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Pay as you go Oyster or 7 day travel card?

Toronto, Canada
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Pay as you go Oyster or 7 day travel card?

I'll be traveling to London at the end of the month for 2 to 3 weeks. I'm debating whether I should get the PAYG oyster card, or the 7 day travel card? A few questions...

I'm from Canada so there's also the element of how do I get it (shipping is 5 pounds I believe) or if I pick it up when I get to London... or perhaps just buy it at Gatwick where I'll be arriving.

I plan on sticking to zone 1 and 2. But also wondering what happens if I enter zone 7 to visit a friend when I have the 7 day travel card? I know with the PAYG it just deducts.

I want to see what is the best/cheapest option is and how I can get this option. Also if I go with the PAYG, how much should I load onto the card? and if i don't use it all upon my departure, can I cash out, and where?

Thank you in advance!

Cotswolds
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1. Re: Pay as you go Oyster or 7 day travel card?

Get it when you get to central London - I'm not sure you can get it at Gatwick

You can have both PAYG and a travelcard on the same Oyster. If you travel outside the zones you have a travelcard for it will automatically take PAYG for the extra fare

You can cash it back at a tube station when departing

I'm going to pass on how much PAYG cash to put on - it's easy to top up anyway at most tube stations and at hundreds of Oyster ticket stops in newsagents and the like around London.

Edited: 04 January 2014, 23:48
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
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2. Re: Pay as you go Oyster or 7 day travel card?

With the off peak cap for PAYG use in zones 1 and 2 at £7 but the cost of a seven day Travelcard (with no time of day constraints) just £31.40 you will pay well over the odds by using PAYG on Oyster.

Buy the Oyster card on arrival in London. Depending on where you've booked to stay you may take First Capital Connect from Gatwick to the city centre; rail fare plus a one day Travelcard will cost £13.50 - rail fare alone is £10. You may then buy the Travelcard at an Underground ticket office on arrival in central London.

Oyster cards holding Travelcards may also have PAYG pre-pay loaded for out of zone journeys. Touch in and out as normal and the system will 'read' your journey, deducting the Oyster excess fare from the pre-pay balance.

The £5 deposit for the Oyster and unused pre-pay will be returned when you hand in the Oyster at the end of your stay. Keep the pre-pay balance low, under £10, and it will be returned as you made the original payment, whether in cash or a credit to your credit card. Topping up the pre-pay amount is easy at Tube ticket machines, many of which accept notes and coins, but topup at Tube ticket offices has a £5 minimum charge.

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: Pay as you go Oyster or 7 day travel card?

Thanks so much!! I looked at the FCC website but it did not give me an option to purchase the train ticket into the city plus the one day travel card. Am I selecting something wrong?

Vancouver, Canada
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for London
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4. Re: Pay as you go Oyster or 7 day travel card?

Check www.nationalrail.co.uk If you plan to travel with FCC there is no need to book in advance as the fare will be the same when bought on the day. Simply ask for a single to London Bridge / Blackfriars / City Thameslink / Farringdon / St Pancras with (or without) a one day Travelcard.

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Pay as you go Oyster or 7 day travel card?

Sounds good! do I need any passport photos or documentation to get the one day travel card?

Cotswolds
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11,386 posts
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6. Re: Pay as you go Oyster or 7 day travel card?

The FCC site (and others) won't show that travelcard if you ask for a one way ticket - it should show it (haven't checked) if you ask for a day return ticket

To buy a one day travelcard you don't need any documentation.

<<Simply ask for a single to London Bridge / Blackfriars / City Thameslink / Farringdon / St Pancras with (or without) a one day Travelcard>>

Better asking for a day return - there's a danger you'd get exactly what you asked for which would be more expensive

The terminology I'd use is 'an FCC one day off peak travelcard'

7. Re: Pay as you go Oyster or 7 day travel card?

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