Payment methods

The following are accepted as methods of payments at National Rail stations and retail outlets. They also apply to paying on-train when no opportunity to purchase beforehand existed.

Self-service ticket machines at National Rail stations will accept a more limited range of payment.

Information shown might not apply to National Rail products purchased at independent rail licensed travel agents or from other third party retailers.

Cash

Any combination of notes and coins are accepted, as below.

Coins

Acceptable combinations of coins are:

  • 1p and 2p coins up to 20p
  • 5p and 10p coins up to £5
  • 20p and 50p coins up to £10
  • £1 and £2 coins up to any amount

Jersey/Guernsey/Isle of Man coins will not be accepted.

Bank Notes of the British Isles

The following bank notes may be accepted:

  • Bank notes issued by the Bank of England and bearing a portrait of Her Majesty the Queen;
  • Sterling notes issued by Allied Irish Banks plc
  • Sterling notes issued by Bank of Ireland
  • Sterling notes issued by Northern Bank Ltd
  • Sterling notes issued by Ulster Bank Ltd
  • Bank notes issued by Bank of Scotland
  • Bank notes issued by Clydesdale Bank plc
  • Bank notes issued by Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Sterling bank notes issued by the Isle of Man Bank Ltd
  • Sterling bank notes issued by States of Guernsey
  • Sterling bank notes issued by States of Jersey

Foreign currency

Most train companies will not accept foreign bank notes.

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Credit/Debit/Charge Cards

All National Rail train companies accept the major cards such as Visa, Visa Delta, MasterCard, Maestro and Amex.  Some train companies also accept Diners Club International, Solo and Electron.

Cheques

Since 1 July 2011, personal cheques have not been accepted or have been very restricted as a method of payment, as the cheque guarantee scheme has been withdrawn by the UK banks.

Some Train Operators continue to accept business cheques and bankers drafts. See table below for further details:

Train Company
 
Arriva Trains Wales
No cheques accepted.
c2c

Company cheques accepted only.

Caledonian Sleeper

No cheques accepted.

Chiltern Railways

Company cheques accepted only.

CrossCountry

Does not have its own ticket offices.

East Midlands Trains

Bankers drafts and Company Cheques are accepted, but not cheques endorsed "trading as" "for" or "for and on behalf of".

The Bankers Draft/Company Cheque should be made payable to "East Midlands Trains Ltd" and cheques should be presented with an official Company Business Card or Letterhead.

Please note the following exceptions:

Mansfield ticket office: No cheques accepted.

Oakham ticket office: Company Cheques only and made payable to 'Oakham Station Travel Ltd'

Grand Central
No cheques accepted.
Great Northern
No cheques accepted.
Great Western Railway
Company cheques accepted for Annual Seasons only.
 
Greater Anglia  Company Cheques accepted only. Made payable to Greater Anglia Ltd. 
Heathrow Express
No information received - Contact train company direct.
Hull Trains
No cheques accepted.
London Midland
Cheques (personal and company) accepted for renewal of annual seasons only.
London Overground
No cheques accepted.
Merseyrail
Company cheques accepted only.
Northern 
Company cheques only accepted.
ScotRail
No cheques accepted.
Southeastern
Company cheques accepted only.
Southern

Company cheques are only accepted at ticket offices in payment for Annual season tickets only and only in the following circumstances:

  • If the ticket is a renewal of an existing Annual season ticket paid for by cheque, it can be issued without further verification.
  • If the ticket is a new issue, the customer must produce ID from the list below.

 

South West Trains

Company cheques are accepted at ticket offices in payment for Annual Season Tickets only and only in the following circumstances:

  • If the ticket is a renewal of an existing season ticket with a recent Goldstar Customer Record it can be issued without further verification.
  • If the ticket is a new issue, the customer must produce ID from the list below.

 

Thameslink
No cheques accepted.
TransPennine Express  No cheques accepted.
Virgin Trains East Coast No cheques accepted
Virgin Trains
Company cheques only will be accepted until 5 October 2014. From 6 October 2014, Virgin Trains cease to accept cheques

 

    Proof of identity can be obtained from the following:
    • Credit Card;
    • Employer's Identification Card;
    • Valid Railcard;
    • Passport;
    • 'Photocard' Driving Licence.

    Travellers Cheques

    Some Train Companies may accept Travellers Cheques. Where accepted, they must be:

    • in sterling, in which case they must be accepted at face value;
    • in foreign currencies that are listed on the conversion tables provided.

    Travellers' Cheques should be tendered as near as possible to the value of the tickets or services provided. Change will always be given in sterling.

    Rail travel accounts (warrants)

    Company or MoD warrants are accepted in accordance with the instructions supplied by the department or organisation where you obtained the warrant.

    National Rail Travel Vouchers

    What are National Rail Travel Vouchers?

    National Rail Travel Vouchers are issued as compensation under a Train Operating Company’s Passenger's Charter, ex-gratia payments for other compensatory reasons, as goodwill gestures or for marketing purposes.

    These are of varying values, usually £1 (green), £5 (blue), £10 (orange) and £20 (yellow).  Some train companies also issue their own bespoke vouchers for very specific amounts depending on the circumstances in which they have been awarded.

    How can I use them?

    They can be exchanged for ticket(s) to travel on National Rail services.

    They can be exchanged at station booking offices or through some Telesales – if purchasing through a Telesales Department enough time must be allowed for processing, this can be up to 14 days. (Please check with the specific retailer).

    They cannot be exchanged for cash.

    Change cannot be given if the cost of the ticket(s) purchased is less than the value of voucher(s) tendered.

    Do they have an expiry date?

    They are usually valid for one year from the date of issue.

    London Underground Customer Charter Vouchers

    London Underground issue Customer Charter Vouchers to customers who have made legitimate claims for delays or cancellations to Underground train services. They are currently issued up to a maximum value of £7.50 (subject to annual revision) and are valid for 13 months from the date of issue.

    These vouchers are accepted at stations and offices in the former Network SouthEast area as full or part payment for any day or period Travelcard or for any ticket that is valid for through travel to a named London Underground or Docklands Light Railway station or to a ‘U’ Zone destination, e.g. St Albans to Zone U12.

    They are not exchangeable for cash and change cannot be given if the cost of the ticket(s) purchased is less than the value of voucher(s) tendered.

    Exchange Orders

    Exchange Orders are used only in a limited capacity, mainly in conjunction with the issue of Railcards on behalf of some Councils and certain independent organisations.

    They cannot be exchanged for cash and change cannot be given if the value of the transaction is less than that of the Order.

     

    Postal Orders

    Some Train Companies may accept Postal Orders of the United Kingdom as payment for goods and services, providing they:

    • bear an issue date stamp which is not more than six months old;
    • are crossed and made payable to your Train Company. Any received uncrossed must be crossed with two lines at the time of acceptance;
    • are not made out for a greater amount than that due since no change must be given.

    In no circumstances can a Postal Order be exchanged for cash or accepted when made payable to a third party.

    National Transport Tokens

    Tokens to the value of 10p, 20p and 50p are minted for purchase by local authorities and welfare organisations who distribute them, in lieu of money, for travel purposes.

    National Transport Tokens are accepted by all Train Companies in payment, or part payment, for travel tickets and associated facilities e.g. reservations, supplements and purchase of timetables but will not be accepted for any on-train catering.

    Change in cash may be given but this will not exceed the value of the lowest token tendered. Tokens will not be exchanged for money.

    Certain local councils operate independent token or voucher schemes for local travel. For information on whether these are accepted by Train Companies customers should get in touch with the issuing authority.

    This information shown might not apply to National Rail products purchased at rail licensed travel agents or from other third party retailers.