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Local residents within the borough of Tower Hamlets who have either an Idea Store card or Tower Hamlets library card can visit the Tower of London for only 1.00. This offer is possible because of an agreement with Tower Hamlets Council.
The offer is valid all year round. Only one ticket per adult card holder can be purchased per day. Adults can purchase additional tickets for additional children for 1.00. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Adults should bring their proof of address and Idea Store or library card with them to the ticket office. Please note this offer can not be used for event tickets such as Ceremony of the Keys and Superbloom.
It's easy to forget a purchase you've made. Before reporting a charge as unauthorized, compare your Google purchase history with the charges listed on your card or bank statement to help remind yourself of any purchases you've forgotten.
Single-use Compass Tickets and DayPasses can be purchased by cash, debit, or credit card at any Compass Vending Machine (CVM) located in all SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express stations. Tickets and DayPasses purchased from CVMs must be used on the day of travel and will expire at 4 a.m. the next day. DayPass tickets for immediate use or for future use can also be purchased at Compass Retailers.
For more on the different kinds of Oyster card, including the benefits of buying a visitor Oyster card in advance, and detailed information on how to actually use an Oyster card for travel in London, read this
As well as being able to use these cards for normal transactions, you can also use contactless cards to pay for travel in London. These can be used instead of buying tickets with cash or using an Oyster card. If you have an Apple Pay or Google pay enabled smartphone, you can also use this as a contactless payment option.
Foreign transaction fees: If you are using a foreign issued card, even if it is supported by the Oyster contactless system, you need to check to see if it incurs foreign transaction fees.
Contactless payments are in GBP, so if your card issuer charges you transaction fees for foreign currency transactions, then these costs could outweigh the savings of contactless. Check with your card provider before you travel to see if this is the case.
It works and support is available. As noted not all contactless cards work with the system but the Oyster card should always work. If there are problems, you can get support or get your credit refunded if your card is registered on the TfL website.
Supports travelcards: One of the main advantages of the Oyster card is that it supports travelcards. These are fixed payment pre-paid options, where you pay a certain amount for unlimited travel inside specific London zones for a weekly, monthly or annual price.
Supports cash: If you want to pay for your transport in London using cash, you can buy and top up an Oyster card with cash. This is normally a lot more cost effective than paying for a cash ticket, with the rare exception of a one-off single journey as you have to consider the cost of the Oyster card.
Supports concessions: As discussed above, if you are travelling with children, or are a London resident who qualifies for one of the discounts and concessions available to adults (see here for full list), you will want to use the Oyster card that matches your concession in order to get the best deal on transport in London. As a visitor to London with children aged 11-15, you can also add a Young Visitor discount to an Oyster card for savings.
Alternatively, if you are coming to London as a visitor, you can buy an Oyster card in a package with the London Pass here and save on attraction entry as well. See our review of the London Pass here.
There are no doubt some more situations where an Oyster card or travelcard might be cheaper than contactless. Usually, figuring this out will require you to do a bit of math and have a detailed understanding of your exact travel plans, which might take more time than is worth the small saving!
As a visitor, we believe that in the majority of cases if you already have a contactless card you are going to find that it is both cheaper and easier to use contactless for your London travel, outside of the five points listed above. If one of those does apply, you can get an Oyster card here before you visit, or simply buy one on arrival.
If you are using a Google or Apple smartphone to pay, make sure you use that consistently. If you have a payment card registered on the device and decide to switch to the physical card instead of using the smartphone, or vice versa, this is technically registered as a different payment card.
This is actually a good workaround if there are two of you travelling together and you only have one contactless payment card. You can add the card to your Apple or Google device, and then one person can use the physical card and the other one can use the smartphone version.
We also highly recommend you register your payment method online with TfL. This has multiple benefits, including being able to keep track of your spending, and in the case of an Oyster card, you can reclaim and funds on it if you lose it!
Thank you for the detailed write up.A question: Instead if using one contactless and one physical card, can I use 2 contactless iPhones (Apple Pay) linked to the same card As I do not intend to bring the physical card along. Thank you.
I hear you, the TfL website is a bit of a maze when it comes to finding things out. You are correct, the 18+ Oyster card does not offer discounted travel on pay as you go fares, only on Travelcards, for which there is a 30% discount. I think the theory is that this is aimed at someone who will be travelling multiple times a week, for whom a travel card would make sense, and so then there is the added benefit of a 30% discount.
You are also correct that there is a railcard option, which might make sense if your son already has a railcard. I think the option exists to link it to a student Oyster card because you can still use a student oyster card as a normal Oyster card without adding the discounted travel card to it, so this would save someone having to carry two cards.
You recommended registering our payment method online and I saw on their website that you can actually know your trip history online if you use Apple Pay by adding your credit card number to your online account. But if me and my friend register the same credit card on our accounts (one of us using Apple Pay and the other the physical card), would that affect anything
My pleasure. Ok, this is a great question. So you can definitely use one card between two people by having one person use a physical card and one using a contactless payment method. This works (as I understand it), because Apple Pay / Google Pay create a virtual card number for transactions, so the TfL system sees it as a different card.
The system strikes me as relentlessly complicated and not at all user friendly. Cash appears to be considered poisonous. Is there any way to obtain an Oyster card with cash I saw no mention of privacy. Are all these transactions automatically collected by the British government and used to track the movement of its citizens
You can indeed purchase an Oyster card with cash at various locations including at many newsagents and at tube stations across London. You can see a full list of where you can buy your Oyster card here: -to-pay-and-where-to-buy-tickets-and-oyster/buying-tickets-and-oysterintcmp=54759
I travel from Croydon/zone 5 to London bridge/zone 1 M-F also take busses. I was told to buy the weekly plan on the oyster card for 60. Because the contactless payment will most likely charge me a daily rate of 12. Is it just the same with a contactless payment and the oyster then I understand from your blog, that no matter what, anyway there is a weekly limit
In this case, the 7 day travelcard would make more sense because it starts on the first day you use it and then runs for a week. However, if you are commuting regularly every week, then contactless would be best. After that, the Oyster travelcard would be better than just Oyster, as Oyster by itself has no weekly cap for tube journeys.
So a contactless card is a relatively new payment technology where the credit card has a wireless chip built into it, so instead of inserting it into a card machine, you just hold it near the card machine, and it takes the payment. As this is the same technology that the Oyster cards have used for a long time, when contactless cards became popular in the UK, the Oyster card readers were updated to support them. The contactless logo is on the card, and looks like four little single parentheses, all getting bigger.
Also, regarding the foreign transaction fees using overseas contactless cards: If you use an overseas credit/debit card to charge up an Oyster card, that will also incur foreign transaction fees, so isnt it kind of a wash Or do you think that the fees will be more if you use the card to travel rather than just to charge up your Oyster card
My husband and I are going to London for 10 days. We want to get Oyster cards. When we top up the card, can we use our US-issued mastercard and visa card Or do we have to top up with cashThank you!
Your Unlimited card gets you access to as many films as you can handle plus amazing benefits like discounts on cinema snacks, advance screenings and much more! To find out everything you get with Cineworld Unlimited, keep scrolling.
The price of your Unlimited Membership will depend on which Group your local Cineworld falls into and whether you want to regularly use your Unlimited card in a cinema that falls in a different group to your local. Find out more about Unlimited membership groups here.
We make sure our Unlimited customers are some of the first to see a movie, so we organise special preview screenings, days, weeks and sometimes even months before its released to the general pub