This has to be the biggest way for a student to save money travelling by train. It cuts a third off the price of rail travel and can be bought for £30 from all manned stations, although it is free with some bank accounts, particularly Natwest. Spend £84 on a train ticket and it has made its initial investment back.
You can get a third off the following fares
- Super Off Peak Singles/Returns
- Off Peak Day Singles/Returns
- Off Peak Singles/Returns
- Anytime Day Singles/Returns
- Anytime Singles and Returns
- Most Rail Rovers and Rangers
- Advance fares
Simply, you can get a third off most standard fares
You can also get discounts on Gatwick Express, Stansted Express, Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect services (these are services that run from London to London Airports)
You can also get discounts on the ALL ZONES Off Peak Day Travel Card (subject to minimum fare restrictions).
You can also get 33% off the daily price cap on Oyster cards. You need to get your discount loaded onto an Oyster card, which can be done at any tube station.
However, it doesnt come without its restrictions.
Its only available to 16-25 year olds or people over 26 in full time education. To count as being in full time education, you have to do at least 15 hours per week for at least 20 weeks a year. You need to apply in person.
Open University, distance learning and part time courses do not qualify.
It has minimum fares that apply before 10am Monday - Friday (except Bank Holidays and during July and August). There is a minimum fare of £12 for Off Peak (Day) Returns, Anytime (Day) Returns tickets, advance tickets are not subject to the minimum fare. For example, if the ticket you want is a one way (single) ticket and costs £9.50 normally, the fare will be £12. If your ticket costs £30, it will cost £20.
This might seem really annoying but its used to prevent 16-25 year olds who have left education, using it to cut the cost of their commute to work. However if you have to frequently make long journeys by train then it is ideal and highly recommended.
Tickets that it cannot be used for
Tickets that cannot be used by the 16-25 Railcard for discounts are the following:
- Railair Links (apart from Reading to Heathrow)
- Some Coach/Bus Links
- Charter Trains
- Season Tickets
- London Underground and DLR services - although if you have an Oyster card, you can add your Railcard discount to it, so that you get a third off the daily cap. For more info, check out .
Where to get one
You can purchase one by going to a manned station and ask for a form to fill in. Certain airports also have a railcard desk where it can be purchased, such as Manchester Airport.
More details are available here
You can also purchase one online from the website.
You can also get a five year railcard free with Natwest (you need to have had an account with them before 1st June)