LNER has launched a loyalty programme for passengers, branded LNER Perks.

It is a low-key launch as I suspect it had been planned before the announcement of the UK’s four-week lockdown starting this Thursday. LNER will be announcing the scheme officially at a later date.

Full details of the loyalty scheme can be found via this link.

The scheme is open to all-comers, with travellers asked to download the LNER app and create an account to join. The programme offers a £5 reward upon joining and then a two per cent rebate on eligible fares. The latter can be used to spend on the app, to donate to one of the company’s charity partners, or to gift as an eVoucher to friends and family.

The two per cent credit is eligible on all LNER journeys, whether you’re travelling on LNER for all or part of your journey – this means it would cover other train companies needed to complete your journey when using one ticket.

Some users of the LNER website (myself included) sometimes use the site to book tickets with other rail firms and of course in this case there would be no two per cent rebate.

With this loyalty scheme LNER hopes to revive a popular loyalty programme offered by East Coast some years ago. East Coast Rewards was cancelled five years ago as Editorial Director Tom Otley reported at the time.

Readers may feel LNER could have been more generous but one must remember that, like East Coast previously, it is managed by the government.

It is true that VTEC (Virgin Trains East Coast) carried on the ECML (East Coast Mainline) franchise for a few years before handing back the keys to the government, but its scheme involved Nectar and was less generous.