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Last updated: 04:55

Oyster and Contactless

Your questions about Oyster and Contactless answered here…

Can children use PAYG?

Zip Oyster photocards

Children under the age of 11 can get a 5-10 Zip Oyster photocard to:

  • Travel free on Tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and most National Rail services where PAYG is accepted.
  • PAYG at child rate on the Emirates Air Line cable car
  • PAYG at half adult rate on Thames Clipper River Bus services

Children aged over 10 years and 11 months and under 16 on 31 August can get an 11-15 Zip Oyster photocard to:

  • Travel free on buses and trams
  • Travel at child rate on Tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail, Emirates Air Line and most National Rail services in London
  • Travel at half adult rate on Thames Clipper River Bus services

Find out more information on Zip Oystercards and under 18 travel.

Can I claim Delay Repay if I travelled with an Oyster card or contactless?
Yes, you can claim Delay Repay in the same way but you must accompany your claim with a printout showing where you touched in and out and the cost of your journey.
Can I travel first class using Oyster or contactless?
No, Oyster and PAYG is standard class travel only.
How do I get a refund for the money held on my Oyster card?
Please visit or go to a staffed London Underground station.
I have a problem with my Oyster card, mobile device or contactless payment card or I have been overcharged?

Please contact TfL on:

Telephone: 0845 330 9876

Textphone: 020 7027 8511

Or visit

What fare will I be charged using PAYG?

Oyster PAYG fares on National Rail

With Oyster PAYG you get the cheapest appropriate single fare on National Rail services in London which means you pay less than the cash fare.

There are Anytime and Off-Peak Oyster single fares on National Rail with the fare determined by what time you touch in at the start of your journey. The Anytime fare applies Monday to Friday: 6:30am - 9:30am and 4pm- 7pm; Off-Peak applies at all other times, weekends and on Public Holidays. Find out about Oyster fares at the TfL farefinder.

You can also register your Oyster card for Railcard discounts. A 34% discount will apply to the off-peak daily price cap with the following Railcards: 16-25, Senior, Disabled, HM Forces and Annual Gold Card.

Will pay as you go using a contactless card, mobile device or an Oyster card be better value for money?

It will depend on what journeys you are making as PAYG is based on single journeys albeit with Price Caps; it does mean that in some cases the cheapest option will continue to be buying a ticket on the Key Smartcard or a paper ticket; especially for those buying season tickets, tickets with the GroupSave discount and period return tickets.

Information on Price Caps can be found here

Information about caps for Bayford, Cuffley, Hertford North and Potters Bar can be found here

Can I top up my Oyster card at Bayford, Cuffley, Hertford North and Potters Bar?
Not from our Ticket Offices, but half of the self-service ticket machines at these stations are equipped to enable passengers to top up their Oyster cards; the machines that can do this will display the Oyster logo.
I touched my Oyster card at a station within the London PAYG area and I cannot tap out at Brookmans Park, what should I do?
Brookmans Park is enabled for Contactless only, not Oyster. You must have a valid ticket for your journey, otherwise you may be liable to a Penalty Fare. You will not be able to complete your journey at Brookmans Park by touching out on the validator. You should buy a paper ticket for your journey. To reverse the entry charge that has been made on your Oyster card you will need to contact Transport for London (TfL). Their contact details can be found here. Make sure you retain your ticket as you will need to provide this to them in order for them to refund the entry charge.
Why can’t Oyster cards be used on the extension to Brookmans Park?

Due to limitations with the Oyster system it has not been possible to include the ability to use Oyster cards for journeys to / from Brookmans Park. Although Oyster and Contactless apply broadly the same fares, it uses a completely separate system.

Therefore, children and passengers holding Railcards will for most journeys be better off continuing to buy paper tickets or using the Key Smartcard.

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