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Using an Oyster card

How to use your Oyster card on Thameslink trains in London.

What is Oyster?

Oyster is a smartcard from Transport for London (TfL) which can hold Pay As You Go (PAYG) credit, Travelcards and Bus & Tram Pass season tickets.

You can use Oyster on all of our trains for journeys that start and finish in the London Travelcard area.

It’s quick and easy to buy an Oyster card, top up online and add your Travelcard or season ticket.

You can use the Oyster card on buses, Tubes, trams, the Docklands Light Railway, London Overground and most National Rail services in London.

Oyster Pay As You Go (PAYG)

You can buy an Oyster card from any TfL approved outlet including London Underground stations, and online from the TfL website.

Top up your credit using the self-service ticket machines at any of our stations within the London Travelcard area. You can also top up at Underground stations and various shops across London.

Top up Oyster online at the TfL website and also set an automatic top-up.

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

Oyster PAYG to Radlett

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

As Oyster PAYG is based on single fares, there are occasions when Oyster may not be the cheapest option for your combination of journeys. Details of PAYG single fares can here found here. Details of caps for extension stations can also be found on the TfL website.

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 on Oyster 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; 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
  • Children’s ZIP Oyster cards, London Freedom Pass, 60+ London Oyster photocard and Veterans Oyster photocard holders CANNOT travel free on these routes

Capping costs

The daily cost for pay as you go on Oyster is capped, so if you’re making several trips it could work out cheaper than buying separate tickets.

You won’t normally pay more than a daily pass or Travelcard, however many trips you make in one day.

Find out more about Oyster capping

Oyster Travelcard Season Ticket

If you want unlimited travel you can buy an Oyster Travelcard Season Ticket.

This will let you travel as much as you like on any National Rail, London Overground, London Underground, buses, Docklands Light Railway and London Tram service within the London Zones 1-9 (depending on the zones you purchase).

You can use Oyster PAYG on all National Rail routes for journeys wholly within the London Fare Zones 1-9 and certain other locations.

Do you have a railcard? If so, then make sure you register it when you get an Oyster card.

Your railcard will give you 34% off the price of your tickets if you’re travelling outside the rush hour.

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

You can read more about Oyster cards on the Transport for London website.

You can also call Oyster customer services:

  • Telephone: 0345 222 1234
  • Textphone: 0800 112 3456

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

Why not go contactless?

Use your debit or credit card to travel around London

Railcards, season tickets and contactless travel