A 25p insult for spending over £200

A 25p Insult

Recently one of the most insulting promotional offers was made by Virgin Trains East Coast. If you buy a Standard Anytime ticket before 7 June you will receive a bonus of 50 Nectar points.

Nectar 50 bonus points standard anytime

How much are 50 bonus Nectar points worth? £5? £1? 50p? No they're only worth 25p.

On the other hand, if we still had East Coast Rewards then 50 points would actually be worth something. 50 East Coast Rewards points would get you access to the First Class lounge, which would be a nice benefit when purchasing a Standard Anytime ticket, or it could have been used for a one day WiFi pass which is also a great benefit for those travelling standard.

It's important to note that this terrible offer only applies to purchases of Standard Anytime tickets, these are the most expensive standard class tickets available and so a bigger incentive should be offered.

They seem to be hoping that people's general ignorance of what a point is worth will make this offer attractive to some, we need to spread the word of how poor this offer actually is. If you haven't already please sign our petition in order to show Virgin Trains East Coast that we want a decent rewards scheme back.

How much are these tickets?

This offer only applies to tickets that involve a Virgin Trains East Coast journey. Here's the Standard Anytime Return fares for popular destinations, as you can see they're not cheap:

London - York: £224 return
London - Leeds: £224 return
London - Newcastle: £276 return
London - Edinburgh: £281 return

The only reason to pay for these tickets is if you require full flexibility. 

What would you have got with East Coast Rewards?

With East Coast Rewards you needed to spend £255 for a free standard single ticket valid anywhere on the East Coast route. This would mean if you were travelling for business on an anytime ticket between London and Newcastle or Edinburgh you'd have more than enough points for a free standard class single which could be used for a leisure trip in the future or a business trip where the flexibility of anytime tickets is not required. If you wanted to save for larger rewards such as first class tickets these points would soon add up.

Nectar on the other hand gives you just 1% on your purchases (although you get two points per pound each point is worth a halfpenny each), so a return from London to York (costing £224) would get you 448 Nectar points worth £2.24 and with the 50 bonus points would take you up to £2.49. There is just no way anyone could prefer Nectar and this promotion instead of being a welcome bonus is so poor I can't see a single person benefitting from it.

So in total you will get around a 1.1% reward during this promotion for buying a ticket over £200. Is this their best idea of rewarding loyalty? 

Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions are not currently on the website but were on the email message:

Nectar 50 bonus points standard anytime T&Cs

So, to make this promotion even worse you can only get the bonus points a single time!