Oyster and Contactless
Your questions about Oyster and Contactless on Southern answered here…
Oyster PAYG fares on National Rail
With Oyster PAYG you get the cheapest appropriate single fare on National Rail services in London which means you pay less than the cash fare.
There are Anytime and Off-Peak Oyster single fares on National Rail with the fare determined by what time you touch in at the start of your journey. The Anytime fare applies Monday to Friday: 6:30am - 9:30am and 4pm- 7pm; Off-Peak applies at all other times, weekends and on Public Holidays. Find out about Oyster fares at the TfL farefinder.
You can also register your Oyster card for Railcard discounts. A 34% discount will apply to the off-peak daily price cap with the following Railcards: 16-25, Senior, Disabled, HM Forces and Annual Gold Card.
Zip Oyster photocards
Children under the age of 11 can get a 5-10 Zip Oyster photocard to:
- Travel free on Tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and most National Rail services where PAYG is accepted. However these are not valid on the Gatwick or Epsom extensions
- PAYG at child rate on the Emirates Air Line cable car
- PAYG at half adult rate on Thames Clipper River Bus services
Children aged over 10 years and 11 months and under 16 on 31 August can get an 11-15 Zip Oyster photocard to:
- Travel free on buses and trams
- Travel at child rate on Tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail, Emirates Air Line and most National Rail services in London
- Travel at half adult rate on Thames Clipper River Bus services
Find out more information on Zip Oystercards and under 18 travel.
Oyster cards cannot be topped up at our tickets offices but the self-service ticket machines at Merstham through to Gatwick allow customers to top up their Oyster cards.
Half of the self-service ticket machines at Epsom will be equipped to allow customers to top up their Oyster cards. Please look out for machines labelled for Oyster.
Contactless payment cards can be used to travel on most National Rail services in London, as well as bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and TfL Rail. Fares and daily caps are the same as with Oyster PAYG.
Just touch your debit or credit card on a yellow card reader to pay for your journey, the same as you would with your Oyster card. Always remember to touch in and out.
With Contactless there is no need to top up or queue for tickets at the station. It makes getting around the capital so easy.
For more details on using Contactless card including registering it please visit the TfL website.
Monday to Sunday capping
If you use the same contactless payment card to pay for all your journeys throughout the week until Sunday, you will also be eligible for a Monday to Sunday cap.
Start using your contactless payment card on a Monday for maximum benefit. Although you can buy a 7 Day Travelcard to start on any day of the week, Monday to Sunday capping always calculates your travel week from a Monday and finishes on the following Sunday.
Please note that caps are based on zonal travelcard prices and not rail only fares therefore the weekly cap may be more expensive than a rail only paper ticket. Details of caps can be found on the TfL website here.
PAYG is also available at the following Southern stations:
- Gatwick Airport
These extensions allow customers to use either a contactless card, mobile device or an Oyster card to pay for travel.
As Contactless PAYG is based on single fares, there are occasions when it may not be the cheapest option for your journey. Details of Oyster and Contactless single fares can here found on the TfL website here.
There are some important differences to be aware of:
- These stations will not be included in the advertised London Travelcard zones; instead it offers customers and alternative way to pay for their travel using PAYG
- Season tickets will not be available on Oyster along the extended route. If you normally buy a season ticket you are advised to continue to buy this using the Key Smartcard or a paper ticket
- Whilst a daily cap will apply; it is important to be aware that it will not always be cheaper than buying a return paper ticket. There will also be a weekly price cap for those using a Contactless card or mobile device; but it will still be cheaper to buy a season ticket on the Key Smartcard or paper
- Children’s ZIP Oyster cards, London Freedom Pass, 60+ London Oyster photocard and Veterans Oyster photocard holders CANNOT travel free on the these routes
- If you’re travelling between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria, please be aware that there are two fares in operation. If you travel on the Gatwick Express you will be charged the more expensive but flexible ‘any permitted’ fare. If you travel on Southern you will be charged a lower fare. The fare charged is determined by the gateline which you enter or exit through at London Victoria. Gatwick Express services generally arrive/leave from platforms 13 & 14 and Southern trains generally arrive/leave from platforms 15 – 19. Please make sure you touch in or out at the correct gateline.
Some things to remember
Watch out for card clash.
If you touch your contactless payment card on a card reader when it’s in the same wallet or purse as other bankcards or contactless smartcards (eg. Oyster card or building pass), you may end up paying with a card you didn't intend to use.
To avoid this happening, only touch the card you wish to pay with on the reader when touching in and out.
Always touch in and out
Always touch in and out on a yellow card reader with your contactless payment card at the start and end of your journey (even if the gates are open) to ensure you pay the right fare. When changing trains you may need to touch your card on a pink reader.
If you're travelling on a bus or tram you only have to touch in.
For full details please go to the TfL website.
Find out more about Contactless
You can also call TfL customer services:
Telephone: 0845 330 9876
Textphone: 020 7027 8511
The Contactless conditions of Use set out your rights and obligations when you use an Oyster card to travel on Southern or other National Rail services. They apply in addition to the National Rail Conditions of Travel.