Buy An Annual Train Ticket? The Benefit You Might Know You’re Entitled To…

On Friday I had the delight of renewing my TfL “Annual Travelcard Season Ticket”, a lovely dent of well over £1000. Before I go full throttle with this article, it’s worth mentioning to you that there’s a lot of phrases that I’ve placed in inverted commas. The railway and general train system here in the UK is still incredibly complicated and each phrase, even with only slightly different wording, actually ends up meaning a completely different thing.

Whilst I am, of course, being partially sarcastic in the above, I actually think it’s genuinely good value for money. Simply as an “Annual Travelcard Season Ticket” also gives me unlimited use of TfL Buses. Something I use fairly frequently.

Personally, because I am unbelievably sad (see strange), I always look forward to this day of the year as I also, through purchasing my Tfl “Annual Travelcard Season Ticket”, receive an “Annual Gold Card”

“M, you’re boring me with tickets, just tell me, what is an “Annual Gold Card”” ?

Well, since you asked, it’s a type of RailCard that gives you some pretty decent discounts. Through purchasing an “Annual Season Ticket” in the “Annual Gold Card Area” you’re automatically entitled to an “Annual Gold Card”.

Now the reason I’m bothering to tell you all about this is because it’s not well known by individual with an “Annual Season Ticket” nor train staff. I’ve had a fair number of occasions where I’ve actually had to explain to train guards that it is a legitimate RailCard and not something I’ve just made up. On top of this when you purchase your “Annual Season Ticket” you’re not always given your “Annual Gold Card” because a lot of train staff don’t actually know you’re entitled to it! I’ve had to specifically ask for it twice!

Anyway, assuming you have bought your “Annual Season Ticket” you are entitled to “Annual Gold Card” if:
  • “The issuing station is within the Annual Gold Card area or the Annual Season ticket is bought online; AND
  • either the origin station, destination station or both are within the Annual Gold Card area.”

To find out if your station is in the “Annual Gold Card Area” you’ll need to access this link.

“Ok M, fair point, but what benefits does a “Annual Gold Card” give me?”

There’s a whole range of benefits to “Annual Gold Card”, which can be found at this link, however I would claim that the best ones are:

  1. It gives you 33% off Standard and First Class Anytime and Off-Peak tickets for the cardholder and up to three adults travelling with them
  2. Oyster Off-Peak pay as you go single fares (Make sure that if buy this from a TfL station that you ask them to load this on to your Oyster Card!)
  3. Additional one year Railcard for a nominated person (including yourself)* for only £10

Now this third one is brilliant. Let’s say you want to buy yourself a 16-25 railcard. Usually this would cost you £30, however, with an “Annual Gold Card” it’s only £10

So next time you’re off to buy your “Annual Travelcard Season Ticket” make sure that you ask for your “Annual Gold Card”! It’s at no additional cost to your “Annual Travelcard Season Ticket” and gives you some amazing benefits!

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