After months of anticipation, the National Rail 26-30 railcard will be available to buy today (Wednesday 2 January) from 12pm.
The railcard, which will set you back £30, entitles you to a third off most off-peak fares across Britain. You can use the railcard between 4.30am and 10am Monday to Friday, but there’s a £12 minimum fare in place.
But before you get too excited, it’s worth noting that the 26-30 railcard can’t be used with season tickets, meaning it’s of little use to the thousands of commuters under 30 struggling to afford their journey to work.
Sadly, we’ll still be hit by the fare increases coming into place today – the cost of the average season ticket has gone up by a staggering 3.1%, despite train punctuality running at a 13-year low. Yet if you regularly catch the train before 10am, a season ticket may still be your cheapest option.
However, if you want to spend your weekends exploring the UK, you’ll probably still want to get your hands on a 26-30 railcard.
The 26-30 railcard, also known as the “millennial railcard”, is the first that’s digital-only – you’ll need to download the Railcard app in order to use it.
You can purchase your railcard online here from midday on 2 January 2019. Sales will be open to everyone between the ages of 26-30, whereas the card was previously available via a trial to limited customers.
Once the clock ticks over to 12pm, you’ll be assigned a random place in the queue on the site, where you’ll need to wait before entering your details.
You’ll need a form of ID to hand to prove your age, such as a passport or driver’s license. You’ll also need a clear photo of yourself (this can be taken with your phone, think passport-style). Finally, you’ll need a debit or credit card to hand to pay the £30 fee.
Once you’ve purchased your railcard, you can download it to the app and start using it straight away.