Update: Getting the €49 ticket may require a Schufa-check?
This is a weird one. Like the €9 ticket last summer, the €49 ticket is meant to be a cheap, affordable way of providing access to public transport. But now it turns out there might be a credit check (known as the Schufa) when purchasing the ticket. That means that people with a low Schufa score (that’s right, the people who are most likely to need the more affordable ticket option) could have their payments automatically fail.
The problem comes because of the payment service provider Logpay. When they begin a new direct debit, they usually check the credit rating with Schufa check to ensure, you’ll always have the €49 in your account for the monthly direct debit. So could we really see a system whereby people in debt can’t get the €49 ticket? It would seem very backwards but – since Süddeutsche Zeitung first raised the issue – providers have reportedly started looking at other solutions to the problem.
What is the Deutschlandticket?
Since Monday 20th February, the BVG has made their new €49 monthly ticket, also known as the Deutschlandticket available for pre-oder. It will function as a replacement of the hugely popular €29 ticket, which had over 1 million subscribers. The key change here (other than the price increase) is that the €49 ticket gives you access to all public transports throughout Germany (excluding the high-speed ICE trains).
How do I get it?
Like its €29 predecessor, the €49 ticket is technically a monthly subscription, so it’s not a once-off ticket that you can just buy from a BVG ticket machine for a single month’s use. Instead, you need to sign up for the subscription here on the BVG website, or in-person at a BVG customer centre. You can the then choose between a plastic BVG transport card, or a digital ticket on the BVG phone app.
What should I do if I already have the €29 ticket?
Well, it depends… as here the BVG are being a bit tricky.
What we thought would happen is simply that your €29 would automatically become the €49 ticket. It would cost a bit more, but be valid nationwide – not a terrible deal. But this is not in fact the case.
Rather, if you do nothing at all, you’ll be automatically moved on to the “VBB-Umweltkarte” which costs €66.90 per month and is only valid for the AB zone in Berlin, which seems like…. a lesser deal?
However, the BVG should send you an email explaining all this and it is a relatively painless changeover process. If you’ve not got that email yet: here’s the link. You click something like “Abo-wechseln“, log in to your account, and select that you want to join the €49 Deutschlandsticket from it’s start date of May 1st. But again beware: you’ve got to make this change before April 10, 2023.
Once you’ve made the change, you can even select to have a digital ticket, which makes all those complicated and late arriving physical €29 tickets seem like a bit of a waste.
When should I get it?
You can pre-order your €49 Deutschlandticket ticket now, but it will only be valid for use from the beginning of May.
If you don’t manage to pre-order it before May 1st, here’s some important info to remember: You’ll need to have bought your subscription before the 20th of the month in order for it to be valid for the next month. That means that if you want to use your €49 ticket from the start of May, you need to purchase it before the 20th of April. If you buy your ticket after the 20th of the month, your ticket will unfortunately only be valid for the following month (in this case June).
What if I’m subscribed to the €29 ticket, but don’t want the €49 Deutschlandticket?
If you’ve already got a €29 ticket subscription, but don’t feel like forking out €49 for nationwide travel, you just need to cancel your current subscription.
Again, you can just head to this page and get pretty straightforward instructions on how to do this, but it’s pretty much as follows: Once you log in, there you should see two separate subscriptions. You can then just click on “Abo kündigen” and decide which you want to cancel, and from when.