Newest Review: ... this isn't really a major selling point. Restrictions It goes without saying, but it is worth reiterating that you must take your card ... more
This card is worth its weight in gold!!
Member Name: Homer213
Date: 11/07/09, updated on 11/07/09 (1624 review reads)
Advantages: Upto a third off train fares per person. Anyone can buy it. Lasts 12 months
Disadvantages: None! - But note this is limited to travel in a designated are in England.
We decided to go and visit our friends in Farnborough in Hampshire. We don't own a car so being organised I jumped on to the Network Rail website to book our fares in advance - 4 weeks in advance to be exact. So imagine my surprise when there was no advance purchase option on fares to Farnborough! But it was the shock of paying £24.90 per return - that's a total of £49.80 - that I am still trying to recover from!
I was convinced I was doing something wrong, but no matter which way I entered it, £49.80 was the cheapest for 2 return tickets on a weekend for London to Farnborough. Still in shock - I can get to Paris for cheaper than that sometimes - I looked at other options of getting to Farnborough including car hire and buses, but all came out at a similar price.
Still determined not to pay Southwest Trains £24.90 each for 75mins travel (30 min out, 45 mins back) I hit the internet to try and find some type of discount code or voucher.
Many forums later - thanks Money Saving Expert - I finally came across the Network Railcard.
=== What is it? ===
A railcard that gives you a third of adult standard rail fares in a designated area.
=== How much does it cost ===
£25 for 12 months (prior to May 2009, the annual cost was £20 - D'oh!)
=== Who can use it? ===
Now here is the good thing. This card is not income tested or similar. Anyone can buy this card. The great thing is one card covers the holder and up to 3 other adults and all get a third off their fares. In addition you can take up to 4 children and save 60% off their fares!!
=== When can I use it? ===
You can travel any time on weekends and public holidays or from 10.00am Monday to Friday.
=== Where can I use it? ===
Anywhere in the Network Railcard Area - www.railcard.co.uk/clientfiles/File/map.pdf
But basically from Worecester in the North West of London to Eastbourne in the South East. From Kings Lynn in the North East to Weymouth in the South East. So quite a large area.
=== How do I get one? ===
Simply download the form (or pick one up at the station), complete and take it to the ticket office at any National Rail station to purchase.
=== Ok. So what's the catch? ===
There is none. The only thing it the card is in the holder's name, so the holder needs to be travelling as well.
=== How much could I save? ===
Our Network Railcard has already paid itself off after 2 trips.
Outlay - £25
1. London to Farnborough - 2 return fares cost £49.80. By using the Network Railcard the same trip costs £32.80. That's a saving of £17.
2. London to Tonbridge - 2 return fares cost £44.00. By using the Network Railcard the same trip costs £29.00. That's a saving of £15
So total savings after 2 trips in 1 month is £32 less the initial outlay for Network Railcard of £25 - this means I have actually saved £7, with 11 months still left to use on the card!!!
Card paid for itself after 1 month!!!
But don't forget you can also use your Network Railcard in combination with "2FOR1 entry to 100 top London attractions, restaurants, theatres, exhibitions and more, when you travel to by train to the capital" Added savings!!!
=== Overall ===
I'm totally impressed with my find. I'm wondering why this card is not widely publicised (none of my friends had ever heard of it either) and I'm kicking myself that didn't know about it sooner. But I know about it now and I'm spreading the word!!
Summary: Why oh why did I not know about this sooner!!! Spread the word!!!
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