East Coast Rewards

East Coast Rewards was the loyalty scheme for East Coast Trains whilst the franchise was under Government ownership. The programme closed on 28th February 2015 as the franchise passed to Virgin Trains, but members have until the end of September 2015 to redeem their remaining points.

Bits: £750 business class flights to Bangkok, East Coast Rewards to Virgin miles, 12000 Avios for Economist sub

Turkish Airlines 777 seating

Some news in brief: £750 business class tickets to Bangkok I have devoted quiet a bit of coverage recently to exceptionally cheap Qatar Airways flights to Asia from Europe, often sub £800.  There is nothing available at the moment, however. Turkish Airlines has stepped into the […]

I just emptied out my East Coast Rewards account ….

Virgin East Coast

Well, that is another one I can delete from my Award Wallet home page!  Yesterday I managed to empty out my East Coast Rewards account. I had 956 points remaining, with a big chunk due to expire in June.  I booked a return First Class ticket up […]

Bits: Indian Visa changes, Sofitel Terminal 5 back as a ‘secret hotel’, how HFP impacted East Coast Rewards

East Coast vouchers 2

More news in brief: Massively inconvenient Indian Visa changes for British visitors This story had passed me by until a HFP reader emailed me this week to tell me how much money he has lost due to changes to the India Visa regulations. Our reader […]

Bits: Qatar business sale (Oz £1785, Dubai £659!!), Avios shopping deals, East Coast 10% discount gone?, Etihad double miles

Gate 365

Some news in brief: Qatar Airways business and economy class savings Qatar has launched a big new 5-day promotion which can be found here. You must book by March 13th for travel between April 14th and July 10th. The business class deals are aggressive. Dubai […]

What a Freedom of Information request revealed about East Coast Rewards

Virgin East Coast

As part of the campaign to save train loyalty scheme East Coast Rewards (a campaign which was partially successful, to the extent that Virgin East Coast ended up making a generous conversion deal), a Freedom of Information Act requested was submitted to obtain more information about […]

Virgin East Coast is the BEST Nectar redemption from Sunday @ 0.75p per point!

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It seems that some of the pressure put on Virgin East Coast to save East Coast Rewards has paid off.  Virgin is not keeping East Coast Rewards, of course, but the transition is better than originally expected. On Sunday 1st March, the East Coast Trains […]

Bits: BA returns to Birmingham, £4.20 off a train ticket, new Hyatt status benefits

Sun-Air of Scandinavia

Here are three more short pieces as I try to clear my inbox (again): British Airways to return to Birmingham (a teeny tiny bit) (EDIT, March 2015:  There is still confirmation that this story is true and it may not be happening) According to press […]

East Coast Rewards – conversion rate to Nectar points revealed

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It seems that loyalty schemes which announce major changes do occasionally listen to customer feedback.  I’m not talking about the Avios changes, of course, but the changes to (ie abolition of) rail loyalty scheme East Coast Rewards. The Save East Coast Rewards website points out […]

How to top up your East Coast Rewards before closure (and help save East Coast Rewards!)

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As I wrote last month, East Coast Rewards – the rail loyalty scheme – is closing on February 28th.  The next day, the East Coast rail franchise passes to a Stagecoach / Virgin consortium and will start awarding Nectar points instead. Between March 1st and September […]

Closure of East Coast Rewards now confirmed – what should you do?

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If you are a member of the East Coast Rewards train loyalty scheme you will have received an email yesterday confirming that the scheme is being closed on February 28th.  The franchise is being handed over to a Stagecoach / Virgin consortium. The new team will […]

East Coast Rewards to close as Stagecoach wins franchise

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The Government announced on Thursday that a consortium comprising of Stagecoach (90%) and Virgin Rail (10%) will take over the East Coast rail franchise from 1st March 2015. I will not dwell on the political issues behind putting the franchise back into the private sector – […]

Devaluations galore – East Coast Rewards, Collect More Fly, Leaders Club

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It is hopefully just an unfortunate coincidence but a raft of loyalty scheme devaluations have hit my inbox this week.  Let’s take a look. East Coast Rewards The East Coast trains scheme, East Coast Rewards, is my favourite rail reward programme. I explained how East […]

redspottedhanky adds booking and postage fees – where should you book now?


Many of you will have received an email from redspottedhanky.com last night advising that they are introducing a £1 booking fee and a £1 postage fee for all train ticket bookings.  This was, in some ways, inevitable since Atos – the parent company – must […]

East Coast Trains launches sale from £10 for Sep-Nov travel

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East Coast Trains has launched its latest sale, with tickets available for booking until midnight on Tuesday September 2nd. Tickets start from £10 each way in Standard and £30 each way in First Class. You need to book for travel between 12th September to 21st […]

Exclusive East Coast Trains discounts via Time Out

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Time Out magazine is currently running an exclusive online promotion for East Coast Trains.   This offers substantial discounts if you are travelling to or from London over the Summer. The ‘one way’ fares quoted are (and these are flat fares, not ‘from’ fares): Peterborough: £8 (Standard), […]

Getting the cheapest price and maximum rewards for train travel (part 2, 2014 edition)

Gatwick Express

Yesterday I looked at the various ways of booking UK train tickets.  My conclusion was that there is no longer any obvious best choice, but you would not go far wrong by starting with the site of the train company you will use and then comparing […]