If your future travel plans include London (maybe the London 2012 Olympics?) the Oyster Card is your best travel card friend. The Oyster Card is a blue and white smartcard that can be purchased on-line, at Tube stations, Overground stations, airports and over 4,000 authorized convenience store locations. The Oyster Card can be used for travel on the Tube, buses, Overground trains, trams and specific river boats.

Oyster Card

Cost: A surcharge of 5 GBP surcharge for the card is added to the amount you put on the card. You can buy a travelcard for one week, month or year, depending on your length of stay. Using the Oyster Card is considerably cheaper than a paper ticket.

Topping Up: You can always add money to your card by going to a kiosk in one of the Tube stations or stepping into an authorized convenience store. Hand your card to the clerk and say: “I want to top-up”  He will ask you how much? You determine the amount.

Touch in-Touch out: When you enter a station, you will see turn-stiles with a yellow circle. Touch your card on the circle. The gate will open, allowing you to pass through. When you exit the station, you will pass through another set of turn-stiles. Touch the yellow pad again, the gate opens and you exit.  Touching in and out is important. If you fail to “touch out” your card will be charged a greater fare.

If you have problems or questions with your Oyster Card, call the TFL (Transport for London) hotline: 0845-330-9876