I'm going to be in Germany for a year and getting a BahnCard is a no-brainer. I was about to purchase it online, when someone advised me that I'd later need to show the credit/debit card I use as proof of ID on the train.

The problem is that I use a debit card that is not in my name, but rather in my sister's name because I was not old enough to open up my own bank account. All the money in there is mine (I am not committing fraud lol), it's just that the account is in her name.

What can I do in this case? If I pay with PayPal, would that help at all? What exactly does Deutsche Bahn do in cases such as this (or parents buying their minors an online BahnCard with their cards)?

  • If you intend to do some long-distance traveling in the next few months, you can also buy the Bahn Sommer Ticket. It's a ticket that gives you four arbitrary journeys for 19 Euros each if you're under 18 and it's currently on sale. If you want to go for example from Hamburg to Munich and back, this is incredibly cheap. See bahn.de/p/view/angebot/aktionsangebote/sommerticket.shtml (German).
    – simbabque
    Jul 4, 2017 at 9:01
  • 1
    Whoa that's amazing! Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention, I'll definitely do this :)
    – Caro
    Jul 5, 2017 at 22:23

1 Answer 1


You or your adviser misunderstood something. You will not need to show the credit/debit card as proof of ID while purchasing the Bahncard online (how are you going to show a credit card online?)

You will need to prove your ID later - if you buy a train ticket online and the ticket controller asks you to present an identity document. This document must not be a credit/debit card. It may be almost any kind of ID and even your Bahncard itself (see answer to this question).

But there is another issue - if you're under 18 (which I suppose) you cannot buy a Bahncard at all! However you can buy a "Jugend Bahncard" (good news - it costs only 10 Euro) but you need a written permission from your parents for that.

  • Thanks Neusser! I corrected my original post, the person didn't tell me I'd have to show this online, but on the train as a form of ID. Apparently this is how it was done not so long ago, but I'm glad it's changed!
    – Caro
    Jun 26, 2017 at 6:01
  • And you assumed correctly, I'm still 17. Again thank you very much, I hadn't come across that restriction anywhere else. Does it have all the benefits of a regular BahnCard? should I treat it as one when I'm searching for tickets on the DB website and I have to select the discount type?
    – Caro
    Jun 26, 2017 at 6:04
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    @Caro Yes, it is like the regular BahnCard 25, but for young people (that is why it costs less).
    – Neusser
    Jun 26, 2017 at 11:35

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