what is the difference between a visitor oyster card and an oyster card

If you’re planning a trip to London, you may have heard about the Oyster Card and the Visitor Oyster Card. Both are used for travel on public transportation in London, but there are some key differences between the two. In this article, I will explain what sets these cards apart and help you decide which one is right for your trip.

What is an Oyster Card?

The Oyster Card is a smart card that you can use to travel on public transportation in London. It can be used on the London Underground, London buses, trams, the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), London Overground, TfL Rail, Emirates Air Line, Thames Clippers River Bus services, and most National Rail services in London.

Advantages of an Oyster Card

One of the main advantages of an Oyster Card is that it offers cheaper fares compared to buying paper tickets. It also has a daily price cap, which means that once you’ve reached a certain spending limit, any additional travel within the same day is free.

How to get an Oyster Card

You can get an Oyster Card at any London Underground station, Overground station, TfL Rail station, Oyster Ticket Shop, Visitor Centre, or at a number of other outlets across London. You can also order one online and have it delivered to your home before your trip.

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What is a Visitor Oyster Card?

A Visitor Oyster Card is a smart card designed specifically for tourists and non-UK residents. It works in the same way as a regular Oyster Card, but it has some additional benefits for visitors to London.

Advantages of a Visitor Oyster Card

One of the main advantages of a Visitor Oyster Card is that it comes with special offers and discounts at restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues across the city. It also allows you to enjoy 2 for 1 deals on attractions and shows when you travel by train.

How to get a Visitor Oyster Card

You can get a Visitor Oyster Card online before you travel, and have it delivered to your home address. You can also purchase one at various locations across London, including Oyster Ticket Stops, Visitor Centres, and other outlets.

Key Differences between an Oyster Card and a Visitor Oyster Card

While the Oyster Card and Visitor Oyster Card are similar in many ways, there are some key differences between the two that you should be aware of:

Eligibility

The regular Oyster Card is available to anyone, including UK residents and tourists. The Visitor Oyster Card, on the other hand, is specifically for tourists and non-UK residents.

Special Offers

Visitor Oyster Card holders can take advantage of various discounts at restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues across London, which are not available with a regular Oyster Card.

2 for 1 Deals

Only Visitor Oyster Card holders can enjoy 2 for 1 deals on attractions and shows when they travel by train, offering significant savings for tourists visiting London.

Duration of Use

The regular Oyster Card can be used indefinitely, and can be topped up with more credit when needed. The Visitor Oyster Card, however, is valid for up to 30 days and cannot be topped up.

Which one is right for you?

When deciding between the two, it’s important to consider how long you’ll be in London, and whether you’ll be taking advantage of the special offers and 2 for 1 deals that come with the Visitor Oyster Card. If you’re a UK resident or travelling for an extended period, the regular Oyster Card may be the better option for you.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, both the Oyster Card and the Visitor Oyster Card are convenient and cost-effective ways to travel around London. However, the Visitor Oyster Card offers additional benefits such as special offers and 2 for 1 deals, which may make it a better choice for tourists and non-UK residents visiting the city.

FAQs

1. Can I get a refund on my Visitor Oyster Card?

Yes, you can get a refund on any remaining credit and the card deposit by returning your Visitor Oyster Card to a Visitor Centre in London.

2. Can I use my regular Oyster Card as a Visitor?

Yes, the regular Oyster Card can be used by anyone, including visitors to London. However, it does not come with the special offers and discounts that come with the Visitor Oyster Card.

3. Can I use my Visitor Oyster Card on all modes of transportation in London?

Yes, the Visitor Oyster Card can be used on all modes of public transportation in London, including the Underground, buses, trams, the DLR, and more.

4. Can I top up my Visitor Oyster Card?

No, the Visitor Oyster Card is valid for up to 30 days and cannot be topped up with additional credit.

5. How long does it take to get a Visitor Oyster Card?

If you order your Visitor Oyster Card online, it will be delivered to your home address in about 5 to 7 business days. You can also purchase one in person at various locations across London.