Visitor Oyster card

What is a Visitor Oyster card?

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Visitor Oyster cards are plastic smartcards you can use instead of paper tickets. You top up the card with pay as you go credit which you use when you travel. It is the cheapest way to pay for single journeys on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, Tfl Rail, most National Rail services in London and River Bus services (MBNA Thames Clippers).

Visitor Oyster cards can be reused and never expire. If you run out of pay as you go credit, simply top up your credit at a Tube station ticket machine, Oyster Ticket Stop or Visitor Centre to use your card again.

You can also use your Visitor Oyster card to pay for journeys and to get discounted fares on most Thames Clipper River Bus services in London and Emirates Air Line cable car journeys.

Visit the Visitor Oyster card product page

How do I use a Visitor Oyster card?

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To use your Visitor Oyster card, just touch the card on the yellow card reader.

  • To pay the correct fare, you must always touch in at the start and out at the end of every journey you make on Tube, London Overground, DLR, TfL Rail and National Rail services. If you don't touch in and out on a yellow card reader, you might be charged a maximum fare, charged a penalty fare or prosecuted.
  • When travelling on a bus or tram you only need to touch in at the start of your journey. 
  • On the Thames Clippers River Bus services, touch in your Visitor Oyster card on the yellow card reader when asked to do so by a member of the staff and to touch out again at the end of your journey.

Visitor Oyster cards are valid across all travel zones in London and automatically calculate the best value fare for all the journeys you make in a single day as long as you have touched in and out.

How much credit do I need on my Visitor Oyster card?

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Sample Oyster card fares for 2015

  • Zones 1 to 2 Tube journey: £2.90 peak, £2.30 off-peak 
  • Zones 1 to 6 Tube journey: £5.10 peak, £3.10 off-peak 
  • Single bus journey: £1.50 
  • Unlimited journeys in one day in Zones 1 and 2 £6.40

Not sure how much credit to buy?

Here for 3-4 days? Get a £30 card. You can always add more credit at a Tube station, ticket machine or Oyster ticket stop if you run out.

See a chart of all the fares

How to claim back unused credit on your Visitor Oyster card

Who can use a Visitor Oyster card?

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Visitor Oyster cards are available for adults.

Children aged 11 to 15 can also use a Visitor Oyster card and benefit of the Young Visitor discount – this can be added by a member of the staff at most Tube stations in London and offer children 11 to 15 years old half adult pay as you go rate for up to 14 days.

Children under the age of 11 years to travel for free on Tube, DLR, TfL Rail and London Overground services when accompanied by a fare-paying adult. Find out more about traveling with children