With work-from-home advice now lifted, National Rail is keen to woo commuters, so has introduced a rewards scheme as part of its Back On Track campaign.
Commuter Rewards offers travellers benefits such as free coffees and breakfasts, a free one-month subscription to The Mindfulness App and two months free with audiobooks.com.
The idea behind the scheme is to "help commuters make the most out of their 'me-time' on their commute", supported by offers including a free upgrade to FutureLearn online courses, and 10% off magazine subscriptions.
While headline offers include free hot drinks from Costa and free breakfast rolls at Greggs, these rewards are each limited to 1,000, so you'll have to be quick to snap them up (they've already gone this time around). That said, National Rail states that new rewards and freebies from different brands will be added regularly. Your best bet is to follow on social media to be tipped off when something new is being added.
How do I sign up for National Rail Commuter Rewards?
Head to the National Rail Commuter Rewards website and fill in your details. As well as your contact info, you'll have to give the stations you regularly commute from and to. Once you've verified your email address, you'll be given access to the current rewards available. Activate one and you'll be sent an email with details of how to claim it.
As far as we can tell, you don't have to prove you've made your commute at any point in the process, leaving the system somewhat open to abuse.
Will it work?
While a free coffee is all well and good, we reckon it'll take a lot more than that to get people back into the office, if they're lucky enough to work at a company that gives them the choice.
Many factors, including the cost of travelling, the risk of Covid infection, childcare and an improved work-life balance have made working from home an appealing prospect, and while a free coffee is always welcome, it doesn't really make up for hours a week spent packed onto a train. And with rail fares expected to rise by 3.8% in March 2022, your commuting costs could well increase by more than the cost of that free latte anyway.
Find out more and sign up here.