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Buying a UK railcard online with a US billing address?

Buying a UK railcard online with a US billing address?

Old Nov 23, 15, 12:40 pm
  #1  
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Buying a UK railcard online with a US billing address?

I have a UK delivery address to send the railcards to (this is required), but I am from the US, and so is my credit card. However, the website's billing address fields will not accept my US address. Any suggestions?
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Old Nov 23, 15, 1:38 pm
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Unless there's a substantial discount or you need it immediately on arrival, I'd just buy it in the UK - you can do so over the counter at any manned station, with requisite photos.

Note that you don't need a Railcard to buy a Railcard discounted ticket - you only need it at time of travel.

You could also try using an Amex, and giving a half-correct address with a made up postcode. W1A 1AA is always a good one.
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Old Nov 23, 15, 1:56 pm
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I only have digital photos--can I just print these on regular paper and present them at the station to buy the railcards? (Having passport photos taken and printed would negate a chunk of the savings from the railcard.)
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Old Nov 23, 15, 2:52 pm
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It's what I did for the photocard for my season ticket, I don't see why you couldn't
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Old Nov 23, 15, 3:56 pm
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Well, I just tried your "half-true address" tactic and that did in fact work. I put in the postcode of my UK mailing address along with some details of my billing address, and that got me through to the rest of the application. Uploaded the photos etc., and then when I got to the payment page, there was an option to input a US billing address. It all went through and I have my receipt. Thanks for the suggestion!
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Old Nov 24, 15, 5:50 am
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Originally Posted by travelmad478 View Post
Well, I just tried your "half-true address" tactic and that did in fact work. I put in the postcode of my UK mailing address along with some details of my billing address, and that got me through to the rest of the application. Uploaded the photos etc., and then when I got to the payment page, there was an option to input a US billing address. It all went through and I have my receipt. Thanks for the suggestion!
If that's the address that you've asked for it to be posted to - i.e. a not a real address - then it might well not arrive!
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Old Nov 24, 15, 5:52 am
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I think the OP just needed a "fake" billing address to access the rest of the application form.

Originally Posted by travelmad478 View Post
I have a UK delivery address to send the railcards to
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Old Nov 24, 15, 7:01 am
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Originally Posted by :D! View Post
I think the OP just needed a "fake" billing address to access the rest of the application form.
Correct. For some odd reason, the form asks for delivery and billing addresses at the beginning--without them, you cannot progress through the form--and then at the end, you're asked to input the credit card billing address a second time. The delivery address I put in was correct (and that's where the railcards were sent), and at the end of the process, my credit card was charged, so clearly the billing address went in correctly also. I got an email this morning confirming that the railcards were in the post.
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Old Nov 25, 15, 2:03 am
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Originally Posted by travelmad478 View Post
Correct. For some odd reason, the form asks for delivery and billing addresses at the beginning--without them, you cannot progress through the form--and then at the end, you're asked to input the credit card billing address a second time. The delivery address I put in was correct (and that's where the railcards were sent), and at the end of the process, my credit card was charged, so clearly the billing address went in correctly also. I got an email this morning confirming that the railcards were in the post.
Slightly OT, but maybe someone from ATOC will read this!

I have a German DB Bahncard. It's virtual, ie:held on my iPhone. When I travel by train in Germany I book through the DB Navigator App and the conductor reads the online ticket on his hand-held terminal.

Wake up British Rail! Oops, forgot they don't exist any more.
(rant mode switched off)
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Old Nov 25, 15, 3:05 am
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I know, the railcard system is ridiculously antiquated. Just forgetting to carry the card without you can end up costing you a couple hundred pounds.
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Old Nov 25, 15, 5:02 am
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Originally Posted by stut View Post
I know, the railcard system is ridiculously antiquated. Just forgetting to carry the card without you can end up costing you a couple hundred pounds.
Unlike DB, we haven't got to the stage of allowing flexible tickets to work with print-at-home/ barcode on smartphone systems - where available in Britain, they only work with specified train ('Advance') tickets, and only when it involves one train operator (or even just the one train without changes).

And best not to get started on the supposedly revolutionary ITSO smartcard system, which is being rolled out ever so slowly by different train operators in a delightfully incompatible way!

Regarding farci's point, to be fair I don't think any other European rail operator is as far down the path as DB when it comes to such innovations.

Anyway well done to the OP for tricking their way across the initial address hurdles and managing to buy a Railcard online with a US credit card!
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Old Nov 25, 15, 5:49 am
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Originally Posted by Mizter T View Post
Anyway well done to the OP for tricking their way across the initial address hurdles and managing to buy a Railcard online with a US credit card!
Apparently, even the people who issue Railcards don't know that you can buy one with an overseas credit card. I got this email yesterday afternoon from the Railcard help desk (I'd emailed them the day before, just before I posted on FlyerTalk):

Originally Posted by Railcard Team
Good Afternoon,
Thank you for your email.

While it is possible for Non-UK residents to purchase Railcards we are unable to deliver Railcards to addresses outside of Great Britain. As such when placing an order online you will need to have a valid delivery address within Great Britain as well as a credit/debit card registered to a UK billing address.

Alternatively, provided you can supply two passport sized photographs, you can purchase a 1-Year railcard from most National Rail stations upon your arrival in Britain (the exception being Heathrow which does not currently sell Railcards.)

As you have a Non-UK billing address for your payment card but are able to supply a residential address within Great Britain for the card to be delivered to it would also be possible to order by calling our Customer Support team on 03453 000 250 (7am – 10pm GMT, 7 days a week).

Once again thank you for your email.

Kind regards,
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Old Nov 26, 15, 12:06 am
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At least UK railcards don't automatically renew and send threatening debt collector letters to overseas addresses unlike DB....

Most people in customer service don't know how credit cards are processed online. It's very rare that you actually need to type in the actual name on the card for it to go through, and for UK postcodes, only the numbers are required. And as people who frequent the BA board know, Amex doesn't even require the correct country...
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Old Nov 26, 15, 4:00 am
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Originally Posted by Mizter T View Post
And best not to get started on the supposedly revolutionary ITSO smartcard system, which is being rolled out ever so slowly by different train operators in a delightfully incompatible way!
They're starting to roll this out on my line. I thought great - much easier to use a smartcard to open the barriers at King's Cross than a ticket (I'm normally pushing a bike at the time). But then I read the small print.

You have to touch in at the start of your journey, even with a season ticket. My station is barrierless, and has one reader, in a slightly awkward position. If you don't, you are considered not to have a ticket.

You also are restricted as to what trains you can use - no VTEC trains to/from Stevenage, for example, and no using the ticket for a portion of a longer-distance journey on another company.

All for the same bargain price of over 4k per year.

Umm, no. No, thanks. I'll stick with paper if that's how you're going to play it.
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Old Nov 26, 15, 5:53 am
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Originally Posted by travelmad478 View Post
Apparently, even the people who issue Railcards don't know that you can buy one with an overseas credit card. I got this email yesterday afternoon from the Railcard help desk (I'd emailed them the day before, just before I posted on FlyerTalk):
I'd imagine the intention is that the online system is not supposed to accept overseas credit cards, I'd guess at least in part as an anti-fraud measure. However you managed to traverse that impediment, for whatever reason - as ! suggests, did you pay with Amex?
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