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The Key Smartcard

Durable. Renew online. Auto Delay Repay notifications.

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The Key Smartcard is an easier and faster way to buy, renew and use train tickets. It’s completely free, won’t wear out, and comes with lots of additional benefits.

Is it right for me?

You can add the following tickets to The Key Smartcard.

Tickets available Key Smartcard 
Buy weekly, monthly or annual season tickets online Yes
Weekly, monthly or annual Travelcard season tickets for the Tube, buses, trams, trains and the Docklands Light Railway Yes
Anytime single and return tickets Yes
Off-Peak single and return tickets Yes
PlusBus tickets for traveling in Crawley and Brighton, excluding Newhaven and Seaford stations Yes
KeyGo - Pay as you go on Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink Yes

How do I use The Key Smartcard

Set up and use your card in 3 easy steps.

  1. Register for The Key Smartcard and purchase your ticket online in one go
  2. Your card will arrive in the post
  3. Buy more tickets as and when you need to. You can load up to 5 tickets onto your card at once.

There is no charge for The Key Smartcard.

Make sure you tap the gate or card reader at the start and end of your journey.

Find out more

Where can I use The Key Smartcard?

You can use The Key Smartcard at most stations on the Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink network, and you can travel on Gatwick Express services if your ticket is valid on that service. 

FAQs

Got some questions? Take a look at some frequently asked questions about The Key Smartcard.

Where can I purchase tickets for my Key Smartcard?

Ticket type Buy online Buy at ticket machines (non Oyster machines only)
Annual season tickets and Travelcard season tickets for Tube, buses, London Trains, trains and the Docklands Light Railway  Yes No
Monthly or weekly season ticket  Yes Yes
Anytime single and return tickets  No Yes
Off-Peak single and return tickets  No Yes
PlusBus tickets for travelling in Crawley and Brighton, excluding Newhaven and Seaford stations  No Yes

When you buy a ticket online you must collect it from your chosen station. You can also purchase a ticket from any of our ticket machines outside of London.

*Super Off-Peak tickets are not currently available.

What is KeyGo?

KeyGo allows you to use your Key Smartcard for pay as you go travel on Southern, Thameslink, Gatwick Express and Great Northern services. If you have a season ticket already on your Key Smartcard, we’ll only charge you for travel you take outside of this on KeyGo.

If you add KeyGo to your card, you need to make sure that you tap in and out at the start and end of your trip to avoid being charged a £25 incomplete journey fee.

Find out more

Need to know more?

Season Ticket identification

For season tickets held on The Key Smartcard, you may need to produce identification to prove that the card is yours. Suitable forms of identification include a pink photocard (which can be obtained from ticket offices), a passport or driving licence. If you are using your Key Smartcard on another operator’s services, you will need to obtain a pink photocard if you don’t already hold one.

Automatic Delay Repay 

Automatic Delay Repay By tapping in and out with The Key Smartcard, we can work out if you are owed any compensation for travel delays. Find out how in the video below.

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Don't have The Key Smartcard?

Register online now to receive the smarter way to travel