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Daily Caps and Travelcards (2017)

This page details all the London wide caps and travelcards which apply to rail travel. These caps apply to all modes: National Rail, Underground, Overground, TfL Rail and DLR. The only rail services within zones 1-9 which are not covered are the Heathrow Express/Connect services between Hayes & Harlington and the Airport [which do not accept Oyster, contactless or travelcards] and Southeastern high-speed between St Pancras International and Stratford International [where Oyster and contactless can be used, but fares charged are additional to any caps and travelcards are only valid if marked Plus HS1].

The first table lists all the daily caps. Where an off-peak figure is coloured red this is the value for part-time workers or regular off-peak travellers. The daily figure can be found in the column to the left. Anyone exceeding the red figure on 2 or more days in one week, 4 or more days in two weeks or 8 or more days in four weeks will be eligible for an automatic refund down to the red figure. These are processed in the week after the Monday to Sunday week that the eligible charges were made and should be collectable on Oyster or credited to the contactless card by the Friday.

All Railcards refers to those that can be added to Oyster: 16-25, Senior, Forces, Disabled and Annual Gold cards. Most refers to the same list apart from Disabled.

Daily Oyster Caps (+Contactless for Adults)
Student 18+
11-1516+/Jobcentre PlusMost

*Figures in red are the effective caps for regular off-peak users after the automatic refunds have been allocated. The actual on-the-day caps are as shown in the column to the left of the red figure.

The second table lists all the paper travelcards. Note that there is no off-peak zone 1-4, use the zone 1-6 instead.

Daily Paper Travelcards
All AdultsChildren 5-15All Railcards

The third table lists the different season ticket prices. There are no single zone travelcard seasons. If the required combination isn’t shown (eg 5-7) then the price is the same for a larger zonal coverage (in this case 4-7). If only zone 2 is required then choose 2-3, for only zone 6 it is 5-6. Adult and Child (5-15) travelcards can be bought on paper. 16+, Jobcentre, Apprentice and Student 18+ travelcards all require the appropriate Oyster photocard to be held.

Travelcard seasons
Adult11-15/16+/Jobcentre*Apprentice/Student 18+
2-3, 3-4, 4-5, 5-6£24.70£94.90£988£12.40£47.70£496£17.20£66.10£688
2-4, 3-5, 4-6£27.30£104.90£1,092£13.70£52.70£548£19.10£73.40£764
2-5, 3-6£32.80£126.00£1,312£16.40£63.00£656£22.90£88.00£916
2-9 +wj£58.10£222.20£2,324£29.10£111.80£1,164£40.60£156.00£1,624
4-9 +wj£52.00£199.70£2,080£26.00£99.90£1,040£36.30£139.40£1,452

* Annual seasons are not available on Jobcentre Oyster cards.

+wj Travelcard seasons for zones 2-9 and 4-9 also include Watford Junction.

33 Responses

  1. natalie winter

    I am moving to live in Clapham Junction and will be working in Canary Wharf (using Euston quite often) – would all travel (bus , train and tube) be covered with a monthly travelcard for zones 1-2 ? Thanks in advance Nat

  2. Hi Natalie,

    Yes, zones 1-2 covers everything you have mentioned.

  3. Hi Mike,

    I could not find the price of the Daily Oyster Caps (+Contactless for Adults) for travelling on the National Rail from Zone 2 to 4 (return journey – AM Peak time then PM Off Peak time), I also use the same Oyster card 4 times on the buses within Zone 1. Could you help please? Many thanks!

  4. Hi Jane,

    All daily caps include zone 1 so you need the zone 1-4 cap which is £9.50. You may not reach this depending on how close together your bus journeys are. NR2-4 is £2.90 peak, £2.30 off-peak. Buses are £1.50 each with a £4.50 cap, but if two journeys are made within an hour the second is free, so you may only pay £3.00.

  5. Hello, my husband and I will visit London for two weeks, the end of March til the middle of April 2017. We will be staying in Lee. We will travel to central London each day. What is the most economical way for us to travel back and forth, and to also use the buses in Lee, and the underground in London? Thank you…!

  6. Hi Margot,

    Weekly travelcards for zones 1-3 on an Oyster card is likely to be the simplest way. You could also use contactless cards, but they only cap over Monday to Sunday weeks whereas a travelcard can run for any consecutive 7-day period. The advantage of contactless is that you don’t have to buy the travelcard up front and if you don’t end up using it all you’ll save a bit. But it won’t take long to make the travelcard worthwhile when it’s only zones 1-3.

  7. Many thanks!

  8. Thanks Mike much appreciated – would I buy this at tube station or can I pay by DD monthly ?

  9. Hi Natalie,

    You can buy it at a tube station, or at Oyster ticket stops or at some National Rail stations. You can also order it online at the TfL website. If you want to pay monthly by direct debit then you’ll need to look at commuter club or a similar scheme.

  10. Marian Gaffney

    Arriving Heathrow April 14 , using Oyster cards , best way to get to London Peckham Hotel , 110 Peckhwm Rd ,Southwark , London

  11. Hi Marian,

    Unfortunately “best” is quite a subjective term. Do you mean quickest, cheapest, or easiest with luggage? Peckham Rye is the nearest station to the hotel but it’ll be quite a walk with suitcases, or a bus/taxi. The cheapest rail journey will be Piccadilly line to Earls Court, District line to West Brompton, then London Overground to Clapham Junction and again to Peckham Rye. This avoids zone 1. I think the quickest way will be Piccadilly line to Green Park, Jubilee line to London Bridge then Southern to Peckham Rye; but this is also the most expensive option. There are plenty of other alternatives but they all suffer from extra changes and/or a poor service to Peckham Rye of only every 30 minutes.

    I hope that helps a bit.

  12. what is the best travel card to buy as I need to travel from Eltham station to canary wharf Monday to Friday

  13. Hi Darryl,

    Zones 2-4 will cover that journey as long as you avoid zone 1.

  14. Hiya.
    I’m thinking about moving to Redhill and I work In Shoreditch.
    How much will be the monthly travel cost?

  15. Hi Dani,

    It looks like you need a Redhill to zones 1-6 travelcard which costs £338.70/month.

  16. Hi. I go each weekday from forest hill to Moorgate (zone 3- zone 1). It looks like it is actually cheaper for me to do pay as you go/contactless than using a weekly or monthly travel card- is that correct? (Noting that I never travel into zone 1 at weekends)

  17. Hi Ann,

    Assuming you travel via Whitechapel then yes, PAYG is cheaper for a standard 10 journey a week commute.

  18. Hi Mike,
    I’m a bit confused about the automative refund payments when you repeatedly reach a Zone 1-4 or 1-6 daily cap:
    1) The TFL website states the refund is applied when you “only travel at off-peak times”. Therefore, if you managed to reach the Zone 1-4 daily cap with multiple off-peak journeys, however you made one on peak journey within Zone 1-4; would it then charge you for the Zone 1-4 anytime daily cap (since all your journeys were not off peak) or would it refund you that day so that you would be charged the ‘off-peak’ Zone 1-4 daily cap with one peak journey charge added (assuming you meet the refund criteria at the end of the week)?
    2) Does the refund also apply when you have bought a travelcard on the oyster (or when the contactless has automatically applied a weekly cap) – for example if you had a zone 6-7 travelcard but you made multiple off peak journeys within zone 1-4, would the anytime zone 1-4 daily cap be applied or the ‘off-peak’ daily cap (i.e. a refund)?
    3) Similar to the above scenario, if you had a Zone 1-2 Travelcard applied, and made a peak journey within Zone 1-2, however then you had multiple off-peak journeys between Zone 1-4, enough to reach the Zone 1-4 daily cap – would the refund be applied?
    Thank you so much for your help!

  19. Hi Helen,

    You like testing boundaries. The off-peak cap refunds for regular travellers in zones 4-6 apply to all travel after the start of the off-peak cap at 0930. It doesn’t matter if you travel between 1600-1900 as that still counts towards, and will be limited by, the off-peak cap. If you make a journey before 0930 on a day then it is unlikely that the travel after 0930 will be enough to trigger a refund, but if it was enough then you should still qualify.

    For number (2) I really don’t know. Perhaps you could start to explain how you would get between zone 6 and zone 4?

    For number (3) it would be the journeys in zones 3-4 which matter. Bear in mind that with a zone 1-2 travelcard you will only be charged extension fares for zones 3-4. If you made enough of them to exceed the zone 1-4 cap then you should be eligible for a refund, as long as all the other criteria are met.

  20. That makes more sense to me now, thank you. I didn’t realise that travelling between 16:00 until 19:00 could contribute towards and be covered by the off peak cap, even though it is ‘peak’ times.
    For number (2), say I had already bought a weekly travel card between 6-7, and at the beginning of the day started at zone 1 (say I slept over at a friends house), and then travelled between zone 1-4 for the rest of the day (so I never bridge the gap between 4-6). I would assume that I would be capped ‘off peak’ between zone 1-4 if all the criteria is met.
    You’ve been a great help!

  21. Hi Helen,

    It would fulfil the criteria for one day, yes. You’d need two days minimum to qualify for a refund of course.

  22. Hi Mike,
    Sorry to ask you so many questions!
    1) I just wanted to confirm that the automatic refund for off-peak travel also applies to Zones 1-5 (an equivalent refund of £1.30). The TFL website only mentions a refund of 40p between Zones 1-4 and a refund of £2.10 between Zones 1-6 (“You are eligible for a payment if your day’s travel means you reach a Zones 1-4 or Zones 1-6 daily cap”), however it never mentions the £1.30 refund if the ‘off peak’ Zones 1-5 daily cap criteria has been reached.
    2) Also, if I were to buy a monthly travelcard, would it last 4 weeks, 31 days or work per calendar month (if it starts on 5th March would end on 4th April)?
    Thanks again!

  23. Hi Helen,

    The off-peak cap refunds are based on the caps which applied in 2014. In that year they only capped at 1-2, 1-4 and 1-6. Thus if you cap at todays 1-5 rate you will have exceeded the notional off-peak cap for 1-6 based on 2014 figures and are entitled to the refund. It should be pointed out that the notional off-peak caps for zones 1-4 and 1-6 are rising faster than todays daily caps such that at some point in the future there will be no refunds.

    Monthly travelcards last for a calendar month, so the number of days in the month in which they start.

  24. Hi Mike,
    Random question: do you know how the discounted travelcard seasons are calculated? For example on the tfl website, the apprentice oyster card gets 30% off travelcards. However for the Zones 1-3 monthly travelcard I would expect the cost to be (0.7 * 148.7 =) 104.09, but instead 103.7 is the charge. Similarly for 50% off Job centre travelcards, for zone 1-9 I would expect 164.55 but it is actually 164.8.
    Thanks for your help as always!

  25. Hi Helen,

    I don’t know exactly, but I know some rough rules. Any monthly season ticket is 3.84x the weekly cost rounded to the nearest 10p. The annual is 40x the weekly cost. Therefore the apprentice weekly ticket is likely to be just under 70% of the relevant adult cost such that the monthly rounding doesn’t cause it to be more than 70% of the adult monthly cost.

  26. Hi Mike,

    I live in Brentwood and I need to travel to Bromley South Monday to Friday. Does a travel card 1-9 cover my journey? Thank you

  27. Hi Kirsty,

    Yes it does. You could also use a zone 2-9 travelcard if you avoid zone 1. See the Oyster fare finder for route details.

  28. Hi!
    I’m wondering if you could answer a question about daily/weekly capping for me.. If I travel between zone 1 and Bounds Green, that is marked as being both zone 3/4, will the applied cap be the one for zone 3 or 4?

  29. Hi Linnea,

    If you only travel to/from the south of Bounds Green then you will cap at 1-3.

  30. Hi Mike,

    I need to travel from Seven Sisters Station to Watford Junction, Mon-Fri, work 9-5, but can be a bit flexible there, e.g. 7-3. What is the best option please?
    Much appreciated!

  31. Hi Alana,

    Assuming you mean cheapest when you say best you need to change at Highbury & Islington and Willesden Junction. If you can work from 7-3 then as long as you touch in at Seven Sisters before 0630 and touch in at Watford Junction before 1600 then both fares will be off-peak. You need to touch the pink readers at Highbury and Willesden.

    If you need to travel in the peak then there’s a clever trick to reduce the fare a bit. Rather than touch pink at Willesden Junction, exit through the gates and enter again, touching both times. This will split the journey in two and enable you to pay off-peak for the Willesden to Watford leg because contra peak travel is charged off-peak between Euston and Watford Junction, but only that one line. The through peak fare is £4.70 while the split fares are £1.70 and £1.80 making £3.50. If the whole journey is off-peak then you must touch pink at Willesden to get the through off-peak fare of £2.90.

    If best means speed then travel via Euston and use the faster London Midland trains to Watford Junction.

  32. Hi there,

    I just wondering what I am doing wrong . I bought a travel card zone 2-5 .

    This is means I can touch in and out at any of these zones ,even if I change train in zone 1?

    I just asking because yesterday I touched in at Neasden , touched out at Mile End , and I got charged .

    How it’s works ?

  33. Hi Greg,

    Please take a look at the FAQ page, in particular, the first question.

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