please empty your brain below

Woah... it would help enormously if you hadn't swapped the order of the colours between the two charts! ... IMHO.
Great video, btw! They want people to switch to Contactless because processing oyster costs them money to maintain the system that makes it work. If everyone used contactless, TfL would save money.

Interestingly though, they're about to introduce an official Oyster App, that lets you check your balance and top up using your phone .. something which may encourage people to stick with Oyster!
As a side note - it has been mooted that banks may soon start to charge for contactless card transactions (per-use) as is already the case with some banks in the Republic of Ireland.
I don't understand why tfl have embarked on this advertising campaign. Contactless is great for folk like myself who don't have a set travel pattern. But for tfl to claim contactless is cheaper than a season for those who have a regular (full week) commute is just daft when (as you've demonstrated) that's not always true.
That overarching tfl mantra, dumb the message down to the point of stupidity.... Grrrrrrr.
"7 Day Travelcard outside Zone 1" - What's the problem with this? Besides the Mon-Sun issue? The weekly cap for Z2-3 is the same as a 7 Day Travelcard.

dg writes: I've included this because TfL give it as a specific recommendation.

May I also point to for more price differences?
And the overseas transaction fees are a non-issue as long as they are a percentage (and not a fixed fee per transaction) as they also occure when you top up oyster or buy a travelcard.

(General recommendation is of course a good card without additional fees.)
I hadn't realised that there was a price difference between oyster and contactless, but the advice to move to contactless already seem pretty poor for other reasons. I like to keep my oyster handy (e.g. In a back or coat pocket), and like the fact that if it gets lost or pinched, there is limited damage if registered, and my bank card can be kept safer. Also I don't think a contactless card account can be interrogated in the same way as an oyster account to see journey history, etc - although may be wrong on this one.
They are not going to be able to get rid of the Oyster infrastructure until the banks are willing to give everyone - even 11-year olds - contactless bank cards.
You missed the Oyster 60+ - free travel for over 60s, use a contactless card and you'll pay.
Two important things to remember. The weekly cap is effectively set at 5 times the daily. If you only commute five days a week and to or through Zone 1 then contactless may work for you. However if you travel on the 6th or 7th day then a Travelcard is going to be better.

As there are no non Z1 daily caps it is pointless using Contactless for regular travel and expecting it to be better than a Travelcard. The daily caps are premium priced to include Zone 1 where as non Z1 Travelcards are not subject to the same premium pricing and are better value.

If you are lucky enough to travel off peak for your work journeys and are able to benefit from a railcard discount then daily caps will be better value than a Travelcard season.

While I understand why you've done the Annual vs 52 weeks comparison that's probably false for a lot of people. They may not buy a Travelcard during holiday periods. Annuals are priced at 40 times the weekly so you effectively get 12 weeks free if you can make the financial commitment up front / get a season ticket loan. Monthlies are priced at 3.84 times the weekly so give a smaller sale of discount.
Peter Hendy, when commissioner, publicly stated that Oyster would remain - much for the reasons stated by others. Not everyone has a bank account. It is intended that by 2018 it will work in a similar way to contactless. So less pay-as-you-go and more pay-at-the-end-of-the-day. Or, at least, reconcile-at-the-end-of-the-day.

Banks already charge a small amount for a contactless transaction. TfL pays this but it is cheaper than the cost of managing Oyster accounts. TfL were confident the banks wouldn't fleece either them or the customer in future as the EU had brought in capping charges for banks to prevent this.
Well, soon UK banks don't need to care about EU regulations any more...
Found it...

When NOT to switch to pay as you go

Travel a lot in London? It may cost you less to continue buying Travelcards or Bus & Tram Passes. For example, you will be better off buying a 7 Day Travelcard if you:

• Commute to work and make two or more Tube/DLR/London Overground or TfL Rail journeys which include travel in Zone 1 each day Monday to Friday, and make two or more journeys each day at the weekend
• Only travel in Zones 1 and 2 five days a week, and reach the Zones 1-2 daily cap each day

You will also be better off buying a 7 Day Bus & Tram Pass if you:

• Make 15 or more journeys on bus and trams within a week
• Travel at least five days a week and reach a cap on each day

General rule of thumb is that the annual is always the best deal. Although factoring in public holidays, vacation days, illness, and the occasional work-from-home days that many have, it's a small discount.

Because I don't necessarily know when I'm going to be sick or at home, contactless makes perfect sense. The Monday-Sunday cap is *exactly* the same as a 7-day Travelcard. I'm not paying more using contactless, and I could be paying less. The difference between 4 weekly caps and a monthly is approximately one day's travel. I can be fairly sure that I'll at least work from home one day in the month. Using contactless, if I do work every day in the week, my weekend travel is free. Using Oyster, I would have to buy the weekly Travelcard and perhaps lose out if I caught a stomach bug on Thursday.
Though I have to wonder... What is the rationale for having the daily cap effectively include Zone 1, no matter where you travel? The weekly cap discounts avoiding Zone 1, so why not the daily?
Don't forget too, the discounts available to you and partner/friends on the old BR NSE area, if you have an annual season.

That can represent serious savings for those scuttling around the home counties (all the way to Exeter too) at weekends.

But you'll be hard pressed to find TFL leaflets about that anymore.
The general rule of thumb USED to be that Annual Travelcards were best, but that's far from clear these days. It all depends on what you do.

I found that ditching mine and going PAYG saved me £200 a year because when I totted up the cost of my travel over a few weeks, I realised I was going to be way under the cost of an annual Travelcard - even taking into account the loss of the Gold Card discount.

Now some of that was related to my own circumstances, but if you only use trains or tubes, and rarely use buses, it's well worth totting up the figures yourself.
On lines where point to point seasons are still available they are often much better value than the equivalent travelcard, even if you factor in paying for a bus on Oyster at one end.

(And I found that on practice, when you do pay as you go, you are more likely to choose to walk rather than wait for a bus that takes almost as long)
@dg: I'd say your quote from tfl is probably outdated. It would have been correct before introduction of the weekly capping. But not now.

dg writes: I've heard it announced at tube stations at least five times in the last week.
The thing that baffles me most is why they bother advertising them at commuter stations during the rush hour when pretty much everyone is already using a Travelcard rather than PAYG. Surely it'd be much more use in more tourist-oriented stations - especially in places like Euston where the ticket queue is always horrific.
There was a ticketing conference earlier this week and Val Shawcross appeared. She said that an TfL App for Oyster (allowing "on the go" uploading) would launch this year. Monthly capping on Oyster follows next year.
So basically contactless is never cheaper than Oyster unless you can't plan your travel in advance.

The weekly caps are non-sequiturs since you could have bought a travelcard - and if using an overseas card with a per-transaction fee, you'd also save by having 1 fee instead of 5

The split capping can be achieved using Oyster with the slight inconvenience of having two Oysters and having to leave and re-enter the station.

The advantage of Oyster is that you know exactly how much you have and can top up by exactly the amount for a journey, if you want to. Will this still be possible with new Oyster? I have a feeling they will need to have minimum balances or a high deposit, otherwise you could travel all day and then just discard the card...
Main advantage of contactless is that you may benefit from a weekly cap, when you incur more travel than originally expected (and as such you didn't buy a travel card).

Main disadvantage of that weekly cap is it is Mon-Sun, and where you have erratic travel (e.g. visit zone 1 only occasionally), a Wed-Tues or similar travelcard may save you a lot over the capped amount.
This is one of your fiendish quizzes isn't it.

Thank heavens I've got a Freedom Pass.
Travel in e.g. Berlin or Hong Kong is so much easier with their cards and ticket machines. Why must London be so complex? Simplifying it all could just make it less expensive to run, monitor, explain and install.
@Herbof. London is complex - because the public transport network is massively bigger than the ones in Berlin or HK.
I suspect that one of the reasons for TfL encouraging people to switch to contactless (aside from genuinely wanting to save customers some money) is that topping up Oyster (and checking balance) causes congestion at stations whilst people queue for and use the machines, whereas people with contactless waltz straight through.

In stations like Euston, where there's limited space and a lot of people moving through, this is a big deal.
This helpful piece explains a lot of the discrepency between Oyster and Contactless capability It's easy to forget now that Oyster is quite a dated system; to quote LR 'the back office of Contactless is newer and more accessible than Oyster, whose own back end dates back to the early 2000s.'
@ Frankie R - do a large proportion of Oyster card users at Euston regularly stop to top up / check balances? I suspect the main issue at Euston is people from outside London needing to buy a ticket of some form to get somewhere else in Zone 1. That's the key problem at many tube stations adjacent to NR terminals.

Happy to be corrected if you can point me at some data showing txn types, frequency and proportion of travellers for Euston (or elsewhere). The main point with Oyster is that you don't need to keep going to machines all the time to buy individual tickets. I accept a small proportion of people have to be very careful with their finances and will have proportionately more need for top ups / balance checks. I've seen that with my own eyes when doing station work at LU tube stations. I doubt they are a major proportion of passengers using Euston tube station.
@Herbof: Is it? Ticket machines usually don't accept Non-German cards - if they accept cards at all. You need to know that one airport needs a Berlin AB ticket, the other a Berlin ABC. You need to know when to stamp a ticket.

An if you are unlucky ticket inspectors deliberately fraud you as a foreign tourist. (in German, maybe google translate helps)

From an occasional users perspective London is much better. Check in and out on Tube and Rail and check in only on bus and tram. And with my contactless creditcard I don't even need an oystercard, printed ticket or anything else.
I believe once the infrastructure behind Oyster has been updated, the second chart of things that Contactless can do and oyster can't will no longer be an issue as the intention is for these to be supported by Oyster in the future.

Also just to clarify if you register your contactless bankcard with TfL's website you can view your journey history in that same way as Oyster and can in fact link both an oyster card and a contactless bank card to the same online account.

I think contactless is probably the best way for people who perhaps are visiting London from elsewhere in the UK, to save getting an extra card which they may not use again. But for commuters with a regular journey Oyster is most likely the best option when travelling wholly within London.
Another thing were a travelcard can be more advantageous: The ability to buy Boundary Zone tickets (or alternatively a rail ticket from the last/to the first station within the travelcard's validity) for trips outside the TfL zones.
Sheesh, are Londonist re-plugging their old State of The Oyster Card piece again?

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