The 26-30 Railcard, dubbed the “millennial railcard”, finally launches nationwide today.
It offers one third off most rail fares for more than four million people across the UK, saving cardholders an average of £152 each.
The rail discount card was first promised by the chancellor in his Budget in 2017, but the rollout has been slow.
A pilot programme of 10,000 in the Greater Anglia area in December 2017 sold out within two months. In March 2018, the railcard went on sale nationwide – but with only 10,000 more available.
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“The launch of the National Rail 26-30 Railcard marks a key milestone in the rail industry’s commitment to boost local communities by making rail travel more accessible,” said Jacqueline Starr, Managing Director of Customer Experience at Rail Delivery Group.
“We’re hoping that this seventh addition to the Railcard family will encourage more people to make journeys to visit friends, family and explore more of Britain by rail.”
Here is everything you need to know about the new railcard.
What is the millennial railcard?
Officially the 26-30 Railcard, the card is available digitally and costs £30 a year. It gives one third off Off-Peak and Advance train journeys across Britain, including airport express services.
Who qualifies for one?
Those who were born between 3 January 1988 and 2 January 1993 qualify for a 26-30 Railcard. It can be bought up to the day before a person turns 31.
Can I use it on the London Underground?
The 26-30 Railcard can be used on Oyster Off-Peak pay-as-you-go journeys on National Rail, London Underground and the Docklands Light Railway. It can also be used on Off-Peak Day Travelcards zones 1-6 and on an Anytime Day Travelcard Zones 1-6 when bought as part of a ticket from outside London.
Cardholders must visit a manned TfL station to load the railcard discount onto an Oyster card.
How do I get one?
The railcard goes on sale at midday 2 January on 26-30railcard.co.uk. It is a digital card and is held on a smartphone via the Railcard app.
How do I use it?
Passengers must present their railcard when buying a train ticket and be ready to show it to staff on demand. A penalty fare may be charged if not.
As the card is held on a smartphone, if it is lost or stolen, it can be transferred to another device.
Are there any restrictions?
During morning peak time (before 10am Monday to Friday), a £12 minimum fare applies to tickets. This excludes Advance Fares. The minimum fare doesn’t apply on weekends and public holidays.
The railcard also can’t be used on season tickets, Eurostar tickets, most First Class tickets and Caledonian Sleeper services.
What if I’m a millennial born before 3 January 1988?
There are no current plans to extend the railcard’s validity, but there are other railcards on offer that could suit, including the Two Together Railcard, which gives discounts to two named people travelling together; the Network Railcard, which gives a third off most fares for those travelling in the South East; and the Family and Friends Railcard.
For more information, see railcard.co.uk