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Tarjeta Dorada for train travel

Hello fellow travelers,
We're heading out on a trip and will be in Spain in late May. We're looking to book train travel from Barcelona to Granada and read Rick's tip about buying a discounted ticket in advance and buying the Tarjeta Dorada once in Spain (since you can't buy it online). Has anyone done this? It appears that in order to buy the discounted tickets we need to put in the number, so we're stumped and stuck.

We already have a SNCF Carte Avantage Senior for France - I'm doubting that would work in Spain but if anyone has experience, I'm eager to hear.

As always, many thanks in advance.

Posted by
17 posts

Wish I could help you. I purchased my Tarjeta Dorada when I was there in 2022. I was delighted to learn that I could renew it online, for a trip I took to Spain just last month. So there's at least that.

And FWIW trains in Spain are the very best ... but the Renfe website is the very worst.

BTW, how does one go about getting the SNCF Carte Avantage Senior for France?


Posted by
20 posts

Thank you! Appreciate the input

For the Carte Avantage Senior, you just go to the SNCF Connect website and go to offers.

If you don't speak French, scroll towards the bottom and on the right you'll see country choice - pick "Europe, other" and you should get English.

Posted by
859 posts

It appears that in order to buy the discounted tickets we need to put in the number, so we're stumped and stuck.

We (59 and 73) are just back from 60 days in Spain. We had the same issue but mostly got around it by buying a refundable train ticket for the person eligible for the Tarjeta Dorada online before we arrived. Once we had the physical Tarjeta Dorada card we then rebooked as many of our train fares as it made sense to do so, and canceled the pre booked tickets.

For our long distance high speed trains we got just as good a price booking in advance (or better using Iryo) as we would have using the Tarjeta Dorada card so we just left those alone. The Tarjeta Dorada card was useful for discounts for regional, FEVE and media distancia train tickets.

We also registered our eligible senior for the Alsa Plus program which meant he got both discounted bus tickets and earned credits.

The Tarjeta Dorada cost €6- and looks like a boarding pass. All we needed to do to buy it was go to a ticket counter and show a passport as proof of age.