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Get your smartcard and make buying and using tickets easier. An Oyster card can store up to £90 of pay as you go credit plus your Travelcard or annual Bus Pass. It can be used on the Tube, trams, buses, DLR, London Overground and some national rail services in London.

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      28.02.2014 00:27
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      Where will you start in a big city?

      This card is your London essential if you visit London a lot or if you are a London resident. This has been the best five pounds I have ever spent, it is the most handiest thing ever. It is pretty amazing how much money you can save if you use one of these. You can either get a weekly pass, monthly pass or you can do pay as you go. I usually go for pay as you go, because I normally tend to travel on tube in the morning for work and get the bus unless I have to get to my flat quickly, then I get the tube, so I only pay a total of less than £5 a day for travel. I cannot explain how much these oyster cards are a life saver. If you paid normal money for either a bus ticket or an all day travel card you would be paying more, for example, if you paid cast for a bus you would be paying aprox £2.40 for a single, whereas if you use an oyster card you would only be paying £1.40, so you would be saving so much money, as £2.40 with an oyster would pay you for a return for example, you would be able to get to north to central London and back. By using this oyster card on a bus, if I put say five pounds and I travel by bus, it would last three days at least, and if you use £10 and travel by bus, ten pounds can last you a week. You can use this on the tube too, for example if you are travelling within zone 1 you will only pay £2.10 for a single, unless it is before 9:30am it will be £2.90 because of the times, and it is very unfortunate that prices are more expensive in rush hour, and makes it more stressful for work commuters and you get loads of those in London. If you use a travel card for zones 1-6, (so basically you get all around London without worrying how much you spend) before 9:30am it will cost you nearly £20 whereas after 9:30am it will cost £8.90 unless you have a travel card, for example 16-25 it will cost you £5.90, whereas as I said at the beginning I pay less than five pounds a day for travel. If you have to travel further in London for example any further than zone 1, then you will not pay any more than four pounds for a single, for example from zone 1 to 2 it will only cost you £2.80 before 9:30am and then £2.20 after that. I once travel to zone four from zone one and that's how much my fair cost, so it isn't that much when you think about it. However, if you travel to zone three you will only cost you £3.80 before 9:30am and £2.70 after that. But it all depends which part of London you are going to as different parts of London have different prices and it depends if you are going to/from a railway station or a tube station. I love my oyster card, I could not believe that I did not get one until I lived for about a year and a half in London, I regret not buying one in the first place because I can think of all the money I could have saved, as my money kept disappearing very quickly when I was buying travel cards before 9:30am. So if you are a Londoner, planning to move to London, or work/visit London a lot then make sure you have this essential, but try not to loose it as it costs £10 for a replacement. Buy one and enjoy London, unless you're working maybe not!

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      05.08.2013 16:29
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      Indispensable

      I'm a Yorkshireman and proud of it, but even I can see that there are some things that I have to go to London for. When I go down to our capital I hear Londoners frequently moaning about their transport system, how unreliable and expensive it is, and the oyster smartcards in particular come in for a lot of stick. Sometimes it takes an outsider to point out the blindingly obvious so I'll put this as simply as I can: London transport's Oyster Card system is simply fantastic. It looks like a credit card with a rather attractive blue pattern on it. You charge it up with a certain amount of cash and when you use any London public transport you just swipe the card over a reader either on the vehicle or at the station which registers your journey and removes the cost of it from the balance on your card. That's it. It's simple and convenient for everyone involved. You can use it to pay for journeys on the bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and National Rail services in London. You have to put a small deposit down when you first get one but this is refundable should you not need the card any more. If you're a regular user then you can register your card online so that the money on it is protected should it be lost or stolen. You can even arrange for an auto-top up from a credit card or bank account so that the oyster card never runs out of credit. I'm not going to list the prices on here as they could have changed by the time you read them but suffice to say that Transport For London guarantee that using the card is the cheapest way to pay for single journeys on any public transport in the city. With one of these cards the world is your oyster... or at least London transport is.

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        26.11.2011 03:07
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        Recommended.

        I visit London twice a month and every time I go up I am almost definitely likely to use the tube. I used to get one day travel cards, until someone pointed out to me if I got a Oyster Card it was not only more convenient, but also that it was likely to save me money over time. I bought an Oyster Card and have now been using it for about the past three years without any problem - and I estimate it has probably saved me about £150 over that time! The Oyster Card can be bought in main tube stations - but can be topped up in any tube station or online. The initial card costs £5 - which is a deposit and you'll get back should you turn it in and not want to use it any more. Then you put money onto your card and keep it topped up so that you don't have the inconvenience of having to stop to buy a card every time you want to travel. The credit you put on the card doesn't run out - and, as I said, you can top in online as well as at the station machines. If you register online, you can also make sure your card is protected if lost or stolen because if you report the card stolen then London Underground will cancel that card and put the existing credit onto a new card. You can also do it that your card is automatically topped up to a pre-determined amount regularly so that you don't even have to remember to do it. I usually try to keep my card topped up to about £15.00. Using the Oyster Card is simple. As you go through the turnstyle at the tube station you simply swipe your card on entry and then again on exit. The amount you have used is then debited from the card. You can use it on buses and tubes - but I only ever use it on the tube. I have never had a problem with my card not working and so it seems like a very efficient system - and it saves you queuing at the ticket machines! It also reduces the cost of the journey as the tickets are at a reduced rate. If you go to London regularly, I recommend getting an Oyster Card because it really is the most convenient way to pay for the tube - and it just takes a little bit of stress out of the journey.

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        08.06.2010 13:05
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        A great card for travelling around the Capital.

        I am from the lovely Rural county of Shropshire, and where I happen to live public transport is not something that people can rely on. Not only are the buses about every hour from most places, they take forever to get you somewhere that a car can take you to very speedily. So on my jaunt a couple of weeks ago to the bright lights of London, I borrowed someone's Oyster card and made the most of the delights of public transport. An Oyster card is a very simple device and makes travelling around very easy without a car. It's like a pay as you go travel card, and it gives you the best rates for every journey. You can use the Oyster card on buses and the tube and I think some train journeys. You simply buy the card from the tfl website at: https://oyster.tfl.gov.uk/oyster/ You can chose the amount that's on the card when you purchase it and then you pay a £2.00 fee for postage. You can also buy them from various stations I think. I went to London with my husband for 2 days and 3 nights and we used less than £30.00 between us, which saved quite a lot of money, as we went to the Rugby Sevens which is a 2 day event and parking is £25.00 per day at Twickenham! Once you have the Oyster card you just scan it at certain points on buses and tube stations and it saves fiddling about for the right amount of money (well any bus journey in London seems to cost £2.00 no matter where or how far you are going!) You can top up the Oyster card at various machine points at stations, an it's very easy (If a Country Bumpkin like me can figure it out it can't be difficult). To top up you just scan your card, enter how much you want to top up and use a credit or debit card to pay for the top up. I'm sure most London and surrounding area residents must have one of these, but as a visitor I would really recommend them. I borrowed one from a friend and topped it up, but for my next visit I will be getting one of my own. They not only get you the journeys at the cheapest rate available but save a lot of fussing around with tickets and loose change. What a great little card to have. I wonder when Shropshire will get a similar system, probably when everyone has flying cars!

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          01.06.2010 22:36
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          If you live ion London it's a life saver, otherwise not much use for it

          An innovative card which is available to use all around the UK's capital city. The Oyster Card is well worth having, even if you are just visiting London for a few days. It saves a bundle load of money on nearly any journey made in the capital via bus, tram, tube, DLR, Overground and since 2010 National Rail services. For example, to travel by bus with cash is £2 but with the Oyster Card you save 80p. Plus for under 16s and 16 - 18 year olds in education travel for free on buses and the Croydon tramlink. Unfortunatley, Oyster has a number of drawbacks. To replace the card is expensive, usually around £10, and TFL customer services are terrible. Plus, when making journeys across London - but purposly avoiding Zone 1 to save money - Oyster charges you for travelling into zone 1 despite your avoidance of the area. This is because of a lack of route validators at stations. You have to extra careful to be chrged the correct fare, and for tourists this could be very confusing.

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          29.04.2010 20:08

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          The Zip cards are useless. Why not just go on free? Cost 10 Pounds to replace. what a rip off.

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          02.04.2010 22:30
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          The World (Well London) Is Your Oyster, Oyster is the best way to get around Central London

          Oyster is the best way to get around Central London, it's a smarcard which is a bit like a debit card which allows you to pay for your journey without queueing to buy a paper ticket or making sure you have change for the machine. The card, as I said, work's a bit like a debit card as you can use it to pay-as-you-go, simply load it with money by using the Oyster website or larger ticket machines or visiting a travel centre or Oyster agent, so it's very easy to add money onto the card, you can top-up a maximum of £90 onto the card at any one time and if you worry you'll run out of credit, you can setup a direct debit to automatically top up the card when it reaches a certain amount for example when you get down to only having £5 left on the card you can set it up so when that happens a direct debit is taken for an extra £10 to top up your Oyster balance to £15. This makes it very easy for passengers to make sure their card is always topped up & never again will you need to worry about being left stranded without cash to get you somewhere. Alternatively you can add travelcards onto the card. It's easy to use and it can be used on most transport within London including the tube. tram, DLR, buses, London Overground & some National Rail services, its very simple to use, on buses you just touch in at the start of your journey on the bright yellow panel on the bus, and on all other forms of transport touch in at the start of your journey on the platform or at ticket barriers then touch out at the end of the journey too, that's all you need to do, it's so simple you don't need to be technilogical. The money will be then be deducted from the card balance for your journey or the machine will see you have a travelcard on the card. Another great thing about Oyster is that fare's are cheaper than paper ones, this is great as it's more economical then paper tickets and it also saves so much time, I can now walk straight through the station passing the huge queues for the ticket machines and go straight to the train or tube or dlr, at the same time I am saving money. Would recommend Oyster Card to ANYBODY locals or visitors, and I am looking forward to the North East doing a similar product soon too, makes life so much easier.

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          07.03.2010 14:51
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          I believe the Oyster Card is one of the best inventions of modern times.

          As a very regular user of buses and trains, the Oyster Card is one of the best inventions in modern times. I've used bus services all over the country that still rely on paper tickets and having to tell the bus driver where you are going. Not only does this add complication to the ticket buying process, but it also delays not only you, but everyone on the bus. I've lost count of the number of people who get onto the bus without having their money ready and spend ages rummaging through their bags before getting their money out. This is where the Oyster Card comes in. With public transport being cheaper in London to begin with, you can top your card up at stations, online and at the vast majority of newsagents. You just get onto the bus, put your card on the trader and you'll heap a beep to signal that you have paid. Far simpler! If you have a busy life or forget to top your card up regularly, there's an auto top up feature. This means that your debit/credit card will automatically top up the Oyster Card once you fall under a particular balance. This card system helps speed up the journey for everyone. The days of long queues and telling the driver where you are going are long gone!

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          21.02.2010 20:52
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          A much quicker if not cheaper way to travel

          Oyster Cards are the method of transport billing used in London, and is a simple credit card sized card which you can top up and use for most London transport services, such as the Underground, buses, trams and trains. Hong Kong had the Octopus Card which works on the same mechanism YEARS ago, I wonder why it took us so long to get Oyster, but then again, at least we have it now! APPLYING~ Applying for an Oyster Card is simple, and it can be done via a form picked up from an underground station, or requested online, or filled in online. You can also apply for a child oyster card and a student 16-17 oyster card, which is a longer process, as it requires ID and photographs and all that. However, the fares for under 18s ARE much cheaper, and it is a bonus to get that if you have children! TOPPING UP~ Topping Up is extremely easy and can be done at all London Underground stations via the ticket office or their machines. At many stations now, the minimum top up is £5. Also, some convenience stores now also have Oyster Top Up so look out for those, or research online where the nearest Top Up spot is! You can even do online top up and set up automatic top up! FARES~ Fares are considerable compared to areas outside London, but prices are constantly increasing! A one day travel card costs around £10, whilst a single bus journey is £1.20. For under 18's, its FREE on buses, and £1.00 PER DAY for a child, and £1.00 single for 16-17 on tube. I don't find it ridiculous but it could be lower to encourage people to use public transport. USAGE~ Using it is even more simple, just place it on any Oyster circle pad thing, where mostly is at barriers and the barriers will open for you!!! PROBLEMS~ Sometimes, it says "seek assistance" even though you know there is nothing wrong with your card and you have topped up. This can be annoying, but a few attempts usually solves the problem. There was that Oyster Card virus problem which rendered many cards unusable last year, but that was rare, and unlikely to happen. OVERALL~ It was a long needed invention that other countries had before us, and finally we have adopted it. The introduction of Oyster Cards means cutting the use of paper tickets and travel cards, making it supposedly more environmentally friendly. It is extremely useful and saves a lot of time! I personally use this all the time, and it is much cheaper to own an Oyster card anyway! Whilst some will put it off to avoid the filling out of application forms, it's worth it in the long run and will save you money than buying paper tickets. If you are travelling in London, GET AN OYSTER CARD!

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            19.02.2010 16:48

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            worth getting!

            An oyster card is a good concept giving you half price pay as you go on all buses although if you have to take 2 buses somewhere and back it will cost you just under a fiver! They do make jumping on and off buses much easier but it can be a terrible annoyance when you've waited 40 minutes for a bus and you get on only to find out you've gone in to minus numbers and you have to get off again. Oyster used to be half price on buses however now the price has risen by 20% from £1 to £1.20 which doesn't seem like much at a glance but adds up very quickly. I think the majority of London will agree it is better to have an oyster card than not to have one. The main aspect I would complain about is when you come to topping up your card at a machine in London underground and it will not accept your pound coins despite them being very real it simply drops them back out again. This is very annoying if there is no one at the service desk to help. Still, Being a Londoner its better to be with one than without.

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            18.02.2010 16:53

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            I'm living zone 6 and using Oyster card Pay As You Go (with auto-top-up), originally just for buses. Since this new year (2010) I read about Oyster Pay As You Go can be used for over ground trains. Thus I tried several times and the result is disastrous... Train stations' Oyster points sometime don't work properly, then IT IS ME who is charged higher fee!! Surbiton<>HanptonCT (South West Trains) charged 6GBP ( usually 2.9GBP), again Rayns' Park <> Surbiton charged 6GBP (usually 4.5GBP). I complained via e-mail, but no answer. It's waste money and energy. I shall go back one-day-travel-card for trains. Oyster is only for buses... They(South West Trains!!) are so unreliable and charging to customer for their failure!!

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            18.02.2010 12:59
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            the fairs are cheaper, no more queueing. You can automatically set a top up and even view your fairs

            Oyster Card: No more queuing for tickets The concept of the Oyster card is simple! You no longer need to queue and purchase a ticket for every journey you make in London. Even better Fairs start at £1.20 for the underground, instead of a massive £ for a single printed ticket. You can use it on Buses and trains, and soon boat transport as well! Maybe taxi's will be next! It's only a £4 deposit and your set to go! I have to be honest, I love my oyster card and I cannot travel anywhere without it. It saves me hours queuing for tickets, I can swipe it and head straight for the train, no more queuing or worrying about having the correct change for a bus fair! You can either top up online, by machines, through the train station counters (if you like dealing with people) or set an automatic credit/debit top up, for every time you go down to a certain level! I feel great, knowing I can always get home without the worry of running out of money! Unless I miss the last train. In summary, the fairs are cheaper, no more queueing. You can automatically set a top up and even view your fairs online. What a deal!

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            17.02.2010 17:32
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            Makes travel a breeze

            Oyster Cards are a form of prepay payment system used on public transport around London. They have been around for a couple of years now, but I have never really bothered to get one, mainly because I hardly ever used the bus, and if I went into London, I would buy a travelcard. Since Janurary of this year however, Oyster cards have been accepted on overground trains, so I popped down to my local newsagents to get one. There are no forms to fill out, just a £3 deposit for the card plus whatever you want to top up your card with. Oyster cards are a "contactless" form of technology, each card has a tiny RFID chip and ariel embedded into it, to use the card you simply touch it close to an oyster reader, and your payment is deducted from your prepaid balance. On buses you simply "touch in" and the start of your journey, however on trains, tube, DLR and trams you are required to "touch in" at the station/stop that you start your journey and "touch out" when you end it so the card knows how far you have travelled and can charge you accordingly. Oyster cards will always be cheaper than the equivelent cash fare and there is a "price capping" system which ensures you will never pay more than the cost of a daily travel card. The cards can be topped up at many Oyster ticket stops, which are at tube stations and newsagents around the capital, your nearest can be found on the Oyster website. You can also top up online which is very handy, however you need to nominate a station in which you will start a journey so that the top up can be transferred onto the card. This will need to be done within 7 days of purchaing your top up online. Some of the bad points that I have found with Oyster are if you are entitled to a discount (16-21 railcard for example) it can be difficult to get the discount put on the card (I had to try 2 newsagents to get my discount, and when I did, I had to wait ages for them to work out how to work the machine and authorise the discount!). I have also heard from some people that keeping the card in your pocket next to a mobile phone can interfere with the RFID chip in the card and cause it to stop working. Overall though, a very usefull way of paying for travel around London, especially now since it can be used on almost all forms of transport including buses, tubes, trams, DLR, overground trains and river boats! Short term Oyster cards can also be bought for visitors to the capital, and with only a £3 deposit to get one (which can be redeemed buy taking your card back to any ticket stop) its worth it even if you dont bother to get the deposit back!

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            12.02.2010 04:18

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            A great service

            If you travel around London a lot, then an Oyster card is absolutely vital, because not only is it a lot more convenient than constantly fumbling around to buy a travel card, but it's also a LOT cheaper in the long run. The Oyster card is an initiative started by Transport For London, which began in 2003 and has been a pretty big hit with the City of London ever since. Basically, it allows you to use all major forms of public transport - chiefly buses and trains - at a discounted price. Before I got an Oyster card, I was spending up to £5.60 for a trip through Zones on a Travelcard, but with the Oyster card, travel through a zone is approximately £1.30. You can just pay £3 and get a card within a few seconds but if you want to register the card (so that if you lose it, the money can be recouped), you just need to fill out the forms available at any stations, hand them in at any of the ticket offices, pay a £3 deposit for the card, and you're done. Putting credit on is as easy as going to one of the many terminals and using cash or a card. Once you have the money on, you use the Oyster by swiping it on any of the terminals at every tube station at the start of your journey, and then swiping out again when you leave. The service is a great way to save cash, but beware that if you forget to swipe at a station without a turnstile, you're looking at paying a minimum fare charge, which is usually £5. Still, as long as you're not dopey, this shouldn't be a problem most of the time. Most of the complaint on here don't seem especially valid anymore, or in fact seem to be complete hogwash compared to my own experience. It's a great service that makes travel throughout London exceedingly cheap (especially given that there is a maximum fare, meaning you can travel for the whole day for a maximum price and the Oyster won't charge you anymore even if you travel through tonnes of zones), and it's very convenient both to top up and to use (as most of the time you needn't even get it out of your wallet; you can just swipe your wallet through and the machine will detect it).

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            14.01.2010 18:27
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            great item!

            I think the oyster card is great. I got mine about a year ago and now i use it all the time. Evenmore, since january 2nd i have been able to use it on the trains. So it is just one card for all the travel i need. So what is the oyster card? The oyster card is a blue sort of debit card for trains buses and trams in london. You can put up to £90 on it to pay for you travel. To use it you just have to tap it on the yellow reader on the bus or train station. However, if you are travelling by train you must also tap out, otherwise you get charged a penalty fair. I love the oyster card for many reasons. firstly it is a lot easier than using conventional paper tickets. Its quicker and makes paying for your journey a lot easier because all you have to do is tap it on a yellow card reader. If you loose you money is also protected. But what i like about it the most is that it is always cheaper then buying a conventional ticket. On the bus it is only £1.20 instead of £2 in cash.

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