National Express has recently expanded its loyalty scheme to cover far more routes so we thought it was time to take a look. If nothing else, you might use them on a regular basis to get to or from an airport.
To be honest travel by coach doesn’t seem too tempting – though when I came to London 7 years ago I took a bus from Hamburg to London simply because I wanted to bring more luggage than the airlines allowed. It wasn’t a lot of fun. Rob also speaks fondly of hours hanging around Digbeth during his student days ….
A few weeks ago I got to ride a National Express coach once more when my flight to Luton was delayed and I missed the last train. The coaches have had an overhaul since I last took one with improved seats and air conditioning so the ride was rather pleasant – and not too long.
What I found out later is that National Express also has a loyalty scheme, which has recently been expanded with the addition of a lot more qualifying routes.
How it works
The National Express loyalty scheme is as straight forward as a coffee card and possibly more lucrative.
For every booking on one of the qualifying routes you will get one point.
Once you’ve made ten qualifying bookings, you get a free return trip.
How to get more than a 10% return on your spending
In theory this gets you a 10% return. However, the trick appears to be to book a return trip as two separate bookings. You will then receive two qualifying bookings towards your free return journey, which effectively means a 20% return.
Qualifying London airport trips include:
Gatwick to Bristol and Cardiff,
Heathrow to London Victoria, Cardiff, Southampton, Bath, Bristol, Cheltenham, Chippenham, Cirenster, Gloucester, Swindon and Taunton,
Luton to eight stops within London
as well as various other routes within the UK.
How to join
You must sign up for the National Express loyalty scheme (which has no name!) before making your first booking on this sign up page.
Once you’ve made ten bookings on qualifying routes with the same registered email address, you will receive a voucher code to use for your free return trip.
(Be very careful to use the same email address on every booking, because you cannot change it afterwards. You won’t earn any reward points if the original email address used does not match your registered address. Similarly, you cannot change your registered email address so do not use a company one unless you have good job security!)
Once you’ve earned 10 points, your free return trip must be booked on this special website. Once booked, you can change the date on your free ticket for a £5 fee but cannot cancel it.
You can only redeem on one of the routes which allows you to earn points.
There is only catch which could prove troublesome. Your free journey must be booked within 30 days of receipt of your free journey email voucher which itself will arrive a few days after your 10th trip is completed. You do not need to travel within 30 days but you must book.
The only excluded dates for redemptions are bank holidays, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.