Earlier this month, it was announced that the New Year will bring the largest rise in rail fares for past the five years.

From the 2nd January 2018, rail fares are set to rise on average by a whopping 3.4 percent, meaning that for many, travelling by train will become a costly affair. The increase will affect one-off travellers as well as daily commuters, covering off-peak leisure tickets as well as season holders. The rise, which has been unwelcomed by many, has been described by one passenger group as “a chill wind” that will catch anyone travelling by rail.

However, there are ways you can save on these costly fares, the most popular of which is by purchasing a rail card. If you are 60 or above, you will be eligible for a senior rail card that can save you a third on a number of fares, including Standard and First Class, Off-Peak and Advance and Anytime tickets. The card can be purchased for a one-off fee of £30 and expires after 12 months of use. Once purchased, it will come into immediate effect and the initial cost can be covered quickly through a few short journeys or just one lengthy trip.

You can obtain a rail card by visiting your local station and buying one from the reception/help desk. However, you must already be aged 60 or over to do this. Alternatively, you can go online and order one; this method enables you to purchase a card shortly before you’re 60th birthday (up to two weeks) but the card will still only be valid from the day you turn 60.

To buy a senior rail card online, you will need your debit or credit card and either a valid passport number or valid UK driving license. If you’d prefer to purchase one physically at your local station, your birth certificate can also be used as a form of identification that will allow you to obtain your rail card. 

Once you’ve received your rail card, you can use it on a variety of both long and short journeys, whether it’s to travel 20 minutes to your local supermarket or to visit family at the other end of the country. Your card can be used on most services throughout the week. However, it cannot be used on weekday morning peak period services (not including public holidays) for journeys made wholly within the London and South-East Network Railcard area. For more information on this, visit the National Rail website.

The senior rail card is just one of the over 60s benefits available to seniors and can help you make drastic savings on rail fares. To find out more about money saving schemes, visit our money page and get in touch on our social media to tell us how you’re making savings.