Yellow card reader

Completing your journey

Where you touch in and out tells us where you've travelled from and to, so we can charge you the right fare for your completed journey.

This is for all Tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail, National Rail, River Bus and Emirates Air Line journeys.

Only touch in on buses and trams.

Automatic completion of journeys

When there are major sporting or entertainment events, we may open gates at stations to help with congestion.

On these occasions you might not be able to touch out, so we'll try to complete your journey for you so you're not charged the maximum fare.

If you're due a refund when we automatically complete a journey, it'll be loaded on to your Oyster card when you next touch in on a yellow card reader. If you used contactless (card or device) we'll refund your bank account.

Charges if you don't touch in and out

If you don't touch in and out, we can't tell where you've travelled from or to, so your journey will be incomplete.

As we can't work out the right fare for your journey, we'll charge you the maximum fare:

Area Peak Off-peak
All stations in Zones 1-9 (except Heathrow Express) Up to £10.20 Up to £10.10
Broxbourne, Hertford East, Ware, St Margarets and Rye House £8.00 £5.50
Chafford Hundred, Grays, Ockenden and Purfleet £8.20 £7.20
Shenfield £9.30 £6.40
Watford Junction £9.20 £5.90
Merstham £9.40 £5.80
Redhill, Earlswood £10.70 £6.10
Salfords, Horley £10.90 £6.80
Gatwick Airport £14.70 £8.30
Heathrow Express (from Paddington to Heathrow) £25 £22

Maximum fares don't count towards capping.

If you don't touch in, you may be charged a penalty fare.

Apply for a refund

If you were charged a maximum fare because you couldn't touch in or out for reasons beyond your control, you can apply for a refund.

How to touch in and out

Buses and trams

Touch your contactless card, device, or Oyster card on the yellow card reader at the start of your journey.

Don't touch out at the end of your journey

Tram journeys to and from Wimbledon

If you're travelling to Wimbledon, touch in on the tram yellow card reader on the platform at the start of your journey. When leaving Wimbledon station, touch out on the gates.

If you've arrived at Wimbledon station by train or Tube and you're changing to make a tram journey, you must first touch out on a National Rail or Tube yellow card reader and then touch in on a tram yellow card reader on platform 10.

If you're travelling from Wimbledon, touch in on the gates when you enter Wimbledon station and again on the tram yellow card reader on platform 10 before getting on.

Tram journeys to and from Elmers End and Mitcham Junction

If you've arrived at Elmers End or Mitcham Junction station by train and you're changing to make a tram journey, you must first touch out on a National Rail yellow card reader and then touch in on a tram yellow card reader before getting on.

If you're travelling from Elmers End or Mitcham Junction, touch in on the tram yellow card reader before getting on.

Tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail, National Rail, River Bus and Emirates Air Line

Touch in on a yellow card reader at the start of your journey and touch out at the end.

To pay the right fare:

  • Always use the same device or contactless card to touch in and out. For example, don't touch in with an iPhone and touch out with an Apple Watch or contactless card
  • Always touch out even if the gates are open. If there are no gates, use a freestanding yellow card reader next to entrances, exits or on platforms

Touch pink card readers when changing trains

Touch a pink card reader when changing trains to pay the right fare when you don't go through Zone 1.

Same station exits

If you touch contactless (card or device) or an Oyster card on a yellow card reader when you enter a station, and then touch out to exit it within a short period of time, you'll be charged a same station exit:

  • Between 0 - 2 minutes: a maximum fare. If you re-enter the same or a different station within 45 minutes, you'll be refunded. This doesn't apply if you take a bus or tram before re-entering a station
  • Between 2 - 30 minutes: minimum pay as you go fare from that station
  • More than 30 minutes: we'll assume two separate journeys have been made and both will be incomplete. You'll be charged two maximum fares

We apply these charges to discourage fare evasion.

You may be able to get a refund if you touched in and out at the same station.

Check your journey or get a refund

See if you've made an incomplete journey or apply for a refund on your contactless and Oyster account.