Compared to rewards scheme we used to have Nectar is a rubbish scheme. Even compared to other supermarket schemes it does not perform well, as shown on NoToNectar. However, if you collect Nectar points because they're 'better than nothing' you really should be booking all your rail travel through a FirstGroup site.

Why is booking with Virgin a bad idea if you want points

Despite both East Coast and West Coast sharing the Virgin Trains brand if you want points with Virgin you need to remember to book tickets on the correct site. If you book East Coast tickets on virgintrains.co.uk (the West Coast site) you won't get any points, and vice versa.

However, FirstGroup gives you Nectar points regardless of train operator so you'll earn points quicker as all rail travel counts.

The FirstGroup sites are

If you'd like to sign up to TopCashback you can do even better. TransPennine Express give 1.05% cashback on train journeys from all other operators (and 4.72% cashback on their own journeys). TransPennine Express also gives Nectar points in addition to the cashback so there's no doubt that it's a better option financially than booking directly through the Virgin Trains East Coast website.

Compare the difference

  Earn Nectar points on the following operators
 
 
Ticket booking site
Virgin
Trains
West
Coast
Virgin
Trains
East
Coast
Great
Western
Railway
Hull
Trains
First
Trans-pennine
Express
East
Midlands
Trains
South
West
Trains
Abellio
Greater
Anglia
ScotRail Northern
Rail
c2c London
Midland
TfLRail
and
London
Overground
Merseyrail Arriva
Trains
Wales
Chiltern Cross
Country
Grand
Central
Southeastern Thameslink,
Southern
and
Great
Northern
Virgin Trains East Coast

 

virgintrainseastcoast.com
 
No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
Virgin Trains (West Coast)
virgintrains.co.uk
 
Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
Great Western Railway
gwr.com
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hull Trains
hulltrains.co.uk
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Transpennine Express
tpexpress.co.uk
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trainline
thetrainline.com
No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No