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Avios drops for – is it a better deal?

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

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 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. has no fees at all, even for postage.

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

I am not, therefore, sad to see the back of  But is any better?


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 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 ….

how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (11)

  • JD says:

    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.

  • Polly says:

    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….

  • 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.

  • Robert says:

    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).

  • callum says:

    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.

    • Rob says:

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

      • Johnny5a says:

        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

    • Frenske says:

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

  • Jez says:


    Bit of info. Early avios users of train 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 now got charged the booking and credit card fees! Hardly seems right!