Best way to pay for your travel in London | 2019 update


Here we go again, new info about Oyster Card in London. I have published an article already about this – Oyster Card in simple words – but this time we are going to focus a little about one thing in particular: paing with your credit/debit card. It is definitely the best way to pay for your travel in London if you stay for 4-5 days only. If your stay is longer please refear to my other article.

Yes, you should pay with your Card. 

The reason is pretty clear and simple. There is no Daily Oyster Card available.

You will need to buy an Oyster Card (£5) which you will have to top up with money or with a weekly/monthly travel card. But if you stay in London for 4 days (or fewer) only, you can avoid buying an Oyster card and you can simply top your Credit/Debit Card on the Yellow Reader.

Ok, but how much will I be charged?
Exactly the same amount of money you get charged if you tap your topped up Oyster Card.

On top of this, remember that there is a Daily CAP. What is it a Daily Cap? it simply means that no-matter how many times to tap your card, you will not be charged more than the Daily Cap.

Let me give you a practical example.

You want to travel from any Tube Station in zone 1 to a Tube station in Zone 2

Fare changes if you travel during rush hour or off-pick hour, but let’s pretend your journey costs you £3. Then you want to come back and tap your Card once more, en extra £3. But then you need to go someplace else in zone 3. Your journey will cost you (just an average fare here) £4.40, plus £4.40 to come back. Total £14.80

Well, you will not be charged £14.80 – From your Credit/Debit Card  just £8.20 will be taken off because Daily Cap for Zone 1-3 is £8.20.

Zones Daily Price Cap Day Travelcard
Zone 1-2 £7.00 not available
Zone 1-3 £8.20 not available
Zone 1-4 £10.10 £13.10

So, as you can see, there is no point in buying an Oyster Card (£5) and top it up with money to pay for your journeys. yes, you can buy the Oyster Card (£5) and top it up with (for example) £40 which last for 3 days. But when you leave London you will have to go to specific Tube Station if you want a refund for the Oyster Card (yes, you can get the £5 back) which will be time consuming and, on top of this, if you have any credit left on your topped up Oyster Card, you will not be able to get it refunded if it is higher than £10.

So, again.

Just use your Credit/Debit card and enjoy your stay in London. Of course if you stay longer than that I advice you to get a weekly card topped up on your Oyster Card, becouse in that case it will be cheaper.

Hopefully this made things easier for you. Maybe you might be interested into extra info in this article : London underground Special info.

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7 thoughts on “Best way to pay for your travel in London | 2019 update”

  1. Thanks for the update! I haven’t been to London for over a year and it’s easy to loose track of transport news.

  2. I really like this! When I stay in London is usually for only 2/3 days and in the past I had to buy the card and than refill it. I think is so much easier to simply use my debit card considering that the cost is exactly the same!

  3. Totally love this post!
    Didn’t know I could use my credit card instead of Oyster card, and absolutely didn’t know about the Daily cap!
    Do you know if it is possible to pay using debit-card or only credit card? I use to travel with my hype

  4. I’m in the right place, London is my home far from home. I got an Oyster card some time ago and never regretted it. And it looks like I’m a londoner too XD

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