The Bottom Line
- Cheaper than paying cash for London Transport journeys
- Easy to 'top up' (add money)
- No forms to fill in or registration required
- More money can be saved on family days out, etc
- Had to pay a £5 deposit, but it is refundable
- Easy to buy from newsagents, tube and train stations, or online.
- A plastic wallet is also provided and you don't have to remove the card to touch it on the reader.
- The Oyster Card stops deducting credit when it reaches the one-day travelcard rate.
- Can 'top up' with more money at tube station ticket machines, or in newsagents.
- When you are leaving London, take the card to any tube station to get your £3 deposit returned.
Guide Review - Oyster Card Review
I bought a 'Pay As You Go' Oyster card from my local newsagents and credited it with £10. I didn't have to fill in any forms to register so I was out of the shop and on my way in minutes.
When I got on a bus I touched my Oyster card against the yellow reader. I heard a bleep which meant the fare had been deducted, and then went to sit down. Nearly all passengers had Oyster cards and it certainly seemed to speed things up as the driver didn't have to take fares from everyone and issue tickets.
On one of my bus journeys, a group of Ticket Inspectors got on the bus. I showed the inspector my Oyster card and asked how he would know if I'd paid for my journey. He showed me his portable Oyster card reader and it displayed when the card was last used and how much money had been deducted.
Passengers who hadn't touched their Oyster cards on the reader when they got on the bus (as they didn't have any credit) were taken off the bus and were given an 'on the spot' £10 penalty! Be warned - don't try to avoid paying the fare!
Next I tried using London Underground. At every tube station I was able to check how much credit I had on my Oyster card by touching the card on a yellow reader in the Ticket Office, and often the tube platforms had readers as well.
I needed to touch my Oyster card on the turnstile's yellow reader to enter and exit each tube station.
As it is so easy, I strongly recommend using the Oyster Card on your next visit to London.