In my long article on train ticket reward schemes last week, I explained East Coast Rewards.
As I said then, if you would be interested in redeeming for travel on the East Coast line, then booking your tickets via the East Coast website (whatever train company you are booking for) is a better deal than getting 6% Quidco cashback via Southern.
As of yesterday, East Coast has made some further improvements which I hinted to at the time.
Instead of redeeming for return trips, you now redeem for single trips. The points needed have been halved, so you are no worse off.
There are 3 positive aspects of this:
If one leg of your trip is not available on points, you can redeem for a single for one leg and pay cash for the other
Similarly, if one leg is very cheap for cash, you can save your points and just book the expensive leg on points
It reduces the spend you need to do before you can redeem. A single Standard class ticket is 250 points, which needs £250 of Standard class ticket purchases or £166 of First Class tickets. If you redeemed for a single ticket to Aberdeen from London, you’d be getting an excellent return on your spending.
The only thing to remember is that East Coast points expire after 2 years, so you need to do enough spending on train tickets within 2 years to get enough points to redeem. Otherwise, the oldest ones will start to expire.