Visitors Oyster Card

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Whistler40145

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I am thinking of purchasing a Visitors Oyster Card for use during the Olympics.

How economical are they versus normal fares?

Are they worth purchasing if I travelled between Zone 5 to Zone 1?

Also, can I apply my Disabled Railcard to this version of Oyster Card?
 
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455driver

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I am thinking of purchasing a Visitors Oyster Card for use during the Olympics.

How economical are they versus normal fares?
very
Are they worth purchasing if I travelled between Zone 5 to Zone 1?
Yes
Also, can I apply my Disabled Railcard to this version of Oyster Card?
Not sure but would think so


Well worth buying, I dont visit London very often but as the balance on your card never expires it doesnt matter, if you think it is unlikely that you will use the card again just cash it in at a TFL ticket office, takes all of 3 minutes.
 

transportphoto

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transportphoto:1078853 said:
Visitor oyster cards aren't worth it IMO. Just pop in to any Tube station ticket office and ask for the normal oyster cards and pay the refundable deposit. The visitor ones carry a £3 non refundable activation fee, where as the normal ones from ticket offices do carry a deposit however this, as I say, is refundable, if you collect in all of the oyster cards after their use and surrender them at any tube ticket office.

TP

That is a post I made a few weeks ago - you'd be better off getting a normal oyster, registering it and applying your railcard. Once you have finished with it you can get you deposit back, you can't get the activation fee back on visitor cards.

TP
 

causton

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You can't instantly say which one is better as they are both the same product in essence... you have to work out your situation and what you want :)

Want a season ticket on it? Get a normal Oyster.
Certain you'll keep the card forever and save £2? Get a Visitor Oyster.
Want one posted to your house? Get a Visitor Oyster.
Want to return it and get the deposit back? Get a normal Oyster.

I would personally get a normal one from a ticket office as you'll need to go to a ticket office to apply your Railcard discount :)
 

MikeWh

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You can't instantly say which one is better as they are both the same product in essence... you have to work out your situation and what you want :)

Want a season ticket on it? Get a normal Oyster.
Certain you'll keep the card forever and save £2? Get a Visitor Oyster.
Want one posted to your house? Get a Normal Oyster.
Want to return it and get the deposit back? Get a normal Oyster.

I would personally get a normal one from a ticket office as you'll need to go to a ticket office to apply your Railcard discount :)

You can order a normal Oyster card online and have it pre-loaded with credit and optionally set to auto top-up as well. They won't send it overseas, but if you're in the UK there really is no point buying the visitor version.
 

Mutant Lemming

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If you have a ticket for any of the events (in London that is) you will receive a zone 1-9 travelcard for the day of the event you have tickets. To be valid it has to be presented with the event ticket and unlike your standard travelcard it will be valid on South Eastern High Speed between St.Pancras and Stratford. The special olympic games travelcard will also be valid to the nearest NR stations to four of the outlying venues -
Sevenoaks (for Brands Hatch)
Slough (for Eton Dorney)
Leigh-on-Sea (for Hadleigh Farm)
Cheshunt (for Lee Valley White Water Centre)
 
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NY Yankee

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I'm very confused by the Oyster Cards (from what I understand, even native Londoners are confused). The TFL website says there are yellow and pink card readers. I don't understand the difference. And the zone 1-7 Travel Card basically allows people to travel anywhere in London on the Tube, National Rail, Overground, and DLR as many times as they want. Is that correct?
 

JGR

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I'm very confused by the Oyster Cards (from what I understand, even native Londoners are confused). The TFL website says there are yellow and pink card readers. I don't understand the difference. And the zone 1-7 Travel Card basically allows people to travel anywhere in London on the Tube, National Rail, Overground, and DLR as many times as they want. Is that correct?
The yellow readers are to enter and exit the system, and are mandatory.
You're unlikely to encounter a pink reader but if you do, just tap your card on it as you pass. It is an interchange reader and used to calculate which way you went between the entrance and exit points.

A zone 1-7 Travel Card basically allows unlimited travel in *most* of London on tubes, national rail (excluding Heathrow Express and HS1), trams, DLR, buses, etc.
It doesn't cover zones 8, 9 or Watford Junction.

It's all on TfL's website if you need details.
 

snail

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You can't instantly say which one is better as they are both the same product in essence... you have to work out your situation and what you want :)

Want a season ticket on it? Get a normal Oyster.
Certain you'll keep the card forever and save £2? Get a Visitor Oyster.
Want one posted to your house? Get a Visitor Oyster.
Want to return it and get the deposit back? Get a normal Oyster.

I would personally get a normal one from a ticket office as you'll need to go to a ticket office to apply your Railcard discount :)
Don't forget the auto-top up option if you plan to visit London again. I have a regular PAYG Oyster with auto top-up, that means I simply arrive and start using it. No messing around looking for tickets or working out Travelcard options. If there isn't enough credit on the card my first use adds another £20. Massively convenient, I just wish Manchester had something similar.
 

causton

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Don't forget the auto-top up option if you plan to visit London again. I have a regular PAYG Oyster with auto top-up, that means I simply arrive and start using it. No messing around looking for tickets or working out Travelcard options. If there isn't enough credit on the card my first use adds another £20. Massively convenient, I just wish Manchester had something similar.

The problem is, with a railcard £20 is just under 4 days of usage z1-6 - so if you go once every 2 weeks or so like me then £20 is a lot of money to spend on Oyster ;)
 

Caertroia

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The problem is, with a railcard £20 is just under 4 days of usage z1-6 - so if you go once every 2 weeks or so like me then £20 is a lot of money to spend on Oyster ;)

Yes, but anything left over after your visit stays on your Oyster card until the next time round.
 

ainsworth74

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The Oyster card is more confusing than Calculus. I wish TFL had a simpler fare system.

Not really in fact I'd say in general it's pretty simple on the whole. On Tube, National Rail, London Overground and DLR you touch in and you touch out (on the yellow readers mostly found on ticket gates) and will be charged (assuming you're on Pay as you Go) the appropriate fare for your journey (depending on how many and which zones you're travelling through). On buses and trams you just touch in as you board.

This page has the details.

As for fares most are zonal apart from buses and trams which are just one price and there is a price cap on pay as you go to make sure that you don't spend more than you would if you'd bought a travel card. You can find the fares information here and a map of the zones (for tube and rail) here.

Does any of that help? Or are you still confused by something? I admit it's perhaps not totally intuitive but it's pretty simple once you get the hang of it.
 

district

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Agree with ainsworth, Oyster is a really simple system if you are travelling from point to point. Oyster is getting much better with doing things like on street interchanges, and it's a really good multi-modal product.

What confuses it is when you take too long, enter a station then decide not to travel, enter a station, then enter another station without leaving a station etc.

MikeWh has a fantastic site which in great detail explains Oyster and gives advice to members of the public on its use. http://www.oyster-rail.org.uk/
 
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I understand visitors from overseas who buy regular Oyster cards can get the 5-pound deposit refunded by turning in their cards when they leave London, but do they also get any remaining balance refunded? And can the cards be turned in at London train stations (like Paddington) or just at Underground stations? Thank you.
 
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bluegoblin7

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I understand visitors from overseas who buy regular Oyster cards can get the 5-pound deposit refunded by turning in their cards when they leave London, but do they also get any remaining balance refunded? And can the cards be turned in at London train stations (like Paddington) or just at Underground stations? Thank you.

Yes - you get both the deposit and any balance remaining on the cards refunded when you return them. As far as I am aware, this can only be done at London Underground ticket offices, though others may know otherwise.

Note that if your card is in minus credit this will be deducted from the deposit also.

Jack
 

snail

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Yes - you get both the deposit and any balance remaining on the cards refunded when you return them. As far as I am aware, this can only be done at London Underground ticket offices, though others may know otherwise.
Agreed about LU offices only, but you get any balance refunded, there is a limit I think of £10 (excluding the £5 deposit).
 
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dzug2

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For balances above £10 it's a cheque in the post - not very useful for overseas visitors.

Not sure how rigorously the £10 limit is enforced.
 
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We will be in London for 5 days, so it appears the 7-day travelcard (on an Oyster card)will be best for us, but I have a few questions:

1. If we buy a zone 1-2 travelcard and go into zone 3, do we just add money to the card before departing and it automatically charges the extension fare, or do we buy a specific extension fare?

2. Do you use a 7-day travelcard just like an Oyster card -- tapping on the yellow terminals when entering or exiting a station? Do you do the same at National Rail stations in London (going from Waterloo East to Lewisham, for example)?

3. With a travelcard, are you still susceptible to penalty fares (for example, if you enter and leave a station without traveling)?

4. I can't tell for sure from the map -- are Greenwich and Lewisham in Zone 2 or Zone 3?

Thank you very much for your help.
 

Deerfold

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We will be in London for 5 days, so it appears the 7-day travelcard (on an Oyster card)will be best for us, but I have a few questions:

1. If we buy a zone 1-2 travelcard and go into zone 3, do we just add money to the card before departing and it automatically charges the extension fare, or do we buy a specific extension fare?

Just add money and make sure you touch in and out everywhere. Note there are no zones for buses - travelcards for *any* London zones are valid on all TfL buses.

2. Do you use a 7-day travelcard just like an Oyster card -- tapping on the yellow terminals when entering or exiting a station? Do you do the same at National Rail stations in London (going from Waterloo East to Lewisham, for example)?

Yes. It's slightly more forgiving of forgetting to touch in and out so long as all travel is within the zones of your travelcard.

3. With a travelcard, are you still susceptible to penalty fares (for example, if you enter and leave a station without traveling)?

You should be able to freely enter and leave with a travelcard (paper or Oyster). It may not work the barrier within a certain amount of time but I'd expect you to be let through if you show it to the person manning the gate

4. I can't tell for sure from the map -- are Greenwich and Lewisham in Zone 2 or Zone 3?

Yes. Greenwich and Lewisham (like a few other stations) are in both Zones. This means you can enter and leave them so long as you hold a ticket valid in either.

Thank you very much for your help.

No worries.
 
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So if we arrive in London at the Waterloo National Rail station, we should just go downstairs to the Waterloo Underground station and purchase our Travelcards at a ticket window and they will be issued to us on Oyster cards, is that correct? Thanks.
 
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