If you’re coming to London, whether to live, work or take a holiday, the chances are you’ll use public transport frequently during your stay. Driving around London isn’t particularly easy – not only are there lengthy queues at peak times, but there’s the congestion charge and a relative shortage of parking to consider too.
This is why the majority of people heading into the centre of the capital opt to use the extensive network of Tube, National Rail, bus and tram services instead. For the sake of convenience and also to keep costs down, it makes complete sense to use public transport in and around London.
HOW AN OYSTER CARD HELPS PASSENGERS
Acquiring an Oyster card for a £5 deposit is the best way to enjoy affordable travel around London. This is a reusable plastic card, which – when loaded with credit – allows you to access train, bus and tram services throughout the city without the need for cash. Using an Oyster card is the best way to enjoy convenient travel, knowing that when you want to use public transport, you can simply swipe the card at a reader terminal to issue payment.
With London buses already going cashless and traditional forms of payment being phased out across London’s public transport network, these cards are becoming increasingly vital for people travelling around the capital. Following their introduction in 2003, they have become the default payment method for millions of Londoners and other people visiting the capital.
Discounted fares are available to Oyster card holders, allowing passengers to keep travel costs down. Maximum daily fees apply to minimise costs for people who make multiple journeys throughout the day. Once you reach the daily fare cap, there are no further charges for travel on that day.
But the question is, how do you go about getting one for you and taking advantage of the numerous benefits of a visitor Oyster Card? If you’re planning a trip to the UK capital, there are two different ways to get hold of your Oyster card: (1) at a ticket stop or office, and (2) online. The two processes are explained below:
BUYING AN OYSTER CARD FROM A TICKET STOP OR OFFICE
The process for buying an Oyster card from a ticket stop or office is as follows:
- Locate a London station or ticket stop during normal opening hours.
- Approach the ticket window and ask the representative for a new Oyster card.
- Add credit to the card, following the representative’s instructions.
- Pay for the Oyster card as instructed, using cash, debit card or credit card. You bill will include a £5 deposit for use of the card.
- Keep your Oyster card in a safe place and swipe it at the payment terminal to access Tube stations, buses and trams.
BUYING AN OYSTER CARD OVER THE INTERNET
The process for buying an Oyster card online is as follows:
- Open a web browser and visit the Transport for London website.
- Click on ‘Get an Oyster Card’ and then choose the ‘Pay As You Go’ option, then click ‘Continue’.
- Choose the amount of money you would like to add to your Oyster card from the drop down menu, then click ‘Continue’.
- Check you have made the correct order.
- Choose your preferred method of delivery – either First Class mail (free) or registered mail (£4.60) – and then click ‘Continue’.
- Enter your name, address and contact details into the required fields.
- Choose a username and password for your Oyster card online account and click ‘Continue’.
- Read the data protection disclaimer, make your preferred selections and then choose ‘Continue’.
- Choose a security question and answer to offer back-up access to your account, and then click ‘Continue’.
- Complete payment. Your bill will include your £5 Oyster card deposit, your chosen top-up amount and any postal fees.
- Accept the terms and services and confirm all the information for your order is correct.
- Wait for your Oyster card to arrive in the post.