Frequently Asked Questions?

Most frequently asked questions

  • I have a plastic Railcard, can I swap it for a digital one?
    A:

    Unfortunately you are unable to swap a plastic Railcard to a digital Railcard. However, when the time comes to renew your Railcard you can do this online and choose to have a digital Railcard.


  • Can I buy a Network Railcard?
    A:

    Yes. If you are aged 16 or over you can buy a Network Railcard.


  • How do I buy my Network Railcard?
    A:

    Complete the application process on this website. Once payment has been accepted your Network Railcard will be delivered to you by First Class post within 5 business days.

    If you are unable to wait for a Railcard to be delivered to you, you can download and complete a Network Railcard application form and go to any staffed National Rail station in the Network Railcard area to apply in person.

    Please note, Network Railcards are not available for sale at ticket offices managed by London Underground or from Heathrow Airport. 


  • I already have a Railcard, can I also buy a Network Railcard?
    A:

    Yes, if you hold any other Railcard you can still buy a Network Railcard.


  • Can I buy a Network Railcard for another person?
    A:

    Yes. You can select the option to buy for someone else during the online application process.


  • How will you use my personal data?
    A:

    When you complete an application you are able set your preferences so that you can opt in to be kept informed of offers and promotions from the Railcard team, train companies and/ or selected partners. Alternatively you can opt out of all marketing communications. 

    We only share your data if you have given your permission for us to do so.

    If you wish to change your preferences at any time you can log into your online account to do so.

    Railcard renewal service messages will be sent to all cardholders where we hold an up-to-date email address. 


  • How long do I have to wait for my Network Railcard to arrive?
    A:

    We despatch Railcards within one working day and send it free by First Class post. Please allow FIVE working days for your Railcard to arrive. We add an extra week’s validity to your Network Railcard to allow for delivery time.

    You cannot travel on discounted tickets until you have received your Network Railcard. You cannot use your printed out confirmation of sale to get a discount. The Railcard is the only proof of entitlement to discount that rail staff are able to accept.


  • What methods of payment are acceptable?
    A:

    We accept online payment via credit and debit cards. The cards accepted are: Visa, Visa Debit, Visa Electron, MasterCard, MasterCard Debit, Maestro and Solo. We regret we cannot accept American Express, Diner's Club, cheques or Paypal. 


  • I have a promotion code to use towards the cost of my Network Railcard – it is not working. What can I do?
    A:

    Please check that you have read each character of the code correctly.

    We do try to use codes that are easy to read, but occasionally applicants might confuse;

    the letter “I” with the number “1”
    the letter “O” with the number “0”(zero)
    the letter “S” with the number “5”

    If any of these characters appear in your code please try their alternatives. If this does not work please call us on 0345 301 1655 and we will be able to check the status of the code you have.


  • Can I buy a three year Railcard?
    A:

    No. There is currently no three year option for the Network Railcard. 


  • What is the deadline for ordering a Railcard by Special Delivery to guarantee I get it the next day?
    A:

    You will need to order your Railcard by 17.00 Monday-Friday and 11.00 Saturday to receive your Railcard by 13.00 on the next working day. 

    Simply select the Special Delivery option (£6.95) when ordering your Railcard.


  • Can I use my Network Railcard in conjunction with Train Company special offers or promotional tickets?
    A:

    Sometimes. Many offers from train companies allow Railcard discounts on special offers or promotional tickets but it may not be the full 1/3 discount. If Railcard discounts are not valid in conjunction with the offer, it will be detailed in the terms and conditions of the offer. 

    You can use Network Railcard discounted train tickets to take advantage of 2FOR1 offers when you go by train. See daysoutguide.co.uk for the full range of 2FOR1 offers in London and across the South East.

     


  • Will I receive the Network Railcard discount on any chargeable items I take on the train with me?
    A:

    Network Railcard discounts are not available on charges for various articles or animals. For details about which items carry a charge, and details of the charges, see nationalrail.co.uk or call National Rail Enquiries on 03457 48 49 50. 


  • Can I get a discount on period Travelcards or Season tickets with a Network Railcard?
    A:

    No. A Network Railcard will not give you discounts on Travelcards valid for more than one day or Season Tickets. 


  • What discounts do I get?
    A:

    A Network Railcard gives you up to 1/3 off most standard adult rail fares for travel in the Network Railcard area, subject to the minimum fare

    The added benefit is that up to three adults can travel with you and they will also get up to 1/3 off their rail fare. Plus, you can take up to four children (aged 5 to 15 years) with you and save 60% on each child fare.

    For details on what tickets you can and can't get Network Railcard discounts on, see the Discounts on tickets page. 

    Please note, Network Railcard discounts are not available on Oyster pay as you go.


  • What tickets can I get a Network Railcard discount on?
    A:

    A Network Railcard gives discounts on the following tickets for travel in the Network Railcard area, subject to the appropriate minimum fare and the 10.00 Monday to Friday time restriction:

    • Anytime tickets
    • Off-Peak tickets
    • Off-Peak Day Travelcards (Zones 1-6)
    • Anytime Day Travelcard (when bought as part of your ticket to London from outside London Zones 1-9)

    You can also save on inclusive train and bus 'PLUSBUS' tickets, and journeys to the Isle of Wight using Wightlink or Red Funnel (Ferries or ‘Red Jet’) services.

    Minimum fares and child supplement fares for journeys to the Isle of Wight also apply, so check for details at your local staffed station before planning your journey.

    Please note:

    • Some tickets may have conditions or restrictions that will apply, such as time restrictions for return travel from central London.
    • Not every ticket type is available for every journey that you may wish to make.
    • Minimum fares apply for all journeys Monday to Friday - see Minimum Fares section for details. 

  • Is there a minimum fare?
    A:

    The minimum discounted adult fare payable is £13 on all journeys Monday to Friday. This minimum fare does not apply at weekends or on Public Holidays. 

    The minimum discounted child fare payable is £1 at all times

    The minimum fare payable for Anytime Day Travelcards is £17.00 at all times. 

    Minimum fares apply to each individual travelling, not to the total value of tickets purchased.


  • Can I use my Network Railcard at any time of day?
    A:

    You can buy Network Railcard discounted tickets for travel any time on weekends and public holidays or from 10.00 Monday to Friday. You may be able to start your journey a little earlier than 10.00, see the time restriction easements section for details or check at your local station. 

    The 10.00 Monday to Friday time restriction applies to all types of tickets. 


  • What tickets can’t I get a discount on?
    A:

     A Network Railcard will not give you discounts on Advance tickets, Season Tickets, First Class tickets, Oyster pay as you go, Eurostar tickets, special excursions or charter trains, or in conjunction with some Train Company special offers. 

    Network Railcard discounts are not always available on bus links, especially those to airports e.g. Railair Links. You cannot buy discounted tickets for journeys wholly on the London Underground and Docklands Light Railway, or Travelcards valid for more than one day. 

    If you travel outside the Network Railcard area you can only use the Network Railcard to the boundary and will have to buy full price tickets for the journey outside the area. You must purchase these tickets before you cross the boundary and the train you are travelling on must stop at the boundary station.


  • Why can’t the Network Railcard be used before 10:00 Monday to Friday?
    A:

    The Network Railcard is designed to promote off-peak leisure travel. This means that it encourages people to use trains outside of the busy commuting period which occurs before 10.00 Monday to Friday.


  • Can I travel with a Network Railcard discounted ticket in the evening peak?
    A:

    Yes, subject to the terms and conditions of the ticket type you have purchased for travel. 

    You can use your Network Railcard to get discounts on tickets for travel from 10:00 Mondays to Fridays and at any time on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.

    Please note, the 10:00 Monday to Friday Network Railcard time restriction applies to all ticket types.
     


  • Can I use my Network Railcard for tickets for travel on the London Underground?
    A:

    You cannot buy Network Railcard discounted tickets for journeys wholly on the London Underground and Docklands Light Railway. However discounted tickets bought for cross-London rail journeys which involve travel on the London Underground are permitted.


  • Do all passengers travelling with Network Railcard discounted tickets have to complete the same journey as the Network Railcard holder?
    A:

    Yes. All passengers taking advantage of the Network Railcard discount must travel with the Railcard holder throughout the entire journey. 

    If members of the group are only travelling one way, then they can be added to the group in order to obtain a discount but must travel with the Railcard holder for the course of the one way journey. 


  • Where can I buy tickets with my Network Railcard?
    A:

    You can buy your Network Railcard discounted tickets online or at any National Rail station (ticket machine or ticket office) within the Network Railcard area.


  • Can I buy tickets at a discounted rate before my Network Railcard arrives?
    A:

    No. You must carry your Network Railcard with you on any journey where you have bought discounted tickets with the Network Railcard. Therefore, if you buy discounted Network Railcard tickets before you receive your Railcard, you do this at your own risk.


  • Can I use my Network Railcard to buy my ticket on the train rather than at a station?
    A:

    Only if there is no ticket office, or the ticket office is closed and there is no ticket machine available at the station at which you began your journey.  If this is the case you can buy your discounted ticket from on-train staff or at your destination station.
    Otherwise, if ticket facilities were available at the station you could be charged the full price of Standard Single fare tickets.


  • Can I purchase First Class tickets with my Network Railcard?
    A:

     No. The Network Railcard only gives discounts on standard class tickets.


  • Can I reserve my seat if booking a ticket in advance?
    A:

    Yes, providing that there are reservations available on the service on which you are travelling. Many train companies will allow you to reserve a seat free of charge on longer distance journeys. Please check with the train company you are travelling with or staff at the local ticket office before buying tickets.


  • Can I use my Network Railcard to buy tickets for other people?
    A:

    You can purchase tickets for yourself and up to three adults travelling with you and they will also get up to 1/3 off their rail fare. Plus, you can take up to four children (aged 5 to 15 years) with you and save 60% on each child fare.

    All passengers taking advantage of the Network Railcard discount must travel with the Railcard holder throughout the entire journey. 


  • Can I travel on discounted tickets if my Network Railcard expires before I complete my journey?
    A:

    Discounted tickets are only valid if you are using them with a valid Network Railcard. If your Network Railcard expires before the end of your journey then you will need to renew it to be able to complete your trip using discounted tickets. If the only Network Railcard you have is expired you will not be able to continue to use your discounted tickets.


  • What do I do if my Network Railcard is lost or damaged?
    A:

    You can apply for a replacement which costs £10. If you bought online then please log into your account and follow the steps for ordering a replacement. 

    If you bought your Railcard from a station you should go to a staffed station ticket office in the Network Railcard area with the completed ‘Receipt’ voucher from your original application form and some form of identification. 

    Only one replacement may be issued in a 12 month period for lost or damaged Railcards and it will cost £10.  


  • What do I do if my Network Railcard is stolen?
    A:

    In the event that your Network Railcard was stolen, an application for the replacement of a Railcard may be made.

    Where the original Railcard was purchased at a rail station, you will need to request a replacement at a staffed station ticket office in the Network Railcard area (the completed ‘Receipt’ voucher from the original application form must be produced).  

    Where the Railcard was purchased online, customers may only request a replacement online. 

    No fee will be charged for the replacement of a stolen Railcard provided you have a crime reference number/documentation issued by the Police. You will be requested to show some form of identification if obtaining a replacement from a station. 


  • If I have lost my card more than once, do I get a replacement or will I have to buy a brand new Network Railcard?
    A:

    Only one replacement may be issued in a 12 month period for lost or damaged Railcards and a £10 administration fee is payable. If you need further replacements a new Network Railcard will need to be purchased.


  • I have purchased a Network Railcard, however I have changed my mind and wish to get a different Railcard, can I do this?
    A:

    No. Once a Network Railcard has been issued it is non-refundable.


  • Can I claim a refund if I don't use my Network Railcard?
    A:

    No. Once a Network Railcard has been issued it is non-refundable.


  • What happens if I don't have my Railcard with me and I have to buy a new ticket or pay a Penalty Fare?
    A:

    If you are travelling by train on a ticket with a Railcard discount, you must travel with your valid Railcard. If you forget your Railcard you will either be required to buy a new ticket or you may on certain services be liable for a Penalty Fare. However, a train company will normally allow you to claim back this extra expense on the first occasion in each year where this happens.

    Each train company will have their own process for doing this. You will need to provide proof of your Railcard and either the original and additional tickets that you have purchased, or if you have not yet paid, details of the notice to pay or notice of Penalty Fare. Where you have already paid for additional tickets you should contact the relevant train company’s customer services department; in the case of a notice to pay of notice of Penalty Fare, you should follow the instructions included on how to challenge or appeal the charge.


  • I bought my Railcard from a rail station and all of the information on it has faded. What can I do?
    A:

    Railcards issued at stations are printed on paper. On rare occasions, the way that the surface of the Railcard interacts with the plastic in some ticket wallets destabilises the print and makes it fade. If this has happened to your Railcard you can take it into a staffed rail station and they will replace it free of charge. Most stations will be able to check the validity of the Railcards by running it through the ticket–issuing machine to check when it was originally issued.


  • How do I use the online service to renew a Network Railcard I bought at a station?
    A:

    Simply log on to our website and begin the purchase process. During this process you will have the opportunity to give the expiry date of your current Railcard, which will make sure that the validity of your new Railcard does not overlap with that of your expiring one.


  • I bought my current Network Railcard from the online service, it is about to expire, how do I renew it?
    A:

    Providing the expiry date of your Network Railcard is within 30 days you will be able to renew it. Just log back into your account, select renewal, confirm your details and make your payment. Your renewed Network Railcard will then be sent to you.


  • How far in advance can I renew my Network Railcard?
    A:

    You can renew your Network Railcard up to 30 days prior to the expiry date. Just log back into your account, select renewal, confirm your details and make your payment. Your renewed Network Railcard will then be sent to you.


  • Can visitors to Britain buy a Network Railcard online?
    A:

    Yes, we can send Railcards to non-UK addresses.

    Alternatively, you can buy a Railcard at a staffed National Rail station ticket office in the Network Railcard area on arrival. You can also buy a Railcard at the National Rail ticket offices at Gatwick Airport, Stansted Airport and Luton Airport Parkway – but NOT at London Heathrow Airport
     


  • What other National Railcards are there?
    A:

    There are five other Railcards available in Great Britain, each offering great savings for your next National Rail journey: 


  • How do I make a complaint?
    A:

    You can email us via the Contact Form on the Contact Us page.


  • Do I need to provide ID proof to buy a Network Railcard?
    A:

    No. Just your name, address and basic information is required.


  • Can the children or adults be replaced with other names as the group has changed?
    A:

    In all cases the Network Railcard holder will always need to be travelling otherwise none of the tickets will be valid. With regard to the accompanying passengers, rail tickets should only be used by the individuals for whom the Railcard holder bought them.


  • I want to travel with less people in my group, what should I do?
    A:

    As long as the Network Railcard holder is with the party, the number of accompanying people can reduce without affecting the validity of the discounted tickets of those still travelling. Please be aware however that the accompanying individuals must make the complete trip with the cardholder - if they try to join the group at a station later in the journey or try to leave the group at a station before the destination of the group their ticket will not be valid.

    You may be able to apply for a refund on any unused tickets. Check the ticket terms and conditions on nationalrail.co.uk for further details.


  • I want to travel with more people in my group, what should I do?
    A:

    In most cases you will be able to simply buy the additional tickets for travel on your chosen service with your Railcard online, via telesales or at a station. 

    Please note, the maximum group size travelling on discounted tickets with one Network Railcard holder is 4 adults (including the cardholder) and 4 children.  


  • I will not have a Railcard at the time of travelling, what should I do?
    A:

    Discounted tickets are only valid if you have your Network Railcard with you while travelling.  

    If you do not have your Network Railcard for your journey you will need to go to the ticket office to pay the difference between the Network Railcard discount fare and the full fare for the relevant ticket for the journey you are making.  


  • I lost the Railcard and am travelling now with the discounted tickets what should be done?
    A:

    If you do not have your Network Railcard in your possession when travelling you are unable to use discounted tickets.

    Prior to boarding the train you can go to the ticket office and pay the difference between the Railcard discounted fare and the full fare for the relevant ticket for your journey. Alternatively, you can purchase a new Network Railcard at the station to take advantage of the discounted tickets you have already purchased.


  • Is the Network Railcard transferable?
    A:

    No. The named Network Railcard holder must be in possession of the Railcard at all times and is the only one able to use the Railcard to purchase discounted tickets.


  • Can I laminate my paper Network Railcard that I have bought at the station to protect it?
    A:

    No. Please do not laminate your Network Railcard. In most instances the heat of laminating machines will turn the surface of your Network Railcard black, damaging it and making it illegible. If this happens you will need to buy a replacement Network Railcard (for a fee of £10 if you have had no previous replacements).

    Laminated Network Railcards cannot be accepted by rail staff as the lamination makes it difficult to validate that is has not been tampered with. To protect your Network Railcard please keep it in a plastic ticket wallet which is available for free from any staffed station.


  • Will I have to pay the full fare if I forget to bring my Network Railcard when I travel?
    A:

     Yes. To be able to take advantage of discounted tickets the Railcard must be in your possession when travelling. If you do not have your Network Railcard with you, you will have to pay the full fare to travel.


  • How can I change my contact details?
    A:

    If you have purchased a Railcard online, simply log in to your account and choose “Edit your details” to edit your contact details.


  • My name has changed, can I get my Network Railcard changed?
    A:

    Yes. There is a £10 administration fee for this service. If you bought your Network Railcard online, you will need to call our helpline to order a replacement for the same £10 administration fee. You will then be required to email us a copy of either your Deed Poll or Wedding Certificate. 

    If you bought your Network Railcard at a station you will need to take your Network Railcard to a staffed station along with a copy of either your Deed Poll or Wedding Certificate.


  • Is there a charge for changing any details on the Network Railcard? E.g. incorrect spelling of name.
    A:

    If you have made an error in your application you must let us know at the first available opportunity. We will then investigate the matter and advise of how it can be resolved.


  • What is a digital Railcard?
    A:

    When buying a Network Railcard, customers will have the choice receiving it in a physical format (such as card or plastic), or in a digital format.

    Customers will be able to start using their digital Railcards quicker as they don't need to be sent in the post.

    Digital Railcards can also be stored on up to two devices.


  • What happens if I have no battery life or can’t show my Railcard?
    A:

    If you don’t have any battery life, or have forgotten your device, it won't be possible to check that your Railcard discount is valid.

    You could be asked to buy a single ticket for your journey, or be issued with a Penalty Fare.

    If do you get caught out while travelling, you can make one claim a year to be refunded for any extra fare or penalty you incur.

    For a list of train companies in Great Britain, and their details, click here


  • What happens if I don’t have reception or I am offline?
    A:

    Don't worry, once your digital Railcard is on your phone, it will be available even when you have no mobile data or Wi-Fi.

    As long as your mobile device has connected to the internet at some point within the last 72 hours, your app will continue to show your Railcard.

    You will need an internet connection though to buy a new Railcard or add a Railcard to a new device.


  • What happens if I lose my device/digital Railcard?
    A:

    If you lose your device, you can easily add your Railcard to a new one.

    If your Railcard is already stored on two devices, follow the instructions to remove it from the lost phone to add it to a new one.


  • Why has my digital Railcard been blocked?
    A:

    If we detect suspicious activity on your Railcard, it will be blocked until we have had the chance to speak to you.

    During this period, your Railcard will no longer be valid for travel.

    If your Railcard has been blocked, you will need to contact our customer support team.

    **Excessive device changing can result in a Railcard being blocked**


  • How do I unblock my Railcard?
    A:

    You will need to contact our customer support team so that we can better understand the activity that has caused your Railcard to be blocked.

    If appropriate, they will be able to help you get back online with your Railcard.


  • How can I remove my Railcard from an existing device?
    A:

    To removed your Network Railcard from an exitsting device you will need to login to your account and find the option to 'Manage your Railcard'.

    Then just choose the device you want to remove your card from.


  • Why can’t I add my Railcard to another device?
    A:

    You can store your digital Railcard on up to two devices at a time.

    If you want to add it a third, you will need to remove it from one of your existing devices through your account.


  • How quickly will I get my new digital Railcard?
    A:

    Digital Network Railcards are available instantly! No need to wait for it to arrive via post.

    Simply enter the code, we send you in your confirmation email, into the app and you're ready to go! 


  • Can I renew to a digital Railcard?
    A:

    Yes!

    You can renew your Network Railcard within 30 days of its expiry, to either a digital or a plastic Railcard.

    Just login to your account and select 'digital' when completing the renewal process.


  • How can I buy a digital Railcard?
    A:

    Digital Railcards can be bought through the Network Railcard website only. Click on 'Buy Now' from the homepage to get started.


  • What is the digital Railcard activation code?
    A:

    You need a digital Railcard activation code to add your digital Railcard to your app. You can find this code in the email we send after you complete your Railcard application.


  • I can’t find the digital Railcard activation code
    A:

    Check your mailbox (including your junk mail) for an email from our Railcard team.

    If you still can’t find it, login to your account and follow the links to ask for a new code.


  • My digital Railcard code won’t work
    A:

    Your download code may have expired or been used on too many devices.

    Login to your account and request a new digital Railcard code.

    You can only store your digital Railcard on a maximum of 2 devices, so you may need to remove your Railcard from an existing device to add it to a new one.


  • How do I add a digital Railcard to my phone?
    A:

    If you have already bought a digital Railcard, you should have received an activation code by

    email.

     

    Just open the email, using the device you want to add your Railcard to, tap the link, and we will handle the rest.

     

    Or tap the ‘+’ button on the My Railcard screen, to enter your activation code manually.


  • Can I have a plastic and digital version of my Railcard?
    A:

    Unfortunately you can only have one version of your Railcard – either plastic or digital. Once you have purchased your Railcard you cannot change the type of Railcard you have.




Can't find an answer? Get in touch

If you are having problems purchasing your Railcard, or if you have comments about the Railcard service, call or email us. We’re open 0900hrs to 1700hrs Monday to Friday.  

networkrailcard@nationalrail.co.uk

 

Tel: 0345 301 1655 

Calls cost no more than calls to geographic numbers (01 or 02) and may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes.

 

Train Companies

If you have any questions concerning rail ticket prices or journey planning National Rail Enquiries will be happy to help you.

If you have any comments about a specific rail journey please contact the train company that provides the service. You can find their contact details by clicking on this link train company list.

 

Transport Focus

If, after contacting us, you remain unhappy with any aspect of our service you may want to contact the independent transport watchdog, Transport Focus. Contact details are shown below:

Email: advice@transportfocus.org.uk

Phone: 0300 123 0860

Freepost RTEH-XAGE-BYKZ
Transport Focus
PO Box 5594
Southend on Sea
SS1 9PZ

 

networkrailcard@nationalrail.co.uk

0345 301 1655 

Calls cost no more than calls to geographic numbers (01 or 02) and may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes.