East Coast launches Reward scheme, save £20 on WiFi
Plenty of regular passengers on East Coast services despise them but have little choice but to use them. The monopolistic nature of trains means there's little choice for anyone wanting to ride the rails between North and South, so you usually have to cough up regardless and put up with whatever delays and excuses are meted out.
East Coast have launched a new loyalty scheme it make it all better - or at least, less worse. East Coast Rewards will, like plenty of similar schemes, award points for every pound spent on bookings made through the East Coast website. Passengers will receive 1 point per £1 spent on bookings (subject to a minimum booking of £22) or 1.5 per £1 spent on first class travel; points can also be earned by purchasing season tickets (albeit at half a point less per pound spent).
In return, 500 points can be redeemed for a First Class train ticket for a return journey with East Coast. A standard return from Newcastle to London is £110; every five journeys should mean enough points to receive a sixth first class journey for free. However, there's some small print attached to it all; the 500 points redemption for a first class ticket is an introductory offer only (there's nothing to say when this ends) - you'll normally be expected to redeem 800 points (or 600 points each if there are two of you travelling).
One glimmer of hope - there's 24 hours of free WiFi in return for 50 points, so at least you'll be able to stop paying for that miserable service on some journeys. You'll also receive 100 points for signing up to the scheme, meaning you can save £19.90 on WiFi charges straight away.