Buying train tickets online ... and buying a railcard afterwards

(9 Posts)
IreneR Tue 10-Sep-13 13:40:49

I hope MNetters can help me with an answer; I've tried so many other sources.

I'm in the US, and I'm headed to the UK next winter. I'd like to buy some train tickets ahead of time -- when the earliest, 12-week window opens -- and get the Family & Friends railcard prices.

The trouble is, I won't be able to buy the railcard until I get to the UK, since they can't be sent to a non-UK address.

Will rail officials notice or care that the tickets were purchased ahead of the railcard? Will they even be able to tell? I'd buy the railcard first if I could.

ArabellaBeaumaris Tue 10-Sep-13 13:44:16

You can buy the railcard after, you just must have it when you travel on those tickets.

IreneR Tue 10-Sep-13 13:46:22

Thanks so much for the response -- speedy, and with good news as well!

Yonihadtoask Tue 10-Sep-13 13:48:39

yes. When purchasing the tickets on line be sure to use the section which asks if you have the railcard.

No where does it ask for a serial number of any railcard - so as long as you have it when you are on the train you will be fine.

The family and Friends Railcard really can save you a lot of money.

theginganinja Tue 10-Sep-13 13:49:26

Absolutely fine, people do it in this country all the time. Your conditions state that you must have the railcard with you when travelling or when buying tickets over a counter. You must also produce it if a member of staff asks to see it whilst you are travelling. If you book tickets online the onus is on you to make sure that you have a railcard by the time you travel.

IreneR Tue 10-Sep-13 13:53:42

You wouldn't believe how many websites I have scoured looking for this information. MNetters rocK!

Yonihadtoask Tue 10-Sep-13 13:55:02

Mnetters indeed do rock!!!

Janek Sat 14-Sep-13 15:45:43

I concur. We nearly always have a valid railcard, but inevitably sometimes book tickets before one expires and then travel on the new one, iyswim. But there is no way the conducter on the train can prove that you didn't have a valid railcard when you booked.

Janek Sat 14-Sep-13 15:50:09

Also meant to say: my sil needed cheap train tickets a couple of christmases ago, so we looked at national rail enquiries on the designated date (13 weeks in advance maybe) and there was nothing, just the walk-on fare, so she thought she might as well buy it when she walked on amd it was her tough luck travelling at christmas.

Several weeks later she needed tickets for something else and just checked the christmas tickets too and lo and behold bargain advance tickets were available. Not sure why this happened, but just thought i'd let you now that it did.

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