26-30 How Much Railcard Can Actually Save You

For those lucky enough to qualify, a railcard could be the difference between traveling to the UK or staying at home. So when the government announced the introduction of rail cards for people aged 26 to 30, it received rounds of applause. But the question many people want to know is: Is the 26-30 Railcard worth it?

The new railcard was officially launched nationwide in January. It’s been a bit of a bumpy ride. The Chancellor first made the pledge in 2017, The Independent reported. In December of the same year, a pilot scheme was launched in Greater Anglia and 10,000 railcards were sold nationwide in March of the following year.

Costing £30 a year, it promises to save you a third on the cost of train travel. Certain tickets are naturally excluded. Off-peak and pre-sale fares are eligible for discounts— The same goes for off-peak Tube and London Travelcard journeys. However, the minimum fare of £12 applies during the morning peak period (any time before 10am on weekdays). The railcard also cannot be used to buy season tickets, Eurostar trains, Caledonian sleeper trains or most first class tickets.

If you haven't guessed yet, it's not designed with commuters in mind. But if you're a non-scheduled train passenger, you may benefit greatly. According to the railcard website, the card pays for itself in just three or four journeys. By the end of the year, the average person will have saved around £125.

railcard app

The best part about it is that it's not a physical card that can be easily lost. Instead, government has gone digital. You'll still need to make sure your card is available on your phone to avoid fines, but you can easily switch it to another device if something goes wrong. (If you do incur a railcard-related fine, you can claim back the fee annually.)

An initial trial of the 26-30 railcard found that 98 per cent of people were satisfied or very satisfied, the Mirror reported. Some told the paper it had saved them a significant amount of money. Philip, 30, from Liverpool, said it had kept his acting career going. “It enabled me to travel to London for auditions and also helped me get into work that supported my career.”

Technically, the card can be used until age 32 if you purchase it at the right time. People born between January 3, 1988 and January 2, 1993 are eligible, but can buy before turning 31, which gives them an extra year of railcard use.

Lauren Neff/Stokesey

Whether an investment of £30 a year is worth it depends on personal choice. It all depends on where you live and travel and how often and when you take trains. To help with your decision, it's a good idea to use the railcard website's calculator to work out your potential savings.

Remember, this isn’t just a train discount. Becoming a cardholder also entitles you to a range of other benefits, including 20% ​​off Virgin Experience days, up to 60% off theater tickets, and discounts on certain restaurants and holidays.