Free Avios with 3V Virtual Visa – our list of places where you can use the card

Love Clubcard, don’t collect Avios?  You should be reading our sister site, Shopper Points (www.shopperpoints.co.uk), which covers the latest Clubcard and Nectar offers without any distracting frequent flyer talk!  Why not check it out now?

My post last week on buying the fee-free 3V Virtual Visa giftcard in Tesco has attracted a huge number of comments, over 170 at the time of writing.

(If you missed the original post, you can buy 3V Virtual Visa cards in Tesco for £50, earn 150 bonus Clubcard points – 360 Avios points – and then use the cards to pay off online bills where only debit cards are accepted.  My main 3V Virtual Visa post is here.)

3V card

I have been through all of your comments on 3V cards.  Here is a list of places where they definitely can and cannot be used online:

Works fine:

Amazon (Amazon sells online gift vouchers from 10p.  Ordering a voucher to be sent to yourself is a great way to empty your 3V card if you have a small balance left.  You can then add your gift voucher to your Amazon account as a credit, and it will be used next time you order.  If you use our Amazon link here, Head for Points gets a commission when you order a gift voucher.)

Barclaycard (works to settle Priority Club and Hilton HHonors credit cards, does not appear to work with standard Barclaycard bills)

Council tax (varies by authority, of course, but most accept debit cards these days)

EDF

E.ON

Freemans

Hargreaves Landsown

highstreetvouchers.com (lets you use the cards for a wide range of vouchers eg John Lewis)

HMRC (treated as a debit card so no 1.4% fee to pay)

Next (to pay off account balance, although you can also use Next gift cards from Tesco for this)

Npower

O2

Orange

Sky (Sky also lets you prepay online, using that balance up before recommencing your normal direct debit)

South West Water

TalkTalk

Virgin Media

With caveats:

Scottish Power (will take it but treat it as a credit card with a 1.4% fee)

TV Licence (cannot split payment, so would need to pay the £1.75 per card transfer fee to move £150 onto one 3V card)

Does not work:

American Express (to pay bill)

British Gas

MBNA credit cards (to pay bill)

Scottish Gas

Selftrade

Tesco online shopping (surprised by this, any other reports?)

Tesco savings account (when depositing using a debit card)

Please continue to add your own experiences with utility companies, credit card companies etc.  We know that they should work as ‘normal’ with online retailers so that is less important unless there is a special tweak involved.  Other ideas apart from Amazon for cashing out very small remaining balances are also welcome.

Love Clubcard, don’t collect Avios?  You should be reading our sister site, Shopper Points (www.shopperpoints.co.uk), which covers the latest Clubcard and Nectar offers without any distracting frequent flyer talk!  Why not check it out now?

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Comments

  1. I thought that the max you could activate in 1 year was £1,300? And the max you could redeem was £650 without having to supply added money laundering info to them.

    • Presumably you can register them under various names – the tax people, at least, don’t care whose name the card is in, I can vouch for that.

      • Michael says:

        Paid £500 towards paye/nic tonight – then got message saying couldn’t process payment !! Is there a daily limit on amount of transactions to Hmrc – that was 20x£25 to one account – ill call tomorrow to check but anyone had this happen to them ??

    • Gordon says:

      I think the max is £1650 without money laundering info, which i have completed and fully spent. Not sure what the £650 is unless it relates to bank refunds. As raffles says, just do it in a family members name with their agreement above this.

  2. Gordon says:

    Has anyone seen evidence of the cards being restocked? I have cleared the shelves in 6 tesco stores over the last 12 days and none have been restocked. They have simply split the visa cards with the fee across the free hooks.

    • Londonbus says:

      They have restocked at Tesco Brent Park.

      • Do they stack these on the gift cards rack in Tesco Brent Park as I couldn’t see any?

    • Squillion says:

      Yep I’ve seen evidence but down our way restocking seems to be on a 2-3 week cycle.

  3. tangey says:

    Charles Stanley (share trading), seems to accept these, certainly took the one that I’ve tried. Basically means I can put all these v3 into my share trading account, then request the money, all at no charge.

    Their card handler is SagePay, so that *might* indicate that anyone that uses sagepay will take them.

  4. I’ve just put 2 x £25 through my Hilton Credit card and it then came up with a message “Sorry but you’ve reached the limit of your debit card payments”. Not sure if this is a daily limit – will try again tomorrow

    Not quite the end of the world as I can use some of the other places eg council tax, HMRC and Sky but paying Hilton was my preferred option as I intended to pay council tax with this card and then pay that bill with 3V card. That way I would have got HHonors, AMEX MR and Tesco points!

    • I asked Barclaycard about this (re Priority Club visa, but no doubt the same applies to the Hilton one) and got the following reply:

      “We’re sorry you’ve been inconvenienced as a result of the limitations regarding debit card payments. We are constantly looking at ways to improve the security of both our customers and the Priority Club Rewards Visa. One of the ways we look to do this is to place some limits on the debit card payments you can make in a month. At present these are limited to no more than 5 payments or 2 different cards within a 30 day period, up to a maximum of £3000 in one transaction. If our customers reach these limits we will allow an alternative payment method from the information on the back of your statement or the online FAQ facility”.

      So in other words, you can only pay £50 per month this way.

      • Came to settle my hhonors card today – to confirm that the same applies with that card. It states in the terms and conditions that you can only make up to 2 online payments per month. Unfortunately not the golden goose i had hoped for!

  5. Thank you for your useful site!

    To add to your list, T-Mobile did not work for me – it said card may be issued by non-UK bank.

    How would Neteller be viewed, do we think? It says you cannot use the card for gambling sites but would this work?

    Ideally looking for a way to get this these consolidated back to being cash!

    Anon

  6. Ignore me about Neteller – 1.75% fee even if it did work.

    Anon

  7. GingerBread says:

    RyanAir for ‘extras’ via Manage My Booking worked.

    Interesting they have a 3V Visa Prepaid Vouchers selection on card selection that worked fine – my First attempt via Visa Debit/Delta failed.

  8. Works with First Utility. You will get the option to pay some of your bill in your profile. When you do the first one the option disappears, you have to phone up to get them to take more of the vouchers.

  9. Londonbus says:

    Does 3V work on BT – there’s an option on the BT website to make a payment to your telephone account,

    • Yes, it works fine on BT so you can build up a positive balance and they take that before the Direct Debit.
      Ed

      • Singing Dwarf says:

        Do you know if BT charge the £2 / month Payment Processing Fee (usually applied to those not paying the bill via Whole Bill Direct Debit or Monthly Payment Plan), where the account is in credit and the direct debit is therefore not taken?

        See the following for infor:
        http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/9855

        • Booger!
          I will let you know when my next bill comes out and see what happens. I still elect to pay the whole bull by DD but I just happen to have put some credit in the account!
          Learning experience I suppose – Ed

        • Londonbus says:

          Not in my experience, no.

  10. Got this response from HHonors Card people:

    We are constantly looking at ways to improve the security of both our customers and the Hilton Hhonors Platinum Visa card. One of the ways we look to do this is to place some limits on the debit card payments you can make in a month. At present these are limited to no more than 5 payments or 2 different cards within a 30 day period, up to a maximum of £3000 in one transaction. If our customers reach these limits we will allow an alternative payment method from the information on the back of your statement or the online FAQ facility.

    So, it is 5 payments, but only 2 different numbers.

  11. What's the Point says:

    Visited another Tesco Extra today in Manchester (Gorton) and they had 20 on the shelf, so picked half of them up. That’s the most I can stomach processing in one sitting before going a bit stir crazy.
    What’s the most anyone has activated and spent in one sitting?

    • Michael Christie says:

      Ive put through 2 x 20 & 1 x15 batches for hmrc….around 2 mins per card. hrmc blocks anymore payts after 20 in one day – so had to call up to get it lifted.
      Used bmi card for these….so well over 10000 avios for a few hours work :-)

  12. Travel Republic paying for a hotel with 8 3v cards

  13. ringingup says:

    Any stock updates in Central London? I couldn’t find any in Tesco Metro Tooley Street.

  14. It works on Scottish power but treats card as credit card.
    So you end up paying 1.5% surcharge but still in profit as you also get 10p per litre off coupon from Tesco.
    Not a bad deal IMO.