The cost of living and fuel prices may have you feeling the crunch, but if you’re over 60 years old there are some significant discounts to be had on trains by using a railcard for pensioners.
This guide covers the benefits of railcards for pensioners, how they work, the different types available and where to get them.
What are railcards for pensioners?
Railcards for pensioners, otherwise known as senior railcards, are discounted travel schemes for the retired and elderly. Railcards can be bought as a physical card that you keep in your wallet or a digital railcard by using an App on your phone.
With Senior Railcards, you can choose a 1-year railcard or a 3-year railcard for the reasonable fee of £30 for 1 year or £70 for 3 years. Senior railcards give you 1/3 off your train tickets, so it offers a substantial saving. The average senior railcard user saves £76 per year, according to British Rail.
If you or a loved one are retired and living alone, getting a Senior Railcard can reinvigorate your love of travel, allowing you to make the most of your retirement, keeping you active, engaged in the community, enjoying new experiences and staying connected with loved ones no matter where they live in the country.
The benefits of railcards for pensioners
Not only do pensioners receive significant savings on train travel with a senior railcard, but being able to get out and about more has some great benefits:
- Travel anywhere in the UK with significant discounts
- Enjoy the freedom of travel without the costs and burden of owning your own car
- Visit friends and family far and wide
- Make the most of your retirement with day trips and weekends away
- Receive, on average, a £76 saving in annual travel costs and 1/3 off train tickets
- Look forward to visiting new places and staying active in retirement
- Enjoy socialising with others to stave off feelings of loneliness or social isolation
The different types of railcards for pensioners
If you or your loved one is over 60 years of age you qualify for a Senior Railcard. However, many types of Railcards are available, so you may be eligible for others, and they all offer 1/3 off train tickets. Let’s take a look:
A Senior Railcard is available to those 60 years and older for either 1 year or 3 years of train travel discounts. If you are about to turn 60 in the next 2 weeks, you can apply now.
These Railcards are for anyone who has served in His Majesty’s UK Armed Forces, not just for pensioners. Even if you served for only 1 day in the Armed Forces, you are still eligible for this railcard, giving you 1/3 off the cost of train travel. Proof of your veteran status is required when applying.
If you tend to travel with a regular friend or family member, you could get 1/3 off your and your companion’s travel with the Two Together Railcard. According to British Rail, the average annual saving is a huge £153. The railcard costs £30 for one year, so if you are sharing the cost with your travel companion, that’s only £15 each. Anyone is eligible for this type of railcard.
This Railcard is perfect for those who frequently travel with children. Holders benefit from 1/3 off travel and 60% off for children under 16. Two adults can be named on the card, although they do not need to travel together to receive the discount. However, the discount only applies if you are travelling with a child. According to National Rail, average savings are up to £150 per year.
To qualify for this Railcard, you must meet one of these criteria: you receive Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments, Attendance Allowance, Severe Disablement Allowance, Pension Age Disability Payment, War or Service Disablement Pension or War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement. You are also eligible if you have epilepsy or a hearing or visual impairment.
The average saving with this type of Railcard is up to £91 a year. Proof of eligibility is required when applying.
This type of Railcard is valid in London and the South East region, offering accessibility to the capital while avoiding the stress and cost of driving in the city. The Network Railcard is available to anyone 16 years or older, and cardholders can travel with up to 3 other adults who will also receive 1/3 off their train ticket. The average saving with the Network Railcard is £134 per year.
How to apply for a senior railcard
To apply for a Senior Railcard or any of the Railcards mentioned above, you can either visit a staffed train office at a train station or apply online.
To apply through a train office, simply print out the generic railcards application form, complete it, and take it to the train office for processing along with your payment, proof of ID and proof of eligibility (if applying for a Senior Railcard, you only need to show your ID, such as a passport or driving licence). In larger, busier ticket offices, they may be able to supply you with the printed application form.
If you would like to apply online, go to the British Rail website and click the “tickets, railcards and offers” button on the homepage. This will take you to the webpage where you can choose which Railcard to apply for. If applying for the Senior Railcard, simply fill in the online form, provide your passport or driver’s license number as proof of eligibility and make your online payment.
Whichever way you choose to apply, you will be given the choice of receiving a physical Railcard that you can keep in your wallet or a digital Railcard that is activated and used through the mobile app.
Companionship with live-in care
Loneliness and social isolation are growing problems amongst elders in our society as we no longer live in close-knit communities as we once did. If you have an elderly loved one living alone be on the lookout for signs of loneliness, social isolation and depression. They may not be aware of these effects on their physical and mental health or they may not tell you about how they feel.
Railcards are a great way for the elderly to get out and about, connect with loved ones and engage in the community. However, it’s not enough on its own to stave off loneliness or social isolation. Companion care provided by Country Cousins is the perfect solution for those who could benefit from some daily assistance and the companionship of someone with them at home to keep them company.
Companion care provides care and support from a professional carer in the home who can help with the daily tasks of living but is also a great source of companionship. They can encourage hobbies and take part in activities inside and outside the home that foster happiness, friendship and contentment.
Sometimes simply having a trusted person by one’s side to share life’s daily ups and downs with can bring wonderful benefits to an elderly person living alone.
Talk to our team today
If you or a loved one could benefit from companion care, get in touch with us today to find out how we can help. We offer a free no-obligation enquiry service and are happy to answer any questions you have.