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Find out how to travel on Thameslink trains in London on a contactless debit or credit card

Contactless travel

Find out how to travel on Thameslink trains in London on a contactless debit or credit card without buying a ticket for each trip.

Contactless Pay As You Go (PAYG)

Contactless payment cards can be used to travel on most National Rail services in London, as well as bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and TfL Rail. Fares and daily caps in London Zones 1-9 are the same as with Oyster PAYG.

Just touch your debit or credit card on a yellow card reader to pay for your journey, the same as you would with your Oyster card. Always remember to touch in and out.

With Contactless there is no need to top up or queue for tickets at the station. It makes getting around the capital so easy.

It’s normally the same price as using an Oyster card, and the cost is capped in London Zones 1-9 so you can make several trips in one day. Details of caps can be found on the TfL website.

For more details on using Contactless card including registering it please visit

Contactless PAYG extensions

  • Radlett
  • St Albans City
  • Harpenden
  • Luton Airport Parkway
  • Hatfield
  • Welwyn Garden City

These extensions allow customers to customers to use either a contactless card or a mobile device to pay for travel.

As Contactless PAYG is based on single fares, there are occasions where it may not be the cheapest option for your combination of journeys. Details of PAYG single fares can here found here.

There are some important differences to be aware of:

  • These stations will not be included in the advertised London Travelcard zones; instead it offers customers and alternative way to pay for their travel using PAYG
  • Season tickets will not be available using Contactless along the extended route. If you normally buy a season ticket you are advised to continue to buy this using the Key Smartcard or a paper ticket
  • Whilst a daily cap will apply from these stations; it is important to be aware that it will not always be cheaper than buying a return paper ticket. There will also be a weekly price cap for those using a Contactless card or mobile device; but it will still be cheaper to buy a season ticket on the Key Smartcard or paper
  • Monday to Sunday capping

    If you use the same contactless payment card to pay for all your journeys throughout the week until Sunday, you will also be eligible for a Monday to Sunday cap.

    Start using your contactless payment card on a Monday for maximum benefit. Although you can buy a 7 Day Travelcard to start on any day of the week, Monday to Sunday capping always calculates your travel week from a Monday and finishes on the following Sunday.

    Please note that caps are based on zonal travelcard prices and not rail only fares therefore the daily cap may be more expensive than a rail only paper ticket. Details of caps can be found here.

    As Contactless PAYG is based on single fares, there are occasions when it may not be the cheapest option for your journey. Details of Oyster and Contactless single fares can here found here.

    Some things to remember

    Watch out for card clash

    If you touch your contactless payment card on a card reader when it’s in the same wallet or purse as other bankcards or contactless smartcards (eg. Oyster card or building pass), you may end up paying with a card you didn't intend to use.

    To avoid this happening, only touch the card you wish to pay with on the reader when touching in and out.

    Always touch in and out

    Always touch in and out on a yellow card reader with your contactless payment card at the start and end of your journey (even if the gates are open) to ensure you pay the right fare. When changing trains you may need to touch your card on a pink reader.

    If you're travelling on a bus or tram you only have to touch in.

    For full details please go to

    Find out more about Contactless

    Got a question about using Contactless on Thameslink? Check our frequently asked questions.

    You can also call TfL customer services:

    Telephone: 0845 330 9876

    Textphone: 020 7027 8511

    The Contactless Conditions of Use set out your rights and obligations when you use an Oyster card to travel on Southern or other National Rail services. They apply in addition to the National Rail Conditions of Travel.

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