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Providing great rail discounts for up to four adults and four children, the Family & Friends Railcard is a must-have if you enjoy days out with the little ones throughout the year! On this page, you can find all the info you'll need, including how to buy the Railcard, how to use it with us when booking tickets, and details on eligibility and rules.

What is a Family & Friends Railcard?

The Family & Friends Railcard is a rail fare discount card for use in the UK for up to four adults travelling with up to four children (aged between 5 and 15). The discount is up to 1/3 off the price of adult train tickets and 60% off for kids. If you have children below the age of 5, then they'll be able to travel for free, no Railcard needed – score! Overall, it's a great way to get cheap family train tickets.

How much is a Family & Friends Railcard?

The Family & Friends Railcard costs just £30 for the year. If you buy a 3-year Railcard for just £70, you can save £20 compared to the price of buying three separate 1-year Family & Friends Railcards for £90.

This Railcard is arguably the best value of all the National Railcards thanks to the number of users who can enjoy the discount on a single card. Apart from discounted train fares, you can also benefit from Family & Friends Railcard offers, including trips to popular attractions and hospitality packages.

Where can I buy a Family Railcard?

There are three ways you can buy your Family & Friends Railcard. You can get it online from the official Railcards website, from a staffed train station’s ticket office, or over the phone. We definitely recommend buying your Railcard online and opting for the digital option (where the Railcard can be instantly loaded up on your smartphone) as this is the fastest way to start using your card today!

Here’s what you’ll need to purchase it:

Online

  • Your home address and your email address
  • The name of your chosen second cardholder
  • A payment card (credit or debit)

If you go for the Digital Railcard, you’ll be sent a code to your email. You can then download the Railcard app to your smartphone and input the code to get your Railcard loaded up and ready to go. However, you do also have the option to get a physical Railcard, which will be delivered to you within one to five working days.

At a ticket office

  • A filled out application form, which you can find on the official Family & Friends Railcard website

You can pick up a physical Railcard from a ticket office and then use it to go travelling on the same day (if you buy your tickets directly afterwards), so it’s a nice option to have if you’re unable to apply online.

By phone

  • Be prepared with the same information as for buying a Railcard online, above.

Phone number to order a Railcard – 0345 3000 250

How does a Family & Friends Railcard work?

The Family & Friends Railcard works by getting you and up to seven other people (a total of four adults and four children) discounts on train travel across the UK. Once you’ve purchased your Family & Friends Railcard, you can use our Journey Planner to check which routes your new discount can be applied on.

The minimum number of tickets you need to buy to apply the Family & Friends Railcard discount is two, that’s one adult (whose name is on the Railcard) accompanying one child. If you do buy more than two tickets, make sure all of your group is sitting together in the same area of the carriage when travelling, so that ticket inspectors can easily verify your discounted tickets.

How to use your Family & Friends Railcard to buy cheap train tickets with us

When buying your train tickets with us, follow these simple steps to claim your discount.

  1. Put in your origin and destination as normal
  2. Click on the drop-down menu on the tab that says '1 adult - no railcards'
  3. From here, click on 'Add railcard' followed by 'Select a railcard'
  4. Scroll down to ‘Family & Friends Railcard', select this then click on the 'Done' button and after that, the 'Get times & tickets' prompt

At this stage, you should see the discount applied, and should be able to follow the booking flow to the checkout page.

Frequently asked questions

What happens if my smartphone device breaks or loses internet connection while travelling?

Luckily, you can download your Railcard to a second smartphone, which makes a lot of sense if you’re getting a Family & Friends Railcard – since the second adult cardholder can have a copy of it on their phone too. This means that, should your phone break while out travelling, a member of your group will still be able to validate your tickets to any inspectors.

How do I add my Railcard to another device?

It’s quite simple really, all you have to do is log into your account on the Railcard website and click ‘manage Railcard’, after that you’ll be taken to a screen where you can request a second code for your companion. Note that you can only do this on two devices – if you want to add it on a third, you’ll have to delete one from one of your first two devices.

Can I travel alone with a Family & Friends Railcard?

No, the minimum number of passengers required is two (one adult accompanying one child).

How many adults can travel on a family railcard?

As many as four adults can travel on a Family & Friends Railcard, but only two of them can be named on the card (one of the two named adults needs to be present).

Is it possible to have multiple Railcards?

You can own as many different Railcards as you want but you can only apply one discount per journey. It's always best to plan out your journey and work out which National Railcard suits you or your family's needs better.

If you're after more money-saving tips for cheaper train journeys in the UK, have a look at our cheap train tickets page. You can sometimes combine your Railcard with offers like GroupSave, Advance tickets and Off-Peak fares to benefit from extra savings.

When can you use a Family & Friends Railcard?

You can use a Family & Friends Railcard for travel at any time apart from journeys between two stations within the London and South East area during the morning peak time.

How much is it to renew a Family & Friends Railcard?

It’s the same price to renew your Railcard as it is to buy one for the first time – £30. Unless that is, you want to renew to a three-year version of the Railcard, which costs £70.

How many can travel on Family & Friends railcard?

A total of eight passengers can travel while using a Family & Friends Railcard (four adults and four children).

Can two adults travel on a Family & Friends railcard?

Yes, however, if two adults are travelling on a Family & Friends Railcard, they need to be accompanying at least one child. If you often travel with just one other adult, the better bet would be the Two Together Railcard.

What does a Family & Friends railcard cover?

The rail services that the Family & Friends Railcard covers include the following:

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