National Rail: Save Money with the Family and Friends Railcard

Published: 13/12/2016 and written by J Bell

National Rail Family & Friends Railcard

Christmas holidays can be full of fun times with the whole family – but they can become stressful. Especially when you’re forever having to fork out for travel, entry fees and souvenirs. Here at Mr Lender we want to make the fun days out a little easier on your wallet – so we’ve put together a guide on the National Rail Family and Friends Railcard to show you how it could help you make massive savings. And it’s not just rail travel you can save on – there are a whole host of other offers available to you once you have a Family and Friends Railcard in your pocket. Here’s some info on how it works and how you can use it to your benefit:

Save on family days out with national rail family and friends railcard

How does it work?

You’ll need to stump up £30 to get one, but the Family and Friends Railcard will save you a third off most adult rail fares and 60% off kids’ fares for a whole year. So it should only take a couple of trips for the card to have paid for itself.

You just need to present the card when you’re paying for your tickets, and it will cover up to four adults when travelling with up to four children aged five to 15. Make sure you have the card on you when you’re buying the tickets and also when you’re travelling.

And you don’t have to travel together to save cash; you can have two adults named on the card – so if you’re taking the kids out for the day to give your other half a well earned rest, you can still reap the rewards.

How can I get hold of one?

You can buy the cards at a train station or online, and start saving right away. You’ll need to create an account, add in some personal details and pay the £30 – then you can start saving on your journeys.

What other offers can I take advantage of?

There are lots of them, and they’re always being updated. You’ll find an up to date list on the website. Discounts include entry to theme parks, museums and hotels. Currently you can save up to 60% on theatre tickets, 20% on a flower delivery with Blossoming Gifts and you can also save up to £50 on top of seaside holiday company Haven’s best prices with your Railcard.

Anything else?

Yes! If you think you and your family are going to be getting out and about on the rail network a fair bit over the next few years, there is even more money to be saved; you can buy a three year Railcard instead. It costs £70, which saves you £20 on the price of three one year Railcards, and you’ll be able to get three years of reduced fares and special offers too.

Here are some ideas for fun days out and examples of how the Railcard can help you save money on them

Get Christmassy with some carols

Christmas just isn’t Christmas without carols. And where better to get into the yuletide mood than York Minster – the largest gothic cathedral in Northern Europe. They’re putting on a host of carol concerts and festive family activities throughout December.

Travel: Off-Peak Return tickets from Cardiff to York for a family of four with a Family and Friends Railcard – £178.40

Usually: £314.70

Total Saving: £136.30

Visit the ultimate Winter Wonderland

London is a great city to get festive in; you can see the lights on Oxford Street, visit Hamleys to see all the toys and decorations, and pop to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park – which has free entry!

Travel: Off-Peak Return tickets from Bristol (Parkway) to London (Paddington) – for a family of four with a Family and Friends Railcard – £96.10

Usually: £140.15

Total Saving: £44.05


To really get into the spirit of Christmas, get the family wrapped up warm and visit a Christmas market

With fun for all ages, the Frankfurt Christmas Market in Victoria Square, Birmingham is the largest German market held outside Germany and Austria. There’s a ferris wheel, a carousel and an ice skating rink. Enjoy festive food and drink and snap up some unique handmade gifts.

Travel: Off-Peak Return tickets from Derby to Birmingham (New Street) for a family of four with a Family and Friends Railcard – £28.50

Usually: £50.10

Total Saving: £21.60