Free train, bus and tube travel in London on Friday with MasterCard contactless

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MasterCard is running a very low key promotion on Friday which will get you free travel to work and back if you live or work in London.

MasterCard has announced that Friday is ‘Fare Free Friday’.  To promote the new contact-less travel service on London buses, train and tube services, MasterCard will refund 100% of the contact-less charges you incur on Friday.

Priceless London

You must, of course, use a contact-less MasterCard credit or debit card when making your trip and pay via contact-less travel.

Full details can be found here on the MasterCard Priceless London website.  Despite the ‘register now’ button on the site (which only seems to register you for the TFL website) no specific registration appears to be needed for this promotion.

Press reports suggest that this will be repeated on November 28th although I have no independent confirmation so far.

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  1. Im not sure you have to /live/ in London; i couldn’t see that on the page.

    • I live in London, but I don’t work there, so no free travel for me either!

      • Read the link that Raffles provided. This is not just for getting to/from work, it’s for using the card.

  2. Metatone says:

    None of my Mastercards are contact less. Perhaps if they took that up with their suppliers they would get more contact less use.

  3. My Metro Bank debit card is a contactless MC. I almost never use it, but I’m happy to have it available for this promotion. Other than that, my MC issuers have let me down!

    I also have a very large number of MasterCards issued in the US. Contactless started much earlier over there, and 5 years ago most of my cards were contactless, but today sadly none of them are. Maybe the US banks have decided it’s not worth the money? I lived in NYC and I recall in 2006 or so the subway system started a pilot program to accept contactless cards on one line, but it must not have gone well as it’s not been expanded. I guess TFL have figured out a way to make the numbers work out differently!

  4. Julie Dudley says:

    This is great news! I hope this will encourage more people to use public transport.

  5. From an HfP perspective this is disappointing.
    I have a fairly new Post Office mastercard but it’s not contactless. I would have thought any card issued in the last couple of years would be contactless but it seems not.

  6. Jacqui March says:

    I have one contactless Mastercard – issued by MBNA recently to replace the defunct Amazon credit card. I was going to cancel it, but am now glad I didn’t. However, of my other 7 or so cards, none is contactless. It seems as though Mastercard are dragging their feet with the technology, as most of my Amex/Visa cards are contactless.

  7. Thywillbedone says:

    A small issue with this (as far as I’m concerned) is the lengthy bills I would be receiving using my card in this way…with each tube journey a line item on my bill!! Makes reading through/checking for errors a little less easy.

    • I’m pretty sure that charges will be applied once daily. This is how they operate the cap – the maximum that can be charged for one day’s travel.

      • Exactly, only one charge per day on my contactless Amex and VISA. As others have said it only seems to be my Metro Bank Mastercard that is contactless, all my other MCs aren’t.

        • My CapOne MC is contactless and that is over 18 months old.

        • Don’t know about the rest of mine, but my old BMI MC is contactless! I have a travelcard so this offer is useless to me (and most people I know) so contactless or not is irrelevant in this instance. It’s only good for those who don’t travel frequently in London but will be on the day.

          • Oops don’t know how I forgot to mention that one! Yes, same here – love that card!

            Just had an email from Metro Bank advertising this, shame I won’t be in London to make use of it.

          • I travel frequently in London and contactless works out better than a weekly travel card as it will always charge you the lower of a 1) a weekly travel card and 2) The combined sum of your daily journeys. Most people don’t seem to realise this. For example a zone 1-2 weekly travel card only makes sense if you use it Mon to Fri for peak returns on the tube and at least 1 other journey. If you touch in after 7pm even 1 day (day after drinks or woking late) you will struggle to get value out of a prepaid weekly travel card…I appreciate some people may have an annual travelcard but I would image the majority don’t.

            Also I believe whether or not you get a contactless card is down to the institution issuing them, not Mastercard per se, so if you don’t have a contactless card blame your issuer!

          • Contactless only works out better than a weekly if your week runs from Monday to Sunday, and the only travelling you do is 1 journey to work and back plus a day out on Saturday.

            If you need to take a bus then a weekly starts to become cheaper. If your days off are variable each week, and the zones you require change, then it’s better to work it out yourself – though I appreciate that for most people who have this sort of working pattern, will not have the skills to be able to work it out – or if they did they would be able to land a better job 🙁

          • Lady London says:

            “It’s only good for those who don’t travel frequently in London but will be on the day.”

            Erm…. I will be now 🙂

  8. Some misunderstandings above, methinks.

    The promotion is for using a contactless MC as an Oyster card. TfL has allowed contactless cards for bus fare payment for a while and recently extended this to Underground travel – possibly Overground too.

    It’s a nobrainer for anyone using London bus or Underground on Friday who does not use a stored value Oyster card.

    • … and who uses PAYG.

      And yes, as of about a month ago, it’s valid on trains too, hence the new drive to use and provide a full service with price capping on any contactless card.

  9. thesaver79 says:

    It’s a shame my travel card is valid until tomorrow!

  10. Shame – my Tesco Mastercard is not contactless, but my other Visa debit and credit cards are.

    But this has just reminded me that I must get my annual train season ticket (gold card, effectively a network railcard, just renewed) added back to my oyster card. Thanks!

    • carpentr says:

      Have you seen that changes are afoot for Gold Card benefits – some good, such as an extension of their geographical range, and some not, such as the withdrawal of the £5 First Class supplement?

      • And a 900% increase in price for the supplementary Railcard and no child flat fares.

    • Slightly ot but if you renew your gold card with a gold amex, does it trigger double points as ‘travel spend’? Thanks

      • Anything bought from a station ticket office (incl standard train tickets, season tickets, railcards) typically posts as double points – but this could vary depending on which train company you buy from.

        Anything bought from the TFL Oyster website (incl Oyster credit topups and Oyster season tickets) posts as TRIPLE points. Not sure why but it’s a nice bonus especially if buying a £1000+ annual Oyster travelcard!

        • Thanks David. My Gold Card is over £5k so the only silver lining is maxing the points….

          • Thanks for the note about changes to gold card benefits. Not so good.

            Missed a trick here: renewed my season ticket with employer cheque (season ticket loan), but could have used a credit card instead (hmm – easy way to trigger £3,000 BAPP bonus, and chunk towards £10k spend), and then reclaimed from employer instead. Note to self for next year!

  11. Will it work with cards issued abroad? I have a few UK Visas and Amexes but sadly no Mastercards. I do, however, have a Mastercard issued elsewhere.

    • T&C does not say anything about UK issued cards. Simply try, you don’t have much to lose anyway.

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