difficulties others have had I was a little apprehensive and went prepared with Mike’s instructions, passwords, keywords etc.

    The first LU station I arrived at was Baker Street. I presented myself at a ticket window and the conversation went like this:
    “Morning. Please could you associate my Railcard with my Oyster”
    “Is the Oyster card registered?”
    “Yes, it is”
    [Click, click, tap, touch]
    “That’s all done for you”
    “Excellent. Thank you very much.”

    All very painless, and the staff member seemed very efficient. I didn’t ask about a statement or receipt so I can’t confirm that he’s put the right expiry date on, but I can confirm that I was given a discount on a journey a few hours later.

    Perhaps Baker Street, with its many tourist visitors, is more accustomed to transactions like this: out-of-towners like me, wanting to get discounts while they’re in London.

  229. Hi Mike, thanks for the reply
    we arrive at king cross and can go to either Selhurst or Norwood junction, depending on where we go for lunch. more likely victoria onto selhurst.

    • Hi Paul,

      If there are likely to be 3 journeys involved then I think buying travelcards with the F&F railcard will be the way to go. I hope you enjoy the day, although me and my son will want a different outcome at Selhurst Park.

  230. Hi Mike,

    I am just about to sign up for a disabled railcard which allows me to get discount of oyster and off-peak daily travelcards is that right?

    With that in mind, what is the cheapest way to travel on a Saturday from Witham to Belsize Park return from about 1pm?

    Would it be cheaper to use the discount card for a one day travelcard OR go from witham to shenfield with a paper ticket and the rest of the journey use an oyster from Shenfield to Belsize (would i need to tap anywhere if so)?

    thanks, joe.

    • Hi Joe,

      Firstly, the disabled railcard offers discounts on all fares, and all fares and caps on Oyster too. On a Saturday you can get the super off-peak one-day travelcard from Witham to zones 1-6 for £17.65 with the Disabled Railcard. You could save 40p by getting off at Shenfield to touch in and continuing on Oyster (and getting off to touch out on the way home). Note that you would already need to have the disabled card linked to your Oyster to get these fares and that can’t be done AFAIK in Shenfield. Your best bet is the Underground ticket office at Liverpool Street.

      If you have a bit more time then you could save a further £1.70 each way with Oyster by avoiding zone 1 and changing at Stratford and Camden Road/Camden Town.

  231. Hi Mike

    Thanks for this information. So the way you put it:

    Super off peak paper ticket – 17.65

    Paper ticket x2(return think £8) singles witham – shenfield + Oyster – 17.25

    Is this right?

    Can you explain the final paragraph with regards 1.70 and oyster, I dont understand.

    Thanks once again, joe

    • Hi Joe,

      Yes, super off-peak return Witham – Shenfield + 2 Oyster singles = £17.25. If you avoid zone 1 you can knock a further £1.70 off each way, so just £13.85.

  232. Hi Mike,

    I’ve typed it all in and got this:

    Paper ticket – Witham to Shenfield – railcard – return –
    Oyster card – Shenfield to Camden Road – railcard – return –
    – £17.55
    Where am i going wrong? Thanks Joe

    • Hi Joe,

      That’s the via zone 1 fare. If you scroll further down you get the alternative via Stratford touching the pink reader on the overground platform at Stratford while you change trains.

  233. Hi Mike,

    So, when I touch in at Shenfield with Oyster, touch a PINK READER at Stratford, before touching the next pad to get OVERGROUND…is that right?

    Sorry to be a pain, thanks once again, joe

    • Hi Joe,

      Touch in at Shenfield, touch the pink reader on the London Overground platform at Stratford (plat 1 I think), touch out at Camden Road, touch in at Camden Town within 20 minutes, touch out at Belsize Park. All 5 touches join together to make one zone 1 avoiding journey.

  234. Hi,

    I have a 18+ oyster card
    plus linked my 16-25 railcard discount.

    I live in ockendon(which is outside of London zones and incurs a charge of 1.50 from ockendon to any London zone). I get the get the c2c into London

    If I purchase a 7 day travel card on my oyster zones 3-6
    Will I get the 34% railcard discount on the extra 1.50 I pay to travel from a London zone to ockendon? Does this railcard also discount journeys I make outside of zones 3-6, for example if I travel from zones 1-6?

    It’s all very confusing and as a student I’m trying to save money!

    • Hi Ashleigh,

      The 18+ card discounts the purchase of the weekly zone 3-6 travelcard. The 16-25 railcard discounts off-peak singles and the off-peak cap for other journeys, so it depends when you travel. Peak is touching in between 0630-0930 and between 1600-1900, but finishing in zone 1 is only peak in the morning. Hope that helps.

  235. Hi Mike,

    Thanks ever so much for explaining this properly. It’s a huge
    saving if you have time and the railcard, especially if it’s nearly £5.

    With regards the disabled railcard I must go to a London office to get them to give me the discount on my Oyster card, do you know if this card discounts Oyster monthly/weekly travelcards on it, on a pay as you go card, but it will not give u discount on a PAPER monthly travelcard will it?

    Thanks for all the work/explanations again, Joe.

  236. Hi Mike,

    I commute from Brighton and had my Annual Goldcard added to my oyster card. I used the tube the other day for a zone 1 journey in the morning peak and then another zone 1 journey in the evening. I was charged the full £2.30 for each journey.

    When I questioned this at an LUL ticket office the guy said that because my first journey was in the peak that all fares for that day would not be discounted. He also claimed that the discount only applies to the daily price cap. Is what he told me correct?

    Reading the information available it does look like I should be able to get discounted single off peak pay as you go fares?

    Many thnaks

    • Hi Alex,

      No, what he told you is not correct. You get the discount on off-peak fares and the off-peak cap. Off peak fares are charged other than 0630-0930 and 1600-1900. The off-peak cap runs from 0930-0430. If your evening journey was started between 1600-1900 then you will have been charged full price, unless it took your post 0930 travel over the off-peak cap. From what you’ve said it seems like you were charged correctly.

  237. Hi Mike

    I have just bought two blue Oyster cards for me and my husband. If I purchase a Two Together railcard for us can this be linked to our Oyster cards and will we get further discount?



    • Hi Elaine,

      Sorry, there’s no further discount for Two Together railcards. An Oyster is an individual travel card and cannot be linked to another which would be required for Two Together.

  238. Hi Mike

    Thank you, is my Oysyer Card the cheapest way of travelling in London or could I link my Two Together card to any other form of tickets?

    • Hi Elaine,

      It depends how much travelling you do. The cheapest day travelcard you can get with the Two Together is a zones 1-6 at £7.90 each. If you only travel within zones 1-2 you will cap on your Oyster at £6.40 each and even zones 1-3 is only £7.50 each. Travel any further out and you could well pay more than the discounted travelcard.

  239. Hi Mike,
    hoping you can advise – I am starting uni in September as a mature student. I will need to get from brookmans park to Pimlico daily. I know I can apply for a student railcard (even though over 25yrs) and I already have a regular adult oyster card (is there one for students too?) … so really I’m trying to work out if it is better to get a ticket from Brookmans park to Finsbury park with a railcard (return- either daily/weekly etc) and then use the oyster from Finsbury park to Pimlico return or whether there is a better combination/discount/ journey route I should use? I will only be travelling Monday – Friday and could buy a season pass if better.. any advice would be very much appreciated as my eyes are swimming with various calculations atm!!

    • Hi Mo,

      There is a student Oyster card, but you have to live in London during term time to be eligible for it. The problem with using the 16-25 railcard before 1000 is that there is a £12 minimum fare. There is also a £17 minimum for an all-day travelcard with discount.
      I think the cheapest combination is a weekly season between Brookmans Park and Kings Cross and then Oyster PAYG from there to Pimlico. Changing at Finsbury Park will cost more because the weekly season from Brookmans Park is only 50p cheaper while the PAYG fare is 60p more per journey (£6 per week). Sadly your railcard will only help if the Oyster journeys are off-peak or you make additional off-peak journeys so that the off-peak cap applies.

  240. I have a 60+ Oyster card – its very handy except the rules are not as straightforward with regards Rail Travel within London and even looking at the map does not explain things


    I know that there will be no Victoria line stopping at Tottenham Hale tube station between Sat 8 Aug to Sun 30 Aug 2015 due to track work.

    But the Stansted Express from Liverpool street does stop at Tottenham Hale Railway Station.

    The map has a red line between Clapton Railway Station and Enfield Lock Railway Station but for some reason it does not display Tottenham Hale Railway Station although that station is in the middle.

    Will I be able to use my 60+ Oyster card on the Stansted Express and leave at Tottenham Hale Railway Station to catch my local bus ?

    any trips I make will be in the early evening. I just don’t want to get caught out by a ticket inspector. – thanks for your help.

    • Hi Brian,

      Yes, that’s fine. I agree that the map could be clearer. The only caveat with the Stanstead Express is that most northbound services are pick-up only at Tottenham Hale. It might be worth checking before boarding at Liverpool Street. Once inside the PIS advertises Tottenham Hale, but they don’t want to fill it up with local passengers to the detriment of airport users. Southbound is no problem because by then all the airport passengers are already on and seated. There are of course other services between Liverpool Street and Tottenham Hale.

  241. Its only when the underground is out as I have never caught a train from Liverpool Street to Tottenham Hale – I do know there is other trains but the Stansted Express is the most frequent .

    So will the Station Outside board say ‘ pick-up only at Tottenham Hale ‘ ? although there is no guards to stop people getting off at Tottenham Hale.

    The Victoria line upgrade will improve things as there will be no need to change at Seven Sisters but I can imagine big problems in August as its already a busy station and I don’t fancy waiting for a bus replacement so I would imagine that many locals will be using the Liverpool Street to Tottenham Hale connection so avoiding the Victoria line completely.

    they already have a warning at


    but it may be a problem for people who are going direct to Stansted Airport as it will be far more busy than normal.

    • Hi Brian,

      The station boards will not mention Tottenham Hale at all. The Stansted Express is every 15 minutes but there are at least as many other services as well and they usually leave a couple of minutes after the express.

  242. Mike:

    Many thanks from a new member for your helpful comments and guidance, including replies to the more arcane problems others have already identified. I think/hope my query is a simple one: my Senior Railcard, linked to Oyster, expires at the end of this month. I’ve already renewed it to April 2018: will my local (Tube) station staff be able to make the substitution now, ie, overwrite the old card details, or would it be best to wait until the present SR expires?