London is one of the best cities in the world to get around, with its excellent Tube service and buses. The Tube, or London Underground, is one of the easiest mass transit systems to use.
For years there has been a card called an Oyster Card which you use to pay for public transport in London. The rates are cheaper than buying standard tickets and almost everyone has one. There’s a new kid on the block now though!
Many cards issued by banks now have a provision for contactless payment which means you can wave your card over an appropriate point of sale device and it will take your payment without you needing to enter your PIN number.
Not only does this save time, but it also saves having to remember countless digits. To counter theft, contactless is generally only able to be used for a few transactions per day up to a total of around $30 depending on your bank.
Tube and Buses in London Take Contactless
Technology is at the forefront of keeping London moving and you can now use your contactless card to pay. You literally hold your card over the reader at the barriers on the Tube, they open and off you go. This is very handy when you arrive at London Heathrow and use the Tube to get to Central London for example.
At the other end, you do the same again and Transport for London calculate your fare and it appears on your statement. There is no longer any need for a separate card when visiting London. Fares are the same as the discounted Oyster fares too.
One Word of Warning
Not all contactless cards are treated the same as I discovered when visiting London recently. Two of our group from Holland tried to use contactless and it did not work.
Transport for London advise all contactless American Express cards are accepted from abroad and nearly all Maestro and Mastercards are accepted. The caveat there is some from UK, USA and Netherlands may not work. Some Visa and VPay cards may not work so your best bet is to try it as most should be okay.
It is incredibly handy to be able to use your contactless card for the Tube. It is also available on London bus services which makes the transport experience so much more seamless.
Hopefully more countries will follow London’s lead and allow contactless cards to be the standard for travel. Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Featured image by Tim Adams via Wikimedia Commons.