Our contactless smartcard
It's easy and free! You can order a Key card online here. Fill out a short form to register for a Southeastern account and it will arrive at your home address within 4 working days. Alternatively, visit your local Southeastern ticket office to register and receive your new Key card immediately.
You can then buy Single, Return and Season Tickets and load them on to your Key by simply tapping your card onto the back of your phone. This means your ticket should be available within the next 15 minutes.
Please note that this function is only available on iPhone model 7 and above and Android phones with NFC functionality.
If you don’t want to use our app, simply login to your online account and buy tickets on our website. You then need to go to your nominated station and touch in at the yellow card reader on the gate or validator to load your ticket onto The Key.
If there is no gate or validator at your chosen station, use the yellow card reader on the Ticket Vending Machine to load your ticket. When buying tickets this way, you’ll need to allow 2 hours between purchasing your ticket online and loading it onto The Key.
You can also buy Smart tickets for your Key card at Southeastern ticket offices or at Ticket Vending Machines outside London.
Remember to keep your Key card separate from other contactless cards to prevent ‘card clash’ when touching the reader.
You can buy day singles, day returns and Season tickets, including Flexi Seasons, in advance on your Key card.
Travelcards are also available to purchase on the Key. This includes season tickets and one-day Travelcards.
PlusBus tickets are not yet available on The Key.
You can have up to 5 separate tickets on your personal Key card at a time. These are individual use tickets for the registered Key card user only – family tickets cannot be loaded onto The Key.
If you are buying tickets for friends and family who have Key cards, if their Key cards are linked to your account, you can select which ticket is sent to each one. See our 'How do I link a Key Smartcard to my account' FAQ for more details.
It’s not possible to buy more than one ticket for a single Key smartcard in one transaction. If you want to buy more than one ticket for a Key card, please buy them in separate transactions.
You don't need to wait for your existing ticket to expire before loading a new one.
If you've already bought a paper Season Ticket but want to transfer it to your Key card, you can request a paper ticket transfer while registering for your Key card.
Your new Key card will be delivered to your local station for collection and complete the transfer process. You will need to surrender your paper Season ticket at the same time.
Alternatively, you can visit you local Southeastern ticket office to transfer your paper Season ticket to a Key card you already own or register for a new one.
Please note: you can only transfer paper Season tickets that you have purchased from Southeastern onto your Key card. Paper tickets bought from other operators (e.g. other rail company, Trainline, Business Travel Agent) cannot be transferred.
Please note that your child will need their own online account with us, registered in their name, before you'll be able to order them a Key Card.
Yes, by selecting the Railcard option when purchasing a ticket on our website or app.
Please remember to take your Railcard with you when you travel.
If you have linked friends and family Key cards to your account, you can also purchase discounted tickets for others and benefit from GroupSave when travelling together. Just select the Key cards that the ticket should be sent to when choosing your collection option. See our 'How do I link a Key Smartcard to my account' FAQ for more details.
If your Key is lost or stolen, we'll block it so you won't lose out, plus we will replace it (with any valid tickets pre-loaded) for free.
Simply log in to your account and select 'My account' from the dropdown menu.
You will then be taken through to a new page where you will see 'The Key replacement' in the left-hand menu, select that and fill in the form.
While waiting for your Key card to arrive, you'll need tickets to travel in the meantime. It will be possible to request a refund for these tickets if the validity overlaps any tickets that were pre-loaded on your Key card.
On the first occasion – within 12 months – we’ll be happy to arrange a refund on the extra ticket.
On the second occasion – within 12 months – an administration fee of £10 will be charged.
Any further claims won’t be considered within a 12-month period.
Where possible, please retain the additional ticket you’ve purchased and apply for a refund at your local Southeastern ticket office. Alternatively, you can apply for your refund by contacting Customer Services.
Please note, we will only refund the extra ticket purchased if your Key card is registered with Southeastern.
Please make sure you’re using the latest version of our Southeastern App, which is available from the Apple Store, or from Google Play.
If this hasn’t resolved the issue, then please contact our Key Team here.
Log into your online account and go to the ‘The Key - Linked Accounts’ section in the menu. Either enter the full Southeastern Key Smartcard number, or the email address of the Southeastern Key account you wish to link.
An email will be sent to the Key account holder to approve the request. Once they have confirmed, their Smartcard details will display in the ‘Linked Accounts’ section and appear as a Collection option under the Key Smartcard when you are buying a ticket.
Someone you know would like to link your smartcard to their online account so that they can buy smart tickets for you. Only once you have pressed ‘Approve’ in the email will they be able to buy tickets for you.
If you believe you received the email in error, press ‘Reject’.
During the purchasing process, you will be asked which station to send the ticket to collect, or informed to use the Southeastern app to load directly to the smartcard if the departure time is within two hours. It is not possible to send tickets to multiple stations for collection.
When you buy tickets for others, they will also receive an email confirming that a ticket has been bought for them. The email will also state which station the ticket is available to collect from, or they can use the Southeastern app.
This error message can display if there more tickets in the basket than number of smartcards linked to your account. It is not possible to mix and match fulfilment methods if you do not have enough smartcards linked to your account (ie. some tickets issued to smartcards and others on paper).
You may also see the error if the type of smartcard doesn’t match the ticket you are purchasing i.e. a child ticket and no child smartcards linked to the account.
You can choose to have the tickets issued as paper or alternatively adjust the tickets in your basket to match the smartcards linked to your account.