The 9 tariff club is worth it
Is the DB BahnCard 100 worth it?
The BahnCard 100 Deutsche Bahn offers a mobility flat rate that is valid throughout Germany. This gives you unlimited use of Deutsche Bahn trains as well as many local transport and buses. But for whom is the “Black Mamba” worthwhile?
For an annual or monthly fixed price, you can travel unlimited without a ticket. In addition to the core product of Deutsche Bahn, long-distance transport, you can also travel many local trains as well as buses and trains in over 100 cities and communities with the included City Ticket. The card alone is your ticket.
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How much does the BahnCard 100 cost?
The BahnCard 100 is offered for 2nd or 1st class. You also have the choice between annual or monthly payment. The annual payment method gives you a discount of 428 euros in the version for the second class and 755 euros in the version for the first class. The annual payment method saves you almost 10 percent.
|1st Class||2nd Class|
|yearly||6,685 euros||3,952 euros|
|per month||620 euros||365 euros|
There are no further discounts, for example for young people or senior citizens. Please also note that if you pay monthly, you take out a subscription and the BahnCard 100 is automatically renewed for another year after 12 months. This is not the case with a BahnCard 100 with annual payment. In addition to the lower total costs, the non-automatic extension also speaks in favor of the annual payment method.
In addition to the BahnCard 100 for a whole year, there is also the trial BahnCard 100, which is only valid for three months. This means that you pay a small surcharge compared to the annual subscription.
- Trial BahnCard 100 1st class: € 2,124 (for three months)
- Trial BahnCard 100 2nd class: € 1,179 (for three months)
Actually intended as a test of the BahnCard 100 for your own everyday life, there is no limit to how often you test the product. For example, you could apply for the BahnCard 100 sample every summer and take advantage of all the benefits for three months.
What advantages does the DB BahnCard 100 offer?
The core product of the BahnCard 100 is, of course, the ability to travel on all local and long-distance trains of German railways. But the card also offers a few other advantages.
In principle, you can use all trains on which the DB tariff is recognized. These are almost all trains of Deutsche Bahn in local and long-distance traffic as well as the vast majority of trains from private railway companies. If the railway would sell you a flex price for the corresponding train, you can also use this train ticketless with the BahnCard 100. Many private train and bus companies also recognize the BahnCard 100 as a valid ticket. For example, you can also use the tram from Bonn to Siegburg with the BahnCard 100. In general, it is advisable to approach the respective transport company. The relevant information can usually be found on their website.
The BahnCard 100 is also valid on the IC bus with a corresponding reservation (subject to a charge) within Germany and entitles you to free travel.
Taking along other passengers
With a BahnCard 100, as with a regular DB ticket, you can take up to four children or grandchildren up to and including 14 years with you free of charge. Please note, however, that this rule does not apply to the City Ticket.
BahnCard 100 holders can purchase 46 seat reservations for the month in question at a price of EUR 41.40 per month. This offer is primarily aimed at commuters, as the route for the reservation vouchers must be determined in advance. A refund of unused seat reservations is not possible here, but the low price of only 1 euro per reservation speaks in favor of the offer.
With a BahnCard 100 1st class you also have access to a free contingent of 100 reservations per year. This can also be conveniently used via the DB Navigator app.
On the move with the CityTicket in local transport
A free city ticket is also included in the BahnCard 100. This gives you practically unlimited travel in many larger cities and saves you the connection ticket for local public transport or the season ticket in your home town.
The City-Ticket is currently available in 130 cities. Here you will find detailed information about the respective spatial validity of the integrated city ticket. Please note, however, that in the vast majority of cases you can also use the S-Bahn or local trains beyond the area of validity of the city ticket.
If you want to use 1st class with a regular BahnCard 100, you have a few options. First of all, as with regular tickets, you have the option of purchasing a one-off class transfer for the 1st and 2nd class of the route in question by paying the difference between the flex price. In addition, there is the so-called “additional card transition” for three months at a price of 899 euros. This is practically a temporary upgrade of your BahnCard 100 to 1st class, for three months at a time. In this case, however, you are not entitled to free seat reservations.
Finally, you can also upgrade to 1st class using bahn.bonus points. For 500 points you can order a so-called eToken, with which you can upgrade to 1st class for a one-way trip and depending on availability.
With the BahnCard 100 you will immediately get the bahn.comfort status. This means you can benefit from quick check-in at the travel center, a preferred hotline for your concerns, special parking spaces at the train station, reserved seating areas on the train and, with a BahnCard 100 2nd class, access to the DB lounges. BahnCard 100 1st class holders have access to the 1st class area of the DB Lounge at any time, provided it has one. By the way, you don't have to be in possession of a ticket for this, the BahnCard alone entitles you to access the lounge. Some partners, for example Sixt, also offer special conditions for bahn.comfort status customers.
Partner and additional cards
Families with underage children particularly benefit from the DB BahnCard 100. In this case, all family members receive a free BahnCard 25.
Couples without children are not entitled to a free BahnCard 25, but can order a reduced BahnCard 25 and BahnCard 50 as a partner card.
|Partner cards for the BahnCard 100||1st Class||2nd Class|
|BahnCard 25||71.50 euros||36.20 euros|
|BahnCard 50||221.80 euros||111.90 euros|
For trips abroad, you have to buy a ticket for the foreign route from the respective border tariff point. However, you will receive the usual Railplus discount. The best way to book is to contact a relevant DB travel center.
With a BahnCard 100 you can also use the DB luggage service free of charge. Bicycles can also be taken on the train free of charge.
For whom is the BahnCard 100 worthwhile?
Simply put: At the latest when the annual costs for train tickets and any BahnCards exceed the annual fee of a BahnCard 100 of 4,000 or 7,000 euros, you should urgently think about purchasing it. Be sure to also note the advantage of the integrated City Ticket, which can often replace the annual ticket for bus and train. However, the areas of validity, for example in Berlin, are also quite narrow.
In addition to the financial advantages, the comfort aspect should also be considered. Because with BahnCard 100 you simply get on the next train and you don't have to worry (almost) about tickets, tariffs or permitted routes. You are really completely flexible and not tied to certain trains, so the BahnCard 100 can actually only be compared with flex-price tickets. The DB BahnCard 100 is an extremely practical companion, especially if you are often on the move spontaneously and do not have to plan your trips long in advance, appointments take longer or have to be rescheduled at short notice.
What alternatives are there to the BahnCard 100?
Unless you are on the move with Deutsche Bahn every day and can plan your trips well in advance with a certain degree of flexibility, the saver prices in connection with a BahnCard 25 are often cheaper. If you appreciate the flexibility of the flex prices and are often on the move, the BahnCard 50 can also be worthwhile. Deutsche Bahn also has route-related time cards that are cheaper than the BahnCard 100 up to a certain distance and often include a free BahnCard 25. These are particularly suitable for commuters on shorter long-distance routes who still value flexibility. Please note, however, that in this case no city ticket is included and you will often incur additional costs for connecting traffic.
For example, if you commute between Mannheim and Stuttgart, the route-related annual ticket is almost 700 euros cheaper than the BahnCard 100. With the latter, however, a city ticket in Mannheim and Stuttgart would be included and you can travel throughout Germany at no extra cost. Between Cologne and Frankfurt, an annual ticket is (almost) never worth it, as the BahnCard 100 is cheaper here.
On shorter routes, for example between Freiburg and Basel, the price difference is over 1,400 euros over a whole year. Here you should calculate exactly whether you will really achieve the annual fee of a BahnCard 100 with additional trips and connecting tickets in the respective cities. Most commuters should travel more cheaply here with a normal annual pass.
Last but not least, Sixt also offers a mobility flat rate with Sixt unlimited cards. You can rent a rental car an unlimited number of times throughout Europe for a fixed monthly price. In terms of price, however, this offer is more likely to compete with a personal company car than with a BahnCard 100.
Conclusion on the BahnCard 100
Despite various price increases in recent years, the BahnCard 100 is still a highly attractive offer for all frequent travelers and commuters. There are (almost) no comparable “flat rates” with airlines and within Germany, the train is often the means of transport of choice. Coupled with the flexibility of being able to get on any train of your choice and only paying a fixed price for all mobility, many frequent travelers still opt for the BahnCard 100. Weekend commuters with predictable working hours often travel with the saver prices and one BahnCard 25 cheaper, but the flexibility of the BahnCard 100 is unbeatable.
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