What are contactless payment cards?

Some other methods of contactless payment are accepted on our services, including mobile phone apps, key fobs, stickers and wristbands. 

Contactless payment symbol

If you've got a contactless card but haven't used it yet, you might need to make a chip and PIN payment elsewhere before you can use it for contactless payments.

Find out more about mobile payments and other methods of contactless payment.

Can I use my UK card to travel?

If your card was issued in the UK on Visa, MasterCard, Maestro or American Express and displays the contactless payment symbol (shown above), you should be able to use it to travel on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail, Emirates Air Line, River Bus and most National Rail services in London.

You can't use contactless payment cards issued on other platforms, such as Diners Club, JCB or Union Pay.

Some UK card providers don't currently issue contactless payment cards. You can't use your payment card to travel on our services if:

  • It does not display the contactless symbol
  • Your issuer has not advised you that it can be used for contactless payments

Even if it can't be used for contactless travel, you can still use your payment card to buy tickets at ticket machines at stations.

If you're not sure if your card is contactless, check with your card issuer. To get more information about contactless payment cards, go to the UK Cards Association website.

Non-UK contactless cards

Most contactless cards issued outside the UK can be used to buy tickets or top up an Oyster card at ticket machines at Tube, DLR, London Overground and TfL rail stations, at ticket offices and Visitor Centres, even if they can't be used for contactless travel.

The list below shows which cards issued outside the UK are accepted for contactless travel.

American Express logo

American Express (AMEX)
All American Express contactless payment cards.

Mastercard logo
Maestro logo

MasterCard
Nearly all MasterCard and Maestro contactless payment cards issued outside the UK are accepted.

Some cards issued in the USA, Canada and the Netherlands are not accepted. If your card is rejected on our services, please contact your card issuer.

Visa logo
Vpay logo

Visa
Some Visa and V PAY contactless payment cards from countries issued outside the UK are not accepted.

Did you know?

If you use contactless to pay as you go and you make multiple journeys in a day or week, your fares will be capped. This means the amount that you pay is limited, and could be cheaper than buying a Travelcard. Find out more

Overseas transaction fees

Be aware that overseas transaction fees or charges may apply for travel made with a card issued outside the UK - please check with your card issuer. Generally, this is only one charge per day.

Pre-paid cards

If you have a prepaid card, it may be accepted for travel on our services. Contact your card issuer for more information

Joint accounts

If you have a joint account, you can both use your contactless payment cards to travel; you can travel at the same time and each card will be charged separately.

When you sign up for a contactless and Oyster account and add your contactless payment cards:

  • If the cards have the same long card number and expiry date, you can only sign up for one contactless and Oyster online account for both cards
  • If the cards have a different long card number and/or expiry date, you can sign up for separate contactless and Oyster online accounts for each card
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