Smart Card FAQs

You can swap your existing paper season ticket to a Smart Card for free at many of our ticket offices. See what participating stations below.

Customers are required to bring along their original Season Ticket, National Rail photo card and additional form of ID.

We currently offer Smart Swap at our larger stations which include:

West Route: Cambridge, Audley End, Newport, Elsenham, Stansted Airport, Stansted Mountfitchet, Bishop’s Stortford, Harlow Mill, and Harlow Town.

North Route: Norwich, Diss, Stowmarket, Ipswich, Manningtree, Colchester, Colchester Town, Wivenhoe, Frinton-on-Sea, Clacton-on-Sea, Marks Tey, Kelvedon, Braintree, Witham, Hatfield Peverel, Chelmsford, Ingatestone and Liverpool Street.

South East Route: Billericay, Wickford, Rayleigh, Hockley, Rochford and Southend Victoria.

​We will aim to increase the participating stations list depending on customer demand.

Greater Anglia’s Smart Card is an electronic, reusable card that is being introduced across our network. It is part of the Department for Transport‘ South East Flexible Ticketing’ scheme, which aims to enable interoperable smart ticketing on all of the train operators across the South East. You can already use your Smart Card on Transport for London services, and eventually you will be able to use it for a variety of train companies and ticket types.

You’ve told us how frustrating it can be when your paper ticket stops working at the gate, or when the ink fades; we know it’s annoying to have to queue up in the station to get a replacement ticket. You’ve also told us that you’d love to be able to buy your Season Ticket online and be able to pick it up at a time that’s convenient for you.

Smart Cards are far more durable than paper tickets – they won’t stop working halfway through the validity of the ticket for some unknown reason, and if you accidentally put them through the wash, they’ll still work. Plus, you’ll be able to manage your account online – no more waiting in the queue at the ticket office, just buy your ticket online and tap at a station to load it onto your Smart Card.

The benefits of Smart Card

Using a Smart Card for your Season Ticket is much quicker. You no longer need to queue at a ticket office to purchase your Season Ticket, simply buy it online at your convenience and then present your card at a gate or ticket machine to load your Season Ticket product to your Smart Card.

If you travel through a station with automatic ticket gates, you'll no longer need to feed your ticket through the gate. Simply touch your Smart Card on the reader.

Smart Cards are plastic and are much tougher than paper tickets. This means they're more durable so you're less likely to need a replacement.

Customers with a current Season Ticket can swap existing paper tickets onto a Smart Card. Find out more about Smart Swap here

You must collect your Season Ticket from your chosen collection station before you travel. Please allow a minimum of two hours before collecting your Season Ticket.

PlusBus, discounted and Anglia Plus season tickets cannot be issued on Smart Cards.

Not quite. Whilst Oyster is similar in that it is a plastic card that can also hold Season Tickets, unlike Oyster the Greater Anglia Smart Card will not have a ‘Pay As You Go (PAYG)’ feature. Weekly, Monthly, Custom Duration and Annual Season Tickets are available on Smart Cards. You will, however, be able to include a London Travelcard with your Season Ticket on your Smart Card, for travel within London zones, just like you can for a paper Season Ticket.

The Greater Anglia Smart Card is available to anyone over 16 years of age, who wants to travel using a Weekly, Monthly, Custom Duration (e.g. three months) or Annual Season Ticket on the Norwich, Southend and Cambridge to London routes (for example, Bishop’s Stortford to Cambridge, or Rayleigh to London). We are also offering Travelcard add-ons, so you can buy a ticket to any London zonal combination (for example, Colchester to London Z3-6). Customers with Annual Season Tickets on their Smart Card are entitled to Gold Card benefits, just like a paper ticket.

If you're a current Season Ticket holder and you have more than one month's validity on your ticket, you can apply for a Smart Card via our 'Smart Swap' service at selected stations.

Find out more about Smart Swap here

You can order your Smart Card online here

The card will be sent to you within three working days by First Class post to the address specified.

Simply log in to your account, your Smart Card will automatically be linked to your account. You can then purchase your Season Ticket.

  • Did you know? Season tickets can be bought digitally through the GA app or on the website:
  • The GA App is available on iOS and Android and certain mobile devices can load a season ticket by holding the card against the back of phone. Please, wait a few minutes after buying the ticket when doing this.
  • Please carry valid photo ID along with a Smart Card like a driving license, photocard, etc when travelling.

You can purchase the following types of ticket on the Norwich, Cambridge and Southend Victoria to London Liverpool Street routes:

  • Adult Annual Season Tickets
  • Adult Monthly Season Tickets
  • Adult custom duration (e.g. 3 Monthly) Season Tickets
  • All Zonal Travelcard combinations
  • Travelcard Season products (only from stations outside Zone 6)
  • Weekly Season Tickets

On board our trains your Smart Card will be checked with a hand held reader. You will also be asked for your National Rail photocard.

You can download the free mobile app, ECEBS, which can be found on Google Play.

Our staff will be able to assist in the first instance if your card stops working. If you continue to have problems, please contact our Smart Card Support Team on 0345 600 7245 (option 9) who will be able to assist and rectify the fault.

Please note that if you contact the Smart support team, there may be some call waiting delays as the phone lines are very busy. We will aim to answer calls as quickly as we can, and we appreciate your patience. Alternatively you can submit your enquiry, including season ticket refund enquiries, to

Call our Smart Card Support Team on 0345 600 7245 (option 9) who can cancel it remotely so that it stops working and no one else will be able to use your card.

A charge may be applicable for replacement of lost cards.

Please note that if you contact the Smart support team, there may be some call waiting delays as the phone lines are very busy. We will aim to answer calls as quickly as we can, and we appreciate your patience. Alternatively you can submit your enquiry, including season ticket refund enquiries, to

Refunds will be calculated in the same way as they are for paper tickets. If the Smart Card holds residual value, and you do not need to travel anymore, you can contact the Smart Card Support team on 0345 600 7245 (option 9) who will be able to process this for you.

No. Smart Cards are fully reusable. Once a ticket expires, simply go online, purchase a new ticket, and load this in the same way as you did initially. The card will never ‘fill up’, as expired tickets will be automatically deleted.

Yes, you will be able to board/alight (‘break your journey’) at any station along the route that your ticket is valid on. At some locations with ticket gates, due to ongoing software upgrades, your Smart Card may need to be validated manually by the gateline staff.

Yes, this is applied for in exactly the same was as with a paper Season Ticket. You can apply online here

Yes, if you purchase an Annual Season Ticket on a Smart Card, you will automatically be issued with a Gold Record Card. You will receive this by post 5-7 days after purchasing your ticket. This Gold Record Card can be used to obtain all your usual Gold Card benefits.

Find out more about Gold Card eligibility and benefits here