Using your points

Using your points

Time has ran out

The 30th September 2015 was the last date to redeem points. The following article remains for reference purposes only.

You only have until midnight 30th September 2015 to use up your remaining East Coast Rewards points. After this date all points will expire, if you're looking for ideas on what to do with them read on, if you still need assistance then talk to us on Twitter.

If you haven't already, make sure that you let Virgin Trains East Coast know about your feelings on the closure of the Rewards scheme and read Rewards v Nectar to find out why Nectar is a pathetic alternative.

What if I have a lot of points to use?

By far the best use of your points is to redeem on Virgin Trains East Coast tickets, you can use them anywhere on the route so will get the most value out of a long distance trip. It has been confirmed that you can redeem your points for free travel up until the 30th September 2015 but it's valid for six months from the time of redemption, which means if you redeemed on the 30th September 2015 you'd have until 30th March 2016 to book tickets. As you can book tickets up to three months in advance this could mean in theory you can book Rewards tickets up to June 2016 but you need to do this carefully and keep track of dates to make sure nothing expires. I expect rewards availability will increase after September as a lot of people will have used up their points by then.

This is a welcome change from the original requirements which said you must redeem points and book tickets by the 30th September as this now gives you an extra six months to book the tickets.

What if I don't have many points left?

Also if you don't have enough for a free ticket there's also the lower value rewards such as lounge access and WiFi for 50 points each. These are excellent value, the lounge passes are valid even on a standard class ticket (also remember first class advance ticket holders need to pay a £5 supplement for lounge access as King's Cross too) and, if you travel standard class, WiFi for the duration of your trip (assuming longer than an hour) usually costs £9.99. You can book the lounge pass or WiFi for any date in the future.

What about converting to Nectar?

If you don't have enough points for a redemption we advise not converting the points to Nectar unless you're an active participant in the scheme through other partners. We advise taking as much as possible through the regular rewards, the lowest value rewards being lounge access or WiFi at 50 points. As the number of people converting to Nectar has been used as an indicator of the schemes success we'd hope you think twice before converting for the sake of a few pennies. If you want to transfer any leftover points it's worth remembering that the Virgin Red app is currently giving new Flying Club members 3000 bonus points. If the app is not currently available for your platform click here to access the offer.

Presumably if you don't have a Nectar card already then you've had no interest in the Nectar scheme. You need a minimum of 500 points (£2.50) to redeem. As they're giving 6 Nectar points to each EC Rewards point that would mean you'd need at least 84 EC Rewards points to get anything with Nectar. We think you'd be better off converting these points into lounge passes or WiFi codes.

Other Rewards Options

If you choose to redeem for a lounge pass or WiFi access it will continue to be honoured for its entire validity period even if the scheme is closed. This means if you have enough points for an annual lounge pass it may be a decent investment if you do a lot of travel but have more points than you can use up. Don't forget there's also rewards such as beer, wine and cinema tickets. Got so many points that you can't use them all yourself? Then treat a friend or family member,

What are you planning to use your points on? Have you used them already? Did you convert them all to Nectar and now regret it? Share your stories with us on Facebook or Twitter.