TopCashback now paying in Tesco points – a gamechanger? (Part 1)

Key link:  Click here to sign-up for TopCashback

First, a (sort of) apology for being a week or so late in writing about this.  Blame the holiday plus the launch of the new blog.  This has, however, allowed me to draw on quite a lot of experimental data from other people to present some good suggestions.

So, what is all the fuss about?!

For a long time – I have been a member since 2006 – Quidco has been the UK’s leading cashback site for online shopping.  It was reliable and it had good customer service.  Only the £5 annual fee counted against it, but that did pay for a responsive customer services team.

TopCashback launched a few years ago and has been making aggressive strides in the market.  Most in the industry expect it to overtake Quidco at some point.

Historically, TopCashback had three benefits over Quidco:

  • It paid 1% more on all sales (ie £1.01 instead of £1 – not a great improvement)
  • There was no £5 annual fee (although, when you earn £500 a year as I do, saving £5 is not a major reason to move)
  • You could withdraw money as soon as it was received (although Quidco pays fortnightly, and the £1 minimum is not a major barrier)

For a lot of people, including myself, it wasn’t worth the trouble of moving from Quidco.  Now, though, TopCashback has rolled out a new feature which, frankly, makes a massive difference:

TopCashback will now pay your cashback into your Tesco Clubcard account.

TopCashBack logo

This dramatically increases the value of TopCashback cashback versus Quidco. Let’s assume that you value an Avios at 1p.  This means that £10 of cashback, when transferred to Tesco Clubcard, is worth £24 of Avios.

If you assume that Tesco will have another 40% bonus on transfers to Avios at some point, your £10 of cashback would get you £34 of Avios.

(Put another way, TopCashBack allows you to ‘buy’ up to £50-worth of Avios for 0.42p each, each year.  If you assume there will be a 40% conversion bonus, it is letting you buy £50-worth for 0.3p each!).

In reality, you will receive even more Avios than I indicated above, because TopCashback gives you a 5% bonus on top of your cashback if you agree to transfer it to Clubcard.  (In reality, they could have offered 5% less and it would still be a great deal!)

There are very few conditions, except:

You are capped at £50 per year (a year runs from the date of your first Tesco transfer, not the calendar year or from the date you joined)

You can choose for each individual transaction whether it is paid to you as cash or paid into Clubcard.

As you cannot split up each individual transaction, do NOT do a transaction that earns you more than £50 cashback, as it is impossible to split it to send £50 to Clubcard and the rest to your bank account.

TopCashback accounts are strictly limited to one per person.  Extra TCB accounts at the same address would require separate Clubcards.  It is not yet clear if the Clubcard name must match the TopCashBack account name.

How do I join TopCashback?

Use this link here, please!

TopCashback offers a £5 referral bonus if you refer a friend, payable when your friend earns over £10.  The link above includes my referral code.

I am grateful to anyone who chooses to help support the blog by using this link.  You will not get a better deal if you sign-up directly on the TopCashback website.  Thank you!

What’s next?

Nothing stops you opening a TopCashback account now and using it for your day-to-day online shopping instead of Quidco.

In Part 2 of this article, I look at some of the sites that can help you earn the £50 as quickly as possible, with the minimum cost and effort.

New Holiday Inn, HI Express and Crowne Plaza 2-4-1 deal
New Avios redemption option to Florence with Vueling
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  1. phreegreens says:

    Very interesting indeed Raffles. Especially as I am looking to buy an Ultrabook from Dell, I look forward to part 2! For those of us that are less FFs than we were a few years ago Tesco does provide a good opportunity to keep the Avios tank topped up and this, even with the £50 limit, could be a handy little add-on for little effort.

  2. The £50 limit is a calender year. After my clubcard point transfer last week the payment screen of TCB for Tesco points says

    *Payment cap of £50.00 would be exceeded for this calendar year (2013)

  3. Worth mentioning that the credit is given in the form of points so you need to wait till the end of the quarter to convert them to vouchers, which can then be converted to Avios.

    • …which is the same as any other clubcard deal?

      • Well, my first impression was that, since I’m transferring e.g. £10, I would get £10 in tesco vouchers rather than 1000 tesco points. I was trying to be helpful rather than picky:-).

  4. You should also point out to people that shop via the BA eShop that the Topcashback route is much better for Avios – returnting between 2 and 4 times the number of Avios across a wide range of retailers.

    I wrote about it here:

  5. A well timed article as I currently have just under £50 awaiting to be paid now. Since I’m new to the clubcard scene, I’m assuming that I have to tick the box in the preferences section on the clubcard site to convert my points into BAEC Avios? Do these then stay in the account or something, as I wouldn’t want to change any prefs, just in case I missed out on a conversion bonus. So what’s the usual procedure?

    • No, do NOT do this. The best thing to do is to receive your Clubcard vouchers in the post and then put them in a drawer. If you are lucky, in a few months time Tesco will run a conversion bonus to Avios (like the 50% bonus they just finished with Virgin Flying Club) and you can convert them then. You do this by going to the Deals website and ordering Avios (into BAEC or in the same way you would order any other deal, inputting the codes on the vouchers.

      If you elect to auto-convert, you will lose out if a conversion bonus is announced next quarter.

  6. Aren’t the Tesco bonuses normally 50% not 40%? The last few times I’ve done it it’s been for 900 Avios instead of 600.

  7. Definitely a very interesting development and sounds like it’s worth punting £50 of cashback earnings TopCashBack’s way! (although Quidco have been very good to me with their £100 Christmas Bonus offer and their recent offer to pay all outstanding transactions!)

    I’m still wonder though whether Avios are the best value from Clubcard vouchers? – lots of their restaurant partners (such as Prezzo, Pizza Express) over a 4:1 ratio for conversion (£10 Clubcard buys £40 of the restaurant voucher) – personally I find that better value for money unless the Avios conversion bonus significantly increased.

    • Raffles says:

      Fair point. I have often converted for other stuff, eg MyTrainTicket when they ran their promo. Restaurant deals are diluted by 241 vouchers in my opinion, but those are getting rarer. I might do a post on this.

      • Yes – I got some good RedSpottedHanky vouchers when that was an option, but have now switched across to East Coast Rewards for train tickets.

        Agree the 2-4-1s reduced the value of the restaurant vouchers but they do seem to be dying out a bit so the value is going back up a bit.

        Regardless of which route you go down they’re all better than the rubbish reward rate that is Nectar!! 😀

  8. Topcashback accounts don’t need a name, so there shouldn’t be any cross-checking with Clubcard.

    • I can confirm that crediting from a tcb account with one name into a Tesco account with a different name works fine.

      £14.43 transferred from my tcb account into the Mrs’ Tesco account. The credit to Clubcard looks to have been on the same day I requested it from tcb. Much quicker than cash payouts which are batch run every few days.

  9. Hingeless says:

    Looking forward to the gambling post tomorrow :)

  10. Mr Bridge says:

    I read when TCB launced an article wondering how they paid such a high cashback rate and still made money.The author thought that it would be to build memebrship until it becomes the biggest cashbacksite and then off load it to a large corp. I wonder if this is why Tesco are no involved??? I can see no reason why Tesco would want to share its loyalty scheme with any one else.

    • I reckon that TCB, and indeed Quidco, get ‘override’ commissions based on volume, which they do not pass on. These will be lump sums paid every quarter or so, and since they are not linked to particular transactions then arguably TCB can still claim to pass on all cashback directly linked to a transaction.

      • Mr Bridge says:

        sure, i agree, e.g i know energy co’s pay bonus per 100 sign ups.
        Tesco would not be able to put its own name on such as site, as many merchants would pull out, it would not surpirse me if tesco are not looking finding an ‘in’ into this market

  11. swiss-in-cumbria says:

    The £50 limit is not per calender year. i just found this paragraph on TopCashBack.

    “The 12 month period will start on the date of your first Tesco Clubcard payment request.”

  12. For my clubcard account I have 2 different numbered clubcard (one a few years old and when they issued new card it had new number, but both linked to same clubcard account).

    TCB terms and conditions says that only 1 TCB account can link with 1 clubcard account.

    Rather than opening up another clubcard account for Mrs, I was thinking of giving my old clubcard number for her TCB account. I can’t see how TCB would ever find out that the 2 differently numbered clubcards link to the same account. However Tesco might notice that the annual credit from TCB will be more than £50.

    I know it is a bit cheeky, but does anyone know if this will create an issue?

  13. I recall seeing some advise on the 12 month period and a transfer from Kelkoo to activate the TCB account but am unable to find this now – could anyone clarify this for me.