Railcards are annual discount cards which give you up to a third off rail travel. More specifically, they give discounts when you buy any Off Peak ticket: Advance, Off Peak or Super Off Peak tickets.
There is a railcard for different age groups, situations or routes.
If you often travel after 9:30 in the morning you could save a third on off-peak fares. If you are not travelling regularly enough to get a season ticket but still take a train journey every now and then, then a railcard could be a wise choice. If you have a family then maybe a Family & Friends Railcard would benefit most.
Travel just 3-4 times to make up in savings for the money spent on the railcard, saving more money the further you travel.
You can easily buy a railcard by going to a ticket office in train station. Bring a passport photo with you, as well as a form of identification (ID). If you bring these items you can pay on the spot and they will print out a dated railcard for you which you can put alongside your tickets in the plastic wallet they provide. Alternatively, you can order one online and a card will be delivered in a few weeks. This card is plastic like a credit card.
If you order it online, it will take a few weeks. If you go to the station (recommended) you can pick one up within a few minutes. Remember to bring a passport photo and ID. You can then select the respective railcard in the drop-down list upon paying for your ticket.
The railcard is valid for one year normally, unless you buy a three-year card (valid only for certain railcards). Once the date on your railcard has passed, the railcard is no longer valid and cannot be used. It will not renew automatically; you need to buy another railcard for the year at the station.
If you buy an off-peak ticket and your railcard discount is applied, then you must bring it with you for each train journey. If you do not bring your railcard with you on your journey, you may have to pay a penalty or the difference of a full priced ticket.
You can travel with your railcard on the first Off-Peak service, usually at around 9-9:30 am. The railcard discount cannot be applied in conjuction with other offers and are valid for Advance or Off-Peak tickets.
You can save up to a third off rail fares, valid for a year. The reduction will be applied to Advance and Off-Peak tickets, giving you a saving of 30%.
|Two Together Railcard||£30|
|Family & Friends Railcard||£30 (1-year) or £70 (3-year)|
|Disabled Persons Railcard||20|
Most age groups can get a railcard. If you consider yourself over a certain age group then you can get the Senior Railcard. If you are Blue Badge holder you can get the Disabled Railcard, for example. Pick up the right one for you depending on your age group. in 2018 it is possible for the over 25s to get a railcard during the trail period of the 26-30 Railcard. The company is testing the 25-30 Railcard to see how many people buy it. Make the most of it and get yours now so you can start saving off train travel.
If you have to travel across London to reach your destination, you can get a discount when travelling across two main stations. If you link your Railcard to your Oyster card you can also get money off the Travelcard; no matter how much you travel and use the Oystercard, the amount will be capped for the day at £8.25. Without a railcard it would get capped to £12.50. Remember that these caps are off-peak pay as you go caps and is only activated after 09:30 or 10:00 that morning.
You can travel at any time of day with your railcard. Please note that there is a minimum fare which has to be paid between the hours of 4.30-10am which starts at £12. Try to travel during Off-Peak hours to ensure the railcard discount can be applied.
Unfortunately not. The railcard is personal to you and the photo must match the holder. If you want to share your railcard with a partner, the best one to buy would be the Two Together Railcard to get rail fares with a discount together.