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Last updated: 04:46

The Key contactless smartcard

The Key is our contactless smartcard which means you can buy and download your tickets at home and fast-track through the station.

The Key’s contactless technology allows you to hold the card over the reader at the ticket gate. It’s also wipeable and easy to clean, leaving you in control.

If you’re planning to travel to the office a couple of times a week, our brand new Flexi Season ticket could be the perfect option for your commute. Exclusively available on The Key, the Flexi Season ticket offers 8 days of travel in 28 days – any time between two stations. Flexi Season tickets are on sale now.

Register for your Key smartcard below so you’re ready to commute, your way.

Order a Key Smartcard now

Visit our Key FAQs

You can use your Key to buy single, return and season tickets. Some tickets are not currently available on The Key including Advance Tickets, Early Bird Season tickets, Anytime Open Returns and Off-Peak Returns. You are also able to buy tickets for most other train companies across mainland Britain and TfL, so you get straight to your destination with just one purchase.

If your Key is lost or stolen, we’ll block it so you won’t lose out, plus we will replace it for free. Should you need to get a refund, simply log into your account and follow the easy steps. The money will be refunded directly to you. Plus, if your journey is delayed by 15 minutes or more it is easy to claim compensation under our Delay Repay scheme.

By having The Key, you’ll also get access to our Rewards Plus programme. Simply sign up to receive our promotions and offers emails and you’ll automatically be added into the Rewards Plus program and receive exclusive discounts, offers and competitions from attractions and brands.

4 steps to using The Key

Loading, viewing and activating tickets on The Key

If you’re having trouble loading and viewing your Key smartcard ticket, or activating your Flexi Season ticket, please check the following:

  • Currently it isn’t possible to buy more than one Key smartcard ticket at a time. If you want to buy more than one Key ticket, please buy them in separate transactions.
  • It can take up to 5 minutes for a recently purchased ticket to become available to load. In some cases, it may take up to 15 minutes.
  • Make sure your device supports NFC – we use NFC to load and view your Key smartcard.
  • If you’re using an Android device, check NFC is switched on. If you’re using an iOS device, check if Apple Pay is working and that your device is running iOS 13 or later.
  • Hold your Key card against the upper back of your phone for 20 seconds – you may need to slowly move the card to find the NFC reader.
  • Try closing the Southeastern app and opening it again.

If you do not want to use our app, once you've setup, simply login to your online account and buy tickets on our website. Go to your 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 starting station, you can load your ticket at the ticket vending machine by touching the smartcard reader. When buying tickets in this way you will need to allow 2 hours between purchasing your ticket online and loading it onto The Key.

Remember to keep The Key card separate from other contactless cards to prevent ‘card clash’ when touching the reader.

The Key for kids

Children aged 5 – 15 can now travel with their own specially created children's Key contactless smartcard, complete with exclusively designed Key card wallet.

Key smartcards for kids are available to order online. Simply set up an account with us in your child's name, you'll also need a passport-style photo when registering.

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