oyster card


I’m going to be in the uk for a while and have been told that I should get an oyster card. I’ve seen I can purchase these over the internet through the visit Britain website. Does it make any difference if I buy on in advance, or should I wait til I’m in the UK? I assume you can buy them from train stations and such? I leave on May 11 so it would be cutting it fine with postage, although I can get express shipping which would mean I would have it within 2 business days.



Hey Mishmush,
Just get one when you arrive, you can actually pick them up from the tube station at Heathrow.
Its £3 for the card and you need to put minimum £5 on it (it costs about £4.50 to get from Heathrow into the city) after that if you are hanging around for a week or so I would put a weekly travel card (£25) on the card, saves you the hastle of attempting to go through a gate and discovering you are out of credit. Happens to me ALL THE TIME and its quite embarrassing when you turn around and everyone is glaring at you!
:smiley: Hope this helps


This oyster card is making my head spin! i’m looking at the website and it says “Multiple journeys within the same zone(s) are capped at the equivalent Day Travelcard rate” What does this mean?
Also, is there a place in Gatwick station where i can pick one up when i arrive? and for bonus points, can anyone tell me what the travel time is like getting from Gatwick to the Umi hotel?


Think of it this way:

Each fare is cheaper. So the cost to go from one station to another is cheaper coming off your card than if you bought a single ticket.

The capping refers to maximum fee per day. Essentially there is a maximum that will come off your card per day (which is determined by how many zones you use. You probably will only use zone 1 for sightseeing). So after the first few tube/bus rides you take for the day, the rest are free!


It’s definitely worth getting an Oyster card. Other than having to buy one in the first instance and making sure you have enough credit on it, I cannot think of any disadvantages.


Hey Matt,
You can buy the Visitor Oyster card on line before traveling to London with a minimum credit of £ 10 plus £2 for the card but they charge you $14 CAD for shipping to Canada which I think it’s too much (almost the same that you are paying for the card and the credit) so I wonder if the time you save when you arrive at Heathrow airport not having to line up to get the card (with all the people arriving at the same time at your terminal) is worth spending the extra $14 CAD. How quickly does the line move?


They have automated machines that you can get the cards from and other automated machines to put more credit on them at every station. You shouldn’t have a problem with queues, even at the airport because most people arriving at the airport either already have a card or don’t know they exist.


Hey mishmush

I have been living in London a while and would recommend you buy an oyster card. You can then either top up your oyster card as you go or if for example you are planning a big day of exploring you can by an all day travel card that will cover the various zones you are covering. To help plan you routes around London check out: http://www.tfl.gov.uk

Cheers! :smiley: