At the risk of sounding like your uncle grumbling at the dinner table, train travel is so expensive these days. Especially if you don’t book months in advance.
But luckily there’s a solution to that; a railcard – and this year they were on sale for Black Friday. Unsurprisingly, the crowds went wild for this mega discount – but now Black Friday has been and gone, is it still valid? We’ve got everything you need to know…
What is a railcard?
National Rail offers nine different railcards, available to different people depending on their eligibility. The railcards (which are available digitally to be stored on your phone) are valid for anywhere between one and three years, and they discount train travel by up to a third. So if you’re eligible, it’s well worth having one.
How much do railcards cost?
Ordinarily, railcards that last for a year cost between £20 and £30, depending on which one you get. Railcards that last for three years are unsurprisingly more expensive, at £70. But when you think about how much you’re going to be saving each train journey, they quickly pay for themselves.
There are a few official railcard retailers associated with National Rail, so you can be sure the prices are always going to be the same across the board.
How can I get the Black Friday discount on railcards?
Major discounts on railcards are a bit of a rarity, but this year on Black Friday The Trainline was offering 50% off seven types of digital railcard. Half price! To get the 50% discount on a railcard, all you had to do is enter the code RAILCARD50 at the checkout on The Trainline. It truly was too good a deal to miss. But sadly, many have.
The deal was reportedly supposed to last until December 17th, but people are now noticing when they enter the code at checkout that it says it’s expired. One frustrated user tweeted The Trainline about it, to which he received a response explaining that the Black Friday railcard is no longer valid.
“Due to unprecedented demand, we’ve had to end our Black Friday deal earlier than anticipated,” read The Trainline’s tweet. “We’re sorry that you missed out on this occasion however, watch this space, as we may have some other exciting deals in the pipeline,” they added.
What railcards can I get?
You may have missed out on saving on your railcard this time around, but even at full price it might still be worth getting one. Basically, if you’re eligible and you plan to set foot on a train more than once over the next 12 months, it’ll probably save you some cash.
So, which ones can you get? The railcards available via The Trainline are:
- Network Railcard – for anyone travelling in and around 16 counties across the South East of England, including London
- 16-17 Saver – for people aged 16 and 17 (this one gets them even more money off train fares, up to 50%)
- 16-25 Railcard – for people aged 16-25 (unsurprisingly)
- 26-30 Railcard – for people aged 26-30 (you can buy one up until the day before your 31st birthday and it will still be valid for a year from the point of purchase)
- Family & Friends Railcard – for up to four adults and four children (aged 5-15 years old) travelling together
- Two Together Railcard – for you and a friend/companion when travelling together
- Senior Railcard – for people aged 60 and over
- Disabled Persons Railcard – for anyone with proof of a disability, the discount extends to them and one other adult they’re travelling with
- Veterans Railcard – for anyone with proof of being a UK Veteran and Merchant Mariner, the discount extends to them and one other named adult plus 60% off child fares for up to 4 children
You can find out what each railcard specifically offers here. Go get ’em!