2.1.5 Railcards and Discounts
Holders of certain National Rail railcards can have their entitlement registered on their Oyster card. This then gives them 1/3 off the price of single off-peak Underground, National Rail and DLR fares and the off-peak price cap. Remember that the off-peak cap applies during the evening peak between 1600-1900. There are no discounts for bus or tram journeys. The railcards which can be linked to an Oyster card are:
- 16-25 Railcard
- Disabled Railcard†
- Annual Gold Card
- HM Forces Railcard
- Senior Railcard
†Disabled Railcard holders can have the 1/3 discount added, but this will apply at any time, not just off-peak.
The Gold Card discount isn't automatically applied to Annual Travelcards when bought, so ensure that the clerk sets it.
Note also that while the railcard will only discount the purchase of zone 1-6 and 1-9 paper travelcards, on Oyster you also get reductions on the zone 1-2 and 1-4 caps as well.
A railcard holder holder may be able to save money on a single journey in the evening peak with a paper ticket, as the railcard discount could be used, whereas it wouldn't if using Oyster. (e.g. A Zone 2 only short London Overground journey).
If you have a Family and Friends Railcard then it is often cheaper to use it, along with paper tickets, rather than use individual Oyster cards. You can use the railcard after 09.30 Mon-Fri, plus anytime weekends and public holidays (more information
More Oyster railcard information
TfL also offer some dedicated concessionary Oyster cards:
- 18+ Student - gives students aged 18 or over with a London term-time address 30 per cent off the price of adult rate Travelcards and Bus & Tram Passes
- 16+ Oyster - allows 16-18* year olds to buy child rate Travelcards and Bus & Tram passes, half price adult fares on bus and TfL Rail travel. If living in a London borough and in full-time education, the holder also gets free bus and tram travel
- 11-15 Zip Oyster - allows 11-16* year olds free travel on buses and trams, child rates for Travelcards, TfL/National Rail fares and Emirates Air Line
- 5-10 Zip Oyster - allows unaccompanied 5-10 year olds and those that look older than 10 to travel free on TfL rail routes. The card is not necessary for free travel on buses or trams or when travelling with an adult, but is required to get child fares on non-TfL National Rail routes.
- Apprentice Oyster Card - allows those aged 18 or above who live in a London borough and are in the first 12 months of a qualifying SASE-compliant apprenticeship to get a 30% discount on the price of adult-rate Travelcard and Bus & Tram Pass season tickets.
- 60+ Oyster card - allows those aged 60 or over who live in a London borough to travel free on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and most National Rail services in London. Not to be confused with a Freedom Pass
* dependent on their academic year at the upper age