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The Key Smartcard

An easier way to travel by train. Buy and renew season tickets.

The Key Smartcard is an easier and faster way to buy, renew and use train tickets. It’s completely free, won’t wear out, and comes with lots of additional benefits and rewards.

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Got some questions? Take a look at some frequently asked questions about The Key Smartcard.

How do I use The Key Smartcard?

Set up and use your card in 3 easy steps.

  1. Register for The Key Smartcard and purchase your ticket online in one go
  2. Your card will arrive in the post
  3. Buy more tickets as and when you need to. You can load up to 5 tickets onto your card at once. Find out how in the video below
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There is no charge for The Key Smartcard.

Make sure you tap the gate or card reader at the start and end of your journey.

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Where can I use The Key Smartcard?

You can use The Key Smartcard at most stations on the Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink network.

Download the map for full details.

You can travel on Gatwick Express services if you hold a ticket that is valid on that service.

You can also travel in and around London if you buy a London travelcard using buses, tubes, trams, Docklands Light Railway, London Overground and other National Rail Services. Just load it onto The Key Smartcard.

Make sure you tap the gate or card reader at the start and end of your journey.

What tickets can I add to The Key Smartcard?

You can add the following tickets to The Key Smartcard:

  • Weekly, monthly or annual season tickets
  • Weekly, monthly or annual Travelcard season tickets for the Tube, buses, trams, trains and the Docklands Light Railway
  • Anytime single and return tickets
  • Off-Peak single and return tickets
  • KeyGo – pay as you go travel
  • PLUSBUS tickets for traveling in Crawley and Brighton, excluding Newhaven and Seaford stations

What is KeyGo?

KeyGo allows you to top up The Key Smartcard for use for pay as you go travel. When using KeyGo we’ll only charge you for travel you take outside of any season tickets you also hold on The Key Smartcard.

If you add KeyGo to your card, you need to make sure that you tap in and out at the start and end of your trip to avoid being charged a £25 incomplete journey fee.

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Which stations have cycle hub storage?

You can find cycle hub storage at the following stations:

  • Brighton
  • Horsham
  • Dorking
  • Haywards Heath
  • Lewes

Find out more

Season Ticket identification

For season tickets held on The Key Smartcard, you may need to produce identification to prove that the card is yours. Suitable forms of identification include a pink photocard (which can be obtained from ticket offices), a passport or driving licence. If you are using your Key Smartcard on another operator’s services, you will need to obtain a pink photocard if you don’t already hold one.

Automatic delay repay

By tapping in and out with The Key Smartcard, we can work out if you are owed any compensation for travel delays. Find out how in the video below.

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Need to know more?

For more information about The Key Smartcard, take a look at the handy links below:

Don't have The Key Smartcard?

Register online now to receive the smarter way to travel

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