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SNCF Senior+ discount card questions

SNCF Senior+ discount card questions

Old Apr 29, 17, 11:14 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Redwood City, CA USA (SFO/SJC)
Programs: Last 1K flight 1/21/11; fun while it lasted, 1P in 2011, Plat for 2012,13,14,15 & 2016. Gold in 17 &
Posts: 8,505
SNCF Senior+ discount card questions

OK, before reading through the stuff below the dashed lines, I think I've figured out how the SNCF Senior+ card works. Please let me know if this is correct-
  1. Book your ticket on trainline or the SNCF site. Select "over 60" and for loyalty card, select "Senior+"
  2. Before travel, buy the Senior+ card. Timing doesn't matter, as long as it's before your trip. If you buy on-line, the "date" you want would be your first date of travel.
  3. When traveling, have your Senior+ card handy to verify you qualify for the ticket you've purchased.
Et voila! What's still not clear is whether you can have the card mailed to you, or, if it has to be picked up at the station, if it can be collected from an automated machine or you have to stand in line. You do need to have a passport-type photo to apply to it.

Sorry if I've made something something very simple to be more confusing than it really is. If I've got things right, you can ignore the stuff below. --Mike--

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When you apply for an SNCF Senior+ discount card (60 euros, good for one year), it asks for a start date. What do you use? The first date you'd be traveling, or the first day you'd be purchasing a ticket?

Also some confusion looking at various sites regarding activation of the Senior+ card. Apparently you have to go to a ticket counter to have a photo added to it? But there's also references to being able to collect it at a machine and add it yourself. The relevant SNCF document can be found here. In it you'll find this-
The cards are issued at most train stations, SNCF shops and accredited travel agencies. They can also be ordered via the SNCF "Ligne Directe" hotline (call 3635 in France) and on the internet. In the above cases, they are provided on the spot at train station ticket counters or are sent to your home address (provided there is a sufficient number of days between the purchase date and the card's valid from date). However, some points of sale may require a certain amount of time to manufacture the cards. The cards are produced in the name of the cardholder and must feature a recent identity photo of the cardholder. Discount cards are personal and non-transferable – an identity document may be requested at the time of checks. To enable bookings to be made, the cards may be issued up to three months in advance; in this case, the valid from date will be the date of the booking requested. To get the most out of your discount entitlements, reserve your tickets in advance (ticket sales begin three months before the date of travel) and try to travel in off-peak periods.
I'd be using the train immediately after landing in France (CDG) and would not look forward to having to wait in line if possible.

Thanks for any info!

Last edited by Mike Jacoubowsky; Apr 30, 17 at 12:32 am Reason: Clarity
Mike Jacoubowsky is offline  
Old Apr 30, 17, 5:52 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Programs: LH SEN; BA Gold
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Originally Posted by Mike Jacoubowsky View Post
  1. Book your ticket on trainline or the SNCF site. Select "over 60" and for loyalty card, select "Senior+"
Yes

Originally Posted by Mike Jacoubowsky View Post
  1. Before travel, buy the Senior+ card. Timing doesn't matter, as long as it's before your trip. If you buy on-line, the "date" you want would be your first date of travel.
Yes. You can order your Senior+ card along with your ticket. The discount cards are essentially printed on ticket paper. Whenever I had to renew an SNCF card, I set the date just before travel (usually a day before). You can get a plastic booklet to put your card in at the train station.

The plastic cover looks like this


and does the job of protecting your card rather well.

Originally Posted by Mike Jacoubowsky View Post
  1. When traveling, have your Senior+ card handy to verify you qualify for the ticket you've purchased.
Yes.

Originally Posted by Mike Jacoubowsky View Post
Et voila! What's still not clear is whether you can have the card mailed to you, or, if it has to be picked up at the station, if it can be collected from an automated machine or you have to stand in line. You do need to have a passport-type photo to apply to it.
They always sent it to me. It looks like a ticket with a different layout. You have to put a passport-type photo on it and put a transparent SNCF sticker over the picture.

Originally Posted by Mike Jacoubowsky View Post
When you apply for an SNCF Senior+ discount card (60 euros, good for one year), it asks for a start date. What do you use? The first date you'd be traveling, or the first day you'd be purchasing a ticket?
As indicated above: the first day of travel if you want to maximize usage.


Q: Have you looked at if the card will be any use to you, i.e. that you'll travel a lot in France and if you'll book more last-minute trips/flexible tickets. If you stick to Prems tickets on TGV (discounted, inflexible tickets), you might not get that much out of your card.
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Old Apr 30, 17, 9:02 am
  #3  
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Redwood City, CA USA (SFO/SJC)
Programs: Last 1K flight 1/21/11; fun while it lasted, 1P in 2011, Plat for 2012,13,14,15 & 2016. Gold in 17 &
Posts: 8,505
Originally Posted by WorldLux View Post
Q: Have you looked at if the card will be any use to you, i.e. that you'll travel a lot in France and if you'll book more last-minute trips/flexible tickets. If you stick to Prems tickets on TGV (discounted, inflexible tickets), you might not get that much out of your card.
Thanks for your patience with my questions. For this trip, the card will pay for itself because there's little flexibility in when I can travel and the cheaper fares, for the most part, are gone. I ran the numbers and it comes out about 40 euros ahead, without factoring in any discounts for local trips (TER). CDG-Grenoble, Grenoble-Marseille, Marseille-Grenoble and Grenoble-CDG at a minimum.

Also, the discounts skew most-heavily to 1st class, which is how I'll travel this trip (it will be easier to get work done on the train being able to select a "solo" seat, plus I'll have two suitcases and there's a bit less congestion for luggage in 1st class than 2nd).

It's always possible I may be able to use it for more than one trip this upcoming year as well.

One last thing. If I have them mail me the card, I'll have no need to go to a ticket counter at all? And they'll mail it to the US? There's plenty of time; I don't arrive until 17 July. Thanks again-
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Old Apr 30, 17, 9:36 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Programs: LH SEN; BA Gold
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Originally Posted by Mike Jacoubowsky View Post
One last thing. If I have them mail me the card, I'll have no need to go to a ticket counter at all? And they'll mail it to the US? There's plenty of time; I don't arrive until 17 July. Thanks again-
I'm not sure about the passes. The one I ordered for myself arrived the very next morning. I ordered in the afternoon and arrived by 8 am the next morning (so very quick even by domestic delivery standards). IIRC they do not sent cards abroad and in that case, you'll have to select a ticket office to retrieve them.
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