The key smartcard
Your season ticket just got smarter
Wave goodbye to worn-out paper season tickets and say hello to a more reliable, secure way to commute. The key is Thameslink and Great Northern’s smartcard to buy season tickets. Simply buy tickets online or at a ticket machine. You then touch in and out of station ticket barriers, just like any other travel smartcard.
- Easy to use: Buy season tickets for the key in advance online then touch in at the gate to collect
- Save time: No more queues or waiting for tickets to arrive, just touch in and breeze through
- Increased security: The key is registered in your name so if it's lost or stolen we’ll block it for your protection and get your replacement straight out to you
- No deposit: The key is completely free
Where can I use my key smartcard?
Your key smartcard can be used at most* rail stations for season ticket travel into London and back. To use the key, you’ll need to start journeys and buy tickets outside London. Check our map to see which areas this will be valid. If your location is outside of the valid key smartcard areas, register your interest with us and we will give you an update as soon as it becomes available for your location.
*Check map for a full list of locations covered.
What tickets can I add?
Season tickets: Weekly, Monthly and Annual tickets for travel on our trains.
Travelcard season tickets: Weekly, Monthly, and Annual tickets for the London Underground, buses, trams, trains, and Docklands Light Railway (DLR).
Coming next in 2017: A new way to pay as you go.
How do I get and use the key?
- Register online today: We’ll need details such as address and contact information. If registering a child we’ll also need a passport-style photo of them.
- National Rail photo card: Although you don’t need a photo for your key please ensure you carry your pink National Rail photo card when travelling. Visit any rail ticket office with a passport photo to get your free National Rail photo card.
- Confirmation email: You'll receive an email from us with details of your online account.
- Your key arrives in the post: It will take between 3 to 5 working days from registering for the key to arrive.
- Add tickets to key: You can buy a ticket online then touch in at a ticket gate outside the London Travelcard area to load it on to your key.
- Load tickets: It takes up to 2 hours from buying a ticket online for it to be available to load on to your key when you touch in at a card reader at a station.
- Review tickets and journeys: Log in to your account to check your ticket and journey history, and renew tickets before they run out or set up reminders before they do. You can also check when your tickets run out at a self-service ticket machine.