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How do Visitor Oyster cards work?

For prices, time restrictions, student discount, family discount and getting around in London information, see our general London Transport FAQs page.

Do I need to provide a passport photo to buy a Visitor Oyster Card?

If you purchase a Visitor Oyster Card from our website, you do not need to provide a passport photo.

Can I use the Visitor Oyster Card as soon as I receive it?

Yes, once you have received your Oyster Card it is ready to use.

I am coming to London for a long weekend. How much credit will I need on my Oyster Card?

Please refer to our Visitor Oyster card product page for advice on how much credit to start with on your card.

To see the different prices for single journeys using an Oyster card, refer to the full pricing chart.

I bought a Visitor Oyster Card a couple of years ago. Can I still use it when I come back to London?

Yes. You can top up your Oyster Card when you get to London at the ticket machines or kiosks at any tube station.

Can I top up my Visitor Oyster Card online?

No, you can’t top up your Visitor Oyster Card online. However, you can top it up at any tube station and at almost 3,800 Oyster Ticket Stops across London.

Can I get a refund of any unused credit at the end of my trip to the UK?

Yes. There are 3 ways to get a refund of your unused credit:

1. Refunds at Tube station ticket machines

  • You can get up to £10 refunded from your Visitor Oyster card at Tube station ticket machines
  • Touch your card on the yellow card reader on the ticket machine, select 'Oyster refund' and follow the on-screen instructions (available in different languages)
  • You’ll be shown the amount of the refund due, which will be paid back in cash dispensed from the ticket machine
  • Your Visitor Oyster Card will be returned to you, but cancelled. This means that you won’t be able to use it for a future visit
  • Refunds at ticket machines can only be made if you’ve been using your Visitor Oyster card for more than 48 hours

2. Refunds at Visitor Centres
You can take your Visitor Oyster card to any London Visitor Centre, to get a refund of any remaining credit. This will be paid in cash or refunded to your debit/credit card. The Visitor Oyster card will be returned to you for future use.

3. Refunds by post
To get a refund by post, you can send your Visitor Oyster card with a letter explaining why you’re returning it to:

TfL Customer Services
14 Pier Walk
4th Floor
London SE10 0ES
United Kingdom

Your credit will be refunded by cheque in GBP. The card cannot be returned to you.

Will the Oyster Card have my name on it?

No, the Oyster card will not have your name on it so you will be able to buy this product for other people. You can also pass it to a friend or family, who can use it on a future visit if any credit remains on the card.

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