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Daily Caps and Travelcards (2019)

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 services between Paddington and the Airport; 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. Travelcards are only valid to/from Stratford International if marked Plus HS1.

The first table lists all the daily caps. 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+
11-15 16+/Jobcentre Plus Most
Zones Anytime Off-peak Anytime Off-peak Anytime Off-peak Anytime Anytime Off-peak
1-2 £7.00 £7.00 £3.50 £1.50 £3.50 £3.50 £7.00 £4.60 £4.60
1-3 £8.20 £8.20 £4.10 £1.50 £4.10 £4.10 £8.20 £5.40 £5.40
1-4 £10.10 £10.10 £5.05 £1.50 £5.05 £5.05 £10.10 £6.65 £6.65
1-5 £12.00 £12.00 £6.00 £1.50 £6.00 £6.00 £12.00 £7.90 £7.90
1-6 £12.80 £12.80 £6.40 £1.50 £6.40 £6.40 £12.80 £8.45 £8.45
1-7 £14.00 £12.90 £7.00 £1.50 £7.00 £6.45 £14.00 £9.25 £8.50
1-8 £16.50 £12.90 £8.25 £1.50 £8.25 £6.45 £16.50 £10.90 £8.50
1-9 £18.30 £12.90 £9.15 £1.50 £9.15 £6.45 £18.30 £12.10 £8.50

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 Adults Children 5-15 All Railcards
Zones Anytime Off-peak Anytime Off-peak Anytime Off-peak
1-4 £13.10 £6.55 £13.10
1-6 £18.60 £13.10 £9.30 £6.55 £18.60 £8.60
1-9 £23.50 £13.90 £11.70 £6.90 £23.50 £9.20

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
Adult 11-15/16+/Jobcentre* Apprentice/Student 18+
Zones Weekly Monthly Annual Weekly Monthly Annual* Weekly Monthly Annual
1-2 £35.10 £134.80 £1,404 £17.60 £67.60 £704 £24.50 £94.10 £980
1-3 £41.20 £158.30 £1,648 £20.60 £79.20 £824 £28.80 £110.60 £1,152
1-4 £50.50 £194.00 £2,020 £25.30 £97.20 £1,012 £35.30 £135.60 £1,412
1-5 £60.00 £230.40 £2,400 £30.00 £115.20 £1,200 £41.90 £160.90 £1,676
1-6 £64.20 £246.60 £2,568 £32.10 £123.30 £1,284 £44.90 £172.50 £1,796
1-7 £69.80 £268.10 £2,792 £34.90 £134.10 £1,396 £48.80 £187.40 £1,952
1-8 £82.50 £316.80 £3,300 £41.30 £158.60 £1,652 £57.70 £221.60 £2,308
1-9 £91.50 £351.40 £3,660 £45.80 £175.90 £1,832 £64.00 £245.80 £2,560
2-3, 3-4, 4-5, 5-6 £26.30 £101.00 £1,052 £13.20 £50.70 £528 £18.40 £70.70 £736
2-4, 3-5, 4-6 £29.10 £111.80 £1,164 £14.60 £56.10 £584 £20.30 £78.00 £812
2-5, 3-6 £34.90 £134.10 £1,396 £17.50 £67.20 £700 £24.40 £93.70 £976
2-6 £43.90 £168.60 £1,756 £22.00 £84.50 £880 £30.70 £117.90 £1,228
2-7 £45.60 £175.20 £1,824 £22.80 £87.60 £912 £31.90 £122.50 £1,276
2-9 +wj £62.00 £238.10 £2,480 £31.00 £119.10 £1,240 £43.30 £166.30 £1,732
4-7 £33.00 £126.80 £1,320 £16.50 £63.40 £660 £23.00 £88.40 £920
4-9 +wj £55.50 £213.20 £2,220 £27.80 £106.80 £1,112 £38.80 £149.00 £1,552

* Annual seasons are not available on Jobcentre Oyster cards.

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

30 Responses

  1. Hi Mike,
    There is one aspect of Oyster caps that is completely omitted on TfL website, and I hope you’ll find it possible to cover it on your website, perhaps on a separate page.
    As a regular overseas visitor to London, I sometimes have to combine an airport trip with multiple city centre trips on the same day. Calculating the scenario “morning arrival into Heathrow, trip to the centre, then multiple trips in zone 1” is relatively easy – Zones 1-6 cap is normally achieved, and I probably end up with 12,8 pounds spent at that day.
    Now imagine the very same trips, but taken in reverse order: I spend the day in the centre, making 5-6 different trips and thus achieving a 7-pound Zone 1-2 cap, then take the underground for a night flight out of Heathrow. How that last journey would be priced? Would it just cost a regular price of 3,10 offpeak and 5,10 peak? Or would the system take into account all previous travel on that day and trigger Zone 1-6 cap, thus actually putting the price of that single tube ride at 5,80?
    (I personally normally avoid finding it out by just exiting at Hammersmith and using a separate Oyster card for further travel to Heathrow – since it’s anyway cheaper than any of the two scenarios above. But still want to know the solution to this puzzle)))

  2. Hi Yury,

    I am working on a page devoted to capping examples, and the airport conundrum is definitely one that will be covered.

    What I can confirm is that a tube trip to Heathrow after capping at zones 1-2 would be charged at £3.10/£5.10. No attempt would be made to claw back any earlier free journeys. What you do (splitting at Hammersmith) is the equivalent of what contactless does both ways. You’re charged the zone 1-2 cap for your buzzing round the city plus a zone 3-6 extension fare for the airport bit. It’s therefore a lot cheaper when you start at Heathrow and the same as using two cards when you finish at Heathrow without the need to step back a train at Hammersmith.

  3. Matthew Dickinson

    Heathrow Express will accept Oyster and Contactless from the 19th February. No caps will apply. An off peak journey will be £22 and a peak journey will be £25. (This fare will be determined by using the readers on Platforms 6&7 at Paddington.

    Given the £0 entry charge at Heathrow, I wonder what measures will be taken to avoid card abandonment at Paddington after touching out.

  4. Hi Matthew,

    Thanks for this. I don’t think the gates at Paddington will let people out if they haven’t got enough money to pay. Exit thresholds are a relatively new concept to me, but I think they mean that if the balance is below a certain level after the fare has been deducted the gates won’t open.

  5. Matthew Dickinson

    The problem with that will be that the nearest place to top up Oyster at present is either underground station as all the readers at TVMs in the National Rail station have been replaced with ITSO smartcard readers.

  6. Hmmm. I see what you mean. Unpaid fare notices?

  7. Matthew Dickinson

    Enforcement of UFNs might be problematic given the non-UK and accommodation addresses that would be given by many HEX travellers…

  8. Hello, now that TfL Rail has taken over Heathrow Connect, are paper travelcards accepted between Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow?

  9. Hi Mihkel,

    Yes they are.

  10. Kelvin Paris

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for this useful webpage.

    If you get buses are they included in the daily cap?



  11. Hi Kelvin,

    Yes they are.

  12. Could please tell me if you start your journey on a bus both Peak or Off Peak Monday to Friday does this start the amount of the cap that you get charged for the rest of the day.

  13. Hi Len,

    Please take a look at Peak, Off-peak and Caps and also Capping Examples. Hopefully they should explain how the system works.

  14. Hello I have a gold card added to my Oyster card and sometimes travel in London from either Belvedere National Rail Station Zone 5 or Abbey Wood and Woolwich Arsenal Zone 4 I gain 1/3 off off peak travel on oyster but wonder what effect this has on daily capping the daily cap zone 1-4 10.10 pounds and 1-5 12 pounds Seems to gain 1/3 off due to gold card if my initial starting journey is off peak and still remains even when a return journey is peak What is the difference between peak and off peak capping? is the 1/3 off only applied if the first journey of the day is off peak Also does it matter if the first tap in or out is national rail or Tfl stations ? Today I travelled from abbey wood to Queensway off peak then Queensway to forest hill peak then forest hill to woolwich arsenal off peak and was only charged 6.65 pounds that’s 1/3 off a 10.10 cap Normally I travel from belvedere to Charing Cross peak then reverse the journey off peak costing 5.30 plus 2.30 gaining 1/3 off the second journey 7.60 total despite both containing peak journeys.

  15. Hi D Bruce,

    Have you read the Peak, Off-peak and Caps page and the Capping Examples page? They should hopefully explain how it works.

  16. Hi Mike
    My wife is an additional card holder on my credit card account. She therefore has a credit card with the same number that I do (i.e. two cards for the same account). If we both used our cards in the same week would both of our journeys count towards the weekly cap?
    Many thanks

  17. Hi Chris,

    They certainly shouldn’t. My wife and I are in the same situation with one of my credit cards and TfL manage to separate them. I think there is an additional identifier which is different between each card.

  18. Hi Mike – I am getting really confused about a journey I intend to make next week and am wondering if you can help. Me, my wife and 8 year old son will be travelling from Grange Park station to Gatwick Airport station in the early afternoon (off-peak). For the two adults, we can use Oyster/Contactless and it will cost a very reasonable £8.30 each. However I’m having difficulty establishing how to pay for my son.

    As a young child, he normally travels on TFL for free with us, but I believe this journey is not free for 5-10 year olds. If he uses a standard Oyster card or one of our other contactless cards he will be charged as an adult. If he buys a paper ticket on the day, I believe this will cost £12, which seems bizarre relative to the price we will pay as adults.

    I think we are too late to get him a 5-10 Zip Oyster card as these take over a week to process, and in any case will involve a £10 admin charge, so again will result in a higher than adult cost if this is factored in. The child Oyster fare with one of these cards is £2.35.

    I’ve heard there is an option to convert an Oyster card into a child card for up to 14 days at a time (see young visitor discount at this link)


    So, I guess my question is if we arrange to get the young discount added to one of our Oyster cards, will that result in him being charged the child Oyster fare of £2.35 for this journey? If not, is our best option simply for him to travel as an adult using one of our contactless cards, rather than buy him a paper ticket? Or can you think of a better way?


  19. Hi Bill,

    The young visitor discount is actually half the adult price, so similar to the 16-18 zip card. If it is too late to get a zip card for him then this will be the cheapest way. The only problem is that you’ll need to get the discount applied before starting the journey, and the child must be with you when you get it done. Oakwood or Southgate are probably your nearest tube stations.

    If your son regularly uses trains from Grange Park then it may be worth getting the 5-10 zip card anyway. He can then travel for free on pretty much all rail in London and it lasts until his 11th birthday. It also means he can be all grown up when travelling with you as he’ll be touching his own card.

  20. Thank you Mike. Fantastic help as always. We live near Oakwood tube and I popped in today to check they could do the Oyster conversion which they confirmed.

    I have been considering the 5-10 ZIP card for him, but I can only think of one journey we’ve ever made where he had to pay which means the £10 admin charge becomes a relevant consideration in the cost/benefit analysis!

    Nevertheless, there’s still 2.5 years until he’s 11 so I guess it’s bound to come out on the benefit side in the end…

  21. Dionne Monarch

    Please can you tell me who I need to make the check payable to for a zone 1-4 year travel card. Thank you

  22. Hi Dionne,

    That will be down to the actual retailer you buy from. Many of the train companies no longer accept personal cheques.

  23. Elliot Allwright

    Hi Mike ,i am about to start an apprenticeship and will be traveling by train from welling to London bridge then tube to Southwark,i will be getting an apprentice oyster card ,is it worth getting a 16-25 railcard as i cant understand what discount i would get on top of the oyster card one.Thank you

  24. Hi Elliot,

    The Apprentice Oyster card gives you 30% off the price of travelcards, but you still pay full adult single fares. You’ll need zones 1-4 for your commute so any travel in those zones is covered. If you travel out from zone 4 (eg Dartford is zone 8) then the railcard will give you 34% off off-peak fares and caps. The railcard is also useful for longer distance rail journeys if you make any.

  25. Hi Mike,
    I’m about to move to London to start my Postgrad degree and will be commuting from Stratford to the city centre area, would you say that I should just get the Annual Student Travelcard covering zones 1-2/3 or the student Oyster?

  26. Hi Rabiya,

    The 18+ Student Oyster card will allow you to buy a zone 1-2 travelcard at the discounted rate. You don’t need zone 3.

  27. Hi i am Henrik and i just want to know how much a annual traincard/oyster card will cost me if i travel from Colindale – Canterbury West ?

  28. Hi Henrik,

    You need the Canterbury Stations to Zones 1-6 Travelcard season which is £6300/year. You can’t put this on an Oyster card, but you can get it on Southeastern’s smartcard called The Key. That ticket allows you to travel from the South London Terminals (Charing Cross, Victoria etc). If you also want to be able to use the High Speed line from St Pancras International then it’s £7416/year.

  29. I live in zone 4 Grange Hill and work in zone 2. Putney. I have a zone 1-4 travel card which is costing me the earth. I don’t work in zone 1 but have to travel through it. Any advice as to how to make it cheaper for me?

  30. Hi Sarah,

    Yes. You can avoid zone 1 by changing at Mile End, Whitechapel and Clapham Junction (or Stratford, Canada Water and Clapham Junction). As long as you touch the pink reader while changing at either Whitechapel or Canada Water then you only need zones 2-4.

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