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26-30 Railcard now on sale

26-30 Railcard now on sale

Millions of rail passengers aged 26 to 30 are now able to buy the new 26-30 Railcard.

The railcard, which is the first digital-only railcard, costs £30 and will get holders a third off most rail fares across Great Britain.

MoneySavingExpert.com first revealed the launch of the 26-30 Railcard in October last year, and since then 20,000 railcards were released as part of two trials.

The 26-30 Railcard was set to be released nationwide by the end of 2018, but its launch was delayed until today (2 January) - potentially meaning thousands of people who recently turned 31 will miss out on the savings.

However MoneySavingExpert understands anyone who turned 31 between 31 December and 2 January SHOULD be able to apply for a 26-30 Railcard before the end of the month by contacting National Rail. 

The railcard went on sale at midday today, though there were initially waits of up to an hour to apply for one after launch. You can apply via the Railcard website - you'll need to provide a scan of your photo ID and a clear selfie as part of the application process. 

See our Cheap Trains guide for more info on other railcards, plus see our Railcard deals page and details of the Government's plans for a new 16 & 17 Railcard, which will launch later this year and give 50% off adult fares. 

How does the 26-30 Railcard work?

Here are the key need-to-knows: 

  • It works on most tickets. You can get a third off anytime, off-peak, super off-peak and advance single and return tickets. See the 26-30 Railcard website for more. 

  • There's a £12 minimum fare on weekday mornings. This applies between 4.30am and 10am from Monday to Friday, except on bank holidays.

  • You can get a discount on London travel. The railcard gives you a third off off-peak fares, off-peak daily caps on Oyster cards and off peak Travelcards.

    You can also use it on an Anytime Day Travelcard Zone 1-6 when bought as part of ticket to London from outside the London Zones area, but there's a minimum fare of £18.10.

  • You can use it until you're almost 32. You can buy the 26-30 Railcard up to the day before your 31st birthday and keep using it until its expiry date – so if you renew it at the right time, you can use it until just before you turn 32. 

  • It doesn't work on season tickets but it can cut the cost of commuting. See our Trick to use the 16-25 Railcard to save £100s on your commute MSE News story for more.

  • The trick to get a £10 Railcard with the Annual Gold Card won't work. Unfortunately, you won't be able to use your Annual Gold Card to get a 26-30 Railcard for £10. This is because the trick only works when buying a railcard at a station, and the 26-30 Railcard is digital-only.

What if I already have a 26-30 Railcard?

If you still have a 26-30 Railcard from one of the previous trials and it hasn't expired, you don't need to renew it yet.

You can renew it up to a month before it expires, as long as you're between 26 and 30 when you do.