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When not to use Oyster

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984 Responses

  1. Hi Mike
    I have just added a 2- 6 railcard to my oyster pay as you go. I regularly travel from surbiton to waterloo in morning peak and return from waterloo to surbiton during the evening peak. I am charged 2.20 for each journey on my payg oyster but when I had a paper ticket for 2 – 6 my return excess was £1.60 with a paper off peak ticket. Am I paying the right amount?

    Also, if I cross over from waterloo to waterloo east and then through to southwark LU to exit, will it cost any extra.

    Finally, I’m a bit confused about the mixing national rail and LU in zone 1. How does this work.

    Good site by the way.


  2. Hi Lindsey,

    £2.20 is a zone 1 single on National Rail in the peak which is what I would expect to be deducted. Since 2010 there have been no off-peak paper tickets in London apart from day travelcards. £1.60 was the off-peak single on Oyster last year, but it is now £1.70. If you go through Waterloo East and Southwark after finishing a journey at Waterloo then it shouldn’t cost any more.

    As for mixing travel in zone 1, because you have zone 2 on your season ticket you will only have to pay either the NR or TfL zone 1 fare. If you only travel on NR (ie Vauxhall to Waterloo) then you’ll be charged £2.20 peak or £1.70 off-peak. If you only travel on LU (ie Vauxhall to Victoria) then you’ll be charged £2.10 at any time. If you go from Vauxhall to Euston via Waterloo then you’ll be charged £2.20* in the peak and £2.10 off-peak and for the return journey at any time. If you were using a PAYG only card then the journey would cost £3.70 peak and £3.10 off-peak.

    * This is not what TfL intend, but the system won’t reduce an amount already charged when you touch out at Waterloo in the peak.

  3. Hi Mike (I think)

    I recently attached my 16-25 railcard to my oyster card and travel from zone 2-6 daily using national rail (through West Hampstead Thameslink and London Overground).

    My fare is generally £3.80 during peak times, but with my railcard I can buy a paper ticket for £2.90. Today I used my oyster card, buy I still paid the full fare of £3.80.

    I’m really annoyed at that. I know its only 90p, but its very frustrating to get messed over by tfl / national rail. Was this a mistake or do I just have to buy paper tickets every day when I travel home?

    Thank you!

  4. Hi,

    As mentioned in the page above, there is no discount on peak fares with a railcard. This means that it is sometimes cheaper to use paper tickets during the afternoon peak. However, remember that the off-peak cap is reduced, so if you make any other off-peak journeys you will probably be better off on Oyster. Also, if you can touch in before 0630 in the morning you will also get discounted fares which are not available on paper at that time.

  5. Hi,

    I need to travel daily from Brentwood to Canary Wharf. What is the cheapest way to do this now that Oyster is accepted at Brentwood?


  6. Hi Adam,

    According to http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/14414.aspx the price of a weekly travelcard from Brentwood to zones 2-9 is just over the price of 10 peak singles. Therefore the answer depends on whether you will make any other use of the travelcard (say at weekends) and/or whether you can commit to longer period tickets.

  7. Hi Mike,

    I had a look around the site but I couldn’t find information about this. I have a oyster card with the 16-25 railcard discount. I was wondering if the oyster system is clever enough to charge me a single fare for a single peak journey in the morning and then the off peak price cap for unlimited travel for the rest of the day?

    An example:

    a) Zone 1-4 single journey morning peak, £3.80 + Z1-4 off peak price cap £5.10 = £8.90
    b) Peak price cap Z1-4, £10.60

    Would it cost be option a) or b)?

    If the answer is b, is the only way round this to have 2 oyster cards or buy a paper ticket?

    Also, another question, I know its on the wrong page but it’ll save me making another post!

    Why does Oakleigh Park/New Southgate to Euston LU (via Highbury and Islington, Victoria line) cost £3.90 but Oakleigh Park/New Southgate to Kings Cross St Pancras LU (via Highbury and Islington, Victoria line) cost £2.50 (prices without railcard discount)? The only difference between the 2 journeys is travelling 1 further stop at the end, which is within the same zone.


  8. Hi,

    It will be option (a).

    Between Finsbury Park and Kings Cross and/or Moorgate the fares are interavailable between National Rail and Underground. This means that to Kings Cross St Pancras is treated as a National Rail only fare whereas to Euston becomes a through fare with the zone 1 surcharge.

  9. Hi Mike,

    On my Oyster, I currently have a Zones 2-11 travelcard, is this correct? It is 250 p/m.

  10. Hi Adam,

    I’ve not heard of zone 11, but I wonder whether it is a code for either Brentwood or Broxbourne which both seem to have monthly travelcards at just under £250. If it is then my understanding is that it covers all of zones 2-9 plus the line to whichever of Brentwood or Broxbourne it covers.

  11. Hi Mike,
    I am shifting to bexleyheath soon and wanted to find out what would be the cheapest option. I need to go to belsize park from bexleyheath everyday. On Mon-thursdays I willleave around 1pm and return in night 12pm or 1pm. From friday to Sundays I will leave at 10am and return by 1pm. Is oyster better?

  12. Hi Shatrughan,

    Oyster will be better, the only question is whether a travelcard season or single PAYG journeys is cheaper. It looks like you are always travelling off-peak so it’s down to how many journeys you make. If you really do travel EVERY day (7 return trips in a week) then a travelcard will just be cheaper, but for six or fewer return trips a week you’ll be better off using PAYG.

    My only other concern is you saying you’ll return after midnight. The last train from Charing Cross to Bexleyheath each day leaves at 0002 (Tues-Sun morning) while on Sundays it is at 2350.

  13. Hi Mike,
    Thanks. I am a chef so work late in nights and only leave by 12.30pm or 1pm. I need to find another way to commute after midnight too. I am mostly off on mondays so would be travelling 6 times a week.

  14. Right, I understand now. Strictly speaking you mean 12.30am or 1am as after midnight is morning. You are probably looking at night buses at that time of night. The N89 runs between Trafalgar Square and Erith via Welling and Bexleyheath so is probably your best bet. It also pretty much rules out a travelcard season being worthwhile as it will save quite a bit on the cost of the journey home.

  15. Hi Mike,
    I only just read about the maximum journey times and that it’s better not to use an Oyster to explore or rove around London. I did this yesterday, and on three seperate occassions charged me a maximum fare because it was “incomplete”. I am guessing I might have exceeded the time and at the end of the day, I ended up paying a total of 33.50 for the day (travelled in zones 1-2 only). When I checked my online account, they say that I can only ask for one refund in 28days. Is there any other way to rectify this and get my money back?
    Here’s the screenshot of my journey history online:

    Thanks a lot for this website! If only I had read this earlier!

  16. Hi Hisham,


    I’d call the helpdesk and ask for a refund down to the appropriate cap. Just explain that you were exploring and didn’t realise the impact of maximum journey times.

  17. Hiya I’m travelling to London with a 16-24 railcard the 8th of march I will be travelling to clapham junction from st pancreas around 20:00 then be travelling on the Saturday sight seeing.. What is the best card to get? Thanks for your help

  18. Hi Jane,

    I would say that an Oyster card would be best assuming you will spend some time at each “sight” before travelling onto the next one. When you get to St Pancras go down to the tube (KXSP) and ask them to add your railcard to your Oyster card. That way you’ll be capped at the old railcard rate. If your travel doesn’t exceed zones 1 and 2 this will be significantly cheaper (£4.60 versus £5.90). If you want the deposit back just hand the Oyster card in at KXSP before you return home, or keep the card for your next trip to London. The credit will never expire.

  19. Hi! I am going to travel in London but stay in a hotel in Enfield.
    I find the nearest rail station is Gordon Hill. I m wondering that
    if i combine a 16-25 rail card with oyster, will I still get the off peak cap
    discount(zone 1-2 ) on the oyster card when I travel in London tube or underground or the fare will still count according to the single fare as railcard? Thank you ~

  20. Hi Angela,

    If the railcard discount is enabled on the Oyster card then you will benefit from reduced off-peak fares and off-peak caps. If you only travel within zones 1-2 then the £4.60 off-peak cap would apply, but if you travel in from Gordon Hill first then it will go up to the £5.60 zones 1-6 cap.

  21. HI Mike,

    I’ll be working in london waterloo 3 days a week and would like to know if im better off buy a monthly oyster travel card or just top up my pay as you go. My travel would be between zone 1 -5..Advise pls

  22. Hi Yvonne,

    It’s not as simple as that. If you will only use National Rail on 3 days a week then PAYG is likely to be cheaper. If you also need to use the Underground and might make the odd extra journey around London then a travelcard might be worthwhile. If you can detail your exact journey I can advise further.

  23. Hi Mike,

    I have a 16-25 Railcard loaded onto my oyster card. I usually travel to work from Bethnal Green to Bond Street 3-5 times a week (leaving at 11am during the week, or at 8.30 am during the weekend), and return home by bus. I also take a three or four random buses a week when I’m tired of walking. Will a monthly Oyster card be worth it or should I stick with PAYG?

    Thank you!

  24. Hi Chiara,

    Stick with PAYG. Monthly travelcards are only worthwhile when you make enough peak journeys. From what you’ve said you do not make anywhere near enough.

  25. HI Mike,

    My Journey, will be from Cheam Station into London waterloo and coming home, I may hop on the 507 bus to Victoria and the join the train to cheam via victoria.

    Thanks You

  26. Hi Yvonne,

    I’m not quite sure what you’re asking. Cheam to London terminals costs £39.30/week while a zones 1-5 travelcard costs £51.80/week. The extra £12.50 gives you unlimited travel within zones 1-5 and also all London buses. A single bus fare on Oyster is only £1.40, so if you only make a few bus journeys then the travelcard is probably not worth it.

  27. Hi I intend to do some frequent trips into London off peak (after 09.30) could you please advise best ticket Pre paid Oyster card or day Travel card.

    Starting from Bromley South station.


  28. Hi Paulapk,

    Definitely a PAYG Oyster card. Just a return trip will not reach the off-peak cap, but if you do more the cap is less than the price of an equivalent paper travelcard.

  29. Hi Mike

    I’m presently not living in London, but have been offered a job baed in Woking working typical office hours.

    I’d like to leave somewhere in zone 1 or 2 and would look at joining a Woking train either at Waterloo or Clapham Junction depending on where I ended up living.

    Can you advise on what the best ticketing arrangement would be in such a scenario as I believe woking is outside the Oyster zones?

    It’s a relative thing to individuals I suppose – but do you think it would be overly expensive?



  30. Hi Tim,

    Cheap or expensive is a very subjective concept, so I couldn’t possibly comment. Woking is outside the Oyster zones so you would need a paper ticket. Cheapest would be a point-to-point ticket between Woking and most other NR stations around Clapham Junction. If you needed to add buses or tubes then you’d want a travelcard. Including zone 1 would be most expensive.

  31. Hi mike,
    Last Friday I was meeting a friend at Leicester square, coming from blackheath, then got the night bus back. I’d checked in after 7 pm, and only topped up £5 thinking that would be enough, but the next day didn’t have enough left to even touch in… Why might this have happened? Also wondering if it’s possible to get to Gatwick or horley on oyster?

  32. Hi Adamina,

    Sorry for the delay replying. An off-peak journey from Blackheath to Leicester Square is £3.60 and the bus home is £1.40 so that uses up your £5 top-up completely. For future reference the addition of the tube from Charing Cross to Leicester Square adds £1.40 to the journey charge off-peak, so it may be worthwhile considering walking that bit.

  33. Hey. I live in raynes park an will be travelling to Gatwick or a new job. I have an oyster, but this is my first time in london, so am.at a lost as to.how it all works. Is it cheaper to jt get a paper railcard? Or on my oyster?

  34. Hi Kate,

    Unfortunately you cannot use Oyster as far out as Gatwick Airport. Your best bet is probably to get a zone 2-5 travelcard on Oyster and a further season ticket from East Croydon to Gatwick Airport. You then travel via Clapham Junction and can stay on the same train to Gatwick. It must call at East Croydon, but if it’s called at Clapham Junction then that shouldn’t be a problem. If you want to make leisure trips to zone 1 then just add some PAYG balance, make sure you touch in within zones 2-5* and it will only charge you a zone 1 single for each trip in Central London.

    *If travelling direct from Gatwick to London that does mean that you cannot stay on the same train, but you can get off to touch in at either East Croydon or Clapham Junction.

  35. Hi,
    I’m not used to travelling in London and need to attend a conference.

    Can I use a oyster card from kingscross or euston to twickenham??

    Do I need to add ‘zones onto the oyster card? Or is just putting money on enough??

    Many thanks

  36. Hi,

    Yes, Oyster is valid out to Twickenham. Just add money to the PAYG balance and it will deduct the right amount. If you are touching in during either peak period (0630-0930 or 1600-1900) then you may wish to consider switching between Underground and SWT at Vauhall as it will save 90p per journey. There is no saving off-peak.

  37. Hello Mike,

    I will be travelling daily from Gordon hill to Oxford circus and back during peak times on weekdays. I think using oyster payg is slightly cheaper than the monthly pass. But I want your expert opinion on it. Thanks for your help. Regards

  38. Hi pk,

    Because you use both National Rail and Underground the travelcard rates are actually cheaper unless you don’t travel every weekday.

  39. Thanks for your help Mike.so would you suggest I take a monthly pass for zone 1 to 5? That’s £200. Thanks again

  40. Hi pk,

    A peak single is £6.20, thus if you travel every weekday both ways you will spend £248 in four weeks. If that is your travel pattern then yes, a monthly travelcard is much better value at £199.

  41. Thanks Mike

  42. Hi Mike,

    We have some visitors coming over in July, we live in zone 1 so were planning to get them oyster cards for traveling in/around central london and just topping these up, do i understand this correctly that you should only be charged a maximum of £7 per day for journeys in zone 1-2 only or would we be better to get oyster cards and then a day-travel card on these?
    In addition to this we will be flying up to Glasgow on the Sunday evening from Gatwick, can we use oyster cards out to east croydon and do the rest of the journey with a paper ticker (would we need to get off and on the train to do this?) or would we be better just to get a paper ticket all the way from london bridge?

    Thanks in advance x

  43. Hi Katie,

    You can only put weekly or longer travelcards on Oyster. For daily use the cap system controls the cost. For travel after 0930 M-F the off-peak cap is £7.00, compared to £7.30 for an off-peak paper travelcard.

    As for Gatwick, it may depend on how much you’ve used the Oyster before you travel to the airport. If you’ve capped at £7.00 then it will only add a further £1.50 to get to East Croydon. You do have to touch out, but the trains are quite frequent between there and Gatwick so it doesn’t usually delay things too much. The other thing to be aware of is that between London and Gatwick there are several operator specific fares, so if you get one of them you must make sure you use the right train. While using the Oyster you can use any train, as you also can if the paper ticket is route “Any Permitted”.

  44. Hi Mike
    Me and gf are going to london on a site seeing trip for 4 days in August what would you suggest getting an oyster card or some sort of travel card?

  45. Hi Matthew,

    You’d need to explain your travel a bit more first. Depending on where you are staying, what time you start in the morning and what the days are, and where you want to get to around London, the answer may be different.

  46. we’re stopping near kings cross and we’ll be going to science museum etc.. i think mainly around zone 1 but the the time will be random around the day so need flexibility.

  47. OK. On weekdays, 0930 is pretty key because that’s when off-peak fares and the off-peak cap start. If you’re staying around zones 1-2 then an Oyster card has to be the best bet. If you did want to start before 0930 on one day then only that journey would be charged outside the off-peak cap.

  48. Hi Mike, I recently moved to London from abroad and will be starting work on Monday. All these travel options/fares are confusing. I just bought an oyster card, but not sure how to mix it with the railcard. I will commute from Hendon Rail Station (at 6:30am) to Gatwick Airport rail stn. and return 5:30pm, Daily M-F. What is the best(ie cheapest/fastest) way to do this? thx in advance for your help.

  49. Hi Glen,

    It appears as though the cheapest way is to get a point-to-point season from Hendon to Gatwick Airport. You’ll probably need to change trains at St Pancras International, but it’s not complicated as it’s all the same platform.

  50. Hi Mike,
    I travel from outside London (Reading) to Old Street via London Paddington three days a week for work. I used daily travel cards until the job was confirmed, £47.50 a day, ouch! Now that I’ve signed a one year contract, I need to choose either monthly rail +tube travel cards (too chicken for quarterly), or rail-only travel card plus oyster pay as you go. What do you advise? Thanks.

  51. Hi Rina,

    Usually the add-on amount for a travelcard is less than the eqivalent number of Oyster zone 1 singles.

  52. Hi Mike,

    Can i use my oyster outside London i mean to go till Wickford please email me asap


  53. Hi zohaib,

    Sorry, no, Oyster is only accepted as far as Shenfield on that line.

  54. Hi Mike

    Thanks for the reply,so can u tell me whats the fastest and cheapest way to get to wickford from east-ham

  55. Fastest and cheapest will probably not be attainable together. As this is outside the Oyster area, can I suggest that you ask the question in the Rail UK Fares and Ticketing forum. There are more experts over there. Please read the sticky thread before posting so you get the best advice.

  56. Hi all

    I live in Hayes, and have an Oyster which I top up with cash.

    My new contract starts tomorrow for which I have to travel to Maidenhead Railway Station ( office just outside station) from Hayes.

    What pass should I buy? Do I need to buy a monthly Railcard to my Oyster? Or what is cheapest option?

    Please advice as I have no clue what pass to buy.

    Kindly help, awaiting response.

    Many thanks

  57. Hi Mike

    A group of 7 of us (4 adults (1 of which is a 20yr old student), a 15yr old, 10 yr old & 5 yr old will be arriving in London 22 June for 4 days. We will be travelling return to Gatwick from East Croydon off-peak; going to Harry Potter studios off-peak Monday, going to Legoland Tues and the rest of the time sight-seeing around London taking in Science Museum, V & A, Nat History museum and usual sights. I am totally confused about what travel card to get – oyster or what? I would really appreciate your help! I’ll check back with you tomorrow. Thank you!

  58. Hi Tasha,

    Oyster doesn’t go as far as Maidenhead yet, you’ll need to wait for Crossrail to open for that. Therefore your best bet is paper season tickets. You don’t have to buy whole months, anything over a month is charged at the same daily rate for each extra day. So one month and 3 days from next Monday (24th June) would take you to Friday 26th July. Don’t renew that weekend, but start the next one on Monday 29th July. You may sometimes buy for say 6 or 7 weeks if it takes you up to a week off, or a bank holiday weekend. Obviously that doesn’t work so well if you use the season regularly at weekends.

  59. Hi Catherine,

    For that group a family and friends railcard would be ideal. You’ll need travelcards for London and return tickets for Windsor and Watford. With paper tickets you are also eligible for 2 for 1 entry to many attractions in London. The railcard costs £30/year and gives adults 34% off normal fares while chilren travel at 60% discount on the child fare.

  60. Hi Mike,

    Thank you for getting back to me. So just to be clear – the Oyster would be of no benefit to us at all then? We are staying in Croydon and will be commuting from there.

    One last question – do we each need to get this travelcard or is there a family one?


  61. Hi,

    I want to travel for a day from St. pancras on Saturday to Vauxhall tube station with my son. I also would like to get down at oxford circus for 1or 1.5 hour. what is the best way to pay for this journey?

  62. Hi Catherine,

    Where you can use a Family & Friends railcard, Oyster is not usually cost effective. Oyster is only for single people and can’t be grouped in the way the F&F railcard would require.

    There isn’t a family travelcard for travel solely within the zones. Some train companies offer them when combined with travel to London from further out.

  63. Hi leena,

    If your son is under 11 then he travels free on the tube. For you, an Oyster will be most cost effective while if your son is over 10 then a day travelcard will be best.

  64. Hi Mike

    Thank you for clearing that up for me. The only difficulty I see with the F & F then is if our group decide to split and visit separate things it wouldn’t be as cost effective (we are not all going to Legoland, for example). In this case would we be better off with the oyster? I’m really sorry for all the questions but the last time I visited London was pre-oyster! Thanks in advance for your help

    kind regards


  65. Hi Catherine,

    The F&F railcard could still go with the group to Legoland (as I assume the kids will be going there). On those days the other adults would be better off with individual Oyster cards because the fares and caps are cheaper than the paper equivalents. Remember that pay as you go Oyster cards can be transfered between people, so different adults could use them in the evening (say) taking advantage of any cap that had already been used. Only one person can use each card at one time, obviously.

  66. Hi Mike,

    I am moving to Amersham in the next few weeks and wanted to know what the cheapest way into London (via chiltern railways or met line) as I will only be using the train Mon-Friday at peak times. I have a young persons railcard if that helps. Also, do my options include a travelcard for the tube which I can use whilst in central London?


  67. Mike that’s brilliant. Thank you so much for all your help. I would never have figured it all out. All I have to do now is pack!

    Many thanks


  68. The fares are the same whether you use Chiltern or the Met. A travelcard is an option, but it only becomes worthwhile if you do other journeys at least once or twice a week. The TfL fares page lists all the options; you want the entry that says zones 1-9 for Amersham.

    The railcard won’t help for peak fares, but it will reduce off-peak fares and the off-peak cap.

  69. Amy randhawa

    Hi Mike,

    I just recently got an 18 plus student Oyster card I travelled on Saturday 22nd June 2013 from Goodmayes to Aldgate East station so that is from zone 1-4 and even though today is off peak day I charged 3.80 instead of the off peak price which is 2.70 each way so i spent nearly 8 quid travelling to work and from work why has this happened???

  70. Hi Amy,

    You were actually charged £3.90 as that is the off-peak zone 1-4 single where the route involves both National Rail and TfL Rail. £3.80 is the peak single for TfL rail only, but that doesn’t extend beyond Stratford on the line to Goodmayes.

    Depending on where your work is, can you walk from either Liverpool Street or Whitechapel/Shadwell? Goodmayes to Liverpool Street is NR only and costs £3.60 peak, £2.30 off-peak; while Whitechapel and Shadwell are in zone 2 so the fare becomes £2.50 peak, £1.90 off-peak.

  71. Hi Mike,

    I have an Oyster card linked to my 16-25 railcard and will be making a journey every week day from zone 2 to zone 1 before 9.30am and returning at some point between 1730 and 1900 most evenings (though somewhat variable).

    Is it cheapest to PAYG, presumably paying for a single peak fare in the morning and then a single off-peak fare in the evening (or would the evening journey be a peak fare as well?). Or is it cheaper to get a zone 1-2 7 day travel card?

    Also, if I make one journey before 9.30am and then let’s say 4 journeys later that day, will I be charged for a single peak fare in the morning and then the discounted off-peak cap (presuming it is reached)? Or will I simply be charged the peak cap?

    Sorry for all the questions.


  72. Hello Mike!
    I’ll be living in London soon (Balham) and studying in Guildford, so I’ll have to commute on weekdays. From what I gather, I could have a 16-25 RailCard and buy paper tickets OR load the RailCard discount onto the Oyster card OR get season tickets. The season tickets are actually a bit more expensive, when I add up everything.

    Now, I have a few questions and could not find the answers anywhere:~

    – If I travel with paper tickets and railcard (12.35 according to National Rail, leaving around 7 am and returning around 5 pm), do I have to buy tickets every single day? Or can I buy multiple return tickets at once that would be valid for a few weeks, for example?

    – If I load the railcard discount onto the Oyster, would I pay the same 12.35 for this trip or it would count as 2 singles?

    Do you know what would be the best option? Any other advice?

    Thanks in advance!

  73. Hi Chris,

    Both your journeys will be charged at peak rates. The afternoon one will count towards the off-peak cap, but you’ll only hit that cap if you make more than one post 0930 journey. If you make one journey pre-0930 and several after, then you will be charged whichever cap you hit first. If your travel is only in zones 1-2 then the anytime cap is likely to apply as it isn’t much more than the off-peak cap, but if you travel further afield then it may well be the one peak journey plus the off-peak cap.

    Whether a travelcard is worthwhile or not depends on what your journey entails. If it is just two Underground only journeys a day then PAYG will be cheaper. If the journey mixes NR-rate lines with Underground/DLR then a travelcard is likely to be cheaper. In any event, if you make more than a return commute journey for 5 days each week then a travelcard becomes more worthwhile the more you travel.

  74. Hi Tim,

    Guildford is way outside the Oyster area so that’s unlikely to be an option. If you use paper tickets then you would need to buy tickets for every day. You could buy them in advance in a block, but they will still only be valid for a single day and that day has to be specified at the time of purchase. If you wanted to get a refund because your plans changed then you would only get a little back after the £10 admin fee has been deducted.

  75. Thank you Mike! I totally overlooked the fact that Guildford is not part of the zone system – I guess I’ll have to buy paper tickets every week then.

  76. I live in 2 two and want to travel to Epsom. (One stop outside zone 6) – is there a way to buy a 2-6 oyster travel card then extend out to Epsom?

  77. Hi Chris,

    Only by following the advice on the Mixing Oyster and Paper Tickets page.

  78. Dear Mike,

    we are a family of 5 (3 kids age 6, 9, 13) and will come to London by car in August. We will stay in the centre of London (Blackfriars Street) for 4 days and do not want to use the car but underground and bus, mainly off-peak. We will travel quite short distances within the town centre (Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Kings Cross, Hyde Park,…) and will stay together for travelling. Can you please guide us, what card to use. Can we buy the card before coming to London?
    How do we use the card when entering the underground (assess control) if we have only one family card? Thanks a lot in advance. Adrian

  79. Hi Mike, can i use my oyster card from egham station to london victoria, changing once at clapham jct?

    Many thanks

  80. Hi Shaniqua,

    Sorry, Egham is outside the Oyster area (just, the boundary is at Feltham) so you can’t use the card from there.

  81. Hi Adrian,

    I’m investigating options and will reply again when time permits. Under 11s travel free on Underground, DLR and buses which means you’ll only have to pay for the older one, unless you use any of the National Rail lines which don’t operate on the TfL fares structure.

  82. Hi Mike, sorry to be a pain – but I am really confused and I have read through too many TFL webpages to bother thinking about it anymore.

    I travel from Surbiton to London Waterloo (7:45-8:30AM) and back (6-10PM) every weekday – and will be for a year.

    I recently purchased a RailCard to put on my Student Oyster but I recently discovered it doesn’t discount on my times – I will do it anyway (for the occasional late journey home?)

    I am spending between £9.20-£11.40 (depending on when I go home) each DAY – and it’s feels like I am over-paying.

    I could potentially try to leave early to escape the peak-time payment?

    Is there a fancy trick for my circumstances, or should I just give in and purchase a 12 month season ticket ASAP?

    Best Regards,


  83. Hi Rob,

    Get a season ticket! On a weekly ticket used for 5 days you pay about £8.55/day. Monthly and longer tickets usually work out cheaper still. If you ever travel at weekends it becomes even cheaper.

  84. Hi Mike

    I will soon be moving to Twickenham and travelling to Gospel Oak daily for work. I was planning on getting a 2-5 travel card on my Oyster. Will this cover bus journeys in those zones and also will I need to touch in and out at my interchange at Richmond?



  85. Hi Amanda,

    The default route for Twickenham to Gospel Oak is via Richmond so no need to touch there, and yes, zone 2-5 will cover that journey and buses throughout London, including in zone 1.

  86. Hello Mike,

    Its a really wonderful job you are doing here and I would like to say a Big Thank you! My wife just got a job in Guildford and she has been on and on about getting an Oyster Card for the buses, I don’t think she can but I promised her I would confirm. So can she use Oyster Card for buses in and around Guildford?

  87. Hi Tunde,

    The Oyster card is only valid on TfL operated buses. As far as I know there are no TfL routes in Guildford.

  88. Hello Mike,
    All your comments looks really helpful! I am travelling 3 times a week into zone 1, I have a 16-25 rail card and i’ll be travelling during peak times from stansted airport; what is the best and cheapest way I can manage this?

  89. Hi Mike,

    Today I was looking at buying an annual (12 month) ticket for work (Bromley South to Blackfriars). Using the ticket calculator online the first 2 options are:

    Bromley South (BMS) to London Terminals – £1,576.00
    Bromley South (BMS) to London Zones 1-5 – £2,072.00

    I have a student 18+ card so get 30% off travelcards. I wanted to go for the 1st option so went to buy the ticket at blackfriars, but was told that I can only get a discount on the 2nd option and not the 1st.

    I wanted to ask if this is true, as if so it will cost me around another £400 which I don’t think is right.

    Thanks for the help!

  90. Hi David,

    I’m afraid it is right. Option 1 is a point-to-point season ticket only valid on National Rail services. Option 2 is a travelcard season ticket valid throughout the given zones on NR, LU, DLR, Buses, Trams. The 18+ student card is a TfL product which only discounts season tickets valid on all TfL services.

  91. Hi Harriet,

    This isn’t an Oyster issue and I know there are some interesting money-saving ideas for travel from Stanstead to London. Please visit the Rail UK Forums where experts will be more than happy to assist with your query.

  92. Ok thanks for clearing it up. I tend to forget NR and TFL are different companies when in the London area. Thanks for the quick response!

  93. Hi mike. Can I pick your brain as well please .. I never use trains so this is totally confusing to me ….
    My 13yr old daughter is going to Charing cross from bexleyheath .. How much would I need to put on her oyster card ???
    And how are you so informed??

  94. Hi Jacqui,

    Assuming she has an 11-15 Zip Oyster card she will need:

    £2.35 single between 0630 and 0930 Mon-Fri
    £1.50 single between 1600 and 1900 Mon-Fri
    £0.75 single at other times.

    Coming back the same fares apply except that £1.50 is the most she will pay for all travel after 0930 Mon-Fri.

    I’ve gained most of my knowledge through extensive use of the system.

  95. Thank you.

  96. hello,

    I need to travel from orpington zone 6 to Peckham zone 2 daily plus 2 buses a day. From what I can work out my best bet is a monthly oyster travel card, will this cover all my journeys peek time? it doesnt seem to make sense?

  97. Hi Laura,

    Yes it will as long as the buses are TfL (red) ones. Assuming you don’t go into zone 1 on the trains then you only need a zone 2-6 travelcard. That will also cover buses in the centre as well.

  98. Hi, is the oyser card still valid from Kings Cross international to Stratford International.


  99. Hi Chip,

    Assuming you mean St Pancras International to Stratford International, then no, Oyster has never been valid on that route. Olympic volunteers were carried on production of their special Oyster card, but the card wasn’t read, just examined.

  100. Hi Mike,
    I’m looking at commuting from London Bridge to Eastbourne during peak times.
    I was wondering is it possible to travel by rail to East Croydon from London bridge on a TFT 1-5 travel card and then use a Nationalrail season ticket from East Croydon to Eastbourne.

    I recognise it might cost abit more annually but a 1-5 TFL TC would be useful for doing other journey out of my work commute!


  101. Hi arun,

    That’s fine as long as the train stops at East Croydon. Obviously that’s not too much of a problem, you just can’t use the Gatwick Express services.

  102. Thanks Mike, much appreciated!

  103. Hi mike
    Im have an oyster 1-3 zone month card will it cover train from london bridge to east croydon?Or should i buy ticket or other card?

  104. Hi Julian,

    It won’t cover the whole journey but it will take the zone 4-5 fare from your PAYG balance. Just touch in at London Bridge and touch out at East Croydon.

  105. Hi Mike,

    I am traveling from Vauxhall to Clapman Junction Rail Station to Horley tomorrow. I will be using my oyster card at the start of the journey however, since I know Horley is not within the London zones – I want to know do I need to buy an additional paper ticket from Clapman Junction Station to Horley, or can I exit with my oyster card then enter again with the same card?


  106. Thank you mike
    Well il be traveling regulary that way whats the best option for can i upgrade my month oister card to east croyden zone?(i just bought it few days ago)

  107. Hi Ann,

    You may find it cheaper to use the Oyster card to East Croydon and buy a paper ticket from there. You will have to get off at the station you changeover to touch the Oyster card out and use the paper ticket to re-enter. If you use the Oyster to re-enter then you’ll have an incomplete journey charge deducted.

  108. Hi Julian,

    You may be able to upgrade the ticket to include zones 4-5. Alternatively you could add weekly zone 4-5 travelcards until the current monthly runs out.

  109. Hi
    If I am travelling from East Croydon to Surbiton and want to use a monthly Oyster Card do I pay for one to cover zones 5 & 6 or does it have to include zone 2 as I will have to change trains at Clapham Junction??

  110. Hi Sue,

    Zones 2-6 would be required to travel via Clapham Junction. If you used the tram between Croydon and Wimbledon then you can reduce that to zones 3-6.

  111. Thank you!

  112. I shall be travelling from Bexley to Hampton Court today and I have an Oyster Card with Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card.
    I presume that it is necessary to tap out at Waterloo East and tap in again at Waterloo.
    There appears to be a fault with the TFL online ‘Single Fare Finder’ as it initially quotes a low fare to Hampton Court, which is probably only applicable if you can complete the journey by train without travelling via Central London (not sure how straightforward this would be).
    By clicking on alternative fares, it shows the higher prices via Waterloo East/Waterloo.
    However I am still rather concerned as the price quoted for the entire journey to Hampton Court is the same price as it would be if I was only travelling to Waterloo East and it is the same as the price for travelling from Waterloo to Hampton Court.
    Does this mean that in fact that my Oyster Card would be charged double the fare quoted when I tap out and in at Waterloo East/Waterloo?

    My return journey will be off peak but my initial journey to Hampton Court may just fall inside the peak fare times.
    If I want to try to qualify for the off peak fares for my initial journey, do I have to tap out at Waterloo East before 1600 to 1900, or does it qualify as off peak as long as I start the journey before 1600?

  113. Hi Jo,

    That’s a new fare avoiding zone 1 which I’m almost suprised to see offered. From Bexley you need to change at Lewisham, Denmark Hill and Clapham Junction. The first alternative fare is indeed the same as Bexley to Waterloo East or Waterloo to Hampton Court because they are all zone 1-6 journeys. It doesn’t matter how many times you cross a zone, you only pay for it once. The final fare is somewhat redundant but is there just in case someone wants to take a long route. It involves changing to the Underground at a London terminal and thus includes the mixed mode premium for a journey involving zone 1.

    Providing you do not exceed the OSI allowance for the direction of travel between the Waterloo stations the journey will be combined as one. Assuming you do this you will be charged off-peak if the whole journey starts before 1600, regardless of the time you touch out at Waterloo East or touch in at Waterloo.

  114. Mike

    Thanks very much for your advice, which is most helpful.
    Just to further clarify, if I left early to qualify for off-peak but was unable to catch a train from Waterloo to Hampton Court until after 4pm would the part of the journey from Waterloo to Hampton Court be peak rate?

  115. Mike

    After viewing your link to the OSI allowance, it would appear that I am unable to wait very long for other people to join me at Waterloo and so I would be left with no option but to catch the very next train to Hampton Court and wait for them there.
    I had not anticipated a time restriction on waiting at Waterloo.

  116. Hi Jo,

    The time of the train isn’t important, it’s the time of touch in. If you touch in at Waterloo within 30 minutes of touching out at Waterloo East then the journey continues at the rate dictated by the original touch in.

  117. I guess that the only place that I can touch in at Waterloo is at the ticket barrier to the specific platform for the particular train which I intend to travel on, and I would not want to go through the barrier as I am meant to be meeting others on the concourse.
    Naturally I am concerned that if I have to wait an hour or more for people to join me on the concourse at Waterloo, when they eventually arrive the next train is likely to depart from a different platform and I will have to touch in again at a different ticket barrier.

  118. Hi Jo,

    The restriction is only for combining the journey into one. Bexley to Waterloo East is £3.50 off-peak and Hampton Court back to Bexley later on will also be £3.50. If you were to wait too long at Waterloo you would be normally be charged £5.70 for the journey to Hampton Court but the off-peak cap of £8.50 will restrict that to £5.00. In that case you wouldn’t be charged for the journey home as that would also be counted in the cap – you could even spend a while at Waterloo seeing friends off because it won’t matter whether it is combined or not by then.

    In summary, if both journeys are joined together you will only pay £7.00, but if one gets split it will only add a further £1.50 up to the cap. And I’ve just remembered you have the Jobcentre plus card so you can halve any figure given.

  119. Mike

    Thank you very much. Your assistance is invaluable.
    Have a lovely weekend.

  120. Looks like our messages crossed. I certainly wouldn’t worry too much about an extra 75p. Enjoy your trip!

  121. Hi

    I’m travelling with my husband an 2 children staying in zone 3, one child is 8 the other 12, I would like to receive discount from my friends & family railcard but not sure if this can only be used on the travel card. Off peak would be ideal for us and will mainly be travelling between zones 1-2 and back to 3 at the end of the day.

    I’m certain my 8yr old would travel for free, is that right? So with this in mind I’m not sure if the oyster or travel card would be best..I want to keep costs down over our 3 day stay. Any help appreciated.

    Thank you

  122. Hi Jeanie,

    Your best option will be off-peak travelcards with the railcard. You and your husband will be charged £5.90/day while the 12-year-old will be £2.00. The smallest travelcard available with a discount is zones 1-6 so you won’t have any worries about going out of the area. The 8-year-old is free on all TfL-rail services. That is Underground, DLR, London Overground and a few other NR services, mainly north of the Thames. They would not be free on other NR services, including most of Southeastern, Southern, SWT and FCC.

  123. Super thank you Mike, I’m guessing the travel card would take us up too Stratford International (Olympic)


  124. Yes and no. It is not valid on the high speed line between St Pancras and Stratford International, but it is valid at Stratford International DLR station.

  125. Hello. I have an oyster card with my 16-25 connected to it. When travelling to zone 1 from zone 6 at peak time and arriving back afternoon I use my oyster card. But if travelling to zone 1 at off peak and arriving back afternoon peak – is it best to use my oyster card or get a paper ticket? Does it cap at £5.90 or more? Thanks

  126. Hi Ann,

    The off-peak cap with a 16-25 railcard for zones 1-6 is £5.60. All journeys begun after 0930 will cap at this rate. If your only journey after 0930 is in the afternoon peak then it might be cheaper to get a paper ticket, although it won’t make much difference if you travel from zone 1 to zone 6 as the cap will still reduce what you pay.

  127. I’m taking my 3 children to London for the day traveling from Epsom Downs station, I normally use my family rail card but its just run out. My eldest (12yrs) has an Oyster card but not the younger 2 (9 and 6 yrs) can I just get them a return to the nearest train station inside the free zone as they can travel free with me in London? And would you know which station that would be?

  128. Hi my friend and I are thinking of staying at canary wharf mon to fri want to do some sight seeing in zones 1 and 2 travelling after 9.30 each day with flexibility to walk round and jump on tube to diff places several times a day which is our best bet? thanks

  129. Hi Naomi,

    Free travel for under 11s only applies to TfL route (Underground, Overground, DLR and some NR routes. From Epsom Downs the nearest free stations are West Croydon (for the Overground), Wimbledon (for the District Line) and Elephant & Castle where the FCC route takes TfL fares northwards. You may find it easier to just get child travelcards and then not have to worry about whether the fare is free or not.

  130. Hi Helen,

    Use an Oyster card. If you don’t go beyond zone 2 it will only cost £7.00 per day.

  131. Hi,
    I am moving to Egham and travel into Hammersmith 4 days a week. Is it best for me to keep getting a monthly travel card zones 2-6 and then use top up between Feltham and Egham? If not what is the best ticket to get?

  132. Hi Kate,

    You can’t use Oyster beyond Feltham, unfortunately. You could either buy a paper Egham to zones 2-6 travelcard, or if you really still want the Oyster you’ll need to buy a season for Egham to Feltham. The train must call at Feltham for this to work, but I don’t think that’s a serious problem.

  133. Hi Mike,

    I travel from North Greenwich to Feltham 3-4 days a week peak times ( tube to Waterloo, then train to Feltham).

    Two questions: Am I best sticking with PAYG for this or a travel card seeing that I don’t travel every day?

    Cheeky train company have now put a first class carriage in the two middle parts of the train ( where I get off in feltham it’s a people squeeze so carriage position is important ). Can I upgrade an oyster journey to a first?

    Thanks for you help,

  134. Hi Mike
    I currently have an annual season ticket from Chelmsford to Zones 2-6. I normally travel home Stratford to Chelmsford, which is fine, however tonight I am meeting a friend at Liverpool Street and want to take the train from there. However my ticket doesn’t cover me from Liv St. I’m told I need to get an extension ticket to cover the difference, and that getting one to Maryland will be cheaper than to Stratford for some reason! How much will this be and will it be cheaper than a single Liv St to Stratford? If it’s too expensive I will jsut take the central line to stratford. thanks.

  135. Hi Katie,

    A travelcard for that route is worth it for 4 days, but not for 3 unless you make other journeys when not commuting. There is no facility to upgrade to first class when using an Oyster.

    If money is tight and time not so then there is a much cheaper way of doing the journey, although seats may be a premium on some bits. Take the tube from North Greenwich to Canada Water then change to London Overground to Clapham Junction. You’ll need to touch your Oyster on a pink reader while changing at Canada Water. That reduces a peak single from £7.20 to £3.80.

  136. Hi Sam,

    Due to a quirk in the way fares are calculated it is actually cheaper to buy a single to Maryland than to Stratford. It’s fine to stop short at Stratford as long as the train actually calls there. Do not get a fast train not calling at Stratford. London to Stratford is £4.50 because it’s priced by TfL whereas London to Maryland is £4.00 as it’s priced by London TOCs. If you were using Oyster then it would be the same price at £3.10.

  137. Hi mike

    You have an impressive knowledge of the system! Could you help me please. My son lives at Canada water, works in zone1, and has oyster with apprentice card attached. Now that oyster covers to shenfield, am I right in thinking that to come home to chelmsford he would have to trail to ticket office at Liverpool street or Stratford to buy an extension ticket for the shenfield to chelmsford part of journey?

    Also, enquired. Yesterday at ticket office at liverpool street, tried to buy adult Oyster card for 15 year old (we don’t travel to london very often, and nearly 16 so not worth buying zip card), was told that we would be in trouble if an inspector caught her with adult card. My concern is that buses don’t always take cash and if we wanted to take ad hoc bus ride we would we be stuck, as unsure about availability of cash machines? (This will be an overnight trip, so travel card from chelmsford not valid for tube/bus). Ended up buying child paper tickets for her in advance, but may have wasted money if not used.

    Thanks for your help

  138. Hi Debby,

    For your son it depends what he has loaded on the card and how he wants to pay to get to Shenfield. If he has a zone 1-2 travelcard then he can use PAYG but only if he touches out at Shenfield. This would mean taking the next train for Chelmsford and he could get a ticket from the machine or ticket office while there. You could also compare the cost of a boundary zone 2 to Chelmsford fare which would be valid without stopping en-route (even on a fast London to Chelmsford train).

    As for your daughter, oh dear. Anyone can use a standard adult Oyster card and the £10 fee for a zip card is not worthwhile for a one off trip. I’d be inclined to complain about that advice.

  139. Thanks a lot mike.

  140. Dear Mike
    This must take up so much of your time, thanks so much.
    My daughter (16) is starting college in esher , nearest stations in order of proximity but all walkable thames ditton, esher, hampton court. She will be travelling from mortlake daily during peak hours. A weekly rail card works out at £28.50 whereas the oyster far seems to be £5.40 a day, is this even with a 16+ oyster? Just wondered if i am missing something some discount for students?
    Many thanks

  141. Hi Juliette,

    Firstly, forget Esher as it is outside the London zones.

    The 16+ Oyster card is like an adult card for National Rail fares, although a 16-25 Railcard will discount the off-peak fares and caps by a third. However, they do offer discounts on TfL fares, and most importantly for you, travelcard seasons. The £28.50 weekly season is a point-to-point season valid via Clapham Junction. To make that journey with a travelcard costs £38.00 normally, but £19.00 with the 16+ Oyster card. That then gives her unlimited travel throughout zones 2-6, and on buses/trams throughout London.

    Alternatively, you can save a little more by buying a £15.10 zone 3-6 travelcard. This means she would have to get off at Putney, walk to East Putney tube and take the District line to Wimbledon and then pick up the train to Thames Ditton there. It may well take a little longer, so only you two can decide whether it is worth it. If you do buy this version then there are two important things to remember. Firstly, you will have to touch out and back in again on the gateline at Wimbledon. This is because there is no alternative fare for Mortlake to Thames Ditton in the database. It must be the gateline and not any of the standalone validators on the platforms because they will only process repeated exits. Secondly, if she wants to go via Clapham Junction occasionally it will deduct £1.70 from her PAYG balance for a zone 2 National Rail fare. Obviously if she does that more than twice a week it will cost more than the zone 2-6 travelcard because of the discount on the season. I have to say that if it was my son I’d get the 2-6 version and be done with it because I can see him forgetting to touch out and in at Wimbledon which would also deduct £1.70 at the end of the journey.

    Hope that helps.

  142. Hi mike, what’s the cheapest way for my daughter
    To travel from carshalton station to bond
    Street tube station peak times zone 1to 6 I think,
    She is 21 would she be able to use the 18 to 24
    Discount card? Kind regards sue rogets

  143. Hi Sue,

    Carshalton is in zone 5. Assuming you mean the 16-25 railcard then that wouldn’t get a discount on peak fares or season tickets. Using Oyster PAYG you can benefit from a reduced price by interchanging between National Rail and Underground at Elephant & Castle. That is £5.30 single rather than the £6.20 fare via Blackfriars. A weekly season for zones 1-5 costs £51.80 so would offer a small discount on ten peak singles via Elephant.

    Hope that helps.

  144. Hi Mike What’s the cheapest way from sunbury on thames to egham? Should I use the Oyster or single tickets? I’m starting in RHUL and need to get the PT for a bit. Thank-You Shannon.F

  145. Hi Shannon,

    Sadly you can only use paper tickets for that journey as both Egham and Sunbury are outside the Oyster area.

  146. Hi Mike,

    Great site you have here!

    I was just wondering, i am travelling to feltham from clapham junction every morning leaving on the 658 train and returning around 5, i have been using my oyster as I have my young persons railcard attached to it, but thinking that this isn’t being triggered as I’m going during peak, is there a cheaper way to travel?



  147. Hi Holly,

    Depending on your other travel habits you may have a cheaper way. If you only make 5 peak returns between Feltham and Clapham Junction each week then you should use Oyster in the morning (£3.80) and a paper single in the evening (£2.90). If you also make other journeys within zones 2-6, or on buses, then a weekly travelcard on your Oyster may well be better value at £38.00.

  148. Cheapest travel card from ilford to east croydon. The cheapet fare? can i use weekly zone 3 to 5

  149. Yes you can.

    But, before you get too excited, you cannot use any rail services in zones 1-2 unless you have PAYG credit on the Oyster card. The best way of travelling Ilford to East Croydon via Central London would require a zone 1-5 travelcard.

    However, if cheap really is the important factor and time is of no relevance then the following route would work with a zone 3-5 travelcard:
    Ilford to Stratford (Greater Anglia)
    Stratford to Canning Town (Jubilee)
    Canning Town to Woolwich Arsenal (DLR)
    Woolwich Arsenal to Lewisham (Southeastern)
    Lewisham to Elmers End (Southeastern)
    Elmers End to East Croydon (tram)

  150. Hi Mike,
    Ahh, that’s unfortunate. How about if I travelled from feltham? As it is in Zone 6?
    Cheers Shannon

  151. Well using Feltham rather than Egham sorts out one end of the journey, but the other end is still outside the area. Hampton is the last station within zone 6. If you only go one way then you could possibly save a few pence using Oyster for Hampton to Feltham, but the hassle of having to get out to touch in at Hampton probably negates all that. As soon as you make a return journey the paper through ticket is cheaper.

  152. Hi Mike. I live in Chadwell Heath but need to travel to Brentwood for work. Can you tell me how much a weekly travel card will be? Also I will need to get a bus to complete my journey once I get off the train. Many thanks

  153. Hi Sandy,

    If the bus is not the TfL operated 498 then it will not accept travelcards and you’ll need to pay for it separately. For the train part you have a few options as follows:

    Chadwell Heath to Brentwood £28.60/week paper season.
    Brentwood to zones 5-6 £37.70/week paper season*.
    Chadwell Heath to Brentwood Oyster PAYG £3.30 peak, £2.60 off-peak both single fares.
    Chadwell Heath to Brentwood anytime return £6.70, offpeak return £6.00, both paper.

    *Note that there doesn’t appear to be an Oyster equivalent of this ticket, which there should be, but the cheapest is including zones 2-6 and costs £64.40/week.

  154. Dear Mike

    I have been offered a job in South Acton I would have to start at 9am and finish by 5.30pm. I would just like to know if you could help me find the cheapest way to get from Guildford to South Acton between Monday-Fridays. I have asked about the season ticket for the year and it comes up to 3,500 would there be any other cheaper way of doing this journey?

  155. Hi Julia,

    There might be a little cheaper way. There are basically three different fares for annual season tickets for this journey as follows:

    £3532 is for Guildford to London zones 2-6 (only get this if you want to make other use of the travelcard).
    £3360 is for Guildford to South Acton via Clapham Junction and Richmond.
    £3164 is for Guildford to London zones 3-6. To do this you would need to change at Wimbledon and either East Putney/Putney and Richmond or take the Kingston loop direct to Richmond from Wimbledon. They will both take longer than the second option but may be worth it if money is the driving factor.

    Hope this helps.

  156. Hi Mike,

    I will be starting my course at City university London next week. I will be going 4 times a week, with 2 lectures starting at 9am and returning between 5.30pm-6pm. Is it cheaper with a pay as you go oyster or should I add a travelcard to my oyster. I will be travelling from ealing broadway to Angel underground station.

    Thank you.

  157. Hi Satinder,

    The answer depends on what, if any, other travel you will do. If you will rarely make any other journeys then a travelcard is more expensive than the individual PAYG fares.

  158. Hi Mike,

    What’s the cheapest monthly ticket from Kingston to Kensington Olympia?
    Should I go for the zone 2-6 oyster monthly pass (£146)? Or should I get a season ticket (but I guess this would limit me to just this route)?

    I’m interested in also being able to use buses elsewhere, so perhaps Zone 2-6 monthly pass is the way forward?

    Thank you

  159. Hi ZC,

    The rail only season ticket would be cheaper and would limit you to permitted rail routes between the two stations, but the nature of the suburban network in SW London means that that still gives you quite a range of routes. However, if you want to include bus travel and/or the ability to nip into zone 1 sometimes, a travelcard on Oyster could be your best bet. The price of the rail season is £103/month so it depends whether you will make £43 of other journeys to justify the cost.

  160. Thanks a lot for your quick reply Mike!

    I have a few more questions:

    – Suppose I buy a zone 2-6 pass. What happens if I’d like to go from zone 6 to 1? Should I exit at a zone 2 station then touch again and board a train to zone 1? Or can I simply keep some PAYG credit and it’d automatically charge me for the zone 2-1 leg only? Here are practical scenarios:
    * Kingston to Waterloo
    * Kingston to Tottenham Court Road (via Waterloo)
    (not using buses)

    – If I get a zone 2-6 monthly travelcard on Oyster, then unlimited bus rides would be included even within zone 1 right?

    – You mentioned that the suburban network allows flexibility on a rail-only season ticket. Can you give example(s) please? And is it a grey area or is it perfectly allowed?


  161. Hi ZC,

    If you have a travelcard on Oyster and some PAYG credit then all you need to do is touch in at the start (zone 6) and out at the end (zone 1). As you are covered up to zone 2 all it will charge you is a zone 1 single. In the case of the second example you would touch out at Waterloo, in again at Waterloo LU and out at Tottenham Court Road. You would be charged the greater of a zone 1 NR single or a zone 1 TfL single (but not the zone 1 mixed single). Any travelcard allows unlimited travel on all TfL buses because buses don’t have zones.

    Finally, my apologies about the varied routes claim. Had you been going to Waterloo then you could have used all the SWT suburban lines to the north of the main line to Surbiton including the Hounslow loop (as far as Hounslow/Whitton). For some reason the routes to Clapham Junction (which is the routeing point for Kensington Olympia) allow only the direct route via Wimbledon or through trains via Richmond. You cannot use trains via Richmond that have not come from Kingston.

  162. My daughter has to travel from Bromley south to Epsom for university but oyster say Epsom isn’t included what is the cheapest method for her to travel

  163. Hi,

    Not only is Epsom just outside the oyster area, it’s also not possible to buy rail only seasons between Bromley and Epsom. I think the cheapest method is probably a Southern travelcard season from Epsom to zones 4-6 at £31/week. Travel by train from Bromley South to Beckenham Junction, then tram to West Croydon, then Southern train to Epsom (possibly changing again at Sutton). Only the section between Ewell East and Epsom needs to be on Southern.

    If your daughter has an 18+ Student Oyster then she can get a zone 4-6 travelcard season for £17.60/week and combine it with an Epsom to Ewell East season at £11.50/week. However, the train MUST call at Ewell East for that combination to be valid. Alternatively there is a bus 470 between Ewell East station and Epsom which is free with a travelcard. It only runs every half hour though, so might make the journey unbearable. I guess it all depends on how important cost is versus time.

  164. Tracey Charlton

    Hi Mike
    My son has started college near westminster. So going to Victoria underground from Billericay. I have bought him the 16-25 railcard and am purchasing daily return tickets for £ 18.00. Is it cheaper to purchase a daily return to stratford from billericay and then use a 16-18 oyster card. How does the change in tickets work at Stratford when he only crosses from one side of the platform to the other (national rail train to tube). Most travel is at peak times but not always 5 days a week hence monthly tickets are slightly more expensive. Hoping you can advise.

  165. Hi Tracey,

    Firstly, is the ticket you currently buy the anytime day travelcard at £19.30? It’s just that I can’t find an £18.00 fare from Billericay to London. Assuming that this is correct then you may be able to save money with a 16-18 Oyster. This gives you half price travelcards and single fares on Underground, DLR, London Overground and some other National Rail lines. For changing at Stratford you’d load a zone 1-3 travelcard onto the Oyster and buy paper return tickets to Stratford. He can just walk across the platform as now because there is no penalty for not touching in a travelcard within the zones. The travelcard is £17.80/week and the daily return from Billericay to Stratford is £12.00 (thanks to the minimum fare before 10am). So at £7.30 a day saving you’d be winning on the third day.

    The other alternative is to get a zone 1-6 travelcard at £27.80 and buy adult returns from Billericay to Harold Wood for £9.50/day. This gives him more flexibility in London if ever it was needed, and as long as the combination is a day return and a travelcard season the train doesn’t need to stop at Harold Wood. Unfortunately the railcard minimum fare means this does cost a bit more but may be worth it if travel to anywhere else in zones 1-6 is required. In July and August the railcard return fares have no minimum so become £6.25 to Harold Wood and £11.35 to Stratford.

    Final note: If you buy the travelcards online then he will have to touch in on the first day at Stratford to pick up the ticket. Future ones can be loaded in advance and picked up at Westminster.

  166. Tracey Charlton

    Hi Mike
    Many thanks for your reply. The £18.00 fare is a daily return Billericay to Victoria.
    It looks like your alternative route(harold wood) will be cheaper if he is in college 4 or 5 days a week and its fairly breakeven for 3 days.
    I am still a bit confused if he only had to go to london for say 1 day. I assume he would get the stratford return as opposed to harold wood as the train may not stop there. Then get on the underground at Stratford, would he need to leave the station at stratford to reenter (to hit yellow reader)to get charged a peak single of £ 1.60 to victoria. And then coming home he would hit yelow reader at victoria but how would he check out at stratford to get a further £ 1.60 fee? Sorry for all the questions.


  167. Hi Tracey,

    OK, now I’ve found it. £18.00 is the fare to zone u123 and allows one return trip on the Underground. I’d forgotten that on that line the fares include zone 3 so you can change at Stratford as well.

    For one day travel he would need to touch in at Stratford. There’s no other way to do it when using PAYG fares on Oyster.

  168. Tracey Charlton

    Hi Mike

    Many thanks, I think i’m beginning to understand it!



  169. Hi Mike,
    I’ve just begun studying and wonder if you can help me work out my cheapest weekly travel costs.
    For 2 days a week I travel between zones 1 and 6 (Clapton to Liverpool street to West Ruislip). Morning and evening journeys are peak.
    For the other 3 days I travel from Clapton to Bermondsey. I am eligible for the Oyster student discount so intend to buy a weekly travel card for zones 1 and 2 and then top up with PAYG when I travel to zone 6. My question is, is it worth me also adding the 16-25 railcard discount to my Oyster Card or will this just confuse matters or make no difference?

  170. Hi Carrie,

    If you have the 16-25 railcard then add it. It won’t make a difference to your peak time costs, unless you employ a little trick, but it will work if you go out at other times. Just ask the clerk to make sure they don’t over-write the student discount when adding the railcard.

    Now, the little trick. West Ruislip to Liverpool Street in the evening peak is a TfL journey ending in zone 1 so can be charged at off-peak rates (the zone 3-6 bit obviously) as long as you don’t carry on to Clapton straight away. As you’ll have a travelcard, all bus travel is free, so hop on a bus outside Liverpool Street, touch in, and hop off again. That will end your rail journey from West Ruislip, and the extra bit to Clapton will be a new journey covered by the travelcard. Each time you do it you’ll save 50p.

  171. Hi Mike,

    I will be travelling to London with two more people with me. We will be staying close to London Kings Cross station and mainly will be exploring zone 1 (London bridge etc). Then just once or twice I will need to be in zone 4 and zone 6 which is heathrow. Now I understand my pass (whichever I decide to get won’t work on the route of my Heathrow trip nor will it work on any of the Kings Cross stations… is that correct? So please help me decide on the best card that I should get. Thank you!

  172. Hi Michelle,

    Travelcards and Oyster cards will work at Kings Cross fine. They can’t be used on the high speed services from St Pancras Intl to Stratford Intl. As for Heathrow, if you take the Piccadilly line then both are valid, but you’d need a separate ticket to use the Heathrow Express or Connect trains to the airport.

  173. Hi Mike
    I am over 60 and just moved to Ewell West. Am I eligible for an Oyster card?

  174. Hi Raffik,

    Anyone is eligible for an Oyster card. If you mean the 60+ Oyster card then I believe you are as long as you live in the London area. Full details here: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/25830.aspx

  175. Hello Mike!

    I have to commute to egham from monday to friday and I live in zone 3. I was thinking to get a travelcard on my student oyster for a month for zones 1-6 plus an extension to egham which i understood it costs 110 pounds if i’m not wrong. For paper tickets I think I pay to much everyday, because most of the time i travel at peak hours. What do you think ab that?


  176. Hi Julia,

    Sorry for delay replying. I agree that your combination is the best as long as you do have to cross zone 1 on your commute. Feltham to Egham monthly season is £110.60 and the only restriction is that the train must call at Feltham, but I’m pretty sure virtually everything does.

  177. Hi Mike!

    I’m currently working in Camden town and I am commuting from zone 4. So basically zone 1-4 5days a week at peak times. I’m thinking of getting a monthly zone 1-4 pass. What would you advise? I’m currently
    Paying £3.80 there and back! £7.60 a day!

  178. Hi Musti,

    If you are only making 10 journeys a week then a monthly won’t save you much if anything at all. If you regularly make other journeys, even a couple of bus trips a week, then it will be worthwhile.

  179. Hi Mike
    My teenage daughter commutes from Thornton Heath to Twickenham for college. At the moment she is paying around £6:40 per day using oyster top up. She is awaiting her 16+ oyster card and I wonder whether when she gets this there if there is a cheaper alternative to what she is paying at the moment. She is generally on her first train just before 08:00 am.

  180. Hi Lora,

    Yes. The 16+ Oyster card enables her to get half price travelcard seasons, so zones 2-5 would cost £15.10/week.

  181. Hi Mike,
    I travel by bus from Watford High St to Hendon mornings and evenings, five days a week for work. However, in the evenings I take tube from Colindale to Edgware to speed the journey up. Currently, this seems to cost me £4.40 per day using Oyster PAYG. Is this the cheapest option? I was wondering if a monthly travelcard of some sort might make it cheaper.

  182. Hi Kim,

    It might, depending on how many days you use it during the month. You would need a zone 4-5 travelcard for the tube journey which is £23.00/week or £88.40/month. As long as you travel 21 days the monthly will start to save money, but for the weekly to be worthwhile you would need to make one more journey of any sort (even an extra bus).

  183. Many Thanks!

  184. Hi Mike, I am visiting London from Australia with my son in Dec and will need to make a journey from Brockley to Watford Junction. (I am taking him to see the Harry Potter Studios!) Is it worth my investing in a Visitor Oyster card or buying a daily travelcard and then a NR train ticket from Euston to Watford Junction? Thanks, Sharon

  185. Hi Mike,
    Thanks so much that’s really helpful! As I tend to take the bus on weekends also, and the odd extra trip during the week, your suggestion definitely seems to be the best option.
    Many thanks!

  186. Hi Sharon,

    If it’s just a return trip to Watford then a travelcard is possibly overkill. The visitor Oyster card is swings and roundabouts. The £3 cost is non-refundable so could increase the overall expenditure. The deposit on the normal Oyster card is £5 but this can be refunded at the end of your trip.

    The cheapest way to travel is from Brockley via Crystal Palace to Clapham Junction, then either direct to Watford or change at Willesden Junction. It may take a little longer, but is less than half the price of travelling via Euston.

  187. Hi Mike,

    We’re looking at buying a house outside London and looking at ticketing options. FCC offer a Season Travelcard from Luton (for example) to Travelcards 2-6. We will want to travel from north of London on National Rail to Brixton. It appears I can buy this travel card and commute through Zone 1 on the Thameslink route for significantly less than buying a Luton to London Zone 1-6 Season Travelcard (adding Zone 1 to the ticket seems to increase the price by between £700 and £1000).

    I’m surprised by this; does this mean the ticket is a combination of a point to point Season Ticket from Luton to Loughborough Junction, with fare zones 2-6 a sort of ‘bonus’ or will the ticket allow travel through London on any route as long as the journey ends in Zone 2 (changing trains to the tube at St Pancras, for example)?

    Many thanks if you know!

  188. Hi Chris,

    Sorry to disappoint you but the Luton to London zones 2-6 ticket is not valid to travel through zone 1 at all. You could use it if you change at West Hampstead, Clapham Junction, Vauxhall and then Victoria Line to Brixton, but that will obviously take significantly longer.

  189. Hi mike
    I have just started a new job in London with offices at paddington and abbey wood. I live I. Guildford and I will be traveling to paddington and abbey wood daily.
    I would be traveling at peak times am and pm.
    Would it be cheaper to travel in to London waterloo with my 16-24 railcard then oyster when in London to travel between paddington and abbey wood
    I will be doing to journey between paddington and abbey wood more then once a day

  190. Hi Dan,

    I wouldn’t want that job until Crossrail opens and there are direct trains between Paddington and Abbey Wood. That said, I think your best bet is probably a Guildford to zones 1-6 anytime travelcard with 16-25 discount at £19.80/day. The Guildford to Waterloo anytime return is £15.05 and you will spend more than £4.75 shuttling between Paddington, Waterloo and Abbey Wood.

  191. hi Mike
    I ll be travelling to work from Purfleet to South Kensington so I need t ake c2c and tube peak time. Could you please tell me what option for me would be the cheapest, weekly , monthly ticket? How much it would cost? Thanks in advance, Agata

  192. Hi Agata,

    Unfortunately the travelcard seasons aren’t available on Oyster when using stations in the Grays area. You would need a Purfleet to zone 1-6 travelcard at £79.30/week or £304.60/month.

  193. Hi Mike,

    I have a PAYG oyster card. Can I use it to get to and from Gatwick airport? If not what is my best option?


  194. Hi Fiona,

    No, Oyster is not accepted beyond Coulsdon South. The best option depends on where you are coming from, when you are travelling and whether speed or cost is paramount.

  195. Hello

    I live in Woking and will be needing to get to Syon Lane (zone 6). I currently have a full goldcard 1-6 zones for my current role in regents park. The route I’ll be doing I need to change at Waterloo to get on another south west train which will require a zone 1 ticket?! However the return journey I can go syon – claphan j and then clapham j to woking. I don’t know how I can find the cheapest type ticket?! You’re help would be really appreciated! Thanks, ali

  196. Hi Ali,

    Your cheapest ticket would be a direct Woking to Syon Lane via Virginia Water season at £51.50/week. Travel from Woking to Weybridge and then to Syon Lane. This route takes about 70-80 minutes which is not much longer than via Clapham Junction, but then you’d pay £64.60/week. If you need to go via Waterloo then it’ll be £72.40/week. All of these tickets are rail only. Multiply each weekly cost by 40 to get the annual equivalent.

    If you still have at least a month left on your Woking to zones 1-6 ticket then you can apply for a changeover to whichever season you decide to go for. Your new ticket will expire on the same day and you will get a pro-rata refund. It’ll still be a gold card. If you bought the current one before last January then the new rates will be based on the fares applicable at the time you purchased your original ticket. You need to go to a station a few days before the changeover so that they can work out the conversion, then go in on the day and pick up your new ticket.

    If you still want a travelcard for some reason then you have 4 options. Woking to zones 4-6 is £63.20/week and would involve changing at Weybridge. Add zone 3 for £72.10/week and you can travel via Wimbledon, Putney and Putney Bridge. Add zone 2 to bring Clapham Junction into the net for £79.40/week or retain your existing ticket at £90.10/week currently. Syon Lane is actually in zone 4.

    Hope that helps.

  197. This is brilliant information. Thank you. I think I will go for the via Waterloo option just to ensure all parts are covered and timings wise for when I need to work these trains work the best. If I could just clarify one thing please: when you say ‘you can apply for a changeover to whichever season you decide to go for’ what do you mean by ‘season’. Sorry if this is a silly question. Thanks so much for your help, much appreciated.

    Also I will be just under 25, can I use my YP rail card on season tickets or just for dailies? Have a feeling it’s daily tickets only.

  198. Hi Ali,

    Sorry, 16-25 railcard is only for day tickets. A season is any ticket valid for unlimited travel for a week or between a month and a year. Your travelcard is a season. The tickets I mentioned first (rail only) are also seasons, they are just only valid between Woking and Syon Lane via whichever routes apply. If you go for the Waterloo option you can also go via Clapham Junction or Virginia Water as they are both cheaper options. The only option you can’t do on a rail only season is the one via Wimbledon and Putney as that involves the District line.

  199. Hi Mike, just found this site whilst trying to work out the best way for me to travel around, AMAZING!! I wondered if you could help me work out the best way to purchase tickets for the following please?

    Monday& Thursday – Egham to Stratford (East London) via Waterloo, on peak

    Tuesday, Wednesday & alternate Fridays- Egham to South Acton via Richmond, on peak (this line isn’t great so sometimes may use tube and bus to get from Richmond)

    I have a Young persons railcard and student oyster.

    From my calculations purchasing daily seems the cheapest option and then just having an oyster with credit on for adhoc/when things go wrong on the lines, but I wanted to double check that there isn’t a better way…. Plus buying daily tickets means queuing up weekly and annoying the cashier who hates how fiddly it is 🙂

    Any thoughts much appreciated

    Thanks so much


  200. Me again, the third way I found was this, but don’t know if its possible

    Student travel card zones 1-4 £117.20 pm
    Egham to Richmond monthly season £169.4


  201. Hi Amy,

    I’m not sure whether there was another post which went missing between these two, because I don’t quite understand “the third way”?

    Based on that third way, however, yes that would work as long as the train called at Richmond. A better (and cheaper) split would be at Feltham where all trains from Egham to London call. Student z1-6 travelcard £149.40/month, Egham to Feltham £110.60/month, total £260.00.

  202. Going back to your first post, you might be able to save some cost by avoiding zone 1. Instead of going to Waterloo, change at Clapham Junction onto the Overground to Canada Water, then pick up the Jubilee line there. It will take a bit longer, but the z2-6 travelcard only costs £102.20/month, saving £47.20. If you were short of time occasionally you could still go via Waterloo and it would take £2.10 or £2.20 off your PAYG balance.

  203. Hi Mike, could you please advise me on cheapest weekly tickets between Dartford and New Cross Gate return ticket, travel to NCG at 2:15pm, return after midnight 0:15-30. I gonna need to take a bus to get from New Cross Gate to Old Kent road Street (Devon Street is my destination ).
    Appreciate quick response 🙂

  204. Hi Ela,

    Thank you for being so clear about your journey. It does help. Having said that, I think you must mean New Cross as that is the station that trains from Dartford go to. New Cross Gate is on the London to Croydon line. The two stations are less than 1/2 mile apart on the same road and served by the same buses (mostly) so it shouldn’t make a difference.

    The times you are travelling will be off-peak, so season tickets are not going to be any good. The homeward journey could be troublesome as the last train from New Cross to Dartford leaves at 0031. You may need to investigate the N21 bus which will get you to Bexleyheath.

    Oyster is NOT accepted on trains at Dartford, so if you are getting the last train you’ll really want an off-peak day return from Dartford to New Cross at £5.70. Then pay £1.40 each way on the bus to Devon Street. If you miss the last train (or think you might have) then the N21 also comes down Old Kent Road. The rail return is only 30p more expensive than the single so is probably worth buying unless you know you won’t use it.

  205. Tom Breckwoldt


    If I have a zone 1-9 travel card and travel from Marylebone to Amersham, can I then just purchase a ticket from Amersham to Wendover and remain on the same train?


  206. Yes you can.

  207. Hi Mike,
    I need to travel from Hampton to Euston (Mon-Fri) at peak times in the morning & return peak pm. Typically I would use payg oyster and take the train to waterloo followed by the 68 bus. It seems there are quite a few options. Any advice regarding the fastest and/or cheapest options would be very much appreciated!
    Many Thanks,

  208. Hi Sarah,

    The fastest option would be to swap the 68 bus for a tube train. Using PAYG it would only add 10p per journey compared to the bus. In either scenario a zone 1-6 travelcard season would save you money over daily travel.

  209. Hi Mike,

    I’m travelling from Norbiton (Zone 5) to Waterloo (Zone 1) each day for work. Getting the 8am train and returning at around 6pm.

    What’s the cheapest option? I will be doing this each day Mon – Fri for the foreseeable future…

    Thanks for any help.

  210. Hi John,

    The cheapest option is likely to be a Norbiton to London Terminals season ticket.

  211. Whats happens if I wish to travel from Greenford (Zone 6) on central Line to Wickford- in Essex and outside of the Oyster card system?

    The way i see it I can touch in at Greenford, get off the central line at Stratford and climb aboard a fast train to Wickford. the Oyster card system stops at Shenfield….

    Do I have to get off at Shenfield at touch out and get on a different train with an extension paper ticket????

    On the return journey do I once again have to get off a train to touch in at Shenfield??

  212. Hi Stephen,

    Yes you do have to get off to touch out if using PAYG. If you had a travelcard loaded on your Oyster then you wouldn’t have to get off at the boundary point.

  213. Can they not introduce mobile Oyster readers on the train? That way you can scan at Shenfield without needing to leave the train.

  214. Hi Stephen,

    In a word, no. That would be open to abuse.

  215. Hi,
    My nearest station is Wood Street (Zone 4). My next closest is Walthamstow Central (Zone 3). If i bought a zone 1-3 monthly travelcard could i use that offpeak on zone 4 without paying extra? I ask because off peak single from zones 3 & 4 is the same at £2.70.

  216. Hi James,

    No. When you mix travelcard and PAYG it charges you for any zones not covered by your travelcard. There is a difference of price between a zone 1-3 travelcard and a zone 1-4 travelcard. If you travel from zone 4 to zone 1 using PAYG and a zone 1-3 travelcard you will pay for a zone 4 single.

  217. Hi Mike,
    I need to get to the royal brompton hospital in Knightsbridge from Rayleigh, Essex on a weekday by 8.30 am on a weekday. It will be two adults and a 13 year old traveling. Could you tell me the quickest way and cost please?

  218. Hi Liz,

    Quickest way is probably train to Stratford then tube to Knightsbridge changing at Holborn. You’ll need anytime day travelcards at £35.30/adult and £17.65/child.

  219. Hi mike.

    Thanks for all the help, we all appreciate it very much

    I would like to ask if the oyster card would work on buses from hayes to egham. I know egham is outside the zones so the oyster card wouldnt work on trains but how about busses?

    Thank you

  220. Hi Mohammed,

    Oyster will work on any TfL operated buses. As far as I can tell, these go as far as Staines, but not to Egham.

  221. Hello, Sorry if this is a silly question but I do not use public transport in London very often.
    I would like to travel from Richmond to Waterloo on NR and then Waterloo to chalk farm (northern). Will this charged as two journeys on my oyster card or is it possible to go straight onto the tube system at waterloo? Will I need to touch out at waterloo NR and then back in for the tube?
    Thank you

  222. Hi Chris,

    You will need to touch out and back in again at Waterloo. As long as you make the transfer within 20 minutes it will combine it as one journey, but, because it is a mixed journey involving zone 1 the cost will be inflated by the mixed premium. There are two ways to avoid this. Firstly you could take the District line from Richmond to Embankment and then join the Northern line there. Secondly you can take London Overground to Camden Road and walk to Camden Town, thus avoiding zone 1 altogether.

  223. Hi,
    I have just got an Oyster PAYG whereas previously I have purchased yearly gold cards. I travel from Gidea Park to Canary Wharf and back every day but cannot fathom out if I should just move to oyster payg permanently or keep purchasing the yearly zones 2-6 card. I very rarely use buses or divert from this route. What are the price differences and are there any savings to be had?

  224. Hi Mike,

    A weekly travelcard is exactly 10 single fares for this route so no saving there. Monthly and longer period travelcards are priced at a discount to the weekly rate so will be worthwhile as long as you don’t take too many days off (especially if a monthly starts in Feb). Of course every time you do make a different journey you will gain further, and remember that you’ll only be charged a zone 1 single on PAYG when venturing into the centre as long as you touch in at the start and out at the end of the journey.

    On balance I think the travelcard is probably worth it. If it’s an annual one, make sure you get the gold card discount loaded onto the Oyster card so you’ll benefit from off-peak discounts into zone 1.

  225. Thanks for the reply Mike.

    A weekly travelcard for zones 2-6 is £38 so a single fare is £3.80 I presume. Is that peak or off-peak and would I be charged just the 2 singles a day? Reason I ask is I work shifts of 7-3 and 11-7 and my journey is around an hour and a quarter depending on connections. Would that make a difference?

  226. Ah, shift work makes all the difference. £3.80 is the peak single, off-peak it’s £2.40. If those times are your actual working hours then you are using off-peak all the time and PAYG will be much better. Note that on the 7-3 shift your journey in will be off-peak (starting before 0630) but will not count towards the off-peak cap (only after 0930). Also, make sure you touch in on your journey at or after 0930 for the late shift (ie don’t touch in at 0925 for an 0935 train).

  227. Hi Mike,

    I have just moved to West Norwood and work in Twickenham, is it cheaper to get a Zone1- 5 travel card on my Oyster or use PAYG? I travel during peak times.


  228. Linda Robertson

    Hi Mike
    My daughter seems to be paying an extortionate amount for her journey to/from work plus pleasure. Her journey varies, unfortunately, from week to week so she buys a monthly oyster for zones 1 & 2 for £115 and then 3-5 times a week she buys daily tickets Waterloo to Staines on BR. She uses the oyster from Canada Water to Waterloo plus for pleasure at weekends etc. Could there be any way of doing it cheaper do you think?
    Thanks for all your help.

  229. Hi Marissa,

    Neither! You only need a zone 2-5 travelcard unless you really want to go via Central London. Take the train from West Norwood to Clapham Junction then from there to Twickenham. Ten PAYG single fares is £32.00, a zone 2-5 weekly travelcard is £30.20 or a rail only season ticket is £26.10.

  230. Hi Linda,

    Yes! Instead of buying tickets from Waterloo to Staines, get Boundary zone 2 to Staines instead. This saves £1.80-£2.30 depending on whether travel is required before 0930 or not. Use the Oyster to get through the gates at Waterloo and the ticket to get out at Staines*. If the train always stops at Putney then you can also buy Putney to Staines at the same price. Finally, the key time is departure from the last zone 2 station (either Clapham Junction or Putney). The train can leave Waterloo before 0930 as long as it is after that when the ticket is being used.

    * Edited to what it should have been.

  231. Linda Robertson

    Thanks Mike. Many years ago I used to calculate worldwide airline fares and I thought that was complicated! Stupid question, but did you mean use the ticket to get out at Twickenham? Or did you mean Staines? Thanks again. Linda

  232. No idea where Twickenham came from there. Perhaps it was from another question. Yes, I did mean Staines.

  233. Hi Mike
    This is an amazing website! My head hurts from trying to work this out….
    I currently travel daily by NR to Waterloo from Barnes. My employer is relocating to Watford and in January I will be travelling there 3 days a week. Employer is offering to pay an allowance to meet the cost of the extra journey to Watford (from either Waterloo or Vauxhall) on a PAYG daily basis via Euston (3 times a week).
    So 1. I’m trying to work out what that PAYG daily cost is so that I can have a figure for the allowance and 2. I need to work out what to do ticket wise for the 3x weekly journeys starting at Barnes. I won’t be using trains or buses on a regular basis other than for my work commute.
    For Watford travel I plan to travel NR Barnes to Vauxhall, Victoria to Euston, Euston to Watford. I’ll be starting my journey in Barnes between 8am and 9am and returning (leaving Watford) at 5/5.30 or later.
    Is the whole journey best dealt with by PAYG or is it worth buying a travel card for the Barnes to Vauxhall bit?
    Many thanks!!

  234. Hi Ann,

    A travelcard is not going to save enough if you only travel 3 days a week. What might save you some money is changing at Richmond onto an Overground service and changing again at Willesden Junction. Your choices are as follows:

    Vauxhall/Waterloo to Watford Junction – £8.60 peak each way.
    Barnes to Watford Junction via Vauxhall/Waterloo – £8.60 peak.
    Barnes to Watford Junction via Richmond/Willesden Junction – £3.90 peak.

    If you go via Richmond then you need to touch the pink validators at both Richmond and Willesden Junction.

  235. Hi – will be moving to chessington north. I work by waterloo. How much is a monthly, weekly, daily travel card between chessington north and waterloo? As I go to zone 1 will it be anymore expensive if I then go on the tube? What about if I just do a return journey to waterloo? Thanks in advance.

  236. Hi
    I would like to know the cheapest fare from Ruislip to Denmark Hill. I travel before 6.30 am (off peak) but return home during peak period. I worked 4 days per week but uses my oyster card at weekend mainly around zone 5-6 only for local shopping. I was thinking of getting an annual zone 4-6 and pay the balance (PAYG) to proceed beyond 1-4. I am reluctant to pay the full zone 1-6 payment as I only travel into zone 1 4 days per week. At the moment zone 1-6 costs £2224 and zone 4-6 costs £1008 per annual. I would like to know how much do I have to pay to proceed beyond 1-4?

  237. Hi Mark,

    Travelcards include rail, tubes, buses, dlr and trams. Monthly £213.60, weekly £55.60, daily £16.40. For rail only to Waterloo the prices are monthly £164.00, weekly £42.70 and an anytime day return is £12.90. The Oyster PAYG single prices are £5.70 peak and £3.50 off-peak.

  238. Hi Amanda,

    If I understand you correctly you want to get a zone 4-6 travelcard and pay for zones 1-3 when you go to work. The fare depends on how you get the last bit to Denmark Hill. If you go from Victoria or through Elephant & Castle then it will be treated as a mixed mode journey, while if you use the Overground service from Clapham Junction or Surrey Quays it’ll be just a TfL journey. The fares are:

    TfL: £3.20 peak, £2.70 off-peak.
    Mixed: £4.60 peak, £3.60 off-peak.

    However, you also have some cheaper options if you avoid zone 1. The single fare finder suggests changing between Northwick Park and Kenton, or at the West Hampstead stations, then via Willesden Junction and Clapham Junction. This may take longer, so it depends which is more important, time or money. Off-peak the fare is £1.50 with or without the season ticket (which might alter your thoughts on a travelcard). In the peak it’s £2.70 for the whole journey or £1.60 if only paying for zones 2-3.

    Hope that helps.

  239. Hi Mike,

    I am catching a flight from Gatwick 23.11.13 at 08:55 and I live in Anerley. I have a weekly travelcard on my Oyster that covers zones 1-3. I think the best way for me would be to walk to Crystal Palace (I am used to this for work) and go to London Victoria and get the Gatwick Express to Gatwick which is only around £14. Is this best do you think? Also getting home from there, would you try and go direct to Anerley or make the same trip in reverse? My flight lands 24.11.13 at 09:45. Any advice offered is much appreciated.

    Thank you!


  240. Hi James,

    The £14.50 single from London to Gatwick is not meant to be used on Gatwick Express trains. To be honest I would buy an £8.60 single from Anerley to Gatwick and change at East Croydon. It will probably be as quick (if not quicker) as going via London. The same fare also applies from Crystal Palace.

  241. Hello Mike,

    Please can You help, I was just wondering if You know the cheapest way for me to travel from grays to waterloo, I am entitled to priv rates as i am a railway employee but apparently You cannot use this priv on the London underground? Unless its a through journey from a national rail to national rail station (which i thought grays and waterloo are) so i am a little confused as to what that means? and what the best solution for me is? Grays to west ham using priv? then oyster from there? grays to limehouse? using priv then oyster from there via bank? I work for south west trains so maybe there are other alternative ways via clapham junction? (where i get free travel) or use south eastern by crossing the river? but then id have to find parking in kent which will be expensive, Im just so confused as to what the best way foward is, I just wish i could get a priv from grays to waterloo but then that would be to easy eh, I will not always be using the train so is it best to get a weekly? monthly or season? Please can You help

    Also do You know if there are any nite buses close (or the closest area to grays that run to waterloo when i cant get the train,

    Thank You

  242. Hi Kase,

    My understanding is that you need to use NR at both ends of the journey. If you get off the Underground at Waterloo then you’re not actually using the NR station. Have you tried buying a priv ticket to Vauxhall?

  243. Thanks Mike – very helpful.

  244. Hi Mike

    Thanks Mike that clears things up a little , I think i get what Your saying, Ok so if i was to buy a priv to Vauxhall Mike would that mean i could get of at waterloo underground to get to vauxhall? If not which route would i have to take?

    Thanks again

  245. Hi Kase,

    I meant you could get off at Waterloo Underground and whether you went to Vauxhall or not is a moot point. But, I’d temporarily forgotten that Vauxhall also has an Underground station. Queenstown Road might be a better bet as you would then have to use NR to get to it (or not in your case).

  246. Hello Mike, I am going to the Rugby on Saturday and I am coming from Norwich. I will be coming in to Liverpool Street station. What is the best way to get to Twickenham staduim? Could I use Oyster card all the way?
    Thank you.

  247. Hi Mike,
    We’re coming into Twickenham from Brighton. National Rail return is £20+, but using a travelcard it appears it is only £15.40. Will this be valid to get to Twickenham using only NR?

  248. Hi Luke,

    Sorry for the delay replying. Yes, you can use Oyster all the way from Liverpool Street to Twickenham. The easiest and cheapest way would be to change at Stratford onto the Overground to Richmond and then to Twickenham.

  249. Hi Pat,

    Assuming you mean the super off-peak one-day travelcard route FCC only, then yes, it is valid. You must use FCC trains between Brighton and East Croydon, then you can change to Southern trains to Clapham Junction and SWT from there to Twickenham.

  250. Hi mike

    First of all great site and apologies if posting in wrong place.

    I have a daily commute (5 days a week)at peak times between Rotherhithe and Wandsworth Road. The Oyster Payg fare is 1.60 each way,therefore the total weekly cost is 16.

    I have been looking at getting a season ticket and I believe a weekly is 23. Any idea why it is more and any cheaper alternatives you are aware of.

    Many thanks

  251. Hi Akers,

    The season ticket in question is a zone 2-3 travelcard which gives you far more than just a single zone ride. Unfortunately TfL don’t believe in point-to-point season tickets, even removing those that used to exist along the old South London Line when they took over. If your commute is just on TfL lines then a travelcard is unlikely to be worthwhile unless you make other journeys.

  252. Hi there Mike

    First of all I’d like to than for all the ever-so-helpful posts that you’ve made in the past.

    1) Anyway I wish to travel to Kingston University next year and that includes me travelling from Stepney Green to Surbiton. I see that the prices via zone 1 are sky high but using the overground (changing at whitechapel and taking the overground to clapham junction) is much cheaper. Now I know you have to touch the pink card reader but on my way there (Stepney Green-Whitechapel-Clapham Junction-Surbiton) do I touch my oyster card on the pink reader at Whitechapel AND Clapham Junction or JUST at Whitechapel? And the same question about my return journey (Surbiton-Clapham Junction-Whitechapel-Stepney Green)

    2) Also would it be cheaper to attach a railcard to my 18+ oyster to travel there?

    Thanks in advance

  253. Hi Abdullah,

    The single fare finder only mentions touching the reader at Whitechapel. I don’t believe it will make any difference if you also touch it at Clapham Junction. The railcard will make a difference if any of your travel is off-peak or exceeds the discounted off-peak cap in the afternoon.

  254. Hi Mike

    I am travelling from Hook to Waterloo with a Netwook Rail Card (£13.05) and then on to North Greenwich on the tube on Wednesday this week. I am assuming that using my Oyster card for the tube journey there and back will be cheaper than buying a travel card with my paper ticket to Waterloo (cost £16.10). However, I am not a seasoned traveller so thought I would get your advice! I will leaving Hook at 5.30pm, arriving Waterloo 6.40 but will probably not leave for North Greenwich until 7.30pm.

    Many thanks.

  255. Hi Claire,

    Buy the travelcard. Waterloo to North Greenwich is £2.10 off-peak single, £4.20 return.

  256. I wonder if you could offer some advise please?
    I regularly travel from Witley to Waterloo. I always travel off peak, sometimes returning the same day and sometimes the next day, again off peak. I also travel by Tube when I make this journey, usually to Zone 1 or 2.
    I have been told that I should get a Railcard attached to an Oyster card. I’ve been told that I can then get a 1/3 discount for the train journey from Witley to Waterloo and pay a capped rate for the Tube journeys I make.
    I currently buy a Travelcard on the days I am returning the same day – this obviously covers me for my Tube travel too. I currently buy an off peak return for the days I am returning the next day and then pay for the Tube separately.
    I can see that I could use the Oyster card for the Tube journeys, but I am unsure what I should do for the train journey. There is an Oyster reader at Witley but I thought that Witley was outside of the valid Oyster area. So, would I have to purchase a paper ticket from Witley using my rail card and then swap to the Oyster when I start using the Tube? If so, how do you actually but a ticket using your rail card to get the discount? Or, can I use my Oyster card from and to Witley? Also, would it not be cheaper to buy a Travelcard on the days I’m returning on the same day, rather than use the Oyster card?
    Sorry for all the questions!

  257. Hi Charlie,

    There seem to be a few misconceptions here. Firstly the readers at Witley will be for SWTs smartcard, not Oyster. Next, you don’t say which railcard you have, but if it’s a Network Railcard or Family & Friends Railcard then it can’t be added to Oyster. Check the Railcards page on this site for details of what is accepted and how to get it linked.

    As for using a travelcard or Oyster, if the trip is one day then the combined ticket will almost certainly be cheaper. For two days you may be better off with Oyster depending on how much travel you make in London. There is also a return between Witley and Zone U12 London which allows one tube journey each way within zones 1 and 2. It’s possible that this might offer you a saving.

  258. hi mike,

    am a student leaving at harold wood and travels to university of east london at cyprus just about thrice every week do u reckon i buy the weekly ticket of zones 3 -6 or just commute on PAYG on my 18t student oyster card. thanks

  259. Hi O’Seun,

    3 return journeys on PAYG is just cheaper than the discounted travelcard. If you make any other journeys, including buses anywhere in London, then it may become worthwhile.

  260. My most common journey (approximately twice a week) is travelling off peak from Zone 6 south London to Zones 1-6 in north London, and returning to Zone 6 in peak time evening. I have a Senior Rail card and buy a Zone 1-6 travel card. Will I be better off purchasing a PAYG Oyster?

  261. Hi Paul,

    Yes you will. The Oyster with railcard discount enabled will cap at £5.60 whereas the travelcard costs £5.90.

  262. Hi Mike
    I’m new to London and the south, so sorry for sounding naive.
    I will need to buy an annual seaon ticket from Rayleigh to Canary Wharf from the first week of January. Should I buy an annual card from Greater Anglia to include zones 2 to 6??? or would it be cheaper to get an annual card from Rayleigh to Shenfield and then an Oyster from Shenfield to Canary Wharf? I will be travelling at peak times 4 days a week (Mon – Thurs). I rang the Greater Anglia helpline, but they couldn’t understand what I meant. Grateful for your advice.

  263. Hi Campbell,

    You will be better off with a Rayleigh to zones 2-6 travelcard. I’ve tried splitting at Shenfield, Romford or Stratford and they all cost more.

  264. Hi Mike, I have been trying to figure out the best option for my mon-fri commute to work from Bush Hill Park – Warren Street. I have a young persons rail card. I leave at 9.25, then change at Seven Sisters to the victoria line. I start my return journey between 3.30-4.30pm (times vary depending on when I finish work). On my first day at work I used my oyster, but was nearly charged £15! Was it because I started my journey just before 9.30,& returned in afternoon peak hour? I was worried that this would happen again, so I have been using my oyster to tap in between Bush Hill Park & Seven Sisters, & then purchasing an off peak travel card at Seven Sisters (by this time it is after 9.30pm so it’s possible), so I’m not caught by the peak charge in the afternoon. So the total cost of my daily travel is £7.40. Is this the cheapest option for me? It seems a bit complicated, I would prefer just to use my oyster for the whole day but am worried I will be charged a high amount again, as I never know if I will definitely finish work before the afternoon peak begins (but generally I am at Warren Street before half 4).
    Is there such a thing as an off-peak weekly travelcard? I often travel into the centre of London on saturdays and sundays too, so I am wondering my best weekly payment option.
    Thanks a lot for your help.

  265. Hi Katy,

    Unfortunately there is no such thing as an off-peak weekly travelcard. If I can just clarify, you are currently paying £2.50 on Oyster for the Bush Hill Park to Seven Sisters journey and then buying a discounted travelcard at £5.90 making £8.40 total? If that’s right then it is almost the cheapest way. You can save 30p by touching back in at Seven Sisters and using Oyster with your railcard added. This will make the daily off-peak cap £5.60. You need to get your railcard added to your Oyster at an Underground station as per the instructions on the Railcards and Discounts page on my site. There is no need to split the afternoon journey which will cap anyway whether your journey home begins before or after 1600.

    In the morning, if the train is running more than 3 minutes late you should avoid touching in until the last minute. You may find you get the off-peak fare all the way as the switch-over is a minute or two before 0930. This is done to avoid arguments about the clock being wrong, but if you do get charged peak one day at (say) 0928 then it’s tough luck, even if usually you get off-peak at that time. You should still split your journey at Seven Sisters by touching out and in again (unless you definitely touched in after 0930). If you do hit off-peak at Bush Hill Park then the whole day will cap at £5.60.

    Finally, when you were nearly charged £15 it sounds like something may have been wrong. The peak single from Bush Hill Park to Warren Street is £6.20, so if you just made a return journey you should be charged £12.40 in total. If it was more than that and the journey was within the last few weeks then call the Oyster helpline and get them to arrange a refund. Note, if your railcard is added to your Oyster then the maximum the return journey can cost is £5.60 even if the whole morning journey was charged at £6.20. This is because the off-peak cap still applies all afternoon and with the railcard discount it chops higher fares down.

    Hope that helps.

  266. Hi Mike,
    Can you please advise me, as I will be based either in Stratford or Lewisham zone 2/(3) and will have 5 day p/week commute to zone 1 from zone 2/(3).
    I will buy monthly season ticket travel card for zone 1-2/(3) for £120(£140) does that mean that I can travel for example form:
    1.Lewisham on BR to London Bridge hop on tube to Bank and than back to Lewisham on DLR
    2. Stratford via L overground to West Hampstead hop on tube to Canary Wharf and than on DLR to Stratford.

    Point of question is can I combine service providers like BR, LO, Tube,Bus and DLR with my monthly travel card zone 1-2/(3) without any additional payment or restrictions to monthly season price of £120(£140)?

  267. Hi Mickey,

    A travelcard covers you for all travel by rail within your zones apart from St Pancras Intl to Stratford Intl on the High Speed line. It also covers you on buses throughout London. If you have the option including zone 3 then it also covers the trams around Croydon. Unless you go beyond Lewisham/Greenwich on NR services (ie away from London) then you don’t need zone 3 for the DLR between the two. If you need Stratford then you will need zone 3.

  268. Thanks for making that clear for me..

  269. HI Mike wonder if you can advise me. I am having to work in 3 locations.
    I have to travel from Clapham Junction 2 days a wee k to Grays in essex, 1 day basildon and 2 days Southend. Would it be best to go via overground to west ham to get the best weekly peak time travel deal. Would it be best for me to get a weekly to either basildon or grays. Also buy extension tickets to Southend

  270. Hi Dee,

    Sorry for the delay answering. This is a complex situation because you cannot buy paper seasons for stations on the C2C lines to Clapham Junction which aren’t also zones 1-6 travelcards. You are right that if you take Overground to Canada Water then Jubilee to West Ham (or via Whitechapel and the District/Ham & City) you do not need zone 1. At the other end, it looks like a season to Basildon would allow travel at Grays and you could buy extension tickets to Southend from there.

    For Clapham Junction to West Ham I advise a zones 2-3 travelcard on Oyster, which means you can go via zone 1 if you need to for just the price of a zone 1 single. West Ham to Basildon can either be a point to point season, or for about £1/week more you can get a Basildon to zones 4-6 season which will give you validity throughout those zones. When using the Southend extension tickets the train will need to call at Basildon, but I don’t think that causes too many problems.

    Hope that helps.

  271. Hello Mike happy new year

    So i have moved from Hounslow to Ashford (surrey) about 2 years ago and i have been traveling to school using my 11-15 zip oyster card but after school the 117 bus service is so terrible so i decied to get some information on how much it would cost for me to travel from Ashford (surrey) to Hounslow using the Waterloo train and then back from school same way but using the wybridge train i think. And my question is how much will i have to pay because one website says its free when using south west trains and other website says its 50% off and i also know that zone 6 ends at feltham and i dont know what Ashford is and if its any zone? so do i travel for free or will i have to buy a normal seasonal ticket without using my zip oyster card?

  272. Hi Adrian,

    Ashford is outside the zones, as you say, which means you can’t use Oyster to get there. You could use your 18+ card to get a zone 5-6 travelcard at the reduced rate, but you’d need a paper season for Ashford to Feltham. My gut feeling is that it probably isn’t worth the hassle.

  273. Hi Mike,

    I was wondering if you can help me, I recently moved to Streatham and work in Angel. I have also linked my 16-25 Railcard to my oyster and was wondering if:

    a) I get a third of all oyster travel
    b) this includes a monthly travelcard on my oyster

    I would be getting a zones 1-2 monthly which is £116 so would I get a third off of that?

    Thanks for your help,

    all the best,

  274. Hi Harry,

    The railcard entitles you to a discount on off-peak single fares and off-peak caps. It has no effect on travelcards or peak fares. Also, Streatham is in zone 3.

  275. hi Mike,
    I ‘d be moving to South Crodon next month from where I’ll have to travel to London bridge for work every morning and return. Would monthly season pass give me the cheapest travel option or is there anything else I could try?
    Thanks for your help!

  276. Hi Utkarsh,

    A season between Croydon Stations and London Terminals is probably your best bet.

  277. Matt E Raffles

    Confusingly, ‘Croydon Stations’ covers East and West Croydon but not South Croydon station. If you are travelling to and from South Croydon, the ticket would need to be a South Croydon to London Terminals ticket.

  278. Cheers Matt,

    That is one of the least understandable splits going. All three are in zone 5, so there’s no difference in fares.

  279. Hello Mike,

    This is really confusing for me. Hope you can help..

    If I need to travel from Stockwell Station towards KT2 7LB, Kingston University. Could i just use a zone 2 oyster monthly to travel from stockwell to vauxhall taking the southwest train and hop on the bus at putney ?

    Please help! 🙂 Thanks alot

  280. Hi Chong,

    Yes! Bear in mind that you have to get 2 zones for a travelcard, so with zones 2-3 you could actually go to Wimbledon on SWT or even South Wimbledon on the Northern line.

  281. Hi Mike. In the end of April 9 people will have accomodation in East London for 4 days.There route will be sg like this: Stansted Airport-Liverpool str (transfer)-Ilford. Ilford-Central London and back – twice, Ilford-O2 Arena and back – twice and the last day Ilford-central London-Luton airport (NE transfer). What do you recommend, is simple Oyster card is the best or is there any better option. How much would it cost from Ilford station to the O2 arena? Thank you very much.

  282. Hi Silvia,

    Firstly, you cannot use Oyster from Stanstead Airport or to Luton Airport as they are both outside the area. Other than that, Ilford is in zone 4 so the maximum you should need after 0930 on any day is £7.70 as long as you don’t go further out of London. Ilford to North Greenwich (for the O2) is £1.80 off-peak or £2.20 (1600-1900 M-F).

  283. Hi Mike

    I use an Oyster PAYG with a 16-25 discount and either tap in at Stratfprd station or the nearby Maryland station (national rail), which are both in zone three. Is there a reason I am charged significantly more when I travel to Zone 1 (Baker street) from Maryland rather than Stratford? I was charged £4.80 for a single peak journey – this is more 10p than the cost of a paper ticket and £1.60 more than from Stratford!! I was appreciate an explanation and perhaps some advice!

  284. Hi Samantha,

    Fares between Stratford and London are set by TfL because there is an inter-available route via the Central Line. This means that the fares are the TfL rate. When you start at Maryland you are using NR set fares, and when you then change onto the Underground and go into zone 1 you get charged the extortionate NR through fare.

    If you are going one way in the evening peak then you will be better off with a paper ticket from Maryland, but if you come back again the same day you will cap at the zone 1-4 railcard cap of £5.10. If you are travelling in the morning peak then the £12.00 minimum fare applies to the paper tickets. Also, if you travel from Stratford in the evening peak you benefit from the discounted off-peak fare because it is set by TfL and ending in zone 1.

  285. Hi, I have just got my veterans oyster card, I have a mature student 16-25 railcard as well. I travel to London after 0930 hrs to do research. Can I get a ticket to East Croydon get off and log in on the Oyster card system or travel directly to Victoria. Thanks Quinn.

  286. Hi Quinn,

    The veterans Oyster card is the same as a freedom pass so it is treated as a season ticket for split ticketing. This means you can stay on the train all the way to Victoria.

  287. Hi Mike,

    I am a little confused as to how monthly travel cards work and was wondering if you could help.

    If I have a monthly travel card from zones 1-4, would I be charged if I made a journey that didn’t span all 4 zones, for example if I went from zone 1-3? Also, I assume that the monthly travel cards are for unlimited journeys?

    Thanks in advance for any help!

  288. Hi Steph,

    Yes, travelcards provide unlimited travel on any route within the zones covered. You don’t need to use all of the zones for every journey. Only St Pancras International to Stratford International is excluded on a zone 1-4.

  289. Hi,

    I am I’m London for four days from Monday and was wondering whether it’d be better to get a zone 1-3 weekly on my Oyster rather than 4 daily travel cards to save time/messing.

    Can I make unlimited journeys with an Oyster weekly as I could with a paper card? And can I spend as much time in the system as I want? Eg could I start at Euston and go around the network for ages before touching out? I ask because of the maximum journey times? Can I leave a station eg Embankment and then touch in at Westminster after walking along there?

    Thank you

  290. Hi Shaun,

    With a travelcard season on your Oyster you can do what you want within the zones it covers. There are no penalties for not touching in or out, so maximum journey times do not apply.

  291. Hi Mike,

    We are going to London and staying there for 4 days in hotel in zone 3 (Stratford). Is it a good idea to get a 7 day- travel card for zone1/2 and get the bus each day tometro Pudding.

    Thanks for your answer.

    Fred fom Holland

  292. Hi I Need to travel from East Croydon (zone 5) to Feltham (zome 6) daily. National rail site shows I will need to take only overground trains with change at Clapham junction.. So what is the best monthly ticket to have. Do I need to buy Zone 1 to 6 travel card or only zone 5 -6 travel card. Pls suggest. Thanks

  293. Hi Fred,

    It would work, certainly. The only question would be whether having to get the bus was worth the £5.40 saving over a weekly zone 1-3 travelcard which would get you to Stratford, including via the Central Line.

  294. Hi Prahlad,

    Neither! You would need a zone 2-6 travelcard (£150.60/month) to go via Clapham Junction. But as you are only using NR trains you can buy a season between East Croydon and Feltham (£106.00/month) and save over a quarter of the price.

  295. I have a zone 2-6 travel card but need to travel from zone 2 to woking once a week. If i get a train from Clapham junction direct to woking can i just buy a return ticket from zone 6 to woking or do i need to by a zone 2 to woking return.

  296. Hi Helen,

    Yes you can. You can buy the ticket from Surbiton to Woking if it’s easier as that is the same price as boundary zone 6 to Woking. Because your travelcard is a season ticket and the other ticket isn’t, the train doesn’t need to call at Surbiton.

  297. Hi Mike – I’m new to London. I’ve got a place to stay near Galleons Drive amd my office is at Fenchurch Street. So, I take a bus from Shearwater Close to Barking Station and then a train from Barking to Fenchurch Street. I go to office 5 days a week. Should I load a bus pass (shearwater close to Barking Station) + a tube pass ( barking station to Fenchurch Street) for an economical commute? Please advice me the cheapest option available to me.

    Many thanks,

  298. Hello Mike,
    Thanks for helping a lot of us who are slightly confused by NR and LUL fares.
    What is the cheapest way to travel from Waterloo to Weybridge everyday. Z1-6 travelcard can take me upto surbiton, i still need to buy ticket from surbiton to weybridge.


  299. Hi Mike,

    This might not be the best place to ask this question, but I think you may be the right person to ask!
    What it is is this. One or twice in the school holidays my young son and I like to use a one day travelcard and go off on little jaunts using the buses, trams, dlr etc. What we tend to do is use my oyster card from Bushey Heath down to Bushey station and buy the travelcards using my F & F railcard. Now coming home I can use the travelcard all the way back to Bushey Heath, but is there any way that I can get the travelcard without the need to use my oyster card for the first leg to Bushey station?
    I hope you can understand what I’m trying to say!

    Many thanks

  300. Hi Suki,

    The ‘tube pass’ is actually a travelcard which includes buses, so that is all you need.

  301. Hi Ash,

    The cheapest way is to buy a rail season ticket between Weybridge and London terminals route via Wimbledon. The any permitted route season costs a little more and allows travel via Staines and Richmond. You only need to include a travelcard if you want to use buses or tubes once you get to Waterloo. Your rail ticket is also valid by National Rail to Victoria, Charing Cross, London Bridge, Cannon Street, Blackfriars and City Thameslink.

  302. Hi Wayne,

    You can’t buy discounted travelcards at ticket stops (shops), but you can buy them in advance at rail stations, so you could buy the day before. Hope that helps.

  303. Hi Mike,

    I may start a job in London and will need to get a train from Swanscombe station to Dartford then change to Charring Cross and then on the Charring Cross underground to Warren Street.

    What is the cheapest way to do this? Can I use my oyster to get on the train at Dartford station?

  304. Hi Kim,

    Sadly you cannot use Oyster at Dartford station. Your best bet is probably a Swanscombe to zone 1-6 travelcard.

  305. Hi Mike,
    I’ve just moved out of London but still have to commute into canary wharf. At the moment i need to get in either 4 days a week or sometimes 3 days. I’m travelling from three bridges on the London-Brighton line to canary wharf via London bridge, peak times.
    I’m thinking of using a weekly season ticket, FFC only, to get to zone6/East Croydon, then using a weekly zone1-6 travelcard for the london bridge-canary wharf part of my journey.
    Is this the best option or is there a cheaper way?
    I couldn’t find the price for a weekly travelcard from three bridges to canary wharf including rail and tube travel..
    Or given that I don’t travel in London on weekends anymore do I give up the oyster travelcard thing and just use PAYG for the 3 or 4 day trips a week (at peak) ?
    I also have to take a bus to get to and from the train station. Do you happen to know whether adding a plusbus card to my ticket is of any benefit?
    Many thanks for your time and for any advice to a newbie commuter..

  306. Hi Garibaldi,

    The only FCC only season ticket is the travelcard including zones 1-6. The weekly season ticket will save you money if used for 3 days. The FCC only applies as far as the travelcard boundary (effectively East Croydon), after that it can be used on any services. My limited experience of plus bus suggests that it is usually a worthwhile add-on.

  307. Hi Mike,
    I have a bus operator nominee oyster card, due to the tube strike today I had to find an alternative route. I went from New Barnet (FCC) to Moorgate, the lady in the ticket office said I could use my card.
    Can you tell me if this is because of the strike, or if I can use my card on that line all the time. (It was quite a pleasant and easy journey into work and I would like to use it regularly if I’m able to)

  308. Sorry, you’ll need to contact your issuing department. I’m not up to speed on where staff travel facilities are valid or not.

  309. I’m visiting London with a young family and will be flying into Gatwick and staying at Croydon. Apart from gatwick to accomodation I plan to take a couple of days trips into central London and wonder if you’d advise getting a visitors oyster card or shall i stick with travelcards?

  310. Hi Ben,

    I’d stick with travelcards as child fares on Oyster require a zip photocard. If the kids are all under 5 then get ordinary Oyster cards as you can get the depost back and the daily caps are less than a travelcard. Visitor Oyster cards have a non-refundable fee.

  311. Thank you for your advice.

  312. Hi,

    I’ll be visiting London in the month of May with family.
    I’ll be travelling daily from ilford to Gharkin(5 days a week) and then on weekend(2 days) we’ll be visiting London city(4 adults and a baby of 2.5 years). So what type of ticket is best suitable for this?

    In the next week we’ll be traveling from Gatwick airport to Ilford(4 adults) Please suggest cheapest option for this too.

  313. Hi Ani,

    I’m not sure what you mean by Gharkin?

  314. Hi Mike,
    I am travelling from Dorchester South to Waterloo next Saturday, using NR to Waterloo. I have an Oyster card and wish to travel to Bexley and back on the same day day. Is my Oyster the better option?

  315. Hello,

    I just started a new job and I have to travel from Broxbourne to Earlsfield. I am travelling during peak times and have been using my oyster card which has been costing me £19.25 a day and I am going in 5 days a week. What would you recommend to make my commute a bit easier on my purse? I also have a young persons travel card as I am 22.

  316. Hi,

    Ive got a an 11-16 zip card. I was wondering how much gets taken off it when I use the tube trains. I have tried looking on the website but have found nothing. Please help.

    Thanks H

  317. Hi Deki,

    Have you already got tickets? If not then book through from Dorchester South to Bexley which adds £2.90 to the super off-peak day return fare. If you’ve already got tickets to Waterloo then Oyster will be the better option.

  318. Hi Tania,

    Unfortunately, at peak times the railcard will have little effect. However, there is a way to reduce the cost a little bit, but probably at the expense of a longer journey. Broxbourne to Clapham Junction is the same £9.60 single fare, but that reduces to £6.50 if you change at Seven Sisters or Tottenham Hale, then Highbury & Islington, and possibly Willesden Junction as well. Basically you are avoiding zone 1. The bad news is that the extra change at Clapham Junction to get to Earlsfield means that this option isn’t offered for Broxbourne to Earlsfield. You can end your journey at Clapham Junction and start a new one-stop journey but this will cost £2.20 in the peak, leaving you only 90p better off.

    The other consideration is when you travel. Could you touch in for your journey at Broxbourne by 0630? If you can then the whole journey becomes off-peak and with your railcard you would only be charged £4.95 (even going via London). You only have to touch in by 0630, you can catch a train a while later. You also have 40 minutes between touch out at Waterloo LU and touch in at Waterloo NR, so you may have time to get a coffee or snack if you’re early. If your job has any flexibility then it might be worth seeing if you can start early and finish in time to touch in at Earlsfield before 1600, thus getting off-peak for the way home too.

    Hope that helps.

  319. Hi Helen,

    It depends where you are going, but if it’s just within zones 1-6 then it’s 80p peak and 75p off-peak. After 0930 there is a £1.50 cap even if you use it between 1600-1900.

  320. Thank you so much. It has made everything very clear. Do you think that you could maybe put that information on your website so other perplexed people can be aware of the great deal? THANK YOU!
    From H

  321. Hi Mike, my 16 year old in full time education with an 16-18 Oyster card is going to visit his family in Basingstoke. Travelling from Waterloo. Apparently he can’t get a kids ticket anymore but is there a way of cutting the fare down (without buying a railcard that he is unlikely to use again). Thanks

  322. Hi Jane,

    If the journey is this weekend then SWT have a winter sale of day returns for £10. Otherwise a small saving can be made by splitting at Surbiton. The adult day return from Waterloo to Basingstoke is £21.70 off-peak while from Surbiton it is £15.60. Using the 16-18 zip card a single from Waterloo to Surbiton is just £1.80. He will have to change trains at Surbiton to touch the Oyster.

  323. Hi Mike
    I will shortly be eligible for a 60+ oystercard. I travel daily from Sutton to Victoria for work. Will it be cheaper to tap in with my current oystercard in the morning and use the new oystercard in the evenings or to continue to buy a season ticket?
    Many thanks

  324. Hi Mary,

    Use Oyster in the morning as you are then only paying for 2.5 days travel a week. A season will be costed at between 3 and 4 days.

  325. Morning Mike,
    i am moving to Grays, and would be commuting to Goodmayes 5 days a week. I have looked on national rail and the 7:22am train would be perfect, and looking at getting the 4pm train back.

    Now I am confused.
    Can i use an oyster card the whole journey??
    I have seen you can get a 4-6 travelcard on oyster for £26 a week? does that work at peak times? does it cover my journey?
    Or would i have to go via national rail monthly travelcard for £165.20?

    Please help,

  326. Hi Lisa,

    The zone 4-6 travelcard only covers Upminster to Goodmayes. You can use an Oyster, but you can’t load a season ticket from Grays onto it. You could buy a national rail Grays to zones 4-6 travelcard at £43.00/week or £165.20/month. However, if you will regularly start your journey home at 4.00pm you will be better off using PAYG. The peak fare is £4.00, but if you touch in by 4.00pm you’ll be charged off-peak at £2.90 on the way home. Even if you travel 5 days a week at peak times both ways the weekly travelcard is more expensive and the monthly only becomes worthwhile on the 21st working day.

    Hope that helps.

  327. Hi

    My daughter is 17 and has an Oyster card which currently gives her free travel home from school. We are moving to Brentwood and she now needs to use train and local Brentwood bus to get home as I take her in mornings. What is the cheapest method/ticket that she could buy, is there a combined option?

  328. Hi Paul,

    The Oyster will be valid on the train, and thanks to the change earlier this year the fares will be half price with the 16-18 zip card. Only the 298 TfL bus is valid on the Oystercard, so she’ll have to pay for the local bus separately.

  329. Hi,

    I bought a monthly Oyster card from zone 3-5 on Saturday. I live in Mitcham but work in Twickenham.

    This morning, I travelled from Tooting station to Wimbledon and from Wimbledon to Twickenham. Once I got off at twickenham, I got charged £1.80. I spoke to the tfl assistant who stated that I got charged £1.80 for going through clap ham junction which I then stated that I travelled via Wimbledon, not Clapham junction. He stated that it has charged me £1.80 due to the fact I had gone through teddington (Zone 6) to reach Twickenham. Is this true because I’m not satisfied with that answer at all. I can understand if I had swiped out at Teddington and resumed my journey but I am leaving a zone 3 area and swiping out at a zone 5 area. I just feel like I’ve wasted £99.90 for a zone 3-5 monthly travel card if I’m having to spend £1.80 everyday for travelling through teddington which is unnecessary. I have previously had an annual Oyster card from zone 1-4 and this was never an issue.

    Thank you for the help

  330. Hi Liam,

    I’m sorry you weren’t happy with the answer, but the fact is you do have to pay once for every zone you travel through. The system knows that if you don’t touch out in the middle then you either have to travel via zone 2 or zone 6. The fare is the same whichever option you choose (ie 1 extra non-zone-1 zone).

    However, the good news is that there is a way to make your journey without using either extra zone. From Wimbledon take the District line to East Putney then walk to Putney and resume with SWT from there. Both Putney and East Putney are dual zoned 2 and 3, but as you will be travelling to/from zone 3 in each case you do not have to pay for zone 2.

  331. Hi I am going from Greenford Station to Halebourne Lane West End, Cobham
    I have an under 16s oyster which means I travel free, I have looked on google maps for many different routes but it does not tell me whether I have to pay extra because it may be out of London? or just pay the normal charge on an under16s oyster card?

  332. Hi Nicole,

    That’s quite a way outside the Oyster area, so you’ll almost certainly have to pay on the buses once you leave the TfL area.

  333. Hello! I have 1 question. I’ve just moved to London. I travel every day mornings cca at 6:45 (exactly 4-6 days/week – depends on work schedules) from zone 5 (train station Chadwell Heath) to zone 1 (tube station Baker street) and then in the afternoon (17:30) or night (23:45)again back with my Oyster card. I have also the RailwayCard 16-25, but I am not sure,how it works together. What would be the cheapest way? I dont care,if it should be a monthly or weekly ticket or some combination…cause in this time, the Pay as you go on my Oyster is quite expensive for me
    Thank you a lot for any advice!

  334. Hi Mike,

    Starting new job and will be travelling from upminster to either Hammersmith, barons court, west Kensington, west brompton or perhaps earls court if I cycle. What’s the best route do you think and the cheapest ticket option.



  335. Hi Christine,

    If the 16-25 railcard is attached to the Oyster card it will give you discounted off-peak fares and off-peak caps. It has no effect on peak fares or caps or season tickets. If you can afford it a monthly ttravelcard for zones 1-5 will cover you. A weekly may not be cost effective if you only work 4 days in the week. Alternatively, if you can touch in at Chadwell Heath by 0630 then your morning commute will be off-peak (and thus discounted). Coupled with returns at 2345 being off-peak you might find that PAYG is cheaper than a season.

  336. Hi Jamie,

    Best is very subjective. Quickest would be C2C to Fenchurch Street then walk to Tower Hill and District Line from there. Slightly longer would be District Line all the way from Upminster. In both cases it will be cheaper to use PAYG than to buy a travelcard, but you’re still looking at £5 each way. You can reduce that to £2.70 each way if you avoid zone 1, either changing at West Ham, Stratford and possibly Willesden Junction or Barking, Gospel Oak and possibly Willesden Junction. Those options will both take you to West Brompton. For any of the other stations you’d need to change there and reverse to Earls Court before going on towards Hammersmith. You’ll also need to touch the pink validators at either Stratford or Gospel Oak.

  337. Hello Mike,
    Thanks so much for your website. I have been reading every post trying to find an answer to my situation without success. We are new to the UK so we are not so sure about how everything works yet. Myself and my husband (over 25) are commuting M-F from the Bushey area to London Euston at off-peak 9:30 and returning at off peak either 15:30 or after 19:00. We are currently using the Oyster PAYG at 3.90 a trip x 2 = 7.80 a day for two persons. I have looking endlessly to see if there are any additional discounts available again without success. The weekly/monthly/yearly travelcard options are not cheaper, and so far all of the discount rail cards such as the “Network Railcard” and “Two Together Travel Railcard” do not apply to Oyster PAYG. I am just a bit perplexed as our travel costs are more than 1/3rd of our monthly income…is this normal? Do you have any insider suggestions?

  338. I will be travelling from Dartford Stn to LondonBridge stn,
    how much would an Monthly Oyster c ard cost and what are the zones

  339. Hi Nimai,

    Season tickets are designed to reduce the cost of peak time travel. If you are always travelling off-peak then single fares will unfortunately be cheaper.

  340. Hi Soraya,

    Unfortunately Oyster is not accepted on trains at Dartford. You’ll need a paper season ticket for that journey at £218.90/month.

  341. I am very impressed with the range of information on your site.

    I have a question I currently have a Southeastern yearly train ticket (Travelcard) from Maidstone to London Zones 1-6. Is it posible to add the Z1-6 to an oyster. Just so that I dont have to use my paper ticket when I am travelling around London.



  342. Hi John,

    Sadly not. The only way you can do it is to buy two seasons, but that either costs more or reduces flexibility. You can get the same availability by getting for example Maidstone to Zones 4-6 and then Zones 1-3 on Oyster. Slightly cheaper would be a season from Maidstone to a named station in zone 6 coupled with a Zones 1-6 on Oyster, but that restricts you (a) to the route via your named station and (b) to trains calling at that station.

  343. Hi Mike,

    I am based out of Bromley and will need travel options to Old Street during week days. As I will be making school runs I will need to travel from Orpington station or at times from Bromley South station. Can you suggest the options available for me whereby I can avoid zone 1, by choosing a bus from nearest tube station? Old Street happens to be in Zone 1. At present I travel to Elephant & Castle and take Northern line to reach Old Street, while returning I try train to Victoria and back to Bromley South. Avoiding zone 1 travel by tube will help in saving a major chunk.

  344. Hi Ajith,

    I think the best season ticket would be Orpington to Highbury & Islington (London not Underground) which saves about £50/month over the travelcard. You would travel via New Cross to Shoreditch High Street which is a short walk from Old Street along Great Eastern Street. For Bromley South you could change between Catford and Catford Bridge to get to New Cross, or you could use Bromley North to Grove Park.

    For some reason there is no season ticket from Orpington to Shoreditch High Street, but seasons allow you to make any intermediate journey along permitted routes, hence stopping short at Shoreditch or Staring short at Bromley is allowed. This is a rail only season so buses aren’t covered. Avoiding zone 1 altogether would be slightly cheaper, but because Shoreditch is in zone 1 you would have to bus it from Whitechapel, or travel via Stratford and Highbury to Essex Road. Both options would involve longer journeys.

  345. Hi Mike,

    I am going to do a three-months internship at Egham and I will live at Oxo Tower Wharf. I don’t know if the Oystercard would be suitable for me and if not what should I buy instead? Hope you can help me .

    Thanks in advance!

    best regards from Germany

  346. Hi Selma,

    Sadly Egham is just outside the Oyster area. The OXO Tower is not far from Waterloo, so you’re probably best off getting a season between Waterloo and Egham.

  347. Hi Mike,

    I was wondering how daily price capping actually works. To make things clear, my concern is the following: suppose I have a Travelcard for zones 1-2 loaded onto my Oystercard. If I use PAYG to travel on tram in any of the zones 3-6, and then make a tube/DLR/Overground/NR journey in zones 1-2 (which my Travelcard already covers), will the Bus & Tram price capping apply (as all the rail journeys were covered by my Travelcard)? Or will the system give me the higher price cap despite my Travelcard?

    I was also wondering if it is really impossible to set up an Oyster Online account when you have a photocard (say, Student Oyster)? Is there no way I can view my balance online?

    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Thanks in advance!

  348. Hi Filip,

    I would imagine that all the tram journeys will count towards the bus/tram cap even though buses are included with the travelcard. I’ve never tested this scenario before however. I’m assuming you’ll use a bus to get from zone 2 to a tram stop? If it was a train then that would count towards the relevant cap (either zone 1-4 or 1-6) as would the tram journeys in that case.

    As to the online account, all my kids cards are listed on my online account. I usually have to involve the helpdesk to get them added, but it can be done. You can’t buy reduced rate travelcards online though, but topups (and auto topup) can be bought.

  349. Hello Mike,

    My husband son and I will be traveling to london in the first week of May 2014.
    We arrive at Gatwick airport and will be staying at Stratford.
    I’m terribly confused with all travel modes, routes and fares available online.
    Can you pls help with the quickest and most reasonable way to travel between gatwick and stratford pls. We arrive at about 7.30 a.m.


  350. Hi Heena,

    The quickest route is likely to be Gatwick to London Bridge using FCC trains and then Jubilee line to Stratford. If you arrive on a Mon-Fri then you’ll need Anytime tickets. For £25 adult (£12.50 child) you can take any FCC train towards London and when you arrive at East Croydon you are free to take any train within the zones for the rest of the day. If there are no FCC trains direct to London Bridge at the time you want then take one to East Croydon and change there. If you only want to make one single journey to Stratford that day then there is an any permitted single for £24.60 adult (£12.30 child). This entitles you to take any train to London then the Underground either direct to Stratford or to Liverpool Street and pick up Greater Anglia trains to Stratford.

    If it’s a weekend then the super off-peak day travelcard FCC only is best at £10.00 adult (£5.00 child). Again you need to take FCC trains between Gatwick and East Croydon and are then free to take any services within the zones for the rest of the day. Engineering work may mean FCC trains miss London Bridge but you can travel to Blackfriars and take the District line to Mile End then the Central line to Stratford.

    Hope that helps a bit.

  351. Hi Mike,

    I’m going to be travelling from Dartford to London Bridge for work each day, which i plan to get the train for. However, I would like to travel around zone 1 aswell, and won’t be able to do this on my train season ticket. What would be the cheapest way to do this? A pay as you go Oyster?

    Thanks, Riss

  352. Hi Riss,

    If you want to use other transport in zone 1 then a travelcard season from Dartford is best if you use it most days while a PAYG Oyster will work for occasional travel.

  353. Hello, i will be travelling 5 days a week from Hickman road – Montpelier gardens (bus stop) or Goodmayes station (train) to Chatsworth Road – Clapton station (train) or other nearest bus station (I think Chatsworth road bus stop??). Could you give me any advice,what would be the cheapest way please? I have an oyster card and rail card 16-25. Thank you very much, David

    If I would buy a travel card (monthly or weekly) from zone 4(goodmayes) to zone 3(stratford) is there a bus included in the same price to zone 2? Chatsworth road?:))))

  354. Hi David,

    Yes, a travelcard for zones 3-4 would allow you to travel by train from Goodmayes to Stratford and add buses on to each end. Buses do not operate in zones, all TfL bus travel is included with any travelcard.

  355. Hi, I am travelling from Earlsfield station on friday morning (9.30-10am) to Gatwick Station. I was wondering whether it is cheaper to use an oyster or get a rail ticket. Do you know what the prices would be?

  356. Hi Rosie,

    You can’t use Oyster all the way to Gatwick. If you want one ticket then a single costs £11.80 travelling via Clapham Junction. Alternatively you can use Oyster between Earlsfield and East Croydon for £2.30 (touch in after 0930) then an FCC only single from East Croydon to Gatwick for £4.50. You must touch out at East Croydon and use one of the 4-an-hour FCC trains from there. If you don’t want to be restricted to FCC then the any permitted single is £5.10.

  357. Hi, Mike,
    I am going to start a new job near British Museum, I work 5 days a week and may need bus for one return journey weekends. I live in Kingston. I could either walk to Kingston train station (zone 6), or take a bus to Richmond tube station (zone 4). What’s the cheapest route I can take? Shall I buy a week or year pass (I have 30 days annual leaving)? Many thanks. Aimee

  358. Hi Aimee,

    There are two separate issues here. Bus travel is included with any travelcard, so if you can reduce your required rail zones down to just 1-4 it will be considerably cheaper than buying zones 1-6. As to the length of validity, that is really up to you. A weekly costs just under four days travel usually, so it should be cheaper than daily tickets. A monthly costs 3.84 times a weekly so will save money unless you have significant time off during the month. A yearly ticket costs 40 times a weekly so has the effect of building in up to 12 weeks leave within the discount for paying up front. Which you go for is really down to how you can afford to pay for it.

  359. Hi Mike,
    When you say “Bus travel is included with any travelcard”, what does that actually mean? I have a zone 2-5 annual travelcard, does that mean i can travel into zone 1 from zone 2 without penalty? in which zones can i get *onto* a bus also?
    i think i’ve been doing it wrong all these years!
    many thanks

  360. Hi fess,

    It means that all TfL bus travel is included with any travelcard. Buses do not operate in zones, they are charged as a flat fare because you only touch in and it’s impossible to know where you get off. To take an extreme example, you can use buses in Central London with a travelcard covering only zones 8 and 9.

  361. I’m going to london next june with my family (my husband and my sons that they’re 11). we’re arriving to GTW airport in the tuesday afternoon, hotel is near london blackfriars, turn around london friday and saturday and sunday afternoon we’re cominga back to GTW airport. What’s the cheapest way to travel? Could we buy travel card zone 1-6 off-peak the first and the last day and te Oyster PAYG in the same card? My sons are free?
    many thanks

  362. Hi Daniela,

    Your sons are only free on TfL services. This does not generally include National Rail services south of the river. Do you have a family and friends railcard? If yes then I would use it, particularly on the first and last days. The cheapest fares including travelcards are those priced for Southern services only or FCC services only. On the Sunday the FCC only option is even cheaper. You are only restricted to services of the named operator between Gatwick and East Croydon. After that you can use any services. If you buy the tickets online at the Southern website before June 1st they are offering a 10% online discount on their own tickets. That seems to make their option cheaper than FCC on the Sunday.

    For the other two days it depends what you will be doing. If you stick to TfL services (Underground, DLR and some NR routes) in zones 1-2 then you will cap at £7.00 off-peak on Oyster and the kids go free. If you want the flexibilty to go further (up to zone 6) and possibly use NR services where the kids are not free then the railcard discounted travelcards might be better value at £5.90/adult and £2/child. If you don’t have a railcard then use Oyster for yourselves and buy £3.60 child travelcards for the kids if you need to.

    Hope that helps!

  363. Hi Mike

    I’m about to start commuting from Surbiton to Hammersmith via Wimbledon (catching District line at Wimbledon). What do you recommend is the cheapest way to do it?

    Thanks in advance

  364. Hi Phil,

    Each peak journey costs £3.90 and a weekly zone 2-6 travelcard costs £39.20. As long as you travel most days you will save money with a zone 2-6 monthly travelcard. If you regularly make extra journeys then the travelcard becomes more worthwhile.

  365. Hi Mike,

    I need to travel using the train first if I want to go down to central London since my hotel is at Twickenham, so I assume my daily routine would be taking the train from Twickenham to Waterloo and then taking the tube to go everywhere else, then at the end of the day, taking the train again to go back to Twickenham.

    So, in this case, would it be better for me to buy off-peak travel card or use oyster card? Im going to be there for Sat, Sun and Monday with 3other adults. Would you mind giving me an advise regarding this? thanks in advance

  366. Hi Lynn,

    Definitely cheaper with an Oyster card. The off-peak travelcard is £8.90 whereas the off-peak daily cap is £8.50.

  367. Emily Stow

    Hi, I’m taking my friend to Gatwick airport from Elephant and castle.
    If I touch on with my oyster at elephant and castle and have a pre-purchased ticket from east croyden to gatwick, can I get on the train to gatwick without needing to get off at East Croydon? Then take her to the airport and jump back on a train to touch off at Elephant & Castle?

  368. Hi Emily,

    No, you will be overcharged if you don’t touch out or in at East Croydon. Even worse, on the way back you will be travelling without a valid ticket after East Croydon so could be liable to a penalty fare or prosecution.

  369. Amitmail.com


    Looks like you might be able to clarify my confusion..

    I need to buy 7 day travel cards between Ruislip manor (TFL zone 6) to Egham (outside london travel zone on SW trains – London zone only till Feltham I think).

    My ideal route is via Richmond, so tube till Richmond and then changing to SW train from Richmond to Egham.

    Is my optimum option to buy a TFL travelcard on oyster zone 4-6 and a separate national rail travel card from Richmond-Egham (or should that be Feltham-Egham, as Richmond-Feltham should still be in London oyster travel zone) – Can 1 single travel card cover my travel to keep costs optimum?

    Many thanks


  370. Hi Amit,

    Yes, zone 4-6 travelcard on Oyster and a season from Feltham to Egham is your best bet. All the trains call at Feltham anyway, so it’s not a problem.

  371. Many thanks Mike, do you think I will need to get down at Feltham and touch out the oyster or should touching the pink interchange oyster reader at Richmond be good enough?


  372. You normally need to touch the pink reader at Richmond to tell the system you’ve avoided zones 1 and 2. There is no need to touch at Feltham as you are within the zones of your travelcard, and if you are not going to touch there then there also isn’t a need to touch at Richmond.

  373. Hi Mike,

    Sorry it’s me again. thanks for answer above. helps a lot making up my mind for weekend travel.

    but another question is, how about on Monday? I’m actually planning to go to Watford Junction to visit the HP studio maybe around 6pm (after spending the morning visiting central London). so, the issue im thinking is, would it be cheaper to get an offpeak travelcard for monday rather than using oyster card since there’s afternoon peaktime on monday from 4-7pm? is my understanding right? there’s no afternoon peaktime when you’re using travelcard right?

  374. Hi Mike,

    Off to Staines (from Harrow/wealdstone) tomorrow, worked out the cheapest way is to touch out at Feltham and buy a paper ticket between Feltham and Staines.

    Do you know what train carriage I should get heading towards Staines? And is this possible coming back towards Feltham?


  375. Hi Lynn,

    Peak single fares are charged between 4-7pm but the off-peak cap still applies, so you will be ok with an Oyster card. Also, if you can travel to/from Watford via Clapham Junction rather than Central London you might not actually reach the Watford travelcard rate.

  376. Sorry Jake,

    I’m not sure where the validators are at Feltham.

  377. Hi Mike. Thanks for your earlier response, much appreciated.

    All the best

  378. Hello, im going down to london for a week in june. My hostel is in zone 3 and at the end of the week i need to catch a flight from Heathrow. I was wondering what would be the best option for me? I plan to travel extensively in zone 1-2 but heathrow is in zone 6. Should i buy a zone 1-3 card for 36 quids ? Alternatively How much would a single fare from london backpackers hostel in zone 3 cost for heathrow ?

  379. Hi Aakash,

    Yes, buy a zone 1-3 travelcard for your stay. On the last day you’ll need to add £2.30 if your journey to Heathrow starts in the peak or £1.50 if it’s off-peak or weekends. That’s a zone 4-6 fare for the Piccadilly line.

  380. Hi I am moving to Wickford in June, my company pay £1,900.00 towards my fare.
    My yearly is for Zone 1 to 5.
    Warren St to Upminster.
    Can I still use that up to Shenfield station.
    I need help find the cheapest way to travel from wickford to shenfield daily. Also I finish work at 13.00, so I am travelling home off peak.
    Thanks Carol

  381. Hi Carol,

    Do you mean you currently have zones 1-6 as Upminster is actually in zone 6? Although Oyster is accepted as far as Shenfield, the travelcard zones are still the same, meaning Harold Wood is the last station in zone 6 on that line.

    For Wickford to Shenfield you will still need to get an Anytime return because there is no off-peak single. But using PAYG on the Shenfield to zone 6 bit will give you the off-peak single in the afternoon. In fact, should you be able to touch in before 0630 at Shenfield you would also get that journey off-peak as well.

    Hope that helps a bit.

  382. Hi, I’m off to Twickenham in a couple of Sundays, I’m trying to figure out the best way to get there from Shenfield. Also would it be cheaper to travel with an oyster or a travelcard.
    Thanks Lauren

  383. Hello,

    I am traveling to Guilford Station from Waterloo Station next week. I usually buy a Zone 1-6 travelcard. I live in Enfield Lock which is generally in a Zone 6 travelcard zone. I’m trying to find out at what point on my journey to Guilford Station would my Zone 6 travelcard run out? Also if I were to buy a Zone 9 travelcard is that covered on the Guilford route? The train route I have selected from waterloo is a fast service which calls at Woking then Guilford.
    I would appreciate any help as I’m looking on the internet for information about this but find it’s a grey area.
    Thanks Timothy.

  384. Hi Lauren,

    It’s cheaper with Oyster because you can avoid zone 1 that way. The two routes are: Shenfield > Stratford > Richmond/Clapham Junction > Twickenham; or Shenfield > Stratford > Whitechapel/Canada Water > Clapham Junction > Twickenham. You’ll need to touch pink validators at Stratford and Richmond or Whitechapel/Canada Water depending on which way you go. As it’s a Sunday you’ll also need to check engineeering work.

  385. Hi Timothy,

    Surbiton is the last station in zone 6 towards Guildford. Zones 7-9 are not applicable in SW London. If you want to use a fast train to Woking then you’ll need a travelcard and a boundary zone 6 to Guildford return. That combination is slighly cheaper than a through ticket from Enfield Lock to Guildford.

  386. electribem

    Thank you Mike for your help.

    Please accept my apologies for not spelling Guildford correctly throughout my initial query. Doh! Can you please tell me if you know off hand that I can buy a boundary zone 6 to guilford return online or do I have to go directly to a ticket office? I forgot to mention I will be traveling this route daily for work.

  387. No worries. You cannot buy Boundary Zone tickets online unfortunately, but, if you need to travel daily then you are better off getting a Guildford to Zones 1-6 travelcard season which will cover the whole journey. Make sure to get the via Clandon/Woking option unless you really want to be able to go via Reading.

  388. electribem

    Thanks once again Mike. I will head off to the ticket office at Waterloo Station on Tuesday morning armed with this information. Much appreciated.

  389. Hello, I will be travelling from London Waterloo to Aldershot. I had a student under 18 oyster but I’m not sure if this works for south west trains(never travelled through this line). My question is what is the cheapest way to get from London Waterloo to Aldershot, baring in mind I am under 18? Thanks.

  390. Hi Hentrik,

    Can you be more specific. Is it the 16-18 Zip card or the 18+ Student card? Do you have a 16-25 National Railcard? Is this a one-off journey or a commute? What times will you be making it?

    The Oyster card is accepted as far as Surbiton, so it might be beneficial to split there, but I can’t help unless you give me some more detail.

  391. Hi

    What’s the easiest and cheapest way to get from Euston Station to Egham?

  392. Hi Reema,

    Sorry for the delay. Egham is outside the Oyster area so you may have to mix tickets to get the cheapest rate. Are you commuting 5 days a week and have you got a Student Oyster card or a normal adult one?

  393. Hello,

    I will soon be travelling daily (peak times) from Surbiton to Canary Wharf (via London Waterloo) and home again each day. I would like to purchase an annual season ticket.

    Can I purchase a zone 1-6 Oyster Card or do I need a different ticket / photocard that will allow me to travel on the underground and trains, rather than just London Underground?

    Many thanks,

  394. Hi Alice,

    A zone 1-6 travelcard will be fine for that journey. If you want to try and save a little and are prepared for a slightly longer journey then consider changing at Clapham Junction onto the Overground to Canada Water and then the Jubilee from there. You’ll then only need a zone 2-6 travelcard. If it’s stored on an Oyster card you can also divert through Waterloo for £2.20/£2.30 per journey if you are in a hurry. Zone 1-6 costs £2288 while zone 2-6 costs £1568. The difference of £720 would pay for 144 return trips via zone 1.

  395. Hi Mike

    We’re a group of approximately 45, made up of 23 – 10 and 11 year old boys and 22 adults accompanying them on a soccer tour (London International Soccer Festival) from South Africa in early Aug 2014. We’ll be in London for 11 days in total.

    We’re staying at Royal Holloway in Egham. Please will you suggest the best travel options for our group, in terms of cost in particular. Our Rand is extremely weak, so the cost of this trip to London is pretty expensive and we’d like to limit expenses as far as possible.

    We’re hoping to travel into London at least every second day for sightseeing and possibly even more often than that. Not sure whether the best option will be travelcards, railcards or possibly oyster cards and should any of these be suitable, whether we are out of the applicable travel zones.

    I do hope you can assist please.

  396. Brilliant. Thanks for the advice.

  397. Hi Karen,

    Egham is outside the Oyster area and with the size of group involved I would not recommend any fancy hopping off and on trains because it would be a nightmare. I think your best bet is to contact South West Trains, who operate the trains between Egham and London, and ask about group discounts for one-day travelcards.

  398. Just want to double check I can use my payg oyster for chadwell heath to shenfield as its a 1 off trip for work

  399. Hi Terri,

    Yes, that’s fine.

  400. Mike,

    Bit confused with red and green overland. I want to go from Richmond to Waterloo with my Oyster but have a 10 year old child, is he free or do I need a ticket until I get into town?


  401. Hi Jon,

    If you use SWT then you’ll need to get him a ticket (or use a 5-10 zip card if he has one, 75p journeys off-peak and £1.50 cap). If you take the District line and change to the Jubilee at Westminster then he’s free.

  402. Mike,

    Very clear, thanks a lot.

  403. Hi Mike.
    My husbond and I are travelling to London from the 15th to the 19th of June. We will arrive af gatwick airport the 15th around 12.30 pm and will be going to our hotel near Bayswater. Which is the cheapest way from Gatwick to bayswater? On monday the 16th we will be going to Bicester North Station and back again the same day.
    We have Oyster Card from a previous journey, but i´m woundering if travel cards would be a good idea to pruchase instead?
    Best regards
    Linda from Denmark

  404. Hi there. I am a 19 year old and work casually (yet everyday) in Knightsbridge. I live in Lewisham and have found that a travel card is not only cheaper than PAYG but it gives me easier and quicker options. I was just wondering if there are any cheaper options to the travel card? Should I be buying some paper tickets instead? With the railcard I usually mix the national rail and buses but on PAYG I tend to stick to the dlr and tube which makes my trip much longer and adds more walking. Thanks

  405. Hi Linda,

    On Sunday 15th you’ll want the Super off-peak Gatwick to London zones 1-6 route FCC only at £10 each. You are restricted to FCC trains only between Gatwick and East Croydon, then you can use any train. I’d probably take the FCC train to Farringdon then the Circle line to Bayswater (probably changing at Edgware Road). On the return journey you’ll need the off-peak version at £13.50 because the super off-peak is only available at weekends.

    For Biscester North you’re probably better off using Oyster from Bayswater to either Marylebone or Edgware Road (depending on whether you want to change at Paddington or not). Then get an off-peak return from Marylebone to Biscester North. Hope that helps.

  406. Hi Natasha,

    As Knightsbridge is firmly within zone 1 there’s not much I can suggest. As you’ve found, if you stick to DLR and Tube then PAYG can be a little cheaper, but that’s the best deal you’ll get. If you have a 16-25 railcard then you can add it to your Oyster for cheaper off-peak journeys and off-peak caps, but if you travel before 0930 that won’t help you much.

  407. Hi Mike.
    Thank you so much
    Best regards
    Linda from Denmark

  408. Hi Mike
    I live in earls field and commute to London blackfriars daily – Monday to Friday in peak periods, I change at either victoria or Waterloo – what is best – pay as you go or oyster monthly? I can’t seem to pick up comparative pricing online but seem to be spending around £8 a day on pay as you go?

    Thank you for your help

  409. Hi mike I’m going to Gatwick airport from penge west station would it better to use my 18+ oyster or a travel card and how much would it be?

  410. Hi Deborah,

    The cheapest sensible commute is probably to go the wrong way to start with. Buy a Wimbledon to London Terminals season ticket (£88/month) then travel to Wimbledon and pick up the direct FCC trains to Blackfriars from platform 9. If you really want to go via Waterloo or Victoria then a zone 1-3 travelcard will be the cheapest solution at £141.40/month.

  411. Hi sahara,

    Gatwick is well outside both the Oyster and travelcard zones, so you’ll need to get a paper ticket. How much depends on when you are going and whether you need to return at all.

  412. I’m leaving June 18th one is a return and one isn’t and I need to get there for 8am

  413. OK, you need the Anytime Day Return Route Not via London which is £17.10 and the Single at £8.90.

  414. Hiya Mike, I am attending Guys hospital for a two week course (mon-fri) 9-5, as of next week. Whats the cheapest option for travel from Chadwell Heath station to London Bridge ( think that the nearest station.) please.

  415. Hi Mike,

    Can you tell me what oyster travel card covers Shenfield to Holborn, am I right in thinking I can get a zone 1 – 7 weekly travel card?


  416. Hi Sarah,

    I’d get two weekly travelcards covering zones 1-5.

  417. Hi Kayleigh,

    Sorry, Shenfield is a zone of it’s own. You can get a weekly travelcard, but it’s the same price as a paper Shenfield to zones 1-6 travelcard.

  418. Hemant Dujari

    Hello Mike,

    I am planning a trip to London Zoo this weekend and would be travelling from Shenfield to London. I plan to buy a paper ticket (worht 11.2 GBP) from Shenfield but am not sure whether it would be eligible for the 2 for 1 National Rail offer?

    Additionally, will the paper ticket or 2 for together rail card help me in getting some discount while travelling within London or shall i use Oyster to travel within London? I hold an oyster card.


  419. Hi Hemant,

    Do you mean the Shenfield to London zones 1-6 off-peak travelcard at £12.20? If you do then yes it will be valid for the 2 for 1 offers and yes it will allow travel around London as well. If you are using the Two together railcard then you will be better off with paper tickets because you can’t get the discount on your Oyster card with that railcard.

  420. many thanks 🙂

  421. Hiya mike me again, many thanks for your help. have now found out am doing two weeks at guys hospital (london bridge) followed by two weeks at Kings college hospital (denmark hill), coming from Chadwell heath. Is it still best to get the weekley travel cards 1-5 for the whole four weeks?

  422. Hemant Dujari

    Hello Mike,

    I meant a normal paper ticket from Shenfield to London. Will that be eligible for 2 for 1 offer?

  423. Hi Sarah,

    For the Kings weeks I’d get a zone 2-5 travelcard (much cheaper) and change at Stratford and Canada Water. Touch the pink reader at Canada Water when changing between the Jubilee line and London Overground.

  424. Hi Hemant,

    OK. There are several ‘normal’ paper tickets from Shenfield to London as follows (all prices are with Two together railcard):

    £18.00* Anytime Day Travelcard – needed if arriving in London before 10am Mon-Fri.
    £12.20 Off-peak Day Travelcard – arrive in London after 10am or anytime weekends.
    £12.35* Anytime Day Return – valid anytime but only to Liverpool Street.
    £11.30 Off-peak Return – to Liverpool Street only, not valid in either peak, return within 1 month.
    £10.05 Off-peak Day Return – to Liverpool Street only, valid arriving after 10am Mon-Fri.
    £7.40 Anytime Single – valid anytime to Liverpool Street, one way only.

    The two tickets marked ‘travelcard’ are the ones which also cover the Underground etc in London. Any of the above tickets are valid for the 2 for 1 offers. As you can see, none of them cost £11.20 which is why I wasn’t sure what you were talking about.

    * The Anytime returns shouldn’t be needed with the railcard as you can’t use that before 0930.

  425. Thank you very much Mike 🙂 Your a star 😀

  426. Hi Mike,

    I m going to england staying at ripley and arrival is birmingham airport …I realised I need to take a fair bit of national rail , Trent and red arrow buses…intend to travel to London n other places which needs national rail as well but seems like there is a lot of lines n companies which got me confused…want to know if there is any economical way of moving about?

  427. Hi Mike,

    Which is the cheapest option for me – I want to travel from Gordon Hill (Zone 5) to Finsbury Park (zone 2) in the mornings… single only. I would be travelling on the 05.28 from Gordon Hill.

    Journey planner tells me it is £4.00 cash, is it cheaper with oyster pay n go?

  428. Hi Kat,

    Your query is a little beyond my area of expertise. It’s possible that a Britrail Pass might be an option, but if you post more details at http://www.railforums.co.uk in the fares advice and policy section there will be someone more knowledgeable along to help.

  429. Hi Steve,

    Yes, definitely. The normal peak fare would be £3.30, but because you are travelling before 0630 you get the off-peak fare at £2.30.

  430. Thank you Mike!

  431. Hi Mike,
    zone 1-5 peak is £4:60 and off peak £3:00 but when doing east croydon to marylebone or any station through Victoria you get charged £6:40 peak and £4:50 off peak even though technically its zone 1-5.
    why are we charged more from east croydon station

  432. Hi Mike,

    I have a zone 1-5 Travelcard on my Oyster Card, but I’m traveling to Egham station (from London Waterloo). I understand that Egham station is outside of London, so I will not be able to use my Oyster card to exit the station there. What’s the cheapest option to get to Egham and still take advantage of my travelcard? Thanks so much!

  433. Cheers Mike

  434. Hi Ikenna,

    East Croydon is served by National Rail services only so you pay at the National Rail rate, plus when you go onto the Underground you are then charged at the mixed mode rate which is another £1.60-£1.80. If you go from West Croydon via Canada Water you are then charged at the TfL rate which will save quite a bit.

  435. Hi JT,

    You need to buy a ticket from boundary zone 5 to Egham. Use the Oyster card to get in at Waterloo and the paper ticket to get out at Egham.

  436. Hi Mike,

    I know that there are multiple fares between Rickmansworth & Wimbledon. Recently travelling off peak with a PAYG oyster with a rail card added travelling Ricky – Marylebone NR, Marylebone – Vauxhall, Vauxhall NR – Wimbledon I was charged a lower rate of £2.60 On the return I took the same route except that I travelled on the Met from Baker Street knowing I would miss the Chiltern service and was charged the expected £3.35. Had I chosen to go via Marylebone would I have been charged the lower fare ?

  437. Hi Nick,

    That’s an odd one. £2.60 is the TfL only fare via Earls Court. It looks like changing at Marylebone might have over-ridden the change at Vauxhall which should cause the higher mixed fare. One to investigate methinks.

  438. I am going to be commuting from Surbiton to Clapham Juntion and then getting the bus. Should I be using oyster or buying tickets to get the best price? Getting very confused!

  439. Hi Katie,

    Your best bet is a zone 2-6 travelcard season. I’d recommend getting it on Oyster so that any trips to zone 1 can be charged correctly.

  440. Mike, congratulations, what an heroic effort.

    I haven’t read back through 500 messages, so something might have been mentioned before. We got stung travelling to Broxbourne, using Oyster, whereas the trick was to change somewhere around Tottenham Hale and buy a day return. Using machines to buy a ticket from Finchley Road and Frognal to anywhere would be a mistake. Ally Pally, 7 pounds; Finsbury Park, 9 pounds; Bruce Grove, 11 pounds.

  441. Hi John,

    Can you expand on what your journey was and where you think you could have made it cheaper, please?

  442. Hi Mike,

    I will be travelling from Bracknell to Cutty Sark. I normally buy a month travel card which cost me around £400 per month, is there a cheaper option? Thanks again!

  443. We are planning to travel from Sidcup to Waterloo and back (off peak): 2 adults (who have oyster cards), 1x 14 year old (with a young people oyster), 2x 13 year old (without oyster), 1x 8 year old, 1 x 4 year old, 1 x 2 year old.
    How much would it cost us? Should we use oyster cards or buy family railway tickets?
    Thx for your help.

  444. Hi Elwyne,

    Two options really. Firstly buy a season ticket between Bracknell and Greenwich route London not Underground. This is quite a bit cheaper than the travelcard option and it is only a short walk from Greenwich station to the centre where Cutty Sark station is. The other option is to buy a travelcard season from Bracknell to Zones 2-6. You’ll then need to change at Clapham Junction, Denmark Hill and Lewisham, finishing on the DLR to Cutty Sark. The service level between Denmark Hill and Lewisham is only every 30 minutes though, so this may not be workable.

  445. Hi Nelly,

    The 4 year old and 2 year old are both free. Assuming you have a family and friends railcard already, use that to buy tickets for the adults and children without Oyster cards, but the children with Oysters should use them as the daily cap for kids is less than the discounted travelcard.

  446. Hello,

    I will be travelling from Egham to kings cross every week day for work – peak hours most of the time although my return journey may sometimes be off peak but I guess I will have to buy peak anyway.

    Is it best to buy an overground travel card to cover Egham to Waterloo and just to use an Oyster card to get from Waterloo to Kings Cross each day or to buy a travel card that also includes zones 1-6 travel?

    Thank you,

  447. Hi Cara,

    Egham to zones 1-6 is your best bet. The increase over Egham to Waterloo is less than 10 zone 1 journeys.

  448. Going to be working in Suribton from Monday, travelling from Bromley south. Is it cheaper to use my oyster or to buy a weekly travel card? I will be travelling during rush hours.

  449. Hi Karen,

    It’s a trade-off between time, cost and flexibility. A rail-only season will be cheapest, PAYG sits in the middle and a travelcard is the most expensive. There are two routes: London Not Underground and Not Via London. Not Via London effectively means avoiding zone 1 stations. One possible route is Surbiton to Clapham Junction then London Overground to Denmark Hill or Peckham Rye and Southeastern to Bromley South. The third leg frequency isn’t great though. Another option is Surbiton to Wimbledon then FCC to Herne Hill then Southeastern to Bromley South. The travelcard also gives you the option of using Tramlink between Wimbledon and Beckenham Junction which then only needs zones 3-6.

    I’d recommend getting a weekly travelcard for either zones 1-6 or at least zones 2-6 for the first week and experiment with the different routes.

  450. Hi if i reach the off-peak cap. Will i be charged for later, peak journeys??

  451. Hi Kieran,

    No. The off-peak cap covers the afternoon peak period.

  452. Hi
    I am hoping from Septemberto be travelling from Brookmans Park area 9In Hertfordshire) to Kings Cross M-F. I need to be at KX by 9.30a.m and will leave between 4-5pm. Please can you advise me on the cheapest way of getting there? I have read lots about different scenarios of travelcards and oyster combinations but my head is spinning- HELP!!

  453. Hi Helen,

    If your final destination is either Kings Cross or Moorgate then you only need the Brookmans Park to London Terminals season ticket. To add a travelcard is an extra £29.90/week, so you could make one tube journey each way a day with PAYG and still be better off. There are no real benefits from Brookmans Park with combining paper and Oyster, unless you can make more of your journeys off-peak than peak.

  454. Hi,
    I will be traveling from London Waterloo to Twickenham every day for 2 weeks. Would like to get the train after 9:30 and have an open return. I am also a student. What would be the cheapest way to do this?
    Also would it be ok to get a weekly travel card (if that is the case) on the day i start out the week?

  455. Hi Dani,

    If you start from Waterloo after 0930 then using an Oyster card with PAYG will be cheapest. If you have a student Oyster then a travelcard with the discount that that provides will be a little more than 10 off-peak journeys, but worth it if you make any further journeys during the week.

  456. Hello Mike,

    What are the options for going from Brentwood to Wembley Central 3 or 4 times a week, starting midday and returning 6:30 pm. What’s the quickest way and how much would it be, and what would be the cheapest way?

    Thank you!

  457. Hi Mike,

    Whats the cheapest way to travel from Sanderstead and Whitechapel at 6am? Again at midday. Also the reverse journey at 4pm? And again at 10pm? I have a payg oystercard but would a daily or weekly TC be cheaper?


  458. Hi Tatiana,

    That’s an awkward one. Sensible options are (1) Brentwood -> Liverpool Street -> Euston Square/Euston – Wembley Central; (2) Brentwood -> Liverpool Street -> Baker Street -> Wembley Central; (3) Brentwood -> Stratford -> Willesden Junction -> Wembley Central.

    Options 1 and 2 cost £7.50 off-peak and £9.60 peak while option 3 avoids zone 1 and costs £4.30 off-peak, £6.50 peak. I don’t think a season would be worth it as your midday journeys are off-peak and 4 days a week is only just worth it if both ways are peak. For options 1 and 2 the off-peak cap of £16.90 would reduce the return fare by 20p.

    However, your evening trip is interesting. If 1830 is your touch-in time then there’s not much you can do, but if you leave work at 1830 and touch in at say 1845 then you should consider the end of the peak period at 1900. If you can avoid touching in until 1900 then the whole journey becomes off-peak. If you use option 3 and can arrange to wait at Willesden Junction until 1900 then you can split the journey into £1.50 and £4.30 rather than £6.50. You would need to touch out and back in again on a gateline at Willesden Junction, not using the pink validators.

  459. Hi Dave,

    0600, 1200, and 2200 are all off-peak fares so PAYG would be the way to go. 1600 is the start of the afternoon peak, but if you can touch in by 1600 you’ll still be charged off-peak. The cheapest way is to use the ELL from Whitechapel to Norwood Junction, then Southern trains between Norwood Junction and Sanderstead. That avoids zone 1 and knocks about a third off the price of the singles.

  460. Hi Mike,

    I travel from Brentwood, Essex to St James’s Park, London and back again during peak hours. I do this 3 days per week (e.g Tue, Wed & Thur).

    A monthly from Brentwood into zone 6 (Harold Wood) costs £87.60 then a monthly oyster zones 1-6 costs £219.00 totalling £306.60. A monthly travel card from Brentwood to zone 1 costs £330.

    How much would Oyster pay as you go cost? What would you recommend?


  461. Hi Paul,

    A peak single costs £9.60 or £19.20/day. Assume 14 days in a month then that would be £268.80. If you don’t use the travelcard for anything else then PAYG is the way to go.

  462. Hi Mike,

    I travel from Twickenham to Waterloo then Waterloo to Canary Wharf in peak times Mon-Fri, my boyfriend travels Twickenham to Waterloo also peak times Mon-Fri. We both pay £53.40 a week for an Oyster Travel Card (Zones 1-5). Is there any way we could be saving money? Especially as he doesn’t use the tube, but pays the same as me?


  463. Hi Leyla,

    You can both save money in different ways. Firstly your boyfriend should switch to a paper Twickenham to London Terminals season at £39.00 a week unless he plans to make many other journeys off that route. Your saving could be greater, but it is a big change in route. You’ll have to decide how important cost and time are to you. If you change at Clapham Junction onto London Overground to Canada Water, touch the pink validator and then take the Jubilee line one stop to Canary Wharf, then you only need a zone 2-5 travelcard at £31.20 a week. This shouldn’t be a problem going to work (apart from leaving the boyfriend early?), but you might prefer to still join the train to Twickenham at Waterloo in the evening. With your travelcard on an Oyster card you’ll only pay £2.20 per journey through zone 1 in the evening. Even if you do that every day you’ll still be saving money.

    In the morning the trip via zone 1 will cost £2.30 because you first touch out at Waterloo NR, but as the Overground train starts at Clapham Junction you shouldn’t have so much trouble getting a seat.

  464. Hello Mike

    I have someone staying with me for the whole of August and I want to pay for her travel. I live in Putney. I was planning on buying her an Oyster card with a one month zone 1-2 on it and some extra Pay as you Go. But I have some questions.

    Firstly, can she travel from Gatwick using PAYG? I usually buy my ticket there from the machines, but it is confusing and I want to avoid it if I can. I want to send her the pre-loaded Oyster card and get her to go to Clapham Junction without having to buy a ticket. But I am not sure it works outside London and I can’t seem to find the subscribed station list anywhere.

    Secondly, on the Oyster website I see they recommend Visitor’s Oyster cards, how is that different except that it is PAYG only? My gut feeling is that it will be cheaper to use a monthly travel card.

    Lastly, she is 18, would she qualify for any cheaper ticket than the full adult fare?

    Many thanks

  465. Hi René,

    Only students living in London can get discounts on travelcards if they are aged 18+. Anyone between 16-25 can get discounts on off-peak fares and caps with a 16-25 railcard linked to their Oyster. This may actually mean that a travelcard is more expensive unless she caps almost every day. Even if you get a zone 1-2 travelcard, it would be worth linking the railcard if she will be making journeys outside zones 1-2.

    Visitor Oyster cards are a rip-off. You pay a non-refundable £3 fee (compared to a refundable £5 deposit) and then can’t put travelcards on it. I’m not even convinced that railcards can be added either, but I might be wrong there. I would never recommend a Visitor’s Oyster card.

    Lastly, no, Oyster is not currently valid at Gatwick. You could buy her a ticket in advance and send it with the Oyster card so she hasn’t got to worry about finding the right one. If she has (or will get at Gatwick) a 16-25 railcard, then that ticket can be discounted as well.

    Hope that helps.

  466. Hi Mike,

    I just want to say thank you so much for your advice, on average that has just saved us about £100 a month!

    Kindest Regards

  467. Hi Mike,

    Thank you for your advice, much appreciated!


  468. Hi Mike,

    I don’t use the London trains that much but I need to travel to Hampton Wick to Clapham Junction with Oyster then wait for a train with my granddaughter arriving then travel back to Hampton Wick with her.

    Do I need to touch out at Clapham Juntion then touch back in again and go meet her off her incoming train?

  469. Hi Sue,

    Yes you do.

  470. Thanks Mike 🙂

  471. Hi Mike,

    I have absolutely no clue about oyster or travelcards, so am wondering about the cost and best option for daily travel between Wimbledon and Westminster would be? I’m soon to relocate to Wimbledon and would be travelling to Westminster and back Monday to Friday at peak times.


  472. Hi Charlotte,

    Best is a very subjective term, but I can outline the options. If cost is your biggest worry and you don’t like walking then use PAYG on the District Line direct between Wimbledon and Westminster (possibly changing at Earls Court if a through train isn’t next). This costs £3.20 per peak journey. A zone 1-3 travelcard is only worthwhile if you make other journeys during the week. If speed is your big concern then take SWT to Waterloo and the Jubilee Line one-stop to Westminster. A travelcard will definitely be worthwhile unless you are travelling less than 3 days a week. The weekly travelcard is £36.80 or a monthly is £141.40. The other option is to get a paper season ticket from Wimbledon to Waterloo which is valid on National Rail only and then walk across the river to Westminster. That is £22.90/week or £88.00/month but is only suitable if you don’t mind a bit of a walk.

  473. Hi Mike

    What would be the best way for me to travel into Chelmsford?
    My offices are moving there. I live in Chadwell Heath does Chelmsford have oyster? Would a daily ticket be cheaper or a weekly travelcard. Also would I have to pay extra to board a bus in Chelmsford?

    Many thanks

  474. Hi Sandy,

    No, Chelmsford is well outside the Oyster area.

    You’re in a kind of weird situation there. Because Chadwell Heath to Chelmsford is against the peak flow, the anytime day return is cheaper than season tickets. Daily is £11.80 while weekly is £66.20. Monthly and longer period seasons may just offer a discount, but only if you travel very regularly – you wouldn’t want to have one if you were going to be off work for more than a couple of days in the month. However, to use the bus in Chelmsford you would need a plus bus ticket. These can only be sold in conjunction with a rail ticket, so if you were buying daily it would be £4.40 whereas a weekly one is just £17. Unless you are going to use the season ticket for other travel I think I’d probably buy daily.

  475. Hello Mike,

    Thanks for your help in advance. I used the oyster card for the first time from Thames Ditton to Hammersmith and got charged £3.90 this morning. I was expected to be charged £2.70 for a single peak journey as I am travelling from zone 2-6. When I queried this at the TFL helpdesk they told me that I get charged more for using the overground and the £2.70 is only applicable for the underground. I just want to check this with you and make sure I have been charged correctly. I did not touch in/out @ Wimbledon and jumped straight on the District line. So far I have been getting a weekly zone 2-6 paperticket and will be using my Oyster going forward. Look forward to your reply. Cheers!

  476. Hi Steve,

    Unfortunately they are right. There are different fare structures for National Rail and TfL-operated services with the National Rail fares being higher most of the time. In the case of zone 2-6 you pay £39.20 for a travelcard or £39.00 for 10 peak singles. A monthly travelcard will offer savings over daily PAYG fares, as will the weekly as long as you make one extra journey in the week. The other advantage to putting the travelcard on the Oyster is that you will only be charged a zone 1 fare if you go into the centre from work or home. With a paper travelcard you would need to pay from the last station in zone 2 and get off the train to touch in/out as you switch from travelcard to PAYG fares.

  477. Hi Mike,

    I’m wondering what my options are time/price-wise for travelling from Wimbledon to Sloane Square and back at peak times Monday to Friday?


  478. Hi Charlotte,

    The single fare finder gives you all the details of prices. The default route is to take the District line direct and this is also the cheapest. Other routes involve taking National Rail to either Vauxhall, Victoria or Waterloo and changing to the Underground. You may find that these take almost as long because you need to change trains twice in each case.

  479. Hi Mike,

    I’ve been trying to decide wheater to order an Travelcard or a Visitor Oyster Card. My friend and I will stay in London in October from Thursday to Monday. We’re staying in Croydon and would start off from East Croydon station (which would be Zone 5 if I got it right). So far we are planning on traveling inside Zones 1-2 every day for sight-seeing and so on..
    I’ve been trying to decide for days and I am totally confused and I would like some help deciding by someone who seems to know like everything about traveling in London. Your page is quite good!
    Thank you in advance for your answers.

  480. Hi Natalie,

    The answer depends on what time you want to start in the morning on Thu/Fri/Mon. If it’s before 0930 then I would get a weekly zone 1-2 travelcard and put it on an adult Oyster along with some PAYG credit for your daily trips from East Croydon to the edge of zone 2. If you can start after 0930 then just use PAYG for everything. The visitor Oyster card is poor value because you have to pay £3 for it and you can’t add travelcards to it either. Although the adult Oyster requires a £5 deposit, this is refundable along with any unused credit (or just keep it for your next trip here).

    Hope this helps.

  481. I stay at zone 1 and would only travel within zone 1 and 2. Should I used travel card or oyster to travel around?

  482. Hi,

    For a day visiting various attractions the Oyster will cap at less than a travelcard. If you are spending 5 or more days doing the same thing then get a weekly travelcard on your Oyster.

  483. Hi Mike, I’m travelling from East hounslow station to kings cross station and I have a 16-18 oyster card, would this work better or should I get a day card?

  484. Hi Amara,

    You should use your Oyster card as this will be cheaper than a day travelcard.

  485. kevin scrase

    I cannot find a tel number to call to add my Senior railcard to my oyster card. Can you help please

  486. Hi Kevin,

    It can’t be done over the phone, you’ll need to go to a tube station.

  487. Hi Mike,

    I will be travelling Salisbury to Denmark Hill for 3 months and plan to get a season ticket. If I get a season ticket with zones 1-6, can I travel Denmark Hill – Twickenham on some occasions, instead of my journey back to Salisbury, without having to pay any more? I.e will my season ticket be valid for that journey?
    Many thanks

  488. Hi Sarah,

    Yes, the zones 1-6 element acts like any other travelcard within the numbered zones, so all tube/dlr/bus/tram services are included as well as National Rail services except High Speed 1 (St Pancras International – Stratford International) and any NR services at Heathrow Airport.

  489. The disabled railcard has no time restrictions
    So with a paper ticket receive 1/3 of paper peak in mornings that is less than full peak nr oyster fares
    Zone 1 to6 paper travelcard may be relevant too

  490. Good point Gerrard, thanks.

  491. Hi, I would like to go from St. Albans to farringdon on national rail. My question is can I buy a paper ticket from St. Albans to west hampstead thameslink, hop off the train, swipe my Oyster card, and get back on it? I could do it in a minute as you do have to go up some stairs then through barriers, but will the train stay there for that long? Thanks

  492. Hi Mike,
    My son will be travelling from Sutton Common to Esher 5 days a week. He currently has a 16-18 Oyster which won’t get him all the way. Should he therefore buy a monthly or season ticket travel card from the Oyster boundary station to Esher station? Or would it be better to just buy a season all the way, using a 16-25 railcard. He’s a new student at Esher College.

  493. Good evening. I’m looking for some concrete answers as I’ve heard differing advice. My girlfriend and I live in Brentwood. We both commute into central London 6 days a week. Myself to farringdon. Her to bond st. Always at peak times (around 8.30 am and between 5 and 7 pm) We both use oyster to travel around London at weekends also for leisure. Could you advise on the cheapest options open to use weekly/monthly if possible. Many thanks.

  494. Hi Jamie,

    If there was only you running up the stairs and back and you were in the optimum position on the train then you might just make it. In the peak hour though you have no chance.

  495. Hi Tim,

    The 16-25 railcard doesn’t offer any discounts on season tickets. The 16-18 Oyster card does allow child rate travelcards so I would get zones 3-6 on that and then buy a season from Surbiton to Esher. The train must call at Surbiton, but I don’t think that’s a problem because they all for Esher.

  496. Hi Dan,

    Brentwood to zones 1-6 travelcards will be your best option. Monthly will save more than weekly. Put the ticket on your Oyster for full flexibility, including being able to travel via Shenfield as long as you don’t leave the station. You would be wise to have a couple of quid on your PAYG balance just in case you need to change plans at Shenfield.

  497. Hi Dan, For a child aged 11, to travel from zone 3 Wimbledon Park to zone 5 Sutton (via Wimbledon), He will commute term time 7:15am-ish and 4pm-ish. Is it cheaper to get a travel card of some sort 1m/3m or sticking with PAYG on his Zip card 11-15 ?

  498. Hi,

    4pm-ish is a very key part of the decision. If it is usually before 4pm then use PAYG as the child off-peak fare is 75p per journey rather than the £1.30 peak fare. If it is always after 4pm then a monthly or longer ticket will save a little.

  499. Hi mike,
    I’ll need to be travelling from feltham to egham for 5 days a week as i am going to uni.I guess the time table would be from 9am-5pm. So i was wondering what should i use? 16-25 travelcard or oyster card or combined? I don’t think its worth to get weekly travelcard as i won’t be using it on weekends. Also i don’t know if there is discount on peak travel as daily fare.

  500. Hi Kieran,

    As Feltham is the last station in the Oyster area you can forget using that. As you hinted, there is no discount on peak fares with the 16-25 railcard except during July and August. A weekly season will be cheaper than 5 anytime returns so it doesn’t matter if you don’t use it at the weekend.

  501. Hello Mike,

    I am about to start at RHUL, in Egham. I live in Zone 5 near a rail station (that has Oyster), and will have to pass through central London and out the other side to Egham. I will be on campus for a minimum of 2 days a week in the first term, and a minimum of three in the second.

    Is the most cost-efficient method to get an annual Student Zone 1- 6 travelcard and buy top-up paper tickets to get me from Feltham to Egham on the days I’m at campus?

    Having an annual travelcard does have the additional benefits of me not having to pay for travel if I go to a library/part time job/evening out in London proper.

  502. Hi Courtney,

    I don’t think you can get an annual travelcard with a student Oyster card – six months is the longest period. 2-3 days a week is barely worth getting a travelcard for, but 4 and above is worth it, especially with the student discount. Paper tickets for Feltham to Egham will be required and can either be seasons or daily tickets. All trains stop there so there are no issues splitting there.

  503. I am…. soooo confused.

    Hi Mike

    New to London and trying to figure out just how best to pay for my travels.
    I will be working full time near Waterloo station – and I live in Surbiton. I checked that there is the option of PAYG or buy a Monthly (zones 1-6) on my Oyster, but now I am confused about this whole mixing Travel Card / RailPass thing?
    I also checked the fare tables and not sure how this Peak / Off Peak really works…

    Really just would like to know how best to go about to save a bit of money….

    Do you have a more straight forward suggestion? 🙂


  504. Hi Amy,

    Yes, if all you need is the train between Surbiton and Waterloo then you want a paper season ticket for that journey. This costs £44/week or £169/month.

  505. Hi Mike, my daughter goes to RUTC 5 days a week. She travels from Raynes Park to Twickenham, using her 16+ zip Oyster card. As from next week, she will also be going to GSA 2 evenings a week. The best way to get there (I’ve been advised) is to travel from Twickenham to Clapham Junction, and get a fast train back out to Guildford. What is the best ticket she should get as her oyster will not take her to Guildford? Confused.com. Thanks, T

  506. Hi Tonia,

    It depends what zones she has on her travelcard. Can you confirm if it’s 4-6 or 2-5?

  507. My wife uses an Oyster from Tulse Hill to Tower Hill, but will be moving offices to London Bridge next week. If she wanted to just have the overground on her Oyster is this possible or will she have to buy a paper ticket for the week? We couldn’t find the option on the Oyster machine yesterday.

  508. Hi Nick,

    Only travelcard seasons can be loaded onto Oyster cards. A paper season will probably be cheapest.

  509. Steven Longhurst

    I currently travel from Romford (Zone 6) to Brentwood (Zone B), its only 3 stops but I work 5 days a week in peak. I also use a bus to / from romford, what do you think is the best thing to buy?

  510. Hi,

    I travel from Epping to Roehampton University twice a week.

    My route I take is Epping to Shepherds Bush, then the number 72 bus to the university. I leave at 6.45am and I catch the 72 bus from the uni on my return at 6.30pm. I have an Oyster Card. I have just received my rail card.

    Which is the cheapest way to make this journey, I have seen in this forum people attaching their rail cards to their oyster. How do I go about doing this?

    Thanks in advance.

  511. Hi Steven,

    A Brentwood to zones 5-6 travelcard season ticket appears to be the best value. Annoyingly you can’t put that on Oyster according to the fare tables.

  512. Hi Lewis,

    That is some commute. Assuming you mean the 16-25 railcard then follow the instructions on the railcards and discounts page. Another way to reduce the cost is to avoid zone 1. You can change at Stratford onto an Overground train to Shepherd’s Bush. Also, if you can touch in at Epping by 0630 then you’ll get the off-peak fare. Likewise if you can wait until 1900 at Shepherd’s Bush. Remember that the railcard doesn’t reduce peak fares. Here are the details:

    Epping to Shepherd’s Bush Direct: £5.00 peak, £3.00 off-peak, £2.00 off-peak with railcard.
    Epping-Stratford-Shepherd’s Bush: £2.70 peak, £1.50 off-peak, £1.00 off-peak with railcard.

    Finally, if you include the bus and travel direct in the evening peak then you will actually cap at the railcard discounted off-peak cap of £5.60.

  513. Mike,

    That’s brilliant advice thanks. Whilst I’m here I have another journey. At the moment I drive and it can take me up to 90mins and £15-20 in fuel. I wonder if public transport would be a better option.

    I actually travel from Harlow, but I have transport to Epping station.

    3 times a week I’d need to travel from Epping to Hillingdon Underground station. (I know, another almighty commute). I need to be at hillingdon station by 8.00am/8.15am. Is this achievable and at what cost and roughly length of time?

  514. Hi Lewis,

    I think that the time will be similar to driving, but the cost will be much less. Epping is always much better than Harlow as the zone 6 boundary is stretched to include it. The fares are the same as for Shepherd’s Bush but there is no direct train. The fastest way is probably Epping to Liverpool Street on the Central line then the Met. To avoid zone 1 you again change at Stratford and then at West Hampstead (or a slightly longer walk between Finchley Road and Frognal and Finchley Road where the Met stops). You need to touch the pink validator at Stratford (as before if I didn’t mention it above), but then you get the whole journey for £1 off-peak with the railcard.

  515. Hi,
    Came across this page when trying to work out what card is best for me, perfect! I’m a new undergrad student at Royal Holloway in Egham and will be travelling to london purely for leisure and social reasons, sometimes to visit family but it wouldn’t be a regular thing. I have a 16-25 railcard too. Which oyster is best for me!? Or shall I just stick to paper tickets?
    Thanks in advance,

  516. Hi Chloe,

    If you’re always travelling from outside the Oyster area (as Egham is) then really you are better off with paper tickets.

  517. Hi,

    I will be travelling from Surbiton station to Egham station (for uni at Royal Holloway). I understand that Egham is outside the oyster region. So just to confirm, is the best/only way to travel to egham using a paper ticket/season ticket from surbiton? I also have a 16-25 railcard. I guess it’s not work applying for a 18+ student oystercard. Many thanks in advance!


  518. Hi Martin,

    Sadly I think you’re right. If you travel via Weybridge then you don’t use the zones at all.

  519. Hello,
    My week consists of three journeys from Thorpe bay to battersea park and two from Thorpe bay to Barnes I am currently paying out for a monthly rail card at £450 pm this month I have bought a mature student trail card so it will drop to £340 I need to be at batter sea before 8 and Barnes before half 8
    What would be the cheapest way to get to theses stations during the week

  520. Hi Adam,

    If you mean the 16-25 railcard (which is also available to mature students) then unfortunately it has no effect on season tickets. However, you can save some money if you’re prepared to avoid zone 1. From Thorpe Bay, change to the Jubilee line at West Ham then onto London Overground at Canada Water and finally either Southern for Battersea Park or SWT for Barnes from Clapham Junction. You’ll then need a Thorpe Bay to London zones 2-6 travelcard which is £348/month.

  521. Hello Mike,

    First of all. Thanks a lot for taking your time to answer every question. Really commendable job.

    I am currently working at Richmond. I travel daily from Vauxhall to Richmond (via Southwest Rail) costing me 5.20 pound a day. And at weekends, I am exploring Central London. End up paying between 4.40 and 7 pound a day.

    Because I am new in London and I want to explore more of the city, someone recommended me to take a Zone 1-4 Monthly Card as I will be free to enter the Central London. But 173 pounds too much? What do you say?

    Second question:
    If I take a Monthly Zone 1-2 pass. Travel during the weekend will be covered and I will pay extra for going to Richmond during weekday (PayG). Will it make any sense?

  522. Hi Mike,

    I’m soon to be starting uni London based and will be living at home in Hersham (Surrey) and will be heading to New Cross station from here at least 3-5 days a week. Obviously I’ll be travelling peak time from about 8-8.30AM aiming to arrive about 10am. I do have an oyster card and a 16-25, but I’m trying to work out the cheapest way for me to go as well as the quickest, as season ticket travelcards are so expensive.

    One way I have thought is to go from Hersham to Surbiton via paper return ticket which is £5, and then use my oyster from Surbiton to New Cross. I know the zone fares between Waterloo and New Cross yet don’t fully understand the time caps. But also I don’t know how to find out how much it charges between Surb and Waterloo.

    What is the easiest way to explain this baring in mind I have only used my oyster by short bus journeys in Surbiton? Or are there any other suggestions you have in taking that whole journey?

    Basically I’m hoping to get something for about under 15 a day if possible


  523. Hi Rahul,

    A travelcard just for weekend travel is not worth it. You’re better off as you are, or getting a season ticket between Vauxhall and Richmond for your commute. This costs £21.40/week or £82.20/month.

  524. Hi Eli,

    Good news, this is a journey where Oyster can make quite a difference. Surbiton to New Cross via Waterloo is £5.90 peak or £3.60 off-peak. Peak travel is where you touch in at the start of your journey between 0630-0930 or 1600-1900. However, there is an alternative route which you can make using Oyster. It will take a bit longer but cost a lot less. Change at Clapham Junction and Surrey Quays and the fare drops to £3.90 peak and £2.50 off-peak. The biggest pain for you is that you will have to get off at Surbiton both ways to touch in or out for the Oyster. Hope this helps somehow.

  525. Hi mike,
    Back again. Just wanted to ask about bus 441 service which is provided by abellio. I’ve heard that it runs on free fare zone. Not sure between what stops does it run on free fare zone? Do you have any idea about this?
    Thanks in advance.

  526. Hi Kieran,

    That will be the area inside Heathrow Airport. All transport is free between terminals etc.

  527. Hi Mike

    I would like to travel To Gatwick AIrport tomorrow (SEptember 24th). I assume I would need to leave my station westcombe park around 7am to arrive at Gatwick for 8.30ish.
    I know I need to get a train to London Bridge and then catc an additional train to the airport.
    Last time i used this service we bought a paper ticket – however we saw that people were signing out with their oyster cards.
    Could we use our oyster cards during this journey – to a save money and b make it easierf.


  528. Hi Elly,

    Oyster does not yet extend to Gatwick. Southern’s equivalent “The Key” does work there but you’d need to have one to be able to make the journey. You probably could save a bit of money by using Oyster to East Croydon and then a paper ticket from there, but you would need to get off the train to touch out.

  529. Emily Patterson

    Hi Mike,

    I have recently started working at Kingston hospital and am living in Wimbledon. I work three long shifts a week from either 07.15-19.45 or 19.15-07.45, therefore making one of my journeys fall within peak travel. I am currently using the Oyster card with my 16-25 railcard attached to it, however is this the most cost effective way? I have looked that a monthly travel card for zone 3-5 would cost £99.90. Is there anyway to attach my railcard to this to get the young persons rate?


  530. Hi Emily,

    The 16-25 railcard doesn’t discount season tickets unfortunately. You might be able to save a bit on your day shift if there is any way you can touch in before 0630. You would then be charged off-peak rates, including the discount. I’d understand if extra time in bed was more attractive though.

  531. Hey mike,
    I need to travel from bow church to Egham every monday to friday from 7am to 5pm, i got a 18+student railcard, and also a 16-25 young person card.
    I know i don’t have much left, as far as i can see.

    1.I can buy a monthly zone 1-2, and then monthly waterloo to egham. SO it will be Zone 1-2 which is 120, but i have a student railcard, so will be 84+243=327

    2. The best way i can see would be buy zone 1-6 with a student discount and feltham to egham with a monthly ticket. in total would be 267..

    but the problem is do i have to really touch out in feltham ? jump out the train and hopefully get on again ?? if i don’t touch what will happen??

    do you know any other way will be cheaper for me ?? thank you so much

  532. Hi Jiang,

    Your best bet is to maximise the 18+ Student discount on a zone 1-6 travelcard. You don’t need to touch out at Feltham as there is no penalty for not touching within the zones of your travelcard. As you are mixing two seasons you will need to make sure the train stops at Feltham, but I’m pretty sure they all do. See the Mixing Oyster and Paper Tickets page for more details.

  533. Dear Mike

    I am travelling from goodmays (z4) to st paul (Z1). Take train from goodmays and get off at stratford and take tube and get to st paul. I am charged £5.30 one way. Why is that as both are within oyester Z1 to Z4 journey which should be £3.80. Is there some thing I am missing. Do I have to touch pink card at startford as I am using PAYG. Please help

  534. Hi Shahid,

    Goodmayes to St Paul’s is a mixed NR+TfL journey so uses the NR through rates. £5.30 is the correct fare for this journey. You may find that it changes when London Overground take over running the Greater Anglia services in preparation for Crossrail. You certainly don’t need to touch anything at Stratford.

  535. Hello im looking to travel to Esher station this friday and I was wandering would a day travel card zones 1-9 cover me to this station? Im not too sure what zone it is in.

  536. Hi Holly,

    Sadly Esher is one stop outside the zonal area. Surbiton is the last station within the zones.

  537. Hi Mike,
    I will be travelling to Egham from East croydon – 3 days in peak hours and 2 days in off peak hours in a week.Which will be cheaper – Monthly rail pass, daily paper tickets with 30%discount(Rail card discount) or student oyster
    Thanks in advance

  538. Hi Mike,
    I live in zone 5 and work in zone 1- London blackfriars and want to get a season ticket on my oyster but just for named stop- belvedere to London terminals, is this possible? My reasoning is that I can pay as you go to make up from London cannon street to blackfriars but would rather be all on my oyster than travelcard. Thanks

  539. Hi VK,

    The 16-25 railcard will not discount tickets before 10am Mon-Fri because you won’t reach the minimum fare of £12.00. The student Oyster will get you a discounted zone 2-6 travelcard, but you’ll still need to get tickets between Feltham and Egham. The various prices are as follows:

    Monthly season from East Croydon to Egham route not via London – £240.40
    Monthly zone 2-6 Travelcard with Student Oyster discount – £105.30
    Monthly season from Feltham to Egham – £114.10

    So using the student Oyster discount will save you about £21/month. Daily tickets will only just be worthwhile if your off-peak returns can be made after 10am and you don’t use trains other than commuting. Personally I’d go with the student travelcard and paper season from Feltham to Egham, but make sure you load the 16-25 railcard discount onto the Student Oyster card so that if you go into zone 1 off-peak you’ll get reduced exension fares.

  540. Hi Vie,

    Sorry, only travelcard seasons can be loaded onto Oyster cards.

  541. Hi mike,

    Thanks for the feedback. Can you advice which will be a cheaper as well as better option for me – a zone 1-4 travelcard or a zone 5 named station (belvedere) to london terminals season ticket and in either circumstance I will use PAYG oyster to cover other forms of travel.

    Thank you.

  542. Hi, I regularly travel Zone 5 to Zone 1 around 11 am (so off peak) and return in the afternoon peak (around 5pm). I have a 16-25 railcard attached to my oyster which gives a 33% discount on off peak journeys. I heard that the afternoon peak doesn’t “count” as peak if you start after the morning peak.. Is this true / does this apply? Is there a cheaper way without using an oyster?


  543. Hi Saj,

    In the afternoon peak the single fare charged would be the undiscounted peak fare, but the discounted off-peak cap would still apply to your overall travel. This is cheaper than the equivalent off-peak day travelcard, so Oyster is your best bet.

  544. Hi Vie,

    In your case you will be better off getting a zone 1-5 travelcard. That costs £53.40/week. The point-to-point season costs £40.70/week and 10 Underground singles cost £22.00/week. The zone 1-4 travelcard costs £45.00/week but you’d need 10 zone 5 NR singles which would add a further £18.00/week.

  545. Hi Mike,

    This isn’t about the Oyster, but it is about travelling. I have an 8 hour layover where I need to go from heathrow to gatwick. I want to explore london for a bit, but I’m not sure how best to travel. I’m only around for a day and between travelling from heathrow airport to london victoria station, and then to gatwick, I thought buying a zone 1- 9 ticket should do the trick (it’s for a friday, by the way).

    Would this cover my travels? Thank you in advance

  546. Hi Kathleen,

    Yes, a zone 1-9 travelcard would certainly do the trick, but it’s probably overkill. Unless you were going to venture a long way from the centre you only need a zone 1-6 version which is cheaper. As long as you start travel after 0930 you will only need an off-peak day travelcard at £8.90. You can also use it on the Piccadilly line between Heathrow and Central London. You then only need a boundary zone 6 to Gatwick Airport single to complete your journey. This can be bought at Victoria.

  547. Thanks for your help Mike!

  548. hi, Mike how much is for a weekly Brentwood to London Bridge? And a montly aswell. thanks

  549. Hi Mike, I will be travelling from Newbury Park to Gordon hill station pretty much everyday, what would be the cheapest option for me in terms of oyster/ticket

    thanks in advance

  550. Hi David,

    You’d need a Brentwood to zones 1-6 travelcard season. Weekly is £85.30, monthly is £327.60.

  551. Hi Theepan,

    Assuming you mean peak travel then there are two sensible options. A zone 2-5 travelcard will allow you to go Newbury Park – Stratford – Highbury & Islington – Gordon Hill. If you don’t mind a couple of walks then you can get a zone 3-5 travelcard and go Newbury Park – Leytonstone (walk) Leytonstone High Road – Harringay Green Lanes (walk) Harringay – Gordon Hill.

  552. ok thanks, so i could purchase a 7 day travel card costing £31.20?

  553. Yes, that’s fine.

  554. Hi Mike,

    I will be travelling from Feltham to Egham (return) 5 days a week, monthly. What would be the cheapest option?

  555. Hi Billy,

    As long as you are travelling one way before 0930 then a Feltham to Egham season ticket will work out cheapest.

  556. Hi Mike,

    I just recently moved to basildon but the train fares from basildon to wembley park which is were my office is based is quite expensive. Just wondering if there was a cheaper way I could travel from Basildon to Wembley park

  557. hi Mike
    I will be traveling to Basingstoke from eltham and was wondering am I able to use a 16+ oyster
    Need a quick reply thank you

  558. Hi Chichi,

    You don’t say how you currently travel. If it’s through zone 1 then you can avoid it, although the journey will take longer. Change at West Ham, take the Jubilee line to Stratford, Overground to West Hampstead, then pick up the Jubilee again to Wembley Park. You could also make the slightly longer walk between Finchley Road & Frognal and Finchley Road to take the Met non-stop to Wembley Park. Both of these options will require a Basildon to zones 2-6 travelcard.

  559. Hi Maxine,

    Sorry, Oyster stops at Surbiton on the way out to Basingstoke. You can change trains there so you use the discounted fares in London, but you will have to touch out before getting the next train.

  560. Good Evening,
    Can you please let me know what will the cheapest monthly cost for me?
    I travel usually in the morning peak time from zone 5 to London Bridge with my Oyster card.
    Then I am taking the train from London Bridge to Horley and return 18.00 o’clock peak time as well.

    Thank you

  561. Hi Katia,

    Where do you travel from in zone 5? It might make a difference to the advice.

  562. hi Mike,

    Thank you for your email.
    I am travelling from Harrow on the Hill.

    thank you

  563. Hi Katia,

    Ok. You need a travelcard season from Horley to zones 1-6. Don’t worry that your morning journey is the other way round, all out-boundary travelcards have to be described with the zones as the destination.

  564. Hi Mike,
    I’m going to be travelling in London for 3 days but staying in Bromley, do you know what’s the best way to get Bromley from Heathrow and then to Central London?

  565. Hi Ana,

    I’d need to know which Bromley you mean. Either the one in East London near the Blackwall Tunnel or the one in Southeast London with a BR postcode.

  566. thank you Mike

    Can you please send me a link with the cost for this season travelcard from Horley to zones 1-6?
    I’ve checked http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/seasonticket/tickets
    and this is without the tube?
    Can you send me the correct link with the price for the tube included?

    Thank you

  567. Hi Katia,

    That’s the right place to look. Put Horley to Farringdon in as the two stations. It will give you two sets of prices, first for just rail and then to zones 1-6. The second block is the ones you need to look at.

  568. Mike, As a freedom pass holder, which I use every single day up and down London, am I lucky to have one or does any disabled persons get one?

  569. There are two types of freedom pass. One for elderly people and another for disabled. If you qualify then I’m not sure I’d call it lucky.

  570. I have the disabled one. My “disability” is OCD and Aspergers. What’s better is I have a big phobia of seeing coins and hearing it touch together (money) so I never need to worry about that. So, because not every single person who has Aspergers and OCD gets it, or am I wrong? I love going on trains/watching them so keeps me busy (and the exercise from the escalators)! So my question is, if my previous doctor approved that i get a freedom pass since no paperwork was sent to council (only details of doctor AND maybe DLA paper if I can remember), can they change their mind about that I would not qualify? Also, can I complain for the guy telling me “oyster is not allowed in Dartford (DFD)” but FP is, so can I get them in trouble for not asking what travel ticket I have which scared me because I thought I had no ticket as wasn’t sure if FP was allowed there in the first place. Thanks mike.

  571. Hi,

    If your pass is discretionary then it can be withdrawn although if you haven’t moved to a different borough it is perhaps less likely to be. If you meet the eligibility criteria then it won’t be withdrawn. If you have the letter which came with the card it might say which yours is.

    As for Dartford, yes I would complain to Southeastern because they really ought to be aware that not all freedom passes are issued to elderly people. The situation will get better in the future when Oyster is extended to Dartford, but the date for that is not yet known.

  572. Have drafted an email so thanks for your advice. Since I have the ENCTS rose thing, What then – can they suddenly take it away saying not eligible, as above? Thanks.

  573. If you have the ENCTS rose then you meet the eligibility criteria.

  574. Diana Beamish

    With regard to your comment on 28.11.2014 to Ic56, you claim if one qualifies for a pass “then I’m not sure I’d call it lucky.” I am 66 and do not qualify for a pass. Why not?

    I live 2 1/2 miles outside the Greater London border…. With the system of formula funding to local authorities, London local authorities receive grants on average 2.25 times higher than the grants that local authorities just outside London receive. (See especially page 7 of the South East England Councils’ report, “Fixing a broken system”, easily found on the internet.) The higher grants are supposed to be for social problems, but instead of preventing Baby P.’s suffering, the money is spent on vote-winning concessionary rail fares. Outside London pensioners only have slow, infrequent ‘buses free (where I live, Eynsford, there are 9 ‘buses a day, whereas there are 2 trains an hour), while the parents of secondary school children here in Kent pay £200 p.a. for a pass for them to go to school. Yes, of course I constantly write to the MP and county councillors. Any ideas how I can join the “lucky” Greater London pensioners? (i.e., without moving house, where I have lived since 1975 and where my children were born at home.) How can TfL be persuaded to allow pensioners living outside London at least some free days (say 50 days p.a.) on London trains/underground/trams?

  575. Hi Diana,

    My comment about being lucky was really to do with the disabled freedom pass rather than the senior citizens version. I’m not really keen to get too bogged down in politics because that really isn’t what this site is about. I’ll mention Boris occasionally in relation to fare changes, but I don’t want to delve much deeper than that.

    However, I do understand your situation. I live in Crayford and my eldest went to sixth form in Dartford and the difference between what some students got for living in Bexley versus their classmates who live in Kent was quite striking. My mum lives in South Darenth so she only gets the ENCTS pass and has to pay for a senior railcard to make train fares more manageable. Unfortunately TfL is funded by the London council taxpayers through the GLA so they are not really able to provide concessions to those who don’t come under the area that funds them. There are some neighbouring local authorities that contribute to TfL in return for their branch lines being included in zone 6. Surrey is good on this with Caterham, Tattenham Corner and Epsom Downs all included, so I think the best place to start is with your council.

  576. Diana Beamish

    Thank you for your comments. However, re funding as I said there are much higher government grants to London, which are spent on vote-winning concessionary fares. Note that almost all London boroughs (except Richmond and Kingston) have a lower council tax than Sevenoaks does. Sevenoaks District Council receives some £35 million business tax p.a. but only keeps a fraction of this – this year only £3.7 million (next year less still) and thus does not benefit Sevenoaks residents.
    It is a statutory duty for local authorities to pay for pensioners to have free ’bus travel, but not free rail travel (London/Liverpool/Manchester). Whenever I write to the MP or county councillor re this mean, unjust, divisive anomaly I attach a document called “All pensioners are equal, but some pensioners are more equal than others” which contains valid points which they ignore.

    There used to be a video advertising pensioners’ free travel in London as joyriding:
    http://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/services/freedompass/default.htm?dm_i=192K,1K9GD,71SUZQ,5CYGJ,1 but this seems to have been dropped from the website.
    Why are we subsidising London pensioners to go joyriding free on the trains?
    The senior citizens’ annual railcard (£27 online for a year) is nowhere near as flexible as having free rail travel. Having a railcard needs to be considered from the break even point e.g. from Eynsford to central London the day return is £10.10, or £6.65 with the card, i.e. nine times to break even.
    As I do not have the rail therapy that London pensioners have, why should I help the economy with shopping (and certainly not in Sevenoaks!)? What a shame, I’ve spent it all on rail fares!

  577. Hi Mike!!

    I checked that a single ticket from victoria to feltham is £3.60usiing my osyter card. How about a return ticket? is it gonna be £7.20 or it will be capped at £4-ish?

  578. Hi Mirah,

    Oyster only deals in single fares so a return is double the single. If you reach the daily cap it will be less, but as that is £8.50 it won’t apply if this is your only journey. I’m assuming you are travelling off-peak both ways.

  579. Hi Mike, I am moving to East Croydon early next year and I am trying to decide what sort of ticket to buy. I will be commuting from a tram stop in Croydon to East Croydon Station and then on to London bridge during the morning peak. I will do the reverse route during the evening peak (unless I am working late). Should I stick to an annual zone 1-5 travelcard or should I be looking at an option with a national rail card? Thanks!

  580. Hi Yvonne,

    With the tram and National Rail you will be better off with a travelcard season. National Railcards don’t offer any discounts on season tickets.

  581. Hi Mike, I am starting a new job which is 3 days a week near Gawtick.
    I have a couple of questions cause I haven’t taken the train in ages…
    1) Can I use a Osyter card from norwood junction to Gatwick airport?
    2) Would it work out cheaper for me to buy a monthly pass or PAYG..

  582. Hi Nichola,

    1) Not at the moment. An extension to Gatwick is planned but currently Coulsdon South is the furthest you can get.
    2) For 3 days a week you are better off getting daily return tickets. Make sure you get the route Not via London returns as they are significantly cheaper.

  583. Hi there, I wonder if you can help me to work out the best way for my student son. He uses a 16+ Oyster to travel, often before 9am, buying a monthly travel card zones 2-6, BUT, would he be better off because of the changes? I WISH I HAD THOUGHT to get him to buy the thing a couple of days ago…I forget about the price hike until it is too late. Many thanks and a very happy new year to you and all the forum users. TY for such a wonderful site.

  584. Hi from South Africa!
    My daughter (12) and I will be visiting and staying with friends in Egham for a week. We will want to commute to London most days (probably 5 days) for the sights and will also want to visit the Harry Potter Studios one day.
    This London transport thing is very confusing for somebody that lives in a country where public transport is vitually non-existent! Please can you advise on what the cheapest way would be for us to get around?
    So many thanks!

  585. Hi Angel,

    It depends what his main travel pattern is and how much extra use he makes outside of travelling to/from school/college. If you can give me some more detail then I’ll try to advise.

  586. Hi Lara,

    Unfortunately Egham is just outside the London fare zones, so Oyster isn’t really going to help you. A weekly travelcard from Egham to zones 1-6 will cost £84.10 for you and £42.05 for your daughter. On the first day you’ll need to get a free photocard each so make sure you bring a passport style photo with you. For Harry Potter you’ll need to buy a boundary zone 6 to Watford Junction return to use with your travelcards.

    The weekly travelcard lasts for 7 days and is worthwhile as long as at least 3 of those days are Monday-Friday working days. If you only use it for 5 days and 3 of them are weekend or bank holidays then you will be better off with daily off-peak travelcards. For 6 or 7 days the weekly ticket will be best whatever.

  587. Hi Mike,

    I live in New Eltham and work part-time in Tooting Broadway.I have been using an Oyster all these years but wonder if there’s anything more economical. I leave New Eltham around 4.30pm on two week days and leave Tooting Broadway around 8.50pm on these two days. I travel via southeastern to and from London Bridge and then take the Northern Line to Tooting Broadway.

    I also go to work on Saturdays. I leave New Eltham around 8.30am and on the return journey leave Tooting Broadway around 4.15pm.

    Thanks for your help.

  588. Hi Rans,

    If you can touch in at New Eltham before 4pm then you will be charged off-peak fares both ways. The other saving involves avoiding zone 1, but will add some time to your journey. Change at Lewisham, Denmark Hill and Clapham High Street/Clapham North.

  589. Hi Mike,
    I have an 18+ Oyster and a 16-25 railcard.

    In 2015 I have noticed my fares being capped at 4.25 on PAYG, in 2014 they were capped at 4.60. Is this correct with the drop in z1-2 PAYG fares?

    Also, I am wondering if it is worth it for me to purchase a monthly z1-2 travel card. I make at least 2 to 4 tube trips on weekdays and some bus trips all within zones 1 & 2 (KX, Holborn, Bond St). As an international student I often travel outside of London for the weekends, but not always. They monthly travelcard is listed as 86.10 online for the 18+ oyster. Does the railcard get any discount on this?

    Thanks for the advice!

  590. Hi Amelia,

    Yes, the drop in the caps means those in zones 1-3 pay less if they cap. This also applies when a railcard is added.

    There is no further discount on the travelcard with the 16-25 railcard, you are already getting 30% off the usual adult price with the 18+ Student Oyster. The weekly travelcard is worthwhile even if you only cap 5 days off-peak with your railcard so a monthly will be better value unless you don’t travel most weekdays.

  591. hi can you help me i have to travel to south kensington station with my son under 11 and wife from harlow and was wondering if it would be better to get a oyster card set up for the under ground and pay return from harlow over ground

    please advise

  592. Hi Gary,

    If cost is your prime driver then the cheapest way to travel is by tube all the way from Epping. Your son is free and you and your wife can pay using Oyster at £3.10 single off-peak or £5.10 peak. If you do decide to travel from Harlow Town then two zone 1 singles is less than the travelcard upgrade, so yes, use Oyster on the tube.

  593. Hi Mike,
    Could I use my 18+ student oyster card (zone 1-6 monthly) for buses in Dartford (e.g. travelling from Dartford to Slade Green or Crayford)?
    Thank you!

  594. Hi Romeeza,

    Yes. Travelcards are valid on the 96, 428 and 492 buses all the way to Bluewater.

  595. Hi Mike,
    I am going to start a new job in Kentish Town and l live in Pinner. Zone 1-5 is pretty expensive and a long journey so l am thinking to get monthly Oyster card zone 2-5 to use LU to West Hamstead and from there NR to Kentish Town as it will be cheaper and faster. However, l don’t know if my calculation is right and if l can actually use my zone 2-5 Oyster with NR? Could you please advise me on what’s the best option?
    Many thanks!

  596. Hi Anna,

    Yes, that’s fine.

  597. Hi Mike,

    I need to travel everyday from South Quay to Cutty Sack DLR around 8 am and return back by 5.30 . I would be doing the travel for 5 days a week and beyond that I would not use the tube/dlr too much neither do I use the bus service. What, in your opinion would be the cheapest commute for me, ie, should I use the pay as you go oyster or should I try and get a monthly/3 monthly season ticket? Thanks a lot for your help!

  598. Hi Kshma,

    South Quay to Cutty Sark is just zone 2 so PAYG will definitely be cheaper.

  599. Hi Mike,
    Pls advise what is best option for Feltham to Egham. I will be back an forth on this route for a week event. Thanks

  600. Hi Greg,

    A weekly season ticket from Feltham to Egham is likely to be the best option unless all of your journeys will be at off-peak times.

  601. Hi Mike,

    I am moving to Swanscombe Kent and I work in Victoria. Could you please advise what is the cheapest option for me to get to Victoira? Thanks

  602. Hi Alexandra,

    You’ll need a Swanscombe to London Terminals season ticket. Change at Dartford onto a train direct to Victoria.

  603. Lesley Creedon

    Hi Mike

    One simple question: does Woking station take Oyster?

  604. Hi Lesley,

    One simple answer: No. It only accepts the SWT smartcard there. Surbiton is the furthest out on the SW Mainline that accepts Oyster.

  605. Hi Mike,
    i have a question: Can I use the rail at Forest Gate Station to get into the city ( Liverpoolstreet or stratford) without any extra charge when I use w weekly or monthly oyster student pass valid for zone 1 to 3?
    Otherwise, what would be a better option and how do I know which station of the rail is included in my oyster plan and which not?

  606. Hi Lea,

    Yes, that’s fine. Oyster is accepted on all National Rail services within zones 1-9 except southeastern high speed between St Pancras and Stratford International and Heathrow Connect/Express between Hayes and Harlington and Heathrow.

  607. hi mike, please could you let me know how much it would cost to travel between tooting broadway and west Brompton and between Amersham and earls court. many thanks

  608. Hi Anu,

    Please use the single fare finder, it tells you all you need to know.

  609. Hi Mike,

    I was reading this page and the page about daily caps. Very useful information!

    I’m an oversea tourist. I will be visiting London for 4 days. I will travel from Heathrow after 9:30 to zone 1 and all my subsequent journeys will be in zone 1. Should I get a travel card or an oyster? I am flexible with the times I need to take my zone 1 travels.

    Thank you.

  610. Hi Mary,

    Definitely an Oyster card. Travel in zone 1 is the same all day so no need to avoid certain times.

  611. Hi Mike, I will need to be travelling from earlsfield to weybridge and back for work each day, can I use my oyster and can you suggest the cheapest option? Thanks in advance

  612. Hi Laura,

    Unfortunately Weybridge is outside the Oyster area. Your best bet is probably a season ticket for Earlsfield to Weybridge.

  613. Thanks Mike

  614. Hi Mike, can you please suggest the cheapest way of going from Hammersmith to Surbiton. It is mostly by 7 a.m and 8 p.m. I have been using oyster, is there any other cheap means?
    Secondly, I always use oyster to travel from Harrow&Wealdstone to Surbiton which is always off-peak journey, is it ideal?

  615. Hi Temmy,

    Oyster will be the cheapest way as long as you avoid zone 1. Either travel Hammersmith > Earls Court > Wimbledon > Surbiton or Hammersmith > Earls Court > West Brompton > Clapham Junction > Surbiton.

    As for Harrow and Wealdstone, yes, Oyster is the best way. Again, avoid zone 1 for cheaper fares. You also have an even cheaper option which avoids zones 1 and 2, but it will take longer. Travel via Willesden Junction, Richmond and New Malden, touching the pink validators at both Willesden Junction and Richmond.

  616. Newcommuter

    Hi Mike
    I have only just moved to London and do not understand the ticketing types. Please advise on what type of ticket (cheapest) I need to travel from Bromley South to Holborn each day for work. I need to be in Holborn for 7am and will be leaving around 5pm most evenings Mon-Fri but the occasional Saturday too. Thanks in anticipation.

  617. Hi,

    The first question is do you have to get to Holborn Underground station, or would City Thameslink be an option? If City Thameslink is an option then you only need a Bromley South to London Terminals paper season ticket, otherwise you will need a zones 1-5 travelcard season which is probably best stored on an Oyster card.

    Also, taking the City Thameslink option, if you buy a weekly season it is £41.70 but using Oyster PAYG with the morning journey starting before 0630 (and thus off-peak) you would only spend £8.00 per day. Thus if it’s just 5 days travel you could be better off with pay-as-you-go. If you buy monthly or longer period seasons then you’ll better off with just the season.

    Hope that helps.

  618. Hi Mike,
    Great site! I was wondering if you could give some advice. I will be travelling from Romford zone 6 to Warren Street/Euston station zone 1 during peak times mon-fri and need to decide if a monthly travel card or oyster payg with daily caps works out cheaper. Thanks for any help you can give.

  619. Hi B,

    A monthly travelcard will be cheaper as long as you use it more than 19 days during the month. Obviously any extra use at weekends adds to the savings.

  620. Newcommuter

    Thank you so much Mike – so very useful.

  621. Hi Mike,

    Just wondering if I was to live in Feltham for my placement year, whether I would be able to use an oyster card on the overground to commute into London!?


  622. Hi Matt,

    Yes, definitely. Feltham is the last station in zone 6 on the way out from London on that line.

  623. Cheers Mike…you the man

  624. when I travel from Gordon Hill to Farringdon in peak time I get charged £6.50 on PAYG Oyster – should I not get charged the standard fair from zone 5-1 which is £4.90??

  625. Hi Laura,

    The £4.90 is the fare when National Rail only is used. If you change at Moorgate onto the Circle/Met lines you then pay the through fare for NR+TfL which is £6.50.

  626. Hi Mike,
    Would really appreciate some help.

    I will be travelling Mon-Thursday in peak times from either Staines or Feltham to Vauxhal, what is my cheapest option?

  627. Hi Anita,

    Feltham will be much cheaper than Staines as it is within the London zones. PAYG on Oyster or Contactless is probably the best way to go because 4 days a week isn’t really worthwhile for a weekly season ticket, unless you regularly make other journeys. If you can afford to pay for a month or more then a season ticket from Feltham to Vauxhall will save a little as long as you use it 4 days every week.

  628. Hi Mike,

    I have a zone 1-9 (Brentwood) travelcard on my Oyster and I need to go Gatwick Airport. Where can I buy a paper ticket extension to reach Gatwick Airport?
    Which route would you suggest me to take considering that I will travel out on Friday at 5pm-ish and I will be back on Sunday night at 11pm-ish?
    On Friday, I’ll commute via Stratford and on Sunday I need to go back to Canada Water so I think that travelling via London Bridge would be more efficient.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  629. Hi Monica,

    A ticket from East Croydon to Gatwick Airport will cover you. As for the route I’m not really sure. I’d say travel via London Bridge both ways, but it might depend on any engineering work on the Sunday.

  630. Hello – I have a zones 1 – 2 annual travel card on my Oyster. I am currently on a rolling contract in Kingston so travel from Denmark Hill to Clapham Junction then by train to Kingston. I am paying for the CJ to Kingston section using PAYG but not sure this is the best option – any suggestions?

  631. Hi Sarah,

    You can buy additional travelcards for zones 3-6 which mean you won’t be using PAYG at all. You currently pay £34 for 10 peak singles whereas a weekly 3-6 is £31.90. A weekly paper Clapham Junction to Kingston season is just £28.20.

    Finally, how often do you go into zone 1? If it’s not much then you might be better off exchanging your zone 1-2 to a zone 2-6. The rates are calculated based on how much you’ve already used and you just pay the difference for the remainder of the term. If you bought it last year then the old prices are used for both sides of the calculation. There is a £5 admin fee if this is done at an Underground station. Obviously not worth doing if your job could move back to zone 1 with little notice.

  632. Barbara123

    Travelling from Sydney to London in September 2015 and probably staying in Leyton for few days. Would an Oyster card be appropriate if we travelled from the accommodation to London CBD and back?

  633. Hi Barbara,

    Central Business District is a new one to me, but yes, an Oyster card would be appropriate to travel between Leytonstone and Central London. The only line it can’t be used on is the high speed route between Stratford International and St Pancras International.

  634. Mike, I’m completely overwhelmed by information overload from too many websites. You seem like the most up-to-date and knowledgeable resource, so I’m appealing to you for advice. I’m traveling with my husband and 17- and 14-year old kids later this month. Flying into Birmingham International then taking rail to Euston station then taxi (I guess) to London zone 2 where we will stay for 7 days. Plan to travel primarily in zones 1 and 2 for tourist sites, with perhaps a couple daytrips outside of London. It seems like the 7-day Travelcard is the best option, but I’m finding conflicting information. It looks like we can buy the Travelcard at Euston Rail station so we can get the 2-4-1 deal on attractions, but I’m having difficulty finding consistent information on what transport options are most cost effective. Any help would be very *much appreciated!* –Amy

  635. Hi Amy,

    If the 2-4-1 deals are important then weekly travelcards would be a good choice. They will cover all travel within zones 1-2 and TfL buses throughout London. For the trips outside London you can get tickets from boundary zone 2 to your destination, eg Watford Junction for the Harry Potter tour. I won’t lie, if you put the travelcards on Oyster cards then the trip to Watford would be cheaper, but you wouldn’t get the 2-4-1 offers which are probably worth more.

    If you can give me any more details of other places you want to go to I can offer potentially better advice. In particular, where are you staying in zone 2? Whilst a taxi would make light work of luggage, the travelcards you’ll have bought would give you a free alternative. I can try to suggest a best route.

    One last thing. The travelcards will require photocards to go with them if bought from Euston NR on paper. It doesn’t take long but you will need a passport type photo for each of you.

  636. Mike, you are a beacon…thanks. So family of 4 (includes 17- and 15-year olds) arriving early morning on this Saturday, June 13 into Birmingham Airport and need to end up at a flat near Kennington station (zone 2). We will travel from Birmingham airport via rail (with 4 large suitcases) to Euston station. I wasn’t going to buy rail tickets from Birmingham airport to Euston until we’re there, since there are too many unknowns — any missed connections, how long it takes to clear customs, etc. I hope it’s easy enough to get rail tickets early Saturday morning. Once we get to Euston station (guessing around lunch), I thought taxi was our only option b/c of our luggage. We are renting a flat near Kennington station, and very near the Kennington Post Office buses. Is there another, cheaper;-) option to travel to Kennington area with all that luggage?

    Second question: We’ll arrive in London Day 1 (June 13) and will leave London Day 8 (June 20) to travel back to Birmingham to stay the night and leave very early on June 21. A 7-day Travelcard will still leave us with one day to cover for travel for either Day 1 or Day 8. It would be easier to buy our 7-day Travelcards once we get to Euston Station this Saturday. That leaves us at Day 8 (June 20) needing to get to Euston station, with luggage, to travel back to Birmingham area before an early morning flight the next day. Advice for covering Day 8 travel to Euston station? I imagine an alternative would be to buy 7-day Travelcards on our 2nd day in London, but then still need to cover Day 1.

    I’m still trying to figure out the 2-4-1 deals, since we prefer not to commit to exact days to visit sites until we know more about weather, etc., and my first look suggested I have to print vouchers beforehand for a particular attraction on a particular day. Yes, we are *those* kind of folks who like some flexibility in our schedules. 🙂 I’m telling you, the London travel/tourist options are like Calculus to me … I sort of, kind of, maybe understand … and then … I don’t. I’m so relieved to find someone who can say, THIS may be the best way to go. THANKS, Mike!

  637. Hi Amy,

    Firstly, an apology. I’d missed one important fact for the 2-4-1 deals. You can actually use your return tickets from Birmingham International to Euston at any time between the outward date (13th June) and the return date (12th July). This means that you can use Oyster to travel around London. You must make sure you keep the ticket on arrival at Euston, so don’t put it into a ticket gate, just ask the staff to let you through saying you need the ticket for 2-4-1 offers. For each offer you need to show both tickets (unless it’s on day 1).

    The ticket office at Birmingham International opens at 0540 on a Saturday – I guess that’s early enough ;). The off-peak return costs £51.30 per adult and £26.65 for the 15-year-old. But, if you get a family and friends railcard for £30 the tickets will then cost £33.85 per adult and £9.75 for the child. The railcard lasts for a year (should you decide to come back later on) but it’s worthwhile just for this one trip. The group travelling with the railcard must include a child and one of the two named adults, but that isn’t going to be a problem for you.

    The Kennington Park Post Office bus stops are midway between Kennington and Oval Underground stations. It is only one Underground train and I’d use the Bank Branch of the Northern Line as it is slightly less busy and most trains go beyond Kennington to Oval. However, if you don’t fancy the walk (or a bus) or going up and down escalators with luggage then a taxi would be less hassle. With four of you a taxi won’t seem quite so extortionate.

    When you get to Euston, visit the new TfL Visitor Travel Information Centre opposite platform 10. They can supply Oyster cards and put travelcards on them. They might also be able to set one card to charge half fares for the child, but I’ve not had any experience of this so I don’t know how it works. On the eighth day you can just use PAYG which will cap at 1/5 of the weekly travelcard price as long as you stay within zones 1-2.

    Finally, back to the 2-4-1 deals. You do have to print vouchers beforehand, but it can be on the day. Will you have a printer/internet at the flat? Or there may be an internet cafe nearby.

    Hope this helps a bit.

  638. Thanks, Mike!

  639. Hello, Mike. You seem all-knowing, so I want to ask for advice.

    I’m moving to Dorking and will travel to Euston Square ranged between once until four times a week, and will go traveling around London in the weekend.

    What’s possibly the best scheme for me if I’m in my early 20s?

  640. Hi Al,

    If you commute 3-4 times a week and make extra journeys at weekends then a season ticket including travelcard is what you need. For once or twice a week you’ll be better off with day tickets.

  641. Hi Mike
    What a great site!
    Am new to using an Oyster card usual journey is from Worcester Park to Waterloo return but need to make one return journey out to Guildford Do I just purchase a separate single ticket at Waterloo from the end of oyster Zone 6 Ewell West onto Guildford please?

  642. Hi Tandy,

    That depends on what you are using. Worcester Park is in zone 4. If you have a zone 1-4 travelcard on your Oyster then you can buy a ticket from the boundary of zone 4 to Guildford. That can be bought at Waterloo before you start. If you use PAYG then you would need to touch out at the station where you switch to a paper ticket. In that instance you might find it better to buy a ticket for the whole journey as you can then travel via any route to Guildford.

  643. Hi Mike,

    I’ll soon be buying a monthly season ticket for travel between Mortlake to Hatfield. First Great Western’s website gives me only the option to buy one from Hatfield to London Zones 1-6.

    My question is whether this season ticket will allow me unlimited travel on tube, rail and bus within these London zones. Would I need to link it to an Oyster card somehow or do I just show drivers the orange NR ticket?


  644. Hi Jake,

    Yes, just show the ticket to the bus driver. It will work all the gates within zones 1-6.

  645. Hi,

    I need to get from Euston to Bromley North in the morning. I understand I have to use the tube from Euston to Victoria then Southeastern train to get from Victoria to Bromley South. Can I use a day travel card to do the whole journey or do I nee to get a separate ticket for Southeastern?

  646. A day travelcard will be fine.

  647. Hi
    What’s the best ticket to get from London Liverpool Street to Billericay if I already have a zone 1-6 travelcard

  648. Hi Colm,

    A boundary zone 6 to Billericay ticket would work in all cases.

  649. Tremendous Mike. Thank you.

  650. If I was to go from kent Gravesend (south east England) to inner London how much would it be on oyster or travel card ?
    and can u use oysters outside London?

  651. Hi Mirabel,

    Oyster only goes as far as Crayford/Barnehurst/Slade Green at the moment. It will be extended to Dartford, hopefully by the end of September. For Gravesend you’ll need to decide whether you want to be able to use the high speed line to St Pancras or not. The weekly travelcards cost £126.10 inc HS1 or £97.70 for the classic lines only.

  652. Hi,

    i wanted to know whether i can use my oyster card to get from Isleworth train station to Egham?


  653. Hi Dani,

    Sadly not. Egham is outside the Oyster area, Feltham is the last station on that line which accepts Oyster.

  654. Hi Mike,

    I have a bus nominee operator Oyster card. At the moment I am traveling from Chelmsford to Oxford street. As my oyster card doesn’t go as far as Chelmsford what is the cheapest way to travel to and from in peak times?



  655. Hi Ian,

    I’m not up to speed with what services Nominee passes can be used on or not so it’s difficult to advise.

  656. Hi
    We’ve got a weekend break planned in Kingston starting 28th August. We have tickets to get us from Liverpool to Euston using the tube to cross town to Vauxhall then on to Kingston. With the planned tube strike would we be better using our oyster cards to get from Euston to Kingston via Willesden and Clapham? I’m not sure if that would be classed as one journey or three. I’ve seen fares from £3.10 to £6.40 each. Can you offer any advice please?

    Thanks in advance Tom

  657. Hi Tom,

    There are no fares defined for Euston NR to Kingston so I’m really not sure what it would charge. The correct fares would be £6.00 peak and £3.70 off-peak. If it charges any different then the helpdesk should be able to refund the difference, especially if the route was used because of a strike. In fact, as you have tickets for Liverpool to Kingston I’d be inclined to check with the ticket seller whether they would be valid via your chosen route.

  658. Hi Mike

    Thanks for the reply.
    Our tickets are Advanced so no change is permitted (I’ve already asked). I’ve been studying the tube and rail map again. I’m now thinking it might be better walking to St Pancras and catching a Thameslink to Wimbledon then changing platform to take the South West service to Kingston. With it staying within zones 1-6 I take it the fare would still be £3.70?
    Would that be a better/easier route to take do you think?

    Thanks again for your help. Tom

  659. Hi Tom,

    Your tickets may be advanced, but if disruption forces a change then you are allowed to take alternative trains. No tube is a pretty clear cut reason to alter plans. St Pancras to Wimbledon would also be a good alternative. I’d be inclined to show your tickets at the barrier at St Pancras and see if they’ll let you through. If not and you don’t want to argue then use Oyster, but touch out at Wimbledon on platform 9 (Thameslink platform). Your ticket is definitely valid from there to Kingston. You don’t need to stick to specific trains once you get to Euston because it’s all covered by any reasonable connecting trains.

  660. Hi Mike

    The place we got the tickets from did sound certain that no alternate route would be permitted. However, now you mention it we’ve taken other services in the past when we’ve had delays and missed a connection. It certainly won’t do any harm to ask nicely at the barrier if we go via St Pancras.

    Thanks again for your help. Tom

  661. Hi Tom,

    It wasn’t a Merseyrail station was it? Did you try asking how they can insist on the booked route if part of that route has no trains?

  662. Hi Mike

    Online from Redspottedhanky. They didn’t seem that interested to be honest…….

    Thanks Tom

  663. Hi Mike

    I will be traveling from Woking (Surrey) to monument/bank (zone 1) underground stations at the beginning of september and am unsure what is the most cost effective way to travel. I have looked into monthly, weekly and season tickets and bus and tube transport but am a little confused about the benefits of a travel card and whether this would work for me. Do you know if I can get a return from Woking to Surbiton (edge of zone 6) and then use my oyster card to get into london and back daily? I also have a 16-25 rail card on my oyster card so it is capped daily at about £6.

    I’d appreciate any guidance you can provide.


  664. Hi Connie,

    If you travel before 0930 on the Oyster card the daily cap will be up to £11.70 because the railcard only discounts the off-peak cap. The cost of a weekly travelcard from Woking is only £18.50 more than the weekly season to Waterloo, so you will still save money on using PAYG for the tube in zone 1. You could get return tickets to Surbiton but it is unlikely to benefit you, especially as you would need to get off the train to touch your Oyster and then catch the next one.

    Hope that helps (and does it also answer Mark’s question too?)

  665. Hi Mike

    I’m arriving into city airport before 9am on sat 19th and staying in Charlton for two days before heading to Broadstairs. We want to visit a variety of places open for open house weekend ( mostly 1 – 3 , I think ) We both already have oyster cards from previous trips. Should we add travel cards to them .
    Thanks a lot

  666. Hi Anita,

    You can’t add daily travelcards, and a weekly will be overkill for two days, so just let the PAYG cap limit your spending.

  667. Hi Mike,

    I will go to Twickenham stadium during the Rugby World Cup, can I use my oyster visitor card? (sorry for my english I am french)



  668. Thanks Mike

  669. Hi Josepha,

    Yes, that’s fine.

  670. Hi Mike, I’ve just moved to Bromley and work in Denmark Hill. I work shifts which start at 07.30 or 08.00, and finish at 17.00 or 20.00. I work a variable number of shifts each week (including weekends). Nights start at 19.30 and finish at 0830. I often go into central London at weekends. I’m wondering what my best option is for using PAYG Oyster and travel cards. Would I be best to get a travel card for when I work four or more shifts a week? Or does it all depend on which shifts I am working?

    Many thanks,

  671. Hi Ruth,

    That’s a difficult one. Most of your commuting would appear to be being done at peak prices. Your best bet is probably to use a contactless payment card as that will cap at the most appropriate rate, even with the odd extension to zone 1. If you don’t use it enough you’ll just have paid the normal single fares. A Bromley to Denmark Hill rail only season may save you a bit of money, but won’t be so convenient if you want to go on to Central London, especially if you don’t go via Denmark Hill.

  672. Hi Mike. I have a paper travelcard to cover from Crawley to zones 5 & 6.
    I need to go from Sutton (zone 5) to London after 5pm, and then back home later, but I will be going through East Croydon towards Crawley. To avoid having to get off and touch out at East Croydon, should I just buy a zone 1-4 day travelcard on Oyster? If so, presumably when I touch out at Victoria (and touch in again later to come home), it’ll know I have a travelcard for zone 1 and all will be well?


  673. Hi Steve,

    Sadly you can’t put a day travelcard on Oyster. Try to get a train other than a Crawley one to East Croydon to give yourself time to touch out.

  674. Hi Mike
    I am having a problem trying to work the cheapest way to get to Letchworth from zone 2 or from a zone 4 departure station (I want to compare costs with cycling to zone 4).
    It looks like the last area inside TFL is New Barnet (zone 6). As I’m combining TFL and NR each tell me to discuss with the other.
    Can you advise? If it is cheaper to buy a 7 day ticket I will.
    Do you know what I should ask for Travelcard or Season tkt I’m a bit confused.
    Thank you

  675. Hi Tracey,

    If you are only using the Great Northern service from either zone 2 or zone 4 then a season ticket will probably be cheapest. If you also need Underground then a travelcard season is what you’ll need. This has to be specified as Letchworth to zones 4-6 (or 2-6), it doesn’t work the other way. You can of course use the ticket either way at any time of day. If you confirm your starting station(s) I can provide exact prices.

  676. Hi, I will be visiting London for the RWC in October. Can you please advise the most cost effective means of traveling from central London to Twickenham on 17, 18, 24, & 25 October? Can I use an Oyster Card for these journeys!

  677. Hi Greg,

    Yes you can use Oyster. That will give you the best value fares as well.

  678. Can you use a 16+ zip oyster from Broxbourne to Canary Wharf? My neice is currently paying adult cost of £19.90 a day. Would the 16 zip be cheaper?

  679. Hi Vicki,

    Yes you can. The fares are half the adult price.

  680. Hi Mike,

    My husband and I live near Canada Water in London. He needs to travel to Weybridge (via Waterloo station) everyday for work.

    Can you please tell us what is the cheapest way for him to get to work? We’ve been reading about all the different tickets/and cards and it’s all very confusing. He’s spending about £400 a month in travel and it’s killing us.

    Thank you so much.

  681. Hi Michelle,

    For your current journey you need a Weybridge to Zones 1-6 travelcard (route via Surbiton). Outboundary travelcards must be specified with the outside station as origin, but they work both ways. This is £311.90/month. There is also an any permitted version which allows travel via Staines and Chertsey but costs £33/month more.

    Alternatively you can avoid zone 1 by travelling on the Overground to Clapham Junction and then to Weybridge. For that you need a Weybridge to zones 2-6 travelcard at £268.80/month (via Surbiton) or £279.60/month (any permitted).

  682. Hi Mike,
    I need to travel from bexleyheath to queens park thrice a week for work. Morning peak hours I go and return in afternoon around 2pm. At the moment I take 486 bus to north greenwich and than tube jubilee 7 bakerloo. Cost per day is £6.40 but it takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes for one side. If I take national rail how much would be cost difference or what other route I can take?

  683. Hi Purnima,

    £6.40 is the anytime cap for zones 1-2 which includes buses throughout London. If you travelled from Bexleyheath it would be £10.90 as you’d be using zones 1-5. You could compromise and take a bus to Welling (lots to choose from) and then you’d cap at £9.20 for zones 1-4. Zone 3 probably isn’t worth it as you’d need to get to Kidbrooke or Lee or Woolwich Dockyard. However, you would be charged the same £6.40 if you start your rail journey at either Greenwich or Lewisham as both are on the boundary of zones 2 and 3, like North Greenwich.

  684. Hi I’m going to be travelling from Caterham to Highbury and Islington during peak times what’s the cheapest way to do it I’ll be commuting 3 days a week no weekend thank you

  685. Hi Kim,

    The cheapest route involves travel via Stratford. You’d need to change at Norwood Junction or New Cross Gate, Canada Water and Stratford. You’d also need to touch the pink reader at Stratford on the Overground platforms (1 and 2).

  686. Hello Mike. I’m looking to go from Sidcup to Egham. What is the best and cheapest way to do this? I do have an Oyster card.

    Thanks in advance for any help you might be able to give,

  687. Hi Jack,

    Best and cheapest are rarely the same thing. Egham is outside the Oyster area. Assuming you want a season ticket for work, you’ll need Egham to zones 2-6. You need to change at Clapham Junction, Denmark Hill and Lewisham. If you want to speed the journey up you’ll need Egham to zones 1-6 which allows via Waterloo.

  688. Hi Mike
    My daughter has a 16+ Oyster card and travels everyday from Gordon Hill to Woolwich Arsenal. Journey is usually Gordon Hill to Moorgate then tube to London Bridge where she gets the DLR to Woolwich Arsenal. She travels around 7.30am most days and starts return journey after 5pm. Should she just do PAYG on her Oyster? Is that the most economical way? And if so do you have any idea what we should expect it to cost each week?
    Thanks in advance for your advice. Much appreciated – this is a minefield to a lot of people judging by all the previous questions.

  689. Hi Josie,

    The peak single fare for that journey is £2.45, so £24.50 per week. The weekly travelcard for zones 1-5 with a 16+ card is £27.40 and would be worthwhile if she makes any other journeys apart from the usual commute.

    She can reduce the cost by changing at Highbury & Islington, Stratford and possibly Canning Town. She’d need to touch pink readers at both Highbury and Stratford then the peak single becomes £1.70 or the weekly travelcard for zones 2-5 is £16.00. The journey may take a bit longer.

  690. Hello Mike,

    I will be travelling to London as a day trip with my wife and having a Two Together Railcard with me.
    But I am using bus service to reach to London and then planning to take the Travelcard.
    I just wanted to know whether my railcard 1/3 discount is applicable for day travelcard (weekend) which is £12.

  691. Hi Bhupesh,

    Yes, you can buy 2 day travelcards for £15.80 with a Two Together railcard.

  692. Sinead Costelloe

    Hi Mike,
    If I want to do a return from west hampstead to Dorking once a week on Saturdays, offpeak, and have a zone 1-2 oyster 7 day travelcard each week, is it best to oyster to cheam and then get a return ticket from cheam to Dorking? Or buy a train ticket from Clapham Junction, which I think is the last zone 2 station on the train route? Thanks!

  693. Hi Sinead,

    The last station accepting Oyster is actually Ewell East. The problem with using Oyster to one of these stations is that you will have to get off to touch out. Depending on the location of the validators/gates you may or may not be able to get the same train. At the moment I would suggest buying a ticket from Clapham Junction, not least because you can then get trains via either route to Epsom. Once Oyster is accepted at Epsom (it’s coming, but not there yet) it may be cheaper to split there.

  694. Hi Mike
    Myself and my 15 yr old son are traveling down to London and need to travel from London to Maidenhead (outwards Fri lunch – return Sun Lunch) is it cheaper to use Oyster or just purchase overground train tickets ? Many thanks

  695. Hi Paul,

    Maidenhead is outside the Oyster area at the moment so you’ll need paper tickets.

  696. hi Mike,
    Could you please help me out with my oyster/railway ticket issue that i have been having over the last three weeks. Both the underground and railway staff have been so unhelpful towards my questions and what i should do to save my money. i travel to egham from high barnet station 4 times a week, and I’ve been spending ridiculous amount of money everyday topping up and buying tickets. i have a 18+ student oyster card and i also have a student discount railway card. what would be the cheapest option for me to travel from high barnet to egham station. I also visit harrow quite a lot so i sometimes also travel from harrow-on-the -hill station, and i know they have some sort of railway there to, but i haven’t travelled from there yet.
    please please help me i literally feel like I’m spending to much on tickets every single day when i know theres cheaper options for me which i have not been told about.
    thank you

  697. Hi Sonbull,

    If your travel is all at peak times then I think your best bet is this:

    Zones 1-6 travelcard with student 18+ discount: £41.00/week
    4x Anytime day return from Feltham to Egham: £30.00.

    Your 16-25 railcard will not offer a discount before 10am Mon-Fri except during July and August. The 18+ Student Oyster charges normal adult single fares but offers 30% discount on travelcard seasons. This makes the zones 1-6 travelcard worthwhile even though you only use it 4 days a week.

    Please come back to me if your usual travel is not within the 0630-0930 and 1600-1900 time windows.

  698. Hi Mike,
    I’m hoping you can help me. I currently have a zone 1&2 travel card as I work and live in the city, but I’m now going to need to make a couple of trips to Egham a week (possibly 3 days a week), how is the best way for me to do this? Do I:
    1) add additional zones onto my travel card to allow me to travel to Egham from Limehouse (bearing in mind it’s not everyday)
    2) By a paper return ticket each day I end up going there?

  699. Hi Nick,

    Egham is outside the zones/Oyster area so you’ll need to use paper. You can buy a return from boundary zone 2 to Egham which means you are still using your travelcard where it is valid.

  700. Hi Mike,
    I have started a new job & travel from Tolworth (Zone 5) to East Croydon (also zone 5). Having looked up the fare table it said a single on PAYG zones 5 only is £1.70 per journey. I travel via Clapham Junction (zone 2) because there is no direct line but I discovered I’m being charged £3.60 per journey.
    Question 1: I thought it must be charging me zone 2-5 but according to the fare table it should only be £2.80, what’s going on?
    Question 2: Instead of travelling to CJ I could instead change at Wimbledon (zone 3) and get the tram. I presume I must therefore tap in on the tram platform before getting on and that way the system knows I travelled via Wimbledon not CJ so it should charge me less. Is that correct?
    Question 3: If I were to purchase a weekly travelcard for zones 5 only will this mean that I can travel whatever route I like (via Wim or CJ) as I only tap in at Tolworth (z5) & out at East Croydon (z5)?
    Question 4: What is the most economical option I have if I travel 5 days a week from Tolworth to East Croydon?
    Please help me

  701. Hi Daniel,

    1) There are several different fare scales depending on which line(s) you use. You looked at the TfL scale whereas your journey is using the main National Rail scale.
    2) Trams are counted as buses so if using PAYG it would cost slightly more. But with a travelcard they are included and you would need one less zone, so it would be worthwhile.
    3) Leaving aside the fact that you can’t buy less than 2 zones for a travelcard season, the travelcard has to cover the whole journey. If it doesn’t then the system will try to deduct the fare for any other zones from your PAYG balance.
    4) A zone 3-5 travelcard and travel via Wimbledon.

  702. HiMike
    On Sunday’s with a railcard my
    StAlbans City – London Thameslink
    sup of pk day return 5.60£
    With Travel card 1-6 8.25£
    A 2.65£ premium
    So unless you only make a few journeys the travel card is cheaper, and you can ignore pink readers.


  703. Hi Noel,

    Yes, from outside zones 1-6 a combined travelcard is often good value.

  704. Hi

    What’s the cheapest way to travel to Canary Wharf from Feltham everyday during peak hours? I live in Feltham, work at Canary Wharf and my monthly Oyster costs approx. £250 via Waterloo.


  705. Hi Jo,

    You can cut your travelcard to a zones 2-6 version which is £154/month compared to £225.10 for zones 1-6. To avoid zone 1 you need to change at Clapham Junction and Canada Water using London Overground between the two.

  706. Hi Mike,
    I buy 7 day ‘season tickets’ from brighton to st pancras. In a fortnight I typically do 7 journeys to St P, 2 to Twickenham and 1 to Staines. For twickenham and Staines days I would change at East Croydon and buy separate day return overground tickets from EC to the destination. Is there a better way of doing this? I also have an oyster and travel mostly around peak hours.
    ThNks for your wise guidance.

  707. Hi Rob,

    Your Brighton to St Pancras season is valid as far as Clapham Junction on trains headed to Victoria, though that won’t make any difference to the price of your two other journeys. Twickenham is within the Oyster area so you can save a little by using that on those days, more if any of the journeys end up being off-peak. Staines is only served by a TfL bus for Oyster purposes so a paper ticket is your best bet there. Other than that I can’t really see any big saving.

  708. Hi Mike,

    I will be travelling between Brookwood and Waterloo at peak times. I also need to use the underground zones 1-2. What will be the cheapest option for me? Can I get a combined travelcard for zones 1-6 and outside of the boundaries and how much would that cost? And can that be put on my Oyster only?
    Thank you

  709. Hi Ana,

    Sorry for the delay responding. Yes, you can get a Brookwood to zones 1-6 travelcard in one ticket. It costs £104.70 per week. You cannot put it on an Oyster card because only part of its validity is covered by Oyster.

  710. hi Mike,
    i was wondering if im travelling from waterloo to egham can i use my oyster card? i know you answered this before but i cant find it. if i cant use my oyster whats the cheapest student discount/fare. i will be starting university (18yrs old) and wont be travelling very often.

  711. Hi Verona,

    You can’t use Oyster beyond Feltham. You can use a 16-25 railcard to get 1/3 off day tickets, although there is a £12 minimum fare before 10am M-F Sept-June inclusive. The undiscounted anytime return is more than that though, so there is still some benefit.

  712. You are amazing!! So hoping you can help as I’ve been going round in circles online. I live in Seven Sisters / Turnpike Lane and will be starting a new job in January. I’ll probably be in their Staines office for 3 days per week (I guess travelling Seven Sisters to Vauxhall tube and then a South West train through to Staines) and the Kings Cross office for 2 days. What do you think my ticket options are? I’ll probably be doing a 10am start – 6pm finish.

  713. Hi Enyioko,

    A zone 1-3 travelcard would cover your Kings Cross journeys and part of the Staines ones too. You’d also need a boundary zone 3 to Staines return, which you’d need to get at a National Rail ticket office. You can buy in advance though, so in the evening on the way home for the next time you’d need it.

  714. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  715. Hi Mike

    When I look at Southerns site
    It says oyster (and other things are) is only valid zones 1-6, do you know if the site up to date and accurate or is this the contractual situation?
    It is all too easy to get on a southern train at Watford ?going south in mistake even if you know of this limit.

  716. Hi Noel,

    I answered this two weeks ago on the definitions page. Oyster PAYG and contactless can be used on all Overgound, London Midland and Southern trains between Watford Junction and London. The Southern website is wrong, but they are concentrating on their main operating area which is south of London. Hopefully they will update the page next year when Oyster becomes valid as far as Gatwick Airport.

  717. My daughter has an Oyster card and a 16-25 railcard but they are not yet linked. She wants to travel from Coventry/Warwick area to our home in Greater London (within Oyster).
    Will a discount apply for this journey if she is able to get the cards linked?
    Does her address need to be the same on both cards for the purpose of linking? 16-25 railcard has temporary (Coventry) address, Oyster has Greater London address currently but can be changed, I understand.
    Many thanks.

  718. Hi Diane,

    I assume you aren’t talking about the whole journey from Coventry? You she can get the cards linked when in London. The address shouldn’t matter as it doesn’t appear on the railcard. They will check the names though.

  719. Hi Mike,

    I move to London in January. I will be getting a Zone 1 – 3 travel card for the working week but will regularly be going to Zone 6. My understanding is I can add cash to my Oyster card and any top ups for out of zone travel will be taken from that, is that correct?

    I assume that only applies within the London travel zone (stations with a yellow card reader).

    I will also regularly be traveling out of the London zones. So, for example using Egham, should I then be getting off a train at Feltham, and buying a ticket to Egham there to make the most of my “free” travel, which seems convoluted, or is there a way, as above, to simply top up the ticket and go straight to Egham?
    Many thanks.

  720. Hi Mkkuz,

    You are correct for travel within the Oyster area. Beyond that you can get a boundary zone 3 to Egham ticket and use that in conjunction with your travelcard. The train doesn’t need to call anywhere specific.

  721. Hello
    I am travelling to Gatwick airport on the first of Jan 2016,I need to go to Staines ,can I use an oystercard and pay the difference from Feltham to Staines.
    I am then going to Waterloo from Staines on the 5th Jan ,returning to Waterloo then to Staines on the 6th Jan.
    Then from Staines to Gatwick on the 7th Jan
    Can I buy an oyster card at Gatwick ?
    Can you tell me what amount in sterling should I put on the oyster card .Thank you for your time

  722. Hi Alyson,

    I don’t think an Oyster card is going to help you really. Both Staines and Gatwick* are outside the Oyster area which would mean that you’d need to get off the train to touch in/out on both legs of the journey. I think you’ll be better off just buying tickets to cover each journey. You might also want to note that there are serious engineering works taking place between Gatwick and Croydon between 25th Dec and 3rd Jan. You’ll have a choice between a train taking nearly 3 times as long to get to London or a bus and train (from East Grinstead) taking nearly as long.

    * Oyster will be accepted at Gatwick later in 2016, but definitely not on Jan 1st and almost certainly not on Jan 7th either.

  723. Me and my friend will be in London from half 12 where we will be travelling to Leicester square, before travelling to Twickenham for half 2. We both have railcards and have previously used these to get 1-6 travel cards at I think £8.40. Would it be more cost effective getting Oyster cards for us both? Would our railcard discount still be applicable on the Oyster card. Are we able to by them at Euston also

  724. Hi Nicola,

    Yes, Oyster will be more cost effective. Yes you can buy them at Euston. Get the railcard discount added and you will pay less than a discounted travelcard. See the staff in the concourse at Euston LU station for assistance.

  725. Hi. Great site.
    I’m travelling friday from richmond to ware. My query is the train from tottenham hale to Ware – can i use my oyster card or do i need to buy a paper ticket?

  726. Hi Sarah,

    You can use Oyster all the way.

  727. Hi Mike, loving the site.
    I usually get a Preston Park to St Pancras, zone 1-6 travelcard, Thameslink only, monthly season. As the train is often slow on the return leg (apprx 17:30) through London to about East Croydon I would like to know my options for alternative routes. I am confused as to whether my ticket would cover me from say Victoria to East Croydon (on the zone 1-6 bit of my ticket – but from what I can see these are mostly Southern trains) and could then pick up the Thameslink from East Croydon and continue my journey.
    Any other suggestions?
    Thanks. Bob.

  728. Hi Bob,

    Yes, you can use any trains within zones 1-6. You must be on a Thameslink train before heading south from East Croydon beyond Purley.

  729. Michael Churchill

    Sorry to pester, but I’m sure you’re the right person to ask…

    Regarding “1. When exploring or roving around London”, does entering the SAME station shortly after exiting it count as an OSI and continue the journey?

    To elaborate…
    I’m considering a long-term challenge to visit all of Art on the Underground’s Labyrinth artworks in numerical order. (see http://art.tfl.gov.uk/labyrinth/)
    They are numbered based on a former record-breaking route used to visit all 270 underground stations in the fastest time. I would try to tick off many in one day, which would mean a lot of one-stop (or slightly longer) journeys. Some of the artworks are inside the ticket barriers and some are outside. A long run of labyrinths inside stations could easily see me exceed the maximum journey time. If I end a journey by exiting a station to see a labyrinth then quickly start a new journey by entering the same station, does that continue the journey?

    Basically, is it practical to use Oyster?

  730. Hi Mike
    Do you know, can you use a Veterans Oyster Card from Twickenham into Piccadilly from 0730 on a morning returning anytime ? Thank you in advance

  731. Hi Tony,

    No, the Veterans Card is like the Freedom Pass and can only be used after 0930 between Twickenham and Waterloo.

  732. Hi Michael,

    I think you’d probably be alright with that one. Touching out and back in at the same station will start a new journey and reset the maximum journey time. If you make sure you exit at least once an hour then you should be fine. Once you’ve reached the daily cap you won’t be charged anymore and that will be cheaper than a travelcard. Just bear in mind that if you exit to go to a different station then it won’t reset the maximum journey time if it is an OSI.

  733. Hi Mike – I live equidistant between Finsbury Park station and Archway. I am regularly travelling to Sandersted/Purley environs and back to FP during the rush hour, weekdays only, but perhaps only 2 or 3 times each week maximum. What is my quickest and cheapest route? I have been travelling to Victoria Station and then by unreliable Southern Rail; but friends have mentioned the overground options etc… Please advise, many thanks! B.

  734. Hi Bryan,

    Quickest and cheapest do not often go together. There are three routes according to the single fare finder. The default one is the most expensive and is the way you travel. Next is a National Rail only route changing between Kings Cross and St Pancras International and then at East Croydon for the last leg to Sanderstead. The cheapest involves changing at Highbury & Islington, Stratford and Canada Water/Whitechapel to avoid zone 1 altogether. Sadly that will take ages.

    You should be able to travel via Highbury & Islington and onto the Overground through Shoreditch to New Cross Gate at the same NR only fare, but it isn’t defined. I’d expect it to take longer than via Kings Cross and St Pancras anyway, so it’s probably no great loss.

  735. Hi Mike,

    My journey is from Battersea park to Chertsey from Monday to Friday (7am-5pm). could you help me find the cheapest way to travel.Thanks.Emma

  736. Hi Emma,

    Your best bet is daily anytime return tickets. Because you are travelling away from the peak direction the return is less than 1/5 of the weekly season. Even a monthly would be touch and go whether it would be cheaper.

  737. Hi Mike, I recently started working in Twickenham, by the station. I live in Croydon, both are zone 5, to travel between them changing at Clapham, what travellers would allow this?


  738. Hi Matt,

    Zones 2-5.

  739. Would not touching out at Clapham make a difference? I know you had the option to touch your oyster as you change trains. If I skipped that could I use a 3-5?

  740. Hi Matt,

    No. The system know the route you will need to take and will charge you accordingly. If you haven’t got all zones covered on a travelcard then it will deduct the fare for the missing ones from your PAYG balance.

  741. Can I link my senior rail card to my Oyster card ON-Line ?

  742. Hi Peter,

    No, you can’t.

  743. Hi Mike
    Need to travel to gatwick from Crayford via London Bridge.
    Will oyster/wireless debit be cheaper? Traveling go get there at 8am.

  744. Hi Sadie,

    Apologies for the delay responding. If this is a single journey then Oyster will be cheaper. If it is a return then it should be cheaper unless both journeys are made at peak times (0630-0930 and 1600-1900). To arrive at Gatwick by 0800 means you’ll probably touch in at Crayford by 0630 so Oyster or a contactless card will be cheaper.

  745. Hi Mike,

    I travel from Surbiton to North Acton,Which zones travel card I should buy?


  746. Hi Sunil,

    It depends how you travel. If you go via Richmond*, Turnham Green and Ealing Broadway then you’ll need zones 3-6. If you go via Clapham Junction and Shepherd’s Bush then it’ll be zones 2-6. Otherwise you’ll need all zones 1-6.

    * Technically you get to Richmond via either Kingston or East Putney/Putney, but you can go via Clapham Junction as long as you have some PAYG credit to cover zone 2 if checked. As long as you touch the pink reader at Richmond you won’t be charged for zone 2.

  747. Hi Mike. I will need to do two days a week. Swanley to London Bridge peak time return. Swanley to catford cross the road catford bridge to london bridge or bus to sidcup and then onto london bridge. Do I buy a ticket daily, use my oystercard where I can or pay contactless. Please advise if you can. Thanks in advance

  748. Hi Rob,

    You can’t use Oyster or contactless at Swanley yet so if you go from there you’re probably better off buying a paper anytime return from Swanley to London Terminals. This is valid via Catford and Catford Bridge but not on any buses or the Underground/DLR.

    For the other option you can use Oyster or contactless on the TfL bus to Sidcup and then the train. This way will be considerably cheaper.

  749. Hi Mike.
    I have recently got a job offer in Weybridge. Could you please tell how it’s more convenient price wise to travel from Peckham Rye to Weybridge and return? Tuesday to Saturday, leaving Peckham Rye around 13.00 and returning from Weybridge around 20.00. Thank you!

  750. Hi Răz,

    Get an off-peak day return route Not Via London and travel via Clapham Junction.

  751. Hi Mike,

    I need to travel from Egham to Bracknell station everyday for work which is 5 days a week. It’s very wierd that my daily ticket costs £6.8 and weekly pass is £13 more expensive overall than being cheaper. The only option i see i buy ticket online everyday and get it from the station. Is there any other cheaper way where i can just buy monthly or weekly pass without worrying abt tickets everyday? Look forward to your response. Thank you!

  752. Hi Ila,

    The reason the daily tickets are so cheap is because you are commuting against the peak flow. The season ticket has to be valid both ways round. The daily ticket from Bracknell to Egham is £10.90.

  753. Hello Mike,
    I need to travel from Beckenham Junction to West Hamstead – and back – once a week on Saturdays, for most of the year. Would a student oyster card be the most cost effective way to do this?

  754. Hi Anne,

    The Student 18+ Oyster charges adult single fares and caps. You would be better off attaching a 16-25 railcard to your Oyster card to benefit from 1/3 off off-peak fares and caps, which apply all day on Saturdays.

  755. Hi,
    I have two oyster cards, purchased a couple of years ago. I, certain they both have money on. I have tried to “log on” but can’t remember my logon or password. I intend to use them in the next month. I live 100 milles away from London. How can I find out whether there is actually money on these cards?

  756. Hi Phil,

    If you know the security answer set when you registered the cards then the helpdesk can confirm the balance. This should be either your mother’s maiden name, a memorable place or a memorable date.

  757. Hi Mike, what travel card would I need to travel from East Croydon to Hendon, the train is direct and both stations are zones 5 and 3-4 respectively.

  758. Hi James,

    You’d need zones 1-5 as you travel through zone 1.

  759. Hello Mike,
    My family and me are travelling to London this summer, our B&B is near Merstham station and we plan to stay for one week. Which cards should we buy to travel to London everyday? we are 2 adults, a girl who is 13 and other who is 9.

  760. Hi Susana,

    As long as you don’t want to leave before the 0922 from Merstham then you’ll need 2x Family travelcard for the adults (£12 each) and 2x Family travelcard for the kids (£2 each) total £28 per day.

  761. We plan to stay from August 1st to 15th aproximately.

  762. That’s fine. August doesn’t make any difference to the restrictions on those tickets.

  763. Thanks for your help, Mike!
    This means total for 7 days is £196 using family Travelcard.
    I have been checking fares for commom travelcards and if I am not wrong, for adults fare is £64.20 and for teenager is £32.10. So total for 7 days will be £160.5….am I doing something wrong?

    Thanks again for clarifying

  764. Hi Susana,

    Those prices are for zones 1-7. Unfortunately the zones stop at 6 on that line and Merstham is completely outside the zonal area. Normal travelcard prices are £76.90 adult, £38.45 child. Also, the 9 year old will need to pay something. Under 11s get free travel within the zonal area as long as they have a 5-10 zip Oyster card. This costs £10 and can only be picked up at Central London TfL information centres if you normally live abroad. You’d also need to pay between Merstham and zone 6 each day which is £1.80/day.

    There is another way if you don’t mind doing the last bit by bus. The 405 bus runs between Redhill and Croydon and stops quite near to both Merstham and Coulsdon South stations. It is also covered by any travelcard. Thus you could get zone 1-6 travelcards at £59.10 adult and £29.60 child. You’d also need the zip card to get free travel for the 9 year old.

  765. Hi,

    I’ve just been looking on the TFL site and I don’t know if a travel card or oyster card would be best – oyster seems the cheaper. I’ll be in London for 3 days and staying at abbey wood, which looks to be in zone 4? A travel card to cover travel in zones 1-4 would be £46.50 for a 7 day card, whereas an oyster card I think charges you a maximum of £6.50 per day which would be £19.50. I’ll need two cards and this kids I think travel free, both being under 11

    so…oyster or travel card?

  766. Hi Kevin,

    The zone 1-4 daily cap is £9.30, but still cheaper than a weekly unless you use it for 5 days. Kids under 11 are free, but 5-10 year olds need a 5-10 zip Oyster photocard to travel from Abbey Wood into London. This costs £10 and saves the daily £4.35 return fare to London. On the tubes and dlr they travel free anyway without the zip card.

  767. brilliant, thanks! I don’t think I’ll be able to get the photocard online though as is seems that will take up to four weeks as they don’t have a passport – might have to sort that out at a visitor centre and just get a ticket for them at the abbey wood for the first trip.

    thanks very much for the advice.

  768. Re James’s East Croydon to Hendon query on 29 Jan: he can use a point to point season if he restricts himself to crossing London by Thameslink. Or does Clapham junc to west Hampstead on Overground. Can’t he?

  769. Hi Jeremy,

    Yes he could. I missed that option as he specifically asked for travel card.

  770. Hi Mike,

    I need to go to Crawley, West Sussex on Sunday from London Zone 1. I have Oyster student card 18+ (Zone 1-2) and I have attached my 16-25 railcard to it. Which one is cheaper, buying extension ticket to Crawley from Victoria St. or buying separate ticket (Southern train)? The last time I checked, return ticket using Southern train will cost me 17.5 pounds.

    Thank you in advance!

  771. Hi Mirza,

    All you need is an Off-Peak Day Return with Railcard discount from Boundary zone 2 to Crawley. This is currently £8.80. You may need to show your Oyster card to prove you have a zone 1-2 travelcard.

  772. with a London 60 + oyster can i use it between gatwick and london stations as it is valid from clapham junction onwards so will it just charge a portion ?

  773. Hi Jane,

    You can’t add PAYG to a 60+ Oyster card so you would need a ticket from Coulsdon South or Boundary Zone 6.

  774. Hi Mike,
    I will be traveling in London for 4 days and was just going to get a visitor oyster card with 30 pnd on it. I will be traveling almost exclusively on the Picadilly and Circle lines. Is the visitor card the cheapest way to go? Thanks! – Kate

  775. Hi Kate,

    The amount you need depends on how far you might travel on the Piccadilly line. You will need £6.50 per day for all travel within zones 1-2 (which covers the whole Circle line). The Piccadilly line extends to zone 6 and may push the daily total up to £11.80. If your only use of the Piccadilly line is to get to/from Heathrow then how much you pay on those days will depend on when you make the Heathrow trip. If you can give me an idea of your itinerary then I may be able to advise more precisely.

  776. Hi Mike,

    I live in Chadwell Heath and I need to go to imperial wharf which is a london overground station, can you please tell me the cheapest, and quickest route there?

    Many thanks

  777. Hi Sami,

    You need to avoid zone 1 for the cheapest route. The quickest route is harder to predict given that any route will involve a number of changes. If you can get an Overground train from Stratford direct to Imperial Wharf (then Clapham Junction) then that may well be quickest. Check my Oyster fare finder for more information on the available routes.

  778. Hi Mike,

    My journey will be Monday to Friday 7.00am from old Street to Twickenham and return from Twickenham at 6.00pm to Old Street. Travel card 1-5 zone and a trip via underground to Waterloo and then rail to Twickenham seem the fastest option and will cost 212 pounds per month ?

    Also taking the bus from old Street to Waterloo will reduce the cost of travel card to 2-5 zone at138 per month. I was wondering if there are other options and if PAYG is a better in terms of cost.



  779. Hi Dimos,

    You’ll need to take the bus to Vauxhall to avoid zone 1. Otherwise the travelcard is likely to be the cheapest way.

  780. Hi Mike
    I daily commute from Orpington to Shadwell via new cross. Is there any possibility where rail only (no travelcard or underground) season ticket apply? As you know, adding travelcard or underground for the same zones increases price a lot.
    many thanks in advance.

  781. Hi Basit,

    Sadly there are no rail only seasons for that route. However, a zone 2-6 travelcard costs £40.50 per week which is 50p less than ten peak singles at £4.10 each. A monthly travelcard would save greater amounts as long as you travel most days.

  782. Hi Mike

    I am planning to go to ZSL London Zoo with the days out 2 for 1 offer. My nearest station is Chadwell Heath can you please confirm if I am still able to get a paper travel card from this station and what will it cost? Many thanks for your help.

  783. Hi Sandy,

    Yes, you can still get paper travelcards from Chadwell Heath. They are £12.10 off-peak or £17.20 if travel before 0930 on Monday-Friday is required.

  784. Hi Mike,

    This is a when-not-to-use-Oyster sort of question, and may be one of the instances you haven’t found where paper tickets are cheaper.

    You may recall that I occasionally travel from Bracknell to a random London station, walk somewhere, then return from a different London station. My usual method of paying is to get an off-peak return (with senior railcard) BCE-FEL for £8.50 then use Oyster, also with senior railcard attached. Of course, this involves getting off at Feltham to touch in/out.

    While looking at brfares.com for another reason I happened to notice http://www.brfares.com/#faredetail?orig=BCE&dest=FEL&grpd=0035&rlc=SRN&rte=735&tkt=ODT. This is only £6.60 more than the CDR I usually get, whereas the daily cap on Oyster is £7.80. Therefore there may be some trips when I’m better off buying the ODT.

    The problem seems to be buying the ODT. NRE doesn’t list it; nor does SWT, who actually set the fare and run the route. Luckily my preferred website, GWR, does sell the ODT.

    So, am I right in thinking that if my expected journey is BCE-somewhere in z1-6 and the total price I’d expect to pay on Oyster for the day is £6.60 or more then I’m better off with a travelcard rather then the Oyster cap? And that with a travelcard I also save the inconvenience of having to get off to touch in/out at Feltham? Are there any disadvantages to the ODT compared with Oyster?

  785. Hi Alan,

    When you include travel from outside the zones there will always be cases where a travelcard is cheaper, especially if you require zone 1. I can’t see any disadvantages apart from potentially not realising that you might have overpaid if your actual travel ended up cheaper.

    As for NRE, I can get it to show the price. You need to choose journeys which invalidate the £14.10 super off-peak version (inserting a departure in the pm peak usually works), then click on the “with travelcard from xx.xx” box in the blue header above the train times. This will show travelcard options rather than single/return options.

  786. Thanks, Mike. The ODT will certainly be useful in some circumstances. Another advantage of it is that there’s no maximum journey time.

    I learned yesterday that although SWT’s new – and utterly appalling and useless – website doesn’t sell the tickets, their TVMs have it as a one-touch option on the main screen.

    I presume that a ODT has only one ticket rather than an out and return?

  787. Yes, just one ticket.

  788. Hi Mike

    Can you tell me if Billericay are on oyster? I live in chadwell heath and have to get a bus from my house to the station to start my journey and then get the train from there to Billericay. Also would it be cheaper to get a weekly ticket or just use my oyster? Thanking you in advance 🙂

  789. Hi Sandy,

    No, you can only use Oyster as far as Shenfield. You can buy a Billericay to zones 5-6 weekly travelcard which will cover all your needs. You can use it either way round, but the place has to be the origin and the zones have to be the destination with travelcards.

  790. i have two oyster card I used them last september 2015 then i came to my country and there is money in them one 20 pound and the other 31 pound my question i will visit london next september 2016 can i use them or they expired . thank you for reply . ali from kuwait.

  791. Hi Ali,

    They’ll be fine. The credit never expires.

  792. thank you Mike . you mean I go straight and touch the card to the yellow radar in the station and it will work . thank you for reply .

  793. Yes, that’s it.

  794. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for this website! It’s so awesome.

    Would it be cheaper for me to get a 16-25 railcard or 16+ zip oyster card to travel from grays to Upminster Bridge during peak times?

    Also how do you calculate it?

    Thanks in advance

  795. Hi AH,

    The 16+ zip card gives you a 50% discount across the board whereas the 16-25 only discounts off-peak fares by 34%. If you use our Oyster Fare Finder it shows prices for all options on the same page.

  796. Hi Mike,

    Great page btw, my OH needs to travel from Woking to Waterloo for four days next week – travelling in on peak and returning off-peak. I was looking at the cheapest way to do this, and it seems that I could get day return tickets from Woking to Surbiton and then use the PAYG oyster from there. Actual destination is Piccadilly Circus but that bit is easy from Waterloo.

    Also doing this, am I right in saying the OH would then have to get off the train at Surbiton to exit the station and then re-enter with the oyster card for it to work?

  797. Hi Shane,

    Yes, to use paper to Surbiton and Oyster from there to London would require getting off at Surbiton in both directions and then getting a later train. It’s also only just worth it, and only if you also switch to the Underground at Vauxhall rather than Waterloo.

    For £95.70 you can buy a weekly Woking to zones 1-6 travelcard which will allow travel on fast trains to and from Waterloo and the Bakerloo line to Piccadilly Circus. This is cheaper than every other combination apart from:

    Anytime day return Woking to Surbiton: £11.50
    Peak single Surbiton to Piccadilly Circus changing at Vauxhall and Green Park: £6.50
    Off-peak single Piccadilly Circus to Surbiton changing at Green Park and Vauxhall: £5.10
    Daily total: £23.10 x4 = £92.40.

    I have to say that I’d pay £3.30 for the speed and greater flexibility, plus you’ve got free travel for a further 3 days should you want to do something in town.

  798. Hi, Mike.

    I’m trying to plan a journey to and from Watford that will be made on Saturday using an Oyster card that has a Zone 1-4 travelcard on it. The journey will be from south London and travelling to either Watford High Street or Watford Junction station and then back again.

    What I’m hoping to find out is what the cost of each of these route will be:

    1. Wimbledon to Watford High Street (via District Line to West Brompton, then London Overground to Willesden Junction, and lastly London Overground again to Watford High Street).

    2. Wimbledon to Watford Junction (via District Line to West Brompton, then London Overground to Willesden Junction, and lastly London Overground again to Watford Junction).

    3. Morden to Watford High Street (via London Underground to Euston, then National Rail to Watford Junction, and lastly London Overground to Watford High Street).

    4. Morden to Watford Junction (via London Underground to Euston, then National Rail to Watford Junction).

    5. The reverse of journey 1.

    6. The reverse of journey 2.

    7. The reverse of journey 3.

    8. The reverse of journey 4.

    I’ve tried using other online resources to find the answers but I’m still none the wiser.

    Thanks in advance for any help that you can provide.

  799. Hi Nicola,

    That’s nice and easy. All the journeys are on the TfL-LU scale so for Watford High Street it’s a zone 5-8 single fare of £1.80 off-peak. This holds true even if you go via Watford Junction as long as you stay within the station (don’t touch out). You can find that fare on the single fares (2016) page.

    For ending at Watford Junction you need to look up a fare from a zone 5 station on that line, e.g. Harrow & Wealdstone. As it happens, the fare is the same off-peak. The reverse journeys are all the same too. You can’t always use the fare finder for extension fares, but it’s ok in this case.

  800. Hi, Mike.

    Thank you for that help.

  801. Hi Mike,

    I have a season (annual) ticket on my oyster for zones 1-4. I need to travel to Hemel Hempstead and wonder if the extension from z4 boundary to HH I can pay by putting extra money (however much that is) on my oyster or do I need to buy a proper extension.

    Many thanks,

  802. Hi Hann,

    You’ll need a paper extension for that.

  803. Hi Mike,

    I’m sorry for a noob question, I’m planning to get around London sometime next week, so I need to ask what an Underground pass is. Is it a paper ticket or a card? Is Oyster an underground pass? Thanks

  804. Hi Abdhul,

    As far as I know there is no such thing as an Underground pass. There may have been in the past. An Oyster card will allow you to travel around London while capping your fares each day dependant on which zones you have used. Zones 1-2 have a £6.50 daily cap.

  805. Hello Mike
    I’m planning a w’end trip to London in Feb 2017 with my son aged 19. I will be travelling to London on a Friday and return on the following Monday.
    I have booked the train journey from departing station to London Euston already using my Disabled Persons Railcard therefore discount 1/3 for the both of us.
    We have yet to decided to stay in Elmers End or stay in central London.
    My question in 3 parts are
    1) If we stay in Elmers End should I apply for a Oyster Card with my Disabled Persons added on or just go for paper tickets?
    (We would travel once daily from Elmers End to London Euston & London Euston to Elmers End.
    Once in Central London we would use the underground tube and buses throughout the day/evening).
    2) If we stay in Central London only is it worth getting an Oyster Card or just paper tickets
    3) If I do need an Oyster card Do I also need to get a One for my son as he needs to accompany me on all journeys. Or will my Oyster card cover him.
    Thank you in anticipation.

  806. Hi Ken,

    The Oyster card with disabled railcard discount added will be best for you in either case. Your son will be able to get a discounted zones 1-6 travelcard with your railcard. Trains from Elmers End go to either Charing Cross or Cannon Street where you then take the tube if you want Euston.

  807. Many thanks for your reply Mike. Can I ask a further question.
    I’ll apply for a Visitors Oyster Card and get the DIsabled discount added.
    Question…..As for my sons daily zones travel card. Once I get the Oyster card can I use it on line to apply for my sons zones travel cards or do I have to do it on each day at a tube station
    Thank you again

  808. Make that a normal Oyster Card Mike,

  809. Hi Ken,

    Definitely make it a normal Oyster card. You aren’t actually using the Oyster card to get the travelcard for your son, it’s your disabled railcard which offers that. You can purchase online to pick up at a National Rail station, or just buy each day at either NR or tube.

  810. Thanks again Mike.

  811. Hello Mike!

    I’m a fourteen year old who lives in Hertfordshire. Every Saturday I travel into London, but I’ve noticed I can save up to £3 every time I visit via several different ways.

    Usually I go from Hertford North, which is not in the Oyster Zone, into Moorgate, which costs £6.80 for a travelcard.

    But I’ve noticed its cheaper to go to Hertford East, which IS in the Oyster zone, buy a paper return ticket to Cheshunt (Zone 8 – £3.05), get out of Cheshunt station, tap in with my 11-15 Oyster to get back into the station and catch the train four minutes later to get to Liverpool Street (same on the way back). I’ll hit my Z1-9 Oyster cap of £1.50, so £6.80-£3.05-£1.50 means a saving of £2.25.

    Also, another way is to go from Hertford North as usual, but get a paper return ticket to Crews Hill (Zone 6 – £2.25). Get off at Crews Hill station, tap in my 11-15 Oyster card again and wait 30 mins for the next train (again, same on the way back). I’ll hit the cap again of £1.50, so £6.80-£2.25-£1.50 means a saving of £3.05.

    Or, to avoid any hassle of waiting at NR stations, get a return ticket to London Terminals, which is £4.25 from both stations, and use my oyster card from there. £6.60-£4.25-£1.50 means a saving of £1.05. Not much, but as I have an 11-15 Oyster it’s worth it!

    These savings may not be big for everyone, but they are for a 14 year old like me!!

  812. Hi Mike

    Shortly I will be starting a new job in London travelling from Woking to Bank.

    Oyster return between Wloo & Bank appears to be £4.80.

    Reflecting my tube journey is only a single stop, I wondered if I am I better off getting a SWT Annual season ticket covering all zones (1-5) …..OR restricting the season ticket to Wloo & using an Oyster for the daily one stop tube journey ?

    Many thanks and a very happy christmas !

  813. Hi Boris,

    It may only be one stop, but it’s a zone 1 tube journey. The travelcard is definitely better value for that combination.

  814. Audrey Carmichael

    Hi Mike
    Is there any advantage to my linking my Oyster 60+ photocard to my Senior Citizens Railcard?

  815. Hi Audrey,

    You can’t actually add anything extra to a 60+ Oyster Card. Like the Freedom Pass, it’s only a free travel pass subject to morning peak restrictions on some National Rail services. If you need to travel on services when they’re not free then you’ll need an adult Oyster card. Sadly the railcard discount doesn’t affect peak fares, so adding the senior railcard to that is of limited value. You would get discounted fares between 0430-0630 when the 60+ isn’t valid but Oyster charges off-peak fares.

  816. There are readers that look like Oyster readers on Egham station. Any idea what they are for?

  817. They’re for SWTs own smart card, Jonathan.

  818. Hi

    I leave near to Luton town centre and my new job is at southgate london – near to underground station of southgate. But the fares are so costly , it really becomes pain in my neck .
    i have enquired about the national rail card but its almost of £21.50 per day .

    Please suggest if you have any suggestions for me .
    Please help , i am really stuck and yes i have to travel during peak hours ; Mon – fri ( due to office hours).

  819. Hi Ruby,

    Can you tell me exactly what ticket the £21.50 is? Is it a day return, weekly season where you are dividing the cost by 5, or some other ticket. Also, do you have a 16-25 railcard?

  820. Elaine Bracken

    I’m really confused, can I use my Oyster card from East Croydon to Esher stations tomorrow – Staurday?

  821. Hi Mike

    Thank you so much for replying
    yes i do have a 16-25 railcard .
    i think its £23 something for the london travel card.

    as of now i take the train from luton to st pancras and from kingcross to southgate ( tube).

    If you can help me how can i save my money the it would be really helpful .


  822. Hi Elaine,

    Not for the whole journey. The Oyster system runs out at Surbiton.

  823. Hi Ruby,

    OK, you should be paying £23.70 for the travelcard. You can save a little by avoiding zone 1. You need to travel to West Hampstead Thameslink then walk to West Hampstead Overground, take London Overground to Highbury & Islington and Victoria/Piccadilly lines to Southgate. The ticket you need is £21.20 and is LUTON to ZONE U234* LONDN Anytime return.

  824. Hi Mike,

    I Need your smart brain please.
    I need to do weekday commute from Feltham (zone6) to my new workplace near Tower Bridge(zone1) during peak hours.

    I just arrived in UK and I am confused…and I need to confirm the journey fare…

    I have options below from Feltham to TowerBridge =
    1.From HattonCross Underground Station = tube Piccadily Line -> District Line,with PAYG Oyster => single fare peak PAYG will be 7.8£
    2.From Feltham Rail station -> Waterloo station => one day travelcard will be 13,9£.

    Questions =
    a.Can I use Oyster PAYG for option 2?If yes,how much it will be?
    b.What is the cheapest option for me?

    Thank you for your kind attention.

  825. Hi Ivony,

    Both routes are valid for PAYG. Hatton Cross to Tower Hill is £4.70 peak single. Feltham to Tower Hill via Waterloo is £7.80 peak single but subject to a £12.00 daily cap. You can also change between National Rail and Underground at Vauxhall for a reduced peak single of £6.60. The cheapest option is undoubtedly to use Hatton Cross as it is tube only and avoids zone 6.

  826. Hi Mike.
    Excellent site! Reading through these gave been so helpful!
    I’ve just movef to Guildford but need to come into london every second week or so, either to Picadilly, westminster, wimbeldon or hammersmith.
    I have a oyster 16-24 card.
    What is the cheapest way to get into london, return? Would a national rail card be better than the oyster one or can they be linked? Ie to get the consession discount on the National rail train?
    It would be off peak travel.
    I’m new to the uk travel system entirely and getting lots of conflicting information! Thank!!!

  827. Hi Emily,

    If you have a 16-24 card I think it’s likely to be the 16-25 railcard issued by National Rail. You can’t actually use Oyster at Guildford so you’re almost certainly better off just getting discounted rail tickets*. You can either get an off-peak travelcard for £16.90 or a super off-peak travelcard for £13.60. As far as you are concerned the off-peak ticket is valid on any trains timed to arrive at Waterloo after 1000 weekdays and any trains at weekends. The super off-peak ticket has additional restrictions depending on the day, including return restrictions during the late afternoon. Both tickets allow unlimited travel within zones 1-6 after 0930.

    Note that for Wimbledon you only need a rail ticket to there as it is on the direct line into Waterloo. *Also, for Hammersmith you have a cheaper option if that’s the only place you’re going to. Get the same ticket to Wimbledon, then use an Oyster card with your railcard linked to it on the District line to Earls Court and then to Hammersmith. This avoids zone 1 and two singles (Wim-Ham & Ham-Wim) are much cheaper than the day travelcard add-on.

    If any of this isn’t clear then please do ask again.

  828. Hi Mike! Your site is excellent! I will be travelling from Blackheath to Charing Cross and back every weekday this month. What is the cheapest way for me to do this?
    Much obliged.

  829. Hi Joanne,

    As long as you only require Southeastern trains then get a Blackheath to London Terminals season. If you’re only doing 3 weeks then you’ll need weekly tickets. If it’s 4 weeks then a monthly ticket will just be cheaper (Feb is the worst month to start a monthly ticket as there is only 28 days in it). For any odd days under a month use PAYG.

  830. Hi Mike

    Thank you for your email. but i think buying ticket on daily basis from luton rail station – zone 1 – 4 is of £23.15 for as i got the 16-25 national rail card . I think changing via west hampstead is too much time consuming for me.

    I was just wondering if i can buy one ticket from luton to st. pancras and oyester card from kingcross underground station to southgate underground station.
    but i have checked online as well , its going to more expensive for me .

    Do you have any idea about buses or any other means of transport , because spending £23.15 for 5 days in a week is so expensive for me .

    It would be really great if you can suggest me any other cheapest mode.

    Thank you so much for your advice.

  831. Hi Ruby,

    The way that train fares are calculated within London means that you are paying almost all of the fare to get to St Pancras and not a lot more to travel back to Southgate. This is why paying for the Underground on Oyster costs more because no account of the journey into London is made.

    As advised you can save about £2 per day by avoiding zone 1, but there will likely be a time penalty. However, that penalty is nothing compared to taking the bus for part of the journey. You could get a ticket from Luton to Mill Hill Broadway for £14.35 with your railcard then add £1.50 each way for the buses. Which ones you need will depend on where in Southgate you need to go. You will probably need two buses, but the hopper fare means you should only need to pay one fare for both buses. It will take about 50-60 minutes on the buses.

  832. Hi Mike
    I have an 11-15 Oyster card, and travel from Wimbledon Park to Westminster. I have to travel from Waterloo to Weybridge. Do I need to buy a ticket from Surbiton to Weybridge, and can I do that before I get the train at Waterloo? Thank you for your help.

  833. Hi Daniel,

    If you use your 11-15 Zip Oyster card to PAYG you’ll need to get off at Surbiton to touch out. If you have a zone 1-3 travelcard on the Zip Oyster card then you can buy a boundary zone 3 to Weybridge ticket at Waterloo and not have to worry about touching out.

  834. Hey Mike

    Thank you so much for your reply .
    I will try this one tomorrow.
    i know its too much hassle , btw my office is 3 min walk from southgate tube station.

  835. Hi Ruby,

    You’re welcome. If it’s close to Southgate tube then it looks like the 251 from Mill Hill Broadway changing onto either the 125 or the 298. I’d check the TfL journey planner for further details about where to change (it’s different for each option).

  836. Hi Mike

    I need to make a return journey from Zone 1 to Watford junction during off-peak (weekend). I have a YP Railcard on my Oyster Card. Will it be cheaper to use my Oyster or buy a paper ticket?

    Struggling to find info on what the off peak cap for a railcard Oyster is between Zone 1 and Watford Junction. Can you shed any light on this?

    Thanks in advance


  837. Hi Flo,

    The off-peak cap is £11.50, but you shouldn’t reach that if you just make one return journey.

  838. Hi Mike,
    I’ll be travelling one-way between Shenfield and Stratford next month on a Sunday. I have a 16-25 railcard, and an Oyster card (without the discount set on it yet). Would it be cheaper to use Oyster PAYG or to buy a single with the 16-25 discount? If Oyster is cheaper, would this be valid on the Greater Anglia trains (since TfL Rail isn’t stopping there at the moment I believe)?


  839. Hi Jake,

    For a single fare the undiscounted Oyster off-peak fare is £4.50 while the discounted paper ticket is £6.55. If the Oyster card had the discount attached it would be £2.95. And Oyster is valid on GA as well as TfL Rail.

  840. Mike

    Can I use a 60+ Oyster card (with or outwith restricted times) on the direct route between East Croydon and Blackfriars? That particular line does not appear at all on the map published by TfL despite its being an obvious key connnector. Or do I have to travel into Victoria from West Croydon then take the Circle/District on to Blackfriars?

    Thanks and regards Mark

  841. Hi Mark,

    Yes, that’s fine. The 60+ map isn’t the clearest of things and several corners appear to have been left off, but it’s definitely valid.

  842. Mark Scoggins

    Mike many thanks, makes my journey much quicker and simpler. Regards Mark

  843. Hi Mike

    Can you help me please. I live in South Woodham Ferrers and will be starting a new job in Stratford. The company will buy me a yearly Oyster card which would take me to And From Shenfield.

    Should I buy an annual ticket to cover me from SWF to Shenfield and then use the Oyster card. Would I need to leave the train st Shenfield and swipe in with the Oyster card or just stopping at Shenfield is sufficient. Thanks

  844. Hi Andy,

    You need to check what your job is buying. Is it a zone 1-6 travelcard on Oyster, or are they getting a zone 3 to Shenfield travelcard. If it’s the former then you’d need a South Woodham Ferrers to Harold Wood season. In either case you don’t need to touch in/out at the changeover point, but the ticket must cover the whole journey.

  845. Hello Mike,

    I hope you’re doing great.

    I need to travel to Twickenham daily from Stratford and I have been struggling to find the best/quickest route at an affordable fare. Are you please able to advice? I will be traveling 5 days a week and £11.10 (daily) seems quite high for me.

    I look forward to hear from you soon.

    Have a great day.


  846. Hi Laila,

    Unfortunately quickest and cheapest don’t often mean the same thing where travel is concerned. However, there are a few options to avoid zone 1 on that route. I suggest taking a Richmond train from Stratford and then using SWT to Twickenham. You need to touch the pink reader at Richmond to tell the system you’ve avoided zone 1, then you’ll only pay £3.60 each way at peak times, or £7.20 for the day.

  847. Hi Mike

    I’m planning to move to London zone 3 soon and will have to commute to Twickenham (zone 5) weekdays for university. I also make 1/2 return trips to Epsom (zone 6) a week. Having a student oyster and having a 16-25 railcard, what would be the cheapest form of transport?

  848. Hi James,

    Sadly Epsom is not in zone 6, unless you mean the infrequently served branch to Epsom Downs.

    Assuming you can travel from home to Twickenham without leaving zones 3-5 (eg you don’t have to go via Clapham Junction) then you’ll need a travelcard for those zones on your Student Oyster. That will obviously be discounted. Add the railcard discount so trips outside those zones but within Oyster are reduced off-peak. For Epsom you’ll need a boundary zone 5 to Epsom ticket as long as you are starting the journey within zones 3-5 and you won’t need to travel via Clapham Junction.

  849. Hi Mike,
    I am travelling from Redhill to Kew Bridge via Clapham Junction at peak times (of course!). I used contactless yesterday and my 6:30am train to KB cost £5.40 but returning at 16:58 it cost me a whopping £10 something. I need to buy a travel card but southern rails costs £250 for the month yet Oysters zone 2-6 costs $158 – am I missing something? Will Oyster let me go through those zones on that travel card? thanks! Emma

  850. Hi Emma,

    Touching in before 0630 gets you the off-peak fare of £5.90. The peak fare is £10.40. The £250.40 monthly ticket is just for National Rail between Redhill and Kew Bridge avoiding London Terminals. The big thing you are missing is that Redhill is way beyond zone 6. You can buy a Redhill to zones 2-6 travelcard but it costs £265.40.

  851. Hi Mike,

    Were travelling to London next March 2018, for 5 days.

    Day one we will travel from Heathrow to the Archway tube station near where we are staying.

    Day two we hope to travel to central London and do some sightseeing

    Day three – Lego land – train from Paddington I think

    Day 4 Sightseeing aagin

    Day 5 Return to airport.

    There are two adults and three children – 6, 3,1

    What type of ticketing arrangements would you recommend for us? Thanks in advance for your help

  852. At Heathrow Airport, get two “Pay as you go” Oyster cards. These will cost you £5 each (deposit) and load them up with £30 each (or less – see details below as travelling off-peak is cheaper). You do not need an Oyster card for children under 11 as long as they travel with an adult (which I am presuming will most definitely be the case).

    Heathrow to Archway will cost you £5.10 (or £3.10 off-peak).

    Sightseeing for a day will cost you £6.60 maximum (£4.50 if you only use buses which may be easier if you have a buggy with you – routes 4, 17, 43 and 390 being your friends here!).

    For single journeys to Paddington on “day three” Pay-as-you-go Singles are £2.40 each (or £2.90 peak).

    Now – “day three”. Legoland is outside of the Oyster area, and the nearest station is Windsor and Eton Central. You are correct that this is from Paddington, with a change of trains at Slough. The fare is £14.20 per adult for an anytime day return (£11.30 per adult for an off-peak day return) but your 6-year old will need a ticket at half of those prices. These tickets can be bought at Paddington on the day. At Windsor, there is a shuttle bus which goes from the Theatre Royal (near the station) and has route number 200 (run by First) or 600 (run by Courtney). They cost £5 per adult return, £2.50 for your 6-year old.

    As a suggestion, if “day three” can be a Saturday or Sunday, consider getting the Greenline 702 coach from Victoria (alongside the rear of the station next to the shopping centre called “Collonades”. This will cost you £19 as a family ticket (2 adults and 1 child in your case). **HOWEVER** check that the 702 is running to Legoland in March 2018, as it is very early in the season, and it may not run on the weekend you want it. The 2017 timetable is here: https://www.firstgroup.com/berkshire-thames-valley/plan-journey/timetables/?operator=1&service=702&page=1&redirect=no
    (don’t worry about the split of journeys at Slough bus station – this is due to an EU directive that bus services can’t be over 50km in length. It will be the same vehicle, and you stay on it!)

  853. Hi Mike,

    I wonder what the cheapest way for my journey would be:

    Zone 1 Tube station (any) > Gatwick Airport
    Gatwick Airport > Marylebone Tube station (Z1)

    Return 10 days after outward leg, touching in at off-peak times both ways.

    I have an Oyster with 16-25 railcard loaded. I also have a contactless card available, or I can buy paper tickets if better value.

    Thanks a lot!

  854. Hi Jan,

    As you are effectively making single journeys the Oyster fares will be better value. Just make sure that you don’t use the Gatwick Express between Victoria and the Airport. If cost really is an issue then you can split the journey at East Croydon by touching out and in again, though this is less desirable if you have lots of luggage. You may also need more money on your Oyster card to touch in at Gatwick than you will actually use, especially if touch in is between 1600-1900 Monday-Friday. It will be adjusted correctly on touch out.

    Hope that helps.

  855. Hi Mike,

    many thanks for your help. There will be luggage involved, so I probably won’t do the splitting at East Croydon!

    Thank you

  856. Hi Mike
    Commuting daily from Blackheath to Angel tube station.

    Cheapest way to do this?


  857. Hi Max,

    Almost certain to be a travelcard on Oyster. If you’re prepared to use a bus between Blackheath and Lewisham then you’ll need zones 1-2, otherwise it’ll be zones 1-3.

  858. Hi, Mike! I am starting a job in Liverpool Street and the company will pay for a monthly 1-6 zone card. I will have to commute from Swanscombe and am quite confused as to what is the cheapest way i can do this. Any help will be much appreciated!

  859. Hi Violet,

    The cheapest way to do it is to buy two season tickets. You buy Swanscombe to Slade Green and your company buys the zones 1-6 travelcard. Surprisingly this is cheaper than buying a combined Swanscombe to zones 1-6 travelcard.

    You might be thinking, what if the train goes via Crayford or Barnehurst? The Swanscombe to Slade Green season is valid via either Crayford or Barnehurst, so you are effectively making a partial journey. This is no problem with a season ticket. The travelcard is valid at all three stations so you switch to it at that point. You can even use the pair of tickets on a train which runs fast from Dartford as your whole journey is still covered.

    This combination is pushing the limits of validity, so you might occasionally encounter staff who say it’s not valid between Crayford/Barnehurst and Dartford. They are wrong, but you might have to politely stand your ground. If your ticket is checked anywhere else other than between Crayford/Barnehurst and Dartford, just show the one ticket which is valid at that point.

  860. I need to travel to Crawley on a one off journey. I have zones 1-6 on my Oyster. Can I use the Oystercard to the boundary and pay for the extension to Crawley without getting off the train.

  861. Hi Colin,

    As it’s a travelcard on your Oyster then yes, you can. See Mixing Oyster and Paper Tickets for more information.

  862. Stuart Cottis

    Hi Mike
    Your website is great.
    I have an annual travelcard for Zones 1 & 2 and hence a Gold Card discount. I need to travel from Liverpool Street to Gatwick Airport. It is not clear to me from the TfL website how much it is for the single journey using PAYG as presumably I will only be charged from the edge of Zone 2?
    I think it might be cheaper to get a paper ticket with Thameslink?

  863. Hi Stuart,

    If you can touch on a bus at London Bridge before starting your journey to Gatwick then you should be charged £4.05 off-peak. If you travel by tube then National Rail without touching on a bus it should be £4.50. Both look cheaper than the cheapest paper ticket.

  864. Hi Mike

    I need to travel from Surbiton to Waterloo or Vauxhall (my work is half way between) with the occasional bus trip to the office (in zone 1) when it’s raining.

    I will travel at peak in the morning but usually offpeak in the evening. I work from home too but it’s dependebt on business so the number of days I travel will vary from week to week – sometimes 7 but sometimes 2. Is a weekly travelcard a better option on the weeks I travel into zone 1/2 more than 3 times and payg when I travel 2 days a week?

    Many thanks

  865. Hi Emma,

    That’s quite a difficult one. If you only use the bus occasionally then a travelcard may not be worth it even if you travel 5 days in the week. Add in making half the single journeys at off-peak times and I think PAYG is probably the way to go. If you really are going to use it for 7 consecutive days then a travelcard will just make sense, although if you use a contactless card you’ll get weekly capping from Mon-Sun and not have to worry about paying for the whole week up front.

    Obviously getting off at Vauxhall saves quite a bit too, though I appreciate that some trains from Surbiton don’t stop there.

  866. Mark Gaffney

    HI Mike
    this saturday coming 2nd june i have to go from Sidcup to Swanscombe , is this covered by Oyster & if yes how much would it be

  867. Hi Mark,

    Sadly not. Oyster finishes at Dartford.

  868. Hi Mike,

    I’m currently living in Bermondsey area in London, but studying in Guildford. I need to get into Guildford around 4 times a week (time varies depending on the uni schedule, so sometimes it might be peak times, but most of the time probably off-peak). I will probably need to take a tube to Waterloo and then a National Rail, right?

    Could you tell me the cheapest method for the journey? I do own a 16-25 Railcard. Would it be cheaper to purchase a Travelcard or just paper tickets every day? Are there any other alternatives?

    Thanks in advance,

  869. Hi Mike,

    Also to add to the post above – how much would the travelcard be? And what kind of travelcard?

    Thanks again!

  870. Hi Mikey,

    London to Guildford is far enough that your 16-25 railcard is not subject to a minimum fare in the morning. This means that a travelcard season is going to be more expensive because you can’t discount it. You need a ticket from Zone U12* Londn to Gulidford route Clandon/Woking. On your outward journey the key time is when you leave Waterloo. If it’s before 0900 then you need the Anytime Day Return ticket at £19.75. If it’s after 0900 then the Off-peak Day Return ticket is only £15.10. You can leave Bermondsey on the Jubilee line at any time.

  871. Hi Mike

    I used contactless to go from Gatwick to London bridge in the evening and then immediately took the underground from London bridge to Stratford.

    According to TFL fare finder there are no evening peak fares from Gatwick to London Bridge but there are evening peak fares from Gatwick to Stratford. As a result the fare increased from £10.70+£2.40 if it was charged for as two separate journeys to £17.00 after the system treated it as a single journey.

    I tried phoning tfl to get a refund but they refused saying that the fare the system produced was correct. Is this their usual stance? Seems dumb that one has to either buy a paper ticket or use two different contactless cards to avoid getting screwed!


  872. Hi David,

    Sadly TfL are correct. The off-peak relaxation in the evening peak is purely to encourage people into the central zone for a night out. In your case you could have touched on a bus outside London Bridge which would have added £1.50 but split the rail journey in two making it £14.60. Alternatively you can get off at East Croydon to touch out and back in again. You could actually get the fare down to £5.30 + £3.70 = £9 by changing at East Croydon, New Cross Gate and Canada Water, thus avoiding zone 1.

  873. Hi, Mike
    My stepdaughter is 15 and has zip card. She will need to travel from St Albans to Hendon on Thameslink at 8 am and back at 4 pm. Can she use her zip card on the journey and if yes how much would she be charged?

  874. Hi Sofia,

    Sorry, the Oyster is not accepted north of Elstree and Borehamwood on that line.

  875. Hi Mike

    I travel between Sutton and Norbiton and was told to buy a zone 4 & 5 travel card. Both stations are In zone 5. However I’m still getting charged £2.20 for the trip. Was I told the wrong information?

  876. Hi Chris,

    Yes, you need a travelcard to cover all the zones you go through. Assuming you travel via Wimbledon then that is a zone 3-5 travelcard.

  877. Hi Mike
    Can you advise cheapest way for my daughter, with 16+Zip Oystercard, to travel from Gloucester Road tube to Egham for college daily

  878. Hi Ray,

    Assuming travel at peak times she’ll need a zone 1-6 travelcard on her Zip card and a Feltham to Egham season ticket for the last bit. The travelcard will be half price with the 16+.

  879. Hello mike ,
    So confused my Daughter needs to go from Sunningdale to Oxford circus 3 days a week for college.
    With a 16+Zip ,what other ticket does she need and can we add this on her Oyster card.

  880. Hi Claire,

    I’m not surprised you’re confused – it is confusing. So the basics. 3 days a week is not enough to make a season ticket worthwhile for any part of the journey, so you are looking at daily tickets/fares. The Zip Oyster card halves the fares for travel between Feltham and Central London which will be taken from the PAYG balance. I strongly recommend setting up auto topup because that will stop the worry about remembering to topup.

    Each day she will need an Anytime day return from Sunningdale to Feltham. That’s £12.30, or she can buy a carnet** of ten tickets for a 5% discount. At Feltham she’ll need to get off* to touch in the 16+ zip card. The single fare is £4.00 if changing at Waterloo or £3.35 if changing at Vauxhall. It doesn’t matter which she does though, because the daily cap is £6.25. I’d probably change at Vauxhall in the morning onto the Victoria line, but use the Bakerloo to Waterloo in the evening to get a better chance of a seat.

    *Getting off at Feltham is a pain but does save a lot of money with the zip card. If she can work out where to sit so she is next to the exit at Feltham then she may be able to get back on the same train, or the next one isn’t much later in the rush hour. On the way back she can get any (fast) train to Feltham and wait for a Sunningdale one after she’s touched out. I’m sure she’ll get the idea.

    **Carnet tickets. May be worthwhile in your situation, BUT be very careful to date the tickets before starting the journey, and don’t make a mistake. You may need a ‘sharpie’ pen to do this. The discount is only 5%, so one mistake would wipe out the whole discount and more because the ticket can’t then be used.

  881. Hi Mike
    My daughter will be travelling from Potters Bar to Holborn via Finsbury Park Mon-Fri from 1st Oct for 12 months during Uni term time. She has the option of an under 25 Oyster card but we can’t work out if the Oyster, plus an annual season ticket from Potters Bar to where the Oyster card boundary begins, is going to be cheaper than a standard season ticket from Pot Bar to Holborn. She will be travelling at peak time. Really appreciate your advice.

  882. Hi Mel,

    I’m not quite sure what you mean about an Under 25 Oyster. There is a 16-25 railcard which gives 1/3 discount on single and return fares but has restrictions on usage before 10am. There is also an 18+ Student Oyster which gives 30% off the price of travelcard seasons, but you can only get that if you live in Greater London. Perhaps you could clarify?

    I’m also inclined to advise against an annual season unless she will be travelling a lot outside of term time. You can buy seasons for any length of time over 1 month, so to cover each term is probably the most cost effective way.

    Finally, have you considered the 298 bus from Potters Bar to Cockfosters and then the Underground straight to Holborn? That can be done using a zone 1-5 travelcard. The bus stops outside both stations and takes 11 minutes (maybe a little more in the peak).

  883. Hi Mike
    What a helpful reply thank you. You are quite right, apparently she is eligible for an 18+ oyster but I didn’t think this was correct as we live in Hertfordshire and the Oyster doesn’t come out this far although I understand it might by the end of the year.
    Will check out the bus option too, which we hadn’t thought of.
    Many thanks again.

  884. Hi Mel,

    In that case the bus and tube option becomes very attractive as all you need is a discounted zone 1-5 travelcard.

  885. My son has just started uni in central London and is travelling normally Zone 1 for lectures 3-4 times per week but has friends in Zones 2 and 3 which he also uses the overground rail. He already has a railcard 16-25. Can you tell me is it worth him getting a Student Oyster Card as currently he is using contanctless.

  886. Hi Sandra,

    Firstly, he should get an Oyster card of some sort and add the railcard to it. That way he’ll get discounts on all off-peak fares and the off-peak cap.

    I’m not sure whether he’ll benefit from a Student 18+ Oyster. You pay adult fares and caps (which can be discounted by a railcard), but get 30% off the price of travelcard seasons. A weekly zone 1-2 travelcard on the 18+ costs £23.80 and ten peak tube fares in zone 1 cost £24.00. You’ll need to see how much he’s spending in a typical week, bearing in mind off-peak fares will be discounted with the railcard.

  887. I have an oyster card and wish to travel to serbiton on a sunday.Will this be covered by my card?

  888. Hi James,

    As long as you’re coming from the London side, yes. Surbiton is the last station to accept Oyster on the South West mainline.

  889. Hi Mike,

    Thank you, first of all, for running such a treasure trove of a website! Great info all around!

    Quick question for you on a topic I haven’t found info on yet. I’m travelling from Brixton to Gatwick Airport next Sunday, and have looked up the prices for a direct ticket, which is £16. However, if I go from Brixton to East Croydon (via Victoria) and then from ECR to Gatwick, suddenly I pay a total of £5.80. Now my question for you – do you know how long I’d have to wait outside East Croydon between tapping out and tapping back in for these to be registered as two separate journeys? I’d rather not be hit with some insane penalty fare for using fares that are simply less outrageously than what the websites try to sell me…

    Thanks very much in advance! 🙂

  890. Hi Jon,

    No time at all. With gates you just exit through one gate and immediately enter through an adjacent gate in the opposite direction.

  891. Hi Mike,

    Simple as that? Great – thank you very much for the quick reply! I appreciate it.

  892. hi mike can you please tell me if i can use my freedom pass over 60 from colindale station to kent thank you julie

  893. Hi Julie,

    Can you be a bit more specific about Kent? Which station do you actually want to travel to?

  894. Hello Mike
    can I use my 60+ card to get from waterloo to straawberry hill on a weekday?
    very useful site btw

  895. Hi Gavin,

    Yes you can, as long as you travel after 0930.

  896. Hi Mike,

    I have a doubt… I travelled between zone 1-4, chancery lane underground to holborn (picadilly lane) to new southgate train station and I was charge £5.80

    Do you know why this was? I was expecting a charge of £3 90 or so between those travel zones… :S

  897. Hi Michael,

    Yes. New Southgate is on a line charged at the National Rail rate. When this is combined with Underground travel in zone 1 the fare does get quite steep. Had you stayed on the Piccadilly line to Arnos Grove then the fare would have been £3.90. If you take a look at the fares guide section, in particular the map, you’ll hopefully see what I mean.

  898. Hi there!

    Thanks for the fab website! I am moving to Kensal Green and will be travelling to Watford junction daily at peak time for work. What do you think is the cheapest way to make this journey? Based on the fare finder it seems like the journey will cost £4.70 each way?

    Thanks ! Milly

  899. Hi Milly,

    As long as you are commuting against the peak flow (to Watford in the morning) you will only be charged off peak fares. It’s a special feature on that line between Euston and Watford Junction.

  900. I don’t know if this has been covered. If you touch in, but stay inside the underground network for a long time e.g. visiting ghost stations, you will be charged maximum fare and may have trouble getting it reversed. Best use a paper ticket or a staff pass.

  901. Hi Sardine2019,

    Yes, that’s example 2 at the top of the page.

  902. Hey Mike,

    I don’t understand how the first point in this list, regarding traveling from Gatwick, actually works.

    I usually use my contactless card to take the Thameslink train from Gatwick to St. Pancras Station, which is £8.30 off-peak or £10.50 anytime. Return paper tickets (bought online) are either £19.40 or £30.70, an unambiguously more expensive downgrade.

  903. Hi Martin,

    I’m not sure what tickets you’re looking at to get those prices. I’m seeing Gatwick to St Pancras not Underground paper day returns at £21.10 anytime and £12.60 off-peak. The fare finder says £15.10 anytime and £8.30 off-peak for singles.

  904. Mike –
    I enjoyed your video with Geoff to Abbey Wood. We made a similar trip to Lichfield recently.
    I have reviewed your website with interest. Can I suggest a further reason why people may prefer travelcards or standard tickets over Oyster?
    Two for One tickets to enter major (and minor) tourist attractions are available to holders of travelcards or rail paper tickets. Most TOCs issue a little booklet of vouchers, or they can be obtained online at daysoutguide.co.uk. By way of example, entry to the Tower of London is £29.50 on 2 for 1. Even though the travel element might be a little more expensive with a travelcard over a capped Oyster, there is no 2 for 1 available with an Oyster so the savings with a rail ticket are substantial. 2 for 1s are not available for Underground only journeys, so go for the Travelcard.

    Until relatively recently, Oyster was best avoided for travel on the river boats, but MBNA Thames Clippers now take Oyster too. Congratulations on a first class website. I started selling Oysters outside London in February 2006 which seems a lifetime ago.

  905. Hi Alex,

    That’s a good point. If you travel by train into London from outside using a period return then that can be used for the 2-for-1 offers, but it’s certainly a consideration.

    Now to go and find your video.

  906. Mike –
    Search on YouTube for “Gold Card Trick”

  907. Hi,

    We are a group of 4 adults (one of us is 60). We will need to get from Gatwick Airport to Waterloo Station (off peak) and then from Waterloo Station to Stanstead Airport 2 days later. We might take the public transportation within Zone 1 twice during our day in London but will be walking most of the time. Please let me know what is the best option for us

  908. Hi Lucie,

    For Gatwick Airport to Waterloo Mainline use either an Oyster card or a contactless payment card. You change at Clapham Junction. The adult single fare is £8.50. The same card can be used around London the next day and to get to Liverpool Street the day after. You’ll then need paper tickets for the Stanstead Express. There is a group fare for 4 adults for £48 total.

    The 60 year old could theoretically get discounted fares, but would need a senior railcard at £30/year. It won’t be worth it just for 3 days for the travel you are planning.

  909. Hi Mike, I am changing a job and I have to commute Mon-Friday morning and evening rush hour, from Wandsworth Common to Staines (changing trains on Clapham Junction). What is the cheapest way to do this? Can I buy travel card between this 2 stations?

  910. Hi Ann,

    Yes, you can buy a travelcard. For technical reasons you have to buy a Staines to zones 2-6 travelcard, but you can use it the other way round. This is £64.50 per week and also gives you unlimited travel within zones 2-6 and on all TfL bus routes. There is no rail only season for your journey.

  911. Hi Mike, thank you for the answer! Does it mean that this travelcard could be also used on the underground, not only traveling on route Wandsworth Common-Staines but anywhere within Zones 2-6? Thank you for being so helpful!

  912. Hi Ann,

    Yes, you can use it on all rail in zones 2-6. And all buses operated by TfL.

  913. Hi Mike,

    I need to commute from Archway station to Hersham station. I’m wondering that I can use my travelcard zone 1-6 loaded onto smartcard. Or do I have to buy seasonal ticket for rail.

  914. Hi Krystal,

    You need to buy a Hersham to zones 1-6 travelcard. That can’t be put on an Oyster, but it may be possible to add it to SWR’s smartcard. You can use it either way round, but an outboundary travelcard has to be specified with the outboundary station as the origin.

  915. Thank you for your reply.
    I would like to double confirm that you’ve replied me.
    You mean I need to buy zones 1-6 travelcard and also Hersham to Surbiton station seasonal rail ticket? And add both of them to SWR’s smartcard?
    It’s quiet important for me to change my job or not.

  916. Hi Krystal,

    No. You only need to buy a Hersham to zones 1-6 travelcard. It’s just one ticket. It does the same job as the two tickets and costs a bit less.

    Hersham to zones 1-6 is £78.00/week
    Hersham to Surbiton is £21.20/week
    Zones 1-6 travelcard is £64.20/week

  917. Robert Mills

    Hi Mike, I’m organising a walk for a group starting from Riddlesdown in zone 6 but finishing in Oxted outside the zones. What ticket arrangements are best for those who don’t have a paper 1-6 Travelcard or freedom passes.?

  918. Hi Robert,

    I’m not quite sure what you’re asking. If everyone is going to meet at Riddlesdown, walk, then return by train from Oxted, they will all need tickets from Oxted. The travelcards and freedom passes are valid to Upper Warlingham, so those people can buy to there. The others will need tickets to Riddlesdown.

  919. Hi Mike, sorry my query was not very clear. The group will be travelling from London Victoria, leaving at Riddlesdown in zone 6 and returning from Oxted to London at the end of the walk. They could simply buy returns to Oxted. But is it possible to buy a single from Oxted to boundary of zone 6 without having to jump out at Upper Warlingham to tap on to the oyster reader?

  920. Hi Rob,

    If you want to use PAYG then you would need to jump out at Upper Warlingham, but if the Oyster has a zone 1-6 travelcard season or is a 60+ or Freedom Pass, there is no need. You also don’t need to buy to boundary zone 6 as there is no difference. Just buy a single from Oxted to Upper Warlingham for £3.60. For anyone who doesn’t have a travelcard season or a Freedom Pass then the best ticket is an off-peak day return from Victoria to Oxted for £11.50. This is cheaper than a day travelcard and also cheaper than two Oyster singles (£4.10 each) plus the £3.60.

  921. Hi, i have a rail ticket from London waterloo to sunbury. But if i missed my train (these run every 30 mins), can i travel to feltham using my rail ticket and then take a bus to sunbury (which seem to be more frequent than the trains to sunbury) instead of waiting for 30 mins for the next train. Or is that not allowed?

  922. Hi Sameer,

    If your ticket is just a rail season ticket between Sunbury and London terminals then no you can’t. If it’s a travelcard season between Sunbury and zones 1-6 then yes you can.

  923. Hi Mike,

    I guess this is interesting…
    I travel from Harrow to Southend airport.
    There are 2 fastest options I see:
    1) Oyster PAYG from Harrow to London Liverpool Street and then paper ticket from there to Southend airport.

    2) Oyster PAYG from Harrow to Romford and then paper ticket from there to Southend airport.

    Option 2 is cheaper than option 1 but how do I touch out my Oyster at Romford and remain on the same greater Anglia train to Southend airport?

  924. Robert Turner

    I’ve just noticed that a 1 zone NR peak return on Oyster (outside zone 1) is now £4.60 whereas a paper ticket anytime return is £4.40. This is the first time that I have noticed a standard journey within the zones without a railcard is cheaper on paper. I’m sure this didn’t used to be the case.

  925. Hi Kumar,

    You can’t. You’ll almost certainly need to catch the next train.

  926. Hi Robert,

    Interesting. I’ll look into this further.

  927. Hi Mike,
    I think it might be worth noting here that a paper Gold Card with your oyster season ticket is valid for the 2-for-1 offers.

  928. Hi Freddie,

    Thanks for that. Can I check that the gold record card does have the BR double arrow symbol on it, as well as the TfL roundel. My understanding is that 2-for-1 require the double arrow symbol to be present.

  929. Hi Mike and Freddie

    My Gold Record Card does have the double arrow symbol on but if you check the Days Out website it says Oyster Cards and TfL issued Travelcards are excluded. It does say Gold Record Cards are valid for seasons on a smartcard but it looks as if it doesn’t apply to Oyster. Shame but understandable seeing as how it’s meant for visitors.

  930. Thanks Nick, that confirms my thoughts.

  931. Hi Mike,

    I’m regularly going from Stepney Green to Hornsey, via zone 1, and paying with contactless. That costs me £5.30 peak/£4.30 off peak.

    But going from Stepney Green via zone 1 to Turnpike Lane, c. 5 mins walk from Hornsey and in the same zone, is £3.30/£2.80.

    I can’t find any info on why there’s such a disparity in prices, could you help? I’m changing from tube to rail at Moorgate but only tapping in and out at either end. Should I be using an Oyster card instead?

    Thanks for any light you can shed!

  932. Hi John,

    Take a look at the Guide to Fares Scales page in my fares guide. That should provide the explanation. Using an Oyster card won’t make any difference.

  933. Contactless vs paper ticket – Chingford to London Liverpool Street only.

    Hello Mike,
    My son travels Mon-Fri from CHI to LST using contactless paying £47.00 a week (£4.70 each way) however there is a dedicated 7 day weekly season from CHI to LST of £43.70 which also gives the bonus of unlimited travel (although my son doesn’t travel on weekends but will sometimes travel back to London on a Friday evening which results in an extra £3.10 off peak single journey.

    So the question is why is contactless not capping the fare over the 7 day period to £43.70. Why is he paying £3.30+ per week more than a paper ticket.
    If it is a TfL error then there are thousands of people travelling from Chingford that are being overcharged.
    If it is excluded then TfL are not publishing that there is a cheaper weekly, monthly, odd period and annual that is cheaper than using contactless.

  934. Hi Gail,

    Neither Oyster nor contactless is able to cap at (or hold) rail only point-to-point season prices. They are both zonal based products whereas the season ticket is a linear product. I’ll look to add this point to this page shortly.

  935. Hi Mike,

    Firstly, thanks for replying to everyone’s comments, must take you a lot of time but I’m sure appreciated by everyone!

    I’ve just got a job by Tottenham Court Road, currently living in Basingstoke. Rather than paying £4.5k a year season ticket, I’m thinking about driving to Twickenham (50 mins drive) and getting a train from there.

    I say this because my new company are giving me a Zone 1-6 oyster travel card for under £50 a month. Does Twickenham fall under zones 1-6 and can I use it for overground as well as underground? In other words will that Oyster travel card cover me?

    And alternatively, do you know any other better stations that would fall into zones 1-6 which would be a quicker drive for me? I know the queen Elizabeth line will be coming to Reading soon which will fall under a zone I believe.

    Thank you,

  936. Hi Ed,

    Twickenham is in zone 5, so that would be fine. If you’re coming up the M3 then Feltham is the first station within zone 6, though it doesn’t have quite as many trains as Twickenham. The other alternative might be Hampton, but that has even fewer trains.

    Reading will not be in zone 6 – more likely something like zone 15.

  937. gulshan Munshi

    Hi I would like to buy an annual travel card from Hersham (surrey) to Underground station Canary Wharf (London travelcard zones 1-6). Can you please let me know if this can b put on Oyster card/smartcard? Thank you for your help. Gulshan

  938. Hi Gulshan,

    You can’t put that on an Oyster card, but you may be able to use the SWR Smart card instead. You can also save money if you change at Clapham Junction and Canada Water instead of Waterloo as that avoids zone 1.

  939. Hi ,

    Could you tell me if is an additional cost when I am getting the National Rail or South West Rail paying a Zone 1-3 Oyster Card.

    Basically Im travelling from Finsbury Park to Clapham Junction. And I have two choices:stop in Victoria and Southtern Rail. Stop In Vauxhall and get the South west rail. Do I have to pay extra on both on top of my Oyster fare?


  940. Hi Carla,

    If you have a zone 1-3 travelcard on your Oyster then you won’t have to pay any extra for that journey. In fact, you only need zones 1-2 for Finsbury Park to Clapham Junction.

  941. Hello Mike. Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays!
    Thanks for the pages of info!

    Wanting to get a 2nd pair of eyes & better brains on the following journeys please. I’m going to be travelling on Mon-Fri, daily peak times, from Egham to Hammersmith (London U.Z.2) and back. (Kensington Olympia is also acceptable.)
    I’ve got a 26-30 railcard, which is also loaded on to my Oyster.

    In 2019, I was still able to purchase Egham to London U.Z.2-6 Anytime Return paper tickets from the ticket mahines at Egham station (can’t seem to buy them online), for £12/day with RC, which is valid within 5 days outwards & within 1 month return. This is handy when I don’t have to return same-day sometimes, as I can use the return portion another day.

    However, I think South Western Railway has decided to discontinue these London U.Z., excluding Z1, Anytime Return tickets from 2020 onwards (without any notice on display, nor on their website I believe).

    So, I’m wanting to see if there are any other cheaper options whilst remaining flexible, for my journeys please? Perhaps I am not aware of a good Oyster+Paper combo. Or would I have opt for the EGH – L.U.Z.2-6 Anytime Day Return paper tickets, still at £12/day with RC I think?

    Other options I thought of, but are more expensive:
    EGH – OLY Anytime Day Return, 5 days = £60.75
    EGH – L.U.Z.2 Weekly Season Ticket = £74.30
    EGH – FEL (or RMD) Weekly Season Ticket + Oyster journeys = more than £74.30

    Many thanks in advance!

  942. Hi Panda_Bear,

    I can’t see any other cheaper options. Your journey is just at the right length to be discountable in the morning peak, so paying full price for any part of it, even as a season ticket, isn’t going to work. I’m quite surprised that they offered the 5 out 30 return for that journey because those tickets are not generally available for any journeys within a certain distance from London.

  943. Hi Mike.
    Thanks for checking about any cheaper options.
    SWR offered Anytime Return (5+30) perhaps because it was restricted to travel via Kew Gardens only, so it could go as far as Uxbridge / West Ruislip / Blackhorse Road / other Z2-Z6 stations, whilst avoiding Z1. Maybe those stations would constitute a longer distance?
    Anyhow, the 5+30 tickets are no longer from 02/01/2020, so I shall wave goodbye to my flexible travel options in 2019.

  944. I see it’s suggested above that an annual Travelcard on Oyster isn’t valid for National Rail 2FOR1. This is incorrect: annual (but not shorter) Travelcards on Oyster with a Gold Record card ARE permitted, as set out at http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/travel-by-train/is-my-ticket-valid-for-2for1:

    “Can I use an Oyster card?
    No, the 2FOR1 London attractions partners DO NOT recognise Oyster Cards as being valid accompanying rail tickets, unless it is an Oyster Annual Season ticket with its accompanying Gold Card record card.”

  945. Thanks Thomas,

    They’ve updated that page since I last looked.

  946. Hi Mike
    I am so confused, please help me. I am commuting four days a week 7.45am-4pm from Forest Gate to Hackney. Have choice of Dalston Kingsland via Stratford + bus, or Haggerston via Whitechapel. Which is cheaper? I thought they should be the same but it doesn’t seem to come out that way. PAYG, travel card, Oyster..?

  947. Hi Kath,

    If Haggerston is where you need to get to then instead of using the bus, walk from Kingsland to Junction and take the train. That won’t actually cost you any more as long as you complete the walk between the two Dalston stations in 20 minutes, whereas the bus is an extra £1.50. If the weather is bad you can even stay on the train from Stratford to Canonbury and pick up a Haggerston train from there. What you must do is touch the pink reader on the platform at Stratford where the Dalston train terminates. On the way home if you can touch in at Haggerston at or before 4pm you’ll save 20p as the off-peak fare will apply. If you go via Whitechapel you are charged extra as the train goes into zone 1 at Shoreditch High Street.

    Travelling 4 days a week means a travelcard is overkill, so use a contactless card to PAYG.

  948. Gordon Kirkpatrick


    I’m looking to commute from Canary Wharf to Woking. Can you suggest the best ticket(s) to buy. Weekly or monthly. Travel will be peak (07:00 – 17:00)

  949. Hi Gordon,

    You want a Woking to zones 1-6 travelcard for that journey. You can use the ticket either way but Woking has to be the origin. If you want to save money and don’t mind a longer journey then make it Woking to zones 2-6. To avoid zone 1 use Jubilee to Canada Water then Overground to Clapham Junction.

  950. Hello, I will be renewing my annual season ticket from Staines to Liverpool Street shortly, and travel 3 days a week. Would it be cheaper to get an season ticket from Staines to Feltham and a travelcard from Feltham to Liverpool Street, oyster would be no good as I would have to get off the train to touch in and get back on before it leaves? Many thanks in advance.

  951. Hi cubstylie,

    If you’re only travelling 3 days a week then a season ticket is actually overkill. Splitting the season at Feltham is also more expensive. I’d go for the day travelcard at £26.20. If you really want to save some money then consider Staines to Shoreditch High Street route Not Via London which is £18.60. You change at Clapham Junction onto the Overground towards Dalston Junction. Shoreditch High Street is about 10 minutes walk from Liverpool Street so it depends on where you go to afterwards.

  952. Thanks Mike, this is so helpful. There’s a further possibility, I am right by Wanstead Park station so could go via Gospel Oak but it seems like it would take ages. Time is as much a factor as money.

  953. Hi Kath,

    Wanstead Park to Haggerston is the same price as from Forest Gate via Dalston. It will take longer but may be worthwhile if there’s a problem on the lines via Stratford. If you do use it then change to the Victoria line at Blackhorse Road and back to Overground at Highbury & Islington.

  954. An off-peak return from Cheshunt [CHN] to St Margarets (Herts) [SMT] seems to be cheaper with a paper Off-Peak Day Return and Network Railcard discount (£4.25) than with two Oyster/Contactless off-peak singles (£2.20 × 2 adult singles = £4.40 return).
    Presumably paper is cheaper in this case because it both avoids lumping all the Hertford East stations into one fare zone while also allowing the Network discount.
    Puzzlingly, the National Rail Journey Planner footnote comparison says that the Oyster cost would be “from £3.60”. This makes no sense as a Network Railcard is only valid with paper tickets, so the return is still £4.40. And with a different national railcard the reduced single Oyster/Contactless fare would be £1.45 each way, which would be £2.90 for the discounted return total. So I can’t see where they get “£3.60” from.

  955. Hi Rich,

    The Oyster fares quoted on National Rail Enquiries are not linked in any way to the official TfL fares database. This is more “wrong” than I’ve seen before, but basically the fares are provided as a guide and may not be accurate. I did check the adult and 16-25 railcard results pages and the adult says £3.60 whereas the railcard says £2.40, so they’re not applying a discount to the Network railcard. It’s also worth bearing in mind that beyond zone 6 on National Rail Oyster/contactless are provided as a convenience and do not necessarily aim to be cheaper.

  956. Thanks so much, Mike, for your interesting reply. I wonder how National Rail think they can get away with providing such misleading information – though evidently they do!

  957. I think it’s more that they don’t seek to provide accurate information, just an indication of the likely costs. This is why the figure is always prefixed by “from”.

  958. Rebeka Sultana

    Hi Mike.
    This maybe an obvious situation, but I am confused ehat would be best to use contactless or oyster card for my work travel from zone 3 to zone 2.
    I just want to know what would be best, oyster or contactless , or anything else?

  959. Hi Rebeka,

    If you tell me details of your actual commute then I may be able to revise this advice, but as a general rule you’ll be better off using contactless if you pay as you go. If you can afford to pay for at least a month at a time then a travelcard may be worthwhile, but it heavily depends on what route and services you use.

  960. Rebeka Sultana

    Hi Mike
    So I travel from crofton park to denmarkhill and happy to pay monthly if it works out better.

  961. Hi Rebeka,

    Right, in that case a rail only season ticket will be cheaper than PAYG, even on a weekly basis. The peak single fare is £2.80 and the season is £19.30/week.

  962. Hi Mike
    Can you my son use his Zip Oyster 11-15 card to get from Epsom to Guildford?

  963. Hi Paul,

    No. The Oyster area stops at Epsom.

  964. Thanks Mike, i did think as much but, train travel is a rarity for me !! Enjoy your weekend!

  965. Hi Mike
    I am about to renew my annual National Rail Season ticket for work (Gordon Hill on Great Northern into Moorgate). You see I have a 60+ Oyster card which I can use in the evenings along with other journeys. So to save money I was thinking of getting an Oyster card, load money on it and just use it for my journeys into the City of London in the mornings. I cannot travel with the over 60’s Oyster until after 0930am, and need to as I leave around 0730am in the morning. I nearly always work from home on Fridays, so would only have to pay for 4 days a week. Can you advise please as the cost of the annual rail ticket is £1744 which is deducted monthly from my salary. Can you please advise as I am getting confused trying to look up.

  966. Hi Mary,

    If you only travel one way about four days a week then single fares will be much cheaper. The peak single according to my fare finder is £5.40 while the annual is now £1792. You’d need to travel 332 times for the annual to be worthwhile and there are only 250 weekdays in the year.

  967. Thanks Mike

  968. Mike,
    My daughter (age 17) and I will be visiting London from the US for 14 days in June and staying near Hersham station. Most of those days, we will be going into London for sightseeing, usually planning a couple big attractions per day that are near each other. I’m not sure what time we will return to Hersham each day. We expect to spend most the day in London each time. There will be a couple days during that 14-day time that we will not be going into London (Windsor Castle, Harry Potter Studio, Hampton Court, a couple day trips outside London).

    I can’t figure out which card or combination of cards (Oyster PAYG, travelcard, national railcard, etc.) would be most cost effective.

  969. Hi Brenda,

    Forget Oyster as Hersham is outside of its area. Assuming you will always be travelling together then a Two Together Railcard for £30 will give both of you 34% off all tickets after 0930 weekdays and anytime at weekends. For London use a one-day off-peak travelcard at £12.15 each (with railcard). This gives you unlimited travel within zones 1-6 plus one return journey from Hersham to the zones and back. For Harry Potter use an off-peak day return to Watford Junction at £11.40 each (with railcard). This includes the Underground between Waterloo and Euston. For Hampton Court use an off-peak day return to Hampton Court (change at Surbiton) at £4.50 each (with railcard). For Windsor use an off-peak day return to Windsor & Eton Riverside at £7.40 each (with railcard). You can either travel via Clapham Junction, or via Weybridge and Staines which should be quicker.

  970. Thanks so much, Mike! That’s very helpful. A couple clarifying questions…
    So, the railcard covers Zones 1-6 travel?!
    And, with the Two Together Railcard, would we both need the one-day off-peak travelcard or just 1?
    What if we need to go into London before 9:30 due to an earlier booking time?

  971. Hi Brenda,

    The travelcard covers all of zones 1-6, yes. You need one railcard which will have both your photos on it, but you both need a ticket for each journey.

    If you need to travel before 0930 (Mon-Fri) then it gets quite expensive. The railcard isn’t valid to use before 0930 and the off-peak travelcard is also not valid on trains arriving at Waterloo before 1000. The Anytime Day Travelcard is £23.60 each.

  972. Thanks, Mike! Looks like I better keep that in mind when booking times for entry. 🙂

  973. Hi Mike we are in London for two short days in July. We arrive Saturday morning into Gatwick at 11, want to go into London central and maybe catch a view or two. Later that day we are making our way to Romford where we will be staying overnight as we have and early meeting there on the Sunday. After the meeting we head straight back to Gatwick for our flight! Can I use my Oyster card for all these Zones and would it cap at £13.20 a day? I’ve tried individual trains and tubes then train to Romford and it’s a fortune, is it as simple as swipe and go and the Oyster card is capped?

  974. Hi Paula,

    Assuming that there are no issues with travel in July due to the pandemic then the following applies:

    Yes, you can use your Oyster for everything, but no, it won’t cap at £13.20. On the Saturday the most you will pay is £21.10 which is the off-peak cap from Gatwick Airport. On the Sunday the off-peak single fare from Romford to Gatwick is £10.90 on Oyster and is probably your best bet.

    For the Saturday I’d be tempted to get a Gatwick to zones 1-6 super off-peak travelcard for Thameslink only which is £13.50. You must use a Thameslink train between Gatwick and East Croydon, but after that you’re free to do anything as it’s just a standard travelcard within zones 1-6. The Thameslink trains will go to places like Bedford, Cambridge or Peterborough with the key London stations being London Bridge, Blackfriars, Farringdon and St Pancras International.

    You also need to check engineering works for the specific weekend you’re travelling. Hope that helps.

  975. Elena Hristozova

    HI Mike,
    We are moving from Croydon to Crawley . I work at South Kensington. I am looking for the cheapest travel cost from Crawley to S. Kensington . I’ve checked railcard from Crawley to East Croydon plus oyster card from East Croydon to West Brompton which is zone 2 to 5 and suits me , but still is quite expensive . I need your advice please.
    If I use train ticket from Crawley to East Croydon and from East Croydon to Clapham Junction oyster weekly travel card without changing the train , can I do it without touching the oyster card at East Croydon?When I get of at Clapham Junction should be not any extra charges?
    Thanks a lot

  976. Hi Elena,

    Sorry for the delay replying. If you have a travelcard on the Oyster card then you can stay on the same train from Crawley. However, unless you take the bus for the last bit to South Kensington you will still need zone 1, and the Crawley to zones 1-6 travelcard is cheaper than splitting at East Croydon. You can get that ticket put onto Southern’s the Key smartcard which will work just like an Oyster within zones 1-6.

  977. Hi Mike,
    I’m trying to get the best value for money in these difficult times. Before lock down, I normally get weekly SouthEastern pass for 7 days but I only use 5 days (work). Do you know of anyway I could get more value for money by only paying for 5 days only? I am using zone 3-8.

  978. Hi Gia,

    A 7-day season ticket is priced as if you will only use it for 5 days. If you do use it at the weekend it’s a bonus. If you can tell me what your actual journey is then I’ll see if there might be a cheaper way. Include the time you start each journey as well.

  979. Hi Mike,

    I have thought of another potential reason why someone wouldn’t want to use Oyster PAYG.

    This is in the circumstance that the user expects to reach (or get close to) what would be a daily (or Mon-Sun) cap, and intends to use River services on top of this.

    River services are subject to a 34% discount if a travelcard (paper or Oyster) is held. There is no equivalent discount for an Oyster/CL card which has reached its cap, to my knowledge.

    For daily travelcards, the user would have to calculate whether the river bus saving exceeds the difference in price between the cap and the travelcard.

  980. Hmmm, an interesting edge case, yes.

  981. Hi Mike,

    I’m looking to go into the office twice a week next year travelling from Guildford to Oval (or vauxhall).
    As I’ve seen from comments here the oystercard doesn’t go that far.
    What sort of ticket would you recommend I go for? I’ve thought maybe the only option for me is getting paper tickets every time I want to go but I was hoping for a less painful and more environmentally friendly way like a railpass?

    Thanks for always answering everyone’s questions, this page is truly amazing!

  982. Hi Jessie,

    I’m not quite sure what you mean by railpass. Twice a week is not enough to justify a season ticket. If you’re concerned about paper useage then you can use the SWR smartcard: https://www.southwesternrailway.com/train-tickets/smart-ticketing/touch-smartcard. In terms of cost you’ll find Vauxhall is cheaper as you don’t need to use the Underground. There is a very roundabout route you could take to Oval which avoids zone 1, but it’ll take at least twice as long as direct to Vauxhall.

  983. Hi Mike,

    One more for the list: If travelling on Great Northern at the weekends/bank holidays to/from stations outside zone 6 (e.g. Cuffley, Bayford, Hertford North), a paper super off-peak day return is significantly cheaper than two off-peak Oyster singles. This holds for travelling to/from the Thameslink core, Moorgate and stations further north. For example, Moorgate to Cuffley return is £7.40 return vs 2*£5.20 = £10.40 on Oyster. Furthermore, some journeys have a weekday super off-peak day return that is not quite as good, but still worth it, e.g. £9.90 Cuffley to London Terminals.

    Thanks for a great website!

  984. Thanks Tom,

    I’ll look at that page later on.