Most London Buses are now accepting contactless payments using credit/debit cards with the contacless symbol (below).
TFL note that not every card has this symbol.
The advantage is that you get Oyster fares without an Oyster card, but TFL does not apply the daily maximum fare that you would enjoy with an Oyster card.
They also warn (which has been my experience over the past few weeks):
- If you keep your contactless payment card and Oyster card together (for instance in a wallet) and touch them on the yellow card reader together, the reader will normally reject them both. This is because we can’t be sure which card you want to use. If you have more than one contactless card (Oyster card, payment card or building pass), please choose the card that you intend to pay with, and touch it on its own on the yellow card reader.
- Contactless payment cards can only be used to pay for single bus journeys
- Daily price caps will not be applied
- You can’t add Travelcard or Bus & Tram Pass season tickets to a contactless payment card.
- Contactless payment cards are not accepted on the heritage buses which run some journeys on parts of routes 9 and 15
- There will be no transfer discount between Bus Feeder routes T31, T32, T33, 130 and 314 and trams