Looking for a way to get cheap train tickets? Then you need to get yourself a National Railcard. National Railcards offer you up to 1/3 discount on your train tickets, as well as giving you discounts and deals for popular attractions and days out when you travel by train.
There are six main Railcards that you can use to get cheap train tickets –
- Network Railcard
- 16-25 Railcard
- Disabled Person’s Railcard
- Senior Railcard
- Two Together Railcard
- Family & Friends Railcard
Most Railcards cost £30 for the whole year – that’s 365 days-worth of train ticket discounts – except the Disabled Persons Railcard, which costs just £20. Learn more about the different Railcards on offer, how you can apply for them, and what discounts they can get you below.
UK Railcards start at £20 per year for the Disabled Persons Railcard and £30 per year for all other railcards. This price typically gets you 1/3 off the price of a standard adult ticket, depending on the railcard type.
These Railcards are available to purchase online using the links below.
|Disabled Persons Railcard||£20 per year|
|16-25 Railcard||£30 per year|
|Network Railcard||£30 per year|
|Senior Railcard||£30 per year|
|Family & Friends Railcard||£30 per year|
|Two Together Railcard||£30 per year|
Disabled Persons Railcard
The Disabled Persons Railcard gives 1/3 off all train travel, regardless of the time, to passengers with disabilities that make train travel difficult (e.g. needing help to get on or off a train). If you’re travelling with another adult, they can also benefit from cheap train tickets, as your Disabled Persons Railcard will give them 1/3 off their fare too.
A one-year Railcard costs just £20, but you can alternatively choose to buy a three-year Disabled Persons Railcard at a discounted price, much like the 16-25 Railcard.
You can apply for the Disabled Persons Railcard if you can prove that you –
- Have a visual or hearing impairment
- Have epilepsy
- Receive either PIP or DLA
The Disabled Persons Railcard is a great investment because, as well as cheap train tickets, you’ll also get things like discounts on weekends away, discounted meals out and money off Virgin Experience Days.
Ready to buy?
Click here to purchase your Disabled Persons Railcard
The 16-25 Railcard – sometimes called the Student Railcard, or Young Persons Railcard – is a great way to keep travel costs down when you’re on a budget because, with one of these in your hand, you’ll get 1/3 off your train tickets.
You can use this Railcard to get cheap train tickets for your journeys to work, university or college, as well as using it for any journeys you make in your own free time. You can even use it to get cheap train tickets when you travel First Class, making long journeys more comfortable. Whether you have an early morning lecture, or you’re rolling home in the wee hours after a night out, you can still apply your discount (A £12 minimum fare applies if you travel between 04:30 - 10:00 on weekdays).
The only requirement? As the name suggests, you have to be aged 16-25 when you buy the Railcard to qualify for the discount. And it doesn’t matter if you look young, sorry, you’ll have to provide ID to make sure you’re within the age limits. You can either buy a one-year Railcard for £30, or a three-year Railcard for £70, which can be bought up until the day before your 24th birthday.
Ready to buy?
Click here to purchase your 16-25 Railcard
Discover where National Railcards can take you
Off-Peak train travel is even cheaper with a Network Railcard in your hand. This Railcard gives you discount on a number of train journeys across the UK, from King’s Lynn in Norfolk all the way down to Exeter St David’s in Devon. A Network Railcard can make days out cheaper, whether it’s a trip to the beach or travel to see friends or family. You’ll also get cheap train tickets into London and the surrounding areas with this Railcard.
Season Tickets, Advance tickets and First Class tickets can’t be booked with a Network Railcard discount, but you can get a discount of 1/3 on your train tickets and London travelcards when you travel Off-Peak.
For a one-off cost of £30 for the year, your Network Railcard will get you cheap train tickets, as well as a wide variety of 2 for 1 offers on London attractions like Stamford Bridge, Battersea Park Children’s Zoo and Hampton Court Palace.
Ready to buy?
Click here to purchase your Network Railcard
Senior Railcard (Over 60's)
Passengers aged 60 and over can get their hands on cheap train tickets with a Senior Railcard. Just provide proof of your age when you buy this Railcard and you’ll get 1/3 off both Standard and First Class Anytime, Advance, and Off-Peak train tickets. It only costs £30 for the whole year, so after a handful of train journeys your Senior Railcard will have paid for itself.
Why not fill your calendar with days out for less? Not only does your Senior Railcard get you cheap train tickets, but also discounts on London attractions, dining offers at over 6,000 restaurants around the UK, and money off Warner Leisure Hotels.
Ready to buy?
Click here to purchase your Senior Railcard Railcard
Family and Friends Railcard
You don’t have to actually be related to use the Family & Friends Railcard, but when you use one a group of up to four adults and four children can travel together and get cheap train tickets. Days out as a group don’t have to be expensive, just buy this Railcard for a one-off cost of £30 and you can instantly start saving money on your train tickets.
Adults get 1/3 off train travel and children get a 60% discount on their fares with a Family & Friends Railcard, which basically means the adults save even more, no matter the time or day of travel. Children are classed as being between ages 5-15. But, if your child looks older than 15, you might want to carry another form of ID with you.
If you’re using a Family & Friends Railcard to get cheap train tickets, you’ll need to travel together at all times. It’s lucky then that you get great discounts like 2 for 1 offers on group days out with the Family & Friends Railcard, so there’s plenty to see and do. Head to the top of the ArcelorMittal Orbit for panoramic views from the Olympic Stadium, take a walk around Kew Gardens and enjoy a family picnic, or let the kids brush up on their facts at the Science Museum.
Two Together Railcard
Together Railcard when you book, and you can get cheap train tickets to help keep your travel costs down. For £30 for the whole year, that’s just £15 each, you’ll get 1/3 off a number of different train journeys, no matter where you’re travelling in the UK.
As long as you travel together after 09:30 on weekdays, your Railcard will be valid for use. And, you can use it to get discounts at anytime on weekends and bank holidays. First Class train tickets and tickets for sleeper services are discounted when you use a Two Together Railcard as well, so long journeys can be made more comfortable without breaking the bank.
Head to the West End with a friend and see a show for up to 60% less with your Railcard, or book a cottage retreat with your partner for a budget weekend away. You might be surprised by how many offers are available to you when you have a Two Together Railcard.
Ready to buy?
Click here to purchase your Two Together Railcard
Annual Gold Railcard
The Annual Gold Card is a free perk for some Season Ticket holders. A Season Ticket could save you money on your travel if you regularly make the same journey by train, so it’s worth considering. If your destination or origin station detailed on your Season Ticket are within the Annual Gold Card area, you’ll automatically be given an Annual Gold Card – you lucky thing!
The Annual Gold Card area stretches pretty far and wide and covers a range of Train Operating Companies (TOCs) including Thameslink, CrossCountry and Virgin Trains. So, getting a train from Birmingham to London, for example, could be made a lot cheaper if you use your Railcard.
As well as your Season Ticket savings, you can enjoy 1/3 off all train tickets when you travel outside of morning peak times, as well as giving the same discount to up to three other people travelling with you. So, with an Annual Gold Card, your whole party can get cheap train tickets, making days out less costly.
If you’re thinking of buying one of the above National Railcards and you’ve already got an Annual Gold Card, you’ll be pleased to know you can get any of them for just £10. Check how much you could save with a Season Ticket and see if you’re eligible for an Annual Gold Card by using our Season Ticket calculator.
Currently being trialled by Greater Anglia, the proposed 26-30 railcard dubbed for ‘millennials’ is aimed at young professionals who are looking for an alternative commute to work, as well as encouraging them to travel by train when taking holidays and day trips across the UK. The railcard is currently also only available digitally. With users being required to download the railcard app and show ticket inspectors during train ticket checks.
Costing the same as a 16-25 railcard, and with the same discount and offers available, it is hoped to be launched after a successful trial in 2018 across the UK.
*Information correct as at 18 December 2017. Railcard prices are subject to change without notice.