What is Oyster?

Oyster card

With an Oyster card you can:

Find out where to get Oyster cards.

Reusable and flexible

You can top up with pay as you go credit or renew your Travelcard or Bus & Tram Pass on the same Oyster card when you need to.

If you keep both pay as you go credit and a Travelcard or Bus & Tram Pass on your Oyster card at the same time, it works out which one to use to make sure you never pay more than you need.

When you get a new Oyster card, you'll need to pay a £5 deposit. If you decide you don't need it anymore, return your Oyster card to us and we'll refund your deposit.

Find out more about refunds.

Sign up for a contactless and Oyster account

If you sign up for a contactless and Oyster account, you can see what's on your Oyster card, see your journey history and apply for refunds. Any Oyster cards that you add to your account will automatically be protected against loss or theft. 

Oyster cards that you add to your online account will automatically be protected if lost or stolen, so that no one can use it once you've reported the loss or theft. You may also be eligible for a refund or replacement of  any remaining pay as you go credit or the days left on your Travelcard or Bus & Tram Pass.

Find out more about managing Oyster online.

Registering your Oyster card

If you want to buy Travelcards and Bus & Tram Passes that are valid for longer than a month on your Oyster card, you need to fill out a form to register it.

You can do this at:

  • Your local Oyster Ticket Stop
  • Tube, London Overground, TfL Rail and some National Rail stations
  • Visitor Centres

You'll still need to register it if you've protected your card online (by adding it to your contactless and Oyster account). Visitor Oyster cards can't be registered or protected.

    No longer need your Oyster card?

    Unused pay as you go credit stays on your Oyster card until you want to use it. If you don't need your Oyster card anymore, you can get a refund of any remaining pay as you go and your deposit. Find out more about Oyster refunds.

    Lending your Oyster card to others

    If your Oyster card only has adult rate pay as you go credit on it, you can lend it to someone else, even if the card is registered in your name.

    An Oyster card can't be used by anyone other than the registered user if it has one of the following on it:

    • Travelcard or Bus & Tram Pass season ticket
    • Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount
    • Bus & Tram discount
    • National Railcard discount
    • Disabled Persons Railcard discount
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