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Visitor Oyster Card - Help & FAQ's

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

Buy an Oyster card

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.

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 4,000 Oyster Ticket Stops across London.

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

There are three ways for you to obtain a refund on a Visitor Oyster card:

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  cancelled. This means that you won’t be able to use it for future travel. You can still use the card to take advantage of the special offers and discounts available with the card.

Refunds at Visitor Centres

You can take your Visitor Oyster card to all London Visitor Centres except Gatwick, to get a refund on any remaining credit. This will be paid in cash or refunded to your debit/credit card. Your Visitor Oyster Card will be returned to you, but cancelled. This means that you won’t be able to use it for future travel. You can still use the card to take advantage of the special offers and discounts available with the card.

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

If you provide a phone number or email address, Tfl will contact you to arrange a bank transfer, otherwise your credit will be refunded by cheque in GBP. Your card will not 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.

Are there any special offers available with my Visitor Oyster card?

You can get exclusive special offers on shopping, theatre, food and drink and entertainment all over London with your Visitor Oyster card. Find out more and download a guide to the offers here.

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