Update : Nov 2018
What is a BahnCard?
If you are traveling by train in Germany and/or buying a train ticket through Deutsche Bahn, it is important to understand what the BahnCard is.
The BahnCard is a discount card offered by Deutsche Bahn with a variety of different types such as the BahnCard 25, BahnCard Flex 25, BahnCard Flex 50, and BahnCard 100. Each type of card has different discount prices for your tickets. These cards have an annual or monthly subscription, depending on the card, with automatic renewal.
Buying a ticket at the train station
When you are buying a ticket at the train station in Germany, Deutsche Bahn employees will recommend purchasing the BahnCard because it will reduce the price of your ticket. If you decide to purchase this option, you will have to fill out a form for the BahnCard. On the form, it states that this card is a subscription, and it will automatically renew the subscription every year. Since the form is in German, if you do not speak German, you may not realise that you are purchasing a subscription and not just a one-time discount.
If you are only visiting Germany for a short period of time
If you are only using the train once but want to purchase a BahnCard to receive a discount on your ticket, it may be possible for you to cancel your subscription within a certain period of time depending on the type of BahnCard you purchase.
How to cancel your BahnCard subscription
In order to cancel the subscription, you must send a notice to the Deutsche Bahn center within the appropriate period of time. Deutsche Bahn requires that you notify them at least six weeks prior to the renewal of your subscription for most BahnCard subscriptions.
The BahnCard option, which includes BahnCard 25, 50, and 100, has a minimum subscription of one year. If you wish to cancel your subscription, you must notify Deutsche Bahn at least six weeks prior to the renewal of your subscription, which will occur one year after the initial purchase.
The BahnCard Flex option, which includes BahnCard Flex 25 and 50, has a minimum subscription of three months. If you wish to cancel your subscription, you must notify Deutsche Bahn six weeks prior to the renewal of your subscription, which will occur three months after the initial purchase. After the initial three months, you can cancel your subscription on a monthly basis.
Although the BahnCard Flex option is more expensive, it allows you to cancel your subscription earlier than a BahnCard subscription since the minimum subscription period is shorter.