Train at Requena Station

Using Our Tarjetas Doradas on Cercanias Trains

In Short Trips (VLC) by Susan7 Comments

Renfe Cercanias train pullin in to Requena station.

Seniors Can Travel by Train at a Discount

Shortly after we arrived in Spain we discovered the Tarjeta Dorada, or Gold Card, that provides reduced fares on Spanish trains for those over 60 or the disabled.  We purchased the annual discount card for €6.00 each at the train station.  Then, when we bought train tickets online, all we had to do was add our unique card number to receive the discount.

The Discounts Are Great

 With our discount cards in hand we can save a good amount:

  • up to 40% for most the trains,
  • up to 50% on the Feve (narrow gauge) trains of the Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias, and Galicia.

There was only one problem.  When we wanted to travel on the Cercania (local commuter) trains, we always bought our tickets at the station kiosk.  And try as we might, we could never figure out how to get the Tarjeta Dorada discount applied.

Finally, because we needed to renew our annual cards, and because we understand a little more Spanish than we did a year ago, we went back to the same window at the station and came away with an answer.

We now know how to use the kiosk  AND  get the Tarjeta Dorada discount!

All It Took Was Renfe & Tú

We paid €1 for two Renfe & Tú rechargeable cards.  Our Tarjeta Dorada numbers were programmed onto the card.  Renfe refers to this card as a “Personal Card” because it carries our personal identification.

Now, when we use the Kiosk, instead of printing a new ticket each time, we hold the card up to the scanner and the card is re-filled with the proper fare -- after we pay, of course.  These reusable  cards even fit our goal to reduce waste.

We are still required to carry our Tarjeta Dorada with us on each reduced fare trip, just in case the ticket checker mistakes us for kids using our grandparents' discount cards.  We were also instructed not to laminate the cards.

For more information on discounts for young people, large families, and visiting guests, visit the Renfe website.

Susan Carey retired in 2017 after a long business career.  She writes about her experiences as a vagabond in Europe.  Susan shares her gentle life with her husband, Jamie.
Horses watering at a lake in the Pyrenees


  1. When you have purchased your Tarjeta Dorada card and you are joining the train at an “UNMANNED ” station how can you use your “PERSONAL CARD” to pay

  2. I’m wondering if you can buy a targeta dorada at a Cercanias station? or does it have to be a mainline Renfe station? In a couple of weeks, I’ll be travelling around Barcelona by Cercanias before going by AVE over to France and won’t need to go to a Renfe station unless that it the only place I can buy a targeta dorada. I’m grateful for any advice – thank you!

    1. The Cercanias are part of the Renfe system. According to the Renfe website” “This card, named and non-transferable, has a price of €6 and can be purchased at any ticket office in stations or travel agencies.”

      If you will traveling by train in France, I suggest you look into the Senior Card, at 49 euros it seems expensive, but we saved that much on our first TGV tickets (from Barcelona).

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