Ways to pay

There are different ways to pay for your bus fare:

Contactless payment symbol

A pay as you go adult fare is £1.50 with a contactless payment, Oyster, or Visitor Oyster card. If you make another bus or tram journey within an hour of touching in on a bus or tram, your second journey will be free.

UK issued contactless payment cards are accepted, just look out for the contactless symbol. If you're visiting London from overseas then you will need to check if your card will be accepted first.

One more bus journey to get home

If you don't have enough credit on your Oyster card to pay the £1.50 fare or your Bus & Tram Pass or Travelcard has just expired, you can make one more journey on a bus. You must then top up your pay as you go credit  to clear the negative balance before you can use your Oyster card again or before you can renew a Travelcard or Bus & Tram Pass.

Where to get or top up your Oyster card

Auto top-up on Oyster

Auto top-up makes sure you never run out of pay as you go credit by automatically topping up your Oyster card with money from your credit or debit card, whenever your pay as you go balance falls below £10.

Your Oyster card is automatically topped up when you touch it on a yellow card reader at the start of a journey on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail, Emirates Air Line, Thames Clipper River Bus or National Rail services in London.

Set up Auto top-up on an existing Oyster card, or order a new Oyster card online with pay as you go credit included and choose to add Auto top-up.

If you set up Auto top-up on an existing card, you must activate it by making a journey from a station, tram stop, Emirates Air Line terminal or River pier. You will not be able to activate Auto top-up by making a journey on a bus.

Don't forget you can also top up your Oyster card at Oyster Ticket Stops in participating newsagents and shops, or at stations.

Watch out for card clash

Card clash happens when a yellow card reader detects two or more Oyster, contactless payment or other smartcards at the same time.

If a card reader detects more than one card:

  • It doesn't know which card to take payment from
  • If you get a green light it could take payment from a card you did not intend to pay with
  • If you get a red light it means you won't have paid for your journey

To avoid card clash, keep your Oyster and contactless payment cards separate and only touch the card you wish to use on the reader.

*Service and network charges may apply. Find out about TfL call charges for details.