SBB Half fare PLUS

Hello - I could not find a thread on this subject, have you seen the new SBB offer?

https://www.sbb.ch/en/tickets-offers/travelcards/half-fare-travelcard-plus.html

Basically you get a 20/25/30% discount for prepaying your train rides.

This seems like a very good mustachian deal!

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That’s neat. Works on easyride and class upgrades, too. No for international tickets obviously. Reading the fine print, I cought this
You also benefit from a money-back guarantee: if you do not use up all of your deposit within one year, you get the rest back. However, the bonus has a time limit.
So say you deposit 800 (+200 bonus), in 365 days use up 500 for your normal ride, you get 300 back and bonus is untouched. In other words, only if you plan using up the ammount. Still nice find.

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Wow even SBB is short on cash, they have to get loans from the customers. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

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It’s actually an offer agreed on by the broader association Swiss transit companies, as a response to increased part-time commuting (after COVID):

Halbtax PLUS: öV-Nutzende profitieren von attraktivem Bonus und gewinnen an Flexibilität - Alliance SwissPass

It can only be used for individual rides, day passes or usage-based ticketing, not for monthly or yearly travel cards. Which can be tricky to compare the prices with, especially if you are a part-time commuter.

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Edit: in my case, for my regular commute, the outlay for the yearly travel card‘s price is the equivalent of 118 day passes without using this bonus credit scheme - or 155 day passes when making full use of the highest-tier Half Fare Travelcard PLUS 3000 bonus credit.

Given that I estimated my weekly usage to somewhere between 2 and 3 return trips a week, I opted for the yearly travel cards this time.

One extra tip is that when you use up the credit, you can immediately refill it and start a new cycle, without waiting for the year to be over.
That means that it could make sense to get the smaller option and just always refill it.

E.g. if you use 1800 CHF per year and you get the 2000 Card, you only get 300 CHF bonus per year. But if you get the 1000 Card you get 200 CHF bonus every time you use up 1000 CHF.

Now combine it with an employer supported REKA Card, and transportation with public transport can become pretty cheap for users who do not use it on a regular basis (which is still the most mustachian - live in biking distance to your work place).

You have to spend more than 1000chf yearly to make sense, otherwise it’s better to put that money on WillBe :slight_smile:
Edit: There is also the new Leisure Travelcard
https://www.sbb.ch/en/tickets-offers/travelcards/leisure-travelcard.html

I would say less interesting. With a bit of planning you can easily buy tickets for less than 45 CHF per day (often I am in the 30-40 CHF/d range for a wekkend trip into the mountains and buying the tickets about a week in advance - with the Halbtax Plus combined with REKA, it will be even cheaper)

Actually my main question, can you buy tickets for others with the Halbtax Plus ? Than the 1000 CHF barrier is easily hit (EDIT: apparently not possible).

No use for me. I have A-Welle for 1.4k/year which covers everything what I need in SO/AG (work, hobbies etc.).

You, sir or madam, da real MVP, how the kids supposedly say nowadays.

The 2000 card is 1500 CHF plus 500 bonus.

Tickets need to be purchased online. Does it say anywhere whether they are personalized this way? Or can this be shared in the family?

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I don’t see it.
The bigger package is always more beneficial if you breach its threshold, it’s designed that way IMHO.

If you use 1800CHF

  • with 2x PLUS 1000 you get 200CHF “back” (because you didn’t breach the 800 threshold of the 2nd package)
  • with 1x PLUS 2000 you get 300CHF

If you use 1900CHF, same story

  • 2x PLUS 1000 gives you 200+100=300CHF
  • 1x PLUS 2000 gives you 400CHF

Etc.

Yes, but you need to use the bonus to profit from it. And if you don’t use it it gets reset after a year.

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The key point was that you can refill it when you finish it, even if the year is not over. That frees you from the yearly cycle.

What you’re forgetting here is that the second PLUS 1000 runs again for another 12 months, giving you more than 12 months in total to use it up completely, whereas the PLUS 2000 runs for 12 months total.

Also, maybe you don’t yet know how much you’ll use, so better start with a smaller package, see how long it lasts, and then move up to a bigger one.

You are right. I missed your scenario with spending only 1800.
Then it makes sense since the second 1000 ticket carries over

pretty easy to check how much you used on you bank statement (unless you use cash… but who does in 2023?)

I do, but that’s a different topic.

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My expectation is that if/as the Half Fare Plus becomes widely adopted, the SBB will begin raising regular ticket prices by a percentage more or less equal to that of the Half Fare Plus discount, essentially “forcing” customers to prepay. I can’t see any other logic behind an offer like this. But of course, I could be completely wrong. It’s just my hunch.

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