An example at the lack of thought that went into the decision to go with Nectar is the fact that you can earn points on other modes of transport that compete directly with the railway. The most obvious one is fuel from BP and Sainsbury's Petrol Stations, but you can also earn points with easyJet which compete with their domestic flights.
Now the Sainsbury's 10x offer on fuel is back again until 23 March (you need to opt in via the website or the Nectar app) this means it's currently significantly more rewarding to drive than it is to get the train.
Usually you get 1 Nectar point per litre for fuel at both Sainsbury's and BP. With the current offer you'll get 10 Nectar points per litre of fuel from Sainsbury's. This is the equivalent of getting 5p off per litre which is worth knowing when comparing local fuel prices.
So assuming fuel at £1.05 per litre (which seems the average around my area) here's how much you'd need to spend to earn £50 (either off a train ticket or to spend at other Nectar partners). £50 is 10000 Nectar points.
- With Sainsbury's fuel you need to buy 1000 litres of fuel to earn the required Nectar points. Total cost £1050.
- With Virgin Trains East Coast you'd need to spend £5000 on VTEC rail travel to earn the required points.
- With FirstGroup you'd need to spend £5000 on any rail travel to earn the required points.
- With Sainsbury's grocery shopping you'd usually need to spend £10000 to earn the required points, but as this time the groceries are included in the 10x offer you only need to spend £1000.
So however you look at it, driving is currently the most rewarding way to earn Nectar points. It'd cost you £3950 more to earn these points on rail travel.
Of course even with the 10x bonus East Coast Rewards was more generous. With a standard class ticket for £255 spend and first class for £460 spend (or less if your paid for rail travel was also first class) it was a scheme that made you feel well and truly rewarded.