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Old 08.03.2013, 10:35
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DB Bahncard 50

Okay, so my father is making the jump over the pond for a visit here in a few weeks, and he's coming by MAC (Military Airlift Command) flight, probably into Rammstein AFB in Germany (he is a retired military veteran, so he can fly space available for free). While looking into travel options, he found this Deutschbahn Bahncard 50, of which I know nothing. He is planning on staying in Europe for approx 1 week and we will probably be making mostly day-trips or one-overnight trips from Zurich to Germany/Austria.

As he is over 60, the website states he can purchase the Bahncard 50 for half price, but does this apply to tourists? Has anyone used this Bahncard before? What were your experiences? Is it a good value, and if so, how was it a good value?

Let me know your thoughts, or if you have a better suggestion, I'm open. We're trying to keep from overspending on transportation so we can have more money and time to sightsee.
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Old 08.03.2013, 10:39
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Re: DB Bahncard 50

I don't think this needs much analysis. You see how much the BC50 costs, work out roughly how much you plan to spend on train tickets and then decide if saving half that amount is more or less than buying the BC50.
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Old 08.03.2013, 10:42
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Re: DB Bahncard 50

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I don't think this needs much analysis. You see how much the BC50 costs, work out roughly how much you plan to spend on train tickets and then decide if saving half that amount is more or less than buying the BC50.
Yeah, I'm a cynic though... "All that glitters isn't gold" and so forth. So I'm hoping to hear some experiences, also. Are we saving money at the expense of headaches, delays, and/or limited options?
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Old 08.03.2013, 10:46
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Re: DB Bahncard 50

Where is JSRPET just when we need him? Try sending him an e-mail.

As your father is here for a short time it probably is not worth it, http://www.bahn.com/i/view/GBR/en/prices/germany/bahncard.shtml

If he avoids travel on Fridays, he can get some good offers without the card discount.
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Old 08.03.2013, 10:46
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Re: DB Bahncard 50

Nope. If the BC50 costs less than the savings, then buy it. It also gives other offers and probably money off trains in surrounding countries too. The only thing is ... I don't think it's transferrable so once your Dad's done with it, it's ready for the bin. Unless you look very similar.
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Old 08.03.2013, 10:53
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Re: DB Bahncard 50

I can't help re; the Bahncard, but I just wanted to let you know that I'm a little envious.

My Dad is 81 and I can't get him to budge off the farm. In the 5 years that we lived in Arizona, He only came for one weekend visit. Europe? I might as well live on the moon. He was drafted during the Korean war and stationed in Swinefurt (sp?) Germany, which he speaks of fondly, but whenever I bring up the subject of him and Mom coming over for a visit, I get shot down.

Have fun!
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Old 08.03.2013, 10:54
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Re: DB Bahncard 50

what about a eurail pass if you're travelling together:

http://www.bahn.com/i/view/GBR/en/pr...railpass.shtml
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Old 08.03.2013, 10:55
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Re: DB Bahncard 50

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I can't help re; the Bahncard, but I just wanted to let you know that I'm a little envious.

My Dad is 81 and I can't get him to budge off the farm. In the 5 years that we lived in Arizona, He only came for one weekend visit. Europe? I might as well live on the moon. He was drafted during the Korean war and stationed in Swinefurt (sp?) Germany, which he speaks of fondly, but whenever I bring up the subject of him and Mom coming over for a visit, I get shot down.

Have fun!
Thanks! My father is freshly retired, so still "young" enough to run about Europe a bit with me, and I've been pushing my family to take advantage of the opportunity to visit and have "free" room and board while I am here.
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Old 08.03.2013, 10:55
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Re: DB Bahncard 50

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I get shot down.!
Tell him the war's over.
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Old 08.03.2013, 11:01
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Re: DB Bahncard 50

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what about a eurail pass if you're travelling together:

http://www.bahn.com/i/view/GBR/en/pr...railpass.shtml
Thanks, Phil. This is one of the other options we are considering.

The biggest trouble is that he's flying Space Available, so we don't know exactly when he'll arrive (he may get bumped off his flight in favor of higher-priority passengers or cargo), but we do know when he is leaving, so travel may involve Fridays/weekends, etc... Are there any former American veterans on the forum that have flown to/from Europe via Space Available? Last, there's also a possibility he may end up arriving in Rota, Spain or RAF Mendenhall, as well...
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Old 08.03.2013, 11:15
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Re: DB Bahncard 50

I own and prefer the Bahncard25. It costs less but gives you a discount of only 25%. The advantage is that - unlike with BahnCard50 - the discount also applies to aleady discounted tickets. If I book early enough and get a Sparpreis ticket 25% are knocked off. With a BC50 you can't do that. In addition, if I book tickets for others traveling together with me they receive the same discount. I'm not sure how that is handled with BC50.
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Old 08.03.2013, 11:20
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Re: DB Bahncard 50

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I own and prefer the Bahncard25. It costs less but gives you a discount of only 25%. The advantage is that - unlike with BahnCard50 - the discount also applies to aleady discounted tickets. If I book early enough and get a Sparpreis ticket 25% are knocked off. With a BC50 you can't do that. In addition, if I book tickets for others traveling together with me they receive the same discount. I'm not sure how that is handled with BC50.
Is the BC25 worth it for a 1-week stay? Since I can't know his exact arrival, its very challenging to purchase the tickets in advance (for the Sparpreis ticket), unless they have tickets that are not specific to a certain voyage or date.
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Old 08.03.2013, 11:25
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Re: DB Bahncard 50

Also, you might want to consider diverting part of your travel budget to a chiropractor visit and hemorrhoid cream after flying that far on a MAC airplane
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Old 08.03.2013, 11:27
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Re: DB Bahncard 50

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Okay, so my father is making the jump over the pond for a visit here in a few weeks, and he's coming by MAC (Military Airlift Command) flight, probably into Rammstein AFB in Germany (he is a retired military veteran, so he can fly space available for free). While looking into travel options, he found this Deutschbahn Bahncard 50, of which I know nothing. He is planning on staying in Europe for approx 1 week and we will probably be making mostly day-trips or one-overnight trips from Zurich to Germany/Austria.

As he is over 60, the website states he can purchase the Bahncard 50 for half price, but does this apply to tourists? Has anyone used this Bahncard before? What were your experiences? Is it a good value, and if so, how was it a good value?

Let me know your thoughts, or if you have a better suggestion, I'm open. We're trying to keep from overspending on transportation so we can have more money and time to sightsee.
I have a BC 50. I travel a lot and it's definitely worth it.

I don't have a German address so that isn't a criterium.

You can order it online ahead of his visit and have it posted to your address so you can give it to him when he arrives.

I think you can also buy it over the counter and get a temporary one, a bit like with the Habtax, but don't quote me on that.

It might be worth also checking out other tourist offers. There are various discounts and special fares offered only to tourists, which DB sales staff in Germany may not even be fully familiar with. It might be worth him checking with a Germany-savvy travel agency in the US before he travels.
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Old 08.03.2013, 11:28
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Re: DB Bahncard 50

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Also, you might want to consider diverting part of your travel budget to a chiropractor visit and hemorrhoid cream after flying that far on a MAC airplane
Hey... he might get lucky and grab a spot on a passenger aircraft! He does have rank and tenure in service, although he's retired.
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Old 08.03.2013, 11:33
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Re: DB Bahncard 50

One annoying caveat with the BC 50 is that when it expires they automatically send you a new one and bill you. So if you don't want it renewed it's up to you to inform DB. It's in the small print of the T&Cs somewhere and not really a problem if you know and remember, but can be a nasty surprise if you didn't know. Just saying.
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Old 08.03.2013, 11:40
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Re: DB Bahncard 50

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One annoying caveat with the BC 50 is that when it expires they automatically send you a new one and bill you. So if you don't want it renewed it's up to you to inform DB. It's in the small print of the T&Cs somewhere and not really a problem if you know and remember, but can be a nasty surprise if you didn't know. Just saying.
Good point... Noted.
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Old 08.03.2013, 11:45
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Re: DB Bahncard 50

I think a Eurail gives you the most flexibility - you can go anywhere, can't you? Although perhaps more pricy because of this.
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Old 08.03.2013, 12:56
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Re: DB Bahncard 50

You say your dad will be traveling between Germany and Switzerland. Just FYI, if you have a Swiss Halbtax, you also get 25% on the German part of your journey for trips between countries. Dunno whether DB50 provides similar savings.
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Old 08.03.2013, 13:41
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Re: DB Bahncard 50

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Is the BC25 worth it for a 1-week stay? Since I can't know his exact arrival, its very challenging to purchase the tickets in advance (for the Sparpreis ticket), unless they have tickets that are not specific to a certain voyage or date.
In you father's case I'd buy the BC50. You need to purchase tickets way in advance in order to avail of Deutsche Bahn's special offers since those are limited in number.

If you do go for a BahnCard do not forget to cancel the card! Otherwise it is automatically renewed on a yearly basis.
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