Free Travel Fridays

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 41 months ago
Free Travel Fridays

Photo by Lisa from the Londonist Flickr pool

Two days of free travel on London public transport? Yes, please. But — you knew this was coming — there's a catch: only if you have a contactless debit or credit card issued by M*sterC*rd.

This is, of course, a massive publicity stunt by the card company and Transport for London to promote travelling with contactless payment, and one type of card in particular (V*sa is also available), but hey; free travel is free travel. The dates to bear in mind are Friday 14 and 28 November. So long as you've registered your M*sterC*rd in advance, you'll be able to roam around the capital for free. Edit: you no longer have to register your card.

Here are the terms and conditions:

  • your card will be charged and then refunded within 28 days
  • there's a maximum refund of £21.80 a day, which is the equivalent of zones 1-9 plus Watford Junction
  • it'll work on the tube, buses, DLR, Overground, tram and most national rail services (normal contactless coverage).

Still wondering if contactless is better value than Oyster Pay As You Go? We had a look at that for you recently.

Last Updated 10 November 2014


Kind of a smart move from the card company - clever catalyst to get people to switch from Oyster to their card - and then reap the merchant processing fees as the person then continues to use it for the rest of time.


Mastercard website says the maximum refund for the day is £9.80, think the article above is incorrect.

Nicolas Chinardet

I've used my V*sa Debit a few times and have at problems every time. I have to retry several times before the system accepts my payment... still some work to do on this, TfL, I think...


interesting that it will screw up my weekly capping usage on my Amex card. slightly annoying.


Where are you getting £9.80?

T&C Says £21.80.

The offer entitles MasterCard Contactless card and device holders to receive a refund against their travel costs, made with a MasterCard Contactless card or device, on the London Underground, London Buses, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway, participating National Rail services in London and the Tramlink during the Promotional Period, to a maximum value of £21.80.


Paul Dart

That's an amazing photo of Gants Hill by the way. As a Visa user, I thought I'd join in somehow!

Ana Nowak

Hi guys. I am trying to find out whether i can use my mastercard that was issued abroad for this offer or do that need specifically Uk mastercard only. I will be pleased for your help a as I can't find anything in regards to it in their t&c.


American Express have a similar offer where you can get £5 cash back if you spend £5 on transport over a certain period. To get the deal just log into your account and add the offer on your offers page.

Not as good as the MasterCard deal, but then I don't have a MasterCard, so it's better for me :-)