Avios drops mytrainticket.co.uk for traingenius.com – is it a better deal?

I’m not sure exactly when this happened, but Avios (ie avios.com) has dropped mytrainticket.co.uk as their exclusive train ticket booking partner.  They are now working with traingenius.com

It was back in May that I last wrote about mytrainticket.  Whilst you earned 2 Avios per £1 spent, I was not impressed by the pretty tacky fees that mytrainticket.co.uk added on:

  • Postage was £1.70 (free to collect at station)
  • Credit card fee was 2.9%
  • There was a £1 booking fee

Let’s compare that with East Coast Trains, which charges (for tickets on ANY train company) £1 for postage, 0% card fee and £0 booking fee.  East Coast also has its own very good loyalty scheme, East Coast Rewards.  redspottedhanky.com has no fees at all, even for postage.

Suddenly those mytrainticket.co.uk Avios don’t look as ‘free’ as they were ….

I am not, therefore, sad to see the back of mytrainticket.co.uk.  But is traingenius.com any better?

TrainGenius

The answer seems to be ‘not really’:

Here are their fees:

  • Postage is £1.70 (free to collect at station)
  • Credit card fee is 2%
  • There is a £1 booking fee

Put simply – unless you are spending someone elses money – there is no logical reason to use traingenius.  Even accounting for the value of the Avios points, you will get a better deal by booking on the East Coast Trains website and earning East Coast Rewards points on top.

The other option is redspottedhanky.com which charges NO postage fees (saving £1 over East Coast), NO card fees and NO booking fee.  Sounds better than 2 Avios per £1 and a fist full of fees ….

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Comments

  1. I am fairly sure that they are the same company. I could be wrong but a friend needed to claim a refund from traingenius and was sent a mytrainticket refund form. I was one of the first customers of mytrainticket so as an Avios user I was entitled to no fees and no credit card fees. Once they changed to traingenius this privilege was (of course) taken away. I have not used traingenius since.

  2. Not bad earrings on a £20 ticket, £1.40 in fees for 40 avios, plus your amex points! Could end up being 80 with the gold….

  3. Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    Red spotted hanky at 1.57% too. Combined with their 1% rewards scheme nets a healthy 2.57% that’s much easier to redeem than East Coast.

  4. I agree with JD. Both websites appear to be owned by Assertis. However, mytrainticket has moved to using thetrainline for the interface/backend functionality. Traingenius uses what I assume is Assertis’ own backend/interface, that used to be in use on mytrainticket (which incidentally, is also used by Northern Rail’s website, with no fees).

  5. To be fair, East Coast is a state owned train operating company and redspottedhanky is owned by the people who actually build and operate the train ticketing system. Its not overly surprising they can charge less than private companies with no special privileges.

    • East Coast is massively profitable! They have simply chosen not to make excessive pointless surcharges to line their own pockets even more …

      • franchise bidding it back out there, won’t be long before it goes private again :-(

        Apparently since state ownership it’s one of the best performing companies

    • Fair or not. I know where I get my tickets from.

  6. Raffles

    Bit of info. Early avios users of train ticket.co.uk were able to have the credit card and booking fees waived. One day got an email saying they were now moving to train genius (must be same company as web looks identical), only to find that the registered users of trainticket.co.uk now got charged the booking and credit card fees! Hardly seems right!