Sainsbury’s Bank launches new free online ‘train-inflation’ digital tool

Sainsbury’s Bank has launched a new free online ‘train-inflation’ digital tool, which reveals that the average train ticket increased by 59% between 2005 and 2011, and by 16.9% between 2011 and 2016.  Its ‘train-inflation’ barometer allows people to see what their new standard train ticket will be next year, and estimate how their fares have increased over the past 10 years.

Regulated rail fares in England and Wales and regulated peak-time fares in Scotland will rise by 1.9% next year(2). The rise is determined by July’s Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation measure and will take effect from 2 January 2017.

New research(3) from Sainsbury’s Bank reveals that 32% of people who commute to work by train are planning to use interest free credit cards to buy their next annual travel cards to save money.  Indeed the bank, which offers a credit card with one of the longest interest free purchase periods available for 28 months, says that in 2015 it saw a 40% increase in the number of people using its credit card to buy train tickets compared to 12 months earlier.

Analysis of Sainsbury’s Bank’s credit card data reveals a huge increase in both transactions and expenditure on train travel over the past five years. From 2011 to 2015 there was a 98% rise in transactions and the total spend increased by 104%. The average transaction on train travel last year was 3% higher than in 2011.

Simon Ranson, Head of Banking at Sainsbury’s Bank said:  “Locking in 2016’s season ticket price might even be an option for some, those who haven’t purchased one before, or whose season ticket is up for renewal in the next few days. Using an interest free credit card will mean you can lock in the price and pay it up over time.”

Some 65% of people who have commuted to work by train for the past three years took some form of action during this period to combat rising train fares.  This included working additional hours or overtime (5% of train commuters); walking to work (6% of people); changing jobs so their commute is less expensive (6% of train commuters), and 3% who claim that they became involved in a work car share scheme to cut costs.

Over the next 24 months 63% of train commuters are considering taking some of these actions or others to offset the growing cost of their train fare to work.