According to the Clipper site, there is not a retail outlet at OAK: https://www.clippercard.com/ClipperWeb/map.do
You can still use paper tickets on BART (although there is a fare surcharge to do so). These are purchased at the BART station.
BART has recently installed Clipper Card vending machines at all of its stations. You can ride the BART-to-OAK connector to the main Coliseum/Oakland Airport station and then purchase a $3 adult Clipper card at that location. You will be able to choose the amount of cash value you want to load to your card. The machines normally accept credit/debit cards, but I am not certain if they would accept an international card. All the machines accept cash.
As mentioned, one can get the Clipper card at the BART station. There is at least one clipper vending machine. It will save you 50 cents each way on a RT. But you will pay 3 dollars for a clipper card . so unless you are using the card on multiple BART trips, you are not getting any savings. And if you are using Golden Gate Ferry, yes you will get a good discount. Other than that I don't know why you need Clipper as a visitor
You need one if you live in the Bay area
To say that you need clipper to navigate the streets of SF sounds strange. you use MUNI in SF not BART and you can download the MUNI mobile app on your phone and get the same discount as you would on Clipper
But hey it is a free world go for it
There is a lot about Clipper Card pros, cons, discounts, etc. on the SF forum. You can definitely buy it at the Coliseum station - maybe even at the OAK airport station (not sure about that, though)
Clipper cards cost $3 each, and they provide a 50¢ discount on each BART trip and a 25¢ discount on each Muni trip. They provide much more substantial discounts on the ferries. There is at least one card vending machine at Coliseum station. There is no fare payment equipment at the Oakland Airport station; all fare gates and machines are located at the Coliseum station.
Excuse me jumping on 5th his thread but if I want to get from OAK via BART are you saying I can't buy a ticket at the airport station?
This is an old article, but the info is still correct as far as I know:
Where do I buy my ticket?
Ticket vending machines are available at the Coliseum Station, and ticket vending machines are located on the new Platform 3. A ticket is not necessary when leaving the Airport and riding to the Coliseum Station, however, once at the Coliseum Station, you must pay to get out and to continue onto your final BART destination. Fare machines are available when you get off the train at the Coliseum Station Platform 3, before proceeding to the train to the airport, or after arriving at Coliseum Station from the airport.
And are there CLIPPER CARD -selling machines on platform 3 (when you get off the connector train from the airport, before you exit to connect to a regular BART train), or only standard paper BART ticket machines (which can be used to load more value onto an existing Clipper Card, but can't sell you a new one)?
There are no fare gates or ticket machines at OAK because they are located at Coliseum station instead.
I don't recall if there is a Clipper card dispenser on Platform 3 at Coliseum. There most likely is, seeing as BART instituted the 50¢ paper ticket surcharge with the understanding that people would be able to obtain Clipper cards. It would be kind of silly not to provide access to the cards at one of the locations where they are more likely to be purchased. Not that BART doesn't do silly things. You can inquire with BART if you aren't comfortable with the uncertainty.
If Platform 3 doesn't have a card dispenser for some reason, you can choose to pay just for the OAK Connector ride, exit to the street, buy a Clipper card from the vending machine at the main street entrance, and then re-enter the station to catch your next train on Platforms 1 or 2.