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Get a free £5 to spend with LNER trains when you join ‘LNER Perks’

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LNER, the East Coast rail franchise holder, launched a new loyalty programme three year ago – ‘LNER Perks’.

This was not wholly unexpected. LNER had dropped out of Nectar a couple of months earlier and had also announced plans to stop accepting Nectar points towards train tickets.

To persuade you to join ‘LNER Perks’, LNER will give you a £5 credit. This will stack with any American Express or any Visa / Mastercard cashback offer you may currently have for LNER.

Looking at my own wallet, there is nothing currently live on American Express but I can get 5% back on my MBNA and Virgin Money cards.

LNER Perks review

Full details are on the LNER website here.

You can join via the LNER app or, if you already have an LNER account, by simply opting in to Perks. When you are logged in, there is a big red button under ‘My Account’ which enrols you.

The £5 credit is deposited immediately, as you can see below. It is valid for 24 months.

The credit can only be redeemed when you book via the LNER app, not the website.

The sign-up money is ringfenced and can only be used for LNER Advance rail tickets. You cannot cash it out, either for yourself or for a charity partner.

(If you are targetted for an American Express or other credit card LNER cashback deal, this is not ringfenced for any specific ticket type. You get the cashback on ANY train ticket you book via the LNER website, irrespective of which train company it is for.)

LNER Perks review

What does LNER Perks offer long-term?

LNER travellers earn 2% in credits on all of their ticket purchases.

This is added to your LNER Perks account. It can be redeemed for e-vouchers for your own use, or donated to one of LNER’s selected charity partners. You need to book via the LNER app in order to redeem your e-voucher.

You do NOT need to have bought your tickets directly from LNER to earn cashback. You can add your tickets to the LNER app and receive your 2% rebate. However, there are special rules in place on how you can use cashback earned for tickets bought at stations, from another online retailer or from another train operator.

Do I need to earn a minimum amount to redeem my cashback?

No, if you are redeeming for tickets for yourself or donating your cashback to charity. Whatever you’ve got, down to the last penny, can be used against your next qualifying purchase.

Yes, if you want to gift your cashback to another person. In this case, you would need to earn £10 before you can issue a voucher. The voucher can only be used on LNER Advance tickets.

LNER Perks review

Can I get 2% back on my existing LNER bookings?

No. The only exception is if you have made a booking in the past 48 hours before joining LNER Perks. If you have, you will automatically be credited with the 2%.

Can I get 2% back on travel on other rail operators?

No, if the trip is entirely on other operators but booked through the LNER website.

Yes, if the trip is partly on LNER and partly on another operator. The 2% is paid on the entire trip value.

There is more to the scheme then we have covered here, including earning points from season tickets. The reward scheme is relatively simple and there aren’t any gamification opportunities.

The £5 sign-up bonus is a smart move, however, and ensures that even occasional LNER travellers are incentivised to sign up. You can find out more, and claim your £5, on the LNER Perks website here.

Comments (51)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • BJ says:

    I thought HfP was only doing big stuff now, this is less valuable than 250 clubcard points is/was.

    • San says:

      Not necessarily so. As someone who does weekly return trips between the north and London I’ve racked up around £100 cash back via LNER perks which then paid for me and my partner to travel first class to Heathrow before a holiday to Japan last year. If you’re doing the travel anyway it’s essentially free money.

    • Gordon says:

      I thought the saving was quite small, but I guess it is a filler article, that said Hfp have run articles relating to train travel over the years.
      This £5 will be swallowed up after the 4.9% fare increase on the 3rd March 2024!

      • BJ says:

        I recall the days when 50 bonus avios caused a flurry of excited comments.

        • Scott says:

          50 Avios could be the difference between grabbing a lucrative F reward ticket and missing out whilst asking “Help! What’s the quickest way to get 50 Avios?”.
          As Tesco say, every little helps. Might be a trivial amount, but it all adds up.

    • Qrfan says:

      By big stuff you’re referring to the review of the ba flapjack?

      • BJ says:

        I thought that a good article, the pics would win my vote for loyalty photo of the year 🙂 i just recall Rob saying they would be focussin on big stuff, you’d need to ask him what counts.

    • Andrew. says:

      Aren’t you in the Capital though? Where the state operated ScotRail has made every ticket off-peak and the elderly can get a 10% discount on all rail travel with the Club50 Railcard.

      I wouldn’t be chasing 2% when 10% is the norm either, but when parking + travel card + return peak ticket sets you back £80-£100 for a 45 minute journey into the other Capital every penny starts to count.

      • BJ says:

        Yes, in Edinburgh. Had never heard of Club50 or that it might mean I’ve been elderly for 6+ years already. Thanks for sharing, I’ll have a look.

        • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

          So thr article is now more valuable than you originally thought!

          • BJ says:

            Worth a look but I do little train travel excepting LNER EDB-KGX. I didn’t duggest the article was not valuable, only that the focus was on the bonus which is a small amount.

      • Londonsteve says:

        Holy smokes, is that really what it costs to get into London these days from 45 mins out? I’m staggered. If the trip was discretionary I’d rather spend that on an Avios reward seat and fly somewhere in Europe! Granted, if you’re buying a peak ticket the journey is unlikely to be voluntary, nor can you realistically do it any cheaper. Peak rail fares being what they are, I’m surprised that car parks in outer London close to tube and train stations are not bursting at the seams with drivers seeking to avoid the peak time rail rip off. Perhaps the heavy traffic and state of the roads are putting them off doing the bulk of the journey by road, jumping onto the train for the final 20 miles of built-up London.

        • Rob says:

          I went to York yesterday to collect my Mum and LNER F was £330 return. All trains fixed at that price as a Christmas treat. Luckily you can split ticket to get it down to £220.

          • TooPoorToBeHere says:

            If it’s a day trip you can probably split it a lot lower than that with a condition 14.3 split

            be prepared for a lot of aggro from staff (and wide-eyed looks from fellow travellers) though.

          • Kev I says:

            Did you use a 2 together Card on the return?

          • Rob says:

            No, she has a Senior Railcard.

        • Andrew. says:

          It’s the new normal.

          07:14 Didcot Parkway – Paddington (43 minutes)
          18:01 Paddington – Didcot Parkway (37 minutes)

          £85.30 return including TfL Travelcard. £7.50 to park.

          Thank goodness for LNER offer stacking. I get 15% back from my bank and airtime 3 months before my employer pays expenses.

    • Dickie_H says:

      They really should have covered all those game-changing press-releases that have been released this Sunday, the day before Christmas, within the world of travel loyalty.

      • Rob says:

        Indeed. You’d be shocked how many good stories we had to ditch.

        Keeps us up the Google search results for anyone interesting in LNER Perks too 🙂

        • BJ says:

          If google searches are the goal you could have slipped in a Clever(ly) comment to attract a whole new bunch of readers.

  • Ian says:

    I’m interested in this as I find LNER First Class to be the best of any operator I’ve yet used in the UK, even though I only do a modest amount of travel with them. However, a question – does anyone know if I’ll be bombarded with stupid spam messages from LNER if I sign up please?

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      I just opt out of emails and app push notifications have never got any marketing emails from them

    • BJ says:

      I”ve been signed up from launch, I’m opted in to emails and don’t get bithered by them. Once or twice a month at most, possibly even less. Quite impressed given the hassle from many companies. Also agree their First is best but I much preferred the old seats and layout to those on Azuma.

    • ExpatInBerlin says:

      I agree Ian, as a frequent user of LNER on 5+ hour journeys I consider their first class offering superior to competitors on other long distance routes and I always try to buy an advance first class ticket. I have always found the staff to be very friendly and helpful and I have never gone hungry or thirsty in the LNER first class carriage – I wish I could say the same for GWR! I used to have a high success rate with buying a standard class ticket and winning a Seatfrog upgrade for a fraction of the price difference between a standard and first class ticket but Seatfrog has become so popular I rarely use it now and prefer the peace of mind of knowing I have a first class ticket. I am interested to see whether LNER introduce a similar loyalty scheme to Avanti’s “Club Avanti”. I’ve just hit gold level and earned my free standard premium return ticket for having completed 9+ trips within my membership year and should hit the platinum level of a free first class tickets for 21+ trips in the next few months. Big savings to be had if travelling from e.g. Euston to Glasgow return at a peak time.

  • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

    I usually have 5% with MBNA (max cash back £30) and 5% with Airtime (min spend £70) and buy a couple hundred quids with of vouchers since there aren’t a lot of train discounts out there. They also stack so well worth it.

    There are also some perks that pop up. 25% off English heritage membership at the moment and there’s usually 10% off onboard food as well.

  • AirMax says:

    Some would see this as £5 off each journey if you use a different email address. But no, apparently they can come after you if you do that

    • John says:

      You would need different payment cards, different IP addresses and different virtual machines.

    • Rich_A says:

      I believe LNER are indeed coming after people and threatening prosecution.

      By the sounds of it they are a lot less tolerant of abuse than some loyalty schemes.

  • Colin says:

    Since downloading the app in 2020 and receiving the £5 credit I have used the LNER app to buy tickets for the train services of other operators making savings from credit card offers. I have not had need to travel on an LNER service, so no LNER tickets bought to utilize the £5 credit. But pleased that my £5 credit remains on my account as it is valid for 24 months after most recent ticket purchase.

  • Rich_A says:

    There’s a very easy way to add your ticket bought elsewhere to Perks. I’m buying from Uber at the moment (for 10% back), and add the tickets to my Apple Wallet.

    You can use the share icon in Apple Wallet to share the ticket to the LNER app, and it imports to the app. As well as getting your perks, this means you also get push notifications from LNER about your journey.

    • Rich_A says:

      Alternatively you can upload a PDF ticket to LNER. Either before or up to 7 days after travel.

  • Stu_N says:

    Of the services I use regularly LNER 1st is by far the best. I find the tables just a bit too high to comfortably work at though.

    Avanti is a fair bit behind – trains are more comfortable, especially the refurbished pendelinos, but service is hit and miss, I usually now go Std premium instead of first as you can’t rely on getting anything in First especially north of Preston.

    Then there is, so far behind it’s almost insulting to the others to call it third place is the omnishambles that is Cross Country and their dreadful catering when it is even there, their awful reliability and miserable staff that are so bad they conspire to make the knackered old voyager trains the best part of the experience.

    • Ian says:

      Absolutely agree, Stu. I tried XC First just once (for just a short journey) and it was so bad – miserable service, the only “food” being biscuits – I wrote to complain. Their reply basically just said too bad you didn’t like it. I also asked if they were ever going to do anything about the fact that their horrible little trains stink of toilets all the time. They said they were aware of the problem. Well, they’ve only been in service 20 years.

      I also tried East Midlands Railway first class and it’s crap too.

      • Rob says:

        East Midlands is very crap. A large % of people heading to Sheffield take LNER to Doncaster and connect back, which isn’t even any slower because of the slothful East Midlands line.

        • Alex says:

          Funnily enough when they used to have the old Class 180 trains (former Hull trains) I had a very similar service to LNER – last time on a 222 they came around with sandwiches bought from WH Smith in Sheffield

    • Rich_A says:

      LNER First is a lot better than the rest, but even so the food offering has been ‘enhanced’ lately. I can’t remember the last time I got a full breakfast, and the ‘all day’ option is a bit more sandwichy than I’d like.

      That said, they are always free-flowing with drinks. And the lounges, while basic, are genuinely pleasant places to wait.

      • Rob says:

        The bacon roll I had yesterday morning was fine but a bit basic. The turkey and cranberry sausage roll I had on the way back was OK. Obviously they jiggle the options around at weekends though. As you say, free flowing drinks all the way.

        The whole service was bizarre yesterday. Because F was priced at £165 each way to York, it was 75% empty but apparently Standard was rammed. Weekend First was £45 which also put people off upgrading.

    • Ryan says:

      Voyagers are downright awful. Between the broken phone signal and the smell of the toilets wafting through the carriage, I find it odd they are still operating with little mention of their service and services making the news.

  • Scott says:

    I haven’t been on an LNER train since Jan or Feb last year (got maybe £9 of credit left). Transpennine Express kept cancelling most trains with no notice, so connections were out of the question.

    Generally drive down now at my own pace either from Lincolnshire or Manchester.

    Last LNER train I looked at was £71 from KX to Doncaster (same with whatever runs to Manchester Picadilly). £51 on BA, so flew with them instead, avoiding tubes etc.
    National Express was around £31 from LHR, buy after last time I caught a Megabus to MAN, I’ll pay the extra not too (busy, very cramped etc.)

    • Scott says:

      Just had a quick look at Doncaster to KX on a random day next month.
      Not sure why the app doesn’t directly tell you any more which trains are Azumas, although it seems to follow a pattern of up to double the price of an Azuma Vs. a 225.
      I.e. £20 standard, £55 first for a 225. £40 standard, £85 first for an Azuma.

      • Rob says:

        In general, if you’re going to Yorkshire they try to price you off the Scotland trains so they can sell someone else a ticket all way through.

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