If you regularly use the railways and travel with your partner you might be interested in the new Two Together railcard. But how often would you need to use this railcard to make it pay for itself?
The new Two Together railcard costs £30-per-year, anyone aged over 16 can have one, and it can cut the cost of off-peak train travel by a third.
But is it worth it? And are there any other ways of cutting the cost of train travel that don’t involve forking out for a railcard, especially if you travel on your own?
For short journeys, such as London to Milton Keynes, using the Two Together railcard cuts the cost of two travelling from £26 to £17.20, saving £8.80. If you made this journey together four times, the railcard would have paid for itself.
For a trip to Nottingham, the railcard saving is £16.30, so you’ll be in credit if you make this journey twice. But for longer journeys, such as London to Cardiff, York or Manchester, one trip is all you need to save the cost of the railcard.
So if you’re aged over 16 and travel regularly on off-peak trains with a friend or partner, the new card would be a good money-saving option.
Train travel two-by-two
If you travel alone, you’re over 26 and under 60 (too old for the 16-25 railcard and too young for the Senior Railcard) you’ll need to find other ways of saving money when you travel nationally by train.
Splitting your ticket – Buying two tickets for your journey, rather than one, can sometimes save you money. I do this for my journey to work and save more than £800 on the cost of my season ticket. If you’re taking a long journey, look for a regional mid-point where the train stops and see if you can find a money-saving split.
Taking an alternative route – Taking an alternative route is another way to save money. An anytime single from Waterloo to Southampton is £39.20 and takes 74 minutes. If you can live with one train an hour and a two-and-a-half hour journey, you could travel from London Victoria direct to Southampton for £29, a 26% saving.
Advance tickets – A walk-up single ticket for Edinburgh to York is £83.50. Booking in advance can cut the cost dramatically – the cheapest advance ticket we found for a journey in July was £16.85.
So will you be buying a Two Together railcard? Or do you have other ways of saving when you travel by train? Let us know what you do to cut the cost of train tickets.