Frequently Asked Questions?

Most frequently asked questions

  • Can I use the Railcard to travel anywhere?
    A:

    The Veterans Railcard is valid in England, Wales and Scotland although it doesn't give discounts on Grand Central or Hull Trains services.

     

     


  • Why can’t I have a refund or extension?
    A:

    After careful consideration, the government has confirmed to us that Railcards will remain non-refundable and will not be extended.

    Refunding or extending Railcards for over 5.1m customers 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.


  • I haven’t been able to travel by train so I should get a refund for my Railcard. Why can’t I have one?
    A:

    Rail services continued to run throughout the pandemic to support key workers and the economy. Anyone who continues to travel by train with a valid Railcard can use their Railcard discount on their journey if they are eligible to do so. Many customers can make back the £30 cost of a Railcard in just one journey, which is why they are non-refundable.   


  • I’ve never used my Railcard so why can’t I get a refund?
    A:

    When you next travel by train a valid Railcard will save you 1/3 off most rail fares. The cost of buying a Railcard can be made back in just one journey, which is why it’s included in the Terms and Conditions at the time of purchase.  


  • 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 the economy. 


  • Why has it taken so long to update customers on refunds and extensions following lockdown?
    A:

    The rail industry and the Government have been working together on numerous proposals to try and find a way forward for Railcard customers. Unfortunately, these conversations take time, especially when they happen at the highest level. 


  • 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. 


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

    The Railcard is not accepted on Grand Central or Hull Trains services.

    Special excursions and charters are excluded.


  • Why can I not add my Railcard to more than two devices?
    A:

    You can load your Railcard onto a maximum of two devices at any point in time. This benefit is only available to digital Railcard holders as you can only ever have one plastic Railcard. If you want to move your digital Railcard onto a third device, you will need to remove one of your existing devices through the website where you bought your Railcard before you can add it to another device.


  • Who can buy the Railcard?
    A:

    The Veterans Railcard is for former members of the UK armed forces. You may also be entitled to apply for a Veterans Railcard if you have served as a Reservist or in the Territorial Army (TA) or have served as a Merchant Mariner and seen duty on legally defined military operations.

    You will need to prove your eligibilty. Please see here for more details on the documents you will need to provide to prove your eligiblity criteria.


  • What happens if I lose my phone?
    A:

    In the unfortunate scenario where you lose your phone, you can simply add your digital Railcard to a new device. If your Railcard is already associated to two devices, please follow the instructions to remove it from the lost phone and add it to a new one.


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

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


  • I haven't received my download code yet
    A:

    At times, due to high demand, receiving your code might take longer than usual. It can take up for 30min to arrive.

    If that happens, log in to your account and go to 'Manage Railcard' where you will be able to see your code.

    If you are still having issues with your code, please contact us veterans-railcard@nationalrail.co.uk or call 0346 301 1656.

     


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

    We're sorry that you've experienced problems whilst uploading a photograph. There can be a number of 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 2 megabytes (2Mb) in size or less. We accept images up to 2Mb 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 0346 301 1656.


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

    It can take up to 5 working days to process your application but once approved your digital Railcard will be available to download and use stright away.


  • 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 0700hrs to 2200hrs everyday of the year except for Christmas day.

    You can:
    Email us:         veterans-railcard@nationalrail.co.uk
    Call us on:       346 301 1656
    Write to:          National Railcards
                             PO Box 10776
                             Ashby-de-la-Zouch
                             LE65 9FA 


  • How do I add a Railcard?
    A:

    If you have already purchased a digital Railcard, you should have received an email which contains a download code. Once you've got this code, go to the app, tap on the ‘+’ button in the top left of the screen and enter your code. Alternatively if you already have the app downloaded, you can open the email on the device you wish to add your Railcard to, just tap the link and we’ll handle the rest. 

     

     


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

    Please go to "Login and Manage your account". From the homepage log in to your account. You will be given the option to update your details from your account summary screen.

     

    Go to 'Manage my Railcard'. Once logged in to your account, choose “Edit your details” to edit your address.

     


  • 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 Northern Ireland or 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.


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

    Yes. You as the cardholder can buy tickets for your named companion (if you have added one) and up to four children, as long as they are travelling with you.

    Discounted price tickets purchased by a Veterans Railcard holder should be issued for travel for the same origin and destination and should normally be of the same ticket type (example all Off-Peak Returns). 


  • 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 some 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.


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

    With your Railcard you can get 1/3 off a London Zones 1-6 Off-Peak Day Travelcard and an 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 £19.10).
     
    With an Oyster card, you can get your Railcard discount loaded onto your Oyster card to save 1/3 on Off-Peak pay as you go Daily Price Cap and Off-Peak pay as you go single fares for journeys on National Rail, London Underground and Docklands Light Railway services (for the Railcard holder only). 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 buy a Railcard at a rail station?
    A:

    No. The Veterans Railcard is only available to purchase online via our website or via our postal service.


  • 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 phone or don't have 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 or notice of Penalty Fare, you should follow the instructions included on how to challenge or appeal the charge.


  • How much is a Veterans Railcard?
    A:

    A 1-year Railcard costs £30 (or £21 up until 31 March 2021).

    A 3-year Railcard costs £70 (or £61 up until 31 March 2021).


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

    Yes you can.

    However, a minimum fare applies for all journeys made between 4.30am and 9.59am Monday to Friday, excluding Public Holidays and July and August.

    At the time of publishing the minimum fare is £12.

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


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

    Discounted tickets are only valid if you are using them with a valid Railcard. If you 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 Railcard you have is expired you will not be able to continue to use your discounted tickets.


  • 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.


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

    Yes, you can buy a Veterans Railcard for a friend or family member as long as they are eligible for the Railcard. You will need to supply the evidence to prove their eligibility.

    To order the Railcard log in to your account (or register one if you do not already have one) and then when you get to the question, "Is this Railcard for you or someone else?" choose the option for "someone else" and continue the process. If you select you want a physical Railcard, you will have the option of having the Railcard delivered to the UK address of your choosing. The Railcard will then be sent along with information as to how the Railcard holder can create their Railcard account if they wish.


  • Why doesn’t my download code 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 will need to return to the website where you bought your Railcard, log into your account and request a new download code or manage the number of devices your Railcard is on. If the problem persists, please contact the customer services team.


  • What is this download code that I need?
    A:

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


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

    To remove your Railcard from an existing device you will need to login to your account and find the option to manage your Veterans Railcard.

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


  • Can’t find your download code?
    A:

    If you can’t find your download code, please check your mailbox (including your junk mail) for an email from our Railcard team. If you still can’t find the email, you will need to return to the website where you bought the Railcard, log into your account and follow the links to request a new code.


  • 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.


  • 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 2MB with a resolution of at least 300dpi. We will reject photos if they are not appropriate and ask you for a more suitable image.


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

    Yes you can.

     

     


  • 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.


  • 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.

  • 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 use my card on the date of expiry?
    A: Yes. Your Railcard is valid up until and including the date shown on your Railcard.

  • 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 unblock your Railcard for further use. 


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

    If you don’t have any battery or have forgotten your phone, unfortunately there will be no way for us to prove that you are eligible for the Railcard discount. As a result, 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


  • I couldn’t show my Railcard on a journey and have been issued a full-fare! What can I do?
    A:

    Unfortunate things happen. We’re all guilty of running out of battery, leaving our phones at home or smashing screens. Thankfully, if you get caught out while travelling with a valid Railcard, you can make one claim a year, to be compensated for a penalty you’ve incurred. To do this, you will need to visit the website for the train company who issued you the penalty and contact their customer service centre.

    For a list of all train companies in Great Britain and their contact details, please click here >>

    (http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/tocs_maps/tocs/TrainOperators.aspx)


  • 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 compatible with Android and iPhone devices only.

    The Railcard app is not compatible with Windows Phones.


  • 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


  • Can I get a discount on Season tickets and period Travelcards with a Railcard?
    A: No, we’re sorry but the Railcard gives no discount on these types of ticket.

  • 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 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't find an answer? Get in touch

If you are having problems purchasing your Railcard, or if you have comments about the Railcard service, please Contact Us. You can also write using the postal address. We're open from 0700hrs to 2200hrs everyday except Christmas Day.

 

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. 

Email: advice@transportfocus.org.uk

Phone: 0300 123 0860

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