There's a few reasons why we decided to do the #BetterRewards May giveaway. The first was to help draw attention to the new East Coast Rewards points calculator - if you enter your average monthly or annual spend on rail travel it calculates what rewards you would have earned as well as the equivalent value you'd get with Nectar over the course of the first year of Virgin Trains East Coast. Even if you were never a rewards member why not give it a go and see what you missed out on!

The calculator was originally supposed to launch in March, but ^DH who was developing it had his laptop stolen and hadn't uploaded the code to our site at that point. As he was extremely busy he only just got round to launching it last week. When we last ran the #BetterRewards competition in February the intention was to use it to generate interest until our calculator was launched.

I (^EM) had also suggested that we launch a separate BetterRewards site the idea was to make it both a general purpose site with loyalty advice and also once the social media following builds up the competitions will also move to this site. The site will take a rational look at the pros and cons of each loyalty scheme and provide advice on how to maximise points and use them to full advantage. It won't just be rail related, it'll cover other areas too including high street and online shopping. Eventually we'd like to provide advice to small businesses who want to set up their own loyalty schemes.

^DH has been a long time fan of having decent ales on the trains and ever since GNER stopped the guest ales in 2003 he's been wanting ale to make a return to East Coast so it was his idea to have a Hop on Board bias to the first two weekly prizes, but the other prizes are all travel related including the grand prize of a first class return for two people anywhere on the East Coast route (with a choice of operator).

We're also aware that not everyone is keen on the competitions so moving them to a different location should be good for everyone.

So please follow our new BetterRewards social media accounts so you're ready for the launch in June.

@BetterRewardsUK Twitter

BetterRewards Facebook

^EM