Frequently Asked Questions?

Most frequently asked questions

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

    Yes, you can.

    Simply click ‘Buy Now on the website homepage to get started. When you get to the question 'Choose the type of Railcard you would like' select 'Digital' and follow the instructions on the screen to complete your purchase.


  • I am over 25 years old and in full time education – can I apply for a Railcard?
    A:
    Yes. We define full-time study as attending college or University (in the United Kingdom) for 15 hours or more a week for at least 20 weeks a year.

    You can apply at a rail station or via the 16-25 Railcard website. To apply online you will need to complete the MATURE STUDENT APPLICATION FORM including the "Mature Students Only" section and ensuring that it has been signed by either your tutor, head tutor, head of department or University/College administration staff member. Please note that students on home study and distance learning courses are not eligible. Please allow up to 5 working days for your Railcard application to be approved. 

     
    If you are applying at a rail station please pick up a 16-25 Railcard leaflet and complete the mature student application section

    You will also need to provide either a NUS card or a College/University photo-id card to confirm that you are in the current academic year of study.

    If you are now 26 years old and have an expiring Railcard that was bought online, you will not be able to renew this Railcard. Because of limits to our current system you will need to register a new account using a different email address.

    This information must either be shown at a station or scanned in and uploaded if you apply online.

  • Can I use my Santander promotional code to buy a Santander 16-25 Railcard for another person?
    A:

    No. Santander 16-25 Railcards are only available to the holders of Santander Student Current Accounts who have received promotional codes from the bank. They cannot be transferred.


  • I already have a Railcard. Can I use my Santander promotional code to renew my existing Railcard?
    A:

    Your Santander promotional code will be valid for 60 days from the date of issue.  If you already have a Railcard that is due to expire within this time you can wait until the day after it has expired and then apply for your Santander 16-25 Railcard through https://secure.santander-railcard.co.uk

    If you cannot wait until your Railcard has expired, or your current Railcard is not due to expire at a date later than three months away, please note that you will not be able to renew using your current online Railcard account. You will need to set up a new account through https://secure.santander-railcard.co.uk using an email address that is different to one you have used previously and buy a new Railcard.


  • My Santander 16-25 Railcard has not arrived in the post. What can I do?
    A:

    You will need to wait 5 working days, then go to ‘Manage my Railcard’ on the 16-25 Railcard website homepage to log in to your account and apply for a replacement. Once logged in, click on ‘Details’ under your active Railcard, then click on ‘Replace Railcard (Lost or stolen)’. Select ‘lost’, then click continue and follow the instructions on the screen. Please check that your address is correct before you order.

    You will be sent a free replacement provided you do this within 30 days of your application date. If 30 days has passed from your date of purchase you can still request a replacement card, but you will have to pay a £10 replacement fee.


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

    We are sorry but the 16-25 Railcard gives no discount on Season tickets and period Travelcards.


  • The system won't accept my driving licence details - can you help?
    A:
    If you are using a driving licence to apply, please make sure that the name you use to apply for your Railcard is typed into your application in exactly the same format in which it is shown on your driving licence.

    This means that if an apostrophe or hyphen in your name has been left out of your name on your driving licence you need to leave it out of the name you use for your Railcard.

    For example, if your name is “O’brian” and it is shown as “Obrian” (without the apostrophe) on your driving licence, then you should type it as “Obrian” in your Railcard application.

  • What is a download code?
    A:

    The download code allows you to add a purchased digital Railcard to the Railcard app on your device. It is found within the email confirmation you would have received after we have approved your Railcard application.

    Click here for more information on download code and managing your Railcard.

    Please note that the Railcard app is available to download from the Apple Store and the Google Play store.


  • I can’t find my download code
    A:

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

    If you still can’t find it, please click "Manage my Railcard" on the website homepage to log in to your account. Once logged in, click on ‘Details’ under your active digital Two Together Railcard, then click on ‘Manage Digital Devices’. You will need to click on ‘Request a new code for your Railcard’ to generate a new download code. 

    Click here for a step by step on how to find your download code.


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

    If you have already purchased a digital 16-25 Railcard, you should have received an email which contains a download code. You will use this download code to add your digital Family & Friends Railcard on your phone or device.

    First, you will need to download the Railcard app from the Apple Store or the Google Play store. Once downloaded, open the app and tap on the ‘+’ button on the ‘Your Railcards’ screen. The ‘Add Railcard’ screen will then show, and you will need to tap on the ‘+’ button under ‘Add an existing Railcard’ to enter your download code and add your Railcard

    Click here for a step by step on how to add a digital Railcard to your phone.


  • Is there a Santander Railcard for disabled customers?
    A:

    Whilst we don't have a specific Santander 16-25 Railcard for disabled customers, if you are eligible, we can provide Disabled Persons Railcard as an alternative. Please contact us on 0345 605 0525 or email us at railcardhelp@nationalrail.co.uk. We are open from 07:00am to 22:00pm everyday of the year except for Christmas day.

    You can also write to:  National Railcards,

                                             PO Box 10776,

                                             Ashby-de-la-Zouch,

                                             LE65 9FA


  • Can I buy a 16-25 Railcard for another person?
    A:

    Yes, you can buy a 16-25 Railcard for another person online as long as they are between 16 and 25 years old or are mature students attending a recognised college or University in the United Kingdom for 15 hours or more a week for at least 20 weeks a year. You will need to provide proof of their date of birth (passport or UK driving licence number), their passport-style photo and their completed mature student application form signed and stamped by their place of study to prove their eligibility.

    To order the Railcard, click ‘Buy Now’ on the website homepage and then when you get to the question, "Who is the Railcard being purchase for?" choose the option " The Railcard is for someone else" and follow the instructions on the screen to continue with your purchase. You will also be asked to register if you do not already have an account or log in using your registered email address and password.


  • How can I change my address details if I am an online Railcard customer?
    A:

    Please go to "Manage my Railcard" on the website homepage to log in to your account. Once logged in, on the top right of your account summary page, please click on your ‘Menu Profile’ and select ‘Personal Details’. You will be given the option to update or change your personal details, including your address.

    Or you can also click on https://secure.railcard.co.uk/account/personal-details, enter your log in details and the ‘Manage Personal Details’ page will show. You can now change or update your personal details including your address.


  • My download code won’t work
    A:

    If your download code isn’t working, it is likely that it has expired or has been used to activate your Railcard on too many devices. You can only store your digital 16-25 Railcard on a maximum of 2 devices, so you may need to remove it from an existing device to add it to a new one.

    You will need to click "Manage my Railcard" on the website homepage to log in to your account. Once logged in, click on ‘Details’ under your active digital 16-25 Railcard, then click on ‘Manage Digital Devices’ to request a new download code or manage the number of devices your Railcard is on.  Once you have removed one device on your account, please click ‘Request a new code for your Railcard’ to generate a new download code. You can now use this new download code to add your 16-25 Railcard to a new device. 

    Click here for the step by step guide on how to generate a new download code.


  • How can I buy a digital Railcard?
    A:

    Digital Railcard can be bought online only. Please click on 'Buy Now' on the website homepage to get started. When you get to the question ‘Choose the type of Railcard you would like’, select ‘Digital’ and follow the instructions on the screen to continue with your purchase.

    In most cases, your digital 16-25 Railcard will be available to use straight away. A download code will be sent to your registered email address, along with instructions on how to download your Railcard. 

    Mature students who want a 16-25 Railcard will have to wait a little longer as these applications are checked manually. Please allow up to 5 working days for your Railcard application to be reviewed and approved.

    Click here for more information on managing your Railcard


  • What happens if I lose my device?
    A:

    If you lose the device where your digital 16-25 Railcard was downloaded, you will need to log in to account and remove it from the lost device.

    Simply click ‘Manage my Railcard’ on the website homepage to log in to your account. Once logged in, click on ‘Details’ under your active digital 16-25 Railcard, then click on ‘Manage Digital Devices’ and select the device you want to remove.  Once you have removed one device on your account, please click ‘Request a new code for your Railcard’ to generate a new download code. You can now use this new download code to add your 16-25 Railcard to a new device.

    Please note that you can only store your digital Railcard on a maximum of 2 devices.


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

    In most cases, your digital 16-25 Railcard will be available to use straight away. A download code will be sent to your registered email address, along with instructions on how to download your digital 16-25 Railcard.

    Mature students who want a 16-25 Railcard will have to wait a little longer, as these applications are checked manually. Please allow up to 5 working days for your Railcard application to be reviewed. Once approved, a download code will be sent to your registered email address, along with instructions on how to download your digital 16-25 Railcard.


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

    Please go to ‘Manage my Railcard’ on the website homepage to log in to your account. Once logged in, click on ‘Details’ under your active digital Railcard, then click on ‘Manage Digital Devices’ and select the device you want to remove. Once you have removed one device on your account, please click ‘Request a new code for your Railcard’ to generate a new download code. You can now use this new download code to add your digital 16-25 Railcard to a new device.


  • Can I renew to a digital Railcard?
    A:

    Yes! You can renew your digital Railcard within 30 days of its expiry to a digital Railcard.

    Simply click ‘Renew my Railcard’ on the homepage, enter your log in details, click on ‘Renew’ under your expired or soon to expired Railcard, select 'Digital' under ‘Choose the type of Railcard you would like’ section and follow the instruction on the screen to complete your purchase.

    Click here for the step by step guide on how to renew your Railcard.


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

    You cannot 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.

    Click here for the step by step guide on how to renew your Railcard.


  • 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.

    Simply click ‘Manage my Railcard’ on the homepage to log in to your account. Once logged in, click on ‘Details’ under your active digital 16-25 Railcard, then click on ‘Manage Digital Devices’ and select the device you want to remove. Once you have removed one device on your account, please click ‘Request a new code for your Railcard’ to generate a new download code. You can now use this new download code to add your digital 16-25 Railcard to a new device.


  • Are there any offers I can benefit from as a Railcard holder?
    A:

    Yes. Please visit the ‘Offers & Competitions’ page for more details.


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

    If you bought your 16-25 Railcard online, please go to ‘Manage my Railcard’ on the website homepage to log in to your account and apply for a replacement. Once logged in, click on ‘Details’ under your active plastic 16-25 Railcard, then click on ‘Replace Railcard (Lost or stolen)’. Select lost or damaged, then click continue and follow the instructions on the screen. You will also have to pay a £10 administration fee.

    Please note that you can only apply for a replacement Railcard 5 days after the date of original purchase and only one replacement may be issued in a 12-month period.

    If you bought it at a station, provided you can produce the completed "Receipt" portion of your original application form, then you can apply for your lost or damaged Railcard to be replaced at any staffed station ticket office. You will also have to pay a £10 administration fee, provide a passport-style photo and a valid passport or driving licence to prove your eligibility.


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

    To replace a stolen 16-25 Railcard you bought online, please go to ‘Manage my Railcard’ on the website homepage to log in to your account. Once logged in, click on ‘Details’ under your active 16-25 Railcard, then click on ‘Replace Railcard (Lost or stolen)’. Select ‘stolen’, then click continue and follow the instructions on the screen. You will have to provide a crime reference number, or a document given to you by the Police for a free replacement. You can also call our Helpline on 0345 3000 250.

    To replace a stolen 16-25 Railcard you bought at a station, please go to a station with your crime reference number/documentation given to you by the police and some form of identification to be issued with a free replacement. You will also need to provide a new passport-style photo if you need to replace your stolen 16-25 Railcard Photocard at a station.


  • Do I need to prove my eligibility again if I am applying online?
    A:

    Not if you already hold a 16-25 Railcard that was issued by our online service, and you are between 16 and 25 years of age. Please note that Railcard issued at a station cannot be renewed online. You will need to create an account and purchase a new Railcard.

    To buy a new 16-25 Railcard, please go to the website homepage, click ‘Buy Now’ and follow the instructions on the screen. You will be asked to provide either a passport or driving licence number and you will also need to provide a digital passport-style photo.

    Mature students in full time education will need to prove their eligibility each time they need to renew their Railcards. Please allow up to 5 working days for your Railcard application to be approved.


  • Can I renew my station-purchased Railcard online?
    A:

    Railcards issued at stations cannot be renewed online. You will need to create an account and purchase a new Railcard.

    To buy a new 16-25 Railcard, please go to the website homepage, click ‘Buy Now’ and follow the instructions on the screen. You will be asked to provide either a passport or driving licence number and you will also need to provide a digital passport-style photo.


  • I am aged between 16 and 25 years old. I bought my current 16-25 Railcard from the online service, it is about to expire, how do I renew it?
    A:

    You can renew your 16-25 Railcard bought online within 30 days of its expiry and before your 26th birthday to a digital or a plastic Railcard.

    Simply click ‘Renew my Railcard’ on the website homepage, enter your log in details, click on ‘Renew’ under your expired or soon to expired Railcard, select 'Digital' or ‘Plastic’ under ‘Choose the type of Railcard you would like’ section and follow the instruction on the screen to complete your purchase.


  • How do I get my Santander 16-25 Railcard?
    A:

    Once you have received your promotional code via a message within Santander’s Online Banking Service, go to the Santander 16-25 Railcard portal by clicking on https://secure.santander-railcard.co.uk and follow the instructions on the screen. You will need to enter your Santander promotional code correctly on the box below the question ‘If you have a valid Santander 16-25 Railcard promotional code, please enter it below’ to continue. You will also be asked to register if you do not already have a Railcard account or log in using your registered email address and password. A photograph of yourself will also be required.

    Once your order has been completed you will receive an email confirmation and acknowledgement of your order number (this confirmation cannot be used to buy discounted tickets).

    Please allow 5 working days for your new Santander 16-25 Railcard to arrive. You can choose to pay for ‘Special Delivery’, but you will have to place your order before 15:45pm to guarantee that your Railcard is delivered within two days (Monday to Thursday) or three days (Friday to Sunday).

    Please note that the Santander 16-25 Railcard is not available in digital format.


  • What do I do if my Santander 16-25 Railcard is lost or damaged?
    A:

    You can apply for a replacement online. Please click ‘Manage my Railcard’ on the 16-25 Railcard website homepage to log in to your account and apply for a replacement. Once logged in, click on ‘Details’ under your active Railcard, then click on ‘Replace Railcard (Lost or stolen)’. Select lost or damaged, then click continue and follow the instructions on the screen. You will also have to pay a £10 administration fee.

    Please note that you can only apply for a replacement Santander 16-25 Railcard 5 days after the date of original purchase. You can have one replacement each year of your Railcard validity.

    You cannot travel on discounted tickets until you have received your Santander 16-25 Railcard.


  • What do I do if my Santander 16-25 Railcard is stolen?
    A:

    Please go to ‘Manage my Railcard’ on the 16-25 website homepage to log in to your account. Once logged in, click on ‘Details’ under your active Railcard, then click on ‘Replace Railcard (Lost or stolen)’. Select ‘stolen’, then click continue and follow the instructions on the screen. You will have to provide a crime reference number, or a document given to you by the Police for a free replacement.


  • 16-25 Railcard Terms and Conditions
    A:

    Please click on https://www.16-25railcard.co.uk/help/railcard-terms-conditions/ for important terms and conditions that you need to understand before you use your Railcard.
     


  • I can’t find my year of birth in the drop down menu in the “Your Date of Birth” section of the application. What can I do?
    A:

    You may have ticked on ‘Yes, I am a mature student’ under ‘Are you a mature student?’ question at the begin of your application. This box should only be ticked by applicants who are 26 years of age or older and still in full time education. Please remove the tick from the mature student box and you will be offered the range of birth dates for applicants who are between 16 and 25 years old.


  • Can I buy a Railcard at a rail station?
    A:

    Yes. You can buy a 1-year Railcard over the counter at all staffed National Rail stations. You will be required to provide your passport or UK driving licence or birth certificate or National Identity card (for non-UK nationals) as proof of your date of birth and a passport-style photo.


  • How long do I have to wait for my Santander 16-25 Railcard to arrive?
    A:

    Please allow 5 working days for your Santander 16-25 Railcard to arrive. If you paid for ‘Special Delivery’ and placed your order before 15:45pm, your Railcard will be delivered within two days (Monday to Thursday) or three days (Friday to Sunday).

    You cannot travel on discounted tickets until you have received your Santander 16-25 Railcard.


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

    If you have ordered a plastic 16-25 Railcard online, please allow up to 5 working days for delivery. If you paid for ‘Special Delivery’ and placed your order before 15:45pm, your Railcard will be delivered within two days (Monday to Thursday) or three days (Friday to Sunday).

    If you have purchased a digital 16-25 Railcard, it will be available to use straight away. A download code will be sent to your registered email address, along with instructions on how to download your Railcard. 

    You cannot travel on discounted tickets until you have received your Railcard.


  • The system says my passport is “invalid”. What can I do?
    A:

    We accept machine readable passport numbers from all countries except for those issued in the Philippines and Bangladesh prior to 2010. So if you have a valid passport your passport code should work.

    When inputting your passport details into the system please ensure you are entering all characters including each chevron “<” where it appears on your passport. You will need to input:

    • A: 10 digits or characters into the first box
    • B: three letters in the second box identifying your nationality
    • C: seven digits in the third box
    • D: an F or M identifying your gender in the fourth box
    • E: seven digits in the fifth box
    • F: the last two digits of your passport code in the sixth box. If you only have one digit in this section, please add a 0 in front of it. 

    If all of the above information is correct and the system says that your number is still invalid, please check that the information you have supplied on the Cardholder Details page is correct. You must:

    • use your full name as it is shown on your passport. Do not use any shortened version of your name (for example, “Bob” when you are “Robert” on your passport)
    • put your personal name in the “Your First Name” field and your family name in the “Your Surname” field
    • make sure that your gender is as it is shown on your passport

  • My Railcard has not arrived in the post. What can I do?
    A:

    You will need to wait 5 working days, then go to ‘Manage my Railcard’ on the 16-25 Railcard website homepage to log in to your account and apply for a replacement. Once logged in, click on ‘Details’ under your active 16-25 Railcard, then click on ‘Replace Railcard (Lost or stolen)’. Select ‘lost’, then click continue and follow the instructions on the screen. Please check that your address is correct before you order.

    You will be sent a free replacement provided you do this within 30 days of your application date. If 30 days has passed from your date of purchase you can still request a replacement card, but you will have to pay a £10 replacement fee.

     


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

    No. You will not be able to travel with your discounted tickets if your 16-25 Railcard has expired. Discounted tickets are only valid if you are using them with a valid Railcard. You will need to renew your 16-25 Railcard before you begin and complete your journey.

    Click here for the step by step guide on how to renew your Railcard.

    If you have selected 'Digital' under ‘Choose the type of Railcard you would like’ section, your digital 16-25 Railcard will be available to use straight away. A download code will be sent to your registered email address, along with instructions on how to download your digital Railcard. 


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

    Yes. You must show your valid 16-25 Railcard (digital or plastic) when you buy your ticket and travel on the train. If you bought your Railcard at a station, both the paper printed Railcard and the photocard must be presented. Failure to present a valid Railcard will mean you have to pay a full fare, which is not refundable.


  • Can I use my Railcard on any Train Company?
    A:

    Yes, your Railcard is accepted by all the Train Companies who operate Passenger Railway Services within England, Scotland and Wales.

    Railcards do not give discounts on Eurostar services, Charter services, and Heritage Railways unless state otherwise.


  • I already have a Santander bank account, can I have a Santander Railcard?
    A:

    Santander Railcard is not available to existing Student Account holders. It is available to all new Student Account customers, all customers switching to the Santander Student Account from other banks and customers who are upgrading to Student Accounts from non-Student accounts (such as Santander’s Youth Account).

    If you would like to discuss your eligibility for the Santander Railcard further, please contact Santander Customer Services on 0800 9 123 123.

     


  • How do I make a complaint?
    A:

    In the first instance please contact Railcard Customer Services who will endeavour to resolve any issues that you have. 

    We're open from 07:00am to 22:00pm everyday of the year except for Christmas day.  You can:

    Email us:         railcardhelp@nationalrail.co.uk

    Call us on:       0345 3000 250

    Write to:           National Railcards
                               PO Box 10776
                               Ashby-de-la-Zouch
                               LE65 9FA

     

    If you are not satisfied with the resolution we give, you are entitled to contact:

    www.transportfocus.org.uk/help/rail-complaints

    http://ec.europa.eu/odr/

     


  • Can I collect my Santander 16-25 Railcard at a rail station?
    A:

    Santander 16-25 Railcard cannot be collected at a rail station. It can only be ordered on the Santander 16-25 Railcard portal on https://secure.santander-railcard.co.uk once you have received your promotional code via a message within Santander’s Online Banking Service.

    Please allow 5 working days for your Santander 16-25 Railcard to arrive. You can choose to pay for ‘Special Delivery’, but you will have to place your order before 15:45pm to guarantee that your Railcard is delivered within two days (Monday to Thursday) or three days (Friday to Sunday).

    You cannot travel on discounted tickets until you have received your Santander 16-25 Railcard.


  • How do I buy my 16-25 Railcard for the first time?
    A:

    Please click ‘’Buy Now’’ on the website homepage or on the Railcard App and follow the instructions on the screen. You will need to provide a valid passport or UK driving licence or National Identity Card number (Machine readable cards from the European Economic Area only) to prove your date of birth and a digital passport-style photo.

    If you are a mature student, a 16-25 Railcard application form that has been stamped by your place of study accompanied by your current university/college photo ID will need to be provided. You will also need to provide a digital passport-style photo.

    Once your online payment has been successful you will receive an email confirmation and acknowledgement of your application number (this confirmation cannot be used to buy discounted tickets).

    If you have purchased a plastic 16-25 Railcard, please allow up to 5 working days for delivery. You can choose to pay for ‘Special Delivery’, but you will have to place your order before 15:45pm to guarantee that your Railcard is delivered within two days (Monday to Thursday) or three days (Friday to Sunday).

    If you have purchased a digital 16-25 Railcard, a download code will be sent to your registered email address, along with instructions on how to download your Railcard. 

    You will not be able to travel on discounted tickets until you have your Railcard.


  • Santander 16-25 Railcard terms and conditions
    A:

    Please click on https://www.16-25railcard.co.uk/help/railcard-terms-conditions/ for important terms and conditions that you need to understand before you use your Santander 16-25 Railcard.

     


  • Can I buy a Santander 16-25 Railcard for another person?
    A:

    You cannot buy a Santander 16-25 Railcard for another person nor can you buy it on the 16-25 Railcards website. The promotional code provided by Santander is unique to you and can only be used on the Santander 16-25 Railcard portal on https://secure.santander-railcard.co.uk


  • My Santander promotional code is not working. What can I do?
    A:

    Please check that you have read each character of the promotional code correctly. We do try to use promotinal codes that are easy to read, but occasionally applicants might confuse some of the characters.

    If you are still having difficulty, please call the Railcard team on 0345 030 4100 and they will be able to check the status of your promotional code.  Please note that your promotional code is unique to you and can only be used once to apply for a Santander 16-25 Railcard.

    Your Santander promotional code will be valid for 60 days from the date of issue.  If your promotional code has expired, you will need to contact Santander Customer Services on 0800 9 123 123.


  • Can I get a refund or extension if I have been unable to use my Railcard during lockdown?
    A:

    Unfortunately no. After careful consideration, the government has confirmed to us that Railcards will remain non-refundable and will not be extended. Refunding or extending Railcards would come at a significant cost to the taxpayer, at a time when the focus must be on maintaining rail services to support the country’s recovery from the pandemic. Please rest assured that this decision hasn’t been taken lightly and was made at the highest level.


  • What is a digital Railcard?
    A:

    Digital Railcards are stored within the Railcard app on your smart phone or tablet, meaning there’s no need to carry the physical card around with you. They can be stored on up to two devices and used quicker than plastic Railcards as they do not need to be sent in the post.

    Click here for more information on managing your Railcard


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

    Railcard are available offline for a period of up to 72 hours. The Railcard app on your device will continue to show your digital Railcard as long as your mobile device has connected to the internet at some point within the last 72 hours. However, you will need an internet connection to buy your digital Railcard or add it to a new device.


  • How do I unblock my Railcard?
    A:

    You will need to contact our customer support team on 0345 3000 250 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.


  • Why has my 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 on 0345 3000 250.

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


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

    With your Railcard you can get 1/3 off Anytime Day Travelcard when bought as part of your journey to London from outside London Zones 1-9 (subject to a minimum fare which is currently £19.60).
     
    With an Oyster card, you can get your Railcard discount loaded onto your Oyster card to save 1/3 on single off-peak pay as you go fares on London Underground and Docklands Light Railway services in London. You will need to have registered your Oyster in your name to do this. Simply take your Oyster card and valid Railcard to a London Underground station and ask a member of staff to set the discount for you. You can also get the discount set at Oyster Ticket Shops and Visitor Centres.


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

    Yes. You can use it with the 2FOR1 Days Out Guide promotions and most offers given by train companies. Please note that your Railcard may get you the full 1/3 discount on some Train Company special offers, but many offers include a smaller discount or no discount at all. It's best to ask at your local station for details of a specific offer, or call National Rail Enquiries on 03457 48 49 50.

    Alternatively, you can visit www.nationalrail.co.uk.


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

    The Railcard discount does not cover charges on various articles or animals.

    For details about which items carry a charge, and details of the charges, please call National Rail Enquiries on 03457 48 49 50. 


  • My appearance has changed significantly since I ordered my Santander 16-25 Railcard. How can I update my photograph?
    A:

    If your appearance has changed and your photograph no longer resembles you, you can arrange to have your photograph updated. There is a £10 administration fee for this. Please call our Railcard helpline on 0345 030 4100. Our advisors will then be able to take payment and advise you of how you can supply your new photograph.

     


  • 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 you do 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.


  • Can I use my 16-25 Railcard at any time of day?
    A:

    Yes you can. However, for all journeys made between 4:30am and 10:00am Monday to Friday a minimum fare of £12 is payable. There is no minimum fare when you travel at weekends, on Public Holidays, or during July and August.

    If you travel regularly before 10:00am, then a weekly or monthly season ticket may be more appropriate, though you won’t be able to get a Railcard discount.


  • Why would the taxpayers have to pay for a Railcard refund or extension?
    A:

    Due to the pandemic far fewer people have been travelling by train. This means that the government is offering additional financial backing to the rail industry so that services keep running to support the economy.


  • Can I use a provisional driving licence to prove my age online?
    A:

    Yes. Provisional driving licences can be used to demonstrate your age to our online system.


  • I am a mature student, can I buy or renew a Railcard online?
    A:

    Yes. You will, however, need to complete a Mature Student Application Form to prove that you are still in full time study. You will need to get it endorsed by your university/college and also include a copy of your student photo identity card or NUS photo ID. 

    Please allow up to 5 working days for your Railcard application to be approved.


  • Can I continue to use my Railcard if I have my 26th birthday before it expires?
    A:

    Yes. You can buy or renew your 1-year 16-25 Railcard up to and including the day before your 26th birthday and keep using it until its expiry date. With 3-year 16-25 Railcards you can buy them up until the day before your 24th birthday, which will make the expiry date the day before your 27th birthday.
     


  • I am having trouble uploading my photo for my 16-25 Railcard – what can I do?
    A:

    We're sorry that you've experienced problems whilst uploading a photograph. There can be several causes of this - some of which are difficult to diagnose. We’ve compiled a list of trouble-shooting tips that you can try before contacting us:

     

    • Retry the photo upload. Close your web browser before restarting it and logging in again

     

    • Enable Javascript on your web browser. Your web browser may be configured in a way that it makes uploading the photo more difficult (such as. having the Javascript disabled).  Please check your settings and ensure that Javascript is enabled

     

    • Make sure you have up-to-date web browser software. Although our website supports the top browsers (such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Opera), some older versions of these browsers are more likely to cause problems uploading image files to our website. Try updating your web browser to the latest version, or try a different web browser/computer

     

    • Make sure your image is 5 megabytes (5Mb) in size or less. We accept images up to 5Mb in size but the smaller the file the better - it will take less time to transfer to our servers. Crop your photograph before uploading and/or reduce the quality but be careful - the picture still needs to be clear enough to print on the Railcard

     

    • Check that your internet service provider (ISP) is not experiencing problems. These are often difficult to detect but if other websites are unusually slow (especially noticeable when downloading images), then your ISP may be having network issues or might be congested. You may want to check with your ISP by visiting their 'service status' webpage

     

    If you have done all of the above and are still experiencing problems, then please call us on 0345 3000 250.

     


  • What is an acceptable image to use for my Railcard photograph?
    A:

    The image should be a good recognisable likeness of you.

    We prefer colour pictures but black and white images are acceptable. Your head and shoulders should be in close-up, with your face clearly visible and filling approximately 70% of the frame (in the same way it would for a passport or driving licence). The image must be in sharp focus.

    Please make sure that your face is not obscured by hats or hair.

    The file of your photo must be either a .jpg, .bmp, or a .gif and must not exceed 5MB with a resolution of at least 300dpiWe will reject photos if they are not appropriate and ask you for a more suitable image.


  • Is my phone compatible for a digital Railcard?
    A:

    The Railcard App is available to download from the Apple Store and the Google Play store.

    The App is only compatible with devices that have the following software: Apple iOS 10 and above and Android 4.1 and above.

    The Railcard app is not compatible with Windows Phones.


  • Why can’t the train companies pay for the extension?
    A:

    Due to the pandemic fewer people have been travelling by train. Funding is currently being used to keep services running to support the economy. 


  • What Universities and colleges are able to endorse Railcard applications?
    A:

    Any place of study that is on the database of the Department for Education for England and Wales, or included in the Scottish Executive's list of all maintained and independent places of study, or that holds Highly Trusted Sponsor status from the UK Border Agency or is on the list of establishments accredited by the British Council.

     
    Please click on this link to download the mature student application form


  • I wear a burka or a niqab – will I have to show my face in the photograph?
    A:

    All customers must provide a photograph. The photo should have been taken with nothing covering the outline of eyes, nose or mouth. The rail industry applies the same rules as the DVLA and Passport Agency, so photos with a person wearing a full facial burka / niqab (a veil that covers the face) are not acceptable. If a member of rail staff is unable to validate that the person on your Railcard is you, the Train Companies reserve the right to charge you the full price Standard Single fare for your journey as if no ticket was purchased before starting the journey and in some cases a Penalty Fare.


  • Can I use the Railcard in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland?
    A:

    Railcards can be used for rail discounts in the area known as Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales). They cannot be used for rail travel in either in Northern Ireland nor the Republic of Ireland.

    If you live in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland you can buy a Railcard to use for travelling in Scotland, Wales or England. For more information on concessionary rail travel schemes in Northern Ireland please see www.translink.co.uk  or the Republic of Ireland please see www.irishrail.ie .


  • 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.


  • I am getting the message "Internal Server Error" during the application process. What can I do?
    A:

    The “Internal Server Error” message is a generic error message which relates to issues to do with the way your browser is interfacing with the Railcard website. Sometimes this problem can occur if you are using compatibility mode in Internet Explorer (versions IE10 and lower).  

    In Internet Explorer 10 you can click the compatibility mode button to switch it on or off. 

    In Internet Explorer 11 there is no compatibility mode button so to access the Compatibility settings you will need to click on the Settings icon. In the menu that is subsequently displayed you will find “Compatibility View Settings” – click this. In the Settings panel that displays, make sure that railcard.co.uk is not the box entitled, “Websites you’ve added to compatibility view”.  If it is please click on the entry and click the remove button, then click to close it.


  • What methods of payment are accepted?
    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 cannot accept American Express or Diner's Club.

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

    No. You must carry your Railcard with you on any journey where you have bought discounted tickets with the Railcard.

    Therefore, if you buy discounted Railcard tickets before you receive your Railcard, you do this at your own risk.


  • I have a promotion code to use towards the cost of my 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 3000 250 and we will be able to check the status of the code you have.


  • Why is the title "Mx" not available when I come to make payment?
    A: If you have given your title as "Mx" during the application process then this will be shown on your Railcard and in all correspondence that we have with you. However, the secure payment process is delivered by our Payment Provider and we are only able to offer the range of titles that it provides.

  • 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 I buy a 16-25 Railcard in advance of my 16th birthday?
    A: If you order online then yes, you can order one up to 14 days in advance of your 16th birthday.

    Please note that you cannot buy Railcards in advance of your 16th birthday from rail stations.

  • How old do I have to be to buy a 3-year Railcard?
    A: You can get a 3-year 16-25 Railcard right up until the week before your 24th birthday.

    Please do not wait until the last day before your 24th birthday to apply. Whilst we will fulfil any completed orders we receive we regret that we will not be able to issue you with a 3-year Railcard if problems (technical or otherwise) prevent you from placing your order successfully.

    By applying at least a few days in advance of your 24th birthday you will leave time for us to be able to help you if you have any difficulties with your application.

  • Why can't mature students buy 3-year 16-25 Railcards?
    A: People who are older than 25 years of age can only buy and use a Railcard if they are in full time study. We therefore require mature students to demonstrate that they are still in full time education each time they buy or renew a Railcard.

  • What provision do you make for Open University students?
    A: Because the vast majority of Open University (OU) students do not attend an academic institution to study full time, they are not eligible for a 16-25 Railcard. However, OU students who are studying full time courses at the Open University campus in Milton Keynes are eligible as they physically attend the campus to undertake their courses.

  • Can I claim a refund if I don't use my Railcard?
    A: No. Unfortunately once a 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 am aged between 16 and 25 years old. My current Railcard is due to expire just after my 26th birthday - can I renew it early?
    A: No. You will not be able to renew a Railcard if its date of issue is after your 26th birthday unless you are a Mature Student.

    However, you can still buy another 16-25 Railcard by setting up another account using an alternative address and making your purchase just before your 26th birthday.

    We will not be able to refund you for any over-lapping period of validity between the two Railcards.

  • Can I use my 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 to buy your discounted ticket at the station at which you began your journey.  If this is the case you can buy your discounted ticket from ontrain staff.

    Otherwise, if ticket facilities were available at the station you could be charged the full price Standard Single fare.

  • Can I use my Railcard to buy tickets for other people?
    A: No. The Railcard is for your use only, and provides discounts only on tickets bought for your own use. It does not cover anyone accompanying you.

  • 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 local ticket office staff before buying tickets.

  • Can I laminate the paper Railcard I have bought from a station to protect it?
    A:

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

    Laminated Railcards cannot be accepted by rail staff as the lamination makes it difficult to validate that the Railcard has not been tampered with.

    To protect your Railcard please keep it in a plastic ticket wallet which is available for free from any staffed station.


  • Can I buy tickets at a discounted rate before my Santander 16-25 Railcard arrives?
    A: No. You must carry your Santander 16-25 Railcard with you on all journeys for which you have bought discounted tickets with the Santander 16-25 Railcard. Therefore, if you buy discounted Santander 16-25 Railcard tickets before you receive your Santander 16-25 Railcard, you do this at your own risk.

  • Can I order my Santander 16-25 Railcard to start at a date in the future?
    A: No. All Santander 16-25 Railcards are issued to start from the moment that they are issued. They will be valid for 4 years plus one week (to allow for delivery).

  • Can I use my Santander 16-25 Railcard on train services in Northern Ireland?
    A: Your Santander 16-25 Railcard can only be used for discounts on the National Rail network in Great Britain; that is England, Scotland and Wales. It cannot be used on train services in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland.  Residents of Northern Ireland can apply for a Santander 16-25 Railcard to use when they travel in Scotland, Wales or England.

  • Can I use my Santander 16-25 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 to buy your discounted ticket at the station at which you began your journey. If this is the case you can buy your discounted ticket from ontrain staff. Otherwise, if ticket facilities were available at the station you could be charged the full price Standard Single fare.

  • Can I use my Santander 16-25 Railcard to buy tickets for other people?
    A: No. The Santander 16-25 Railcard is for your use only, and provides discounts only on tickets bought for your own use. It does not cover anyone accompanying you.

  • Can I claim a refund if I don't use my Santander 16-25 Railcard?
    A: No. Unfortunately once a Santander 16-25 Railcard has been issued it is non-refundable. There is no cash alternative and the Railcard is not transferable to any other person.



Can't find an answer? 

If the answer to your question is not in the above or you are having problems purchasing your Railcard, you can contact us

Train Companies

If you have any questions concerning rail ticke

t 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. To find their contact details see the list of Train Operating Companies