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As a part of my having fun plan after confirming I have a hotel booked it occured that going to Birmingham and drinking the night away would probably make driving home the next day somewhat dangerous. So turning to the ever present cashback sites to look for a cheap and reasonably reliable way to get to the drinking city and then home again.
As was almost expected the train was the easiest option, booking online being a way to attempt to get a few pennies back on it via a cashback site.
Finding the traintimes is very simple, type in the station you want to leave from, and the destination station. Enter the date/s you want to travel, if you have a railcard and click 'next'.
The page it brings up is a table showing train times, number of changes on the journey and finally the duration of the journey and an option to look for trains at an earlier or later time should the options given not suffice.
Clicking the 'next' button takes you to the page which shows you the all important cost of the tickets. This is shown as another grid with the price options listed below each potential train time as a return ticket but it does give you the option of checking to see if single tickets work out cheaper - and in the case of my booking it was substantially cheaper (£26.50 for the return to £12.50 for two singles with a young persons railcard).
If you've not used the site before you have to create an account, so need to fill in basic contact details, address, email, phone if you want to, and a password.
Choose how you want to get the tickets, collect them at a ticket machine (£0.50 surcharge), via 1st class post ( £1 surcharge), next day delivery £7.50 or for certain areas same day delivery £10.
Next up you have to choose your payment method, at this point the relatively cheap traintickets start to look less bargainous, as the minimum card charge is 50p for buying with a debit card rising to £2.50 for some credit card types.
Overall my £12.50 tickets cost an extra £1.50 in charges which tobe honest isnt all that bad compared to the saving of £12 overall from the return ticket prices. But is slightly annoying as nowhere else I know of puts a charge on to the debit card for using it - credit cards yes but never in my experience a debit card. Postage charges I can understand given the postoffice price hikes but £1? A first class letter costs a mere 34p from where I work, so a whole 100 pennies seems alot.
The tickets arrived in the post two days after I booked them with no problems, in the envelope was the reciept for the card payment each ticket had on it the seat reservation which as is well known can generally be ignored on alot of trains as they never bother to use them.
The service from the site all in all is good, for buying tickets when you cant get to the station or even just checking train times. Delivery is what you would expect from the a postal service, and if you need your tickets quicker the other options should provide one quick enough for your needs.
And as a minor bonus at the moment topcashback get you 2% of your spend back, while on ecashback you can get 0.5%.