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Oyster Card

Hi all! I will be in London in August for a little over 3 days as it will be my first stop on a 3 week trip in Europe. My question is about traveling in London and what is the most cost-efficient way of doing it. I am going to need transportation from Heathrow to the city, then just whatever tube rides I take in 3 days. The oyster card website has confused me. It's my understanding that you can put any amount of money on the card then it will deduct each trip, but after around 12 US dollars a day it caps, and then you can't spend more. So for 3 days I could travel unlimited for 36 dollars? Can anyone clarify? THanks so much!

Posted by
48 posts

I was there 2 months ago, and if just for 3 days, get day passes if going to and from Heathrow. I was there only 2 days, and I was told by the agent at the ticket booth, this was my best bet since I was going in and out of Heathrow. Very easy, and you can buy at airport as well with credit card and get best rate.

Posted by
389 posts

Justin, to clarify the cap is on the cost. They won't charge you more than the full day's fare. We will be there 5 days but I know some of those days we won't need the full day fare so we are splurging for the Oyster card and deciding whether they are worth the $6 as a souviner which might or might not be of value the next time you go. Also, if you put $30 on the card and have $5 left you can get a refund.

Posted by
8700 posts

Chances are you won't go beyond zone 2 on your full days in London. If you use an Oyster card for pay-as-you-go, the daily cap for travel in zones 1-2 is £6.10 for peak travel (starting before 09:30 on weekdays) and £4.60 for off-peak (after 09:30 on weekdays and anytime on Sundays and holidays). Heathrow is in zone 6. If getting from Heathrow to London is the only ride you take in zones 3-6 your first day, the most you'll pay that day is £3.50 for the tube ride from Heathrow plus £6.10 for all your rides in zones 1-2 that day.

Posted by
15 posts

Thanks for the responses, so I gather that there is no better alternative than an oyster card since you can refund any exra money and there is a cap on how much you can spend in a day.

Posted by
36 posts

Sounds like we have a lot in common.
We will also be in London for 3 days this August and require transport from Heathrow before taking our Europeon tour. I ordered the Oyster Cards online and have already received them. I entered the maximum off-peak cap for the days that I would be there. They say that you can get the Oyster card fee refunded at a ticket booth, so I figured we could try at the last station that we use.

Posted by
1455 posts

There's no expiration on the Oyster card, so you can keep it for your next visit. I never thought I'd be going back to London but have already been back 3 times in 2 years with 1 more visit this September.

Posted by
349 posts

There is a exeration after 2 years you have to call a number and such so dont plan on saving pass for trou8ble free trip in to town in 2 years Read the fine print !!!!!