First Group-owned rail operator GWR is to leave the Nectar loyalty scheme at the end of the month.

The company confirmed in an email to customers that its partnership with Nectar will end on March 30, 2022.

Any Nectar points earned up until midnight on that date will be processed, and will appear in members’ account within 28 days.

This FAQ page states that GWR has taken the decision “as we adapt to the impact of Covid-19 on the railway and continue to evaluate our offer to deliver the best value for our customers and taxpayers”.

UK rail operators have seen a dramatic fall in revenues since the start of the pandemic, with the UK Treasury having spent some £17 billion on keeping the network open. Figures for the Office for Rail and Road last summer showed that UK rail passenger numbers had fallen to their lowest levels since 1872.

Fellow UK rail operator LNER withdrew from the Nectar scheme in 2020 – having inherited the partnership from previous East Coast Mainline operator Virgin Trains East Coast – and later that year launched its own loyalty programme.

LNER introduces new loyalty scheme

South West Railway also left the Nectar programme in April 2021.