This blog post was updated on October 30, 2018.
From the 16th of September, passengers of public transport in London can use their contactless payment cards to pay for travel on buses, tram, DLR, London Overground, most local National Rail services and the Tube.
For some time now, London Buses have accepted contactless payment and now the rest of the vast Transport for London (TfL) network is to offer the option. The majority of UK issued contactless payment cards issued in the UK on Visa, MasterCard, Maestro or American Express are accepted on buses are already be able to use it to travel on London bus services. From 16 September 2014, contactless payment cards will also be accepted on Tube, tram, DLR and London Overground services.
Do you have a card issued outside the UK? According to TfL, “most contactless payment cards issued outside the UK” can be used to buy tickets or top up an Oyster Card at touchscreen ticket machines at Tube, DLR and London Overground stations, at ticket offices, and Travel Information Centres, even if they can’t be used for contactless travel.
When you use a contactless payment card, you are charged pay-as-you go fares at the same rates for adults using prepaid travel card (called an Oyster). Daily prices are capped too. So users never pay more than the price of a Daily Travel card. So, paying for travel with a contactless card could save you time, money and hassle.
How can you tell if you have a contactless card? Odds are if you’re not sure, then you probably don’t have one. But if you look at your debit, credit or other type of payment card and see a little symbol similar to a WiFi signal on your phone or computer, then you’ve got it! Otherwise, just ask your bank or credit card company if can send you a new one. And make sure it’s activated if you intend to use it.
Of course, even if it cannot be used for contactless travel, travelers can continue use debit, credit, charge or pre paid card to buy tickets at ticket offices and ticket machines at stations.
Visitors to London unfamiliar with the city’s transport network are best off asking a TfL worker at a station about how to pay and where to go if at all uncertain or confused. But don’t worry public transport in London is reliable, safe and a cost effective way to get around.
For more info about contactless payment for TfL services go to tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-payments/contactless.