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 there is no opportunity to purchase before starting your journey.

  • Cash
  • Credit/Debit Cards
  • Cheques*
  • Traveller's Cheques*
  • Rail Travel Accounts (Warrants)
  • Rail Travel Vouchers
  • Postal Orders*

Self-service ticket machines at National Rail stations will accept a more limited range of payment, usually credit/debit card only, or cash and card only. 

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

*Where permitted



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


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

Pound Sterling (GBP) bank notes may be accepted from the following issuers;

  • Bank of England
  • Allied Irish Banks plc
  • Bank of Ireland
  • Northern Bank Ltd
  • Ulster Bank Ltd
  • Bank of Scotland
  • Clydesdale Bank PLC
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Isle of Man Bank Ltd
  • States of Guernsey
  • States of Jersey

Foreign Currency

Most train companies do not accept foreign bank notes.

Credit & Debit Cards

All National Rail train companies accept the major credit and debit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, Maestro and Amex.

Transactions of up to £100 may be made contactless with a contactless card, mobile device or wearable.


Personal cheques are no longer accepted as a method of payment, as the cheque guarantee scheme has been withdrawn by the UK banks.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:

Avanti West Coast - 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 Railway - 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 Railway 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 Abellio East Anglia Limited  
Heathrow Express - No information received - Contact train company direct.   Hull Trains - No cheques accepted.  
LNER - No cheques accepted  London Northwestern Railway - 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 Western Railway - 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.
Transport for Wales  - No cheques accepted. TransPennine Express - No cheques accepted.
West Midlands Railway - Cheques (personal and company) accepted for renewal of annual seasons only.  

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 British 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 British Sterling.

Rail Travel Accounts (Warrants)

Company or Ministry of Defense 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.

There are two types of Rail Travel Voucher in circulation. Fixed value, and variable value.

  • Fixed value Rail Travel Vouchers are in different colours, depending on the denomination; £1 (green), £5 (blue), £10 (orange) and £20 (yellow).  They cannot be exchanged for cash.
  • Variable value: Some train companies also issue their own bespoke vouchers for very specific amounts depending on the circumstances in which they have been awarded. These Rail Travel Vouchers may be exchanged for cash at the ticket office of the company that issued it. Details will be printed on the Rail Travel Voucher if this is permitted.

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 on board services that permit ticket sales.

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. 


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Last updated:   09 May 2022