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The Key

Got a question about our smart card, The Key? Find the answers here…

Got a question? We can help...

What is The Key?

The Key is the name for our smart card. You will now be able to load Season Tickets and Travelcard Season Tickets onto The Key card.

Each seamless journey will begin by tapping The Key at an automatic ticket barrier or validator and tapping out where possible.

What type of ticket can be purchased?

Weekly, monthly, annual, odd-periods seasons, or out-boundary Travelcard season tickets can be purchased on The Key. In-boundary Travelcards (those starting from inside the London Zones) aren’t valid on The Key.

Where to use The Key?

They Key can hold tickets between any two Southeastern stations. Tickets from Southeastern stations outside of the London travelcard area can also include a travelcard. 
You can travel by any Train Company or route permitted by the ticket held, and you're not limited to travelling only on Southeastern trains and on the Southeastern Network.

Click here to see where and how you can use The Key on our network.

The Key is also valid on high speed trains.

How many tickets can be purchased on The Key?

Up to five tickets can be held on The Key at any one time, however each ticket must be purchased and loaded separately.

For convenience and ease you are able to purchase multiple Season Tickets to various destinations in advance to avoid queuing for tickets.

What are the benefits of having The Key?

You will benefit from:

  • Easier purchasing of tickets online and collection at stations from automatic ticket barriers, validators and ticket vending machines (TVMs)
  • Shorter queues at ticket offices
  • More durable tickets that don’t wear out as quickly as paper ones
  • Quicker and more reliable passage through automatic ticket barriers

How do I get The Key?

You will need to register online here after which your Key will be sent to the designated address within 3-5 working days.

How are tickets purchased/renewed on The Key?

Tickets will be available online and Key cards will be updated with any new tickets you have bought the next time you tap your Key on a smart card reader at your specified station.

Tickets will also be available from ticket vending machines at stations outside of the London zones so that you can purchase tickets before travelling.

When can I transfer my paper ticket?

From the point of purchasing a new paper ticket you will then be able to request a paper ticket transfer 48 hours after the paper ticket has been purchased.

How long do I have to request a paper transfer after registering?

You have up to 2 hours from the point of registering to apply for a paper transfer.

How is The Key inspected or checked?

Southeastern employees will be able to read The Key with the use of a hand held mobile device. This will enable employees to check and assist you with any queries you may have.

You can use the ticket vending machine or go to your online account to check the status of your Key card.

On trains, you may be expected to present your Key card to Southeastern employees for validation when asked.

Is there a Key for children?

Yes, click here for how to order a child Key card.

Why don’t adult Key cards have photos?

A paper photocard is not required when travelling on The Key; our Key card will have your name printed on the front.

Can I transfer a paper Season Ticket to The Key?

Yes, providing:

  • You choose to transfer when first registering for The Key
  • You have at least one month’s validity remaining on the ticket
  • The ticket is a full priced Season Ticket and was purchased at a Southeastern station or Southeastern website
  • The ticket is for a Key enabled route 

Can I get a ‘Changeover’ on my Season Ticket?

No, unfortunately this is not available for The Key. Please contact Customer Services for further information on 0345 322 7021 (calls charged at local rate and may be recorded).

Where can I obtain a refund?

To apply for a refund on any Key ticket, please complete a refund application form through logging into your online account or click here.
Key Season Ticket Left at Home: Paper tickets purchased as a result of you leaving your Key Season Ticket at home should be refunded at the ticket office.

Can I use railcards or other discounts on The Key?

No – unfortunately this is not yet available for The Key.

What rewards are available once I have registered for The Key?

A monthly Rewards email featuring a range of offers and treats will be sent out to registered holders of The Key in July.
In the meantime you can always get great rewards deals on theatre, music attractions and exhibitions here, and remember Southeastern Rewards members get an extra 10% discount on top of the prices shown! The discount will automatically be added to your basket.
If you are already a holder of The Key, please make sure you've opted in, simply sign in to your account, click on Account details and click the Marketing and Service-Related Notifications tab to subscribe.

Can I claim Delay Repay if I have a Key?

Yes – if your train journey is delayed by 30 minutes or more you can claim under the Delay Repay scheme. To claim compensation, visit Delay Repay

What happens if The Key is lost or stolen?

There are two options to choose from when you need a replacement Key.
If you originally had a paper ticket, and transferred it to The Key – even if it’s now expired and you’ve bought a new ticket for the Key – please contact our Customer Services team who’ll be able to discuss your options. You can get in touch with us on 0345 322 7021 (calls charged at local rate, and may be recorded), or complete our contact us form.
However, if you bought your Season Ticket directly onto The Key, you can request a replacement through our website. Simply sign in to your account, and under the options menu in the top right under your name choose “The Key replacement”. Follow the easy steps to fill out the form, and we’ll do the rest for you. 

What if a passenger’s Key isn’t working?

If an automatic ticket barrier displays an error code when using The Key, please seek assistance from a Southeastern gateline member of staff.

If the problem persists, contact Customer Services on 0345 322 7021 (calls charged at local rate and may be recorded) or complete a contact us form.

Can I claim 2FOR1 offers with The Key?

Yes Rail Delivery Group Gold Card benefits are available to holders of The Key.

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