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National Rail

National Rail deals

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Railcard logo20% off 16-25 or Family & Friends Railcard*Online code gets one-year railcards for £24 (norm £30)

2 days left

Travelling by train can be costly but if you have a railcard, you could be on track for a decent saving. What's more, if you enter the code SUMMERMS17 at Railcard* by 11.59pm on Sun 30 Jul, you can get 20% off a one-year 16-25 or Family & Friends Railcard, taking them down to £24 each – ideal for the school summer holiday.

These cards get you 34% off most rail fares (60% for 5-15 year olds on the Family & Friends card) and are normally £30.

Are these railcards right for you?

Even if you don’t use the train that often, just one decent-length rail trip costing £71+ can save you more than the £24 cost of the railcard. Here's who the cards are for and what they give you:

  • 16-25 Railcard*  This is for 16 to 25-year-olds or a mature student aged 26 or over in full-time education. You'll get one-third off most train fares, but if you use the card before 10am Mon-Fri, there's a minimum fare of £12 (except in Jul/Aug). You'll need to upload a photo of yourself when ordering the card.
  • Family & Friends Railcard*  Up to two adults can be named on the card, then as long as one of you is travelling, up to four adults get a third off, providing there is at least one child (and up to four) travelling with you, who get 60% off. For journeys wholly within the London and South East Network Railcard area (see map), you can't use it on trains that depart before 9.30am on weekdays (except public holidays). There are no other time restrictions.

Terms and conditions vary per railcard, so make sure you check before buying. You can only get this deal online, not at a station.

Railcards are sent the next working day via First Class post, but you're best allowing up to five working days for delivery.

Have a Tesco Clubcard? You could save 50%

If you have a Tesco Clubcard with enough points, you could use your Clubcard vouchers to get a one-year railcard for £15 in vouchers. See National Railcards for £15 in Tesco points.

More info

The code can't be used to buy a Two Together, Senior, Disabled Persons or Network Railcard, and railcards are not valid in Northern Ireland.

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National Rail logo2for1 attractions with National RailBuy train ticket & print vch to save up to £50

Save up to £50

If you register and print a voucher from Days Out Guide then buy a National Rail ticket from a train station you can get 2for1 entry to over 150 top UK attractions, including SeaLife Centres, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures, Alton Towers and Legoland Windsor when you present both at the attraction. See the full theme park list or the zoo and wildlife list

You need to print a voucher for the relevant attraction (follow the link above and search for it) AND have a valid rail ticket bought from National Rail on the same day for a single or day return ticket, or within the days of travel for a return ticket. 

What if I live near the attraction/am travelling by other means?

It's worth doing this even if you are not travelling by train as a cheap single ticket can be available for a couple of quid, far cheaper than the entry ticket price (Alton Towers is the most expensive at £51.60 on the gate). 

Just stop by the nearest station on your way and pick one up, then present both to get your 2for1. Crucially, your rail ticket must show that you have travelled to one of the stations nearest the attraction. So for Thorpe Park, you need to have a ticket with an end destination of Staines or Chertsey. 

The offer's ongoing, but check the voucher for each individual attraction's restrictions, as these vary. See the full T&Cs including which tickets are valid.

MSE Rhiannon says:

Electronic ticket barriers can sometimes retain your ticket (especially if it's a single), so to make sure you don't lose your proof of travel, ask a member of the station staff at a manned gate to help you through.

More info
Excludes family, advance and web tickets as well as Oyster cards, and tickets and travelcards bought from London Underground. Can't be used with other offers or promotions.

Railcard logoNational Railcards £15/£10 in Tesco points*Get 50% off annual railcards by converting Clubcard points

Ongoing
Get a 16-25, Family & Friends, Senior or Two Together Railcard via Tesco Clubcard* for £15 in Clubcard points instead of the usual £30. You'll be sent a code that can be used on the Railcard* site.

If you're eligible for a Disabled Persons Railcard, you can get this for £10 in Clubcard points instead of the usual £20.

What discounts do the railcards get you?

16-25: A third off fares if you're aged 16 and over and under 26.
Family & Friends: A third off adult and 60% off child fares, a minimum of one adult and one child, and a maximum of up to four adults and four children (age 5-15) can travel using one card.
Senior: Those aged 60 and over get a third off rail fares.
Two Together: A third off rail fares for two named adults when they travel together.
Disabled Persons: If you have a disability that makes travelling by train difficult, you may qualify for this. You'll get a third off fares, including at peak time.

More info
While worth 1p in store, Clubcard points values are up to quadrupled when converted to Tesco Rewards*, which include days out, magazine subscriptions, holidays etc.

Other deals can be better value than the railcards but if you're buying them anyway, and don't need any other deals, it's a good conversion. Read more in the Loyalty Points Boosting guide. Also, check the railcard site for restrictions and to ensure you're eligible before exchanging your vouchers.

Railcard logo12% off 16-25 railcards with NUS ExtraRailcard gets you a third off train travel

Ongoing

If you're an NUS Extra card holder (cards cost £12 a year), you can get 12% off a 16-25 railcard online (norm £30).

Log in via the specific link above to get your unique promotional code and as the terms and conditions state, enter the code at the checkout on the 16-25 Railcard* website.

Railcards can save you a third off train travel if you're eligible - that means if you're spending over £90, even on a one-off trip, it's worth getting one. 

For more train tricks including how to split tickets to slash costs see the Cheap Trains guide.

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Railcard logoDisabled Persons Railcard £20 for one yearOr £54 for three years. Get a third off rail fares incl peak times

Ongoing

If you have a disability that makes travelling by train difficult, you may qualify for a Disabled Persons Railcard (see 'Are you eligible?' below).

It costs £20 for one year, or £54 for three years (equivalent to £18 per year), and gets you one-third off most train travel. That means if you spend over £60 on eligible rail fares in a year (or £55 if you have a three year card), then it's worth getting one as the savings beat the cost of the card.

Unlike most other railcards, there are no time restrictions for when the Disabled Persons Railcard can be used, although it won't work on season tickets. What's more, if you travel with another adult, they'll also get one-third off.

Are you eligible?

You should qualify for a Disabled Persons Railcard if any of these apply to you:

  • Receive Personal Independence Payments (PIP).
  • Receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA) at either the higher or lower rate for the mobility component, or the higher or middle rate for the care component.
  • Have a visual impairment.
  • Have a hearing impairment.
  • Have epilepsy.
  • Receive Attendance Allowance or Severe Disablement Allowance.
  • Receive War Pensioner's Mobility Supplement.
  • Receive War or Service Disablement Pension for 80% or more disability.
  • Buy or lease a vehicle through the Motability scheme.

You'll need to provide evidence of your eligibility when applying – see the Disabled Persons Railcard site for a list of accepted proof.

The railcard can't be bought at station ticket offices, but you can pick up an application form which you'll need to complete and post – or you can apply for the card online.

Can children get this railcard?

If your child (aged 5-15) has one of the eligible disabilities, they can apply for a Disabled Persons Railcard (or you can apply on their behalf). They won't get discounted child fares, but the card will allow one adult travelling with them to get one-third off.

Have a Tesco Clubcard? You could save 50% off a one year card

If you have a Tesco Clubcard with enough points, you could use your Clubcard vouchers to get a one year Disabled Persons Railcard for £10 in vouchers. See National Railcards for £15/£10 in Tesco points.

More info

You need to carry your railcard with you when travelling. Although railcards are sent via First Class post, you're best allowing up to five working days for delivery.

Railcards are not valid in Northern Ireland.

Expired Deals

Railcard logoRailcards 20% off one yearIncl Two Together, Family & Friends, 16-25 & Senior Railcards

Expired

We often see codes to get discounts on individual railcards, but this 20% off code is big as it includes all four of the national annual railcards. These cards get you one third off most rail fares and are normally £30, but until 11.59pm on Mon 28 Mar, enter the code SAVE20 online at National Rail and you'll pay just £24.

That means spend £75 on eligible train fares (usually all but weekday trains before 9.30am) even if it's on one journey, and it's worth doing as the savings beat the cost of the card.

Which railcards are available

  • Two Together Railcard. Here two people get a joint card, with both photos on it. You can have more than one, eg, one with your spouse and one with the person you go to the football with.
  • Family & Friends Railcard. Here up to two adults can be named on the card. Then as long as one of you is travelling, up to four adults get a third off, providing there is at least one child, or up to four, travelling with you and they get 60% off.
  • 16-25 Railcard. If you're under 25 or a mature student aged 26 or over in full-time education you'll get one third off standard off-peak and advance fares. If you use the card before 10am Mon-Fri, there's a minimum fare of £12.
  • Senior Railcard. If you're over 60 years old you can get this.

When ordering a railcard you have to upload a photograph of yourself and any other named cardholder (so both cardholders need a photo on the Two Together and the Family & Friends Railcard).

You can also get 20% off the Disabled Persons Railcard (norm £20). You'll need to provide proof that you're eligible for this.

Terms and conditions vary per railcard - so make sure you check before buying. You can only get this offer online and not at railway stations.

For more train tricks including how to split tickets to slash costs, see our Cheap Train Tickets guide.

More info

Railcards are not valid in Northern Ireland.

Railcard logo15% off National Railcards code1-yr 16-25, Family & Friends, Two Together, Senior Railcards

Expired

Railcards can save you a third off train travel if you're eligible - so if you're spending over £90, even on a one-off trip, it's usually worth getting one. And until 11.59pm on Sun 17 Jan, you can get 15% off the four big annual railcards when you enter the code SAVE15 via this National Railcards link. While individual cards are occasionally discounted, it's rare for all four of them to be discounted at the same time. 

All four of the railcards cost £25.50 each when you use the code (norm £30) and get you a third off travel for a year. The code is valid on the following:

  • 16-25 Railcard (if you're under 25 or a mature student aged 26 or over in full-time education)
  • Family and Friends Railcard (up to four adults and four children aged 5-15 travelling together)
  • Two Together Railcard (when two people 16+ share the same card and travel together)
  • Senior Railcard (if you're over 60 years old)

Unfortunately, the Disabled Persons Railcard is not part of this offer (they're normally £20).

Terms and conditions vary per railcard, so make sure you check before buying. For more train tricks including how to split tickets to slash costs see the Cheap Trains guide.

More info

Railcards are not valid for travel in Northern Ireland.

Railcard logo10% off railcards16-25, Family and Friends, Two Together and Senior Railcards

Expired

Railcards can save you a third off train travel if you're eligible - that means if you're spending over £90, even on a one-off trip, it's worth getting one. And until Sun 31 Aug, you can get an extra 10% off most railcards when you enter the code LONMID10 online at the railcard checkout.

These include:

All the railcards cost £30 (£27 when you use the code) and get you a third off travel for a year. The code is valid on annual memberships only.

For more train tricks including how to split tickets to slash costs see the Cheap Trains guide.

MSE Frederika says:

Although £27 seems like a big whack of money, it's seriously worth it. I saved a fortune on trips back to Hull from University. Now I'm living in London I continue to save money by pairing the railcard with my Oyster card, I can get a third off all off-peak tube journeys too.

More info

The Disabled Persons railcard is not part of this offer.

Railcard logo£18 instead of £30 16-25 railcard*Special MSE code gets you the sale a day early

Expired

National Rail usually charges £30 for its 16-25 railcards – which gives holders 1/3 off most rail fares. Starting this week there’s a short-term promo that gets you it for just £18. The cheapest we’ve ever seen.

How do I get it?

Officially this promo starts on Fri 10 and lasts until Tue 14 Oct – but we’ve blagged our own code that starts a day earlier. Just log onto Railcard* from Thu 9 Oct and enter the code 40YEARS.

Railcards can give you huge savings and this deal makes it even better, so if you’re aged 16-25 or over 25 and studying full-time and spending more than £54 – even on a one-off trip - it’s well worth climbing aboard.

For more train tricks, including how to split tickets to slash costs, see the Cheap Trains guide.

MSE Frederika says:

Although £18 might seem to be a big whack of money on top of your train ticket, it's seriously worth it. I saved a fortune on trips back to Hull from university. Now I'm living in London I continue to save money by pairing the railcard with my Oyster card, I can get a third off all off-peak tube journeys too.

Railcard logo3-year Railcard for £6516-25, Family and Friends and Senior Railcards

Expired

Railcards can save you a third off train travel if you're eligible - that means if you're spending over £90 a year, even on a one-off trip, it's worth getting one. And until Wed 31 Dec, you can get £5 off selected 3-year railcards (normally £70) when you enter the code 3YEAR online at the Railcard checkout.

This deal is only for the following railcards:

The Disabled Persons and Two Together railcards are not part of this offer.

How good is this deal?

A one year railcard normally costs £30 a year (£90 for three years), so with the 3-year railcard and code you could be saving £25 if you were planning on buying the railcard in 3 lots.

We often see railcard deals that bring railcards down to £27 for a year. But if you consider this deal brings it down to just under £22 a year, even if you used a different code for one year at a time, we suspect you’d be better off using this code for a 3-year railcard.

For more train tricks including how to split tickets to slash costs, see the Cheap Trains guide.

MSE Frederika says:

Although £65 seems like a big whack of money, it's seriously worth it. I saved a fortune on trips back to Hull from university. Now I'm living in London I continue to save money by pairing the railcard with my Oyster card. I can get a third off all off-peak tube journeys too.

use the money mantras

Before spending, use Martin's Mantras. If you answer 'NO' to any, Don't buy!

are
you
Skint? ask:
  • Do I need it?
  • Can I afford it?
are
you
not skint? ask:
  • Will I use it?
  • Is it worth it?
Section 75

Free protection for all shopping!

There's a little-known piece of legislation that turns any credit card into a financial self-defence superhero. 'Section 75' of the Consumer Credit Act means your plastic must protect anything you buy for more than £100 for free, so if there's a problem or the company goes bust, you can still get your money back.

And although Section 75 doesn't apply to debit cards, there is something else to fall back on if you've paid using a debit card, or used a credit card for a purchase under £100. Known as Chargeback, this is part of banks' and card companies' internal rules and not a legal requirement. Read full details of Section 75 or Chargeback, plus how to claim, in our guides.

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