Discover the different types of Railcards & enjoy 1/3 off train tickets across Britain. From Senior Railcards to Family Railcards, we've covered them all.

Which Railcard is right for you?

Millions of people in the UK qualify for a Railcard, and if you travel a lot by train, it’s almost certain that it’ll help you save money. That’s because it gives you discounts on travel all year round, and for some people, that’s as much as 50% off

Some Railcards are available to people of certain ages (16–17, 16–25, 26–30 and 60+), while other people qualify because of disability, being in HM Forces (or being their spouse), or being on Jobseekers Allowance or Universal Credit. There are also regional Railcards for various parts of England, Scotland and Wales.
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Railcards by age

Being under 30 or over 60 has its advantages, and one of them is cheaper travel with the help of the Railcard types for different ages. They are:

  • 16-17 Saver (£30/year for 50% off most tickets including season tickets)
  • 16-25 Railcard (£30/year or £70 for 3 years; save ⅓ off rail fares; also available to full-time students of any age)
  • 26-30 Railcard (£30/year or £70 for 3 years; save ⅓ off rail fares)
  • Senior (60+) Railcard (£30/year or £70 for 3 years; save ⅓ off rail fares)

    Railcards by group

    If you don’t qualify for an age-based card, you might still be able to get great Railcard prices depending on who you travel with. It’s great for holidaying or if you travel together frequently. They are:

  • Two Together Railcard (£30/year for two named over-16s travelling together; save ⅓ off rail fares – that’s just one charge, so it works out as £15 per person per year)
  • Family & Friends Railcard (£30/year or £70 for 3 years; save ⅓ off 16+ rail fares and 60% off kids’ fares for groups of up to 4 adults and up to 4 kids aged 5–15)

    Other popular Railcards

    You might also qualify for great discounts if you’re disabled, unemployed or if you or your spouse/civil partner are in the Armed Forces. Do check the terms and conditions but if you qualify, the Railcards are:

  • Disabled Persons Railcard (£20/year, 1/3 off rail fares for you and a companion)
  • HM Forces Railcard (£21/year, 1/3 off rail fares and 60% off child fares)
  • Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount (50% discount on selected rail tickets)
    Railcard by Region

  • Network Railcard (London and the South East)
  • Cotswold Line Railcard
  • Devon & Cornwall Railcard
  • Esk Valley Railcard
  • Dales Railcard
  • Highland Railcard
  • Young Scot Card
  • Cambrian Railcard
  • Valleys Senior Railcard
  • Valleys Student Railcard
  • Heart of Wales Railcard and the Pembrokeshire Railcard

  • What is a Railcard?

    A Railcard is a personalised pass that gives you discounts on your train travel. When buying tickets at the station or on the train, you show the pass to the seller and your discount will be applied. If you’re buying online or over the phone, you’ll just need to share your card details to get the discount. You can download a digital card too, which is a kind of pass that sits in your Avanti app, so you can’t lose it. Even if you break or lose your phone, you’ll be able to re-install it when you get a new one.

    Why should I get a Railcard?

    The simplest reason is that you save money! For a one-off fee, you’ll get discounts for every valid journey. Most cards cost £30 per year and save you one third off the fare, so you could break even after buying two tickets worth £45 as you’d save £15 each time – any journeys after that and you’ll start saving money. They’re available for young people, over-59s, certain groups, HM forces, disabled people, students and jobseekers, so millions of people qualify.

    How much is a Railcard?

    Railcard prices vary for the different types of card. Please note, you will need proof that you qualify when you buy your Railcard and you’ll need a passport style photo, and certain other conditions may apply to the services you use. Railcards can only be used on off-peak travel, except for the Disabled Person, 16–17, 16–25 and 26–30 Railcards, which can be used on any journey.

     Railcard  1-year price  3-year price  Discount
     16–17 Saver   £30  n/a  50% off
     16–25 Railcard   £30  £70   off
     26–30 Railcard   £30  £70   off
     Senior (60+) Railcard  £30  £70   off
    Two Together Railcard  £30  n/a   off
    Family & Friends Railcard  £30  £70   off adult fares, 60% off kids
    Disabled Persons Railcard
     £20  n/a   off
     HM Forces Railcard   £21  n/a   off adult fares, 60% off kids
    Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount   n/a  n/a  50% off selected tickets

    When can I use a Railcard?

    If you have a 16–17 Saver, a 16–25 Railcard, a 26–30 Railcard, or a Disabled Persons Railcard, you can use any service and get the relevant discounted price. For all other cards, you can only get a discount if you travel off-peak on Monday–Friday, at weekends or on a Bank Holiday. It is sometimes possible to travel during the morning peak and still get the discount if your journey ends during off-peak hours, but we’d urge you to check in advance if you want to avoid paying the full fare, as some journeys, especially one where you have to change trains during peak hours, may not be eligible.

    Which tickets can I save money on with a Railcard?

    You can save money on our Advance tickets, Off-peak tickets, and First Class tickets with of our Railcards (except 16-17 saver and Family Friends Railcards as these do not apply for First Class tickets and 26-30 only offers discounts on Advance First Class Fares).

    Should I get a 3-year Railcard?

    It’s completely up to you, but it is better value. If you think you’ll get three years’ use out of your card, it certainly makes sense, as a three-year card costs just £70. Buying a separate annual card each year for £30 would cost you £90 in the long run. You can buy a 3-year card for:

    • 16–25 Railcard
    • 26–30 Railcard
    • Senior (60+) Railcard
    • Family & Friends Railcard

    Why should I use a digital Railcard?

    Digital Railcards are handy because they sit on your phone, so you’re unlikely to forget it or lose it. If you do happen to lose or break your phone, the card account will remain active, so you just have to re-install it once you get your new device. Also, you can get your card instantly rather than having to wait for it to be posted, as is the case with a physical Railcard. All types of Railcard are available digitally, and even if you buy it through the Avanti app, you can still use it with any rail service provider.

    How long does it take to get a digital Railcard?

    The digital Railcard is available instantly once you’ve paid for it. You will get an activation code in your email inbox. Just sign into your Avanti app and you’ll see it has been activated.

    Are digital Railcards secure on my device?

    Digital Railcards sit on the Avanti app on your phone, so as long as you have your phone with you, it’s secure. You can have your app on a maximum of two devices, so nobody else should be able to put it on their phone, even if they get your download code, without you knowing. Digital Railcards are therefore arguably more secure than a traditional card, which can easily be lost or stolen.

    Railcard FAQs

    How much is a Railcard?

    How to use a Railcard?

    Where to buy a Railcard?

    Which Railcard is best for me?

    What is a Railcard?

    Can I have more than one Railcard?

    Can you get a Railcard instantly?

    How many devices can I keep my digital Railcard on?

    How much is the Railcard discount?

    What is a digital Railcard?

    Where can I use the Railcard I purchased through Avanti West Coast?