Railcard first purchase help

My daughter needs to purchase a 16-17 railcard to start a-levels in September. The train line have a discount code but I’ve read lots of negative feedback and it needs to be as simple as possible for her. Can you buy tickets to travel from any company regardless of who you bought the railcard from? I want to save as much as poss because being born at the start of the academic year means she can only make use of it for one year out of the two year course anyway. Thank you. 
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  • onashoestring
    onashoestring Posts: 1,631 Forumite
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    edited 11 August 2022 at 7:47AM
    We have used £10 Tesco clubcard vouchers - to get £30 digital railcard which we have found simple to use .

    For the digital railcard you need a smart phone . 




  • Chino
    Chino Posts: 2,029 Forumite
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    sarah411 said:
    Can you buy tickets to travel from any company regardless of who you bought the railcard from?
    Yes, for eligible tickets:
    https://www.16-17saver.co.uk/where-can-i-use-it/
    https://www.thetrainline.com/trains/great-britain/railcards/16-17-saver
  • tealady
    tealady Posts: 3,742 Forumite
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    I am on my 2nd railcard (2 × 3 years). Bought the 2nd one online.
    Never had a problem buying train tickets from different companies.
    Just find the best deal you can to buy the card and enjoy the savings.

    Find out who you are and do that on purpose (thanks to Owain Wyn Jones quoting Dolly Parton)
  • macman
    macman Posts: 53,088 Forumite
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    Don't buy the actual tickets from the Trainline, as there is a fee. Buy from any of the TOC's, regardless of the journey you want.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • cbsexec
    cbsexec Posts: 577 Forumite
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    The annoying thing about the digital railcard and the discount from train line which would be a great saving for my 17 year old is that you need a passport or driving licence and she has neither!    Bit discriminating really.   
  • Chanpagne
    Chanpagne Posts: 38 Forumite
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    I'm an adult with the trainline app and I haven't had any problems. I also don't have a valid drivers licence or passport - with the app you upload a passport style selfie and you're good to go (I renewed mine in May with no problems).

    I regularly buy HS1 tickets and the booking fee is 69p. The only problem I can foresee is if she wanted to fully cancel her ticket as you lose around £10. If I miss my train I am able to just get on the next valid service.

    There's currently a 33% off offer on the railcards using code SUMMER33 if that helps.
    Debt £16,000

    Not employed...How to get rid of this debt!!Serious about Saving Money!
  • daveyjp
    daveyjp Posts: 12,501 Forumite
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    For 16-17 railcard you need to evidence your age as it gives a greater discount than 18-25.
  • onashoestring
    onashoestring Posts: 1,631 Forumite
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    The Trainline only accepts passport, driving licence or National identity card as proof of age.

    You can buy the 16-17 railcard online directly from National Rail who also accept a scanned copy of your birth certificate, which you upload . It does say this application takes a bit longer to process.
    https://www.16-17saver.co.uk/where-to-buy/


  • onashoestring
    onashoestring Posts: 1,631 Forumite
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    Not as big a reduction as the 16-17 railcard but If you open a Santander student current account for your daughter she will get a free railcard for 4 years ( 1/3 off rail fares ) 


  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,137 Forumite
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    Not as big a reduction as the 16-17 railcard but If you open a Santander student current account for your daughter she will get a free railcard for 4 years ( 1/3 off rail fares ) 


    You have to be 18 or over so they won't qualify and studying for at least 2 years or on a certain  level apprenticeship. My 19yo is about to do a student funded 1 year course and isn't eligible for it unfortunately.

    1|2|3 Student Bank & Current Accounts - Santander UK   

    How it works

    You’re 18 or over and live in the UK permanently

    You’re studying or are about to begin an undergraduate course that is at least 2 years in length, or level 4 to 7 apprenticeship. If you’re about to begin your course, you must have an ‘unconditional’ or ‘confirmed conditional’ offer (i.e. you have your exam results) before you apply

    You pay in at least £500 per academic term

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