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HM Forces Railcard – all you need to know

The HM Forces Railcard is a benefit that comes with being in the forces. Costing £21, the railcard will save you 1/3 on the vast majority of rail fares throughout the UK, for one year.

It's certainly worthwhile checking whether or not you are eligible for one. If you're thinking about applying for an HM Forces Railcard, we've created a helpful guide outlining everything that you need to know.

Why should you apply for a HM Forces Railcard?

There are lots of benefits to be gained by applying for an HM Forces Railcard, especially if you or your family members travel frequently.

Designed for both long and short trips by train, the railcard allows you to save 1/3 on the price of travel to all parts of the UK. This saving is inclusive of weekdays, weekends, and during public holidays, giving you great value for money.

Are there any restrictions?

It's worth noting that the card does come with a couple of restrictions. If you travel before 10am Monday to Friday (except during July and August), a minimum fare will apply. Make sure you check this before you travel.

The railcard can also only be used for non-duty (leisure) travel, meaning it can't be used for commuting to or from a place of work, duty, or education. There are also some ticket types that are excluded from the railcard discount, including season tickets.

For further details and full terms and conditions, visit the HM Forces website.

How does the card work?

The card works in exactly the same way as other popular railcards.

Once you've bought your railcard, you'll save 1/3 on most rail fares. You can also travel with up to four children aged under 16 anywhere in the country, with 60% off normal child fares. This is subject to a £1 minimum fare.

Where can I buy one?

If you wish to purchase a railcard, you need contact your Unit HR admin staff to apply. The cost of the railcard will then be deducted from your pay.

If you are a war widow or widower, or a dependant, you can access the railcard through the Royal British Legion on 0203 207 2165 or rburgin@britishlegion.org.uk.

Railcard eligibility

According to the HM Forces website, the following people are eligible to be issued with the HM Forces Railcard:

  • All members of the Regular Forces wherever they are stationed
  • All members of the Volunteer Reserve
  • Non-Regular Permanent Staff
  • Members of the Regular Reserve during periods of full-time service of at least three months
  • Commissioned Officers of the RAF Reserve carrying out full time duties in uniform in peacetime
  • NATO personnel serving in official NATO UK appointments under the direct command of the MoD (or NATO HQ)
  • Members of other Government Defence Forces serving in official exchange appointments
  • Spouses/civil partners of those above
  • Dependent children of those above (see our Terms and Conditions for full details)
  • Widows/Widowers and their dependent children

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